What is Pentecost?

What is Pentecost?

Most of us recognize Pentecost Sunday as the day on which the “Kneeling prayers” are said at the end of the Liturgy. These prayers draw to a close our long celebration of the Resurrection of Christ on Holy Pascha. But the roots of Pentecost are far older than Christianity, and...

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Did Saint Basil the Great Invent Monasticism?

Did Saint Basil the Great Invent Monasticism?

There’s a popular belief about how monasticism came about, which tends to give Saint Basil the Great a lot more credit than he’d probably be comfortable with. It goes something like this: After Saints Antony and Pachomius had more or less invented monasticism in Egypt, it went, as we’d say...

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Macrina the Younger

Macrina the Younger

Born in 327 AD, Macrina’s birth foreshadowed her life. As her brother Gregory related in his biography of his sister, “When the time came for the child to be born, at the end of her labour, Emmelia fell asleep, and dreamt she held in her hands the child still in...

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Macrina the Elder

Macrina the Elder

She’s called “Confessor of the Faith”. Her family contains so many saints she’s known as the mother and grandmother of saints. She should be given another title – Bridge of Theology – for her invisible contributions to the understanding of our faith, and its expression in the world. Born about...

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The Long Shadows of Byzantium

The Long Shadows of Byzantium

Every time I stand at the altar in our little church of St. Herman’s in Langley, B.C., I stand in the long shadows of Byzantium.  That is, I find myself facing the processional cross which we keep at the back of the altar table.  At the base of that cross,...

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Divine Liturgy on Holy Pentecost

Divine Liturgy on Holy Pentecost

Today we celebrate the Feast of Pentecost, which happened and is always celebrated 50 days after the Resurrection of our Lord. At Pentecost, the disciples received the Holy Spirit as tongues of fire, fulfilling the promise that Christ had given them while He was still with them. This spirit was...

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