Clean Monday, Great Lent, Holy Week – Past Posts

Photo with Scripture Quote by Juliana

Let us Spring Clean our souls, Grow in God’s Grace… and Bloom in His Sonshine! May our Great Lenten Journeys be Peaceful, and Fruitful – helping us see Christ in others.

Wishing you all the Bright Joys of the Fast!


Branches of Inner Stillness

O Precious Paradise

Forgive Me


Flowers of Penitence

Two Thoughts

Flower of Repentance

Be Still

Daily Lenten Prayer of St. Ephraim

Great Canon of St. Andrew of Crete

Bending the Knees of the Heart

Savouring Great Lent

Let My Prayer Arise

Just For Now

A Lenten Prayer

Beauty of Holiness

Nothing Higher on Earth

God’s Beautiful Promise in the Sky

A Valentine

St. Brigid of Ireland

Gabhaim Molta Brighde

St. Caedmon’s Day Greetings

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

St. Patrick Enlightener of Ireland

Three in One

A Shamrock Day

Feast Day of the Annunciation

Clinging to the Lord


Skylark Buns Tradition (Baked to celebrate the Feast of the Holy 40 Martyrs of Sebaste)

As the Warmth of the Sun

Adoration of the Cross

Lazarakia Bun Recipe (Traditionally baked for celebrating Lazarus Saturday and/or Palm Sunday)

Lazarus Comes Forth

Palm Sunday Greetings

Bon Voyage ’til Bright Week

Onion Skin Pascha Egg Dye Recipe

Banquet of Faith

Great and Holy Monday

Great and Holy Tuesday

Hymn of Kassiani

Great and Holy Wednesday

Great and Holy Thursday

Great and Holy Friday

Do Not Lament Me O Mother

Great and Holy Saturday

Great and Holy Pascha

Christ is Risen!

Bon Voyage ’til Bright Week!

Image by Denis Doukhan Pixabay

Good morning! What a wonderful day the Lord has provided!

Scooting along the remainder of this Lenten Journey, I’m reminded that every Lent is uniquely different, with its own flavour of adventures and distractions.

So, I’m attempting to take a wee posting break until (God-Willing), Bright Week… and greet you now, in advance, on tomorrow’s most beautiful, shining Feast of the Annunciation!

Below, is a Ladybird’s-eye view of past Postings to take you to Pascha!

Lazarakia Buns Recipe for Lazarus Saturday

Lazarus Comes Forth

Natural Onion Skin Brick- Red Dye for Pascha Eggs

May your Lenten Journey continue in peace, and may you be filled to the brim with the blessings of Palm Sunday and Holy Week.

St. Matthew’s Passion Music composed by Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev, takes us through the services in Holy Week, as recorded through the Gospel of St. Matthew. Music and Scripture are poignantly entwined.

Great and Holy Monday

Great and Holy Tuesday
Hymn of St. Kassiani The Woman Who Had Fallen Into Many Sins

Great and Holy Wednesday

Great and Holy Thursday

Great and Holy Friday
Do Not Lament Me O Mother One of my favourite hymns by St. Kassiani

Great and Holy Saturday

I’m truly looking forward to greeting you again and “on the other side” of Great and Holy Pascha!

Let us open our arms and throw ourselves in Christ’s embrace. When Christ comes, we will have gained everything. Christ will alter everything within us. He will bring peace, joy, humility, love, prayer and the uplifting of our soul. The grace of Christ will renew us. ~ Elder Porphyrios, Wounded By Love

Here’s a short and edifying Youtube Orthodox Movie with a Trio of Good Proverbs (English Subtitles). My favourites are #2 and #3.

Thank you for visiting Blisswood!

Great and Holy Wednesday

Greetings on Great and Holy Wednesday. Today, the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts is celebrated for the last time. 

“When he came to himself… he came to his father …”

“The light of Christ shineth for all…”

On Tuesday night (for the Wednesday service), the beautiful Hymn of Kassiani is sung.

May we wherever we are… particularly during pandemic isolation, blossom forth through efforts of repentance, love, hope, and faith in God’s mercy.

Although these are trying times… This is just for now.

May your Holy Week be full of blessings.

Great and Holy Monday

Thank you Irena, for sharing this photo.

Greetings on Great and Holy Monday.

As we begin Holy Week, earthly life ceases for the faithful as we go up with the Lord to Jerusalem. ~Matins of Great and Holy Monday

During the Presanctified Liturgy Let My Prayer Arise is sung.

During the harsh weather at winter’s end, the crocus… also known as the penitent flower, springs up and blossoms forth in time for the spiritual lenten season of repentance, efforts, and hope.

May we, wherever we are… particularly during pandemic isolation, blossom forth with efforts of repentance, love, hope and faith in God’s mercy.

Although these are trying times… This is just for now.

May your Holy Week be full of blessings.

St. Matthew’s Passion Music

St. Matthew’s Passion is a musical work composed by Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev. It focuses and takes us through the services of Holy Week, as recorded through the Gospel of St. Matthew. The music and Scripture are poignantly entwined. It’s beautiful.

Palm Sunday Greetings

Basket of Palm Sunday Blessed Willow Branches in Old Chapel of St. Sophia, Canada

Today is Palm Sunday, the Feast Day commemorating the Entrance of our Lord into Jerusalem. Following His glorious miracle of raising Lazarus from the dead, the people went out to meet the Lord with palms and branches. They welcomed Him with honour and shouts of praise. Today is also a bittersweet joy, for we know of the sad events to come during Holy Week.

On this day, we too, wherever we are, (particularly during pandemic isolation) may still bend the knees of our hearts and souls, to worship Christ as King and Lord.

…Let the events themselves – and not just memories break us in body and soul. Then, when we forget ourselves and think rather of Christ, about what is really taking place during these days, we will reach also that Great Saturday when Christ is laid to rest in the tomb – and we also will find rest. When at night we hear the announcement of the Resurrection, we too will be able to suddenly come alive from that terrible numbness, from that terrible death of Christ, from Christ’s dying, of which we shall partake  at least a little during these days of the Passion. ~ Metropolitan Anthony Bloom

Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is he, humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. ~ Zechariah 9:9

God is the Lord, and hath appeared unto us; make ye a feast, and with gladness, come, let us magnify Christ with palms and branches, with hymns crying aloud: blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord our Saviour. ~ Ode 9 of the Feast

Lazarus Comes Forth!

I am the resurrection and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live. And whosoever believeth in me shall never die. ~ St. John 11:25-26

Today Bethany proclaims beforehand the Resurrection of Christ, the owner of Life, and it rejoices at the raising of Lazarus. ~ 1st Ode in Orthros

From the earliest times, the Church has remembered the miracle of the Raising of Lazarus, and its celebration is closely tied to the Feast of the Entry of Jesus into Jerusalem. Marking the end of Great Lent, Lazarus Saturday and Palm Sunday are a two-day festal pause, prior to Holy Week

In Constantinople, Lazarus Saturday was one of the four ancient baptismal days of the Church. We sing the Traditional Trisagion hymn at the Divine Liturgy for this day, As many as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ… Reminding us that we too, through the Sacrament of Holy Baptism, have buried our old nature. By putting on Christ, we come forth reborn anew.

Therefore we are buried with him by Baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we should walk in the newness of life. ~ Romans 6:4

In giving us, before Thy Passion an assurance of the General Resurrection, Thou hast raised Lazarus from the dead, O Christ, our God. Therefore, like the children, we also carry tokens of victory, and cry to Thee, the Conqueror of Death: Hosanna in the highest; blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord. ~ Troparion, Tone 1

Displaying Thy two energies, O Saviour, Thou hast made manifest Thy two natures: for Thou art both God and man. Though Thou art the Abyss of knowledge, Thou dost ask where they have laid the body of Lazarus. For it was Thy purpose, O Giver of Life, to raise him from the dead. Going from one place to another, Thou hast, as mortal man, appeared circumscribed; but, as God uncircumscribed, Thou fillest all things. At Thy divine word, Thou hast raised Lazarus, O Christ. I pray Thee, raise me also, dead through my many sins. As true God Thou hast known of the falling asleep of Lazarus and hast announced it beforehand to Thy disciples, giving them a proof, O Master, of the infinite power of Thy divinity. Thou who art by nature uncircumscribed wast circumscribed in the flesh; coming to Bethany, O Master, as man Thou dost weep over Lazarus, and by Thy power as God Thou dost raise him on the fourth day from the dead. ~ Beatitude Verses: Ode 3, 4 6, of the Triodion

…If he was not flesh, who wept at Lazarus’ grave? And if he was not God, who by his command brought out one four days dead? If he was not flesh, who sat on the foal? And if he was not God, whom did the crowds go out to meet with glory? ~ St. Ephraim the Syrian

Lazarus Saturday ~ Glory to God for All Things by Fr. Stephen Freeman

My Onion Skin Dye for Pascha Eggs

Tip! Save your onion skins during Great Lent!

This natural dye yields a rich vibrant brick-red colour, and has become a special family tradition to do during Holy Week.

You’ll Need:

– 2 dozen white eggs (save the cartons for later storage)
– 1 package of cheesecloth
– 24 to 36 (small size) elastic bands (extras may be needed in case of breakage)
– 10 to 12 cups of dry yellow onion skins
– one bunch of parsley (and if available, pansies or small edible flower heads, and clover leaves, small 2 inch frond-ends of ferns etc.)
– 1/2 cup white vinegar

In a very large pot, boil the onion skins in 2 – 4 litres of water, for 30 – 40 minutes. Remove pot from heat. Strain out the skins and discard them. Add the vinegar to the strained dye and stir well.

(While waiting for the skins to boil, take the cheesecloth and cut 24- 6 X 6 inch squares.)

Using the first dozen eggs, place a sprig of something floral, etc. pressing it ‘pretty-side’ flat down upon the egg. Wrap cheesecloth square tightly around egg, keeping the sprig taut against egg.This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is eggtails.jpeg

Pull cheesecloth tighter, leaving a small “pony-tail”. Tie ponytail tightly with elastic band. Set aside on a platter to prevent “rolling-off-the-table-tragedies”! When one dozen eggs are completed thusly, lower them gently into the dye and simmer for 20 minutes over heat, so only a bubble breaks the surface occasionally. This prevents the eggs from becoming tough.  

While waiting for the first dozen to boil, work on preparing the next dozen with cheesecloth and flowers. When the first dozen have simmered 20 minutes, remove from dye with slotted spoon and immerse for about 3 minutes in a large bowl of cold water.

Add the second dozen prepared eggs gently into the hot dye, and simmer them for 20 minutes. Remove the first batch of cooled eggs from the water and carefully remove the cheesecloth and sprig of parsley or flower, and admire your creations!

Keep them on a platter so to avoid casualties.
Buff them lightly with a “polish” of small amount of olive oil on a paper towel, and place eggs back directly into their cartons for storage and REFRIGERATE!.
Repeat procedure with the remaining dozen eggs.

It’s easy to save dry onion skins for the next year each time you cook.

Place them into a large plastic produce bag.

Store the skins in a cool, dry place!

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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