On the Day of Christ’s Baptism — Part 1

by St. John Chrysostom Our father among the saints John Chrysostom, Archbishop of Constantinople, was a notable Christian bishop and preacher from the fourth and fifth centuries in Syria and Constantinople. He is famous for eloquence in public speaking and his denunciation of abuse of authority in the Church and in the Roman Empire of the time. His banishments demonstrated that secular powers had strong influence in the eastern Church at this period in history. We shall now say something about the present feast. Many celebrate the feast days and know their designations, but the cause for which … [Read more...]

The Twelve Days of Christmas

In the Christian tradition of both east and west, the twelve days of Christmas refer to the period from Christmas Day to Theophany. The days leading up to Christmas were for preparation; a practice affirmed in the Orthodox tradition by the Christmas fast that runs from November 15 to Christmas day. The celebration of Christmas did not begin until the first of the twelve days. As our culture became more commercialized, the period of celebration shifted from Thanksgiving to Christmas Day. Christmas celebration increasingly conforms to the shopping cycle while the older tradition falls by the … [Read more...]

The Proskomide — Service of Preparation of the Holy Gifts

Long before most people arrive at Church, the priest prepares the Holy Gifts (the bread and wine that will be consecrated into the body and blood of Christ) in a small service called the Proskomedi. He cuts pieces of a loaf of bread called the prosphora ("before the gifts") and places them on dish called a paten, and then pours water and wine into the chalice. This is what is carried through the congregation during the Great Procession in the Divine Liturgy. This is also the time when the names you submit to the priest are first read. Fr. John Peck, pastor of St. George Greek Orthodox Church … [Read more...]

Christianity Without Pentecost

What happens when Orthodox Christian experience Ascension, but not Pentecost? by: Fr. Josiah Trenham The last ten days in the Church have been unusual. In some sense we have been living between two realities. On the leave-taking of Pascha we ceased the sustained celebration of the Holy Resurrection of the Lord as well as our saying, “Christ is risen. Truly He is risen.” The next day we celebrated the Glorious Ascension of our Savior into the heavens to sit at the right hand of the Father. For these days between Ascension and Pentecost we have been in a waiting mode. We, like the … [Read more...]

The Christians of Dachau

By Fr. Hans Jacobse Pascha, 2009 Every Pascha, I repost two stories on OrthodoxyToday.org. that tell how Orthodox prisoners in Dachau held the Paschal Liturgy during their liberation. The first, "The Souls of All are Aflame" provides historical background and detail. The second, "Pascha in Dachau" recounts the story of a prisoner who was there. Christ opening the gates of Dachau View a larger image of this icon Dachua was liberated during Holy Week. The Orthodox believers experienced Christ's triumph over the forces of darkness by holding a Paschal Liturgy crying out "Christ is Risen!" It … [Read more...]

The Love of God and the Passion of Christ

On March 26, 2009, the Fellowship of St. James, publisher of Touchstone and Salvo magazines, hosted a Lenten talk by Fr. Patrick Henry Reardon, the pastor of All Saints Antiochian Orthodox Church in Chicago, Illinois, and the author of Christ in the Psalms and Christ in His Saints, both published by Conciliar Press. The title of the talk was "The Love of God and the Passion of Christ," and it was preceded by an invocation by Fr. Wilbur Ellsworth, pastor of Holy Transfiguration Antiochian Orthodox Church in Warrenville, Illinois. Listen to it now: The Love of God and the Passion of Christ … [Read more...]

Orthodox chant on PBS [AUDIO]

A small but delightful segment on Orthodox chant appears on the Religion and Ethics section of the PBS website. … [Read more...]

Achieving Orthodoxy Unity

[serialposts] By: Fr. Gleb McFatter Sermon delivered on the Sunday of Orthodox, Naples, Florida, March, 2009. Pentecost In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen. This invocation of the Holy Trinity which I have just recited is familiar to us all. It is repeated often in every Orthodox service and it is included in every Orthodox prayer. Yet I wonder how many of us have ever contemplated the concept that underlies this invocation, and how that concept is the very core belief which brings us together this evening for the Triumph of Orthodoxy. In the divine liturgy, we … [Read more...]

The Scandal: Jesus Hangs on the Cross to Forgive Us of Sin

By: Fr. George Morelli A Lenten homily. "Who can forgive sins but God alone?" Is there any doubt that the Cross of Jesus Christ is a scandal, a shame and embarrassment to anyone who chooses not to respond to God's grace? Look at Jesus from a Jewish perspective in the time of Christ. They were awaiting a messiah, the anointed one of God — a deliverer who would reign in glory with the power and adornment of a king. … [Read more...]