How Deep Does the Journey Go?

The journey to Pascha, which is made during Holy Week, is a liturgical action that marks the path to the greatest depths of our heart and to the heart’s true home. The deeply moving image of the Bridegroom, whom we address in the words of the hymn, manifest to us in His icon of humility, as well as the the open doors of the altar, inviting us with the words, “Thy Bridal Chamber…” all seek to take us to the place of union with God, which is indeed the deepest place of the heart.

On this journey every sin can be laid aside as well as “all earthly care.” On this journey every enemy can be blessed as the good God showers His kindness on all. On this journey we also pass all the places of darkness that we most fear, including the very gate of hell and death. With Christ we pass through them and discover that death has been trampled under foot and we may now walk in the light as He is in the light.

In this journey we learn to accept the wedding garment that has been provided for us: the righteousness of Christ, as we put off the old garment (our own righteousness) which is no more than filthy rags. Thus we learn to stand not on our own – not removed from God – but now made one with God – who alone can give us light and life.

May God journey with us all as we draw ever closer to His Pascha!

About Fr. Stephen Freeman

Fr. Stephen is a retired Archpriest of the Orthodox Church in America, Pastor Emeritus of St. Anne Orthodox Church in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. He is also author of Everywhere Present: Christianity in a One-Storey Universe, and Face to Face: Knowing God Beyond Our Shame, as well as the Glory to God podcast series on Ancient Faith Radio.


6 responses to “How Deep Does the Journey Go?”

  1. Amy Katherine Avatar
    Amy Katherine

    Father Bless,
    Thank you.

    “Thus we learn to stand not on our own – not removed from God – but now made one with God – who alone can give us light and life.”

  2. Margaret Avatar

    Thank you, Fr. Stephen, for taking the time to post this great and reassuring encouragement!

  3. Steve Avatar

    Reminds us of Pentecost, although, the flame is actually very blue.

  4. Katia Avatar

    Father Bless,

    Just curious, have you seen the video talk from Fr. Hopko Armageddon and Christianity?

  5. fatherstephen Avatar

    I have not. I always enjoy his work and his talks. I have learned much from him and, doubtless, have been greatly influenced in my thoughts.

  6. Katia Avatar

    I promise you Father you ll love it i watched it about 5 times

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