I am come to save Adam, the first-fashioned man. Explanation of Prefestal Theophany Kontakion

In the streams of the Jordan today /
the Lord cried to John: /
Be not afraid to baptize Me, /
for, I am come to save Adam, //
the first-fashioned man.

This Kontakion is sung at each of the Royal Hours of Theophany. As in all of our hymns, it has “facts” in it that usually based on the scriptural record, but the meaning is much deeper than facts. Let us feel the great consolation that this hymn promises …

Whereby we cross the flowing stream of life.

This troparion is sung at each of the Royal Hours of Theophany.

It describes an event which is a “type” or foreshadowing of baptism. Many Theophany hymns describe the many types of baptism in the Old Testament. A “type” is an event or thing which foreshadows or “points to” a future event or thing.

A good rule of thumb regarding typology is that the more types there are for a given thing, the more important it is. There are many types for baptism, the cross and the resurrection, for example.

The dividing of the River Jordan when it was struck by the mantle of Elisha is an obvious type of baptism, since it evokes the memory of the dividing of the Red sea, which is perhaps the quintessential and most important type of baptism in the Old Testament.

This event has a nuance to it that the dividing of the Red Sea does not have. …

Quiet and healing for the soul. Monday Moleben and Akathist

Last night I arrived early at church to prepare for the regular Monday Moleben with Akathist, and to await the arrival of someone for an appointment. We have served a Moleben each week for a long time, with prayer for a long list of names – all of our parish members, our parish “sort of” members, friends from other local parishes and a long list of people on our public prayer list, who have requested prayer.

It is one of the most important things I do. It is also often quite hard to do. This is because of me; anything in which the soul feels heavy and does not want to do something is because of us. Let’s be honest here. We all have weak faith, and the best we can do if we want to eventually have real, warm and perfect faith is to be like the son in the parable who at first said he would not go into the field to work, but later repented, and went to work. Our Lord tells us that he did the will of his father, and not the other son who said he would go, but did not.

This parable has always been a great comfort to me. It tells me that I can receive a blessing even from imperfect obedience, and that the most important part of obedience is not what we say or feel, but what we do. This describes a lot of stuff that I do, or, often, describes the way I start to do things. …

We worship Thy Nativity, O Christ! Show us also Thy divine Theophany. Audio.

Synopsis: At the Vesperal Divine Liturgy on the Eve of Nativity, a homily about on of the hymns of the Royal Hours. It expresses the connection between Nativity and Theophany, and especially how we must feel and what we must desire as we contemplate the incarnation.

“Today He Who in essence is God intangible and holdeth all creation in His hand is born of the Virgin and creation in His hand is born of the virgin and wrapped in swaddling bands. He lieth in a manger Who established in a manger Who established the heavens by His word in the beginning. He is fed at the breast with milk Who rained down manna upon the people in the wilderness. The Bridegroom of the church summoneth the magi; the Son of the virgin receiveth their gifts.
We worship Thy Nativity, O Christ!
We worship Thy Nativity, O Christ!
Show us also Thy divine Theophany. “

Holy Protection Cathedral Nativity Photos.

I received notice of some photos from Nativity, at Holy Protection Russian Orhtodox Chiurch, Des Plaines, IL. These are picutres relatied to theior ?Nativity celebration. Vladyka Peter, Protodeacon Vadim, and Subdeacon Andrei, who were recently at our Patronal feast, are in some of these pictures. Fr Nicholas needs to study these pictures and learn to look fierce like Fr Vadim!

How to react to evil. Sunday after Nativity. 2011

On the Sunday after Nativity, we commemorate King David, Joseph the Betrothed, and James, the Brother of the Lord. The Gospel reading is about the Flight into Egypt. It teaches us how to react to evil. This is the opposite of the way the world reacts. We must learn this way if we are to understand anything about God – this is the way of meekness, the patience of faith and humility.