The column that was split by the Holy Fire (1579) – Saint Tounom the Emir

On Holy Saturday 1579, according to the Church chronicles of the city of Jerusalem, the Turkish governors forbad the Greek patriarch and the Orthodox faithful to enter the Church of the Resurrection for the customary rite of the Holy Fire. Continue reading “The column that was split by the Holy Fire (1579) – Saint Tounom the Emir”

Saint Porphyrios of Kavsokalyvia: Overcoming Depression

“Nowadays people often feel sadness, despair, lethargy, laziness, apathy, and all things satanic. They are downcast, discontent and melancholy. They disregard their families, spend vast sums on psychoanalysts and take anti-depressants. People explain this as ‘insecurity.’ Our religion believes that these states derive from satanic temptation. Continue reading “Saint Porphyrios of Kavsokalyvia: Overcoming Depression”

The Akathist Hymn (a very concrete spiritual preparation for the Holy Week and Easter Services five Fridays in the Great Lent)

The Akathist Hymn is a profound, devotional poem or chant, which sings the praises of the Holy Mother and Ever-Virgin Mary (Theotokos). It is chanted in all Orthodox Churches throughout the world during the five Fridays in the Great Lent, and constitutes a very concrete spiritual preparation for the Holy Week and Easter Services. Continue reading “The Akathist Hymn (a very concrete spiritual preparation for the Holy Week and Easter Services five Fridays in the Great Lent)”

Prayers for the dead

by Michael Bressem, Ph.D.

A round white mound, frosted with powdered sugar and decorated with candied almonds, sits on top of a silver platter with a thin lit candle in the center of it. Is it someone’s birthday? No, it’s the anniversary of someone’s death. It’s the almost weekly macabre reminder of our eventual demise, decay, and doom. Continue reading “Prayers for the dead”

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