Continuing discussion on prayer, drawing on materials from the talk I gave to the Orthodox youth at last weekend’s festival for the altar-feast of the Romanian parish, I should like to share some thoughts on preparing to pray, and as we celebrate the feast of St Theophan the Recluse, we may profit from his guidance on prayer.Continue reading

The inner experience of prayer.

Dear brothers and sisters,

As we begin the Apostles’ Fast, I thought I would post some thoughts on prayer that I shared at the Romanian youth meeting which I and some of our young parishioners attended on Saturday evening.

For that occasion, I decided to talk about prayer, knowing that we often have a rather two-dimensional understanding of what prayer actually is. We think of prayer as something that we do, or say, but the whole challenge of Orthodox Christian living is to make our whole life into prayer… so prayer is something that we become.Continue reading


Dear brothers and sisters,

This is a reminder that the service at tea-time today will be vespers, rather than compline. Confessions will be heard after the service, and I must thank all who visited the chaplaincy for confessions, yesterday. Confessing so many parishioners throughout the day was extremely helpful, given the busyness of this festal weekend.

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Blessed are you, O Upper Room, so small

in comparison to the entirety of creation;

yet what took place in you

now fills all creation –

which is even too small for it.

Blessed is your abode, for in it was broken

that Bread which issues

from the blessed Wheat Sheaf,

and in you was trodden out

the Cluster of Grapes that came from Mary

to become the Cup of Salvation.


Blessed are you, O Upper Room;

no-one has ever seen

nor ever shall see, what you beheld:

Our Lord became at once

The Altar, Priest, Bread, and Cup of Salvation.

In His own person

He could fulfil all these roles;

none other was capable of this:

Whole Offering and Lamb,

Sacrifice and Sacrificer,

Priest and the One destined to be consumed.

St Ephrem the Syrian