The Twelfth Day of Christmas: Sermon at the Vigil for Epiphany

By Metropolitan Anthony Bloom, 5 January 2022 The day of the Theophany is the day when the whole world is being renewed and becomes a partaker of the sanctity of God. But at the same time, it is the day when Christ enters on the way to Calvary. He came to John the Baptist at the Jordan not in order to be cleansed, because He was free of sin—both as God and in His humanity

The Eleventh Day of Christmas: The Beginning of the Gospel

Sermon preached by Fr. Antony Hughes on Sunday, December 31, 2017 The Reading is from the Holy Gospel according to St. Mark. (1:1-8) John prophesied that something new was coming, something different, Someone greater than he. John baptized with water meant to cleanse from sin. Ablutions with water were common religious rites as a symbol of the purification, often merely ritualistic, but in the case of John, attached to repentance. Let’s talk for a moment

The Ninth Day of Christmas: A Time of Wonder

Sermon preached by Fr. Antony Hughes on Sunday, December 23, 2018 at St. Mary Orthodox Church in Cambridge, MA.  As the Lord Jesus, the Incarnate Christ, opened his heart to us, let us also open our hearts and in the same way love without limits or boundaries. For there are no walls that we do not ourselves create, no closed doors or windows that we do not ourselves fabricate. St. Paul writes in Ephesians that

The Eighth Day of Christmas: Saint Basil the Great, Archbishop of Caesarea in Cappadocia. The Circumcision of Christ. St. Telemachus, Peacemaker

On January 1 the Greek Orthodox church commemorates Saint Basil the Great, Archbishop of Caesarea in Cappadocia. Saint Basil was born in the year 330 in Caesarea, to a family renowned for their learning and holiness. His mother, Emilia (commemorated on July 19) and his grandmother Macrina (commemorated on June 14) are Saints of the Church, together with his brothers and sisters: Macrina, his elder sister (July 19), Gregory of Nyssa (January 10), Peter of Sebastia (January 9), and

The Fifth Day of Christmas: Vasilopita (Saint Basil Pie)

Published by Pemptousia Partnership on December 31, 2021 The Vasilopita (Vasilopita) is the main custom in Greece for New year. It’s one which we encounter throughout Greece, though naturally with local variations. These are mostly to do with the ingredients of the cake. In some places it’s a cake, though there are also parts where it’s a savory or sweet pie, made with phyllo pastry. There even places where it’s a bread. There are also differences in the

The Fourth Day of Christmas: The Prayer of the Vigilant Heart

Sermon preached by Fr. Antony Hughes on Sunday, December 30, 2018 at St. Mary Orthodox Church in Cambridge, MA King Herod is not only an historic figure he is also a metaphor for a mind out of control, in other words, an impure mind. From impure minds come impure thoughts and from impure thoughts come suffering. We call it in Christian lingo sin. It boils down to this. Sin is anything that causes suffering in

The Third Day of Christmas: The Life of Saint Apostle Stephen the Proto-martyr

On December 27, we commemorate the holy, glorious, all-laudable Apostle Stephen the Protomartyr. The holy, glorious, all-laudable Apostle Stephen the Proto-martyr was an early Christian convert from among the Hellenistic Jews, one of the original seven deacons ordained by the Apostles, and the first martyr of the Orthodox Church. The Church remembers the martyrdom of St. Stephen on December 27, and the translations of his relics on August 2. Life of Saint Stephen St. Stephen was

The Second Day of Christmas: The Institution of the Synaxis of the Theotokos

By John Sanidopoulos, December 27, 2012 After a great feast, the Orthodox Church traditionally honors the memory of those persons who played a chief role in the events commemorated by the feast. The Most Holy Mother of God occupies first place after Christ, in the events con­nected with the Nativity of our Lord. For this reason, in the first centuries, the faithful assembled on the day following the Nativity to express their gratitude to the

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