The Service of Resurrection at Saint Luke Orthodox Cathedral in Hong Kong. Christ is Risen!
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Shortly before He was taken away to be put to death, Christ turned to His heavenly Father and addressed Him in fervent prayer. The prayer is so important for the spiritual formation of the Church that it’s known in Greek as the “Archiepiscopal Prayer”. In it, Jesus prays for the disciples He’s leaving and, at the same time, reveals the Person of the Divine Father and His relationship with the Son.
The Feast of the Ascension of Our Lord and God, Jesus Christ, is a joyful festal stage in the truly jubilant Resurrection time of our Church. With feelings of rejoicing, we Orthodox faithful pack the churches on this holy day, to send hymns of thanksgiving to our Saviour and Redeemer Lord and to praise His holy ascent to the heavens, after He had consented to descend in order to perform his redemptive work for the human race.
Fener Greek Patriarch Bartholomew, the spiritual leader of the Orthodox world, officiated at the first religious ceremony at St. Macrina Church after 90 years in the Central Anatolian province of Niğde yesterday. About 200 people including Greek Deputy Agriculture Minister Maksimos Harakopulos and members of various associations from Argentina, Greece and Istanbul attended the Mass.
He had an outstanding secular training. Having exceptional drawing abilities, he graduated the Kiev Academy of Fine Arts. (When consecrated Bishop, he was given the name Luke after the Apostle, who in addition to being a physician and evangelist was a talented iconographer). He decided against pursuing art in favor of doing service in helping people who suffer and chose to be a physician. An extraordinary medical student, he excelled at anatomy. His superior knowledge of anatomy served him throughout his surgical career.
And when he was sent by our Lord to preach, as I suppose, he heard how our Lord said to him: “Go, my disciple, to preach, void out of this country, and go fight and be capax of [valiant in] perils. I have first accomplished and finished the works of My Father, and am first witness; fill thou the vessel that is necessary and follow thy Master, love thy Lord, give thy blood for His blood, and thy flesh for His flesh, and suffer that which He had suffered; let thine armor be debonair in thy sweatings, and suffer sweetly among wicked people and be patient among them that perish thee.”
The Holy Apostle Bartholomew was born at Cana of Galilee and was one of the Twelve Apostles of Christ. After the Descent of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost, it fell by lot to the holy Apostles Bartholomew and Philip (November 14) to preach the Gospel in Syria and Asia Minor. In their preaching they wandered through various cities, and then met up again. Accompanying the holy Apostle Philip was his sister, the holy virgin St Mariamnne.
ECUMENICAL PATRIARCHATE ORTHODOX METROPOLITANATE OF HONG KONG AND SOUTH EAST ASIA
Hong Kong, June 1st, 2013
Encyclical of His Eminence Metropolitan NEKTARIOS of Hong Kong and Southeast Asia to the Reverend Priests and Deacons, the Monks and Nuns, the Members of the Orthodox Communities of [...]
In the 4th century small anchorite communities began to form in the region, acting on instruction of Saint Basil of Caesarea. They carved cells in the soft rock. During the iconoclastic period (725-842) the decoration of the many sanctuaries in the region was held to a minimum, usually symbols such as the depiction of the cross. After this period, new churches were dug into the rocks and they were richly decorated with colourful frescoes.
We have just read the long lesson of the man born blind, whom the Lord Jesus restored to the light; but were we to attempt handling the whole of it, and considering, according to our ability, each passage in a way proportionate to its worth, the day would be insufficient. Wherefore I ask and warn your Charity not to require any words of ours on those passages whose meaning is manifest; for it would be too protracted to linger at each.
And as Jesus passed by, He saw a man which was blind from his birth. Being full of love for man, and caring for our salvation, and desiring to stop the mouths of the foolish, He omits nothing of His own part, though there be none to give heed. And the Prophet knowing this says, That You might be justified when You speak, and be clear when You are judged. Wherefore here, when they would not receive His sublime sayings, but said that He had a devil, and attempted to kill Him, He went forth from the Temple, and healed the blind, mitigating their rage by His absence, and by working the miracle softening their hardness and cruelty, and establishing His assertions.