Your browser (Internet Explorer 7 or lower) is out of date. It has known security flaws and may not display all features of this and other websites. Learn how to update your browser.

X

Navigate / search

administrator's blog

Saturday of Lazarus

by Protopresbyter Alexander Schmemann

The joy that permeates and enlightens the service of Lazarus Saturday stresses one major theme: the forthcoming victory of Christ over Hades. "Hades" is the Biblical term for Death and its universal power, for inescapable darkness that swallows all life and with its shadow poisons the whole world. But now — with Lazarus’ resurrection — "death begins to tremble." A decisive duel between Life and Death begins giving us the key to the entire liturgical mystery of Pascha. Already in the fourth century Lazarus’ Saturday was called the "announcement of Pascha." For, indeed, it announces and anticipates the wonderful light and peace of the next — The Great — Saturday, the day of life-giving Tomb...

 

  • Apr 22 2016

Sunday of Orthodoxy

We venerate Thy most pure image, O Good One!

Priest Vladimir Sakovich
1919

The first Sunday of the Great Fast is called the Sunday of Orthodoxy. On this day, in commemoration of the victory of Orthodoxy over heresies, the holy Church, as a loving Mother, invites her faithful children to venerate and honor in piety the holy icons of the Savior, the Mother of God and the Saints.

At the start of the eighth century in the Church there began a catastrophe that continued for more than a hundred years. A cruel persecution arose against the holy icons and those who venerated them. The holy vessels used in the celebration of divine services were trampled under foot, because the Saints were depicted on them. Everywhere holy icons were removed, taken from the temples and cast into rivers or burned. The defenders of the veneration of icons were subjected to all possible kinds of persecution, even capital punishment. At that time many bishops, priests and others were tortured for venerating the holy icons. They were shut up in prisons and tortured. Some had their noses or ears cut off. Others had their eyes put out or their hands severed. But the word of Christ, that the gates of Hell should not prevail against the holy Church, and that He would remain with it until the end of the age is immutable. In the year 842, after the last enemy of the veneration of icons finished his days in horrible torment, the emperor Theophilus and his wife the empress Theodora put an end to the persecution and unrest...

  • Mar 20 2016

Pages