Christians are the ones whose lives witness that Christ is risen from the dead, through their attitude to the world, to material things and to one another. They also witness to the fact that goodness, life and God’s love are stronger than hate, evil and even death!
Не я б’ю — лоза б’є, За тиждень — Великдень, Будь дужий, як вода, А багатий, як земля!
Not I—the willow taps, In one week—Easter! Be strong as the water and rich as the earth!
Once again we stand at the threshold: the end of Great Lent and the start of Passion Week (Strasnyj Tyzhden’), when we contemplate Christ’s suffering and death. We do this, not as an anniversary, or even as a memorial, but as a renewal of our identity as human beings of God.
Sometimes people say their own prayers during Liturgy …
These people aren’t feeling their role in the community event that is Liturgy. They simply have not grasped what is taking place at the Liturgy and naturally they would want to spend that time doing something that is spiritually engaging …
What is the meaning of other Services in our Church, besides the Divine Liturgy?
In our rite, we have a great number and variety of services. Each has its own worth. Too often, we make the mistake of measuring other liturgies as “less than” the Divine Liturgy.
Each liturgy is a glorification of God. We sing various biblical texts, hymns, chants—thus achieving the pinnacle of human ability; the celebration of God.
There is no more important celebration on the Christian calendar than today: the feast of the Lord’s resurrection. Among the many, many words that have been spoken and written about this day, none surpass those of the 4th century, St. John Chrysostom (who is credited as the author of our regular Divine Liturgy. His homily is traditionally proclaimed every Easter.
Let all the pious and all lovers of God rejoice in the splendor of this feast; let the wise servants blissfully enter into the joy of their Lord; let those who have borne the burden of Lent now receive their pay, and those who have toiled since the first hour, let them now receive their due reward …
The first and most important responsibility is to read, out loud, the Acts of the Apostles. Our Lord is symbolically in the grave BUT His work has not ended.
The Book of Acts tells the story of the beginning of the Church. In spite of the misery of Christ’s death we cannot fall into despair for Christ will rise and His Church will flourish!
What if at Liturgy there are 200 or 300 strangers around me? How am I supposed to celebrate?
One might disagree, but I say that at Liturgy it makes no difference if people know each other or have anything in common – because the fact that they are present for the Divine Liturgy forms the link between them. This is what we have in common.
We may not recognize this because we usually emphasize psychological aspects of relationships. In order to relate to someone, to show love and kindness, I need to know that person pretty well. Certainly. But the Liturgy leads us to a higher level of awareness of what it is to be human, and what it means to relate to each other. We are united by the ineluctable fact of our humanness, our baptism, our being loved by God.
Why should we attend Divine Liturgy?
When people gather together for Liturgy, participate in it, receive the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ—they
become the Body of Christ—the Church. Thanks to the Liturgy we can understand that the Church isn’t a religious organization, a system of opinions or a creed. It is the body of Christ, a collective of people united by communion in Christ and through Christ.
Zacchaeus was a sinner, a tax collector, and an outcast. He was the person we don’t want to have anything to do with. Yet, he is the person that Christ sees and wants to visit!
We begin our preparation for Great Lent with this wonderful story. Christ visits the home of Zacchaeus not because Zacchaeus or we are deserving, but rather because God desires to be with us, to share our lives.