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SEPTEMBER 11, 2001

By Fr. John Breck, January 1, 2002 This is a date we shall never forget. Images of planes hurtling into the twin towers, the collapse of the buildings, the faces of the police, firefighters and other rescue workers who lost so many friends and co-workers, the anguished cries of family members who refused to accept the obvious. Images, too, of the Pentagon in flames, followed by the rerouting of Air Force One and the cautionary

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

The Placing of the Honorable Sash of the Most Holy Theotokos

August 31 The Placing of the Venerable Belt of the Most Holy Theotokos in a church of Constantinople’s Chalcoprateia district took place during the reign of the emperor Theodosius the Younger. Before this the holy relic, entrusted to the Apostle Thomas by the Mother of God Herself, was kept by pious Christians at Jerusalem after Her Dormition. During the reign of Emperor Leo, the Wise (886-911), his wife Zoe was afflicted with an unclean spirit,

The Dormition

Sermon preached by Fr. Antony Hughes on Sunday, August 15, 2021. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, One God Amen. Glory to Jesus Christ. The scripture readings today are extremely significant and apropos to the day. Saint Paul’s talking about self-emptying: the Kenosis of Jesus Christ, who came to the world, giving up all His divine prerogative to become one of us and save us in

Dormition or Assumption?

By Fr John Breck, August 1, 2008 In our Orthodox tradition we are usually very careful to distinguish between the “Dormition” of the Mother of God and her “Assumption” into heaven. The former, we feel, is properly Orthodox, while the latter strikes us as a purely Western designation, derived from a Roman Catholic “misunderstanding” of the meaning of this feast, celebrated universally on August 15. It is true that some very genuine yet misguided interpretations

Beneath Her Compassion

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, November 19, 2016  Among the greater mysteries of the New Testament are those surrounding the Mother of God. A large segment of modern Christianity has become tone deaf in this regard, a result of centuries of antagonism towards certain aspects of older tradition. It is a deafness that grieves my heart, primarily in that it represents a great gulf within the broader experience of the faith. A few years after my

THE FAST OF THE DORMITION OF THE HOLY THEOTOKOS

By St Nino Orthodox, August 15, 2016  For fourteen days of August, during each year, the Holy Orthodox Church enters into a strict fast period in honor of the Mother of God, the Virgin Mary. The eminent Orthodox theologian, Father Sergei Bulgakov, beautifully expresses the high regard which the Orthodox Christians have for the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, for her special role in the salvation of mankind, when he affirms, “The warm

The Dormition Fast

Published by Pemptousia Partnership, August 1, 2021 From the 1st to the 14th of August we fast in honor of Our Most Holy Lady, the Mother of God. It’s a strict fast, with fish eaten only on the feast of the Transfiguration of the Savior (6 August). If 15 August falls on a Wednesday or Friday, there is a dispensation only for fish. Fasting is a commandment from God. The first. The oldest of all.

Mary: The Blessing of All Generations

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, December 14, 2021  In my childhood, it was not unusual to hear someone ask, “Who are your people?” It was a semi-polite, Southernism designed to elicit essential information about a person’s social background. The assumption was that you, at best, could only be an example of your “people.” It ignored the common individualism of the wider culture, preferring the more family or clan-centered existence of an older time. It was possible

[Nativity of] John the Baptist and Forerunner of the Lord

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, June 22, 2007  [Today is] the feast of the Nativity of the Forerunner of Christ – a feast noted around my household for also being the birthday of my wife (and of her brother). Thus we celebrate and are sometimes slightly distracted from the ecclesiastical meaning of the day. But a family cannot be faulted for the joy it takes in its mother, nor I in my spouse. But I want