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The Twelfth Day of Christmas Advent. A Secular Kingdom…Where Christmas Never Comes

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, November 27, 2017  Two people are working at a soup kitchen, feeding the poor. One of them is a Christian, the other an atheist. The Christian is doing what he does out of obedience to Christ, in order to serve Christ “in the least of these my brethren.” The atheist is doing what he does because he thinks that generosity is a good thing and that the world would be a

The Eleventh Day of Christmas Advent. Thanksgiving Day! Catherine the Great Martyr of Alexandria

A day set aside for giving thanks to God By Abbot Tryphon, November 28, 2019  Thanksgiving has officially been an annual tradition since 1863, when during the Civil War President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national day of thanksgiving. The word Thanksgiving has its roots in the Greek word, eucharistia, where the Church gets the word Eucharist. For we Orthodox Christians the ultimate giving of thanks to God comes when we offer the Eucharistic sacrifice, and enter into

In All Things Give Thanks

SSCORRE! Saint Sophia Cathedral Online Resources for our Religious Edification Topic of the Week – In All Things Give Thanks Wishing you a blessed Thanksgiving! Glory to God for everything! In All Things Give Thanks Manuscript Uncut Mountain Supply A Message from Maria Spanos I am passionate about our Orthodox Christian faith and seek to help others learn as much as they can about it. My purpose here is to share online resources that help

The Tenth Day of Christmas Advent. “Born of a Woman.”

By stating that Jesus is “born of woman”—this Mary (as both St. Matthew and St. Luke attest)—St. Paul insists that Jesus is most emphatically human, the “firstborn of all creation.” That this Mary is at the same time a virgin prevents the birth of Jesus from being reduced to what we know or can reproduce from our own experience. Life that is unmistakably human life is before us here, a real baby from an actual

The Ninth Day of Christmas Advent. The Created and the Uncreated.

By Abbot Tryphon, January 6, 2020  This season of the Nativity of Christ is the perfect time to look closely at what this pivotal moment in human history meant for this material world. That the Logos, the Word of God, joined Himself to our humanity was singularly the most important event in human history. That this was done by God in order to join His Divinity with our humanity, making it possible for us, His

The Eighth Day of Christmas Advent. The Morality of Christmas.

By Stephen Freeman, November 16, 2019  You might be thinking that it’s too early to hear about Christmas – Thanksgiving is yet a couple of weeks away. However, for the Orthodox, the Nativity Fast began on November 15. It is already time to give our thoughts to Christmas – our Winter Pascha. This article (a reprint) reflects on a theme that has been present in my thoughts for several years. I pray it will be

The Fifth Day of Christmas Advent. Entering the Mystery of Christmas.

By Stephen Freeman, December 28, 2019  Orthodox Christianity is deeply associated with the word “mystery.”  Its theological hymns are replete with paradox, repeatedly affirming two things to be true that are seemingly contradictory. Most of these things are associated with what is called “apophatic” theology, or a theology that is “unspeakable.” This same theological approach is sometimes called the Via Negativa. This is easily misunderstood in common conversation. An Orthodox discussion takes place and reaches an

The Fourth Day of Christmas Advent. THE NATIVITY

The Condescension of God and the Deification of Man By Abbot Tryphon, January 7, 2020  We Orthodox Christians [look forward to] celebrating the birth of Jesus, the incarnation of God on Earth. And this celebration of the Nativity of Christ will mark the spiritual upheaval of the universe, for this solemn day marks the embodiment of God on Earth, and the day God became flesh in Jesus, and, potentially, in all creatures. The celebration of

Third Day of Christmas Advent: The Nativity Fast

ADVENT-DERIVED FROM the Latin adventus, meaning “coming”—is a word that is not often used by Orthodox Christians living in the Eastern parts of the world. It is used more frequently by Orthodox Christians living in the West, for the simple reason that when they say “Advent”, other Christians immediately understand they are referring to a period of preparation before the Great Feast of Christmas, the Nativity of Our Lord. However, there are three key differences

Prayer for One Another

SSCORRE! Saint Sophia Cathedral Online Resources for our Religious Edification Topic of the Week – Prayer for One Another The love of the Elder Paisios for the whole world is well known. The Elder has helped a whole host of people before and after his physical death. But the question is from where did he receive his ability to help people and to perform miracles? He received this heavenly power through his fervent prayers to