Behind Every Rock and Tree – An Allegory

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, January 17, 2015  How is an allegorical interpretation of the Scriptures possible? In the fourth chapter of Galatians, St. Paul invokes the story of Abraham and his two sons, one born of a bondwoman (Hagar) and the other of a freewoman (Sarah).  As he prepares to draw a lesson from the story he says of it: “These things are an allegory.” He then proceeds to draw a very authoritative (for him)

The Feast of Holy Pentecost

The Feast of Holy Pentecost is celebrated each year on the fiftieth day after the Great and Holy Feast of Pascha (Easter) and ten days after the Feast of the Ascension of Christ. The Feast is always celebrated on a Sunday. The Feast commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles on the day of Pentecost, a feast of the Jewish tradition. It also celebrates the establishment of the Church through the preaching

Equal of the Apostles and Emperor Constantine with his Mother Helen

The Church calls Saint Constantine (306-337) “the Equal of the Apostles,” and historians call him “the Great.” He was the son of the Caesar Constantius Chlorus (305-306), who governed the lands of Gaul and Britain. His mother was Saint Helen, a Christian of humble birth. At this time the immense Roman Empire was divided into Western and Eastern halves, governed by two independent emperors and their co-rulers called “Caesars.” Constantius Chlorus was Caesar in the

Christos Anesti! Christ is Risen! Wednesday of the Sixth Week of Pascha. Ascended in Glory (Part I)

THE FEAST OF CHRIST’S Ascension is seldom given its due in the cycle of liturgical services, even within the Orthodox tradition. This is in part because it falls awkwardly on a Thursday, when most of our parishioners are at work. More significant is the fact that the theology, the deeply spiritual meaning of the feast, is not well understood. The Ascension is difficult for us to grasp because the image it evokes seems so improbable.

The Great and Holy Tuesday. The Pilgrimage of Holy Week

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, April 21, 2016 The apex of the year for Orthodox Christians is easily Holy Week and Pascha. I had the opportunity in 2008 to make a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. To receive communion in the tomb of Christ, or to stand at Golgotha is no little thing. And yet, the services of Holy Week within one’s own parish are a greater thing. I say this not only from my own

Sermon for Palm Sunday

From: Greek Orthodox Church of Saint George, Brisbane QLD Throughout the entire history of the known world, men have conquered other men. Rulers have conquered cities. Emperors have conquered entire nations. At times, Kings have strived to conquer the entire world. But there remains one uncharted territory that has eluded men of power all throughout history. This unconquered territory is the human heart, and its sole conqueror is Christ the king. Today we celebrate together

The Fifth Day of Christmas. 14,000 Innocent Children: Christmas Has a Cost

By Andrew Estocin Christmas can be too comfortable sometimes.  As the Nativity Season unfolds, churches are celebrating the birth of Christ.   Gifts are being shared, kitchens are busy preparing traditional foods, and retreat speakers have returned home from their visits to parishes. While all these events may be well intentioned, they frequently point us in the direction of nostalgia rather than a living faith.  Nostalgia can often be unhealthy.   The more we focus solely on

The Thirty-Sixth Day of Christmas Advent. The Genealogy of Jesus

By Fr. Antony Hughes on Sunday, December 21, 2014 We read today the genealogy of Jesus from St. Matthew’s Gospel. It is different from St. Luke’s genealogy and there are reasons for this which we do not time to talk about this morning. I would rather spend time on the point of this Gospel and that is, God became man to save everyone and everything. It is as Thomas Merton speaks of this using the

The Universal Exaltation of the Precious and Life-Giving Cross

The Elevation of the Venerable and Life-Creating Cross of the Lord: The pagan Roman emperors tried to completely eradicate from human memory the holy places where our Lord Jesus Christ suffered and was resurrected for mankind. The Emperor Hadrian (117-138) gave orders to cover over the ground of Golgotha and the Sepulchre of the Lord, and to build a temple of the pagan goddess Venus and a statue of Jupiter. Pagans gathered at this place

The Feast of the Nativity of the Theotokos

By Tenny Thomas The Feast of the Nativity of the Theotokos is the first major feast of the new Church Year (Eastern Orthodox), which begins on September 1st. Why was this day selected since it is not in the Holy Scripture? History shows that St. Helena, the mother of Emperor Constantine, built a Church in Jerusalem, which was dedicated to the Nativity of our Lady. It was said to be consecrated on the date of