Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Christ is Risen!


"O Women, be the heralds of good news and tell what you saw; tell of the vision and say to Zion: 'Accept the good news of joy from us, the news that Christ has risen.' Exult and celebrate and rejoice, O Jerusalem, seeing Christ the King coming from the tomb like a bridegroom." (from the Paschal Hymns)

As we continue to celebrate this 40-day Paschal season, we hope that you are rejoicing in the gift of eternal life that has been opened to us by the death and resurrection of Christ! May this hope penetrate all of your sorrows and sufferings and help you to turn your gaze to eternity, which begins even now in your relationship with God who desires to give Himself to you at every moment!

For a little taste of the joy of our celebration on the morning of Pascha (Easter), here is a short clip from Resurrection Matins.

Friday, April 2, 2021

Recording of "The Noble Joseph"

We hope you enjoy this beautiful choral piece we learned this year! This version of "The Noble Joseph," which is sung during the procession with the burial shroud during Vespers for Great & Holy Friday, is one of Mother Cecilia's favorite pieces that she remembers the choir singing at her home parish, St. Joseph in Brecksville, Ohio. We hope it draws you into prayer!

(Arranged by Fr. Michael Staurovsky when he was serving at St. Joseph church in 1966; adapted into English by Michael Karaffa, former choir director of the St. Joseph parish choir) 


Sunday, March 28, 2021

Join us for our patronal commemoration on Great & Holy Wednesday

We invite you to join us for Bridegroom Matins, our patronal commemoration, on Great & Holy Wednesday, March 31, 8:00-9:30 a.m. Eastern Time, in person at the monastery, or via live stream on our Facebook page. (We will pray the Jesus Prayer in silence for the first 15 minutes.) The readings and hymns of this service rouse the heart to conversion and vigilance for the coming of the Bridegroom and offer strength to His Bride the Church as we journey with Him in His passion. 

You are also invited to pray with us throughout the week for any of our public services.


Friday, March 26, 2021

Liturgical Schedule (including live stream) for Holy Week & Pascha

Below is our public schedule for Holy Week, Pascha and Bright Week. The services in yellow will be live streamed on our Facebook page. You do not need to have a Facebook account to view; just visit our page and click on the currently streaming video. Links to the service booklets are provided when available. May you have a blessed journey to the great feast of feasts of the Resurrection of Our Lord!

Saturday, March 27
Lazarus Saturday
8:00-9:30 a.m.           The Jesus Prayer in silence (15 min.), Matins 
4:45-6:00 p.m.           The Jesus Prayer in silence (15 min.), Great Vespers for Palm Sunday (click "Palm Sunday" for propers)

Sunday, March 28
Palm Sunday
6:30-8:30 a.m.           The Jesus Prayer in silence (15 min.), Matins (link for propers)
10:00-11:15 a.m.        Divine Liturgy
5:15-6:15 p.m.           The Jesus Prayer in silence (15 min.), Vespers
8:30-9:00 p.m.           Small Compline

Monday, March 29
Great & Holy Monday
8:00-9:30 a.m.           The Jesus Prayer in silence (15 min.), Bridegroom Matins 
12:00-12:30 p.m.       1st Hour
8:00-9:00 p.m.           Great Compline

Tuesday, March 30
Great & Holy Tuesday
8:00-9:30 a.m.           The Jesus Prayer in silence (15 min.), Bridegroom Matins 
12:00-12:30 p.m.       3rd Hour
2:45-4:30 p.m.           The Jesus Prayer in silence (15 min.), Presanctified Liturgy
8:00-9:00 p.m.           Great Compline

Wednesday, March 31
Great & Holy Wednesday
8:00-9:30 a.m.           Our Patronal Commemoration: 
                                   The Jesus Prayer in silence (15 min.), Bridegroom Matins 
12:00-12:30 p.m.       6th Hour
2:45-4:30 p.m.           The Jesus Prayer in silence (15 min.), Presanctified Liturgy
8:30-9:00 p.m.           Small Compline

Thursday, April 1
Great & Holy Thursday
6:15-8:00 a.m.           The Jesus Prayer in silence (15 min.), Matins 
12:00-12:30 p.m.       9th Hour

Friday, April 2
Great & Holy Friday
7:30-10:00 a.m.         The Jesus Prayer in silence (15 min.), Matins w/ 12 Gospels 
11:30-12:30 a.m.       1st & 3rd Royal Hours 
2:00-3:00 p.m.           6th & 9th Royal Hours 
4:45-6:30 p.m.           The Jesus Prayer in silence (15 min.), Entombment Vespers    

Saturday, April 3
Great & Holy Saturday
7:30-10:00 a.m.         The Jesus Prayer in silence (15 min.), Jerusalem Matins 
3:00-5:30 p.m.           The Jesus Prayer in silence (15 min.), Vespers and Divine Liturgy of St. Basil 
9:00-9:30 p.m.           Midnight Office 

Sunday, April 4
Pascha: The Resurrection of Our Lord
9:00-11:30 a.m.         Resurrection Matins, Divine Liturgy, Basket Blessing 

Tuesday, April 6
Bright Tuesday
8:00-10:15 a.m.         The Jesus Prayer in silence (15 min.), Resurrection Matins, Divine Liturgy

Thursday, April 8
Bright Thursday
8:00-10:15 a.m.         The Jesus Prayer in silence (15 min.), Resurrection Matins

Saturday, April 10
Bright Saturday
4:45-6:00 p.m.          The Jesus Prayer in silence (15 min.), Great Vespers for Thomas Sunday (link for propers)

Monday, March 15, 2021

Live streaming the Great Canon of St. Andrew of Crete


We invite you to pray the Great Canon of St. Andrew of Crete with us this Thursday evening at 6:00-9:30 p.m. Eastern Time via our live stream on our Facebook page. You do not need to have a Facebook account to view. Simply visit our Facebook page and click on the currently streaming video. 

The Great Canon is prayed each year on the 5th Thursday of the Great Fast. The hundreds of prostrations unite our body and soul as we repent of our sins and experience God’s mercy.  As is tradition, we will also read the powerful life story of St. Mary of Egypt. This epic Lenten service is a favorite for many who have experienced it! It will help propel you into the final days of the Fast and into Great & Holy Week. 

Here is the service booklet if you would like to follow along. We will not be praying the Canon in the context of Matins but rather praying it in the evening (so that more people can pray it with us), so we will begin with some opening prayers and then with Psalm 50 on p. 6; we will also skip the other portions of Matins that come near the end of the booklet.

Saturday, March 6, 2021

The Silence of the Cross: At the anniversary of the pandemic

As we celebrate this Sunday of the Veneration of the Cross, marking the half-way point of the Great Fast, let's reflect for a moment on the silence of the Cross. Though Jesus spoke much in His public ministry, when it comes time for His passion and death, He is almost completely silent. The offering of Himself is greater than words. The mystery is veiled and reverenced by silence. 

It also happens that we come now to the one-year anniversary of the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic in the United States and a year full of many types of sad divisions. Of course, in the face of conflict, sometimes we must be courageous and speak up, but often we are invited by God to make an offering of ourselves in silent suffering. This offering is one He often asks monastics to make, but He asks you as well. One of the nuns of our monastery recently wrote this poem, and she shares it with you to encourage you in those moments when the greatest offering you can make is a gift of exterior and interior silence in the face of division.


The Power of Silence


This opinion

I hold so dear;

the stance I stake,

confident in my correctness;

that argument

which will trounce

the illogic of my opponents—

what if

I offered them all

as a holocaust

in the silent flames

on the altar of the Your Heart?

What if,

thus stripped,

I willingly joined myself

to the failure of Your Cross?

Not by words

are the powers of the earth subdued,

but by love

speechless as the Lamb.                    


Then let me not strive

to make my point

or build a case.

Let me not fight

noise with noise.

Let me be humble

in all I think I know.


The universe wordlessly

declares Your glory.

My self-satisfied assertions

add nothing.

Even true words

can drown out Your Voice:

In quietness and trust

shall be your strength.

Be still and know

that I am God.


So as the conflict

roars around me,

and Your Body is torn

by division and pride,

accept my silence

as healing oil

poured over You

like nard

from the emptied vessel

of my heart.

Thursday, March 4, 2021

Livestream Schedule: Remainder of the Great Fast

Below is our livestream schedule for the remainder of the Great Fast (the schedule for Great & Holy Week is forthcoming). 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. (All times Eastern)

Tuesday, March 9

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

6:30 a.m.     Matins 

Wednesday, March 10

8:00 p.m.     Great Compline

Thursday, March 11 

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

6:30 a.m.     Matins

Saturday, March 13 

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

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

Sunday, March 14 (Fourth Sunday of the Great Fast – St. John Climacus)

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

6:45 a.m.     Matins (Propers)

Tuesday, March 16

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

6:30 a.m.     Matins 

Wednesday, March 17

8:00 p.m.     Great Compline

Thursday, March 18

6:00-10:00 p.m.     The Great Canon of St. Andrew of Crete (begin on p. 6), including the Life of St. Mary of Egypt

Saturday, March 20

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

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

Sunday, March 21 (Fifth Sunday of the Great Fast – St. Mary of Egypt)

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

6:45 a.m.     Matins (Propers)

Tuesday, March 23

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

6:30 a.m.     Matins 

Wednesday, March 24

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

6:30 a.m.     Matins 

Thursday, March 25 (Annunciation)

7:00 a.m.     The Jesus Prayer in Silence

7:15 a.m.     Matins (Propers)

Saturday, March 27

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

5:00 p.m.     Great Vespers for the Palm Sunday (Propers)

Sunday, March 28 (Palm Sunday)

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

6:45 a.m.     Matins (Propers)

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Theology of the Body One-Day Course, March 13

Mother Gabriella will speak at a Theology of the Body one-day course on March 13, in person in Gates Mills, Ohio, and also via Zoom. Registration deadline is this Saturday, March 6!



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.