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 liturgy, and of “Reflections with Morning Coffee,” inspirational commentaries on Scripture and Liturgy.
Sister Vassa’s online-mission includes a daily Newsletter (with a brief reflection on Scripture), weekday audio-podcasts called “Morning Coffee” (on the lives of daily saints of the New Calendar and Older Calendar, and Scripture), an ongoing video-course on Divine Liturgy (available on patreon.com), and over 300 YouTube videos on Orthodox Theology and Tradition.
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.
Dr. Sr. Vassa Larin is a member of two Commissions of the Inter-Council Presence of the Russian Orthodox Church: the Commission on Liturgy and Church Art, and the Commission on Canon Law.
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
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. 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.