Category: Holy Week

  • A Different Pascha – 1928

    Serge Schmemann, son of Fr. Alexander Schmemann, in his wonderful little book, Echoes of a Native Land, records a letter written from one of his family members of an earlier generation, who spent several years in the prisons of the Soviets and died there. The letter, written on the night of Pascha in 1928 is to…

  • Today – The Cross

    Today He who hung the earth upon the waters is hung on a tree. The King of the angels is decked with a crown of thorns. He who wraps the heavens in clouds is wrapped in the purple of mockery. He who freed Adam in the Jordan is slapped in the face. The Bridegroom of…

  • The Night in Which He Was Betrayed

      “The night in which He was betrayed,” are the deeply familiar words with which St. Paul begins his relating of the tradition (“that which I have received”) of the Last Supper (1Cor. 11:23). It is a phrase so familiar that its import is quickly overlooked as we leap forward to the words, “This is…

  • The Bridegroom and Judgment

    Behold, the Bridegroom comes at midnight, and blessed is the servant whom He shall find watching; and again, unworthy is the servant whom He shall find heedless.  Beware, therefore, O my soul, do not be weighed down with sleep, lest you be given up to death and lest you be shut out of the Kingdom.  But rouse…

  • St. Melito and Pascha – Hell Is Not the Last Word

    Among the most powerful meditations on Pascha are the writings of Melito of Sardis (ca. 190 AD). His homily, On Pascha, is both a work of genius as poetry and a powerful work of theology. Its subject is the Lord’s Pascha – particularly as an interpretation of the Old Testament. It is a common example…

  • The Cross Within the Church

    The Church is the Cross through history. St. Paul wrote that he had determined to restrict his preaching to the Cross. (1 Cor. 2:2) This was not an effort to diminish the gospel. Rather, it was an effort to rightly understand the gospel. One of the great temptations of Christianity is to allow itself to…

  • The Bridegroom and Judgment

    Behold, the Bridegroom comes at midnight, and blessed is the servant whom He shall find watching; and again, unworthy is the servant whom He shall find heedless.  Beware, therefore, O my soul, do not be weighed down with sleep, lest you be given up to death and lest you be shut out of the Kingdom.  But rouse…

  • The Frightful Path of Judas

    I recall the first time the phrase, “On the night in which He was betrayed,” struck my heart. I was attending the evening service of Maundy Thursday at my Episcopal parish when I was a student in college. There was communion, followed by the “stripping of the altar” that symbolized the arrest and scourging of…

  • The Vindication of the Mother of God

    At Christmas time, the Virgin Mary gets a bit of attention in the wider culture. A woman gives birth in difficult circumstances: Mother, baby, ox and ass, the manger. It’s a very touching scene. She quickly fades from the scene however, with some five centuries of culture desperately afraid that she will get too much…

  • Good Friday and Unbelief

      Christmas and Easter are often difficult days for those who do not believe in God. Christians are more public about their faith than at other times of the year and this brings with it an annoyance. Christmas bespeaks the birth of God as a human being. Easter bespeaks a resurrection from the dead. For…


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