Hello and Welcome!

Coffee with Sister Vassa Inc. is a non-profit organization founded by Dr. Sr. Vassa Larin for the production of online and offline catechetical programs and religious education.

Sister Vassa (born Varvara Georgievna Larina, December 11, 1970 in Nyack, New York, United States) is a Russian Orthodox liturgiologist. She is author of many scholarly articles, a monograph on Byzantine Hierarchichal Liturgy  (Orientalia Christiana Analecta 286, 2008), Reflections with Morning Coffee (Xenophon Press 2022), Lent with Sister Vassa (Xenophon Press 2022), HealthyFast Lenten Guidebook,  and, most recently, Praying in Time. The Hours & Days in Step with Orthodox Christian Tradition (Wipf & Stock 2023), a book now translated into Italian, Greek and German. 

Sister Vassa’s online-mission includes a daily Newsletter (with a brief reflection on Scripture, now available also in audio form on Sellfy.com), weekday audio-podcasts called “Monday Morning Coffee” (on the practical applications of the liturgical calendar and Scripture), a video-course on Divine Liturgy (available on YouTube), and over 300 other YouTube videos on Orthodox Theology, Tradition, and modern-day issues of Orthodox Canon Law and church life. 

Sister Vassa


Born to the family of a Russian Orthodox priest in Nyack, NY, Sister Vassa graduated from Nyack High School and entered Bryn Mawr College in Bryn Mawr, PA. She left college to enter the Lesna Convent of the ROCOR in Provement, France, at age 19. After a long spiritual and academic novitiate training, involving the study of Greek, Latin, German, Patristic Theology and Church History, Sr. Vassa was eventually enrolled by Archbishop Mark of Berlin and Germany to study Orthodox Theology at the Orthodox Institute of the Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich, Germany. There she received a Master’s Degree in Orthodox Theology, having written a Master’s Thesis on the “Royal Office” at the beginning of Byzantine Orthros.

In 2006-2008 she worked as the Graduate Assistant of the renowned expert on Byzantine Liturgy, Professor Robert F. Taft, S.J., at the Pontifical Oriental Institute in Rome. Taft directed Sr. Vassa’s doctoral dissertation on the Byzantine hierarchal liturgy, which she defended summa cum laude at the Orthodox Institute of the Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich in December 2008. Larin’s dissertation, The Byzantine Hierarchal Divine Liturgy in Arsenij Suxanov’s Proskinitarij, was published in 2010 as volume 286 of the academic series Orientalia Christiana Analecta.

From January 2009 to January 2017 Larin taught Liturgical Studies at the Catholic Faculty of the University of Vienna in Austria. She is a founding member of the Society of Oriental Liturgies, and a member of the North American Academy of Liturgy. In 2012 Larin was included in the 30th Anniversary Edition of Marquis Who’s Who in the World.[1] 

Dr. Sr. Vassa Larin is a member of the Liturgical Studies Group Steering Committee of the International Orthodox Theological Association, and of the Cambridge Centre for Orthodox Studies in Ecumenism at the Institute for Orthodox Christian Studies at Cambridge (UK). She is also member of the Advisory Board of the Eastern Orthodoxy Book Series, a project of T&T Clark Publishers and the Cambridge Institute for Orthodox Christian Studies.
Read the interview with Sr. Vassa in The Wheel, about her life & vocation:

CV and Bibliography

Sister Vassa's CV and Bibliography (to be updated soon)

Articles & Publications

Interview: "Social Media and the Unifying Truths of Our Tradition," in The Wheel, Issue 9/10, Summer 2017

Texts of Articles Available at Fr. Michael Zheltov's website

Interview: "Orthodoxy is not a Religion of Fear," on ROCOR Studies, May 2009

Interview: "Orthodoxy: Affirmation, Not Negation," on ROCOR Studies, September 2009


Sister Vasse Desk

Her numerous publications, written in English, Russian, or German, include scholarly studies based on original manuscript-research, as well as articles on controversial topics in contemporary Orthodoxy.[2] Especially noteworthy are her following publications:

“Liturgical Crisis in Russian Orthodoxy Today,” Greek Orthodox Theological Review, Volume 61: 1-2 (2016) 225-246

The Byzantine Hierarchal Divine Liturgy in Arsenij Suxanov’s Proskinitarij, (Orientalia Christiana Analecta 286) Rome 2010.

“What is Ritual Im/Purity and Why?” St. Vladimir’s Theological Quarterly 52: 3-4 (2008) 275-92.

“The Dikerion and Trikerion of the Byzantine Pontifical Rite: Origins and Significance,” Orientalia Christiana Periodica 74 (2008) 417-430.

“The Ecclesiastical Principle of Oikonomia and the ROCOR,” electronically published in Russian original and English translation on the ROCOR’s official website.