When the stone had been sealed by the Jews,
While the soldiers were guarding Thy most pure Body,
Thou didst rise on the third day, O Savior,
Granting life to the world.
The powers of heaven therefore cried to Thee, O Giver of Life:
Glory to Thy Resurrection, O Christ!
Glory to Thy kingdom!
Glory to Thy dispensation, O Thou who lovest mankind!
-Troparion of the Resurrection. Tone 1.
A personal welcome…
Welcome to Holy Resurrection Orthodox Church, Tacoma Washington. We pray that your visit will be a source of blessing for you. Though our manner of Christian worship is centuries old, most Americans find it a bit different at first -- but watch and listen, and the timeless beauty of heavenly, eternal worship will begin to reveal itself to you. Please, when you visit, don't worry about "doing the right thing;" we count it a sin to judge others while we pray (Luke 18:10-14). As you will see, we do like to stand in the presence of God, but if you need to sit, please do so! While the worship of the Holy Trinity is the very heart and foundation of our community and faith, we also find encouragement in fellowship with one another through our various parish activities. You will find that we simply enjoy being with each other!
We are one of the oldest Orthodox Christian communities in the United States, and the first to use English exclusively in Washington. Having outgrown historic Holy Trinity church in Wilkeson, we have moved into our new home southeast of Tacoma city limits. Here, amidst ten beautiful acres of field and forest, we have built and have had to enlarge preliminary buildings as we grow and welcome more people to our faith. There is no hiding the fact that we are very excited to be a part of one of the fastest-growing faiths in North America, while at the same time a part of the oldest Christian Church in the world. Most of us were new visitors once, and most of us are converts to Orthodox Christianity!
Whether you spend a morning, an evening or a lifetime, you will at least have come away with the experience of how, for centuries, countless millions of Christians have worshiped the Most Holy Trinity throughout Eastern Europe and the lands around the eastern Mediterranean. It is a way shaped by the churches of Jerusalem, Antioch and Constantinople, a way inspired by Kiev and Moscow: now it is our turn in Pierce County, Washington, and we would be blessed to have you be a part of it!
God bless you!
The Clergy and Faithful of Holy Resurrection Orthodox Church
The week of Zacchaeus: Embracing pre-lent by being pro-lent!
In his now-classic book Great Lent, Father Alexander Schmemann provides the following insight: “Because of the deep psychological insight by the Church into human nature. Knowing our lack of concentration and the frightening ‘worldliness’ of our life, the Church knows our inability to change rapidly, to go abruptly from one spiritual or mental state into another. Thus, long before the actual effort of Lent is to begin, the Church calls our attention to its seriousness and invites us to meditate on its significance. Before we can practice Lent we are given its meaning. This preparation includes five consecutive Sundays preceding Lent.
In other words, if one is to find meaning in this period of pre-lent, one must be pro-lent! We need to look forward to Great Lent, not as a burden to be endured; but as a season of renewal to be embraced – eagerly and decisively. Perhaps, then, we can extend the designation of the “Sunday of Zacchaeus” and now say that we are in the midst of the “Week of Zacchaeus.” .....(read more)
Today the Church commemorates an important event in the earthly life of our Lord Jesus Christ (Luke 2:22-40). Forty days after His birth the God-Infant was taken to the Jerusalem Temple, the center of the nation’s religious life. According to the Law of Moses (Lev. 12:2-8), a woman who gave birth to a male child was forbidden to enter the Temple of God for forty days. At the end of this time the mother came to the Temple with the child, to offer a young lamb or pigeon to the Lord as a purification sacrifice. The Most Holy Virgin, the Mother of God, had no need of purification, since she had given birth to the Source of purity and sanctity without defilement. However, she humbly fulfilled the requirements of the Law.
At this time the righteous Elder Simeon (February 3) was living in Jerusalem. It had been revealed to him that he would not die until he should behold the promised Messiah. By inspiration from above, St Simeon went to the Temple at the very moment when the Most Holy Theotokos and St Joseph had brought the Infant Jesus to fulfill the Law.
The God-Receiver Simeon took the divine Child in his arms, and giving thanks to God, he spoke the words repeated by the Church each evening at Vespers: “Lord, now lettest Thou Thy servant depart in peace, according to Thy word, for mine eyes have seen Thy salvation, which Thou hast prepared before the face of all people, a light to enlighten the Gentiles, and the glory of Thy people Israel” (Luke 2:29-32). St Simeon said to the Most Holy Virgin: “Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel, and for a sign which shall be spoken against. Yea, a sword shall pierce through your own soul also, that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed” (Luke 2:34-35).
At the Temple was the 84-year-old widow Anna the Prophetess, daughter of Phanuel (February 3), “who did not leave the temple, but served God with fasting and prayers night and day. She arrived just when St Simeon met the divine Child. She also gave thanks to the Lord and spoke of Him to all those who were looking for redemption in Jerusalem” (Luke 2:37-38). In the icon of the Feast she holds a scroll which reads: “This Child has established Heaven and earth.”
Before Christ was born, righteous men and women lived by faith in the promised Messiah, and awaited His coming. The Righteous Simeon and the Prophetess Anna, the last righteous people of the Old Testament, were deemed worthy to meet the Savior in the Temple.
The Feast of the Meeting of the Lord is among the most ancient feasts of the Christian Church. We have sermons on the Feast by the holy bishops Methodius of Patara (+ 312), Cyril of Jerusalem (+ 360), Gregory the Theologian (+ 389), Amphilocius of Iconium (+ 394), Gregory of Nyssa (+ 400), and John Chrysostom (+ 407). Despite its early origin, this Feast was not celebrated so splendidly until the sixth century.
In 528, during the reign of Justinian, an earthquake killed many people in Antioch. Other misfortunes followed this one. In 541 a terrible plague broke out in Constantinople, carrying off several thousand people each day. During this time of widespread suffering, a solemn prayer service (Litia) for deliverence from evils was celebrated on the Feast of the Meeting of the Lord, and the plague ceased. In thanksgiving to God, the Church established a more solemn celebration of this Feast.
Church hymnographers have adorned this Feast with their hymns: St Andrew of Crete in the seventh century; St Cosmas Bishop of Maium, St John of Damascus, and St Germanus Patriarch of Constantinople in the eighth century; and St Joseph, Archbishop of Thessalonica in the ninth century.
On this day we also commemorate the icon of the Most Holy Theotokos known as “the Softening of Evil Hearts” or “Simeon’s Prophecy.” The Mother of God is depicted without Her Child, with seven swords piercing her breast: three from the left side, three from the right, and one from below.
A similar icon, “Of the Seven Swords” (August 13) shows three swords on the left side and four from the right.
The icon “Simeon’s Prophecy” symbolizes the fulfillment of the prophecy of the righteous Elder Simeon: “a sword shall pierce through your own soul” (Luke 2:35). (read more)
12 Things I Wish I’d Known… by Kh. Frederica Mathewes-Green
Orthodox worship is different! Some of these differences are apparent, if perplexing, from the first moment you walk in a church. Others become noticeable only over time. Here is some information that may help you feel more at home in Orthodox worship—twelve things I wish I’d known before my first visit to an Orthodox church.
1. What’s all this commotion?
During the early part of the service the church may seem to be in a hubbub, with people walking up to the front of the church, praying in front of the iconostasis (the standing icons in front of the altar), kissing things and lighting candles, even though the service is already going on. In fact, when you came in the service was already going on, although the sign outside clearly said “Divine Liturgy, 9:30.” You felt embarrassed to apparently be late, but these people are even later, and they’re walking all around inside the church. What’s going on here? (read more)
Foundations of the Orthodox Faith - Fr. Andrew Stephen Damick
What does it mean to be an Orthodox Christian? In this helpful series, Foundations of the Orthodox Faith, from the Roads From Emmaus podcast, Fr. Andrew Damick takes us through the basic yet profound truths of our Faith. Fr. Andrew Stephen Damick is one of the many podcasters that provide high quality 24-hour internet-based Orthodox radio in addition to music, teaching, interviews, features, convert testimonies, conference recordings, and so much more at Ancient Faith Radio.