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The Holy and Great Friday: Unbelief and Good Friday

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, April 5, 2018  Christmas and Easter are often difficult days for those who do not believe in God. Christians are more public about their faith than at other times of the year and this brings with it an annoyance. Christmas bespeaks the birth of God as a human being. Easter bespeaks a resurrection from the dead. For those who do not believe, such miracles, spoken of so glowingly and with such

The Twelfth Day of Christmas. Theophany Eve – Showing the World to be the World

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, January 5, 2019  I was standing beside the Jordan River, somewhere along its trek through Israel. I was with a group of pilgrims led by Met. Kallistos Ware gathered for the Great Blessing of the Waters. Somehow, it seemed that I was the only priest who had brought an epitrachelion (stole), so I loaned it to the Metropolitan for the service. As the service began, I noticed a school of fish

The Eleventh Day of Christmas. Synaxis of the Seventy Apostles.

The Synaxis of the Seventy Apostles was established by the Orthodox Church to indicate the equal honor of each of the Seventy. They were sent two by two by the Lord Jesus Christ to go before Him into the cities He would visit (Luke 10:1). Besides the celebration of the Synaxis of the Holy Disciples, the Church celebrates the memory of each of them during the course of the year: Saint James the Brother of

The Tenth Day of Christmas. Holy Prophet Malachi.

The Holy Prophet Malachi lived 400 years before the Birth of Christ, at the time of the return of the Jews from the Babylonian Captivity. Malachi was the last of the Old Testament prophets, therefore the holy Fathers call him “the seal of the prophets.” Manifesting himself an image of spiritual goodness and piety, he astounded the nation and was called Malachi, i.e., an angel. His prophetic book is included in the Canon of the

The Eighth Day of Christmas. The Circumcision of Christ: At the Name of Jesus. Feast of our Holy Father Basil the Great, Archbishop of Caesarea in Cappadocia. Happy New Year!

By Stephen Freeman, January 1, 2018  On the eighth day after His birth, the eternal Son of God, in accordance with the Law, would have been circumcised and given His name. The name He received was quite common. It is the same Hebrew name as “Joshua.” It means, “God saves.” No other name is spoken as often with such tenderness and devotion. The name itself has become a prayer. We are told that “whoever calls

The Seventh Day of Christmas. The Holy Name.

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, January 3, 2017  In 1913, a small Russian fleet landed a contingent of soldiers who forcibly removed a group of Russian monks from Mount Athos. This action came at the end of a stormy controversy surrounding the name of God. The monks were known as the Imyaslavsy (“Name worshippers”) and were following ideas that had been promulgated in a text published in 1907. That work, On the Caucasus Mountains, written by the staretz, Schemamonk

The Sixth Day of Christmas. Is There Room in Your Inn?

Fr. Stavros N. Akrotirianakis And she gave birth to her first born Son and wrapped Him in swaddling clothes and laid Him in a manger because there was no place for them in the inn. -Luke2:7 In the Mexican culture there is a Christmas-time tradition called Las Posadas. In this tradition, a couple dressed up as Mary and Joseph go from home to home, asking if there is any room at “the inn.” Each home takes on the role of an

The Fifth Day of Christmas. 14,000 Infants (the Holy Innocents) slain by Herod at Bethlehem

14,000 Holy Infants were killed by King Herod in Bethlehem. When the time came for the Incarnation of the Son of God and His Birth of the Most Holy Virgin Mary, Magi in the East beheld a new star in the heavens, foretelling the Nativity of the King of the Jews. They journeyed immediately to Jerusalem to worship the Child, and the star showed them the way. Having worshipped the divine Infant, they did not

The Fourth Day of Christmas. Family Challenge: The 12 Days of Christmas.

The 12 Days of Christmas refer to the period of December 25 – January 5. It is a primarily a festal time, spanning from Christmas Day until the Eve of Epiphany (or Theophany), which is the only day where fasting is observed.  The most important thing is to not let a day go by without marveling at the transformative gift we received in Christ’s Nativity. Are you ready to take the Challenge? Baptized in Christ:

The Third Day of Christmas. Feast of the Holy Protomartyr and Archdeacon Stephen.

After the pouring forth of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, the fire-bearing words of the Apostles and the signs and wonders that accompanied them inspired many conversions.  As soon as the believers had become members of the Body of Christ through holy Baptism, they sold all their goods and laid the proceeds at the Apostles’ feed; then, being free of all worldly ties and interests, they led a life in common, and were of one