Father Nektarios Serfes - Orthodox Spirituality  Last Modified August 14 2002

Icon Of The Holy Angel
Icon Of The Holy Angel
The Seven-Day Commemoration In The Orthodox Church
"The Week: A Seven Day Holiday"

Written by His Eminence, Metropolitan Irenaius of Kisamou and Selinou, Crete

Translated by The Very Rev. Isaiah Chronopoulos
Presently His Eminence, Metropolitan Isaiah of Proikonisos
The Presiding Hierarch of the Greek Orthodox Diocese of Denver

Compiled By Archimandrite Nektarios Serfes
Boise, Idaho
August 14 2002

The Greek Orthodox ecclesiastical year (Indiction), begins in September, and is marked with events and holidays of our religious history. In addition to the annual cycle, the seven-day week has its own cycle of events, because each day of the week commemorates a particular Saint or an event of our religion. This gives significance to each day with a distinct identity of holiness and festivity. In the following an explanation of this weekly holiday cycle is given as a practical guide for one's spiritual edification. Bleared are they who can see, even within the turmoil of our materialistically consuming society, another positive meaning to their lives so as to live life like a prayer and a celebration.

Monday: The Day honoring the Angels.

Tuesday: The Day honoring the Forerunner, St. John the Baptist.

Wednesday: The Betrayal by Judas is remembered.

Thursday: The Day honoring the Holy Apostles.

Friday: The Day honoring the Cross

Saturday: The Day honoring those who have fallen asleep.

Sunday: The Day of the Resurrection.

Monday: The Day honoring the Angels.
The angels are "attending spirits" who serve God and His will. In the Bible we often meet them (Michael, Gabriel, etc.) as they carry messages to persons whom God calls to a particular mission related to His Providence and to our salvation. In our popular Christian tradition every person has his Guardian Angel. Everything which is beautiful and pure in this world we call "Angelic." And every care and protection given to us by others, we consider at the presence of a "Good Angel". By the same token, on the contrary, those who bring hate and darkness become infernal and diabolic. It is a beautiful thing for everyone of us to start on every Monday morning of each week like an Angel on a mission of goodwill. Each one of us should be like an angel with wings to fly over the chaotic moments of the week, like an angel who brings messages of love and salvation to his house, to his neighborhood and to the greater world around him. "Through the intercessions of the Bodiless Powers, Lord, save us."

Tuesday: The Day honoring the Forerunner, St. John the Baptist.
On this particular day our Church honors a saint who made a great contribution to Christianity. St. John the Baptist the Forerunner prepared the way for the teachings of Jesus Christ. He is a Saint whose message, "Repent", reminds all of us in our life. We must put aside our failures and frustrations and take on new hopes and the new courageous initiatives. A man of faith always becomes a forerunner and a pioneer even if a thousand misfortunes befall him. "Through the prayers, Lord, of the Forerunner, save us."

Wednesday: The Betrayal by Judas is remembered. (Fast Day).
Judas Iscariot betrayed Jesus Christ on Wednesday and for this reason this day is considered somber and sorrowful. We fast on this day and we mediate on our betrayed Lord. The two words betrayer and betrayal are resentful and abominable in any language. If on this day we find time to think of our Lord's betrayal, we ourselves could avoid our daily betrayals. We could avoid, in other words the little betrayals with which we choke off our conscience in order to be accepted by the world, and also bigger betrayals when we betray innocent, just, and good people. We would avoid betraying our faith and our conscience for worldly riches and for daily power for glory. For we all know very well that the betrayed sooner or later are resurrected and become heroes, martyrs and saints. The betrayers, however, remain marked and stained forever. "Through the Power of Your Cross, Lord, save us from every betrayal."

Thursday: The Day honoring the Holy Apostles.v The number of Apostles in our Christian tradition has been accounted as twelve. Besides the Twelve, however, there are more who are known as the Seventy. There are still more who are hidden, unknown, the disciples in Galilee, and many more. Then there are the successors of the Apostles, the successors to the successors, and on in an unbroken chain to the present day. This chain will continue on into tomorrow and on into the future. Isn't it so that every Christian is an apostle, no matter where he lives in this world? Isn't it so that every man or woman who takes his job or profession as a mission, is included among the Apostles and becomes the "salt of the earth" and of goodness and truth will always be few. But many are they who show the way and call attention to the desires for this world. But whoever follows the highly chosen can reach great heights. You also can if you contemplate on every Thursday, be aware of your mission, your spiritual walk, your place in the world, and your responsibility. "Through the prayers, Lord, of the Apostles, save us".

Friday: The Day honoring the Cross. (Fast Day)
Because Jesus was crucified on a day like this on Golgotha, our Christian tradition considers this day as the day of the Cross and observes it as a day of fasting and prayer, and reminds us of the Voluntary Sacrifice and the love for mankind of the Bridegroom of the Church. This day of the Cross has been properly placed before the last day of the week for those who are leading a good and decent life and who struggle in the "good fight". This day of the week must be replete with crosses and labors. And whoever walks with some cross of his fate or a cross given to him by malevolent people, it is good for him to think of the Crucified One. Who walks ahead reminding him, "Come to me all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." Obviously, many people in our times find it easier to avoid the toil and the crosses of life. However, this means that we would reject life itself which is, in essence, a labor of creating or a cross in itself. But you, dear reader, live your cross twice every Friday. Lift up your cross and sing with joy: "By the Power of Your Cross, Lord, save us."

Saturday: The Day honoring those who have fallen asleep.
God rested on the seventh day after His six-day work of creation; thus our Church has dedicated this day to those who have "fallen asleep", those who finished their struggle of this life and have entered into their eternal rest. Every Saturday our Church opens the Book of Life and reads to us the names of our ancestors, grandparents, parents, brothers and sisters, relatives and friends who have fallen asleep, in order to remind us of humanity and of death: humanity which has since passed and has left us her heritage, a heritage which cannot be ignored or washed; and death, which one day will surely come to all of ignored or wasted, and death, which one day will surely come to all of us. Thus our church remembers all those whom our memory has forgotten, and reminds us of all our loved ones, those treated unjustly, and all the unknowns whom history has completely ignored. Remember therefore, the deceased every Saturday and do not be afraid of death because on the next day will be the Resurrection. "Through the prayers of all Your Saints, Lord, save us."

Sunday: The Day of the Resurrection.
"This is the day which the Lord has made…" when He was resurrected from the Passion of the Cross and death. Our Christian tradition calls it Kyriaki (Sunday), the day of the Lord. She adorned it with the Eucharistic Liturgy and gave it joy and rest from our daily and work ladened life. Indeed this day comes so appropriately, after our weekly struggle which oftentimes crucifies our life: Sunday, the day of the Resurrection. Not only does this day remind us of the general resurrection and the Second Coming but for those who know how to celebrate it, it resurrects our hope and our life from the daily deaths we experience. The Saturday and Sunday rest are a foretaste of this general Resurrection. However, together with the weekly resurrection, it is necessary to contemplate on the descent of our souls regarding our fallen state and the ascent of them toward the Risen Lord. Sunday: Remember the Lord of the living and of the dead Discard the black garments of despair, and rise with joy and strength for the struggle which begins on Monday. "On this day of the Resurrection let all people shine forth."

Source: Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church Tulsa, Ok., Calendar 2002, back cover.

Glory Be To God For All Things!

Content written/compiled by Father Nektarios Serfes.
(c) Father Nektarios Serfes