On this day, we commemorate the event that happened to Christ shortly before His saving passion. A Christ was visiting in the house of Simon the Leper when a woman who lived a sinful life entered with a jar of expensive perfume which she put on His body. This occurred shortly before His saving Passion. The Synaxarion of the great and holy Wednesday opens with the verse: “The woman anointed the body of Christ with ointment, anticipating the aloes of Nikodemos.” The ointment and aloes were attributes of a burial ritual.
His disciples were unnerved: “Why this waste?” they asked. “This perfume could have been sold at a high price and the money given to the poor.” (Matthew 26: 8—9). But Jesus stops them. "When she poured this perfume on my body, she did it to prepare me for burial." 26: 12). Jesus' anointment with the perfume, in other words, was the prediction of His death and burial.
On the Great and Holy Wednesday we hear for the last time in our churches the prayer of Saint Ephraim the Syrian, and it is the last day when we make prostrate bows during church worship. It is the end of the transition from the forty days of Lend to the Great and Holy Week. In the liturgical texts of this day, we hear about the great priests contemplating sending Christ to His death on the Cross and finding themselves a willing accomplice among His apostles - Judas Iscariot:
"Deceitful Judas, in his love for money, pondered cunningly how he might betray You, O Lord, the Treasure of Life. Therefore in drunken folly, he hastened to the Jews and said to the transgressors: "What will you give me, and I will deliver Him to you to be crucified?”.
The Passions of Christ are coming close. At the beginning of the frightful but glorious events of the Passion Week, the Venerable John of Kronshtadt called on all Christians:
"Show that you, too, can respond to love with love; that you can keep vigil with Christ out of your love of Him. It is the vigil of your heart, if only for several hours that it took Him to drink from the Cup of Heaven’s Wrath. As Christ is bearing His passions for our sakes, let us let Him into our hearts with faith, and share His pain."
We offer ourselves up to God by fulfilling His commandments, anticipating our imminent death, however absurd it may sound.
On September 8th, the Russian Orthodox Church celebrates the feast of the Meeting of the Vladimir Icon of the Mother of God. This wonderworking icon is one of the most venerated in Russia and, according to tradition, dates from the dawn of Christianity.
The Nativity Fast sanctifies the last part of the year and is established so that by the day of the Nativity of Christ we will purify ourselves by repentance, prayer and abstinence. As a result, we could piously meet the Son of God who came…
The Great and Holy week came, and the Royal Family followed Christ to Golgotha. The Tsar, the Empress and their children rejoiced as they celebrated their last Easter
An Athonite ascetic said, "Lord, I pray twenty-four hours a day, and I cannot pray enough!" You have to experience the sweetness of God to say these words.
The Great Lent has begun. What is the meaning of these forty days, why are they divided into weeks, and how does each week lead us to the Great and Holy Pascha? Paul Pinson explains.
The Great Lent is the longest fasting season of the year for the Orthodox. We all know about the importance of prayer, almsgiving and fasting. But what are the rules of fasting? Are there some things, we should not do during the Lent?