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ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ ΑΝΕΣΤΗ! CHRIST IS RISEN! The Sixth Monday of Pascha: Shadows, Icons, and the Age to Come

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, April 6, 2022  What will heaven be like? It is not an unusual question. Sometimes it is asked with all the freshness of a child, other times with the anxiety of the old. It is not a question that admits of easy answers, nor a question for which language is sufficient. The cynic says, “Nobody knows.” That attitude falls short of the fullness of human experience. There are stories. There are

ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ ΑΝΕΣΤΗ! CHRIST IS RISEN! The Second Friday of Pascha: Why Were the Myrrh-Bearers the First to Hear that Christ Had Risen?

Published by Pemptousia Partnership on May 15, 2021 Metropolitan Avgoustinos (Kantiotis) of Florina († 2010) And he said to them: ‘Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen; he is not here…’ (Mark 16,6). When Christ was born, the first to hear of it weren’t the great, the powerful and the rich, but the humble and poor shepherds abiding in the fields with their flocks in Bethlehem. Similarly, when Christ rose,

Lazarus Saturday

Reading Lazarus and his sisters Martha and Mary, the friends of the Lord Jesus, had given Him hospitality and served Him many times (Luke 10:38-4z; John 12:2-3). They were from Bethany, a village of Judea. This village is situated in the eastern parts by the foothills of the Mount of Olives, about two Roman miles from Jerusalem. When Lazarus – whose name is a Hellenized form of “Eleazar,” which means “God has helped,” became ill

The Third Thursday of Great Lent: Make Peace in Your Heart

Sermon preached by Fr. Antony Hughes on Sunday, August 14, 2016 The Reading from the Holy Gospel according to St. Luke. (10:38-42; 11:27-28) “Be still and know that I am God.” Martha is not still and so she misses the obvious presence of God right there in her own living room.  She is so concerned about herself, so full of herself and her serving, that she cannot think of anything else.  Sometimes it’s just better

The Second Monday of Great Lent: Annunciation of the Theotokos

Reading Six months after John the Forerunner’s conception, the Archangel Gabriel was sent by God to Nazareth, a town of Galilee, unto Mary the Virgin, who had come forth from the Temple a mature maiden (see Nov. 21). According to the tradition handed down by the Fathers, she had been betrothed to Joseph four months. On coming to Joseph’s house, the Archangel declared: “Rejoice, thou Full of Grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art

Presentation of Christ to the Temple

Introduction This feast, celebrated on February 2, is known in the Orthodox Church as The Presentation of Christ in the Temple. Another name for the feast is The Meeting of our Lord. Roman Catholic and Protestant Christians call the feast, The Purification of the Holy Virgin. About 450 AD in Jerusalem, people began the custom of holding lighted candles during the Divine Liturgy of this feast day. Therefore, some churches in the West refer to

The Nativity of Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ

Reading 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 fathers’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

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 Seventeenth Day of Christmas Advent: You Are Not Alone – And Neither Is God

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, November 16, 2021 I consider it both a strange mystery and a settled matter of the faith that God prefers not to do things alone. Repeatedly, He acts in a manner that involves the actions of others when it would seem, He could have acted alone. Why would God reveal His Word to the world through the agency of men? Why would He bother to use writing? Why not simply communicate

The Seventh Day of Christmas Advent: The Entrance into the Temple

Published by Pemptousia Partnership on November 21, 2021 Fr. Alexander Schmemann It seems thousands of years removed from us, but it was not so very long ago that life was marked out by religious feasts. Although everyone went to church, not everyone, of course, knew the exact contents of each celebration. For many, perhaps even the majority, the feast was above all an opportunity to get a good sleep, eat well, drink and relax. And nevertheless, I think