Thursday, April 23, 2009

ქრისტე აღსდგა! - ჭეშმარიტად აღსდგა! Christ is Risen! - Truly, He is Risen!

We had a very lovely Easter this year.We went to Alaverdi Monastery in Kakheti region attended Easter Mass all through the night, in Saint Georges Great Cathedral.

Children hold candles as they attend Easter (Pascha) liturgy in Alaverdi.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Palm Sunday

Palm Sunday is a Sunday before Easter.

Palermo, Italy.

It commemorates the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem in the days before his Passion, during which his supporters greeted him as the coming Messiah.

The Gospel of John specifies that the crowd waved palm branches in greeting, declaring: "They took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, shouting, ‘Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord—the King of Israel!.’" (John: 12:12)

The holiday is celebrated with processions in which Christians carry palm leaves or branches and hear sermons concerning Jesus' entry into Jerusalem.

"Passion Sunday" and similar terms are also used to designate the day.

The difficulty of procuring palms for that day's ceremonies in unfavorable climates has led to the substitution of boughs of yew, willow, or other native trees in some areas.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

The Lazarus Saturday

The Raising of Lazarus,The Christian Catacombs of Rome.

Today Georgian Orthodox Church marks Lazarus Saturday .Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia, His Holiness and Beatitude Ilia II has conducted a festive prayer regarding the holiday at the Holy Trinity Cathedral early this morning.

The Raising of Lazarus by Duccio di Buoninsegna, 1308.

According to the New Testament, Jesus resurrected Lazarus, who had already been dead in the tomb for four days. It was the Lord’s last miracle ahead of his crucifixion.

mosaic from Ravenna, 500's AD.

The Georgian Patriarchate reported that this day had a particular importance for Georgians.

Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia, His Holiness and Beatitude Ilia II.
Photo from here.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

The Bosom of Abraham

Expulsion From Paradise.

After the first sin, Adam and Eve where expelled from the Paradise and gate of Eden was closed, where God placed “The Cherubim and a sword flaming and guarding the way to the tree of life”. With all sorrows together, in this world came the death. Death came on man by reason of sin.Since then, the mankind dreamed to be happy and free from all sorrows that it has in this life.
Hades was the place where all the dead went before the resurrection of Christ. The wicked went to a place of torment (Luke 16:22-23). The righteous went to compartment in Hades, called "Abraham's Bosom" (Luke 16:22), where they were conscious and were "comforted" (Luke 16:25).
"Abraham's Bosom" talked about as a compartment of Hades that is, the happy side of Hades where the righteous went upon death, it is the place of the righteous after death.
After the ascension of Jesus - Abraham's Bosom was “emptied” and all the Old Testament saints were led into heaven. Heaven is now the new location of "Abraham's Bosom",(2 Cor 12:2,4; Rev 2:7). Paradise was (and still is) the third heaven - the place where God's throne room is located - just as 2 Cor 12:2,4 and Rev 2:7 teach.

All Righteous and Lazarus in Abraham's Bosom.

After the taking of the righteous to heaven there is only one area of Hades left, the place of torment. The unrighteous dead await final judgment in Hades, when Hades will be cast into the "lake of fire" (Rev 20:14), or "hell."