It’s the New Growth

It’s the new growth… that bears the blooms!

The Lily of the Valley Shrub, also known as Pieris Japonica, is a lovely evergreen shrub and early bloomer, belonging to the Heath family. It’s a joy to see and smell these pendulous, sweet, fragrant bells, especially during Lent.

From of old…. the teardrop shape flowers of both the Lily of the Valley bulb plant, and the Pieris Japonica shrub, are said to poignantly symbolize the tears that Eve shed upon leaving the Garden of Eden, and the Virgin Mary’s tears shed at the cross of Christ.

She is the flower of the field from whom bloomed the precious lily of the valley. ~ St. Augustine

Sometimes, a glimpse of Paradise is right outside our back door!

Happy Lenten Spring!

Hymn of Kassiani

This ethereal hymn by the brilliant female Byzantine hymnographer Saint Kassiani, is sung only during Holy Week’s Tuesday evening Bridegroom service (the Wednesday Matins), and again at the Presanctified Liturgy on Great and Holy Wednesday. A spiritual treat.

Hymn of Kassiani

The woman who had fallen into many sin, O Lord, yet when she perceived Thy divinity, she joined the ranks of the Myrrh-Bearers.In tears, she brought Thee myrrh before Thy burial. She cried “Woe! woe is me; I live in the heart of licentiousness, shrouded in the dark and moonless love of sin. But accept the fountain of my tears, Thou who dost gather the waters of the sea to clouds. Bow down Thine ear to the sighing of my heart, Thou who didst bow the heavens in Thine ineffable condescension. Once Eve heard Thy footsteps in Paradise, in the noon of the day, and in fear, she ran and hid herself. But now I will tenderly embrace those pure feet, and dry them with the hairs of my head. Who can measure the multitude of my sins, or the depth of Thy judgments? O Saviour! O Saviour of my soul, despise not Thy servant. For Thine mercy, for Thine mercy is beyond measure. 

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