The Feast Day of the Holy Transfiguration (Metamorphosis) of Christ

The Transfiguration (Metamorphosis) of Christ on Mt. Tabor took place a little before His Passion, forty days before the Passion and Crucifixion, to be exact. Moreover, the purpose of the Transfiguration was to confirm the Disciples in the faith that this was the Son of God, so that they would not be weakened by the things that they would see in those days. This truth is seen in the troparia (hymns) of the Church. In one we sing: "Before Thy precious Cross and Thy Passion, taking with Thee those among Thy holy disciples that Thou hadst specially chosen, Thou hast gone up, O Master, into Mount Tabor". And in the Kontakion Hymn of the feast it says: "...that when they saw Thee crucified, they might know that Thy suffering was voluntary, and might proclaim unto the world that Thou art truly the Brightness of the Father".

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The Dormition of the Most-Holy Mother of God According to the Orthodox Church

The Feast of the Dormition of the Theotokos is one of the oldest Marian feasts in the Church. The roots of the feast go back to Jerusalem where the holy Apostles and the Christians of Jerusalem honored and kept the memory of the falling asleep (death) of the Theotokos. Consequently, quickly, her empty tomb, in Gethsemane, become a destination for pilgrims from Jerusalem and the surrounding neighborhoods.

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Great and Small Supplication (Paraklesis) Services to the Theotokos

There are two forms of the Paraklesis (Supplication) Canon to the Theotokos (Mother of God), The Small Paraklesis which was composed by Theosteriktos the Monk in the 9th century (or some say Theophanes), and The Great Paraklesis. During the majority of the year, only the Small Paraklesis to the Theotokos is chanted. However, during the Dormition Fast (Koimisis Nesteia) (August 1-14), the Typikon prescribes that the Small and Great Paraklesis (Supplication) be chanted on alternate evenings, according to the following regulations:

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The Feast Day of Saint Paraskevi the Virgin Martyr

The holy and glorious Virgin-Martyr Paraskevi (also Paraskeva) was arrested during the reign of the Roman Emperor Antoninus Pius (138-161 A.D.) under the penalty of refusing to worship idols and adhering to the state pagan religion. After enduring many tortures, she was eventually released by the emperor, continuing to profess Christ. She was eventually tortured and beheaded by the Roman governor Tarasius in the year 180 A.D. The Church commemorates her on July 26th.

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On the Holy Mother of God

When the soul abides in the love of God--how good and gracious and festive all things are! But even with God's love, sorrows continue and the greater the love, the greater the sorrow. Never by a single thought did the Mother of God sin, nor did she ever lose grace, yet vast were her sorrows; when she stood at the foot of the Cross her grief was as boundless as the ocean and her soul knew torment incomparably worse than Adam's when he was driven from Paradise, in that the measure of here love was beyond compare greater than the love which Adam felt when he was in Paradise. That she remained alive was only because the Lord's might sustained her, for it was His desire that she should behold His Resurrection, and live on after His Ascension to be the comfort and joy of the Apostles and the new Christian people.

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The Mystery (Sacrament) of Repentance/Confession According to the Orthodox Church (Part II)

Self-Examination Based on the Ten Commandments

First Commandment

Have I believed in God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit? Have I failed to trust in God and His mercy? Have I complained against God in adversity? Have I been thankful for God's blessings? Have I doubted the Christian faith and the teachings of the Church? Have I tried to serve God and keep His Commandments? Have I given way to superstition? Have I frequented the religious meetings of heretics and schismatics? Have I neglected my duties to God through fear of ridicule or persecution? Have I failed to pray to God faithfully? Have I put myself before God?

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