Science

The Church in Seventh Century Celtic Britain

In the seventh century A.D., the population of Britain consisted mainly of two ethnic groups relatively equal in number, collectively known as the Celts and the Anglo-Saxons respectively. The Celts can be divided into three major sub-groups, namely the Welsh (the descendants of the Britons—the native inhabitants of Britain who were driven west by the invading Angles and Saxons) in Wales; the Picts (an indigenous tribal confederation of peoples in Scotland); and the Fenians, or Scots (a Gaelic people that migrated from Ireland to Scotland around the late fifth century)—this is how they were commonly called in Britain (“Scotti”, meaning “wanderers”, referred to the Irish in general). The name “Scotland” derives from the Latin “Scotia”—“the land of the Scots”. This is because in the middle ages, Scotland as a country was developed by the Scots rather than the native Picts.

On the Shattering of Human Hopes

Sermon on the Third Sunday of Pascha, the Myrrh-bearing Women

Christ is Risen! The worst thing that can happen in our lives is the loss of Christian hope. Not only hope, but specifically Christian hope. What can be worse than this? Hope… It was the expectation, the pledge of meaning, and the yearning for a happy future. Hope gave one the strength to live. It bore the foretaste of joy. And then—it all fell apart. Just a moment goes by and you understand that all has been irreparably lost. There can be no greater catastrophe in a person’s life.

Sunday of the Holy Myrrhbearing Women with the Noble Joseph

Today we commemorate the Holy Myrrh-bearing women Saints Mary Magdalene (July 22), Mary the wife of Clopas, Joanna (June 27), Salome, mother of the sons of Zebedee (August 3), Martha and Mary, sisters of Lazarus (June 4). Also Saint Joseph of Arimathea (July 31), and Nicodemus. The holy right-believing Queen Tamara of Georgia is commemorated twice during the year: on May 1, the day of her repose, and also on the Sunday of the Myrrh-Bearing Women.

Synaxis of all Saints of Thessalonica. Saint Seraphim Bishop of Phanar (December 4, 1610), New Martyr Elias Ardunis (January 31, 1686), New Martyr Demetrius of the Peolponnesos (April 13, 1803).

The Origins of Pascha and Great Week

In worship we encounter the living God. Through Worship God makes Himself present and active in our time, drawing the par­ticles and moments of our life into the realm of redemption. He bestows upon us the Holy Spirit, who makes real the promise of Jesus to be in the midst of those gathered in His name (Mt 18.20). In our ecclesial assemblies, therefore, we do more than remember past events and recall future promises. We experience the risen Christ, who is "clothed with his past and future acts," as someone has noted. Thus, allthat is past and all that is future are made present in the course of our liturgical celebrations.

Antipascha: St Thomas Sunday

Some icons depicting this event are inscribed “The Doubting Thomas.” This is incorrect. In Greek, the inscription reads, “The Touching of Thomas.” The Slavonic inscription is, “The Belief of Thomas.” When Saint Thomas touched the Life-giving side of the Lord, he no longer had any doubts.

This day is also known as “Antipascha.” This does not mean “opposed to Pascha,” but “in place of Pascha.” Beginning with this first Sunday after Pascha, the Church dedicates every Sunday of the year to the Lord’s Resurrection. Sunday is called “Resurrection” in Russian, and “the Lord’s Day” in Greek.