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The End of Another Day

The Burning Bush with the mountains behind, at the end of another day.


A patch of sunlight shines through eighteenth century stasidia.

Icon Lamp at Noon

For a few moments at noon, the sun shines on one of the icon lamps in front of the iconostasion.

Liturgy at Al Bustan

On the Tuesday after Thomas Sunday, Father Michael celebrated the Liturgy at Al Bustan, a small chapel dedicated to the Nativity of the Virgin Mary.

The Litany of Fervent Supplication

Censing at the Cherubic Hymn

An old fashioned rose was blooming in the garden

The cross over the entrance to the small chapel

The Burning Bush in Spring

The Burning Bush puts out new growth every springtime.

Holy Pascha 2020

Καὶ ἐξελθοῦσαι ταχὺ ἔφυγον ἀπὸ τοῦ μνημείου εἶχεν δὲ αὐτὰς τρόμος καὶ ἔκστασις· καὶ οὐδενὶ οὐδὲν εἶπον, ἐφοβοῦντο γὰρ. ‘And they went out quickly, and fled from the sepulchre; for they trembled and were amazed: neither said they any thing to any man; for they were afraid’ (Mark 16:8). We also come to the tomb, very early in the morning, finding it empty, and hearing the words of the angel.  We feel with the myrrh-bearing women the same trembling and amazement at the Resurrection of Christ.

Ὡς ζωηφόρος, ὡς παραδείσου ὡραιότερος ὄντως καὶ παστάδος πάσης βασιλικῆς ἀναδέδεικται λαμπρότερος, Χριστέ, ὁ τάφος σου, ἡ πηγὴ τῆς ἡμῶν ἀναστάσεως.

How life-giving, how much more beautiful than paradise, and truly more resplendent than any royal palace proved Thy tomb, the source of our resurrection, O Christ.

Holy and Great Saturday

Σιγησάτω πᾶσα σὰρξ βροτεία καὶ στήτω μετὰ φόβου καὶ τρόμου καὶ μηδὲν γήϊνον ἐν ἑαυτῇ λογιζέσθω· ὁ γὰρ βασιλεὺς τῶν βασιλευόντων καὶ Κύριος τῶν κυριευόντων προσέρχεται σφαγιασθῆναι καὶ δοθῆναι εἰς βρῶσιν τοῖς πιστοῖς· προηγοῦνται δὲ τούτου οἱ χοροὶ τῶν ἀγγέλων μετὰ πάσης ἀρχῆς καὶ ἐξουσίας, τὰ πολυόμματα Χερουβίμ καὶ τὰ ἑξαπτέρυγα Σεραφίμ, τὰς ὄψεις καλύπτοντα καὶ βοῶντα τὸν ὕμνον· Ἀλληλούϊα, ἀλληλούϊα, ἀλληλούϊα.

Let all mortal flesh keep silence and stand with fear and trembling, and ponder in itself nothing earthly; for the King of kings and Lord of lords cometh forward to be sacrificed, and given for food to the faithful; there do precede him the choirs of Angels, with every Principality and Authority, the many-eyed Cherubim, and the six-winged Seraphim, covering their faces, and crying out the hymn: Alleluia. Alleluia. Alleluia.

Holy and Great Friday

Αἱ γενεαὶ πᾶσαι ὕμνον τῇ ταφῇ σου προσφέρουσι, Χριστέ μου.

All generations offer an hymn at Thy tomb, O my Christ.

The Service of the Twelve Gospels

Twelve Gospel passages are read that give the entire Passion narrative, from Christ’s words to His disciples in the Upper Room, to His Crucifixion and Entombment. The readings are interspersed with poignant and beautiful hymns.

Πορεύομαι ἑτοιμάσαι τόπον ὑμῖν. Καὶ ἐὰν πορευθῶ καὶ ἑτοιμάσω ὑμῖν τόπον, πάλιν ἔρχομαι καὶ παραλήψομαι ὑμᾶς πρὸς ἐμαυτόν· ἵνα ὅπου εἰμὶ ἐγὼ, καὶ ὑμεῖς ἦτε.

I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. (John 14:2-3)

Holy and Great Tuesday

In many places of the world, churches are closed. Behind our sixth century fortress walls, services here continue uninterrupted.

The vestments, banners, and other hangings in the church are still black, but already rays of sunlight enter at dawn.