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Writings from His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph

His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph has an extensive selection of text and audio teachings that have been published over the years. The collection will continue to be expanded as he shares new material with the faithful.

His Eminence Metropolitan JOSEPH's Address at the Funeral of His Grace Bishop ANTOUN

Archieratical Address of His Eminence Metropolitan JOSEPH
Delivered at the Funeral of His Grace Bishop ANTOUN

Beloved Brother Hierarchs, Reverend Clergy, and Christ-loving Faithful:

I embrace all of you with paternal love, as we come together this evening to pray for our beloved Bishop ANTOUN to his eternal rest.

I return to you from the meetings of the Holy Synod of Antioch, and I bear with me the fervent prayers and heartfelt condolences of our Father-in-Christ, His Beatitude Patriarch JOHN X, as well as my brothers, the venerable Metropolitans of our Holy Patriarchate. We belong to one Antiochian family, and I can relay to you that the loss of our beloved Bishop ANTOUN is profoundly felt by all. 

I stand before you this evening with great reverence and immeasurable affection for my dear brother and concelebrant, and I am overwhelmed with gratitude for the years I was blessed to call him a friend and a mentor.

Metropolitan Joseph's Paschal Greeting, 2017

PASCHA 2017
All creatures have been filled with light, the heaven and the earth, and all that is below the earth. Let all creation, therefore, celebrate the Resurrection of Christ, in which it is strengthened.
Paschal Canon, Ode 3

Beloved in Christ,

CHRIST IS RISEN!
INDEED HE IS RISEN!

Having struggled together through the Fast, we have arrived at the Tomb of Christ and joyfully find it transformed from a place of gloom into a source of brilliance that permeates all the regions "in heaven and on earth and under the earth". (Phil. 2:10).

Letter from Metropolitan Joseph Regarding the Third Anniversary of Metropolitan Philip's Repose

March 14, 2017

Beloved Hierarchs and Clergy of this God-protected Archdiocese:

Greetings and blessings in the Name of our Lord during this third week of the Great Fast.

Sunday, March 19, 2017 will mark the third anniversary of the repose of our beloved Metropolitan Philip of thrice-blessed memory. As such, all of the parishes and missions of this Archdiocese are directed to do the following on that day, the Third Sunday of Great Lent:

1. During the Proskomedia, the priest shall commemorate “His Eminence Metropolitan Philip of thrice-blessed memory and eternal repose” as the first among the departed.

2. During the Great Entrance, the priest shall commemorate “His Eminence Metropolitan Philip of thrice-blessed memory and eternal repose” as the first among the departed.

May his memory be eternal and may your ongoing journey through the Great Fast be spiritually rewarding.

Your Father in Christ,

+JOSEPH
Archbishop of New York and Metropolitan of All North America

Metropolitan Joseph's Pastoral Message for the Great Fast 2017

Pastoral Message for the Great Fast 2017 

"The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever." Isaiah 40:8

Great Lent, 2017

Beloved Clergy and Faithful of this God-protected Archdiocese:

The season of the Great Fast is upon us in preparation of the Glorious Resurrection of our Lord and God and Savior, Jesus Christ! Now is the time when the Orthodox Church invites her children to live His passion and sacrifice on the Cross to conquer sin and death, and take up abode in His Father's mansions (John 14:2). The Church calls us during this season to a clearheaded reexamination of our lives and relationship with Christ; her Bridegroom. Now is the time to ask: have I been walking with Christ?

Metropolitan Joseph Commemorates 30th Anniversary of EOC Reception into Archdiocese

Beloved in Christ,

We greet you with great joy as we embark upon this new Lenten journey which lies ahead. Before us lies a strenuous path leading to the Feast of the Holy Resurrection of our Lord and God and Savior Jesus Christ. May your journey be blessed!

This year marks the 30th anniversary of an important event in the life of our Archdiocese. I do not want to let this event pass without remembering and giving thanks to God for it.

Beginning in early 1987, over two-thousand members of the former Evangelical Orthodox Church were received with open arms into the Antiochian Archdiocese of North America. Over the course of several months, the faithful from seventeen parishes in cities across North America were chrismated and clergy were ordained.

Statement from His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph on the Recent Bombing of the Coptic Church in Egypt

A nun reacts as Egyptian security forces inspect the scene of the bomb explosion. (Khaled Desouki/Getty Images)A nun reacts as Egyptian security forces inspect the scene of the bomb explosion. (Khaled Desouki/Getty Images)Lest they be forgotten, His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph urges the clergy and the laity of the Antiochian Archdiocese to continue to pray for peace for the people of Egypt, especially after the bombing of St. Peter Coptic Orthodox Church, next to St. Mark Coptic Orthodox Cathedral, in Cairo. There, 25 Coptic Christians lost their lives, and 49 others – mostly women and children – were wounded during Sunday worship.

“These are defenseless people who did not deserve to have their lives ended or drastically altered forever,” Sayidna Joseph said. “All over the world, but especially in the Middle East, harmless Christians are crucified daily for their faith. When we ask ‘why,’ we know there is never a good answer.

“The injustice continues and the international community is silent. The Christians of the Middle East will live in this never-ending nightmare of terror – especially in the name of religion – without courageous powers stepping forward.

Metropolitan Joseph's Message for Choir and Chanter Appreciation Sunday 2016

December 11, 2016
Choir and Chanter Appreciation Sunday

“I will sing unto the Lord as long as I live: I will sing praise to my God while I have my being” Psalm 104:33

Beloved in Christ:

Greetings to you and your families as we prepare to celebrate the Nativity of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ according to the flesh.

As is the custom in our Archdiocese, the second Sunday of December is dedicated to our choirs and chanters who work so hard to make our divine services beautiful throughout the year. Our choirs in the Archdiocese resemble our families and parishes. Some are large and strong; some are small and need help. Some have many polished and professional singers; others depend on the goodwill of volunteers with little or no musical training. Some have weekly practices and others less often. The common thread is that they all do what they do out of a love for the divine services and a desire to praise the All-Holy Trinity.

Address to the Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation 18th International Conference

Keynote address given October 15th, 2016 by His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph to the Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation (HCEF) 18th International Conference:

On behalf of my 270 parish communities of the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese in North America, I thank you for your invitation to address the Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation 18th International Conference.

I am grateful to the Board of Directors of the Foundation for bestowing upon me this special award, which I accept on behalf of all Antiochian Orthodox Christians in North America, who have and will continue to support their brethren in the Holy Land during these difficult times.

The theme of this conference "Forging a New Bond of Solidarity for Equality, Prosperity, and Peace," shall be addressed by distinguished scholars and academic speakers. However, I, as a religious leader, would like to make this presentation based on spirituality.

Letter of Condolence from His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph to His Beatitude Patriarch John X

April 8, 2016

His Beatitude John X
Patriarch of Antioch and all the East

Beloved Sayedna and Father in Christ:

“Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His holy ones” (Psalm 116:5)

It is with a sadness that we have learned of the falling asleep in Christ of your beloved mother, Rosa. On behalf of myself, my brother bishops, the clergy, the members of the Board of Trustees, the heads of the departments and organizations, and all of the faithful of this Archdiocese, we offer our prayers and condolences as you struggle with the departure of your beloved mother, especially at a time when so many events are weighing so heavily on your shoulders.

Metropolitan Joseph's Pastoral Message for the Feast of the Annunciation

Pastoral Message for the Feast of the Annunciation

March 25, 2016

"Today is the beginning of our salvation, and the manifestation of the mystery from the ages; for the Son of God becometh the Son of the Virgin, and Gabriel proclaimeth grace. Wherefore, do we shout with him to the Theotokos: Rejoice, O full of grace! The Lord is with thee". (Apolytikion of the Annunciation)

We greet you with love and joy on this Holy Feast of the Annunciation of the Archangel Gabriel to the Most Holy Theotokos.

The Apolytikion quoted above communicates to us the awesome nature of this holy feast, which is the action of a loving God which initiates the events by which humankind is redeemed from the sins of the past. The Archangel announces to the woman who will become the Most Holy Theotokos that she has been chosen to be the tabernacle which will hold the very Son of God.

Metropolitan Joseph's Pastoral Message for the Great Fast 2016

Pastoral Message for the Great Fast 2016 

“Thy grace hath risen, O Lord and the illumination of our souls hath shown forth.  Lo, now is the acceptable time; the season of repentance hath come.  Let us cast down the works of darkness, and put on the works of light, that we may pass the great tempest of fasting and reach the summit of the third day Resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, the Savior of our souls.”  (from the Aposticha of the Vesper Service for the Evening of Cheese Fare)

We greet you with anticipation as we embark on the Holy Season of the Great Fast in preparation for the Glorious Resurrection of our Lord and God and Savior Jesus Christ.

The beautiful verse above embodies the true spirit of the Lenten Season as we begin our journey to draw nearer to God so that we may worthily rejoice in His Resurrection.  We are called to “cast down the works of darkness, and put on the works of light”.

Metropolitan Joseph's Pastoral Message for Forgiveness Sunday

Pastoral Message for Forgiveness Sunday

March 13, 2016

“If you forgive other people few things, few of your own will be forgiven.  If you forgive many things, many of your own will be forgiven.  If you forgive them with sincerity and with your whole heart, God will forgive yours in the same manner.  If after forgiving you make your enemy into your friend, thus will God also be disposed towards you”.

(St. John Chrysostom on Genuine Forgiveness)

We greet you on this holy day of Forgiveness Sunday as we stand on the threshold of the Great Fast and ask one another for forgiveness of our sins.

The beautiful quote above from St. John Chrysostom is a powerful reminder of the importance of forgiveness which helps us to understand why we recite in the Lord’s Prayer “forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.”

Metropolitan Joseph's Pastoral Message for the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord

Pastoral Message for the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord

February 2, 2016

“Say, O Simeon, Whom carriest thou in the Temple in thine arms with rejoicing? Towards Whom dost thou cry, shouting, Now I have been let to depart; for I have beheld my Savior. This is He born of the Virgin. This is the Word, God of God, Who wast incarnate for our sakes, and saved man. Him let us worship.”

(From the Stichera of Great Vespers for the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord)

We greet you with love and joy on this Holy Feast of the Presentation of our Lord and God and Savior Jesus Christ into the Temple.  The verse from the Great Vespers of the holy feast which is quoted above transmits to us the essence of this holy feast.

Metropolitan Joseph's Pastoral Message for the Feast of the Theophany of our Lord Jesus Christ

“When Thou, O Lord, wast baptized in the Jordan, worship of the Trinity wast made manifest; for the voice of the Father bore witness to Thee, calling Thee His beloved Son. And the Spirit in the form of a dove confirmed the truth of His word. O Christ our God, Who hath appeared and enlightened the world, glory to Thee.” 

+The Apolytikion of the Feast of the Theophany of our Lord Jesus Christ

We greet you with love and joy on this holy Feast of the Theophany of our Lord and God and Savior Jesus Christ.  The Apolytikion of the feast which is quoted above transmits to us the essence of this feast.  Our Lord and God Jesus Christ deigns to be baptized at the hands of John the Baptist, not because he is in need of cleansing of sin, for He is without sin, but so that He might reveal  to us His true identity and at the same time, honor and affirm the new life that comes through baptism.

Metropolitan Joseph's Pastoral Message for the Feast of the Nativity of our Lord and God and Savior Jesus Christ

This is our festival, this is the feast we celebrate today, in which God comes to live with human beings, that we may journey toward God, or return—for to speak thus is more exact—that laying aside the old human being we may be clothed with the new, and that as in Adam we have died so we may live in Christ, born with Christ and crucified with Him, buried with Him, and rising with Him. For it is necessary for me to undergo the good turnaround, and as painful things came from more pleasant things, so out of painful things more pleasant things must return. "For where sin abounded, grace superabounded," and if the taste of forbidden fruit condemned, how much more does the Passion of Christ justify? Therefore we celebrate the feast not like a pagan festival but in a godly manner, not in a worldly way but in a manner above the world. We celebrate not our own concerns but the One who is ours, or rather what concerns our Master, things pertaining not to sickness but to healing, not to the first shaping, but to the reshaping.  (+St. Gregory the Theologian – from the Festal Oration 38 on the Nativity of the Lord)

As we celebrate the Birth in the Flesh of our Lord and God and Savior Jesus Christ, the profound words of St. Gregory the Theologian which are quoted above stir in us feelings of great joy and hope because of the great condescension which God has deigned to show toward His children.

Letter From His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph for Choir and Chanter Appreciation Sunday: December 13, 2015

"O come, let us sing unto the Lord: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!" Psalm 95:1-2

Beloved in Christ,

Each year in the month of December we remember our choirs and chanters. This sacred ministry of the Church is essential to the beauty of our divine services. Oftentimes, a person's first experience of our Holy Orthodox Church is witnessing one of our beautiful services. This experience can either be enhanced by a beautiful and well-prepared choir, or diminished by an unprepared one. We are grateful to all of our choir directors, chanters and singers for their dedication, effort and commitment to making the divine services in their respective parishes beautiful to both God and the faithful.

Metropolitan Joseph's Pastoral Message for the Entrance of the Theotokos into the Temple

Pastoral Message for the Entrance of the Theotokos into the Temple
November 21, 2015

"The all-pure temple of the Savior, the most precious bridal chamber and Virgin, the treasure house of the glory of God, today enters the Temple of the Lord, bringing with her the grace which is in the divine Spirit: whom also the angels of God do celebrate in song; for she is the heavenly tabernacle".

(The Kontakion of the Entrance of the Theotokos in Tone Four)

We greet you with love and joy on this Feast of the Entrance of the Most Holy Theotokos into the Temple. The Kontakion of the feast which is quoted above transmits to us the essence of this feast. She who has become the Living Temple of the Lord, enters the Temple of the Lord and ascends into the "Holy of Holies" in order to assure us of her status as the most blessed bridal chamber of the Lord, and treasure house of the glory of God. She brings with her the grace which is the divine Spirit, and that very Spirit is poured out upon all of us who are so greatly loved and protected by the Mother of God. The angels of God stand in awe, and celebrate in song this awesome action which is granted by our compassionate and loving God.

Metropolitan Joseph's Archiepiscopal Directive On So-called "Same-Sex Marriage"

Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America
October 29, 2015

Christ is in our Midst! 

At the recently concluded meeting of the hierarchs of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America, the attached directive was reviewed and approved for distribution to all of our clergy and laity.
 
Prologue

The holy Church offers to her spiritual children the tender and sweet milk of the Gospel and the nourishing and substantive meat of spiritual guidance, encouragement, discipline, and reproof, so that Her children may flourish "in the fatherly adoption." Ours is a Christian culture with all of the components of instruction and guidance, so that no one may depart from the ecclesiastical garden of delights without nourishment suitable for him.

His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph's Address to St. Vladimir's Seminary

Crestwood, New York – Sept 14, 2015

Your Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon, Your Eminences, Your Graces, Father John, Father Chad, reverend fathers, and beloved faculty and students of Saint Vladimir's seminary,

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God the Father and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with all of you. 

It is my joy to be present with you as you begin your new academic year, with your classes having already begun, and your studies as students, and burdens as professors, already well underway!

St. Vladmir's Seminary has a long history of educating leaders and theologians, and many of our clergy and hierarchs have come to us with the firm foundation that has been imparted to them through their education at St. Valdimir's Seminary.  This legacy is greatly appreciated by all of us. St. Vladimir's Seminary and the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese have a rich, positive and fruitful history, and I pledge to do all that I can during my tenure as Metropolitan of the Archdiocese of North America to maintain and enhance this relationship.

Allow me to make some points in this short talk, using St. Raphael, Bishop of Brooklyn, as an example to illustrate what is important.

Statement of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America to the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops

Statement of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America to the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the United States Regarding the Draft Proposal of the Committee on Canonical Regional Planning 

Presented at the Meeting of the Assembly of Bishops Convened in Chicago, IL

September 15-17, 2015

The Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America has always prayed for and been committed to unity and cooperation of all of the Orthodox Christians in North America. The unity that we seek is true Orthodox unity based on mutual respect, love and cooperation with all of the Orthodox in America without subjugation or domination of any. Unity must allow for the continued work and support of each of the jurisdictions for their people and continued unity with the respective mother churches. 

There is no doubt that the Christian Fellowship and work of the Standing Conference of Orthodox Bishops in America as well as that of the Assembly of Bishops has been very valuable. We have come to know each other and have discovered how we can even better cooperate and support each other. We can enhance the ministries of each other as well as promulgate corporate ministries. Our relationships provide even more effective ministries. We are grateful for the candid and honest exchanges of the bishops at the meetings. We are committed to continuing this process of building up our relationships and working together in every area possible.

Metropolitan Joseph's Pastoral Message for the Elevation of the Precious and Life Giving Cross

Pastoral Message for the Elevation of the Precious and Life Giving Cross
September 14, 2015

"As the Cross is lifted up, it urgeth all of creation to praise the immaculate Passion of the One Who was lifted up thereon. For by means of the Cross, He slew him that slew us; and He made the dead to live again, making them beautiful, granting them the Heavens as dwelling-place, because He is compassionate, in the unsurpassed and unspeakable excess of His goodness. With joy, then, let us all exalt His Name, while magnifying His infinite condescension toward our race."

(From The Vesperal Stichera for the Elevation of the Cross)

We greet you with love and joy on this Feast of the Elevation of the Precious and Life Giving Cross. The Sticherion from the Vespers of the feast which is quoted above transmits to us the essence of this feast. The lifting up of the Cross upon which our Lord and God and Savior Jesus Christ was crucified draws us near to His passion, and reminds us that He has defeated Satan and all his power once and for all. By His Passion He brought life to those who were in the tombs, restoring them to the beauty with which they had when God created them and opening up the heavens as their dwelling place. Lastly, He did this not only for those who were in the tombs, but for all of us who place our hope in Him.

Metropolitan Joseph's Pastoral Message for the Feast of The Nativity of the Theotokos

Pastoral Message for the Feast of The Nativity of the Theotokos
September 8, 2015 

“The joy of the whole world hath shone forth to us from the two righteous ones, Joachim and Anna, the all-extolled Virgin, who because of her surpassing purity became a living temple of God, and alone is known as truly Theotokos. Wherefore, by her intercessions, O Christ God, send forth safety to the world, and to our souls the Great Mercy”.  

+The Aposticha for the Nativity of the Theotokos in Tone 4

We greet you with love and joy on this Feast of the Nativity of the Most Holy Theotokos.  The Aposticha from the Vespers of the feast which is quoted above transmits to us the essence of this feast.  We are first joyful for the birth of Mary, since the birth of a child is a great gift granted by God.

Metropolitan Joseph's Pastoral Message for the Feast of the Dormition

Pastoral Message for the Feast of the Dormition
August 15, 2015

 In thy birth-giving, O Theotokos, thou didst keep and preserve virginity; and in thy falling-asleep thou hast not forsaken the world; for thou wast translated into life, being the Mother of Life. Wherefore, by thine intercessions, deliver our souls from death. (Apolytikion of the Dormition)

We greet you with love and joy on this Feast of the Dormition of our Most Holy Lady Theotokos!

The Apolytikion quoted above transmits to us the essence of this feast.  The Most Holy Lady Theotokos, in her falling asleep, has shown us the true meaning of the term “falling asleep in Christ”.  We do not focus on her death, but rather her translation from her earthly life to her eternal life in heaven.

Metropolitan Joseph's Pastoral Message for the Feast of The Transfiguration

Pastoral Message for the Feast of The Transfiguration
August 6, 2015

“Today hast Thou manifested on Mount Tabor, O Lord, the glory of Thy divine image to the chosen of Thy Disciples, Peter, James and John; for when they saw Thy garments glistening as light, and Thy face surpassing the sun in splendor, and they could no more bear to behold Thine unbearable radiance, they fell to the ground, utterly unable to gaze upon it; and they heard a voice from on high testifying and saying: ‘This is My beloved Son, Who cometh into the world to save man.’” (The Idiomelon for the Feast of the Transfiguration from the Vespers of the feast)

We greet you with love and joy on this Feast of the Transfiguration of our Lord and God and Savior Jesus Christ on Mount Tabor.

The text above transmits to us the essence of this feast.  Whereas our Lord Jesus Christ had previously revealed His divine power through His working of miracles, He now physically reveals “the glory of His divine form” to Peter, James and John on Mount Tabor.  The great prophets Moses and Elias appear with deference to the Lord further revealing that the prophets are His servants, and that our Lord Jesus Christ rules as King above all creation.

Metropolitan Joseph's Letter in Support of March for Marriage

On April 25, 2015, on the National Mall in Washington D.C., people journeyed from around the U.S. for the March for Marriage. This year's March included an Orthodox gathering, sponsored by the group Crown Them With Glory. Prior to the March, His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph released a letter encouraging the faithful of the Antiochian Archdiocese to participate. Given its timeliness, we are reposting that message below.

To our Beloved Hierarchs, Reverend Clergy and all of the Faithful of this God- Protected Archdiocese:

Blessings to you during this Holy Season of the Great Fast! On January 16th of this year, the Supreme Court agreed to hear four new cases on same-sex "marriage," and "rule on the power of the states to ban same-sex "marriages" and to refuse to recognize such "marriages" performed in another state." More details on the announcement can be found at the Supreme Court's website.