This evening, as we come to the portal of the Great Fast, a small group of faithful met at the Chapel to discuss the article (from the Lenten Triodion), "The Meaning of the Great Fast: The True Nature of Fasting" by Mother Mary and Archbp. Kallistos.
Among the comments shared was that of being struck by the comment from the article, "A critic of fasting says to (Fr. Alexander Elchaninov), 'Our work suffers and we become irritable... I have never seen servants [in pre-revolutionary Russia] so bad tempered as during the last days of Holy Week. Clearly, fasting has a very bad effect on the nerves.' To this Father Alexander replies, 'You are quite right... If it is not accompanied by prayer and an increased spiritual life, it merely leads to a heightened state of irritability. It is natural that servants who took their fasting seriously and who were forced to work hard during Lent, while not being allowed to go to church, were angry and irritable.'"
The strickenness in this case is due to the recognition that our fast is harmed by a lack of accompanying prayer. How often do we hear grumblings at the frequency of services during the Great Fast? "It's so hard... We feel compelled to go to church, and there are six or seven services each week."
While this is true, it is these very services which are our supports, our aides in carrying us through the Fast, enabling us to endure what the Fast accomplishes in us physically so that the Lord may grant us the grace to be changed spiritually. And within these additional services, what do we find? Wednesday and even Friday Presanctified Liturgies. Soul Saturday Liturgies. We have the gift of being able to receive the very Body and Blood of our Lord three or four times each week! What a blessing this Fast is!!!
The article points to the fact that Saint John Climacus teaches us of this "joy-creating sorrow" which describes perfectly our ascetic efforts in the Great Fast. It is akin to looking forward to Holy Week. We do so with great fear and trembling, recognizing what our God is about to accomplish for us. We know that He comes to Jerusalem to submit Himself to persecution and death on the Cross. We know that we are about to be witnesses again to the Crucifixion of our God by lawless men. And yet knowing that fearful sorrow lies before us, we await it with such sweet joy of anticipation, for we know also that He rises again! And the joy of His Resurrection wipes clean the fearful sorrow of witnessing Him on the Cross.
Welcome to Saint Herman's, Hudson, Ohio
This blog is a partial compilation of the messages, texts, readings, and prayers from our small community. We pray that it will be used by our own people, to their edification. And if you happen by and are inclined to read, give the glory to God!
The blog title, "Will He Find Faith on the Earth?" is from Luke 18:8, the "Parable of the Persistent Widow." It overlays the icon of the Last Judgment, an historical event detailed in Matthew Chapter 25, for which we wait as we pray in the Nicean Creed.
We serve the Holy Orthodox cycle of services in contemporary English. Under the omophorion of His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph of the Bulgarian Patriarchal Diocese of the USA, Canada and Australia, we worship at 5107 Darrow Road in Hudson, Ohio (44236). If you are in the area, please join us for worship!
Regular services include:
Sunday Divine Liturgy 10AM (Sept 1 - May 31)
930AM (June 1 - Aug 31)
Vespers each Saturday 6PM
We pray that you might join us for as many of these services as possible! We are open, and we welcome inside the Church all visitors. See our Parish web page: