Canon of St Andrew of Crete

February 29, 2012

A video of the Canon of St Andrew of Crete from Holy Cross Orthodox Church in High Point, North Carolina from Monday of this week:

The Great Canon is served during the first week of the Great Lent. During Great Compline on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, one portion of the Canon is sung after the Little Doxology (Greek practice) or Psalm 69 (Russian practice) is read. On Wednesday of the fifth week of the Great Lent, the Life of St. Mary of Egypt is read together with the entire Great Canon at Orthros (sometimes Thursday proper in Slavic tradition). This practice was implemented during the life of St. Andrew, who was also the author of St. Mary’s hagiography.

A basic distinguishing feature of the Great Canon is its extremely broad use of images and subjects taken both from the Old and New Testaments. As the Canon progresses, the congregation encounters many biblical examples of sin and repentance. The Bible (and therefore, the Canon) speaks of some individuals in a positive light, and about others in a negative one—the penitents are expected to emulate the positive examples of sanctity and repentance, and to learn from and avoid the negative examples of sin, fallen nature and pride. However, one of the most notable aspects of the Canon is that it attempts to portray the Biblical images in a very personal way to every penitent: the Canon is written in such form that the faithful identify themselves with many people and events found in the Bible.  Source

More recordings from St. Michael Orthodox Church in Louisville, Kentucky:

Some Lectures from the 2012 Winter Pastoral Conference of the Diocese of the South

February 18, 2012

Some outstanding lectures from the 2012 Winter Pastoral Conference of the Diocese of the South have just been posted online. More info on the conference can be seen in  this pdf flyer.

Speakers included Fr. Thomas Hopko and Dr. Albert Rossi, both of St. Vladimir’s Seminary — Fr. Hopko was dean of St. Vladimir’s up until 2002. In the last lecture, Fr. Hopko was a guest speaker at the Episcopal Church of the Holy Communion in Charleston, South Carolina.

The Role of Gender and Sexuality in the Christian life

Purity: Youth, Family, Parish

The Power of Weakness: Reflections on Salvation, the Meaning of the Cross, and the Necessity of the Crucifixion

Bishop Michael: Seven Questions and Seven Answers on Fasting

February 17, 2012

Frederica Mathewes-Green: The Real Meaning of Sex

February 9, 2012

Noted Orthodox author and lecturer Frederica Mathewes-Green speaks on “The Real Meaning of Sex” at the Center for Christian Study.

More on the Canonization of St. Alexander Schmorell

February 8, 2012

I’d like to refer to two other recent blog postings on the recent canonization of St. Alexander Schmorell, a member of the White Rose movement who opposed Hitler and the National Socialists during World War II. First an article by Fr. Joe Koczera, S.J., and the other by Jim Forest. These give further information on this new saint. For those who want a feel of what the day was like in Munich for the canonization last weekend, Jim Forest has posted dozens of pictures which can be seen in a slideshow here.

Hierarchical Divine Liturgy in HD

February 8, 2012

Well done recording of a Hierarchical Divine Liturgy in 3 parts of the visit of Bishop Matthias to St Innocent Orthodox Church in Olmsted Falls, Ohio. Includes preliminary prayers with Liturgy proper starting about 6:00 minutes. This recording gives highlights and has some breaks in it, not giving the entire service.

Saint Alexander Schmorell is Glorified

February 6, 2012

H/T: Ad Orientem

Saint Alexander Schmorell was glorified by the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia over the weekend. Born in Russia in 1917 and baptized in the Orthodox Church his family fled to Germany to escape the Bolshevik Revolution.  He remained deeply religious throughout his short life.  A gifted artist St. Alexander was a medical student when he was recalled to military service in support of the Nazi invasion of the USSR.  While serving as a combat medic on the Eastern Front he was horrified by the treatment of enemy prisoners of war and civilians.  In 1942 he returned to his medical studies in Munich where he helped organize the “White Rose” society dedicated to resisting Hitler and the Nazi regime.  In due course he and the other members of the resistance were arrested by the Gestapo.  Following a kangaroo court trial St. Alexander Schmorell was executed on July 23rd (NS) 1943 at the main prison in Munich.

Holy St. Alexander Schmorell pray for us!

From Vespers for the Meeting of the Lord

February 1, 2012

Tonight I went to Great Vespers with Liti for the feast day known as the Meeting of the Lord. On such feast days, I particularly enjoy hearing the special verses that are sung — most of them ancient compositions from the patristic age. For example, here are a few of the verses that were sung at the Liti in reflection of when Christ, as a babe, was met by Simeon and Anna at the Temple, when He was 40 days old, demonstrating the rich theology that is interweaved into such services:

The Ancient of Days, who in times past gave Moses the Law on Sinai, appears this day as a babe. As Maker of the Law He fulfills the Law, and according to the Law He is brought into the temple and given over to the Elder, Simeon the righteous receives Him, and beholding the fulfillment of the divine ordinance now brought to pass, rejoicing he cries aloud: “My eyes have seen the mystery hidden from the ages, made manifest in these latter days, the Light that disperses the dark folly of the Gentiles without faith and the Glory of the newly-chosen Israel. Therefore let your servant depart from the bonds of this flesh to the life filled with wonder that knows neither age nor end, O You who grants the world great mercy.”

Today He who once gave the Law to Moses on Mount Sinai submits Himself to the ordinances of the Law, in His compassion becoming for our sakes as we are. Now the God of purity as a holy child has opened a pure womb, and as God He is brought as an offering to Himself, setting us free from the curse of the Law and granting light to our souls.

Him whom the ministers at the liturgy on high entreat with trembling, Simeon has now received below in his earthly arms, and he proclaims the union of the Godhead with mankind. Seeing the heavenly God as mortal man, he makes ready to withdraw from earthly things, and raises his cry in joy, “Glory to You, O Lord, who has revealed to those in darkness the Light that knows no evening.”

Today Simeon takes in his arms the Lord of Glory whom Moses saw of old in the darkness, when on Mount Sinai he received the tablets of the Law. This is He who speaks through the prophets; He is the Creator of the Law. This is He whom David announced; He is fearful to all, yet has great and abundant mercy.

Today Simeon the Elder enters the temple rejoicing in spirit, to receive in his arms Him who gave the Law to Moses and who Himself fulfills the Law. For Moses as counted worthy to see God through darkness and sounds not clear; and with his face covered he rebuked the unbelieving hearts of the Hebrews. But Simeon carried the pre-eternal Word of the Father in bodily form, and he revealed the Light of the Gentiles, the Cross and the Resurrection; and Anna was proved to be a prophetess, preaching the Savior and Deliverer of Israel.


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