And Now the Journey Begins

I write in brief today. The liturgical journey of the Church through Holy Week and into Pascha begins tonight (with Vespers). In my parish it began this morning, since I begin the hours and reading of the Gospels on this Friday, rather than waiting to Monday. Thus, this morning we heard the whole of St. Matthew’s Gospel. A truly sobering experience.

In a side note, I followed that service by traveling over to the University of Tennessee for their International Day Festival where the local OCF chapter had a booth. I took part in a four-man choir which offered a number of Orthodox hymns as part of the diversity of the day. And now I return to prepare for tonight’s service and tomorrow morning’s Liturgy for Lazarus Saturday – which will include Chrismations and Baptisms.

And the rest of the week will be marked with services morning and evening, and as the week deepens, services in the afternoons as well, until at last we reach the Day of Days and the Queen of Feasts, our Lord’s Pascha!

I make myself available for confessions throughout the week – and it is such work that comes first. Thus, I cannot predict how much attention I will pay to blogging. But with this post I ask your prayers and assure you of mine, that all have a good Holy Week and a most joyous Pascha, and that the non-Orthodox remember us in their prayers as well (thank you).

I will try to post from time to time this week – and hold all of you in my prayers. It is a most Holy time.

About Fr. Stephen Freeman

Fr. Stephen is a priest of the Orthodox Church in America, Pastor Emeritus of St. Anne Orthodox Church in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. He is also author of Everywhere Present and the Glory to God podcast series.



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11 responses to “And Now the Journey Begins”

  1. fatherstephen Avatar

    The Photo is of Christ’s tomb as it was set up last year on Holy Friday in my parish of St. Anne.

  2. Mimi Avatar

    Father, bless,

    Beautiful photo. My prayers with you and all priests as they minister during this Blessed week.

  3. Sarah Avatar

    Father, Bless. I’ve been reading your blog for about 4 months now, and last week attended my first Divine Liturgy. I’m now quite certain that my husband and I are a few weeks away from becoming catechumens, and we are both looking forward to our first Holy Week and Pascha. Thank you for sharing your writings with us– you’ve been such a blessing to me on my journey. You will be in my prayers this coming week.

  4. fatherstephen Avatar

    Sarah,

    May God bless you in your journey together with your family. May he guard you in your catechumenate. You all will be in my prayers. Greet your priest for me.

  5. Meg Avatar
    Meg

    Father, don’t even THINK about blogging during this week — it’s not like you had gobs of spare time for it. Know that you and every other Orthodox priest I know are in my prayers during this coming holiest of weeks — hard to believe that the journey is almost over, at least for this year.

  6. Tyler Avatar
    Tyler

    Lord, have mercy…

  7. Phil Avatar
    Phil

    A blessed Holy Week to you, Father.

  8. fatherstephen Avatar

    Phil,

    And to you as well.

  9. Fr. James Early Avatar

    To paraphrase the great philosopher Kenny Rogers, “There’ll be time enough for blogging…when the services are done!”

    http://saintjameskids.blogspot.com

  10. Jordan Avatar
    Jordan

    Father bless,

    100 Posts on the “Hell is Real” road-sign post… Glory to God!

    Thank you and all from St. Anne’s for coming to our UT International Day and chanting praise to the Lord. It was truly glorious.

  11. Mary Avatar
    Mary

    Blessed Holy Week to you and your parish, Dear Father Stephen! Thank you for the so many, many reminders to praise the One True God!

    The Day of Days, the Feast of Feasts, the Great Pascha, the Pascha of the Lord, Pascha, Ransom from Affliction approaches! Rejoice and Be Glad!

    Mary

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