An Exhausted and Astonished Mary Magdalene recounts her Encounter to Mary of Bethany with the Risen Christ Later on the First Easter Morning
Although a Lay Woman, the Church Has Honored Her as an “Apostle and First Witness to the Resurrection”
St. Mary Magdalene along with Sts. Martha & Mary and St. Lazarus of the House Church in Bethany traveled to the British Isles either with St. Joseph of Arimathea or arrived shortly thereafter. They acted as able assistants and emissaries to help plant the Orthodox Faith on British soil.
We are staunch Traditionalists and have no intention of “reinventing the wheel” when it comes to the Orthodox Faith. The number and Books of our Canonical Scriptures are as the Undivided Church has declared them to be. This is not up for discussion.
The Universal Church as the New Testament bears witness has always maintained St. Mary Magdalene to be second in favor to the Blessed Virgin with Christ among woman. Following the example of Pauline privilege for this sole intent and purpose, we use portions from the non-canonical Gospel of St. Mary Magdalene for study and devotionals in our Ministry. This is done to express the honored place she holds as the first witness to the empty tomb on the first Easter morning and accordingly her unique place among the Communion of Saints.
We always make certain in our teaching this Gospel bearing her name is not a portion of the New Testament and is used only for whatever value it has to bear witness to the truth of the Apostolic Church. We give it the same distinction and place as the writings of the early Church Fathers Tertullian and Origen.
Over the years we have developed a unique local liturgical practice on July 22, the Feast Day of this holy woman. Our members are moved to devotion and anticipate the event. Our clergy make it clear (this is not to be counted among the New Testament books) using the formula, “a reading from the non Canonical Gospel of St. Mary Magdalene, a further witness to the Truth of the Apostolic Age”. Thus our local liturgical practice prior to the Procession and followed by a short mediation and a full rendering of what we have written here. We emphasize this is done prior and apart from the Liturgy of the Day. This is illustrative of the Battle Cry behind our informal motto “TRADITION WITH MEANING”.
Framed Image of St. Mary Magdalene in the Chapel Under Her Patronage