Reflections in Christ

by Fr. Alexander Schmemann

Days of Light and Joy: On the Canonization of St. Herman - August 7-10, 1970

The Orthodox Church Newspaper
August-September, 1970, pp. 5-6

How can I tell about this? How can I express in human words the light and joy experienced —as a gift, unmerited, truly by the grace of God—by the hundreds of people who travelled to far-off Alaska for the glorification of the righteous Elder Herman? My remarks are not an official…

To Preserve and Pass On: A Remembrance of Metropolitan Leonty

met leonty
Photo Credit: schmemann.org

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I arrived in America and reported to my new First Hierarch. He had been elected Metropolitan just a year before my arrival and thus his thirteen years’ service as Metropolitan took place before my eyes. But I am convinced that my first impression, correctly gave the sense of direction for the future. This was a…

Forgiveness Sunday

In the Orthodox Church, the last Sunday before Great Lent – the day on which, at Vespers, Lent is liturgically announced and inaugurated – is called Forgiveness Sunday.

On the morning of that Sunday, at the Divine Liturgy, we hear the words of Christ:  “If you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you…

Fast and Liturgy

The liturgical rules of the Orthodox Church prescribe that the Divine Liturgy is to be celebrated after Vespers on certain fast days. These days are: Thursday and Saturday of the Holy Week, the eves of Christmas and Theophany and the Feast of the Annunciation. Likewise the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts is always celebrated after Vespers. If we…

The Christian Concept of Death

“He suffered and was buried. And He rose again…” After the Cross, after the descent into death there is the Resurrection from the dead — that principal, fundamental and decisive confirmation of the Symbol of Faith, a confirmation from the very heart of Christianity. Indeed “if Christ is not risen, then your faith is in vain.” These are the…

Clergy and Laity in the Orthodox Church

An Urgent Issue

No one would deny that the clergy-laity issue in our church here in America is both an urgent and confused one. It is urgent because the progress of the church is often hindered by mistrust and conflicts, misunderstandings and frustrations. It is confused for there has been no constructive and sincere discussion, no real attempt to…

Sunday of Orthodoxy

Sunday of Orthodoxy

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Rejoicing today in the triumph of Orthodoxy on this first Sunday of Lent, we joyfully commemorate three events: one event belonging to the past; one event to the present; and one event which still belongs to the future.

Whenever we have any feast or joy in the Church, we…

Thank You, O Lord!

Final words

Fr Schmemann

Protopresbyter Alexander Schmemann, the late Dean of Saint Vladimir’s Seminary, celebrated the Divine Liturgy for the last time on Thanksgiving Day 1983.  Two weeks later, on December 13, he fell asleep in the Lord.  As is well known, Father Alexander had devoted his entire life to teaching, writing and preaching about the Eucharist—the…