Sermon on the Sunday of Orthodoxy

By Fr. Raphael Daly This morning, I would like to tell you the story of two women, who chose very different paths for their respective lives, but arrived at the same destination. The background for this story is the iconoclast controversy, and the feast we celebrate today – the Sunday of Orthodoxy. I won’t get into the history of the iconoclast controversy this morning – there are many fine books on the subject already written,

The Thirty-Ninth Day of Christmas Advent: For so has God Loved the World (Part II)

But the road from Bethlehem to Zion is long, and is leading us through Gethsemane and Golgotha. Already in Bethlehem the newborn Godchild is presented with funeral offerings by the Wise Men from the East. “Today God leads the Wise Men to worship through the star, prefiguring His three-day burial in gold, frankincense, and myrrh.” The very doors of the Bethlehem cavern are nearly stained with the innocent blood of the children who were killed

The Holy and Glorious Apostle Thomas the “Twin”

The Holy and Glorious Apostle Thomas was born in the Galilean city of Pansada and was a fisherman. Hearing the good tidings of Jesus Christ, he left all and followed after Him. The Apostle Thomas is included in the number of the holy Twelve Apostles of the Savior. According to Holy Scripture, the holy Apostle Thomas did not believe the reports of the other disciples about the Resurrection of Jesus Christ: “Unless I see in

The Dormition of our Most Holy Lady Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary (Part II)

Then came the third hour (9 A.M.), when the Dormition of the Mother of God was to occur. A number of candles were burning. The holy Disciples surrounded her beautifully adorned bed, offering praise to God. She prayed in anticipation of Her demise and of the arrival of Her longed-for Son and Lord. Suddenly, the inexpressible Light of Divine Glory shone forth, before which the blazing candles paled in comparison. All who it saw took

The Dormition of our Most Holy Lady Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary (Part I)

After the Ascension of the Lord, the Mother of God remained in the care of the Apostle John the Theologian, and during his journeys, She lived at the home of his parents, near the Mount of Olives. She was a source of consolation and edification both for the Apostles and for all the believers. Conversing with them, She told them about miraculous events: the Annunciation, the seedless and undefiled Conception of Christ born of Her,

Why Fast for Dormition?

By Daniel Manzuk It would be a gross understatement to say that much has been written about the Feast of the Dormition of the Theotokos. Yet very little has been written about the fast that precedes it. Every Orthodox Christian is aware and generally knows the reason behind the fasts for Pascha and Christmas. But while they may know of the Dormition Fast, few follow it, and more than a few question why it is

The Synaxis of the Twelve Apostles

The Bible contains four lists of the names of the Twelve Disciples of Christ: Matthew 10:12, Mark 3:13, Luke 6:14 and Acts of the Apostles 1:13. They vary slightly as well as the sequence although they list Peter first, even though it was Andrew (his brother) who was called first by the Lord.   It is believed that Christ selected only 12 because it was the number of the twelve sons of Jacob (the most famous

Great and Holy Saturday

Comments on the Main Themes On Great Saturday the Church contemplates the mystery of the Lord’s descent into Hades, the place of the dead. Death, our ultimate enemy, is defeated from within. “He (Christ) gave Himself as a ransom to death in which we were held captive, sold under sin. Descending into Hades through the Cross … He loosed the bonds of death” (Liturgy of St. Basil). The hymnographer of the Church describes the mystery

The Annunciation of our Most Holy Lady, the Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary

The Feast of the Annunciation is one of the earliest Christian feasts, and was already being celebrated in the fourth century. There is a painting of the Annunciation in the catacomb of Priscilla in Rome dating from the second century. The Council of Toledo in 656 mentions the Feast, and the Council in Trullo in 692 says that the Annunciation was celebrated during Great Lent. The Greek and Slavonic names for the Feast may be

HOLY NATIVITY: Encyclicals of Patriarch Bartholomew & Archbishop Demetrios for the Feast of the Nativity of Christ 2013

Prot. No. 1109 Patriarchal Encyclical for Christmas + BARTHOLOMEWBy God’s Mercy Archbishop of Constantinople-New Rome and Ecumenical PatriarchTo the Plenitude of the Church:Grace, mercy, and peace from the Savior Christ, born in Bethlehem Beloved brothers and sisters, children in the Lord, “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given.” (Isaiah 9.5) Many centuries ago, the Prophet foresaw and announced with enthusiasm and joy the birth of the child Jesus from