Friday, April 10, 2009

Holy Week 2009: Great and Holy Friday

"And the earth quakes in its pain, to behold its creator slain" - Kergyma, after Byzantine Rite

"In this world Christ was rejected. He was the perfect expression of life as God intended it. The fragmentary life of the world was gathered into his life; He was the heart beat of the world and the world killed him. But in that murder the world itself died. It lost its last chance to become the paradise God created it to be." Alexander Schmemann, For the Life of the World

Fr. Stephen on Good Friday, Western and Byzantine: "From Friday to Friday"

"We have struggled for too long as Christians under the yoke of moralism, in which everything of Christ’s is interpreted in moralistic terms - geared only towards our legal admission into heaven.

"This moralism is a caricature of true Christianity. Were the impacts of Christ’s victory on our existence to be forgotten - the faith would be in danger of its own death. If moralism disappears - it will doubtless be replaced by another. Moralism is simple, useful for judging others, and plays well in a world dominated by its neurotic psychological fantasies.

"To understand instead that sin is death - that it attacks us at the very point of our existence - is a different matter altogether. Humanity stands poised at the edge of an abyss - driven there by its own defiance of God - Who alone gives us life and all things. The daily events on the world stage are only a tragic opera that illustrate the inner drama of our lives. In our hearts we are the insane builders of weapons. We are the suicide bombers (a fitting image for much of our sin)."

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