On the fifth Thursday of Lent in the Orthodox Churches we chant the service of the Great Canon of St Andrew of Crete. It is a monumental work of hymnography with more than 250 odes, or verses, to which we also add the lengthy reading of the life of St Mary of Egypt. This makes it probably one of the longest services of Great Lent. If one also a counts the number of prostrations performed after each ode, it becomes also one of the most uncomfortable services for any casual observer.
But the length of the service and the physical discomfort of the standing and the prostrations is not the… Continue reading
Tags: church · Cross · East · orthodox · pain · Resurrection · suffering · uncomfortable · West
“Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your sting? O grave, where is your victory?” (1Cor 15:54-55)
As a parish priest one has the privilege to face all aspects of human life from birth until the final departure. In the eyes of a priest, humanity is exposed in its most glorious and most deplorable experiences. Among them one of the most challenging is death. Even writing about it is a difficult task because it is a very unpopular subject. Nobody wants to die and even more so, nobody wants to talk about it, is a taboo, a place where you just don’t want to go… Continue reading
Tags: Christ · coffin · death · Kingdom · life · mortician · orthodox · pain · Resurrection · sting · undertaker