Ukrainian Orthodox Church of St. Anne: Toronto (Scarborough), Ontario

In Praise of the New Eve: the Mother of God and the Dignity of Women

Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Saint Anne, Toronto (Scarborough), Ontario: Panagia, Theotokos with Jesus Christ

Panagia: the Theotokos with the Word, Jesus Christ

Tropar to the Theotokos, Tone 4:

Let us sinners and humble ones run now most earnestly to the Theotokos and let us fall down, crying out from the depths of our souls: O Sovereign Lady, having compassion on us, do help us. Make haste, for we are perishing from the multitude of transgressions. Turn not Your servants away empty-handed, for we have You as our only hope.

Тропар Богородиці, голос 4:

До Богородиці щиро нині прибіжім, грішні й смиренні, і припадім у покаянні, з глибини душі взиваючи: Владичице поможи змило-сердившись над нами; поспіши, гинемо від множества провин; не відпусти рабів Твоїх без нічого; Тебе бо за єдину надію нашу маємо.

In Praise of the New Eve: The Mother of God and the Dignity of Women

"Adam and Eve together represent the fullness of humanity.
The Fall was not caused by Eve sinning, but by both Adam and Eve sinning."

"In Orthodoxy we teach that, as Christ is the ‘New Adam’,
Mary, the Mother of God is the ‘New Eve’…
If women are daughters of the first Eve,
then they are also daughters of the Second Eve "

"In the spirit of the second Eve, we honour many women Saints
as role models of Christian service to the Lord —
role models for all people, women and men alike."

For a tragically long time, men have neglected, exploited and abused women using the excuse that it was Eve who caused the Fall, and therefore, the "daughters of Eve" "have it coming to them". Such a line of reasoning is not only abominable but also runs contrary to some of the fundamental tenets of our Holy Orthodox Faith.

First of all, Orthodoxy maintains that no one is guilty of a sin except the person who committed it. For example, in the Orthodox Church we do not accept the western teaching that baptism is a cleansing of the guilt of the Original Sin, since only those who committed the Original Sin can be guilty of it. (It is our teaching that baptism is a liberation from the consequence of the Original Sin – the tyranny of death and sin in the world). Therefore, no one is guilty of Eve’s sin but Eve.

Secondly, we must keep in mind that Adam and Eve together represent the fullness of humanity. The Fall was not caused by Eve sinning, but by both Adam and Eve sinning. In fact, the fathers point out that it was not even Adam and Eve sinning that caused the Fall; rather, their common unwillingness to take responsibility for their actions — that is, their unwillingness to repent — is what closes the gates of paradise on them. Adam and Eve eat the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, and God asks them, "What happened?" Here, He gave them an opportunity to repent and ask for forgiveness for their transgression; instead, Adam blames Eve, and Eve blames the serpent. It is by Adam and Eve both being unwilling to take responsibility for their choice to transgress God’s sole commandment in Paradise that we end up in the chaos of this world.

The third point to be made against the "Eve-was-bad-therefore-all-women-are-bad" philosophy is that Eve is not the end of the spiritual legacy of "womankind". In Orthodoxy we teach that, as Christ is the "New Adam", Mary, the Mother of God is the "New Eve". In the same way that sin and death come into the world by the rebellion of both man and woman; sin and death are overcome in the world by the faithfulness of both man and woman.

Thus, the hymns of the feast of the Annunciation speak of this holy day being the "beginning of our salvation." (Tropar of the Feast)

It is by Mary willingly accepting her Divine calling to be the mother of the Messiah that the People of God see the gates of Paradise opening for them again – this is also the very reason that the icon of the Annunciation is on the Royal Doors of the iconostas.

If women are daughters of the first Eve (the first person to rebel against God), then they are also daughters of the Second Eve (the person in all of human history who is the greatest example of dedication to God). In the spirit of the second Eve, we honour many women Saints as role models of Christian service to the Lord — role models for all people, women and men alike.

Through the prayers of the most-holy Mother of God, of St. Mary Magdalene and the other myrrh-bearing women, of St. Photini, the Samaritan woman at the well, of St. Thecla the first woman martyr, of the holy women martyrs Barbara, Kyriaki, Euphemia, Paraskevia, Catherine, and all the women martyrs, of our venerable mothers Taisia, Pelagia, Theodosia, Anastasia, Eupraxia, Fevronia, Theodulia, Euphosinia, Mary of Egypt, and all the holy women monastics, of the Holy Empress Helena of Constantinople, the Holy Great Kniahynia Ol’ha of Kyivan Rus’, the Holy Princess Juliana of Olshanks, along with all the holy royal women, and of all our holy mothers in the faith, may our Lord Jesus Christ make us all dedicated servants to His Holy Will, loving and respecting all people, men and women alike, and may He have mercy on us and save us, for He is Good and the Friend of all Mankind.

See also:
Orthodoxy • Православіє
What is the Divine Liturgy?
Great Vespers: Evening Worship of the Orthodox Church
The Symbolism of the Eastern Orthodox Marriage Service
Angels: The Eastern Orthodox Teaching on the “Bodiless Powers”

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, the sinner.
Господи Ісусе Христе, Сину Божий, помилуй мене грішного.
St_Anne_Orthodox_Toronto_Whorl_Small

Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Saint Anne

525 Morrish Rd.
Toronto (Scarborough), ON
M1C 1G2

Parish Office: (416) 284-9642

Find Your Way Here

From Highway 401, take Exit 389, Meadowvale Road, heading south (signs for Meadowvale Road South). Take the third right onto Ellesmere Road. Travel 850 metres and take the third right onto Morrish Road. The church will be on the right. Parking is available on church property.

The Ukrainian Orthodox Church of St. Anne benefits from its close proximity to the University of Toronto, Scarborough campus. Two TTC bus routes run frequently to stops right outside our parish doors: one en route from York Mills Station to Victoria Park; another traveling from Kennedy Station to Staines Road — servicing all points in between.

Богослужіння • Services

  • October 22, 2017 10:00 amDivine Liturgy
  • October 22, 2017 12:00 pmFellowship - Mila & Stan - Birthday Celebration
  • October 25, 2017 7:00 pmAkathist to the Most Holy Theotokos in front of Her icon Pantanassa
  • October 28, 2017 5:00 pmVespers

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Service Schedule

Archives • Архів