Homily on Thanksgiving

In anticipation of national Thanksgiving Day in the US, and the homilies which must be written and preached this coming Sunday, we offer wisdom from St. Basil, aptly called ‘The Great.’  by St. Basil the Great 1. You have heard the words of the Apostle, in which he addresses the Thessalonians, prescribing rules of conduct […]

Perhaps, That is Because You Have Never Spoken to a Bishop Before

The emperor Valens, mercilessly sending into exile any bishop who displeased him, and having implanted Arianism into other Asia Minor provinces, suddenly appeared in Cappadocia for this same purpose. He sent the prefect Modestus to St Basil. He began to threaten the saint with the confiscation of his property, banishment, beatings, and even death. St […]

Can the Dead Repent?

by Fr. John Whiteford Question: “If someone dies without repentance, is it possible for such a person to repent after death?” Scripture, as explained by the Fathers of the Church, states that this is not possible. Psalm 6:5 says: “For in death there is none that is mindful of Thee, and in hades who will […]

Fifty Days of Sundays

by Fr. Patrick Henry Reardon When, at the Council of Nicaea, the Church formally determined that Pascha should always be observed on a Sunday, that determination necesarily affected the final day of Pentecost. Thus, beginning and ending on a Sunday, the whole fifty days of Pentecost began to take on some of characteristics associated with […]

On Baptisms

by St. Basil the Great From a letter of St Basil to his friend Amphilochius, Bishop of Iconium, about how to receive into communion with the Church converts who have received a form of baptism outside the Chruch. As to your enquiry about the Cathari, a statement has already been made, and you have properly […]

The Church Fathers On Church Music

by Christopher B. Warner Far from being distant and “out of touch,” the words of the Fathers are quite down-to-earth and often humorous. St. Basil the Great, for example, wrote that sacred music must both appeal to the people and trick them into worshipping God: For when the Holy Spirit saw that mankind was ill-inclined […]

On Fasting, Ascesis And Discipline

by St. Basil the Great Physical ascesis is determined by each person according to his physical strength. I think it is proper to take care not to undermine the body’s strength by excessive abstinence and thus render it useless and ineffective for profitable activity. The body should be active and by no means disabled by […]

Looking East During Prayer & Worship

We all look towards the East when we pray, but few of us know that we are seeking our own old country, Paradise, which God planted in Eden in the East. We pray standing, on the first day of the week, but we do not all know the reason. On the day of the resurrection […]