The prayer to the Holy Spirit commences as follows: ‘Heavenly King, Comforter, the Spirit of Truth, who is present everywhere and fills all things…’, showing that truth penetrates everything and is present everywhere at all times and in all places. But what is truth?
St Nicodemus of the Holy Mountain was born in 1749 on the island of Naxos. He was baptised Nicolas and received his early education from the local priest. He entered Dionysiou Monastery on Mt Athos in 1775, and soon after was clothed with the Monastic Habit and given the name Nicodemus.
The use of the exclamation “Alleluia” or "Hallelujah" was inherited by the first Christians from Hebrew worship. It means, “God be praised” or “Praise God”. In the Orthodox Church it is in itself an exclamation as well as an exhortation to praise God.
You can read the answer of an Orthodox priest from Sydney below
When the Apostle Thomas was told that Christ had resurrected and had appeared to the other disciples, he responded that he would not believe unless he had palpable proof. So when Jesus appeared to him also, presenting him with that proof, He also stated, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed” (John 20:29). These words have led Thomas to be labelled as “doubting”. However, to what extent was the Apostle Thomas a doubter?
‘May we glorify Your mighty acts, your unspeakable plan of salvation for our sake’. (From the Matins Service of the Sixth Friday of Lent).
Pascha is a time of joy and light, because when we celebrate our Lord’s Resurrection, we anticipate the immortality of our own soul and the resurrection of our own body.
St Andrew of Crete (660-740 AD) was a bishop, born in Damascus, who served the Church in various ways until being sent to Crete, which was his final place of office. He is counted as one of the most prolific and important hymnographers of the Orthodox Church, traditionally being known as the first hymnographer to write the type of hymn known as the canon.
In the lead up to Pascha, we are slowly but steadily initiated into the Orthodox way of life through the period of Great Lent. Throughout these six weeks preceding Holy Week we are encouraged to: fast in order to detach from our desires; give alms so that we may connect with our neighbour; and, pray more than we usually do to be filled with the grace of God.
On the 25th of March, Archbishop Stylianos (Harkianakis) of Australia and Oceania reposed in the Lord. In this 2017 article, he tells the story of his own father and how it gave him strength throughout his challenging life.
On the 25th of March, nine months prior to the Nativity, we celebrate the Annunciation; the “announcing” of Jesus’ conception. The Greek word for this day is Evangelismos, or “the telling of the Good News”.