Numinous Milestones of Holy Week

The Winding Sheet from Great and Holy Friday, 2023

On Holy Week: I remember that when my nephew Andrew was seventeen years old, he said to me: “Ah!… Why don’t we have Holy Week four or five times a year? So that we may all get that into our head and assimilate everything!” Truly, Holy Week makes us meditate for hours and days… even permanently. It is something beyond this world… ~ St. Gavrilia (Ascetic of Love)

Holy Week

Lovely to Listen To: 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.

Presanctified Liturgy: This service is partly like the service on Saturday evenings and partly like the usual Liturgy. At the Presanctified Liturgy, the Holy Communion is already consecrated from a previous usual Divine Liturgy.

Great and Holy Monday

Let My Prayer Arise

Services of the Bridegroom


Great and Holy Tuesday

Hymn of St. Kassiani
The Woman Who Had Fallen Into Many Sins

On Holy Tuesday: Listening to the Hymn of Kassiani, (sung on Holy Tuesday evening and Holy Wednesday morning): O Lord, the woman who had fallen into many sins… Have we not all fallen into many sins? But how else could we have felt the Miracle of His Pardon and Love? This is why all of us, who worship the Lord, are aware that without His help, His intervention, we would be wallowing in the mud permanently. O my God, I thank You! I thank You day and night, with my eyes open or closed, with or without words, alive or dead… ~ St. Gavrilia (The Ascetic of Love)

Great and Holy Wednesday

Great and Holy Thursday

Natural Onion Skin Brick- Red Dye for Pascha Eggs and Banquet of Faith

Great and Holy Friday

Do Not Lament Me O Mother One of my favourite hymns by St. Kassiani

Great and Holy Saturday

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

May your cup overflow with Holy Week’s multitude of blessings!

Looking forward to greeting you again on the other side of Great and Holy Pascha! May your Bright Week be radiant!

Paschal Sermon by St. John Chrysostom (347-407) Archbishop of Constantinople

…Orthodox Pascha is not just a festival, but the Festival of all festivals, an event for exceeding all the events of this world. Pascha shakes the whole cosmos: the sun, by our faith, dances and becomes iridescent with every colour of the rainbow, and all of creation rejoices. Some observe a magnificent silence, lacking the strength to express the inexpressible feeling of Paschal joy which fills their souls. Others hasten to share their feeling of the Paschal triumph. All people and all things begin to move, the tedious vanities of this world are cast aside, and all are transfigured. Pascha is, first of all, in us ourselves, in our hearts. God’s gift of the feeling of love penetrates our whole being, and we love each person and all things. This relates not just to the animal kingdom, but to the whole of creation, extending to the smallest blade of grass and the smallest flower. Nothing escapes our loving attention. May the Lord help us all to keep ourselves like this, for as such did the Lord create us. ~ Excerpt Paschal Epistle from Metropolitan Vitaly, May, 2000; The Two Thousandth Pascha of Christ

Thank you for visiting Blisswood!

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!

Lightfare

Branches of Inner Stillness

O Precious Paradise

Forgive Me

Threshold

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

Rock-Steady

Reflecting the Refulgent

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!

Banquet of Faith

Some of our 2022 Pascha eggs (dyed brick-red with onion skins) sit on a nest of sweet lavender. These floral imprints are from marigold, barrenwort flowers, and a clover leaf.

Dying eggs red for Pascha is an ancient tradition, and symbolize the gift of eternal life though our Lord Jesus Christ’s glorious Resurrection.

Their shells represent the sealed tomb of Jesus, and when we crack our eggs together, we depict the end of the old and the beginning of the new… His Resurrection from the dead, the shattering of the Gates of Hell, and the Promise of Life Eternal!

The tradition of red eggs begins with St. Mary Magdalene, one of the Holy Myrrh-Bearers. As a witness of Christ’s Resurrection, and after His Ascension to the heavens, she began a life of ministry and also became known as an Equal-to-the-Apostles.

According to holy tradition, during her travels, St. Mary Magdalene gained an audience with the Emperor Tiberius in Rome… where she denounced the conduct of Jerusalem’s governor (Pontius Pilate) at Christ’s trial, by his condemning of an innocent man (whom he acknowledged to be) to death.

Then St. Mary Magdalene told the Emperor about the life and miracles of Jesus Christ, and His Resurrection from the dead. To illustrate the symbol of New Life (in Christ), she held an egg out to him, and joyously proclaimed, “Christ is Risen!”

The emperor mocked her saying, “There’s about as much chance of a human being returning to life again from the dead… as there is for that very egg in your hand to turn red!”

An instantaneous sign from God confirmed the truth of her message, and the egg immediately turned red!

Christ’s redemption transcends time and space. When we greet each other during the 40 days of Pascha-tide saying, “Christ is risen,” we confirm that not only did He rise all those years ago, but He remains risen right now.

Christ is risen! Truly He 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!

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!

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