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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The Holy Dormition of our Most Pure Lady, the Mother of God and Ever-Virgin Mary

The Holy Dormition of our Most Pure Lady, the Mother of God and Ever-Virgin Mary

Saint Gregory Palamas   If ‘the death of the saints is precious and the memory of the righteous is blessed’, with how much greater praise should we keep the memory of the ‘saint of the saints’ through whom the whole of sanctity came to them, that is the memory of...

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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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The Elevation of the Bread in Honour of the Most Holy Mother of God

The Elevation of the Bread in Honour of the Most Holy Mother of God

Saint Maximos the Greek   The Only-Begotten Son and Word of God, who became a human person for us (though He was sinless), voluntarily underwent the crucifixion, death and burial so that our human nature, which the father of evil had caused to be cast out of paradise in olden...

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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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