Thursday, February 18, 2021

Livestream schedule: 2nd & 3rd weeks of the Great Fast

Below is our livestream schedule for the second and third weeks of the Great Fast. If your parish offers any of these services, we encourage you to pray with your parish community in person, if possible. To pray with us, visit our Facebook page and click on the currently streaming video (you do not need to have a Facebook account to watch). In the schedule below, the links to the texts are given for the services that are available online.

Sunday, February 21 (First Sunday of the Great Fast)

6:30 a.m.     The Jesus Prayer in Silence

6:45 a.m.     Matins (Propers)

Tuesday, February 23 

6:15 a.m.     The Jesus Prayer in Silence

6:30 a.m.     Matins

Wednesday, February 24

8:00 p.m.     Great Compline

Thursday, February 25 

6:15 a.m.     The Jesus Prayer in Silence

6:30 a.m.     Matins

Saturday, February 27 

4:45 p.m.     The Jesus Prayer in Silence

5:00 p.m.     Great Vespers for the Second Sunday of the Great Fast (Propers)

Sunday, February 28 (Second Sunday of the Great Fast)

6:30 a.m.     The Jesus Prayer in Silence

6:45 a.m.     Matins (Propers)

Tuesday, March 2 

6:15 a.m.     The Jesus Prayer in Silence

6:30 a.m.     Matins 

Wednesday, March 3

8:00 p.m.     Great Compline

Thursday, March 4 

6:15 a.m.     The Jesus Prayer in Silence

6:30 a.m.     Matins 

Saturday, March 6 

4:45 p.m.     The Jesus Prayer in Silence

5:00 p.m.     Great Vespers for the First Sunday of the Great Fast (Propers)

Sunday, March 7 (Third Sunday of the Great Fast)

6:30 a.m.     The Jesus Prayer in Silence

6:45 a.m.     Matins (Propers)

Friday, February 12, 2021

Livestream schedule: First week of the Great Fast

We will be livestreaming some of our services again this Great Fast! Below is our schedule for the first week of the Fast. If your parish offers any of these services, we encourage you to pray with your parish community in person, if possible. To pray with us, visit our Facebook page and click on the currently streaming video (you do not need to have a Facebook account to watch). In the schedule below, the links to the texts are given for the services that are available online. We will post a more detailed schedule for the rest of February later in the week. May God bless the beginning of your Great Fast, and we hope to pray with you this coming week!

Sunday, February 14 (Cheesefare Sunday / Forgiveness Sunday)

6:30 a.m.     The Jesus Prayer in Silence

6:45 a.m.     Matins (Propers)

Monday, February 15 (First Day of the Great Fast)

8:00 p.m.     1/4 of the Great Canon of St. Andrew of Crete (It's tradition to pray the Great Canon in four parts on the evening of the first four days of the Great Fast, then all at once on the Thursday of the 5th week of the Fast) (begin on p. "3")

Tuesday, February 16 

8:00 p.m.     1/4 of the Great Canon of St. Andrew of Crete (begin on p. "3")

Wednesday, February 17 

8:00 p.m.     1/4 of the Great Canon of St. Andrew of Crete (begin on p. "3")

Thursday, February 18 

8:00 p.m.     1/4 of the Great Canon of St. Andrew of Crete (begin on p. "3")

Saturday, February 20 

4:45 p.m.     The Jesus Prayer in Silence

5:00 p.m.     Great Vespers for the First Sunday of the Great Fast (Propers)

Monday, January 18, 2021

Winter Newsletter: "Weakness: a Path to Holiness"

In this issue of Pomegranate Blossoms, we focus on the theme of weakness. Mother Cecilia writes about the problem with hagiography (idealizing biographies of saints), we reflect on several saints with obvious weaknesses--and what they can teach us, we recommend a few books related to the topic, and more! We hope that this issue helps you to grow in your relationship with God.

Monday, January 4, 2021

Livestream Schedule for the Feast of Theophany

Below is our schedule of livestreamed services for the Feast of the Theophany of Our Lord (the Baptism in the Jordan River). This is one of the greatest feasts in the Byzantine Church. If your parish offers any of these services, we encourage you to pray with your parish community in person, if possible. To pray with us, visit our Facebook page and click on the currently streaming video (you do not need to have a Facebook account to watch). In the schedule below, the links to the texts are given for the services that are available online. Have a blessed feast!

Tuesday, January 5--Eve of Theophany

6:30-8:00 a.m.           Matins 

9:30-10:30 a.m.         1st & 3rd Royal Hours (music supplement)

Noon-1:00 p.m.          6th & 9th Royal Hours  (music supplement)            

8:30-9:30 p.m.           Great Compline with Litija (propers)

 Wednesday, January 6--Feast of Theophany

7:00-8:30 a.m.            Matins (propers)

Saturday, January 2, 2021

New teen & young adult online sessions

We are excited to share with you a new online program for teens and young adults, by the Eparchy of Parma Youth Committee. The hosts of the first meeting are friends of ours; David (in the photo on the left) is the filmmaker of several of our videos, and all three guys have beautiful, prayerful, energetic hearts. Please share this new opportunity with the Byzantine Catholic young people that you know! (Or those who are not Byzantine Catholic but may be interested anyway.)

The Eparchy of Parma Youth Committee invites all teens and young adults to our online Youth Sessions titled "I WILL COME TO YOU". Give us 45 minutes of your time and share with us how you live out the faith in your community. We will see each other for the first time on January 9, 2021. Our seminarian candidates who are studying at the International Theological Institute will tell you how the vibrant community and strong Byzantine presence that they are experiencing are strengthening their spiritual life. More information can be found at parma.org.


Thursday, December 24, 2020

Christ is Born! Glorify Him!

 
"When the Creator saw the one whom He had created with his own hands perishing, He lowered the heavens and came down; He took upon himself human nature from the most holy and pure Virgin, truly becoming flesh; for this reason, we glorify Him" (Matins for the Feast of the Nativity, Canon, Ode 1).

Have a blessed feast of the Nativity of Our Lord!

With love,

The nuns of Christ the Bridegroom Monastery

Friday, December 18, 2020

The Way to the Father's House

The Apostle & Evangelist Matthew
A reflection and poem by Sr. Petra for the Sunday before Christmas:

This Sunday of the Ancestors of the Lord is given us to remind us that God deigns--nay, delights--to work through His creatures: so much so, that He chose to become a Man, complete with a lineage of flawed human forebearers. We should pay particular attention to the genealogy St. Matthew presents to us: it includes people with far-from-pristine pasts, stories riddled with suffering and sin. Tamar, wronged by her father-in-law Judah, connived to ensnare him in incest. Rahab (the mother of Boaz) was a harlot before she hid the Israelite spies who came to her city. Ruth was a Moabitess, a foreigner from an idolatrous people, yet she was the grandmother of Jesse and the great-grandmother of King David. Solomon, of course, was a fruit of the relationship between David and Bathsheba, which began in adultery and murder. In fact, some of these ancestors were so wicked that their names were blotted out of the Hebrew genealogies. Thus, Joram was not actually the father of Uzziah as Matthew writes in verse 8, but his great, great grandfather. Because Joram had married one of the idolatrous daughters of Jezebel, his family was under a curse! But the reality is that God chose to come from just such as these--and He still chooses to enter the world through our feeble humanity. Undaunted and undeterred by our sins and failures, He mercifully gathers them into His loving hands and works our good, and the salvation of the world. My spiritual father told me recently, "God loves, loves, LOVES to work through secondary causes. He would rather work through you than alone." This is the wonder of the Incarnation. This is the startling truth of our Faith: Despites our falls and failings, The Trinity works through us to open the way to the Father's House.


Tamar: Felix Culpa (Genesis 38)

[Felix Culpa means "Happy (or blessed) Fault"]


Wedded to one wicked

who was slain by the Lord,

given to his brother

who denied what was yours,

you returned a widow

to your father’s house.


You waited for the third

son of Judah to come

fulfill your desire

by giving you a son.

But the years stole your hope

in your father’s house.


Since you were forsaken

by your father-in-law,

you laid aside mourning,

his lustful seed to draw.

Draped in a harlot’s veil,

you left your father’s house.


By the road at Enaim

you sat and you waited.

He paid to come to you,

his urge to be sated.

By deceit you became

your father-in-law’s house.


After three months had passed,

it was told:  Judah learned

that you were with child.

He judged, “Let her be burned.”

Pregnant, you were led out

of your father’s house.


You sent him the tokens

he’d given you as pledge

of pay for using you

as you lay on the edge

of the road to Timnah,

beyond your father’s house.


Then Judah acknowledged

his sinful deeds with shame.

The life that you carried

would indeed share his name.

At last, you bore two sons

in their father’s house.


Tamar, woman bereft,

you stretched forth grasping hands

to seize your rightful fruit

and establish your land.

Yet through you came the way

to the Father’s House.