Bring to Light

Image by 12019 from Pixabay

 You are all children of light and children of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness… But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation. ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:5,8

For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: ~ 1 Corinthians 13: 12

Through the Holy Spirit comes our restoration to paradise, our ascension into the kingdom of heaven, our return to the adoption of sons, our liberty to call God our Father, our being made partakers of the grace of Christ, our being called children of light, our sharing in eternal glory, and, in a word, our being brought into a state of all “fullness of blessing,” both in this world and in the world to come, of all the good gifts that are in store for us, by promise hereof, through faith, beholding the reflection of their grace as though they were already present, we await the full enjoyment. ~ St. Basil the Great

Without first experiencing darkness, how would we recognize light?

St. Caedmon’s Day Greetings

Thank you Fr. Serafim Mull Monastery for kind permission to use St. Caedmon’s Icon.

O sing unto the Lord a new song: sing unto the Lord, all the earth. ~ Psalm 96:1

Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; ~ Ephesians 5:19

…a psalm is the work of angels, a heavenly institution, the spiritual incense. ~ St. Basil the Great

Today is St. Caedmon’s Day! This 7th British Saint heard angels sing and wrote the earliest English poem in existence.

It’s heart-piercingly beautiful, and after wading through these Latin, Northumbrian, West Saxon translations and sources of his work… I knew this poem was just aching to be adapted into a simpler, modern English read.

Sadly, no original music remains of St. Caedmon’s hymn, and alas and alack, I never found any olden West Saxon melodies to work with… They’re scarcer than hen’s teeth!

You can imagine how thrilling it was to encounter the ancient 13th century Byzantine Greek Chant, Defte Lai and know how the majestic melody would also suit the adaptation of St. Caedmon’s poem. It’s pure joy to reclaim Defte Lai’s ageless air for another venerable Orthodox Hymn.

One of St. Caedmon’s contemporaries was the Greek monastic – St. Theodore of Tarsus, who became the 8th Archbishop of Canterbury England, so my Byzantine nod isn’t too far removed.

Here’s the pdf sheet music for my 2022 adaptation and recording below of St. Caedmon’s Hymn.

3 chords used in this recording – while leaning on my ukulele crutch are: Fm; Cm; and B♭m

St. Caedmon’s Creation Hymn:

Come magnify Him,
Creator of the firmament,
Author of each and all,
And glorify His purpose;
Love, Invincible.

Come and honour Him,
Protector of Fair Paradise,
Holy, Mighty, Immortal,
Architect, Omnipotent;
Father of Glory.
Blessed, Timeless, Lord,
Thou hast established Thy wonders,
Before middle earth* was formed,
Or adorned with Thought of Mind;
Lord, God Almighty!

For the sons of men;
Thou formed the Roof of Heaven!

* Middle earth (not just a Tolkien invention)- it means the world, the middle enclosure – which exists between heaven and hell. From Middle English middel-erde, and Old English middangeard.

Through the Holy Prayers of St. Caedmon, may we – through the Wonderful Mystery of Creation, magnify our Blessed and Timeless Lord!

Sanctifying Spirit

Image by David Mark from Pixabay

The sun penetrates crystal and makes it more dazzling. In the same way, the sanctifying Spirit indwells in souls and makes them more radiant. They become like so many powerhouses beaming grace and love around them. ~ St. Basil the Great

I could never, ever, live far away from the sea. It’s my favourite place to be even when days are dull, stormy and gray!

Standing at the waters’ edge promotes perspective, whatever the weather. It refreshes and reminds me of my small but proper place in the greater scope of things. And… upon any cloudy day, you just know that at any given moment – sun beams can triumphantly pierce through the silver canopy of clouds, and take one’s breathe away.

God’s Creation reflects Hope and inspires prayer! We can’t help but be grateful for the sea’s lulling, reflective sighs, or the reviving, salty winds that blow out those dusty cobwebs from our minds!

Thank you dear Lord, for the beautiful blessings of the ocean, and for imbuing us with Your Joy, Love, and Peace from Above!

Then Will Come the 2nd Feast!

Detail of Parish Mosaic Icon – St. Bail the Great

…that will be St. Basil’s Feast; rejoice!

One of my favourite quotes from St. Basil the Great ~ A tree is known by its fruit; a man by his deeds. A good deed is never lost; he who sows courtesy reaps friendship, and he who plants kindness gathers love.

May we all plant a Perennial Crop of Kindness and Share the Harvest from the Garden of God’s Love!

Happy St. Basil’s Day – January 14/1

Greetings on the Feast – with St. Basil the Great Quotes

St. Basil’s Day Cake Recipe

Sharing our parish choir’s (a cappella) 2014 recording of the Christmastide Carol – We Wish You Good Evening. We sing of the coming 3 feasts! Holy Nativity, St. Basil the Great’s Day, and Holy Theophany.

O rejoice all the world, the Son of God is born!

From the Sea to the Clouds

A peaceful sunset walk by the sea is reviving for soul, mind and body. Isn’t it amazing to ponder that all water on Earth is and always has been continually recycled through the hydrosphere of our oceans, rivers, lakes and clouds? Everything is connected. Everything. And how blessed we are to be part of this Everything!

Sing unto the Lord a new song, and his praise from the end of the earth, ye that go down to the sea, and all that is therein; the isles, and the inhabitants thereof. ~ Isaiah 42:10

All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full; unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they return again. ~ Ecclesiastes 1:7

It is easier to measure the entire sea with a tiny cup than to grasp the ineffable greatness of God with the human mind. ~St. Basil the Great

When you see the light, do not forget Him who gave it to you; when you see the sky, the earth, the sea and all that is in them, marvel at these things and glorify their Creator... In short, if everything you do becomes for you an occasion for glorifying God, you will be praying unceasingly. And in this way your soul will always rejoice… ~ St. Peter of Damascus, Philokalia

…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… ~ Hymn of Kassiani

Children of Light

The blazing light of dawn reflects a living, luminescent beauty in nature… radiating the Gladsome Light of God’s Holy Glory!

Through the Holy Spirit comes our restoration to paradise, our ascension into the kingdom of heaven, our return to the adoption of sons, our liberty to call God our Father, our being made partakers of the grace of Christ, our being called children of light, our sharing in eternal glory, and, in a word, our being brought into a state of all “fullness of blessing,” both in this world and in the world to come, of all the good gifts that are in store for us, by promise hereof, through faith, beholding the reflection of their grace as though they were already present, we await the full enjoyment. ~ St. Basil the Great

Memory Eternal Nikita!

Cascades of Blessings

Image by falco from Pixabay

The Lord loves us so dearly that it passes all description. Through the Holy Spirit alone can the soul know His love, of which she is inexpressibly aware. The Lord is all goodness and mercy. He is meek and gentle, and we have no words to tell of His goodness; but the soul without words feels this love and would remain wrapped in its quiet tranquility forever. ~ St. Silouan the Athonite

Do not say, ‘This happened by chance, while this came to be of itself.’ In all that exists there is nothing disorderly, nothing indefinite, nothing without purpose, nothing by chance… How many hairs are on your head? God will not forget one of them. Do you see how nothing, even the smallest thing, escapes the gaze of God? ~ St. Basil the Great

That green leaf on the tree which you needlessly plucked – it was not wrong, only rather a pity for the little leaf. The heart that has learned to love feels sorry for every created thing. ~ St. Silouan the Athonite

Wishing you Peace and Joy!

Much Fruit

Image by Michael Strobel from Pixabay 

Much effort and labour is needed, for a man to be changed and to be the good tree that brings forth fruit. Strive then, for nothing else but to change, renew, and correct yourself. And pray for this… ~ St. Tikhon of Zadonsk

An unfulfilled promise is like a tree without fruit. ~ St. Ambrose of Optina

A tree is known by its fruit; a man by his deeds. A good deed is never lost; he who sows courtesy reaps friendship; and he who sows kindness, gathers love. ~ St. Basil the Great

Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. ~ St. John 12:24

O Gladsome Light

Sunbeams stream through church window before Evening Vespers.

O Gladsome Light of the Holy Glory, of the Immortal Father. Heavenly Holy, Blessed Jesus Christ. Now that we have come to the setting of the sun, and behold the light of evening, we praise God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. For meet it is, at all times, to worship Thee with voices of praise. O Son of God, and Giver of Life, wherefore all the world doth glorify Thee! ~ Earliest known, recorded Christian hymn, still used in Orthodox Church Vespers

For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. ~ 2 Cor. 4:6 

When a sunbeam falls on a transparent substance, the substance itself becomes brilliant, and radiates light from itself. So too Spirit bearing souls, illumined by Him, finally become spiritual themselves, and their grace is sent forth to others… ~ St. Basil the Great

May your day be full of Light!

Happy Mothers’ Day!

Blessings of Harmonious Union

Parish icons lit during an Evening Vigil.

Christ is Risen!

Greetings on Thomas Sunday!

Nothing elevates the soul, nothing gives it wings as a liturgical hymn does. A holy hymn gives birth to piety of soul, creates a good conscience, and is accepted by God in the treasuries of the heavens. ~ St. John Chrysostom

Bis orat qui cantat. (Means) He who chants prays twice. ~ Ancient Proverb

Psalmody – bringing about choral singing, a bond, as it were, toward unity, and joining people into a harmonious union of one choir – produces also the greatest of blessings: love. ~ St. Basil the Great

When you worship God with hymns, you should be worshipping Him with your entire being: your voice should sing; your heart should also sing; and your life should also sing. Everything should sing! ~ Blessed Augustine

Music is unique among the liturgical arts in that it’s something we have to do every time we come to church. Iconography, architecture, church furnishings, liturgical books, all these are things an artist can produce once and be done with. But music is never finished. As soon as you sing a note it vanishes forever. As soon as the service is over, whatever beauty you achieved during it has to be produced all over again in the next service.  ~ Rowan Benedict Sheehan

Truly He is Risen!

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