"Do not be surprised that you fall every day; do not give up, but stand your ground courageously. And assuredly the Angel who guards you will honor your patience.... With God all things are possible.”
†St. John Climacus
“I shall speak first about control of the stomach, the opposite to gluttony, and about how to fast and what and how much to eat. I shall say nothing on my own account, but only what I have received from the Holy Fathers. They have not given us only a single rule for fasting or a single standard and measure for eating, because not everyone has the same strength; age, illness or delicacy of body create differences. But they have given us all a single goal: to avoid over-eating and the filling of our bellies. They also found a day's fast to be more beneficial and a greater help toward purity than one extending over a period of three, four, or even seven days. Someone who fasts for too long, they say, often ends up by eating too much food. The result is that at times the body becomes enervated through undue lack of food and sluggish over its spiritual exercises, while at other times, weighed down by the mass of food it has eaten, it makes the soul listless and slack.”
†St. John Cassian
The Small Paraklesis will continue this Wednesday, January 24th at 6:30 p.m. Please consider making a commitment to be a reader or to learn and help offer the responses. Come be a part of the mid-week service of supplication. Note: The Small Paraklesis will continue Wednesday evenings until the start of Great Lent.
The 2018 Diocesan Assembly will be held this week, January 25-26. We will need help with the preparations, the food, hospitality, and cleanup. We will also need help with the singing of the responses for the divine services. Please see Jeff Kendall if you can help.
We will have Vespers for the Assembly on Thursday, January 25th at 6:00 p.m. followed by a guest speaker. All are welcome to attend.
Then on Friday, January 26th we will have Divine Liturgy with Archbishop MARK at 8:30 a.m. (reading of the 3rd & 6th hour will be at 8:10 a.m.)
For additional information on the assembly, refer to: http://doepa.org/diocesanassembly2018.html
The diocesan teen retreat will be held on February 9-11, 2018 at Spruce Lake Retreat Center in Canadensis, PA. The retreat is an excellent opportunity for Orthodox teen fellowship. The retreat is open to all youths ages 12-17. There will be snow tubing, winter hiking, and more. Download your registration form at www.ocayouth.org. Regular registration is open through January 16th. Late registration is open from January 17th through January 26th.
On Sunday, February11th, during the coffee hour, we will have an all parish meeting to elect a delegate for the OCA All American council which meets July 23 - July 27, 2018. If you are interested in serving as a delegate or an observer, please see Fr. Barnabas or one of our newly elected parish council members.
Strong Orthodox Christian presence at DC March for Life
16 hours ago
Tens of thousands of pro-life marchers from across the United States gathered in the nation’s capital on Friday, January 19, 2018 for the 45th annual March for Life.
The annual March marks the anniversary of the January 22, 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion in the United States. The theme of this year’s March was “Love Saves Lives.”
As reported earlier, His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon, led the Orthodox Christian hierarchs, clergy, seminarians and faithful at the March. Other participating hierarchs included His Eminence, Archbishop Melchisedek of Pittsburgh and His Eminence, Archbishop Michael of New York. In addition to representing the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America, Metropolitan Tikhon represented the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America at the request of His Eminence, Archbishop Demetrios of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, who chairs the Assembly. Also present were numerous hierarchs and representatives of the Oriental Churches and other traditions.
On the eve of the March, Metropolitan Tikhon was among those who attended a Prayer Vigil at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Washington DC. Presiding at the Vigil, which was organized by United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, was His Eminence, Timothy Cardinal Dolan of New York, who together with other Roman Catholic hierarchs extended a warm welcome to Metropolitan Tikhon and those accompanying him.
At Friday morning’s pre-March program, Metropolitan Tikhon led the marchers in the opening prayer.
“As life is one, all violence of any kind is of the same essence, the tearing of the one tunic,” Metropolitan Tikhon prayed. “The tearing of the tunic will take many forms, abortion, execution, war, racism, genocide, oppression, slavery, hatred of any kind, but the essence of all is one and the same. All such acts are only symptoms of one and the same illness, ‘the sin of the world,’ of which we are all part, which is self-love.”
The text of Metropoltan Tikhon’s opening prayer appears below. A related video also is available.
Among those joining Metropolitan Tikhon on the stage were Archbishops Melchisedek and Michael and Timothy Cardinal Dolan.
After offering prayers for the victims of abortion, Metropolitan Tikhon led the Orthodox Christian marchers, which included a strong representation from Saint Tikhon’s Seminary, South Canaan, PA, and Saint Vladimir’s Seminary, Yonkers, NY. After the March, the seminarians were hosted for dinner by the faithful of the OCA’s Saint Nicholas Cathedral. Among the marchers was the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Galveston-Houston, His Eminence, Daniel Cardinal DiNardo.
On Friday evening, Metropolitan Tikhon attended the annual Rose Dinner, at which Pam Tebow delivered the keynote address.
Also accompanying Metropolitan Tikhon were Archpriest Eric G. Tosi, OCA Secretary; Melanie Ringa, OCA Treasurer; Archdeacon Joseph Matusiak; and Subdeacon Roman Ostash. Archpriest Steven Voytovich, Dean of Saint Tikhon’s Seminary, and Archpriest Chad Hatfield, Dean of Saint Vladimir’s Seminary, also were present.
45th Annual March for Life
January 19, 2018
I don’t come here to represent an ideology or to put forth a new thought.
I am not here to disclose a new insight or to speak for others.
I don’t even come here to speak for myself.
I come here to speak out the Gospel, to speak for the One Who died “for the life of the world.”
In this phrase I see the summary of all that our communion today is about.
And so, together with my brothers from the Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox and Roman Catholic traditions, I ask you to join me in offering a prayer to the One Who died, not for the lives of the world, but for the life of it.
O Lord Jesus Christ, we know that all things and all people of all times share a kinship, a oneness that even surpasses our understanding. They all have one life and one life only, flowing through everything that breathes and everything that exists. When You came into the world, You did not just become human, but You also took on this one life and clothed Yourself with it, making it Your seamless tunic.
As life is one, all violence of any kind is of the same essence, the tearing of the one tunic. The tearing of the tunic will take many forms, abortion, execution, war, racism, genocide, oppression, slavery, hatred of any kind, but the essence of all is one and the same. All such acts are only symptoms of one and the same illness, “the sin of the world,” of which we are all part, which is self-love.
It is tempting to place blame for death only on some, but to be pro-life means to understand that violence is not the sin of some, but of all, that all violence of all time is the sin of all.
The truth is that every human being is Your image and everyone’s life finds infinite value in You, regardless of one’s sins.
Lord, You show us that life has only one source and only one victory: self-sacrificial love. Help us to be self-sacrificial love for all and we will conquer death. As the great Syrian saint, Saint Isaac, said:
Be persecuted, but persecute not.
Be crucified, but crucify not.
Be wronged, but wrong not.
Be slandered, but slander not.
Have clemency, not zeal, with respect to evil.
Lay hold of goodness, not justice.
Justice does not belong to the Christian way of life, and there is no mention of it in Christ’s teaching.
Rejoice with them that rejoice, and weep with them that weep: for this is the sign of limpid purity.
Suffer with the sick, and mourn with sinners; with those who repent, rejoice….
Be a partaker in the sufferings of all men, but keep your body distant from all.
Rebuke no man, revile no man, not even those who live very wickedly.
Spread your cloak over the man who is falling and cover him.
My Brothers and Sisters,
Let us be pro-life and thus not oppose Christ’s dying for the life of the whole world.
Let us be pro-life and be against anything that injures life, against any violence, under any circumstances.
Let us be pro-life and understand the kinship of all people and even of all other creatures and all things.
Let us be pro-life and thus become unable to endure the injury done to any creature.
May we be all this to the glory of our Almighty God, revealed in Trinity at the river Jordan, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, both now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.
St. Vladimir’s Seminary announces winter events
22 Jan 2018 at 10:45am
Saint Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary [SVOTS] recently announced three exciting upcoming winter events. Included is the launch of a new liturgical music series, “Orthodox Masterpieces,” a program that invites the public bi-annually to hear beautifully composed liturgical hymns in their proper setting: communal worship.
On Tuesday, January 30, 2018, at 7:00 p.m., Dr. Scott Kenworthy, seminary alumnus (M.A. ’96) and associate professor of Comparative Religion at Miami University, Ohio, will present the 35th Annual Father Alexander Schmemann Lecture. His talk, titled, “Saint Tikhon of Moscow (1865–1925) and the Orthodox Church in North America and Revolutionary Russia,” will focus on the centenary anniversary of the enthronement of Saint Tikhon, Patriarch of Moscow. The evening will also include the Commencement of the Doctor of Ministry Class of 2017 and a reception. The on-campus event is free and open to the public.
On Friday, February 2, 2018, at 7:00 p.m., alumni and friends in the Lone Star state will host a banquet to support Saint Vladimir’s Seminary. The dinner will be held at the Bent Tree Country Club, Dallas, TX, an exclusive venue with superb dining. Alumni Archimandrite Gerasim and Lijin Raju, as well as Seminary President Archpriest Chad Hatfield, will be offering remarks. Tickets and sponsorship forms are available in the “Featured Events” section of the Seminary’s website.
On Saturday, February 10, 2018, at 6:30 p.m., the Seminary Chorale will commence its “Orthodox Masterpieces” Series by singing Great Vespers on campus in Three Hierarchs Chapel, featuring select compositions by Archpriest Sergei Glagolev. Father Sergei is noted for his pioneering work in introducing English-language musical compositions into Orthodox Christian church services — inspired hymnography with a uniquely American sound. Following the liturgical service, fellow worshippers are invited to enjoy an educational talk by seminary faculty at a light reception. The on-campus event is free and open to the public.
Metropolitan Tikhon’s Sanctity of Life Message now available
18 Jan 2018 at 11:50am
Sunday, January 21, 2018 will be observed as “Sanctity of Life Sunday” in parishes across the United States. The commemoration marks the 45th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion in the US.
The complete text of His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon’s annual Archpastoral Message for Sanctity of Life Sunday appears below and is available for downloading and local distribution in PDF format. Liturgical petitions and prayers for Sanctity of Life Sunday are also available on the Prayers for Orthodox Christians page and in PDF format.
As reported earlier, Metropolitan Tikhon, at the request of His Eminence, Archbishop Demetrios, Chair of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America, will lead the Orthodox delegation at the annual March for Life in Washington, DC on Friday, January 19. Metropolitan Tikhon will offer the opening prayer at the pre-March program.Archpastoral Message of His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon
Sanctity of Life Sunday
January 21, 2018
To the honorable Clergy, venerable Monastics, and pious Faithful of the Orthodox Church in America,
My beloved brothers and sisters in Christ:
From the moment they were born, both Moses and our Lord Jesus Christ faced great danger: as infants someone wanted each of them dead. Moses’s life was saved because the Hebrew midwives feared God more than Pharaoh, so they refused to follow the order to kill the newborn males (Ex. 1:17). And our Savior’s life was spared because of angelic intervention (Mt. 2:13).
But the Holy Innocents were not spared. Herod’s lust for power, or rather his deep-seated insecurity, led to the massacre of a multitude of small children, and the bitter weeping of their inconsolable mothers. We sing of this at the Ninth Royal Hour on Christmas Eve: “Mothers were bereft of their infants, and by an untimely death their babes were bitterly harvested. Breasts grew dry and sources of milk were stopped. Great was this calamity!”
The root of sin and specifically of violence toward our fellow human being has not changed since those times. It has always been our passions: anger, fear, judgment, despair, jealousy, pride, vanity, to name only a few. Moreover, the Fathers of our Church have always taught that the nature of all passions is one and the same: love of the self. This is, in the words of our Lord, “not to think the things of God, but those of man” (Mt. 16:23), or in other words not to think as God does, but as people do. We learn from the Apostle Paul how God thinks. He does not think of His divinity as a thing to hold onto, but empties Himself taking the form of a servant (Phil. 2:6-7). The mind of God is not only not to kill, but to give life to the world through His death (John 6:33, 51).
Locking ourselves within our own minds and setting ourselves as the standard of life, not only do we not see God for what He is, but we don’t see our fellow human beings for what they are. They become objects of our ideas and plans, props in our own life narratives, subjects of our own desires. We hurt others in so many ways just to make them fit us better. The calamities we inflict on each other are not different in nature since the beginning of time, they are only greater. Today we have means to injure others on extraordinarily larger scales. We have the means to hurt others all the way on the other side of the planet with the typing of 280 characters. We have means to execute the condemned by the thousands. We have means to destroy the enemy by the hundreds of thousands. Finally, we have means to kill the unborn by the millions and billions. The only difference between us and the sinners of ancient times is that we have greater means for putting ourselves first and imposing ourselves on others.
Yet, the scariest of all things is not even the scale of our means of violence. Rather it is the fact that our human mind has devolved in its own universe to the point of finding justification for all these terrible violences. At times it even seems that we are drawing near to justifying anything. Human law, established firmly in “the things of men” and not in those of God, follows suit. So many wars have been legal. So many executions have been legal. So many genocides—legal. Christ’s own crucifixion—legal. So much violence has been done in the name of the law and of the good of the human being.
In front of this terrible reality some of us will be drawn to prayer. Others will be drawn to helping all the victims of this terrible violence. Others will be drawn to changing the law. But in front of all of us, regardless of our inclinations, is put forth the only Way and the only conquering of death and victory of life—Christ, the one who “died for the life of the world” (John 6:51). There is a great mystery hidden in this truth, because Christ died for the life of the world at the hands of the world. This is how St. John Chrysostom puts it:
Tell me, what is the goal of the Gospel of grace? Why the revelation of the Son of God in the flesh? So that we bite and devour each other?
...Christ didn’t die only for friends or for His own, but also for His enemies, for tyrants, for impostors, for those who hated and crucified Him…
Throw the net of love, not so that the lame will fall, but rather that he be healed… and thus having searched the hidden depths, pull out from the chasm of perdition the one drowned by his thoughts…
Do not hate! Do not turn away! Do not persecute! Rather, show him pure and true love.
And how Christ died “for the life of the world” at the hands of the world clarifies for us the most crucial thing, namely that life has only one source and only one victory: selfless or self-sacrificial love. Let us be selfless love for all and we—in the one who is Love and Life itself—will conquer death:
Be persecuted, but persecute not.
Be crucified, but crucify not.
Be wronged, but wrong not.
Be slandered, but slander not.
Have clemency, not zeal, with respect to evil.
Lay hold of goodness, not justice.
Justice does not belong to the Christian way of life, and there is no mention of it in Christ’s teaching. Rejoice with them that rejoice, and weep with them that weep: for this is the sign of limpid purity. Suffer with the sick, and mourn with sinners; with those who repent, rejoice…
Be a partaker in the sufferings of all men, but keep your body distant from all. Rebuke no man, revile no man, not even those who live very wickedly.
Spread your cloak over the man who is falling and cover him. (St. Isaac of Syria)
May the world see our love, receive it from our own cross, and fill itself with life in it!
With love in Christ,
Archbishop of Washington
Metropolitan of All America and Canada
OCF announces series of Spring regional college student retreats
16 Jan 2018 at 6:30am
The Orthodox Christian Fellowship [OCF] will host a series of regional retreats and events for college students age 18 through 25 during the Spring of 2018.
The first in the series, sponsored by the Indiana District OCF, will be held at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, Carmel, IN on January 27. Father Lucas Christensen will speak on “The Law of God: Moral Theology of the Human Person.” The full-day gathering will begin at 10:00 a.m. and end at 3:00 p.m. Additional information may be obtained by contacting email@example.com. There is no charge for the event.
“Presenting Ourselves to Christ: Our Unquenchable Thirst for Communion with God” will be the theme of the Mountain Spring Regional Retreat at the Papadeas Residence, 597 County Road 599, Hot Sulphur Springs, CO February 2-4. Father Jordan Brown will be the keynote speaker. For additional information contact firstname.lastname@example.org. All participants may attend free of charge.
The Mid-Atlantic Spring Regional Retreat will be hosted by Holy Trinity Church [OCA], State College, PA February 9-10. “People of the Book: What Orthodox Christians Should Know About Judaism and Islam” is the retreat theme, which will be developed by Father Alexander Goussetis. For more information contact email@example.com. The retreat is free of charge.
Saint Iakovos Retreat Center, Kansasville, WI will be the site of the Midwest Spring Regional Retreat February 16-18. Father Athanasios Papagiannis will speak on “The Physician of Our Souls: More Soothing Than Anointing With Oil.” Further information is available by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org. There is a minimal $25.00 cost for the three-day event.
As the season of Great Lent opens, the Columbus to Lexington District OCF will host a one-day gathering at Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, Columbus, OH on February 24. The keynote speaker, Father Demetrios Carrellas, will explore the theme “Journey to Pascha: Having a Fruitful Lent on Campus.” Further information may be obtained by contacting email@example.com. There is no charge for the event.
Online registration is available on the OCF website.
In related news, OCF’s “Real Break” programs, which offer Orthodox Christian college students an alternative to “Spring Break” by traveling to all parts of the world while deepening their faith, serving those in need, and cultivating relationships with like-minded peers, will begin at the end of February. Additional information and registration details also are available online.
The Orthodox Christian Fellowship is the official campus ministry organization of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America.
Orthodox Christians to battle hunger on IOCC’s “Souper Bowl of Caring” Sunday
15 Jan 2018 at 3:00pm
Sunday, February 4, 2018, has been designated “Souper Bowl of Caring Sunday” by International Orthodox Christian Charities [IOCC].
This year’s 20th annual Souper Bowl Sunday—it’s name reflects the anticipated Super Bowl on the same day—aims at rallying parish youth to champion feeding the poor and caring for those in need around the world.
A variety of resources—posters, bulletin inserts, and announcements—is available on the IOCC web site to generate a “team spirit” in the weeks leading up to the first Sunday of February.
IOCC offers parishes and youth groups easy, step-by-step tips for organizing a successful parish Souper Bowl Sunday.
Established in March 1992 as the official humanitarian organization of the Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas—today’s Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America—IOCC, in the spirit of Christ’s love, offers emergency relief and development programs to those in need worldwide, without discrimination, and strengthens the capacity of the Orthodox Church to so respond. By God’s grace, IOCC enables those suffering and in need to continue to improve their own lives and communities and to have the means to live with dignity, respect, and hope. Since its inception, IOCC and its partners have provided over $600 million in relief and self-help programs to people in more than 60 countries. Current programs focus on emergency relief, agriculture and food security, education, health, water and sanitation, and economic opportunity in places including Syria, Greece, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Uganda, the Balkans, and the United States. IOCC celebrated it’s 25th anniversary in 2017.
Metropolitan Tikhon celebrates Great Feast of Theophany in Mexico City
13 Jan 2018 at 6:53pm
His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon, made an archpastoral visit to the Orthodox Church in America’s Diocese of Mexico for the celebration of the Great Feast of Theophany January 6-9, 2018. His visit also marked the 50th anniversary of the beginning of the construction of Mexico City’s Cathedral of the Ascension and the 45th anniversary of the reception into canonical Orthodoxy of what is today the OCA’s Diocese of Mexico.
After being welcomed upon his arrival in Mexico City by His Eminence, Archbishop Alejo of Mexico, Metropolitan Tikhon met informally with the clergy and faithful at the cathedral. Accompanying Metropolitan Tikhon as translator was Archpriest Antonio Perdomo, Rector of Saint George Church, Pharr, TX.
On Sunday, January 7, Metropolitan Tikhon concelebrated the Divine Liturgy at the cathedral with Archbishop Alejo and His Eminence, Metropolitan Ignacio, Archbishop of the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese of Mexico, Venezuela, Central America and the Islands of the Caribbean Sea, and area OCA and Antiochian clergy. Also in attendance were His Eminence, Metropolitan Athenagoras of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Mexico, Central America, Columbia, Venezuela, and the Caribbean Islands of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and his Chancellor, Archimandrite Damian. The Liturgy marked the first time Metropolitan Ignacio had served at the cathedral and Metropolitan Athenagoras’ first visit to the church.
“It is a great joy to be with you again this year, at the invitation of His Eminence, Archbishop Alejo, for the Feast of Holy Theophany and to participate in the Great Blessing of Water here at the beautiful Cathedral of the Ascension in Mexico City,” Metropolitan Tikhon said at the conclusion of the Liturgy. “This feast is one in which we most clearly receive the light of Christ and are filled with the joy of his appearing.
“The joy of the feast is made even greater through the blessing of our concelebration today with His Eminence, Metropolitan Ignacio of the Antiochian Patriarchate, and with the presence with us of His Eminence, Metropolitan Athenagoras of the Ecumenical Patriarchate,” Metropolitan Tikhon continued. “It is wonderful to give concrete and visible expression to the good relations that exist between all the Orthodox Churches, and particularly here in Mexico.
“I have had the honor of concelebrating with His All-Holiness, Patriarch Bartholomew, and with His Beatitude, Patriarch John X, but this is the first time that I have served with His Eminence, Metropolitan Ignacio, who is just beginning his service, following in the great footsteps of His Eminence, Metropolitan Antonio, of blessed memory,” Metropolitan Tikhon said. “It is a great joy to have with us His Eminence, Metropolitan Athenagoras, who has long been known here in Mexico for his many years of pastoral and missionary work. Indeed, the mission of the Church is a single mission, and we all have a share in the spreading of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, as bishops, priests and laypeople.
“I am grateful to His Eminence, Archbishop Alejo, for gathering us all here today, and on his behalf, I would like to present a special gift of an icon and relics of Saint Raphael of Brooklyn, who is a saint shared by both of our Churches, and a saint who is beloved in the universal Church,” Metropolitan Tikhon concluded. “We pray that the intercessions of Saint Raphael will continue to inspire all of us in our shared mission within the Church.”
In response, Metropolitan Ignacio expressed his joy in concelebrating the Divine Liturgy. He recalled how Metropolitan Tikhon’s patron, Saint Tikhon of Moscow, had worked very closely with Saint Raphael in the North American missionary field. “I pray that Saint Raphael will continue to guide all of us in the common work of the Church,” Metropolitan Ignacio concluded. Metropolitan Athenagoras offered similar words, adding that “we are indeed all part of one Church” and that Metropolitan Tikhon’s presence stands as a reminder that “we all take part in the common missionary work of the Church.” After offering his own words of greeting, Archbishop Alejo presented each of the three Metropolitans with silver candelabras as a remembrance of their visit.
Metropolitan Tikhon and Archbishop Alejo then celebrated the Great Blessing of Waters, after which Metropolitan Tikhon blessed the cathedral and faithful. Certificates were presented to several children who had completed catechetical classes before the hierarchs, clergy and faithful left in procession to bless the park adjacent to the cathedral, to the delight of the many people who had gathered there. Prior to the procession, a large cross, which was elevated in the park, and a floral arrangement marking the 50th anniversary of the beginning of the cathedral’s construction were blessed. Prior to the festive luncheon, which featured homemade tamales and other local delicacies, Archbishop Alejo distributed food baskets to the cathedral’s most elderly members while Metropolitan Tikhon blessed everyone with icons of Saint Tikhon of Moscow.
On Monday, January 8, Metropolitan Athenagoras hosted Metropolitan Tikhon and Archbishop Alejo at Saint Sophia Greek Orthodox Cathedral. After a brief tour of the cathedral, the hierarchs discussed several matters of common importance to the mission in Mexico and world Orthodoxy. The conversation extended into the luncheon that followed. Metropolitan Athenagoras presented a gift from Jerusalem and a commemorative stamp marking the 10th anniversary of the consecration of Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in Cuba to Metropolitan Tikhon, who in turn presented commemorative gifts to his host. Later the same day, Metropolitan Ignacio welcomed Metropolitan Tikhon and Archbishop Alejo at Saints Peter and Paul Antiochian Orthodox Cathedral, where similar discussions were held prior to dinner. At both gatherings, the subject of missionary outreach received much attention.
Metropolitan Tikhon returned to the US on Tuesday, January 9.
The Blessing of Water at the Cathedral of the Ascension, Mexico City, Mexico
Sunday, January 7, 2018
The Gospel of Jesus Christ is revealed gloriously in today’s feast, when we participate in a very real way in the revelation of the Holy Trinity. “The Trinity, our God, today has made Itself indivisibly manifest to us, for the Father in a loud voice bore clear witness to His Son, the Spirit in the form of a dove came down from the sky while the Son bent His immaculate head before the Forerunner, and by receiving baptism He delivered us from bondage, in His love for mankind.”
This revelation is more meaningful when we live in a world of change and uncertainty. This city and this country have recently endured some terrible natural disasters, as have many other parts of the world. Often, when we are faced with such disasters, we might wonder where God is during such tragedies. But today’s feast of Theophany, together with the Feast of the Nativity in the flesh of our Lord Jesus Christ, are a vivid reminder to us that indeed “God is with us.”
He is with us, but it is through the preparation that we make in our own hearts that this presence becomes real and life-giving. It is during times of difficulty that Christians not only show themselves to be true followers of Christ, but also are strengthened in their own faith by active participation in His grace and His love. Today, we bless the waters, but we also bless the Cross that stands outside this cathedral. This means that, just as God is with us, so He asks us to bear our Cross. The Cross is often heavy, but the life we receive today in Holy Communion of His precious Body and Blood, and the regeneration we receive through holy water, are the means by which we are strengthened and filled with our Lord’s divine grace.
May we all continue in our witness on behalf of Christ and His Church. You will always have big challenges in front of you, but as we heard from the Lord, “The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.” May our Lord Jesus Christ, to Whom the Father bears witness, and upon Whom the Holy Spirit descended in the form of a dove, continue to bless all of us, both now and ever and unto the ages of ages. Amen.
New edition of the Divine Liturgy now available from STM Press
12 Jan 2018 at 2:25pm
Saint Tikhon’s Monastery Press is pleased to announce the publication of the Hieratikon (Volume 2]: Liturgy Book for Priest and Deacon, edited by Hieromonk Herman [Majkrzak] and Dr. Vitaly Permiakov.
The volume includes the full texts of the Divine Liturgies of Saint John Chrysostom and Saint Basil the Great and the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts, together with several explanatory introductions regarding hierarchical, vesperal, and paschal Liturgies; the order of censing; and priestly and diaconal concelebration. Appendices include hymns and verses of the liturgical year, various blessings (palms, artos, fruit, herbs, etc.), and more.
With the blessing of His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon, the 1967 text has been carefully compared to the standard Greek and Slavonic editions, and revised in consultation with the Orthodox Church in America’s Holy Synod of Bishops and Department of Liturgical Music and Translations. Dr. Permiakov explains that the editors’ goal was “for the text of the prayers and litanies to be accurate and understandable, that is, to be both in continuity with the original Greek (and Slavonic) text of the Liturgy and with the accepted style of English-language translations of sacred texts. The editors also sought to make liturgical rubrics both descriptive and prescriptive, so as to reflect the actual liturgical practice of the Orthodox Church in America, while ensuring that the established liturgical use conforms to the broader tradition and practice of the Church.” Hieromonk Herman adds that “the wide expertise of hierarchs, experienced pastors, liturgiologists, and linguists was consulted throughout the editorial process.”
“The Eucharistic Banquet is the summit of man’s life on earth,” writes Metropolitan Tikhon in the volume’s Foreword. “It is, already in this life, a partaking of the life of the age to come. Its celebration has therefore always been adorned with every possible beauty…. In his American sermons, Saint Tikhon [of Moscow]... points to this liturgical splendor as integral to the Church’s apostolic witness. He was himself an early champion of Orthodox liturgical texts in English, and this new edition of the Divine Liturgy builds on the foundation he laid. May it be found pleasing in God’s sight and useful for those who serve at His holy altar.”
“Translations that are faithful to the original meaning are extremely important for the Orthodox, and the editors of the Hieratikon have given us a revised translation of the Liturgies that not only takes into consideration the biblical origins of the texts but also their use in the writings of the Church Fathers,” says Prof. David Drillock, Chair of the OCA Department of Liturgical Music and Translations.
The edition is identical in shape and size to its 2014 companion volume, Hieratikon: Office Book for Priest and Deacon, which contains the services of Vespers, Matins, the Hours, Compline, and so on. It is printed in black and red on high-quality paper and durably bound in leather, with three ribbon markers and gilt edges. According Hieromonk Herman, the book’s designer, “We have made every effort to produce a liturgical book of high esthetic quality as befits any object used in the offering of the Divine Liturgy. At the same time we have striven for a format that is easy to navigate, making it practical to use while celebrating the Liturgy. The book is truly pocket-sized, but the main Liturgy texts are still a comfortable 12-point font, which is larger than in the first volume.”
Hieromonk Herman is a member of the Brotherhood of Saint Tikhon’s Monastery and a lecturer at Saint Tikhon’s Seminary. Previously he had served for several years as the Chapel Music Director at Saint Vladimir’s Seminary, Yonkers, NY, where he was also a part-time student in liturgical studies. A 2005 graduate of Saint Tikhon’s Seminary, he has done editorial and design work for Divine Ascent Press, Saint Tikhon’s Press, and Wipf & Stock Publishers.
Dr. Permiakov is Assistant Professor of Dogmatic and Liturgical Theology at Holy Trinity Seminary, Jordanville, NY. Originally from Riga, Latvia, he holds an M.Div. from Saint Vladimir’s Seminary and a Ph.D. in Theology (Liturgical Studies) from the University of Notre Dame. He is a member of the North American Academy of Liturgy and of the Society for Oriental Liturgies. He has published with Notre Dame Press, Saint Tikhon’s Press and Holy Trinity Publications.
The 360-page volume may be ordered online for $35.00 from Saint Tikhon’s Monastery Press or by contacting Priest Innocent Neal at 888-454-6678; INNOCENT.NEAL@STSPRESS.COM.
Metropolitan Tikhon to deliver opening prayer at 45th DC March for Life on Fr...
10 Jan 2018 at 3:33pm
January 22, 2018 marks the 45th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion in the United States. Among those gathering in the US Capital for the annual March for Life on Friday, January 19 will be Orthodox Christian hierarchs, clergy, seminarians and laity from across the country.
At the request of His Eminence, Archbishop Demetrios, Chair of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America, His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon will lead the Orthodox delegation at the March. Other hierarchs slated to participate include His Eminence, Archbishop Melchisedek of Pittsburgh and His Eminence, Archbishop Michael of New York. Metropolitan Tikhon will offer the opening prayer at the pre-March program and will be joined on the stage by His Eminence, Timothy Cardinal Dolan of New York.
The theme of this year’s March is “Love Saves Lives.”
The March will begin at noon at Twelfth Street on the National Mall, between Madison and Jefferson Drives. Immediately following Metropolitan Tikhon’s opening prayer, Orthodox Christian marchers will gather at the “Orthodox Christians for Life” banner, which will be prominently displayed to the left of the stage at Constitution Avenue and Twelfth Street NW.
Prior to the March, at 9:00 a.m., Metropolitan Tikhon will celebrate the Divine Liturgy for the Great Feast of Theophany [OS] at DC’s Saint Nicholas Cathedral, to which all are invited.
General information on the March and the annual Rose Dinner—including details on making reservations—is available on the March for Life web site. The site also features a list of and information about nearly four dozen additional state and local marches in which Orthodox Christians unable to travel to DC are invited to participate.
For further information please write to firstname.lastname@example.org..
St. Louis, MO site of FOCA’s 92nd Convention July 20-23
9 Jan 2018 at 11:30am
The 92nd Annual Convention of the Fellowship of Orthodox Christians in America [FOCA] will be held at the historic Union Station Hotel in St. Louis, MO July 20-23, 2018. Once again, the Convention will be held in conjunction with the 19th All-American Council of the Orthodox Church in America July 23 – 27.
According to Deacon Peter Ilchuk, this year’s Convention will be hosted by the FOCA’s National Executive Board. All Orthodox Christians, including current and former FOCA members as well as those interested in sharing fellowship with other Orthodox Christians are invited to participate in the weekend of activities for all ages!
In addition to Convention sessions, the gathering will include a golf outing, a St. Louis-themed welcome reception featuring local musical and culinary favorites, and a Saturday night dinner “under the stars” at the James S. McDonnell Planetarium. Following the Sunday Hierarchical Divine Liturgy, a banquet and dance will be held. Ample time will be available to visit some of the nearby attractions, including the Gateway Arch, Ballpark Village, and the City Museum. In addition, there will be a fun-filled program for youth, coordinated this year with the OCA’s Department of Youth, Young Adult and Campus Ministry in partnership with the FOCA.
The deadline for hotel reservations is Friday, June 29th 2018. Reservations may be made by calling 314-231-1234 or online. In both instances, please mention “Orthodox Church In America” to obtain the special Convention/AAC rate.
As announced earlier, ads and listings for the commemorative book slated to be published in conjunction with the AAC and Convention are now being accepted online. Several options, ranging in price from $150.00 for a full page ad to $20.00 for a one-line patron listing, are being offered. Ads should be submitted as PDF or Word files to email@example.com. Checks made payable to the OCA should be mailed to Donna Tesar, 5068 West Sixth Street, Brooklyn Heights, OH 44131. Deadline for all ads and listings is June 1, 2018.
Questions and requests for additional information about the Convention may be directed or texted to Deacon Peter Ilchuk at 516-815-8890.
Online registration for 19th AAC delegates begins
6 Jan 2018 at 7:38am
As widely announced, the Council will be held in St. Louis, MO July 23-27, 2018. Hotel registration at the St. Louis Union Station Hotel must be completed separately.
Registration packets will not be mailed to parishes, as in years past, according to Archpriest Eric G. Tosi, OCA Secretary, who released a number of important AAC-related announcements during the first week of January 2018.
Selection and registration of delegates. Please review the procedures for selecting clergy and lay delegates according to Article III, Section 2 and 7 of the Statute of the Orthodox Church in America. The assessment process has changed this year, in that parishes will not be directly assessed by the OCA. Rather, it is the responsibility of each diocese to collect and submit AAC assessments according to their own established procedures. [Please see related article.]
According to Father Eric, the assessment covers AAC-related expenses for parish clergy and lay delegates, excluding travel, hotel and food costs. The cost of the AAC’s Thursday evening formal dinner is included in each parish’s assessment payment. If approved by the rector of each parish, observers also may register, but they are responsible for their own expenses to attend the AAC. The online registration process will indicate the different options with regard to daily and weekly costs, as well as the option for observers to attend the AAC formal dinner.
Delegates and observers are responsible for the cost of their meals, other than the formal dinner, and transportation costs to and from the AAC. Travel arrangements may be made through FOS Tours and Travel.
Registration of delegates. In order to register for the AAC, a valid email address is required. It is through this address that the system will identify and communicate with delegates. Registrants are urged to save their assigned registration numbers in order to log on to edit any information should the need arise.
Parishes are permitted to send their assigned clergy and an equal equal number of lay delegates. Deacons may register as lay delegates unless specifically assigned and financially supported by the parish in a manner approved by their respective diocesan hierarch. For example, if there is one priest assigned to the parish, then one lay delegate is permitted; if there are two priests assigned to the parish, then two lay delegates are permitted. Attached and retired clergy do not qualify as “assigned,” as this term refers to clergy who have been assigned to the parish by the diocesan hierarch and are financially supported by the parish in a manner approved by him.
The online registration program will guide prospective delegates through a series of options and questions required for registration. Options from which delegates may choose include selecting which of the six AAC forums each delegate would like to attend and the formal dinner meal selection. [AAC forums will count as Continuing Education credit for clergy.] All choices and questions must be completed before the system will finalize the registration process. A confirmation will be sent via email to the address provided.
The registration process will be completed when confirmed by two critical steps. The AAC team first will ensure that the registration is legitimate. Once this has been confirmed, the names of the delegates from each parish will be sent to their respective diocesan hierarchs for approval. Once these two steps have been confirmed for each delegate, emails will be sent indicating that the registration has been approved. Additional instructions for checking in at the AAC itself will be sent at that time.
Registration of observers. Father Eric explained that there are plenty of opportunities for observers to participate in the AAC. [Please keep in mind that the Fellowship of Orthodox Christians in America will hold its 92nd annual National Convention in conjunction with the AAC. [See related story.] Each observer must be approved by his or her parish priest and diocesan hierarch. Observers will be seated in a special section, but they do not have the right to speak or vote. Observers may register for the entire week, for a single day, or for a series of days. Costs for observers may be paid online through the registration program or by check sent to the OCA Treasurer. Daily observers also may pay to attend Thursday evening’s formal dinner. The fee for weekly observers, as well as retired clergy, includes the cost of the formal dinner. Retired clergy may sit with the delegates during AAC sessions. While they have a voice, they are not permitted to vote. Observers also are responsible for their own travel, hotel and food costs.
Registering for the AAC as an observer is similar to registering as a delegate. Simply follow the instructions and register in one of the several observer categories and answer the series of questions. A confirmation email will be sent to the email address provided. Registration will not be completed until confirmed by two critical steps. The AAC team will ensure that the observer fee has been paid by the observer, either online or by check to the OCA Treasurer. Once this has been confirmed, the observer’s name will be forwarded to the diocesan hierarch for approval. Once these have been confirmed by the AAC team, an email will be sent confirming that the registration has been approved. Additional instructions for checking in at the AAC itself will be sent at that time.
Six AAC Forums. There will be six forums held on Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons during the AAC. These forums will be based on the document authored by His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon, titled “Of What Life Do We Speak? Four Pillars for the Fulfillment of the Apostolic Work of the Church.” This document will serve as the study guide for the 19th AAC and will be sent to all parishes and institutions well in advance of the AAC. Parishes and institutions may utilize this in preparation for the forums. The forums will be open to all delegates and observers. Delegates are asked to select one forum for Tuesday and a different one for Wednesday.
Each forum will be led by at least two bishops and a panel selected by them to examine in-depth the topics and to present recommendations and initiatives to be considered by the AAC and the Holy Synod. The titles of the forums have been announced, with in depth descriptions, on the OCA web site. They include
Finally, additional information with regard to registration for the AAC youth program will be forthcoming.
Questions may be directed to the AAC team at firstname.lastname@example.org or 516-922-0550.