August 18, 2012
A very interesting new video just posted to You Tube shows Pascha (Easter) in some Orthodox parishes in Cameroon in Central Africa. The video begins with Good Friday services and Baptisms in Yaounde (the capital) with snippets from the Midnight Pascha liturgy starting at 11:08 minutes.
Of particular note are some of the parish celebrations in small cities away from the capital. For example, Liturgy in the small city of Datcheka in Northern Cameroun is shown starting about 32:00 minutes. Another to watch is the visit to the parish in Touilale starting at 1:00:28 minutes. While recognizable in many respects, one can also see some inculturation. Liturgy is in the local language, the Bishop gives his sermon in French (official language of the country) and it’s translated into the local tongue.
This is part of the mission work of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria which also includes the operation of schools for children in that country.
August 2, 2012
St. Tikhon’s Monastery has just put up a video of the consecration of Holy Chrism held there earlier this year. This is a rite rarely witnessed by the faithful and it’s a treat to see this preparation done in English. The choir is also magnificent. The video description:
His Beatitude, Metropolitan Jonah celebrated the preparatory rites for the Consecration of Holy Chrism on the morning of Great and Holy Monday, April 9, 2012, at Saint Tikhon of Zadonsk Monastery. The Rite will conclude with the actual consecration of the sacred oil during the Vesperal Liturgy of Saint Basil the Great on Great and Holy Thursday, April 12.
The blessing of the ingredients took place before the celebration of the Hours and the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts.
The consecration of Holy Chrism is reserved to autocephalous churches. Parishes receive Holy Chrism for local use from the Primate of their respective autocephalous Church. As such, the distribution of Holy Chrism to parish communities offers a visible sign of unity within the Church.
A more detailed explanation from Orthodoxwiki:
Chrism (Greek χρίσμα, meaning “ointment”) is consecrated oil used during the administration of certain mysteries, particularly those of baptism and anointing of the sick (unction), and other rites of the Orthodox Church. Chrism is sometime referred to as myrrh (from the Greek μύρων), holy oil, or consecrated oil.
The use of an oil in Christian ceremonies is mentioned in many early Christian documents including writings by Theophilus and Tertullian. Cyril of Jerusalem details the practices of using oil or ointment that is “symbolically applied to the forehead, and other organs of sense.” He further notes that the “ointment is the seal of the covenants” of baptism and God’s promises to the believer. He taught that being “anointed with the oil of God” was a sign of a Christian (Christos meaning “anointed”), and a physical representation of receiving the Gift of the Holy Spirit.
In Orthodox Christianity, chrism is a prominent part of the baptismal rite in which, under normal circumstances, the newly enlightened (including infants) is anointed with chrism in the mystery of chrismation. Chrism is used also during the consecration of churches in which the altar table and walls are anointed.
Chrism is a mixture of olive oil and aromatic essences following the pattern of the preparation of anointing oil described in Exodus 30:22-33. Chrism is prepared when needed during Holy Week. The preparation rite begins on Holy Monday and ends with the Divine Liturgy on Holy Thursday when the new chrism is carried in during the Great Entrance and placed upon the altar table. The chrism is prepared by the ruling bishop of each autocephalous church, assisted by members of the Holy Synod. After its preparation the chrism is distributed to the bishops, who in turn pass it to the parishes where it is needed.
In the Patriarchate of Constantinople, for example, Chrism is manufactured roughly every ten years. It is produced from 57 ingredients, including the ash from burnt icons.
August 1, 2012
A very interesting commentary on the historical development of the Liturgy by Sister Vassa (Larin), given recently at St. Nicholas Orthodox Cathedral in Washington, DC:
June 19, 2012
Some recently uploaded videos about Orthodoxy in Kenya. The first shows some pictures from the Orthodox Patriarchal Ecclesiastical School in Nairobi, Kenya. The second shows services in Nairobi, Kenya–a wedding, Divine Liturgy, a Funeral. In the background you can hear chant, Kenyan style.
April 23, 2012
There are really too many videos to choose from to really have a “Best of Pascha” category. But these videos stood out to me this year.
Holy Week and Easter in Montreal — a trailer from an upcoming documentary:
The midnight procession to the tomb from St John’s Cathedral in Washington, DC:
Midnight Pascha celebration at the Assumption of the Theotokos Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Denver, Colorado:
Blessing Easter eggs & baskets at Sts. Peter & Paul Orthodox Cathedral:
Easter Liturgy from Shablykino, Russia. This church has some beautiful iconography!
Palestinian Orthodox Christians in Beit Sahour, just east of Bethlehem, celebrate Easter with a parade:
April 14, 2012
A Blessed Pascha and Happy Easter to all!
Here are highlights from services last year. First, from Holy Cross Orthodox Church (Orthodox Church in America) in High Point, North Carolina:
Also, you can listen to the entire Midnight service here:
The Midnight Matins (Orthros) Service of Holy Pascha
Next, this is the Office of Lauds and Holy Mass for Easter from Holy Incarnation Antiochian Orthodox Church (Western Rite) in Lincoln Park, Michigan:
For further reading:
Paschal Homily of St. John Chrysostom
An Easter Sermon by Pope St. Leo the Great
April 9, 2012
For Orthodox Christians, this is Holy Week and Good Friday is this Friday. This video contains some Arabic chant, beautifully done, with English subtitles: