Saturday, 30 Sep 2017
A Progressive Marriage
30 Sep 2017 at 6:53am
How is your marriage progressing? This simple question is a way of focusing our attention on right-thinking about progress and the Christian life. I posed the question to myself – I have been married now for 40 years. My first thought was, “What would ‘progress’ in a marriage mean?” Do I love my wife more, […]
Friday, 29 Sep 2017
Russian Orthodox Church Sends Letter to Tillerson Over Religious Freedom Report
29 Sep 2017 at 5:28pm
The Russian Orthodox Church sent a letter to US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson with its arguments against the recent report on alleged discrimination of religious minorities in Russia.
Russian Orthodox Church head visits Uzbekistan
29 Sep 2017 at 5:22pm
He is expected to meet with the country’s officials and representative of the Musilim community. He said he had heard about “big changes” taking place in the republic, RIA Novosti reports. The patriarch also noted that the Christian community is the second-largest faith in Uzbekistan.
OCP Media Network
Monday, 22 Jan 2018
FESTAL VISIT OF THE JERUSALEM PATRIARCHATE TO THE ARMENIANS
22 Jan 2018 at 5:14am
The Jerusalem Patriarchate – 22/1/18
The visit of our Patriarchate to the Armenian Patriarchate for their joint Feast of Christmas and Theophany, in return of their visit on our Christmas Feast, took place on Saturday morning, January 7/20, 2018.
On this visit His Beatitude and His entourage of Hagiotaphite Fathers were received by the Armenian Patriarch Manukian Nourhan and the Armenian Brotherhood in Jerusalem. His Beatitude our Father and Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos addressed the Armenian Brotherhood as follows:
“Your Beatitude, Patriarch Nourhan,
As you celebrate the Feast of the Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ, we wish to express to you our Christmas and Epiphany greetings, and we recall the beautiful words of one of our Christmas services:
Make glad O Jerusalem,
The Divine Logos became flesh in a particular time and place, in our very midst here in the Holy Land. Here the opening of Paradise was announced to humanity in the Incarnation of the Divine Logos. Here the Divine-human encounter restored us to our rightful relationship with God and with each other.
We to whom the Divine Providence has entrusted the guardianship and the diakonia of the Holy Places understand this. So do our communities that have lived here down the ages. And so do the many thousands of pilgrims who flock to this Holy City and this Holy Land every month for spiritual refreshment.
We have long known the importance of this place, and we have also known the supreme importance of maintaining the patterns and supports that sustain our communities and the Christian presence in the Holy Land and the Middle East. We rejoice at this season in all that we have accomplished together, especially the restoration of the Sacred Edicule and we look forward to our further co-operation in phase II of the renovation of that part of Church of the Holy Sepulchre beneath the rotunda.
The world takes great encouragement from these joint ventures and from our unity of purpose, just as our unity of purpose in the face of recent threats to the Status Quo has been of supreme importance. As is well known, and as we have emphasized time and again, the Bill of Church Land and the Jaffa Gate case are real challenges to the well-being of our communities and to the multi-ethnic, multi-cultural, multi-religious landscape of Jerusalem and the Holy Land. As we have been bringing our case to the international community, we have seen how our common and united efforts have affected those whom we have visited, and we have been deeply encouraged by their statements of support for us all here in the Holy Land.
We doing all this not for the sake of the Holy Places alone, but also for the well-being of Christians and their presence in the land of the Nativity. We wish to take the occasion of these holy days to express our appreciation to you, Your Beatitude, and to all the Heads of Churches for your recent statement of support in addressing the challenges we are facing.
May the newborn Christ, whose incarnation makes the whole creation rejoice, deepen our bonds and give us grace to continue our joint efforts, both in the work we are doing in maintaining the Holy Places, as well as in defending our historic rights and privileges enshrined in the Status Quo. Mutual respect is fundamental to our harmonious co-existence and is of paramount significance to our mission here.
We wish you, Your Beatitude, a blessed Christmas, and we ask for God’s blessing on your Brotherhood and o the Armenian Community in the Holy Land.
The Armenian Patriarch replied to His Beatitude’s address, wishing a peaceful and cooperative New Year 2018.
THE SYNAXIS OF THE VENERABLE AND GLORIOUS PROPHET, FORERUNNER AND BAPTIST JOHN
22 Jan 2018 at 5:04am
The Jerusalem Patriarchate – 22/1/18
The Feast of the Synaxis of the Venerable Forerunner John was celebrated by the Patriarchate at the H. Monastery dedicated to him on the south-west side of the Church of the Resurrection, on Saturday, January 7/20, 2018.
When we say synaxis (gathering) of the Venerable Forerunner John, we mean the gathering for us Christians to especially honour the Venerable Forerunner as the one who performed the sacrament of the baptism of our Lord Jesus Christ.
For this feast in the aforementioned H. Monastery, Vespers in the evening was led by Archimandrite Ieronymos with other Hagitotaphite Hieromonks as co-celebrants. The Divine Liturgy in the morning was led by the Most Reverend Archbishop Damascene of Joppa, with co-celebrants Hagiotaphite Hieromonks. The choir was formed by the left choir singer of the Church of the Resurrection Mr. George Alvanos, Archimandrites Eusevios and Demetrios and the Patriarchal School of Zion students. The services were attended by a noble congregation of local faithful and pilgrims.
The Episcopal entourage and the congregation were offered a reception by the Hegoumen and renovator of the H. Monastery, Archimandrite Bartholomew.
THE FEAST OF EPIPHANY AT THE JERUSALEM PATRIARCHATE
22 Jan 2018 at 4:39am
The Jerusalem Patriarchate – 22/1/18
On Friday January 6/19, 2018, the Patriarchate celebrated the Feast of Epiphany, as the commemoration of the baptism of our Lord Jesus Christ by St. John the Baptist in the river Jordan. At that time the humankind experienced the Trinitarian Theophany; the Son being baptized, the Father witnessing with a heavenly voice “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matt. 17.5) and the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove confirming the truthfulness of the word. This was done for the remission of our sins and our rebirth through the baptism of the sinless God-man.
This Feast of the Lord was initially celebrated by the Service of the Blessing of Waters by His Beatitude our Father and Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos at the Catholicon.
The Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom was then celebrated at the Holy Sepulchre, led by His Beatitude with co-celebrants the Most Reverend Metropolitan Isychios of Kapitolias, the Most Reverend Archbishops Aristarchos of Constantina and Demetrios of Lydda and the Most Reverend Metropolitan Joachim of Helenoupolis, Elder Kamarasis Archimandrite Nectarios as the first in rank of the Priests, many Hagiotaphite Hieromonks and many other Priests from the Orthodox countries Greece, Russia and Romania. The right choir was led by the choir leader of the All-holy Church of the Resurrection Fr. Aristovoulos and the left choir by Mr. George Alvanos. The Services were attended by a large congregation of pilgrims and local faithful who accepted the gift of rebirth through the Lord’s baptism in joy, contrition and thanksgiving.
After the Divine Liturgy, His Beatitude blessed the congregation and they all headed for the Patriarchate where His Beatitude wished everybody the enlightenment of Theophany.
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Tuesday, 23 Jan 2018
Archimandrite Sylvester of Kiev Caves Lavra reposes in the Lord
9 hours ago
Archimandrite Sylvester of the Holy Dormition-Kiev Caves Lavra reposed in the Lord on Saturday after a long illness.
Monday, 22 Jan 2018
Met. Tikhon (OCA) offers opening prayer at March for Life
22 hours ago
Orthodox Christian hierarchs, clergy, monastics, seminarians, laity, and thousands of others gathered in Washington D.C. on Friday for the 45th annual March for Life in protest of the national tragedy and shame of abortion. The theme of this year’s march was “Love Save Lives.”
First services held in Donbass Church of Royal Martyrs in shape of a ship
22 hours ago
The first services in the Church of the Holy Royal Martyrs in Oleskandro-Kalynove in the Konstantinovsky Distruct of the Donetsk Province were celebrated on January 7, the feast of the Nativity of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Orthodox Church in America
Monday, 22 Jan 2018
St. Vladimir’s Seminary announces winter events
23 hours ago
Saint Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary [SVOTS] recently announced three exciting upcoming winter events. Included is the launch of a new liturgical music series, “Orthodox Masterpieces,” a program that invites the public bi-annually to hear beautifully composed liturgical hymns in their proper setting: communal worship.
On Tuesday, January 30, 2018, at 7:00 p.m., Dr. Scott Kenworthy, seminary alumnus (M.A. ’96) and associate professor of Comparative Religion at Miami University, Ohio, will present the 35th Annual Father Alexander Schmemann Lecture. His talk, titled, “Saint Tikhon of Moscow (1865–1925) and the Orthodox Church in North America and Revolutionary Russia,” will focus on the centenary anniversary of the enthronement of Saint Tikhon, Patriarch of Moscow. The evening will also include the Commencement of the Doctor of Ministry Class of 2017 and a reception. The on-campus event is free and open to the public.
On Friday, February 2, 2018, at 7:00 p.m., alumni and friends in the Lone Star state will host a banquet to support Saint Vladimir’s Seminary. The dinner will be held at the Bent Tree Country Club, Dallas, TX, an exclusive venue with superb dining. Alumni Archimandrite Gerasim and Lijin Raju, as well as Seminary President Archpriest Chad Hatfield, will be offering remarks. Tickets and sponsorship forms are available in the “Featured Events” section of the Seminary’s website.
On Saturday, February 10, 2018, at 6:30 p.m., the Seminary Chorale will commence its “Orthodox Masterpieces” Series by singing Great Vespers on campus in Three Hierarchs Chapel, featuring select compositions by Archpriest Sergei Glagolev. Father Sergei is noted for his pioneering work in introducing English-language musical compositions into Orthodox Christian church services — inspired hymnography with a uniquely American sound. Following the liturgical service, fellow worshippers are invited to enjoy an educational talk by seminary faculty at a light reception. The on-campus event is free and open to the public.
Thursday, 18 Jan 2018
Metropolitan Tikhon’s Sanctity of Life Message now available
18 Jan 2018 at 11:50am
Sunday, January 21, 2018 will be observed as “Sanctity of Life Sunday” in parishes across the United States. The commemoration marks the 45th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion in the US.
The complete text of His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon’s annual Archpastoral Message for Sanctity of Life Sunday appears below and is available for downloading and local distribution in PDF format. Liturgical petitions and prayers for Sanctity of Life Sunday are also available on the Prayers for Orthodox Christians page and in PDF format.
As reported earlier, Metropolitan Tikhon, at the request of His Eminence, Archbishop Demetrios, Chair of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America, will lead the Orthodox delegation at the annual March for Life in Washington, DC on Friday, January 19. Metropolitan Tikhon will offer the opening prayer at the pre-March program.Archpastoral Message of His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon
Sanctity of Life Sunday
January 21, 2018
To the honorable Clergy, venerable Monastics, and pious Faithful of the Orthodox Church in America,
My beloved brothers and sisters in Christ:
From the moment they were born, both Moses and our Lord Jesus Christ faced great danger: as infants someone wanted each of them dead. Moses’s life was saved because the Hebrew midwives feared God more than Pharaoh, so they refused to follow the order to kill the newborn males (Ex. 1:17). And our Savior’s life was spared because of angelic intervention (Mt. 2:13).
But the Holy Innocents were not spared. Herod’s lust for power, or rather his deep-seated insecurity, led to the massacre of a multitude of small children, and the bitter weeping of their inconsolable mothers. We sing of this at the Ninth Royal Hour on Christmas Eve: “Mothers were bereft of their infants, and by an untimely death their babes were bitterly harvested. Breasts grew dry and sources of milk were stopped. Great was this calamity!”
The root of sin and specifically of violence toward our fellow human being has not changed since those times. It has always been our passions: anger, fear, judgment, despair, jealousy, pride, vanity, to name only a few. Moreover, the Fathers of our Church have always taught that the nature of all passions is one and the same: love of the self. This is, in the words of our Lord, “not to think the things of God, but those of man” (Mt. 16:23), or in other words not to think as God does, but as people do. We learn from the Apostle Paul how God thinks. He does not think of His divinity as a thing to hold onto, but empties Himself taking the form of a servant (Phil. 2:6-7). The mind of God is not only not to kill, but to give life to the world through His death (John 6:33, 51).
Locking ourselves within our own minds and setting ourselves as the standard of life, not only do we not see God for what He is, but we don’t see our fellow human beings for what they are. They become objects of our ideas and plans, props in our own life narratives, subjects of our own desires. We hurt others in so many ways just to make them fit us better. The calamities we inflict on each other are not different in nature since the beginning of time, they are only greater. Today we have means to injure others on extraordinarily larger scales. We have the means to hurt others all the way on the other side of the planet with the typing of 280 characters. We have means to execute the condemned by the thousands. We have means to destroy the enemy by the hundreds of thousands. Finally, we have means to kill the unborn by the millions and billions. The only difference between us and the sinners of ancient times is that we have greater means for putting ourselves first and imposing ourselves on others.
Yet, the scariest of all things is not even the scale of our means of violence. Rather it is the fact that our human mind has devolved in its own universe to the point of finding justification for all these terrible violences. At times it even seems that we are drawing near to justifying anything. Human law, established firmly in “the things of men” and not in those of God, follows suit. So many wars have been legal. So many executions have been legal. So many genocides—legal. Christ’s own crucifixion—legal. So much violence has been done in the name of the law and of the good of the human being.
In front of this terrible reality some of us will be drawn to prayer. Others will be drawn to helping all the victims of this terrible violence. Others will be drawn to changing the law. But in front of all of us, regardless of our inclinations, is put forth the only Way and the only conquering of death and victory of life—Christ, the one who “died for the life of the world” (John 6:51). There is a great mystery hidden in this truth, because Christ died for the life of the world at the hands of the world. This is how St. John Chrysostom puts it:
Tell me, what is the goal of the Gospel of grace? Why the revelation of the Son of God in the flesh? So that we bite and devour each other?
...Christ didn’t die only for friends or for His own, but also for His enemies, for tyrants, for impostors, for those who hated and crucified Him…
Throw the net of love, not so that the lame will fall, but rather that he be healed… and thus having searched the hidden depths, pull out from the chasm of perdition the one drowned by his thoughts…
Do not hate! Do not turn away! Do not persecute! Rather, show him pure and true love.
And how Christ died “for the life of the world” at the hands of the world clarifies for us the most crucial thing, namely that life has only one source and only one victory: selfless or self-sacrificial love. Let us be selfless love for all and we—in the one who is Love and Life itself—will conquer death:
Be persecuted, but persecute not.
May the world see our love, receive it from our own cross, and fill itself with life in it!
With love in Christ,
Tuesday, 16 Jan 2018
OCF announces series of Spring regional college student retreats
16 Jan 2018 at 6:30am
The Orthodox Christian Fellowship [OCF] will host a series of regional retreats and events for college students age 18 through 25 during the Spring of 2018.
The first in the series, sponsored by the Indiana District OCF, will be held at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, Carmel, IN on January 27. Father Lucas Christensen will speak on “The Law of God: Moral Theology of the Human Person.” The full-day gathering will begin at 10:00 a.m. and end at 3:00 p.m. Additional information may be obtained by contacting email@example.com. There is no charge for the event.
“Presenting Ourselves to Christ: Our Unquenchable Thirst for Communion with God” will be the theme of the Mountain Spring Regional Retreat at the Papadeas Residence, 597 County Road 599, Hot Sulphur Springs, CO February 2-4. Father Jordan Brown will be the keynote speaker. For additional information contact firstname.lastname@example.org. All participants may attend free of charge.
The Mid-Atlantic Spring Regional Retreat will be hosted by Holy Trinity Church [OCA], State College, PA February 9-10. “People of the Book: What Orthodox Christians Should Know About Judaism and Islam” is the retreat theme, which will be developed by Father Alexander Goussetis. For more information contact email@example.com. The retreat is free of charge.
Saint Iakovos Retreat Center, Kansasville, WI will be the site of the Midwest Spring Regional Retreat February 16-18. Father Athanasios Papagiannis will speak on “The Physician of Our Souls: More Soothing Than Anointing With Oil.” Further information is available by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org. There is a minimal $25.00 cost for the three-day event.
As the season of Great Lent opens, the Columbus to Lexington District OCF will host a one-day gathering at Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, Columbus, OH on February 24. The keynote speaker, Father Demetrios Carrellas, will explore the theme “Journey to Pascha: Having a Fruitful Lent on Campus.” Further information may be obtained by contacting email@example.com. There is no charge for the event.
Online registration is available on the OCF website.
In related news, OCF’s “Real Break” programs, which offer Orthodox Christian college students an alternative to “Spring Break” by traveling to all parts of the world while deepening their faith, serving those in need, and cultivating relationships with like-minded peers, will begin at the end of February. Additional information and registration details also are available online.
The Orthodox Christian Fellowship is the official campus ministry organization of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America.
Last Easter, CBS - 60 Minutes was finally granted a Visa by the monks (after two years of trying) to visit Mount Athos. This fascinating video provides a historical background of Orthodoxy and gives you a breathtaking tour of Mount Athos.
** Please click on the photo of Vatopedi Monastery to begin your tour **
(When it starts double-click on the video for a full screen view)