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ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ ΑΝΕΣΤΗ! CHRIST IS RISEN! Let Us Rejoice and Be Glad!

Submitted by Fr. John Breck, May 2, 2009 Attributed by all of the extant manuscripts to St John Chrysostom, this little-known, pseudepigraphical homily from the fifth century focuses on “the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.”[1] It begins by summarizing various fruits of the resurrection in the lives of believers, then exhorts readers or listeners to assume conduct appropriate to the day of Holy Pascha. In the rhetorical style typical of the period, it stresses antitheses,

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 Nativity of Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ

The incomprehensible and inexplicable Nativity of Christ came to pass when Herod the Great was reigning in Judea; the latter was an Ascalonite on his father’s side and an Idumean on his mother’s. He was in every way foreign to the royal line of David; rather, he had received his authority from the Roman emperors, and had ruled tyrannically over the Jewish people for some thirty-three years. The tribe of Judah, which had reigned of

The Thirtieth Day of Christmas Advent. Gifts in Silence.

Vasie-Leigh Andriotis As a person in the Facebook era, I am showered by daily “status” updates and photographs of my friends’ children.  There is such a great joy and anticipation when a child comes into the world or just your world.   Family and friends are so happy to see those new little faces that they have been anticipating.  It is hard to contain the excitement. It must have been unimaginable for Mary and Joseph, preparing

Joachim & Anna

The holy and righteous Joachim and Anna are the parents of the Theotokos, the grandparents of Jesus Christ. Their feast day is celebrated on September 9, following the Nativity of the Theotokos; the dormition of St. Anna is commemorated on July 25. St. Joachim was of the tribe of Judah, and a descendant of King David. St. Anna was the daughter of Matthan the priest, of the tribe of Levi as was Aaron the High

The Dormition Fast: The Most Holy Mother of God

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, August 13, 2008  On August 15, the Orthodox Church (new calendar) commemorates the Dormition (falling asleep) of the Most Holy Mother of God. The feast is considered to be one of the 12 Great Feasts of the year and thus an integral part of the proclamation of gospel of Jesus Christ. Many who are not familiar with Orthodoxy, or its manner of understanding saints, easily see feast days and the veneration

The Dormition Fast: Leaving Mary Out

By Stephen Freeman, August 14, 2014 Decades ago, when I was in seminary (Anglican), a professor told me that he did not believe in angels. I was surprised and asked him why. He responded that he “did not think they were necessary…that anything angels did could be done by the Holy Spirit…” While this is obviously true, I noted that angels are found throughout Scripture, and that “necessary” was not a theological category – and

The Dormition Fast: The Mystery of the Mother of God

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, August 3, 2010 The 15th of August is the Feast of the Dormition of the Mother of God (her death). Orthodox Christians fast for two weeks prior to this great feast and celebrate it with great solemnity. A question was recently placed by a reader about the “perpetual virginity” of Mary. I am offering this small post to address that question and to look at the place of the Most Holy

The Dormition Fast: Why Mary Has Always Been Honored

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, August 13, 2018 This Wednesday (August 15) is the Feast of the Dormition, the Falling Asleep of the Virgin Mary. I offer this article as a reflection. The most difficult part of my Orthodox experience to discuss with the non-Orthodox is the place and role of the Mother of God in the Church and in my life. It is, on the one hand, deeply theological and even essential to a right understanding

The Dormition Fast: The Holy Theotokos

By Abbot Tryphon, March 20, 2017  The veneration of the Holy Virgin in the Ancient Church All the early reformers, including Luther and Calvin, believed Mary to be Ever Virgin. The practice at the time of Jesus was to refer to all cousins as siblings, so none of the early Christians believed Mary had born any children other than Jesus. Furthermore, the veneration of the Virgin did not begin with Rome, but began in the