Of all the resurrection stories, perhaps the one concerning St Thomas is the one we can most relate to. He is the "common man", who was later able to do uncommon things. We are just like him, so our path of life must also be like his, which is the Christian life in microcosm. He, like us, was a complex indivicdual, believing, then faint of heart, couargeous, then full of fear. The one thing that he did that we must do to be saved is to endure, and "believe in the midst of our unbelief". If we do this, we are not far away from the supernatural exploits of St Thomas, the Apostle.
The Paschal Troparion, as sung with energy and percussion in Ghana, and a Serbian Orthodox Paschal Song.
Continuing the mediation on the Paschal Canon which I began in this post. The attentive reader might wonder when Odes 4-8 were posted. I'm wondering when I'll get around to writing them – perhaps next year, perhaps never… But it Read More …
Continuation of Series on the Paschal Canon, focusing on Ode 3.
On this day, the Tuesday of St. Thomas week, according to the order instituted by our Holy Fathers, we call to remembrance, in Paschal joy, all those who have died from the beginning of the ages in faith and in the hope of resurrection and life eternal….
Lots more about Radonitsa, with links to other articles.
The Paschal Canon by St. John Damascene (8th century) is an amazing mediation on the Resurrection of our Lord, and is (together with the Paschal Stichera) the heart of the Paschal services. This is a short reflection on the content and meaning of Ode I of this canon.
Lots of instructions about Pascha and Bright week, covering fasting, O Heavenly King, the Paschal hours, making sure we pray and not just eat sausage, and lots of other stuff. In Text, Audio available.
The effect of the incarnation and the absolute necessity for a moral life is declared inn the Gospel for Bright Monday. As is the usual case, profound truths about the Christian life are stated, but not with absolute clarity. The fullness of the meaning of Scripture is not apparent to the casual observer, but only to those who struggle foe righteousness. We look at the whole passage, but particularly the two phrases: “No man hath seen God at any time, the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him”, and “Make straight the way of the Lord.”
‘I am not in favor of changing our tradition regarding musical instruments (and if I could, I would create a virus that destroyed every organ in every Orthodox church), but I WOULD LIKE TO MAKE AN EXCEPTION HERE: Christ is risen troparion, sung with drums, in Africa. Note the priest conducting! It starts out conventionally, then really gets your feet tapping!
Pictures and video from Holy Week, Pascha, at St Nicholas, 2011