The Grandeur of the Mother of God

The Grandeur of the Mother of God

Monk Arsenios of the Skete of Koutloumousiou, the Holy Mountain   When the most glorious and richest kings on earth have in mind to build their throne and their royal palace as a whole, they don’t leave a stone unturned until they find the most precious material that nature is...

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The Theotokos: An Example for All Women to Emulate

The Theotokos: An Example for All Women to Emulate

“A fervent prayer, and a wall most unshakable A merciful spring And shelter of all mankind; Fervently we cry to you, Theotokos, our Lady, come to us and from all dangers now deliver us….” — Small Paraklesis to the Theotokos As a little girl, I was always fascinated by my...

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Our Mother Who Art in Heaven

Our Mother Who Art in Heaven

Now that I have your attention with the radically unusual title you see above, I want to assure you that no prayer within the corpus of Orthodox Christian writings begins with these words. The ‘paternal’ version of the “Our Father” prayer is well known to us all; and yet during...

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Celebrating the Sweetness of the Theotokos

Celebrating the Sweetness of the Theotokos

It’s hard to believe we are almost at the Feast of the Dormition. Always, the Dormition Fast seems to arrive unexpectedly, dropping into the hot summer sloth of barbecued chicken, flank steak, frozen margaritas, and big bowls of dip and queso. (I think of December and March as the time...

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Paraklesis and Finding Refuge in the Theotokos

Paraklesis and Finding Refuge in the Theotokos

In preparation for the Dormition, a supplication to the Theotokos called the Paraklesis is often chanted. (A longer title is “The Paraklesis Service with the Little Supplicatory Canon to the Theotokos.”) Father Thomas Hopko tells us paraklesis means comfort and encouragement. This beautiful service implores the Mother of God to...

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The Dormition of the Theotokos: Our Promise and Hope

The Dormition of the Theotokos: Our Promise and Hope

The Dormition of the Theotokos was not celebrated for the first five centuries of Christianity. There was silence regarding the holy mystery of the Mother of God’s “falling asleep”. In the beginning, God willed that the details of His mother’s death and glorified, or resurrected, state remain veiled from the...

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The Common Bond of Motherhood

The Common Bond of Motherhood

An expectant mother holds her belly and feels her baby kick inside. A young woman wipes her child’s tears and kisses him afterwards. A grandmother gently tells her grandchild that she loves her. Even though a mother and daughter are separated by miles, their love for each other is never...

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The Theology of Gender – 6. The New Eve

The Theology of Gender – 6. The New Eve

Sofia Matzarioti-Kostara   The honor and respect of Christianity to women is demonstrated especially in the person of the Theotokos. She is the human closest to God; after Christ, she is the most beloved and honored person by men and God. She has a great place in worship and is...

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The message of our salvation

The message of our salvation

Today is a bright and joyful day for the human race. The Archangel Gabriel brings the message of our salvation to the Virgin Mary. God comes to be born in the flesh, to dwell in a human body, to expunge the curse, to bridge the gap that separated God from...

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‘To you victorious leader of triumphant hosts’, ancient melody, 4th plagial tone (former Protopsaltis Archon Leonidas Asteris)

‘To you victorious leader of triumphant hosts’, ancient melody, 4th plagial tone (former Protopsaltis Archon Leonidas Asteris)

The Akathistos Hymn occupies an important in the reverential period of Great Lent and is one of the most popular and well-known hymns, both in terms of its melody and poetry. Its inclusion in the Triodio can be explained by the fact that the content is linked to the joyful...

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