On the Great and Holy Tuesday, we recall the Parable of the Ten Virgins. In His progress to His saving passions, Christ narrated parables such as this to His disciples, and some also to the Jews. In the parable, ten virgins were invited to a wedding procession with lamps. Five took a sufficient supply of oil to keep the lamps alight while they waited for the groom, but the other five did not. None knew the date or time of his coming. On the night when the he came, the lamps of the five injudicious women went out, and they went away to get more oil. The lamps of the other five continued burning, and they followed the bride, to the feast, closing the door behind them.
"The greatest of Tuesdays brings with it the ten virgins, who bring the victory of the impartial Master," reads the opening verse of the Synaxarion. Ahead of His passions, Christ calls on all those who will listen to repentance, mercy and vigilance. He cautions us not to liken ourselves to the five unwise virgins whose lamps faded when the Bridegroom Christ came: "keep watch because you do not know the day or the hour." (Matthew 25: 13). In our churches, we hear for the second day in a row the hymn "Behold, the Bridegroom comes at midnight".
The hymns of this day liken Christ's imminent death on the Cross to the end of time. To become partakers of the first and meet the second without despair, we must, as the hymns implore us, "cast aside slothfulness and go to meet Christ, the immortal Bridegroom, with brightly shining lamps."
The Synaxarion of the Great and Holy Tuesday explains the meaning of this day as follows: "The God-bearing fathers assigned the foregoing parable of the ten virgins to be read at this point in Great Week, for it teaches us always to be vigilant and ready to meet the true Bridegroom through good deeds, and especially almsgiving since the day and hour of our end is uncertain. Likewise, through the story of Joseph we are taught to strive for chastity and through that of the fig tree to bring spiritual fruit."
The Dormition Fast is our occasion to remember the Mother of God as a model of Christian life and to emulate her example in our lives. The Dormition Fast in the Russian Orthodox Church, starts on 14 August and ends two weeks later, on 28 August.…
Many non-Orthodox Christians often wonder what is the Apostles Fast in the Orthodox Church. Each year the Fast starts and ends on different dates and even in different months.
Thousands of years after Judas’ betrayal, we are still confronted by the same choice: are we going to direct our love to God, and restore our community with Him, or betray him, to live for the world and ourselves?
Today, we wish to share with you seven facts about how Christians celebrated Christmas in ancient times. Our hope is that you discover the roots of your Christian heritage from those Christians who celebrated before us.
The Mother of God prays for us, showing us the power of the prayer to change us from within, transform our lives and make a positive difference to the world.
Unction, or the rite of Anointing of the Sick, is one of the seven sacraments of the Orthodox Church. The purpose of Anointing of the Sick is to invoke God's healing grace on a person suffering from bodily and spiritual illnesses.
Demetrius parental Saturday is a day of special commemoration of the dead in the Russian Orthodox Church. This is a memorial Saturday before the remembrance day of the Great Martyr Demetrius of Thessaloniki (October 26 / November 8).