Reflections on Yesterday’s Lamentations Service

Yesterday was a very busy day with many delightful and exciting professional commitments, but I was also blest to join a small local congregation with a strong and loving priest for the Lamentations at the Tomb (or the Matins of Holy and Great Saturday). Before the service begins, a “tomb” is erected in the middle […]

Thou hast broken open the all-devouring belly of Hell and snatched me out

Here are a few of the many hymns from last night with the start of Lazarus Saturday. Toward the end, several of them break into the voice of Lazarus himself or of Hell itself. Calling Lazarus from the tomb, immediately Thou hast raised him; but Hell below lamented bitterly, and groaning, trembled at Thy power, […]

a meditation on brokenness

This meditation below reminded me of much that I’ve considered recently. See my thoughts here for example. The reflections below were posted to “The Art of Transfiguration” Facebook page on May 2, 2015 by “Unworthy Seraphim” [Robert Hegwood] (with minor edits in punctuation, spacing, and capitalization): It’s okay to hurt: a meditation on brokenness. It’s […]

Orthodox Positions on Sin within the Life of Mary the Mother of God

This is a topic that I’ve read about over several years now (primarily online, not having come across it much within books), and I have wanted to collect together a few comments from various online sources into one place for myself as a simple reference in conversations (particularly when I am asked about this topic […]

a secret weapon within our divine image

When God made us in His divine image, this included a hidden divine capacity that has been revealed and perfected by Jesus Christ as our salvation. This secret weapon carried within our divine image is God’s humility and His joyful willingness to suffer. We correctly describe God as infinite and omnipotent, but He is capable […]

Life from Inside of Death

“You may be certain that as long as someone is in hell, Christ will remain there with him.” Elder Sophrony gave this famous reply to a question from Olivier Clement regarding those who will not open their hearts to the love of God. In this Easter season, with Christ’s glorious and victorious resurrection preeminent, it […]

a flame to lay down

I was encouraged to rewrite this poem that I wrote recently: Your body holds you tighter hourly. Jacob wrestled the Lord’s angel. You have your gasped breaths and throbbing heart. This morning, your eyes bring less daylight, and you have let go, almost, of saying. This less of sight, less of hearing, heralds more. Today’s […]