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

Sunday, April 20, 2014

The Fire of Divine Love Burns Even Though Extinguished!

The Fire of Divine Love burns even though extinguished! His enemies die like dew before the sun!

The church illumined by nothing except the rising sun early Pacha morning.

As Christ has Already Risen, so Shall Sinners Rise With Him


Christ is Risen! Indeed He is Risen!
Cristo Ressuscitou! Em Verdade Ressuscitou!
Христос Воскрес! Воістину Воскрес!
Christus ist auferstanden! Er ist wahrhaftig auferstanden!
Cristo è risorto! È veramente risorto!
¡Cristo ha resucitado! ¡En verdad ha resucitado!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

The Devil Boasts Heavily of Her Sins, But Today We Wait at the Tomb for the Victor

Today the Devil, in desperation, boasts heavily of the sins of the sinner, bragging of what she has done and what the world has done to her in the pleasures of its selfishness and pride. But Cosmos shall be overthrown by He who waits in the tomb and the worldly ones who built her up a false life put to shame and exposed for their trickery and deceit. The Divine Bridegroom has gone down into Hades to raise her from the dead. The Divine Fire of the Holy Ghost comes down to purify her and illumine the world. Let us worship the Divine Fire from on high that cleanses the sinner! Glory to Thy Longsuffering, O Lord! O Bridegroom, Glory to Thee!

Friday, April 18, 2014

How Can I Mourn the Lord When He Descends Into Hades to Raise Up the Sinner?

How can I mourn the death of the Lord when it is this very night that the Bridegroom descends into Hades to raise up from it the sinner? Let us bow in worship of the Divine Fire that this night descends to purify the sinner. She destroyed herself by sin, but just as the bones beheld by Ezekiel had pure flesh restored unto them and lived again as men who never died, so too in the same way shall her flesh be made pure of her sins and her life restored to her as one who never sinned. All glory and praise to the Divine Fire that burns the sinner clean! Let her arise asking, "Where have they taken my beloved?" Let the sinners arise as the myrrh-bearers asking, "Where has he been taken?" O Bridegroom in Thy great mercy, Glory to Thee!

"Restore unto me the joy of Thy salvation, and with Thy governing Spirit establish me. I shall teach transgressors Thy ways, and the ungodly shall turn back unto Thee. Deliver me from blood-guiltiness, O God, Thou God of my salvation; my tongue shall rejoice in Thy righteousness. O Lord, Thou shalt open my lips, and my mouth shall declare Thy praise."

What Good Does It If We Mourn the Bridegroom, But Not Join Him In His Sacrifice?

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Byzantine Washing of the Feet

Here is the Washing of the Feet at the Patriarchal Cathedral of the Resurrection in Kyiv served by Patriarch Svyatoslav earlier today.

The Washing of the Feet in the Byzantine Churches is performed only at Hierarchal Liturgies, be it at a cathedral with the bishop or a monastery with the abbot. For reasons that are pretty obvious on the face of it, you must be a priest to get your foot washed, since the 12 Apostles were priests. After the Ambon Prayer at the end of Divine Liturgy, the deacon chants the Gospel of the Washing of the Feet and the bishop and 12 priests perform the actions as the deacon chants them. The verse stating that Christ washed the feet of the apostles is repeated 12 times. The final priest fulfills the role of St. Peter. The bishop chants the words of Christ and that priest chants the words of Peter. Since they are both ordained, there is nothing wrong with them saying lines of the Gospel reading. Then the bishop re-vests and says the blessing and dismissal as usual. In parish practice, Vespers of the Mystical Supper and Divine Liturgy of St. Basil on Holy Thursday evening simply proceed without the Foot-Washing.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Tropar of the Bridegroom in Greek and Slavonic

This is the Holiest Week of the year and the Highest Feast Days of the year where we celebrate Christ the Bridegroom and His sacrifice for us, His Bride.

Ιδού, ο Νυμφίος έρχεται εν τω μέσω της νυκτός, και μακάριος ο δούλος, ον ευρήσει γρηγορούντα. Ανάξιος δε πάλιν ον ευρήσει ραθυμούντα. Βλέπε ουν, ψυχή μου, μη τω ύπνω κατενεχθείς, ίνα μη τω θανάτω παραδοθείς και της βασιλείας έξω κλεισθείς. Αλλά ανάνηψον κράζουσα· Άγιος, Άγιος, Άγιος ει ο Θεός ημών, διά της Θεοτόκου ελέησον ημάς.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Reciprocating the Love of the Bridegroom

On the first three days of Holy Week we celebrate the patronal feast of this blog. Let us watch for Christ calls us to live in the love He has for us, not to live in what makes us happy, but to reciprocate the same love He has shown for us on Calvary. We do not know when He will render accounts for us, so we must ask ourselves, "Have we been a faithful Bride to Him? Have we loved Him with the love with which He loves us?"

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Pussy Willow Sunday

Great Feast of the Entry of Our Lord, God, and Savior Jesus Christ into Jerusalem

Blessing of Pussy Willows at the Patriarchal Cathedral in Kyiv:

Troparia and Kontakion
Troparion, Tone 1:
Assuring us before Your Passion of the general resurrection,* You raised Lazarus from the dead, O Christ God:* and so, like the children we also carry signs of victory* and cry to You, the conqueror of death:* Hosanna in the highest!* Blessed is He who comes* in the name of the Lord.


Troparion, Tone 4:
Buried with You through Baptism, O Christ our God,* we have been granted immortal life by Your resurrection,* and we sing Your praises, crying out:* Hosanna in the highest!* Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.


Kontakion, Tone 6:
Mounted on the throne in heaven, O Christ God,* and on a colt here on earth,* You accepted the praise of the angels,* and the hymn of the children who cried to You:* Blessed are You who have come to call Adam back.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Why the World is Exactly 7,522 Years Old

On Facebook, I recently came across a very interesting and theologically sound argument. It says that many Christians, who call themselves faithful, believe that the universe must logically have taken billions of years to form with the "Big Bang", and "evolution", etc.-just as a result of straightforward scientific observation. Now, these same people will just as readily believe that the miracle of the water into wine at Cana is still true regardless of what science ever thinks of it, because that wine was created by God, in a complete and total self-contradiction.

In only one instant, Christ turned water into a wine of such quality that it would have required decades to mature to that quality and also generations of soil-tilling and vine-pruning before that to even produce grapes of a sufficient quality for such a wine. All that God performed in a single instant. Not a length of time that "seemed like" an instant, but an instant. In only one instant God created a perfectly matured wine that required a vineyard perfected over countless generations and further decades of maturation. If God can create such a wine in such a manner, than He can create in an instant an entire universe that should take billions of years to form...or He can go slowly and take six days instead of an instant.

By one miracle at Cana, Christ undermines all science regarding the origins of the universe and the origins of humanity and proves such scientific findings to be mere superficial observations of researchers. How many times in the hymns of our Byzantine services do we praise the words of uneducated apostles for silencing the eloquence of orators and educated philosophers?

We humans do not have monkey brains, we have dirt clod brains and whoever thinks we have monkey brains really does have a dirt clod brain.

PS: How do we get the 7,522 year old age? The Julian Calendar uses Anno Mundi (AM) with September 1st chosen to represent the beginning of the year and of the whole calendar (as opposed to the Gregorian Calendar which uses BC & AD and begins on January 1st). Thus, on the Julian Calendar, the first day of creation was Sunday, September 1st, AM 1 and today's date is Friday, March 29th, AM 7522, with today's Gregorian date being Friday, April 11th, AD 2014.

Glory to God who shames orators.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Just What We Needed

Last night was Matins of the Great Canon. Just when we are tired from fasting and starting to get hungry, Holy Mother Church gives us the life of St. Mary of Egypt and her strict fasting of a satchel of food for 17 years.

And while it looks tedious, there's nothing more exhilarating and satisfying than completing the great spiritual (and physical) workout of the Great Canon (both videos in Ukrainian in Lviv from the UGCC):