Ascension of the Lord 2020

The mystery of the incarnation is not simply a historical commemoration. It is entering into the reality of God sharing our bodiliness. For in Jesus, God becomes a human being that we might share in his divinity. This is the deeper meaning of Christ’s birth — a process that is continued through his life, ministry, passion, death, resurrection and ascension. Ultimately Jesus brings the whole of creation with him when he ascends to the Father. He ‘ascends’ so that he can be universally present — indeed omnipresent — through the very matter that seemingly hides his presence.

New Skete Monastery

Moving toward Pentecost

Today, May 6, in the Byzantine Church following the Gregorian calendar, it is the feast of half-Pentecost (half of the Pascal Time). Now is the time to think about what gift of the Holy Spirit you are going to ask for (there are 7).

Let’s attend to the Gospel text of today (John 7: 14-30):

verse: 14: We were already in the middle of the week of the feast when Jesus went up to the Temple; and there he was teaching.

verse 15: The Jews were astonished and said, “How is he educated without studying?”

verse 16: Jesus answered them, ” My teaching is not from me, but from Him who sent me.

verse 17: Does anyone want to do the will of God, he will know if this teaching comes from God, or if I speak on my own initiative.”

In the midst of the feast, bless my soul thirsty from the waters of piety, / for, O Savior, You have claimed to all: / He who is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. // Source of our life, O Christ God, glory to you.

In the midst of the feast required by law, / Creator and master of all things, / You said to those who stood by you: / Come and tap the water of immortality. / Therefore we stand before you and say with faith: / Grant us your compassion, O Christ God, // For You are the source of our life.

Thomas Sunday

“The tomb being sealed (Ἐσφραγισμένου τοῦ μνήματος / Запечатану гробу), as Life, You shone forth, O Christ God; / And the doors being shut (καὶ τῶν θυρῶν κεκλεισμένων / и дверем заключенным), You came before the disciples, O Resurrection of all, / Renewing in us, through them, an upright spirit, // By the greatness of Your mercy!” (Troparion-hymn of Thomas Sunday)

One week after His resurrection, when Thomas was with the rest of the disciples, “Jesus came, the doors being shut (τῶν θυρῶν κεκλεισμένων), and stood in their midst, and said, ‘Peace to you!’” (Jn 20: 26) – Just as He did one week earlier (Jn 20: 19), despite their preceding lack of faith and fears, which had “shut the doors” not only of their house, but of their hearts and minds.

That’s how our Lord works: He “comes” to those of us who have love for Him, but lack faith in Him, “renewing” in us “an upright spirit.” So let us gather together today, even if our faith is weakened by our various fears, and let Him “renew” in us His Holy Spirit, as only He can. Lord, glory be to You!

Meditation by Sr. Vassa, 2019


Sunday of the man born blind

For if you change from inhumanity to alms giving, you have stretched forth the hand that was withered. If you withdraw from theaters and go to the church, you have cured the lame foot. If you draw back your eyes from a harlot, and a beauty not your own, you have opened them when they were blind. If instead of satanical songs, you have learned spiritual psalms, being dumb, you have spoken. These are the greatest miracles, these the wonderful signs…

– St. John Chrysostom – 4th Century


Pascha Liturgy, 2020, Julian Calendar

“Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and upon those in the tombs bestowing life.” (Paschal Troparion-hymn)

The Light Has Come!
Christ is Risen!
Christos Anesti!
Christus resurrexit!
Al-Masseh Qam!
Christos Voskrese!


“Christ is risen! Indeed, he is risen”

It has become a habit of the “wise of this world,” – those who claim to discern reality as it truly is – to say that modern man can no longer believe in miracles. Science has invalidated “miracles,” and while the Resurrection is a very nice thing, it is only a spiritual subjective experience. But today I say: ‘Says who?”

Today St. Paul says, “Where is the wise one? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made the wisdom of the world foolish? (1 Corinthians 1:20)” Even when we say that the resurrection is a spiritual subjective experience, we do this because we say that “God is the ground of all being,” as St. Paul preached to the Athenians, “‘In him we live and move and have our being. (Acts 17:28)” If so, can he not give life that defies our earthly wisdom? Indeed, Jesus said to the Sadducees who denied resurrection, “As for the dead being raised, have you not read in the Book of Moses, in the passage about the bush, how God told him, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’?

He is not God of the dead but of the living. You are greatly misled” (Mark 12:26-27). Did not St. Paul warn us, “if Christ has not been raised, then empty too is our preaching; empty, too, your faith” (1 Corinthians 15:14).

What the resurrection of Jesus has taught us is that we enter the fullness of life through the gates of death, just as he did in the cross and resurrection, for “unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit,” (John 12:24) and again, “For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and that of the gospel will save it” (Mark 8:35). The only difference is that Christ is risen, because “But God raised [Jesus] up, releasing him from the throes of death, because it was impossible for him to be held by it … nor will you suffer your holy one to see corruption” (Acts 2:24.27). Because of our sins, we must go through the corruption of death to attain life. The “wise of this world” say this is a childish belief, how can this happen, but again St. Paul writes, “What eye has not seen, and ear has not heard, and what has not entered the human heart, what God has prepared for those who love him” (1 Corinthians 2:9). Nor, my brothers and sisters, is this other-worldly escapism: the resurrection can and should transform the way we live in the world today.

Easter Sunday Liturgy 2020

On Easter Sunday, the Divine Liturgy will be live streamed at 10:00 a.m. in English and in Ukrainian.

It will be on the parish Facebook page (stmichaelnewhaven) AND it will later be posted here on this website

Live stream Paschal liturgies

In addition to, which will give you abundance of options for the Divine Liturgy around the world, in various Eastern Churches and languages. This option was previously sent to you.
You can also attend the Paschal liturgies at St Michael’s in Terryville, CT …