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Christ the Bridegroom

No change in size, 05:46, April 22, 2008
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Holy Tuesday evening
On '''Holy Tuesday''', the Parable of the Ten Virgins is read. It tells the story of the five virgins who filled their lamps in preparation for receiving the bridegroom while the other five allowed their lamps to go out and hence were shut out of the marriage feast. This parable is a warning that we must always be prepared to receive our Lord when He comes again. The theme of the day is reinforced by the expostelarion hymn we sing ''"I see Thy Bridal Chamber adorned, O my Savior, but have no wedding garment that I may enter. O Giver of Light, enlighten the vesture of my soul, and save me."''
We also remember [[Kassiani the Hymnographer|Kassiani]] ([[September 7]]), also known by the names of ''Kasia'', ''Kasiani'' or ''Ikessia'', was a great [[hymnopgrapher]] from the 9th century. According to the Synaxaristi not many details of her life have been recorded but she has remained in ecclesiastical history for her great hymns. His Emminence Metropolitan Sophronios Eustratiadis of Leontopoleos <ref> Σωφρόνιος Ευστρατιάδης (Μητροπολίτης Λεοντοπόλεως) </ref> writes that Kassiani was "an orphaned girl from the Byzantium Byzantine era, beautiful and wise, a saintly ascetic and respectful virgin". <ref> «ορφανή κόρη του Βυζαντίου εκ των ευπατρίδων, ωραία και σοφή, οσία ασκήτρια και ευσεβέστατη παρθένος» περ. «Εκκλ. Φάρος Αλεξανδρείας», τ.ΛΑ' (1932) σελ. 92 </ref> We also know that Kassiani is linked to the Emperor Theophilos (9th century) and his search for a bride. Theophilos was angered with a reply by Kassiani to a question of his, and he impulsively chose St. Theodora, who was standing next to Kassiani, to be his elected bride. Kassiani also played a great role in the restoration of the Holy Icons.
Heartbroken by Theophilos, one of those poems was the beautiful hymn of Kassiani. It retains the original Byzantine music which may be difficult for all to understand. Theophilos, searched for Kassiani and found her at a convent and the two never saw each other again. Her repentance and love for Christ is the theme of the wonderful ''"Hymn of Kassiani"'' which is chanted on this night, reminding us one more time, before ''"it is too late,"'' that we too may be forgiven if we repent.
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