The Fast of the Virgin Mary – Day 5

The Fast of the Virgin Mary – Day 5

If we return to the Proto-evangelium of St James, we will remember that the Virgin St Mary had been left in the Temple by her parents, Joachim and Anna when she was three years old, and she had entered the Temple with joy and gladness. We now read of her time there, described in the […]

The Fast of the Virgin Mary – Day 4

The Fast of the Virgin Mary – Day 4

In this post on the fourth day of the Fast of the Virgin I would like to turn away from the Proto-Evangelium of St James for a moment, though we will return to it in due course, Today I would like to reflect on one of the many hymns written by St Severus which speak […]

The Fast of the Virgin Mary – Day 3

The Fast of the Virgin Mary – Day 3

On this third day of the Fast of the Virgin we read in the Proto-Evangelium of St James, a very early Christian writing… And when the child was three years old, and Joachim said: Invite the daughters of the Hebrews that are undefiled, and let them take each a lamp, and let them stand with […]

The Fast of the Virgin Mary – Day 2

The Fast of the Virgin Mary – Day 2

On this second day of the Fast of the Virgin we can turn again with value to the Proto-evangelium of St James. It teaches us that Righteous Anna, the mother of St Mary, had dedicated any child which God might give her to the Lord. From the beginning this holy couple had in mind the […]

The Fast of the Virgin Mary – Day 1

The Fast of the Virgin Mary – Day 1

The early Christian writing, the Proto-Evangelium of St James tells us that the parents of St Mary, the Righteous Joachim and Anna, were grieved in their hearts because they had no child and were in their old age. It is said of Joachim… He retired to the desert, and there pitched his tent, and fasted […]

Orthodox Women – Receiving Communion VI

Orthodox Women – Receiving Communion VI

In this 6th post considering the issue of Orthodox women receiving communion I would like to reflect on the teaching of Scripture and the Fathers about ritual purity. Sometimes other words are used, such as physical preparedness, to exclude women, and men in some situations, from receiving communion at certain times. This is different from […]

Orthodox Women – Receiving Communion V

Orthodox Women – Receiving Communion V

In this 5th post about the issue of Orthodox women receiving communion during their monthly period we will turn to other Patristic sources which directly address the question. The fact that in both the third and fourth centuries in Alexandria there were those who were asking whether it was permissible for a woman to receive […]

Orthodox Women – Receiving Communion IV

Orthodox Women – Receiving Communion IV

In this fourth post considering the issue of Orthodox women receiving communion during their monthly period we will begin to draw on other Patristic material to widen the scope of this study. Consideration of the instructions of Dionysius and Timothy of Alexandria on this matter have shown us: There appears to be a cultural basis […]

Orthodox Women – Receiving Communion III

Orthodox Women – Receiving Communion III

This is the third in a series of posts dealing with the issue of Orthodox women receiving communion during the time of their monthly period. We have just read the two canons which are used to provide authority for the prohibition of such participation on the basis of some form of ritual impurity which is […]

Orthodox Women – Receiving Communion II

Orthodox Women – Receiving Communion II

This is the second part of a series of blog posts on this issue of women and the reception of communion during their monthly period. I have spoken about my conviction that discipleship demands that questions be asked, and that it is necessary for those with pastoral responsibility to answer these questions honestly, sensitively and […]

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