Metropolitan Hilarion, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia

On Rejoicing in the Desert

From my whole heart, I wish for you all to spend these all-joyous days in good health and cheerful disposition, perceiving the victorious power of God and the illumination of the Light of His Resurrection on the Third Day, so that in the future, when it seems to us that “Hades doth reign,” we might remember that its reign over us is “not forever,” as we read in the canon of Great Saturday, and that we might find in that the strength to overcome any trials in this life!
The three Magi on horseback approaching the cave of Christ's nativity

Keeping Watch by Night: Services of the Nativity Fast

By comparison to Great Lent, the Nativity fast may leave us feeling liturgically unmoored. But if we delve into the services of this season, we will find a great wealth of liturgical texts and commemorations that are beautifully and intrinsically tied to the coming birth of our Saviour.