O Lord Thou shalt open my lips and my mouth shall declare Thy praise.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Hymn of Thanksgiving

Personally, I would have Thanksgiving Day moved up two weeks so it wouldn't ever fall in the Nativity Fast (historically Thanksgiving was celebrated locally on all sorts of days throughout October and November before the practice was standardized as a national holiday by Abraham Lincoln and the very first Thanksgiving was on September 8, 1565 by Spanish settlers (Catholics, mind you, not Protestant extremists) in Florida; not to mention that putting Thanksgiving on a Friday would put a big dent in the materialism of Black Friday), but as it is, today we give thanks to God for all things (the Akathist by that name would be most appropriate today). If there is one part of American culture that isn't sinful and that actually should be spread to all nations, this is it (the day of thanksgiving part, not the eating like a pig part).

My choice for Thanksgiving today is the Moleben of Thanksgiving, which has as it's apex the Great Doxology, the beautiful hymn to God's glory we chant daily at Matins. St. Hilary, Bishop of Portiers, imported the Great Doxology to the Latin Church where only the first third of it was inserted into the Mass as the "Gloria". So here is a nice setting for the Great Doxology in Church Slavonic:

Monday, November 25, 2013

Hierarchical Divine Liturgy at St. Peter's Basilica

H. B. Svyatoslav, Patriarch of Kyiv, served a Hierarchical Divine Liturgy at the High Altar of St. Peter's Basilica (use of that altar by any one other than the Pope of Rome of course requires his permission) on the Feast of the Holy Heiromartyr Josaphat (on the Julian Calendar) on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the transfer of his relics to the Vatican Basilica. He is buried at the altar named for him in the upper church, which is the altar that normally hosts this Divine Liturgy each year. While nearly every Eastern Catholic Church is represented each year, the Liturgy is always served by a bishop from the UGCC, as that is the Church of which St. Josaphat was a member. A nearly-plenary Synod of the UGCC was present on this occasion, as was Leonardo Cardinal Sandri, Prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches. A Plenary Assembly of the Congregation of Eastern Churches recently took place, coinciding with this feast and anniversary.

From UGCC News:

From RISU:

Patriarch Svyatoslav made reference to this icon, St. Josaphat's favorite:

Богородицi Жировицкий
Theotokos of Zhyrovyts
«Нехай Пречиста Діва Марія, прославлена в Жировицькій іконі, яку так любив Йосафат і яка століттями вшановується тут, у Римі, неустанно молиться разом із ним за нашу Церкву перед престолом Всевишнього» - Patriarch Svyatoslav

"May the Virgin Mary, celebrated in Zhyrovytskiy icon that Jehoshaphat loved and revered for centuries that here in Rome, tirelessly prayed with him at our church before the throne of the Most High" (Google's translation, not mine)

Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Temple of the Lord Enters the Temple

November 21st
The Entrance into the Temple of our Most Holy Lady, the Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary.

Today the Temple of the Lord enters into the Temple, The Perfect Dwelling-Place of God in the flesh enters into the Dwelling-Place of God in stone. Let us pray to her and hymn her that we too might be Temples of the Lord in the flesh in the Divine Mystery of the Eucharist, the union of Christ and His Bride in the flesh.

Troparion, tone 4: Today is the prelude of God's good-will and the prophecy of the salvation of men. The Virgin appears openly in the temple of God and foretells Christ to all. So let us cry to her with loud voices: Rejoice, thou who art the fulfillment of the Creator's providence.

Konlakion, tone 4: The most pure Temple of the Saviour, the most precious bridal-chamber and Virgin, the sacred treasury of the glory of God, today enters into the house of the Lord, bringing with her the grace that is in the Divine Spirit. And the Angels of God sing of her: This is the heavenly tabernacle.

Friday, November 15, 2013

The Best Time to Fast...

Today we begin the Philip Fast in preparation for the Feast of the Nativity. There is no better time to fast than during secular christmas because the whole point of fasting is to develop self-control over your passions.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Respecting the Family and "Social Orphans"

Recently, Patriarch Svyatoslav spoke on the necessity of respecting the family and the problem of social orphans:

""Unless the institution of family is supported on social, national level, we will always have a problem of social orphans. Because social orphans are not just in the families of immigrants, but also in the families of successful businessmen who are not engaged in raising their children. A single government program, even the best social service cannot replace a father and mother." - said the head of the church.

Patriarch Sviatoslav said that from the point of view of a Christian a family is an institution established by the Creator as fruitful and indissoluble unity of man and woman. According to his words, only such a family can give proper education to children. "If we do not cherish the institution of the family, we will always face the phenomenon of social orphans" - said he."

Read the rest there.