Tuesday, May 3, 2022

The Angel Exclaimed / Shine in Splendor - New Video on YouTube

Christ is Risen!

We'd like to share with you the fruit of many recent choir practices. We are really enjoying singing this beautiful choral composition of The Angel Exclaimed and Shine in Splendor which Mother Cecilia introduced us to this year. It came from her home parish, St. Joseph in Brecksville, and after many hours at the piano, she was able to transpose it from four parts into two, within our vocal range. It was quite the project, but we're so glad she was able to persevere with us who have no vocal training and who had never heard this version of the hymn before. 

We hope you enjoy listening to it, and that you would be able to persevere in Paschal joy! 

Christ is Risen!

Some more information:

  • This hymn in sung during Resurrection Matins and Paschal Divine Liturgies in place of "It is Truly Proper."
  • We don't know who the composer is. (If you do, please let us know!)
  • It was adapted into English by Michael Karaffa, former choir director of St. Joseph Byzantine Catholic Church in Brecksville, Ohio. 

Thursday, April 28, 2022

Spring Work Day, 2022

Hello friends, 

You're invited to join us for a day of work projects (mostly outdoor), prayer, food and fun at the monastery and the Shrine of Our Lady of Mariapoch on Saturday, May 28th. Volunteers of all ages and abilities are welcome! 

The day begins at 10 a.m., includes lunch, and closes with vespers at 5 p.m. followed by a cookout.

Come whenever available, and bring a side dish to share if you can. 

The monastery is located at 17485 Mumford Rd. Burton, Ohio. 

Please RSVP here by Thursday, May 26th, so that the appropriate amount of food can be prepared. 

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Photos from Holy Week and Pascha 2022

Christ is Risen! 

We'd like to share a little glimpse into what our Great and Holy Week and Pascha looked like this year. The full photo album can be viewed here, and a little taste of it is below. It started out with sunshine, crocuses and daffodils and ended with a light dusting of snow on Pascha. 

It was so wonderful to pray with all of the guests we had during the week. We are so glad to get to share our prayer with all of you, and we are especially grateful to all of the priests who celebrated the services and liturgies for us throughout the week. 

Palm and Flowery Sunday Procession

Great and Holy Friday, Procession during Entombment Vespers

Resurrection Matins Procession ending at the chapel door

Monday, April 18, 2022

Christ is Risen! & "The Linen Cloth" -- a poem by Mother Cecilia

Christ is Risen!

Indeed He is Risen!

We couldn't share so many poems during the Fast and Great and Holy Week without sharing one for Pascha. Enjoy!

The Linen Cloth

April 13, 2020

Bright Monday

Clean linen cloth,

Joseph purchased you

to wrap this precious body.

You were the last one

to touch Him at the end.

You held Him close, or rather

He pressed into you

as He rested on the Sabbath.

Cold stone, cold body

and silence, darkness.

Linen shroud,

unlike the cloth of Lazarus,

no one needed to unwind you

from around His tender body.

He sprung from within you,

leaving you whole.

Now you are resting in the tomb,

imprinted with His image,

and when the disciples see you,

they will believe.

Why must I be humiliated

again every day?

He tells me that I am the linen cloth,

and I am to be a witness

to His Resurrection.

Friday, April 15, 2022

"A New Tomb" -- a poem by Mother Gabriella

A New Tomb 


I sit and wait.

Will I ever be filled, used

to hold a body, for which I have been cut?

I was a stone,

A rock, placed in a garden

chiseled and carved

emptied to be filled.

Behold! One comes

to be placed in me and fill my ache

to hold a body, for which I was cut.

He is placed with care.

At last! I am filled.

My purpose is complete!

Lain upon my inmost parts

is a body for me to hold.

But what is this?

This Body is not like others

which are placed in tombs

without Life.

It vibrates,

with something I do not know.

An unquenchable Flame,

an Eternal Light.

This Body is here

and yet not. 

How can one dead

not be where He is?

I do not feel the weight

of death in this Body.

He is here,

yet elsewhere.

How strange

is this mystery

that I hold within me

sealed inside.

I feel the weight

of desire from without.

They press in

wanting to know He is here.

The guards

to preserve their lives.

These women

to lose their lives, instead of Him.


shall I tell them?

He is here,

yet He is not.

At the moment

when I am finally filled

with a body for which I have been cut,

how can I give Him up?

Is He not mine

to hold?

Is this not

my purpose?

It seems

I have become a Door

that opens 

to a deeper place.

If I do not let Him go

as it seems I must,

how will He finish

the work He must need to do?

The weight

of expectation presses in.

But His presence

asks a gentle question.

Will you

allow Me to give you

a new purpose than to hold a body 

for which you were cut?

If I consent

then He will surely leave,

but if I do not,

what would I violate?

It seems

I must trust this One,

this Body that I hold

for which I was cut.

To give new purpose

to this rock,

this tomb,

this soon-to-be empty place again.

I consent.

He fills me

not with His Body of death

but with His marvelous Light,

a light weight I can hardly bear.

Burst forth, O door!

Break free, O stone!

For you cannot

hold back love!

This New Door must open

to announce

her purpose

to the world.

What once laid in this tomb

a body, for which it was cut,

breathes Life in her

and makes her a Door for all.

Thursday, April 14, 2022

St. Dismas -- a poem by Mother Petra

Today, we have another poem to share with you. St. Dismas is the "good thief", crucified next to Christ. May we emulate his repentance and faith today as we remember Christ's death on the Cross. 

St. Dismas

How could you believe

in the word of One dying?

How could you trust

in the power of One defeated?

How could you hope

in a coming kingdom

as you hung naked

beside its conquered King?

What kind of King is this,

falsely condemned,

forgiving His killers

(even in suffering,

heeding such a sinner),

naked before the mocking crowd,

the tears of these women

His only possession?

Hearing His final cries

you saw Him give up His spirit.

When the soldiers came

to crush your legs,

did you doubt

the promise He had given you?

Behold, today

you will be with Me in paradise.

Three hours longer you suffered.

Did the trembling earth

and splitting rocks,

the darkened sun

confirm His reign?

Were you comforted

by His Mother

standing beneath your cross?

Monday, April 11, 2022

"After the Anointing," a poem by Mother Petra

In honor of Bridegroom Matins which we pray this week on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, and our journey toward the Paschal Mystery, we'd like to share this poem by Mother Petra.

After the Anointing

I kept my jar of nard until

the time for love had come.

Then I broke the alabaster

and poured my treasure over You.

The fragrance filled the house.

But having once given all,

I have nothing left to offer You:

My hands are empty,

save for these broken shards.

Yet You see in my emptiness

the poverty of love.