Theology

Holy and Great Thursday

Commemoration of the Mystical (Last) Supper

And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.

Mt. 26:26–28

On the day of the feast of unleavened bread, when according to the Law of the Old Testament a lamb was to be slaughtered and eaten, the hour was come that the Savior should depart out of this world unto the Father (cf. Jn. 13:1). Having come to fulfill the law, Jesus Christ sent His disciples, Peter and John, to Jerusalem to prepare the Passover, which, as the shadow of the law, He wanted to exchange it with the New Pascha—His own Body and Blood. When evening had come, the Lord came with His twelve disciples to a large, prepared upper room of a man who lived in Jerusalem (cf. Mk. 14:12–17) and reclined there. Telling them that the Kingdom of God, which is not of this world, and not earthly greatness and glory, but love, humility, and purity of spirit is what distinguishes its members, the Lord rose from the table and washed the feet of His disciples. Having washed the feet and again reclined, the Lord said to His disciples: Do you know what I have done for you? You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you say correctly, for I am exactly that. Thus, if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, then you should wash each others’ feet. For I have given you an example, so that you would do the same thing I have done for you.

The Entry of the Lord into Jerusalem: icons and frescoes

The Entry of the Lord into Jerusalem: icons and frescoes
The Entry of the Lord into Jerusalem: icons and frescoes
The Entry of the Lord into Jerusalem: icons and frescoes
The Entry of the Lord into Jerusalem: icons and frescoes

The Entry into Jerusalem is one of the most important events in the last earthly days of our Lord Jesus Christ. The Savior's triumphant arrival at the Holy City on the eve of the Passover preceded His Passion, and was the manifestation of the Old Testament prophecies. The source for the iconography of the Lord's Entry into Jerusalem is the Gospels, where it is related how Christ enters the city seated on the foal of an ass, accompanied by His disciples on the eve of the Judaic Passover, were He will be betrayed to be crucified. The image of the Savior seated on the foal is well known even in early Christian art.

 

Jesus' Entry into Jerusalem - Palm Sunday

On the Sunday before Pascha, the Holy Church celebrates the Entrance of the Lord into Jerusalem. Six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead (John 12:1). While tarrying there, in the house of Lazarus, many of those who had accompanied Him on the way from Jericho managed to reach Jerusalem and spread the tidings that Christ the Savior was coming there for the Feast of the Passover, and had stopped for a while in Bethany. Hearing this news, Christ's enemies, the scribes and Pharisees came to Bethany, not only on account of Jesus but also to see Lazarus, Whom He had raised from the dead (John 12:9).

Lenten Prayer of St. Ephrem

O Lord and Master of my life, take from me the spirit of sloth, despair, lust of power, and idle talk.

But give rather the spirit of chastity, humility, patience, and love to Thy servant.

Yea, O Lord and King, grant me to see my own transgressions, and not to judge my brother, for blessed art Thou, unto ages of ages. Amen.

Alhambra Parish Hosts Fifth Annual Sts. Sebastian & Mardarije Orthodox Institute

“For I desire mercy and not sacrifice, and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings” (Hosea 6:6) are the prophetic words which come to mind as clergy slowly began to arrive for the beginning of the 5th annual Sts. Sebastian and Mardardije Institute on Tuesday, February 26, 2019, the feast day of Saint Simeon the Myrrh-Gusher.

His Grace Bishop Maxim of Western America and St. Steven’s Serbian Orthodox Cathedral in Alhambra, California are host to this year’s event in cooperation with the Episcopal Council of the Serbian Orthodox Church in North and South America.

Statement on the Sanctity of Life

The Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America affirms the sanctity of life based on the firm conviction that life begins at the moment of conception.

The Assembly remains steadfast in its conviction that any interference in the development of life is a serious issue, and therefore it regularly participates in a variety of relevant events and also releases pertinent statements on the topic. While recognizing that there are rare but serious medical instances where mother and child may require extraordinary actions, the Assembly of Bishops is deeply concerned that the taking of innocent life through abortion has become an acceptable cultural norm. This phenomenon – increasingly prevalent throughout contemporary societies – was exacerbated by a recent law of the New York State Senate (Bill S.240). The Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America categorically denounces these adverse developments that allow for abortion, under certain unjustifiable circumstances, even within the third trimester of existence. 

Sermon of Saint Sava on the True Faith delivered at Monastery Zica, 1220

Brothers and friends and fathers and children called by God, lend your God-loving hearts to hearing the divine dogmas. And hearing these holy words place them, brothers, in your hearts and the conscience of your souls and before the eyes of your mind and understand them.

God, all merciful and lover of mankind, having immeasurable mercy for man, bowed the Heavens and descended to earth, and with His Divine Dispensation and voluntary bearing of many different sufferings to His Divine Body, enlightened the human race; and He sent to the whole world the Holy Apostles, saying: „Go and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit“.