Solomon the Wise assures us: “The horse is prepared for battle, but victory belongs to the LORD.” (Proverbs 21:31). The virtue of the horse is a great example for the spiritual life of every Christian faithful. With Christianity being challenged around the world, Christians must be “brave” in living out their faith.
The sea represents the whole creation and the holy cross represents Jesus Christ. The Church with the service of the blessing of the waters and the tossing of the holy cross into the sea conveys the sanctification to the whole creation. In Hong Kong the Service will be conducted this year on Sunday, January 5th at 13.00p.m. at Blake Pier in Stanley.
Fr.Athanasios Manalu, a Presbyter of the Orthodox Metropolitanate of Singapore and South Asia, fell asleep in the Lord on Wednesday, December 25,2013. Fr.Athanasios was a married priest and a father of five children. He was ordained as Presbyter by the then Metropolitan of Hong Kong Nikitas (now Metropolitan of Dardanelles) and he served as a priest in several Orthodox Communities in Medan and Nias Island in Sumatra.
On Sunday, March 17,2013, fr.Panharios Borreros visited the Orthodox Community in Lake Cebu, Chrismated catechumens and celebrated the Divine Liturgy.
The Orthodox Community of Sts Peter and Paul in Pasay City, Philippines, celebrated in a solemn way the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord.
The Orthodox Community in Sorsogon, Philippines celebrated in a solemn way its Patron Saint, Hieromartyr Eleftherios.
Question: In the Gospel, who is the man in the city bearing a pitcher of water? Why water, and why are the disciples told that they’ll meet him and are to follow him? Who’s the master of the house? Why don’t the Gospel writers mention his name? What is the large upper room where a table’s been laid and in which the dread mystery of the Last Supper takes place?
Joseph was the eleventh son of the Patriarch Jacob, born to him of Rachel. Envied by his brothers on account of certain dreams that he had, he was first cast into a pit. Jacob was deceived by his other sons into believing, on the basis of a bloodstained robe, that Joseph had been devoured by a wild beast. Joseph was then sold to some Ishmaelite travellers for thirty pieces of silver. The Ishmaelites in turn sold him to Potiphar, the chief eunuch of Pharaoh, the King of Egypt.
Lazarus was a Hebrew by birth and a Pharisee by profession, and, as has been ascertained, was a son of Simon the Pharisee, from the village of Bethany. When our Lord Jesus Christ was sojourning in the land for the salvation of our race, Simon was united to Him in friendship. Since Christ was constantly conversing with Simon, in view of the latter’s professed belief in the resurrection of the dead, and frequently visited his house, Lazarus became His close friend, and not only Lazarus himself, but also his two sisters, Martha and Mary.
Through the grace of God, the Primates of the Most Holy Autocephalous Orthodox Churches, to the Orthodox faithful throughout the world, all of our Christian brothers and sisters as well as every person of goodwill: we extend God’s blessing and our greeting of love and peace.
Address by His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew at the Synaxis of First-Hierarchs of the Orthodox Churches
We offer glory and praise to our God who is worshipped in the Trinity for rendering us worthy to convene once again in the same place for another Synaxis, as those entrusted by His grace and mercy with the responsibility of leadership for the local autocephalous Orthodox Churches. This is the sixth such consecutive Synaxis since this blessed custom commenced in 1992, shortly after our elevation to the Throne of Constantinople. Like the Psalmist, we too proclaim: “Behold what a good and wonderful thing it is for brothers to dwell in the same place.” Our heart is filled with joy and delight in receiving you and embracing each one of you with sincere love, profound honor and favorable anticipation of our encounter.
At the invitation of His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, the First-Hierarchs of all the Orthodox Autocephalous Churches will gather from March 6-9, 2014, for a Sacred Synaxis at the Phanar in order to deliberate on matters pertaining to the entire Orthodox Church throughout the world and procedural issues for the convocation of the Holy and Great Council, whose preparation is coming to an end.
The emotional state of the Lord’s disciples was grim after His Crucifixion, because by the Lord’s death on the Cross the hopes of His disciples were dispersed that He and they would one day prevail as political power. They had perceived the triumphant entrance of Jesus Christ into Jerusalem, following the resurrection of Lazarus and the miraculous feeding of five thousand men, with additional women and children, by five loaves of bread and two fish, as a prelude of their conquering of secular authority. The mother of two of them moreover requested that her two sons sit by each side of the Lord, when He came to power. All these, however, dissipated as childish imaginations on account of the awful execution of Jesus Christ.
On Great Tuesday, in the evening, the troparion of Kassiani is sung in Orthodox Churches. This is a poetic rendition of the event described in the Gospels where a sinful woman shows her repentance by laving Christ’s feet with precious ointment and wiping them with her hair.
There is no need for someone to be an academic in order to undertake this interpretation. The interpretive method of the Fathers does not come only from books that they read, but also from their experience. So when they speak about dogmas, they not only interpret texts but also speak from their experience. In the same way as an astronomer, who when he teaches, does not speak only from astronomical books, but also through the telescope and corroborates with the telescope what is written in the books. In fact the telescope is more important than the books.
Large-scale poverty is now endemic in Hong Kong as the gap between rich and poor widens, with old people the hardest hit, according to one of the city’s oldest and most respected NGOs.
The Hong Kong Council of Social Service, which has been tracking poverty in the city [...]
Hong Kong goes into three days of mourning today (October 4) for the 38 people killed in the ferry disaster.
Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying and other principal officials will observe three minutes of silence outside government headquarters in Admiralty at noon.
Government services except immigration and emergency services will [...]
Detectives in Faisalabad, around 60 miles from Lahore, said they were investigating whether accusations of blasphemy had also been made against the boy.
Human rights campaigners condemned the killing of Samuel Yaqoob whose burned and tortured body body was discovered on Eid, the celebration which marks the end of the [...]
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On the Fifth Sunday of Lent, the Church honours the memory of a “street-walker”, a woman who led such a dissolute life that the word “prostitute” is more of a euphemism rather than an exact description of the depth of her sinfulness. The figure of Blessed Mary is highlighted on the last Sunday of Great Lent: on the one hand, to strike at our Churchy prissiness, since a common harlot is presented as a model of life; and, on the other, to provide an example and a ray of hope for repentance for all those who are slaves to their passions and continue to struggle to find ways to free themselves of them.
A reference point in the typiko of Great Lent is the communion of the Presanctified Precious Gifts. The discordance between the festal and joyful nature of the celebration of the Divine Eucharist and the compunction of Great Lent makes it inappropriate to celebrate the bloodless sacrifice on fast days. And yet, the importance of Holy Communion for the spiritual struggle of the faithful has established participation in the Presanctified Gifts even on such days.
We shall continue with our lessons on the theology of icons, with the depiction of the Annunciation of the Theotokos. The event of the Annunciation is described in Luke’s Gospel, in which the Evangelist describes numerous events that are linked to the Theotokos, and especially to the birth of Christ. The birth of Christ is also described by Matthew the Evangelist, but the details that pertain to these events are described by Luke, who had met the Theotokos in person and had learnt of those events – for example of the Annunciation – directly from the Holy Mother.
Now, you shouldn’t let the terminology confuse you. “Energy” is whatever we can see expressed: emotions and feelings are energies of the essence, which we cannot approach. “Energy” is all those things that express our behavior. Essence and energy.
“I love you because you are you.” Have you ever thought about the message this sentence conveys? I love you, and I am able to love you because you aren’t me. This is the first interpretation. Essentially I do not love you, if I want you to be like me. Through the diversity of each person, with love, there is achieved a constant enrichment of a relationship. Otherwise, as they say in the world and society: “Relationships and marriage get old.”
In the middle of Holy and Great Lent, the Church places before the faithful the Honourable Cross of the Lord for us to venerate and draw strength from, so that we can continue the gruelling but lambent journey towards Great Week.
«And God saw all the things he had created and behold they were very good. And there was an evening and there was a morning. The sixth day … And God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it; Because on it he rested from all these works which He made» (Gen. 1:31, 2:3). In this way man is called by God that he too may sanctify the seventh day and participate in rejoicing for the goodness of creation.
The main elements of Great Lent are prayer and fasting. Prayer presupposes faith. Without prayer one is helpless, insecure, blind and alone. Tied to the earth, to matter, one is not aware that they can fly high, to shine in the heavens, to have needed heavenly assistance. They are magnetized, tied, attached to the perishable and earthly. They are not easily detached. They try to acquire treasure on earth. They constantly look for pleasure to cheer them up, instead they get pain out of it. It is sad and pathetic to look for happiness in the mud.
“Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy upon me” or, more briefly, “Lord have mercy” was given to Christians at the time of the apostles and was appointed for them to say without ceasing, as, indeed, they do. But what this “Lord have mercy” means is something that very few people know today and so they say it in everyday speech, pointlessly, alas, and in vain. They don’t receive the Lord’s mercy, because they don’t know what they’re asking.
The Apostle Timothy was a disciple of the Apostle Paul. He was born in Lystra of Lycaonia of a Greek father and Judean mother. Very early on his father departed this temporary life and Saint Timothy grew up with his mother Eunice and his grandmother Loida, who raised him with the pure milk of faith and taught him from his childhood to pray and study the word of God. When the Apostle Paul passed through Lystra he acknowledged the spiritual gifts of the young Timothy and saw him as a worthy missionary worker.
People who hope in God are truly blessed. God is always a help to them and they have no fear of anything that other people might do to them. They hope in God and do what’s right. They have placed all their hope in Him, and they confess Him with all their heart. He is their boast, their God, and they call upon Him day and night. Their mouths send up praise to God, their lips are sweeter than honeycombs, when they open them to sing to God.
In a recent synodal decision, the Church of Russia seems once again to choose its isolation both from theological dialogue with the Catholic Church and from the communion of the Orthodox Churches. Two points are worth noting from the outset, which are indicative of the intent of the Church of Russia’s Synod:
“Have you not heard Paul saying, “You keep days and months and seasons and years; I fear lest I have laboured in vain for you”? Otherwise it is of the most extreme folly that from one day, if it be fortunate, to expect this from the whole year; but it is not of folly alone, rather this is the judgment of diabolical activity, not to entrust the things of our life to our own haste and eagerness, but to cycles of the days.
Many centuries ago, the Prophet foresaw and announced with enthusiasm and joy the birth of the child Jesus from the ever-Virgin Mary. Naturally, even then, there was no period of census by Augustus Caesar, no place to stay for the safety of the Holy Virgin who was carrying a child by the Holy Spirit. So the holy Joseph as her betrothed and protector was obliged to lead her to a cave, a manger with animals, “in order to give birth to a child.”
On December 19, 2013, His All-Holiness received an honorary doctorate from Istanbul’s Boğaziçi University (formerly Robert College) for his extraordinary vision and initiatives for the protection of the natural environment. The award comes on the occasion of Boğaziçi University’s 150th anniversary. Not only is this Turkish institution of higher learning the first ever to be ranked (as it has since 2012) among the top 200 universities in the world, but it is the first to bestow such an honor on His All-Holiness, and the first also publicly to acknowledge his status and position as Ecumenical Patriarch, a title which has been used since the 6th century A.D.
The following encyclical issued by the Sacred Synod of the Church of Greece is meant to uphold the Orthodox Christian principles of marriage and family, and its opposition to the so-called Free Cohabitation Agreement issued by the Greek Government, which is positioned as an alternative form of permanent cohabitation and should not be considered a “soft” marriage.
Sumptuous and splendid entertainers give frequent and constant entertainments, alike to display their own wealth, and to show good-will to their acquaintance. So also the grace of the Spirit, affording us a proof of his own power, and displaying much good-will towards the friends of God, sets before us successively and constantly the tables of the martyrs. Lately, for instance, a maiden quite young, and unmarried, the blessed martyr Pelagia, entertained us, with much joy. Today again, this blessed and noble martyr Ignatius has succeeded to her feast. The persons are different: The table is one. The wrestlings are varied: The crown is one. The contests are manifold: The prize is the same.
This holy man is called “the God-bearer” because he constantly bore the name of the Living God in his heart and on his lips. According to tradition, he was thus named because he was held in the arms of God Incarnate, Jesus Christ. On a day when the Lord was teaching His disciples humility, He took a child and placed him among them, saying: Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven (Matthew 18:4).
Aglaïa was a prosperous woman who lived in the region around Rome in the time of Diocletian and had Bonifatius as a slave. Bonifatius was her steward, very good-looking in appearance, generous to the poor and kind-hearted, but with a liking for drink and debauchery. They soon fell in love and had a clandestine relationship, since the difference in their social station would not permit any thought of marriage.
If we are to understand the events at the beginning of the 4th century related to the above title, we need first to make a brief historical review of the issue of the ordination of the clergy and their married, or non-married life. Naturally, at the time when Christianity was becoming established in the world, the matter of the marriage of the clergy could hardly have been dealt with in the same way as it was later.