The Eighth Day of Christmas: Saint Basil the Great, Archbishop of Caesarea in Cappadocia. The Circumcision of Christ. St. Telemachus, Peacemaker

On January 1 the Greek Orthodox church commemorates Saint Basil the Great, Archbishop of Caesarea in Cappadocia. Saint Basil was born in the year 330 in Caesarea, to a family renowned for their learning and holiness. His mother, Emilia (commemorated on July 19) and his grandmother Macrina (commemorated on June 14) are Saints of the Church, together with his brothers and sisters: Macrina, his elder sister (July 19), Gregory of Nyssa (January 10), Peter of Sebastia (January 9), and

The Fortieth Day of Christmas Advent (Christmas Eve): On the Feast of the Nativity

Sermon preached by Fr. Antony Hughes on the Eve of Christmas 2018 at St. Mary Orthodox Church in Cambridge, MA In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, one God. Amen. St. John the Evangelist wrote three letters that appear in the New Testament. In his first letter, chapter 2, verse 21, he explains why he is writing. “It is not because you do not know the truth

The Thirty-Eighth Day of Christmas Advent: The Tree of Life Blossoms

In the hymns for the prefeast of Christ’s Nativity, Jesus’ birth heralds a return to paradise. The Messiah is born and the gates of Eden are opened. The Savior comes and the tree of life blossoms. Paradise is not a place on the map. It is a condition of spirit. When a person knows God and lives in communion with Him, this is paradise. When a person does not know God and lives in communion

The Thirty-Seventh Day of Christmas Advent: The Lord Christ’s Net

Sermon preached by Fr. Antony Hughes for the Feast of the Nativity of our Lord 2020 The Great Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn still visible is a beautiful sight, reminding us of the Christmas Star, although it most likely is not the same. Of course, the Adventists among us are speculating that Christ is soon to return. So they have been for over 2,000 years. Our message to them is, “What are you waiting for?

The Thirty-Fifth Day of Christmas Advent: The Eternal Gift of Union

Sermon preached by Fr. Antony Hughes on Sunday, December 20, 2020 Here we are only a few days until Christmas. While we will be giving and receiving gifts, let’s take a moment to reflect on the greatest gift we have been given – the gift of union with God. I love the reading of the Genealogy. It reminds me of the poignant scene in Matthew’s Gospel where Jesus laments over Jerusalem. “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who

The Twenty-Ninth Day of Christmas Advent: ‘He Has Redeemed His People’ (Luke 1, 68)

Published by Pemptousia Partnership on December 30, 2021 Lambros Skontzos, Theologian The coming of Our Lord Jesus Christ into the world is one of the few interludes of joy which tormented humanity has enjoyed over the course of its history. This is illustrated in the angelic tidings of the Nativity to the simple shepherds in Bethlehem: ‘Behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day…

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

The Third Day of Christmas Advent: The Magi and the Wise Men from the East Lead to Bethlehem

Published by Pemptousia Partnership on December 10, 2021 Sister Parakliti, Holy Skete of Saint Mary Magdalene, in Liti Once again we’ve been given the opportunity to devote a little time to the study of Christ’s Nativity in our life, as we approach Christmas, the great feast of the Lord. We’re given the opportunity to look at how we experience the personal advent of Christ, in our homes, in our monasteries, and wherever else we may be, but particularly

The Fifth Day of Christmas: 14,000 infants (Holy Innocents) slain by Herod in Bethlehem

December 29 Reading The infant-slaying Herod mentioned here is the same one that ruled at the time of Christ’s Nativity. In those days, certain Magi, who were wise and noble men, perhaps even kings, set forth from the East, and came to Jerusalem, seeking the King of the Jews, Who had been born; and they said that in the East, where their homeland was, an unusual and strange star had appeared two years before, which,

The Thirtieth Day of Christmas Advent: Light into Darkness

By Fr John Breck, December 2, 2005 The best way to prepare for a feast, I find, is to spend some time looking at and praying before the festal icons. Nativity offers a broad array of sacred images that spell out graphically the biblical Word of the incarnation, the coming of the eternal God in the person of a little child. One of the most striking aspects of those images is the way they blend