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 Scripture), weekday audio-podcasts called "Morning Coffee," an ongoing video-course on Divine Liturgy (available on patreon.com), and over 100 YouTube videos.
Born to the family of a Russian Orthodox priest in Nyack, NY, Larin graduated from Nyack High School and entered Bryn Mawr College in Bryn Mawr, PA, at the age of 16. 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.
Dr. Sr. Vassa Larin is a member of the Commission of the Inter-Council Presence of the Russian Orthodox Church: the Commission on Liturgy and Church Art, and the Commission of the Inter-Council Presence of the Russian Orthodox Church: the Commission on Canon Law.
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.
View Sr. Vassa's full CV