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!

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!

How Can I Hold Thee?

Detail from Icon – Greece 2017

St. Luke 2: 22-40 describes the Feast of the Presentation of the Infant Jesus Into the Temple. (February 15/2)

When Jesus was forty days old, the Virgin Mary and St. Joseph the Betrothed brought Christ to the temple, in order to fulfill the law and dedicate Him to God. 

The Orthodox Christian tradition of Churching a mother on her return to church with her child for a blessing, 40 days after the birth of the baby, comes from the Jewish rite observed in this feast. 

Sharing one of the many beautiful hymns for this Feast written by 9th Century female saint, St. Kassiani:

How can I hold Thee as a Child,
Thou, who holdest everything together?
How do I bring Thee to the temple,
Thou, who art beyond goodness?
How do I deliver Thee into the arms of the elder,
Thou, who sitteth in the bosom of the Father?
How dost Thou endure purification,
Thou, who purifieth the whole corrupt nature?”
So sayeth the Virgin, the temple, who containeth God –
Marveling at Thy great condescension, O Christ.

Since 450 AD, church candles are also blessed on this day, because of elder St. Simeon’s reference to Christ as a Light of revelation to the Gentiles. (Candlemas)

error: Content is protected !!