The Fortieth Day of Christmas Advent (Christmas Eve): On the Feast of the Nativity

Sermon preached by Fr. Antony Hughes on the Eve of Christmas 2018 at St. Mary Orthodox Church in Cambridge, MA In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, one God. Amen. St. John the Evangelist wrote three letters that appear in the New Testament. In his first letter, chapter 2, verse 21, he explains why he is writing. “It is not because you do not know the truth

The Thirty-Seventh Day of Christmas Advent: The Lord Christ’s Net

Sermon preached by Fr. Antony Hughes for the Feast of the Nativity of our Lord 2020 The Great Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn still visible is a beautiful sight, reminding us of the Christmas Star, although it most likely is not the same. Of course, the Adventists among us are speculating that Christ is soon to return. So they have been for over 2,000 years. Our message to them is, “What are you waiting for?

The Thirty-Sixth Day of Christmas Advent: The Spirit of Christmas

Published by Pemptousia Partnership on December 27, 2021 Archimandrite Iakovos Kanakis At this time of year, people often talk about the ‘spirit of Christmas’. But are we all talking about the same thing? I think not. It seems to me that if the ‘spirit of Christmas’ is only the presents, shopping in general, family meals, gatherings and relaxation, then Christmas, especially these days, must be very depressing for a lot of people. It causes depression, because many of

The Thirty-Fifth Day of Christmas Advent: The Eternal Gift of Union

Sermon preached by Fr. Antony Hughes on Sunday, December 20, 2020 Here we are only a few days until Christmas. While we will be giving and receiving gifts, let’s take a moment to reflect on the greatest gift we have been given – the gift of union with God. I love the reading of the Genealogy. It reminds me of the poignant scene in Matthew’s Gospel where Jesus laments over Jerusalem. “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who

The Thirty-Fourth Day of Christmas Advent: The Advent of God on Earth and in our Lives

By Archimandrite Nikanor Karayannis, 20 December 2021 The feast of Christmas, which is approaching, invites us to experience the mystery of God’s coming to earth. This advent is a fundamental starting-point which deepens the meaning of our life and existence and renews our faith and hope in the living presence of God in and around us. The Church triumphantly proclaims that God has become human so that we can become gods. This truth shines a light

The Thirtieth Day of Christmas Advent: A Burning Passion for Humanity

Sermon preached by Fr. Antony Hughes on Sunday, December 19, 2021 The primary reason for making our way through Matthew’s Genealogy is to affirm that the Word and Son of God has a human face and human ancestry. A “human face” so that we can look upon him and a human history to confirm that the Son of God became truly one of us. This Gospel reading is a resounding proclamation of our belief in

The Twenty-Ninth Day of Christmas Advent: ‘He Has Redeemed His People’ (Luke 1, 68)

Published by Pemptousia Partnership on December 30, 2021 Lambros Skontzos, Theologian The coming of Our Lord Jesus Christ into the world is one of the few interludes of joy which tormented humanity has enjoyed over the course of its history. This is illustrated in the angelic tidings of the Nativity to the simple shepherds in Bethlehem: ‘Behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day…

The Twenty-Eighth Day of Christmas Advent: Saint Spyridon, the Patron of Corfu

Published by Pemptousia Partnership, December 12, 2017 The holiest shrine on the island of Kerkyra (Corfu) just off the western coast of Greece is the tomb of a fourth-century saint whose body after sixteen centuries is in such a remarkable state of preservation that every year he is carried in solemn triumph through the streets on the occasion of his feast day. One of the better known saints because of this phenomenon, St. Spyridon will

The Twenty-Seventh Day of Christmas Advent: Descent is Ascent

Sermon preached by Fr. Antony Hughes on Sunday, September 8, 2019 at St. Mary Orthodox Church There are a number of characteristics that mark Christian spirituality. One of them is this: The Christian path is a first a way of descent. Most other spiritual traditions are about making an ascent. To be sure, St. Paul writes about ascending “from glory to glory.” But first there must be a descent, for example, from the mind to

The Twenty-Fourth Day of Christmas Advent. What a Caveman Said: To Perceive That Which Is Eternal

Fr. Stephen Freeman, October 27, 2020 Fr. Alexander Schmemann described “secularism” as the greatest heresy of our time. He didn’t describe it as a political movement, nor a threat from the world outside Christianity. Rather, he described it as a “heresy,” that is, a false teaching from within the Christian faith. What is secularism? Secularism is the belief that the world exists independent of God, that its meaning and use are defined by human beings.