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ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ ΑΝΕΣΤΗ! CHRIST IS RISEN! The Fourth Thursday of Pascha: Life Uncircumscribed

Sermon preached by Fr. Antony Hughes on Sunday, May 30, 2021. Three Post-Resurrection Gospel readings feature water. Last week it was the story of the Paralytic at the Pool of Bethesda. This week it is the Samaritan Woman at Jacob’s Well and next week Jesus heals the Blind Man with mud made from his own spittle. Water is a symbol for new life, for cleansing and rebirth. It is from water that all life evolved

The Fourth Wednesday of Great Lent: The Prayer of Righteous Symeon

Published by Pemptousia Partnership on February 3, 2022 Metropolitan of Pisidia Sotirios At every Vespers, we hear the prayer: “Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace, according to Your word; For my eyes have seen your salvation …” (Luke 2: 29-31). As St. Luke the Evangelist writes, it is with these words that the Righteous Symeon praised and thanked God, when he took the 40-day old baby Jesus in his arms, while in the Temple of

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 Great Messianic Banquet

Sermon preached by Fr. Antony Hughes on Sunday, December 12, 2021 We know that Jesus used parables in his teaching. It is important to remember what a parable is. Parables are extended metaphors that use concrete examples to form a brief, coherent story. Parables are not history and their meaning is not immediately accessible. They are meant to draw us in and provoke us to “subvert conventional ways of seeing and living and to invite hearers

The Third Day of Christmas: Protomartyr and Archdeacon Stephen

Commemorated on December 27 The Holy Protomartyr and Archdeacon Stephen was the eldest of the seven deacons, appointed by the Apostles themselves, and therefore he is called “archdeacon.” He was the first Christian martyr, and he suffered for Christ when he was about thirty. In the words of Asterias, he was “the starting point of the martyrs, the instructor of suffering for Christ, the foundation of righteous confession, since Stephen was the first to shed

The Sixteenth Day of Christmas Advent: St. Andrew—The First Called of the Apostles

By Fr. Stavros Akrotirianakis, November 30, 2021 He Was the First to Be Called—We are Called as Well The next day again John was standing with two of his disciples; and he looked at Jesus as he walked and said, “Behold the Lamb of God!”  The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus.  Jesus turned, and saw them following, and said to them, “What do you seek?”  And they said to him,

The Third Day of Christmas Advent: Are the Stories of Jesus’ Birth True?

By Fr John Breck, January 1, 2005 The Christmas season inevitably leads people in the media to speculate on whether or not the Gospel accounts of Jesus’ conception and birth are historically accurate. The question they raise in the public mind is whether these cherished stories are really “true.” A good, well-balanced example of this kind of reflection appeared in the December 13, 2004 edition of Newsweek. The article rehearsed a familiar array of parallels

Holy, All-Praised Apostle Philip

Commemorated on November 14. The Holy and All-praised Apostle Philip was a native of the city of Bethsaida in Galilee. He had a profound depth of knowledge of the Holy Scripture, and rightly discerning the meaning of the Old Testament prophecies, he awaited the coming of the Messiah. Through the call of the Savior (John 1:43), Philip followed Him. The Apostle Philip is spoken about several times in the Holy Gospel: he brought to Christ

The Nativity of the Theotokos

MOST HOLY THEOTOKOS, SAVE US! By Fr. John Breck, September 2, 2003 Orthodox Christians begin and end the liturgical year with celebrations dedicated to the Virgin Mary, whom we venerate as the Theotokos or “bearer of God.” On September 8, the end of the first week of the new year, we commemorate her Nativity or birth; on August 15, we close the year with the feast of her Dormition, her “falling asleep” and translation to

Holy Prophet Zachariah and Righteous Elizabeth, parents of Saint John the Baptist

Commemorated on September 5 The Holy Prophet Zachariah and the Righteous Elizabeth were the parents of the holy Prophet, Forerunner and Baptist of the Lord, John. They were descended from the lineage of Aaron: Saint Zachariah, son of Barach, was a priest in the Jerusalem Temple, and Saint Elizabeth was the sister of Saint Anna, the mother of the Most Holy Theotokos. The righteous spouses, “walking in all the commandments of the Lord” (Luke 1:6), suffered