Thou art my sweetest Springtime…

Every generation
offers adoration
my Christ, at Thine entombment.

Thou art my sweetest Springtime,
My sweetest Son, I ask Thee,
“Where has Thy beauty faded?

- From the Lamentations of Holy Friday, third stasis

Moment’s from the ceremony of the Holy Fire Miracle that annually happens in Jerusalem!

Right now we are still waiting for the Holy Fire to appear from Jesus grave throught the prayers of the Patriarch. In a few hours the miracle will happen, and the light will travel with special flights to all over the Orthodox countries, and all over the world in order to receive it tonight at the Resurrection.

I can’t wait!!!!

And of course, this is yesterday’s Lamentatons in Greek…!!!

Okay, it’s Holy Saturday already, however I’d like to share with you the beautiful sadness of Holy Thursday’s night! I am sad that Holy Week it’s almost over…!

Everyone, have a blessed remain of Great Saturday!

What an amazing week so far!

This Holy Week was for me amazing so far! I was too busy these days, that’s why I didn’t update much the blog! I

spent my whole week at Church, either doing rehearsals with the girls choir (we sung the Lamentations during the Holy Friday service), being a “Myrrhbearer” next to the Epitaphios (there is a custom at the Orthodox Church where young girls are standing next to Jesus grave when people are venerating it, they keep it tidy, they spill myrrh and take care of the flowers on the grave).

We are all waiting - a little impatiently- the moment when the Holy Light will be brought in Greece by a special flight of the Greek Air Force from Jerusalem. What a great blessing will it be to receive it for another time! What a great miracle for all the Orthodox world :D

Have a blessed Holy Saturday!

Today is my favourite day of the Holy Week! Let’s all enjoy with tears and prayers the amazingly beautiful service tonight :-) Every single Orthodox Christian will be in my thoughts and prayers in the service of the Crucifixion tonight! God bless you!!!

At Bridegroom Orthros on Great and Holy Tuesday, the Orthodox Church sings the following hymn by St. Kassiane:
O Lord, the woman who had fallen into many sins, perceiving Thy divinity, fulfilled the part of a myrrh-bearer; and with lamentations she brought sweet-smelling oil of myrrh to Thee before Thy burial. ‘Woe is me,’ she said, ‘for night surrounds me, dark and moonless, and stings my lustful passion with the love of sin. Accept the fountain of my tears, O Thou who drawest down from the clouds the waters of the sea. Incline to the groanings of my heart, O Thou who in Thine ineffable self-emptying hast bowed down the heavens. I shall kiss Thy most pure feet and wipe them with the hairs of my heads, those feet whose sound Eve heard at dusk in Paradise and hid herself for fear. Who can search out the multitude of my sins and the abyss of Thy judgments, O Saviour of my soul? Despise me not, Thine handmaiden, for Thou hast mercy without measure.

At Bridegroom Orthros on Great and Holy Tuesday, the Orthodox Church sings the following hymn by St. Kassiane:

O Lord, the woman who had fallen into many sins, perceiving Thy divinity, fulfilled the part of a myrrh-bearer; and with lamentations she brought sweet-smelling oil of myrrh to Thee before Thy burial. ‘Woe is me,’ she said, ‘for night surrounds me, dark and moonless, and stings my lustful passion with the love of sin. Accept the fountain of my tears, O Thou who drawest down from the clouds the waters of the sea. Incline to the groanings of my heart, O Thou who in Thine ineffable self-emptying hast bowed down the heavens. I shall kiss Thy most pure feet and wipe them with the hairs of my heads, those feet whose sound Eve heard at dusk in Paradise and hid herself for fear. Who can search out the multitude of my sins and the abyss of Thy judgments, O Saviour of my soul? Despise me not, Thine handmaiden, for Thou hast mercy without measure.

Behold, the Bridegroom cometh in the middle of the night, and blessed is the servant whom He shall find watching, but unworthy is he whom He shall find in slothfulness. Beware, therefore, O my soul, and be not overcome by sleep; lest thou be given over to death, and shut out from the kingdom. But return to soberness and cry aloud: Holy, Holy, Holy art Thou, O God; through the Theotokos, have mercy on us.

- Bridegroom Matins of Holy Monday

Eastern Orthodox Palm Sunday celebrations

He knew…

… Do you think God, who is King of the universe, claimed this dominion and aspired to become King of this small, hardened people of Israel, who did not recognize or receive their Messiah and now were preparing to deliver Him to a horrible and tortuous death by crucifixion? All the holy heavenly bodiless powers would lament at His festal entrance into Jerusalem, if they knew the horrible cross they were preparing for Him on Golgotha.

Did the Lord Jesus Christ weep only for His contemporary Jews? Certainly not! The Omniscient One also knew that which we see today. He knew that over the centuries the human race would entirely forget Him, that they would blaspheme and ridicule His holy Name. He knew this, which is why He said that the Son of Man, when He comes the second time, He probably will not find faith on earth.

- Saint Luke of Crimea on Palm Sunday (excerpt)

Fasting Rules for Holy Week

Holy and Great Monday, Holy and Great Tuesday, Holy and Great Wednesday: (One meal may be taken each day)

Abstinence Of: Meat & Meat Products, Dairy Products, Fish, Olive Oil, Wine. No Abstinence Of: Shellfish, Vegetables & Vegetable Products, Fruit.

Holy and Great Thursday:

Abstinence Of: Meat & Meat Products, Dairy Products, Fish. No Abstinence Of: Olive Oil, Wine, Shellfish, Vegetables & Vegetable Products, Fruit.

Holy and Great Friday:

On Holy and Great Friday, those who have the strength, keep a total fast. Those unable to do this may eat bread, with a little water, tea, or fruit juice, but not until sunset, or at any rate not until the veneration of the Epitaphion at Vespers.

Holy and Great Saturday: (One meal may be taken on this day)

On this one Saturday, alone among all the Saturdays of the year, olive oil is not permitted. Abstinence Of: Meat & Meat Products, Dairy Products, Fish, Olive Oil. No Abstinence Of: Wine, Shellfish, Vegetables & Vegetable Products, Fruit.

—————————

In short, these are the Lenten rules for fasting. Traditionally, the Church Fathers recommend that someone new to fasting begin by resolving to faithfully do as much as he or she is able during the Lenten period. Each year as one matures as a Christian, a fuller participation can be under­taken. However, it is not recommended that a person try to create their own rules for fasting, since this would not be obedient or wise. The Faithful are encouraged to consult with their priest or bishop regarding the Fast when possible.

Personal factors such as one’s health and living situation need to be considered as well. For example, an isolated Or­thodox Christian required to eat meals at their place of employment, school or in prison may not be able to avoid certain foods. The Church understands this and extends leniency.

By raising Lazarus from the dead before Thy Passion,Thou didst confirm the universal resurrection, 0 Christ God!Like the children with the palms of victory,we cry out to Thee, 0 Vanquisher of Death:Hosanna in the highest!Blessed is He that comes in the name of the Lord!
- Troparion of the Feast, sung on both Lazarus Saturday and Palm Sunday

By raising Lazarus from the dead before Thy Passion,
Thou didst confirm the universal resurrection, 0 Christ God!
Like the children with the palms of victory,
we cry out to Thee, 0 Vanquisher of Death:
Hosanna in the highest!
Blessed is He that comes in the name of the Lord!

- Troparion of the Feast, sung on both Lazarus Saturday and Palm Sunday

When our soul has no love for Christ…

When our soul has no love for Christ, we are like ships that have no fuel, no gas in their engines. We must always remember Christ with love. Then our soul will leap for joy.

- Elder Amphilochios of Patmos

In one week and 4 days, we’ll sing this at Church! I am so excited I can’t wait! <3 

"Every generation offers Thee it’s hymn of praise at Thy burial, O Christ…"

The Holy Week is coming!

Yes, it’s true, the most beautiful time of the year is coming! I can’t wait to spend my whole week, from the early morning to the midnight, to the Church: to learn again about the last days of Jesus in earth, to cry when He’s crucified, to sing with the other girls the Lamentations, to be one of the myrr-bearers that will protect Jesus’ grave all night long, and generally to join to the other beautiful customs of the Orthodox Church! The services are longer, but more touching than usually. I just love them so much, since I was a little child!

Let’s all be as prepared as we can, in order to meet the Crucified Lord, and to live the events through the services as intensive as we can. And then, after the pain and the tears that we’ll have, we’ll all sing united “Christ is Risen”!