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The Youth Work of Metropolitan Philip

The following address was delivered by the V. Rev. Dr. Joseph Purpura, Archdiocese Director of Youth, on the occassion of Metropolitan Philip's 40th episcopal anniversary.

A photo gallery celebrating Sayidna Philip's work with Archdiocese youth

Your Eminence,

Many years ago you challenged your young people in the opening message of their video on Special Olympics, with these words:

“For many years we Orthodox have been floating on the river of Orthodoxy. I have challenged my people this way ... I said … It is time that we plunge into the depth because the gems of Orthodoxy are not floating on the surface they are deep down and we have to plunge into the depth if we really want to discover what the Orthodox Church is.”

Your Eminence,

Teen SOYO – the teens of this great archdiocese have taken your challenge seriously. Because of your guidance and leadership the teens strive to live the Orthodox Faith and to plunge into those wonderful depths and bath in the Light, Life and magnificence of the Holy Orthodox Church to which you have led and welcomed your young people.  

You have welcomed and challenged your young people to love Christ, His Church and all those around them and across the world – and they have done so. 

You have challenged your young people to continuously reach new heights - and they have done so. 

You have taught them to dream dreams and to make those dreams a reality - understanding that all things are possible to him who believes in Christ - and they have done so.

Annunciation Feast and Funeral Preparations at St. Nicholas Cathedral

As hierarchs and clergy begin arriving for the wake and funeral of our beloved Metropolitan Philip, His Eminence Metropolitan Silouan, the Patriarchal Vicar, and His Grace Bishop Anthony celebrated the Divine Liturgy for the Great Feast of the Annunciation this morning. After the liturgy, the hierarchs and clergy went to the funeral home to vest Metropolitan Philip in his hierarchical vestments. Memory eternal!

See this page for all details regarding this week's memorial services for Metropolitan Philip.

Additional pictures available below.

Noursat to Broadcast Metropolitan Philip Memorial Services

Noursat | Tele Lumiere, Christian television for Lebanon and the Middle East, will broadcast the Saturday March 29 Memorial Services for His Eminence Metropolitan Philip, beginning at 9 a.m. Eastern Standard Time, with the Divine Liturgy followed by the funeral.

More details about media coverage of next week's events will be announced once they are finalized.

Tributes to Metropolitan Philip

The Archdiocese is deeply grateful for the wide range of tributes to His Eminence Metropolitan Philip which have begun to follow his repose. This collection of tributes from religious leaders, media outlets, and international sources will continue to be expanded.

We also offer in tribute this memorial photo gallery of Metropolitan Philip's life and work, which will also continue to be expanded. Our thanks to all of those who have contributed photography. Also available is a gallery celebrating His Eminence's dedication to the youth of our Archdiocese.

Below, we highlight three videos of His Eminence. The first is from Pascha 2011 at St. Nicholas Cathedral in Brooklyn, NY. The second video was prepared in honor of Metropolitan Philip's 80th birthday, and was presented with these remarks by Fr. Anthony Gabriel at the 2011 Archdiocese Convention. The third was originally prepared by Fr. Ayman Kfouf of St. George Church of Troy, MI in honor of Metropolitan Philip's historic 2013 visit. This video was played during the last official, celebrational pastoral visit of His Eminence before his falling asleep.

Sunday March 23 Ancient Faith Radio Live Call-In Show Dedicated to Metropolitan Philip

In honor of Metropolitan Philip Saliba, Ancient Faith Today with Kevin Allen will present a special live tribute program. Kevin will be joined by Father Wayne Wilson, an ex-bishop of the "Evangelical Orthodox Church" and now Antiochian priest, and Father Thomas Zain (Vicar-General of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America), for a discussion of the life and legacy of the beloved Metropolitan. Listen live on Sunday, March 23 at 5:00 pm Pacific/6:00 pm Mountain/7:00 pm Central/8:00 pm Eastern. Listen live by pointing your internet browser to www.ancientfaith.com and clicking on the "talk" button.

Update: Listen to a recording of the program here.

A Message of Condolence on the Passing of Metropolitan Philip from the Assembly of Bishops

Archbishop Demetrios and Metropolitan Philip in 2004Archbishop Demetrios and Metropolitan Philip in 2004Blessed are those who die in the Lord from now on...for they will rest from their labors; for their works follow them (Revelation 14:13)

To the Most Reverend Hierarchs, Priests and Deacons, the Monks and Nuns, the Presidents and Members of Parish Councils, the Day, Afternoon, and Church Schools, the Members of Philanthropic Organizations, the Youth and Youth Workers, and the entire Antiochian Orthodox Christian Family of North America.

On the evening of March 19, 2014 we received the sad news of the passing of His Eminence Metropolitan Philip, our dear and beloved brother and concelebrant in Christ. The repose of His Eminence, being sudden and unexpected, caused a profound pain in my heart and the entire Orthodox Christian family in the United States of America.

For more than 15 years I have had the opportunity and privilege to work closely with Metropolitan Philip. As the First Vice-Chairman of SCOBA and most recently as the First Vice-Chairman of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and Central America, he passionately supported a common witness to our Orthodox faith in the world. It is well known that he spoke his mind openly on a number of important issues and would often challenge inactivity surrounding serious issues, which he felt Orthodoxy could address in unique and important ways.

But in essence, the very characteristic of Metropolitan Philip was his identity as a shepherd, a father who cared for and labored diligently for his flock.

Memory Eternal! + Fr. Alexander Atty

As we continue to mourn the loss of Metropolitan Philip, your prayers are requested for the repose of the soul of the newly-departed servant of God, the beloved Archpriest Alexander Atty. The V. Rev. Fr. Alexander, former Dean of St. Tikhon's Seminary and before that priest at St. Michael Antiochian Orthodox Church in Louisville, KY, fell asleep in the Lord early Sunday morning March 23. May his memory be eternal! Read this tribute to Fr. Alexander.

Services for Fr. Alexander are listed below.

Letter of Condolences of Metropolitan Silouan to the Hierarchs, Clergy and the Faithful of the Archdiocese

Metropolitan Silouan of Buenos Aires and all ArgentinaMetropolitan Silouan of Buenos Aires and all ArgentinaHis Eminence Metropolitan Silouan of Buenos Aires and all Argentina has released the following letter to our Archdiocese:

Buenos Aires, March 20, 2014

Beloved in our Lord

Very Esteemed Hierarchs, Clergy and Faithful

Of the Archdiocese of New York and All North America

“Now the God of patience and of comfort grant you to be of the same mind one with another according to Christ Jesus” (Romans 15:5)

With a heart grateful to our Lord and to your very beloved pastor who gave me the opportunity to come to know you during the last three years, I present to you my heartfelt condolences for the falling asleep in Christ of His Eminence Metropolitan Philip. We all pray together for the rest in peace of his soul and that his memory be eternal.

I am very surprised that the Lord's Providence permitted that I may serve you under such a painful and difficult circumstance, i.e. the loss of your beloved pastor, until a new Metropolitan be elected for your God-protected Archdiocese. Indeed, my appointment as Patriarchal Vicar, by His Beatitude Patriarch John X of Antioch, is an obedience of love and an opportunity to serve your church, and to preserve your bond of love, peace, service and unity in Christ.

May our Lord bless all of us in this period of great lent, as we are heading to His Holy Passion in order to share His glorious Resurrection.

+ Silouan

Metropolitan of Buenos Aires and all Argentina

Memory Eternal! + Syrian Orthodox Patriarch Ignatius Zakka of Antioch

Memory Eternal! It is with great sadness that the Archdiocese learns that Patriarch Ignatius Zakka I Iwas, Patriarch of Antioch, died Friday aged 81 after 34 years as head of the Syriac Orthodox Church. 

On Friday night, the general secretariat of the Holy Syrian Orthodox Church of Antioch issued a statement saying:

"In this time of mourning and grief, the general secretariat of the Holy Synod declares that the time of the funeral will be appointed later when the procedures of transfer of his saintly body from Germany to Lebanon and then to Syria, are completed. We commend that this coming Sunday, 23 March 2014, be consecrated to offer prayers and celebrate the Divine Liturgy for the peaceful rest of his pure soul and we will announce the procedures and dates of the funeral, burial and condolences when ready."

Source: Ahram Online

Arabic News Sources Commemorate Metropolitan Philip

Media outlets across the Arabic-speaking world have begun recognizing the passing of His Eminence Metropolitan Philip. A number of recommended links so far include: 

Article from www.al-akhbar.com

Tribute from abouna.org

An-Nahar Remembers Metropolitan Philip

Article from The Arab Daily News

Article from Al Mohajer

First Video Tribute, courtesy of Nizar Abboud

Second Video Tribute, courtesy of Nizar Abboud

First Video of Metropolitan Philip from Teleluminare

Second Video of Metropolitan Philip from Teleluminare

Third Video of Metropolitan Philip from Teleluminare

 

Our thanks to Fr. Thomas Zain and the community of St. Nicholas Cathedral for ongoing referrals to valuable sources from Arabic language media.

 

Metropolitan Philip Memorial Page

 

March 2014 Funeral Arrangements for Metropolitan Philip

Metropolitan Philip's memorial photo at St. Nicholas CathedralMetropolitan Philip's memorial photo at St. Nicholas CathedralThe schedule for all events associated with the falling asleep of Metropolitan Philip is available here. All events will be held at St. Nicholas Cathedral in Brooklyn, New York and Antiochian Village. Find hotel and parking information below.

In lieu of flowers for the funeral, donations can be made to the Archdiocese for the benefit of the Retired Clergy Fund.

 

FULL SCHEDULE 

MONDAY MARCH 24

7:00 p.m. Great Vespers for the Feast of the Annunciation

TUESDAY MARCH 25

9:30 a.m. Orthros, 10:30 a.m. Liturgy for the Feast of the Annunciation

WEDNESDAY MARCH 26

Viewing at the Cathedral from 1:00 p.m. till 9:00 p.m.

10:00 a.m. Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts

12 noon – receive the body of His Eminence into the Cathedral with the Trisagion prayers

7:00 p.m. Great Compline

Trisagion Prayers at various times through the day.

THURSDAY MARCH 27

Viewing at the Cathedral from 1:00 p.m. till 9:00 p.m.

7:00 p.m. Great Compline

Trisagion Prayers at various times through the day.

FRIDAY MARCH 28

Viewing at the Cathedral from 1:00 p.m. till 9:00 p.m.

Akathist Service at 4:00 p.m.

Funeral Service for a bishop at 7:00 p.m.

On the Passing of Metropolitan Philip

The Archdiocese communicates with a heavy heart as we struggle with the news of the falling asleep in Christ of Metropolitan Philip. May his memory be eternal!

We express our sincerest appreciation to our Father in Christ, His Beatitude Patriarch John X, for his pastoral care and love. His Beatitude was in continual contact with us, and with Metropolitan Philip during his hospital stay, and showed his love and concern for his spiritual children in North America. For this, we are most grateful. May the memory of Metropolitan Philip be eternal, and may God grant many years to His Beatitude Patriarch John.

The schedule for all events associated with the falling asleep of Metropolitan Philip is available here. All events will be held at St. Nicholas Cathedral in Brooklyn, New York unless another location is specified. In lieu of flowers for the funeral, donations can be made to the Archdiocese for the benefit of the Retired Clergy Fund.

Attached you will find letters from His Beatitude Patriarch John X, both the Arabic original and an English translation in two parts (Letter to Archbishop Joseph; Patriarchal Decision).

Both letters appoint Metropolitan Silouan of Buenos Aires and all Argentina as the Patriarchal Vicar until such time as a new Metropolitan is elected by the Holy Synod of Antioch. The Patriarchal Vicar is responsible for the administration of the Archdiocese until a new Metropolitan is elected. Archbishop Joseph will serve as the Locum Tenens of the Archdiocese. Archbishop Joseph will arrive in New Jersey on Friday March 21, and Metropolitan Silouan will arrive on Monday March 24.

Remembering His Eminence Metropolitan Philip

Visit the Metropolitan Philip Memorial Page of Antiochian.org for information on the life, work and passing of our beloved Primate. A biography, news archives, reflections on and by Metropolitan Philip, links to video and audio, photo galleries and more are currently available or being prepared.

Listen to a historic Ancient Faith Radio interview from 2009 of Metropolitan Philip conducted by Fr. Peter Gillquist, of blessed memory. Metropolitan Philip talks candidly about such things as Orthodox unity, music, our witness to the world, and his most memorable accomplishments.

Read a tribute to Metropolitan Philip's life and legacy from St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary, where His Eminence served as Board of Trustees Vice President and Vice Chairman.

The Archdiocese is grateful for this account of the prayers of the Holy Synod of the Orthodox Church in America on behalf of Metropolitan Philip. His Beatitude Metropolitan Tikhon, presided at the Panikhida celebrated for the repose of Metropolitan Philip’s soul.

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MEMORY ETERNAL! HIS EMINENCE METROPOLITAN PHILIP

The Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America, with great sadness, announces the passing unto life eternal of His Eminence the Most Reverend Metropolitan Philip (Saliba), Archbishop of New York and Metropolitan of All North America. May his memory be eternal! Details are forthcoming. Read a biography of Metropolitan Philip here. See all information on His Eminence here.

 

Please Pray for the Recovery of His Eminence Metropolitan Philip

While in Florida and undergoing tests in the hospital, Metropolitan Philip suffered a minor heart attack on Sunday. He is in an encouraging situation in ICU.

A prayer service for His Eminence will be held this Monday afternoon at the Archdiocese Headquarters. We ask all of you to hold prayer services for his speedy recovery.

Update Tuesday Mar 11: Thanks to your collective and fervent prayers, Metropolitan Philip's status has improved. He is extubated (i.e. the doctors removed the tube from his mouth) and has conversed with his relatives and friends around him. He also conversed with His Beatitude Patriarch John X on the phone.

Please continue to pray for his speedy recovery.

Lenten Encyclical of Patriarch John X of Antioch and All the East

The Great Lent: When Mercy Dries Up, Fasting Suffers Drought

By God's mercy John X, Patriarch of Antioch and all the East

Brethren, Pastors of the Holy Church of Antioch;

Beloved children in all dioceses in this apostolic see

Brethren and dearest spiritual children, whose strength and anticipation in God, strengthen ours;

Entering this redemptive period which leads us to the Cross (of Christ) and the dawn of His and thus our resurrection, these days bring to us the anticipation to Jesus and His divine consolation for His beloved humans; for whom He descended from His highest, incarnated in the Virgin, submitting Himself to the human law, willingly walking the path of the Cross, in order to rise from the dead, becoming the first fruit for our resurrection from our earthly misery and tribulation.

Jesus chose the path of the Cross, and drank from the chalice of death to simply tell us that the tribulation of our times will not overshadow our hope for light, and that hardship cannot eclipse the brightness of resurrection.

Repose of St. Raphael of Brooklyn

Several themes emerge as the story of St. Raphael's life unfolds. The first is the mysterious way in which God led him from his native homeland to the shores of the American continent. The second is his submissive attitude to the providence of God. And the third is his love for the people of God. Though during his lifetime he was neither a wonder-worker nor a clairvoyant elder, St. Raphael embraced a life of total abandonment of self for the service of God and his fellow man: a life of true spiritual asceticism.

(from The Life of Our Father among the Saints Raphael Hawaweeny)

Our Father among the Saints, Raphael (Hawaweeny), Bishop of  Brooklyn, was the first Orthodox Christian bishop consecrated on American soil. Traveling throughout the continent in the first years of the 20th century, he founded thirty parishes in North America. His feast day is celebrated in the Antiochian Archdiocese on the first Saturday of November. St. Raphael, a man of angelic name and apostolic fervor, was influenced by many cultures. He was born and raised in the Middle East, educated by Greeks at Halki and by Russians at Kiev, and he spent the last nineteen years of his life as a missionary in North America.

In 2015, the Antiochian Archdiocese celebrated the 100th Anniversary of the Falling Asleep of St. Raphael. 

Great Lent Resources and Readings Offered

As the faithful prepare to celebrate the high point of the Church year—Great Lent, Holy Week and Pascha—the Archdiocese highlights our section of resources and reading for the season. Great Lent Resources & Readings is a topical library of links and reflections that presents the meaning and practice of the forty days of prayer and worship of Lent, for both newcomers to the Orthodox Christian Faith as well as for those who are rediscovering the spiritual benefits of the Lenten journey.

Visitors to Great Lent Resources & Readings will find three subsections:

We are grateful to all the various sources who have allowed us to repurpose their material, and we encourage those maintaining Orthodox websites of their own to link to this section.

Common Statement by Patriarch John X of Antioch and All the East, and Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia

On January 30, 2014, His Beatitude Patriarch John X of Antioch and All the East concluded his five-day visit to Russia, and the following Common Statement with His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia was released (translation provided by the Russian Orthodox Church):

At the invitation of Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill, Patriarch of Antioch and all the East John X paid his official visit to the Russian Orthodox Church from January 25 to 30, 2014. The Patriarchate of Antioch is going now through difficult times because of the violence committed in its homeland and its tragic consequences of the political crisis for its people. This visit has given the two sister Churches the opportunity to discuss several disturbing issues affecting their witness and ministry. The two Churches feel the need to state the following:

1. The important mission of a Church in a society is to bear witness in word and deed to God's love for each person, regardless of his or her religious belief or national identity. Following the words of Christ "Blessed are peacemakers, for they will be called children of God (Mt. 5:9), we proclaim peace and respect for the human dignity and rights. Every human being is an object of Divine Compassion; it is because of God's love that the Incarnation took place and that the Holy Spirit continues to work in our midst. This basic principle inspires the two sister Churches in their actions, service and cooperation.

His Beatitude Patriarch John X of Antioch and All the East Visits His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia

Meetings are underway in Russia between His Beatitude Patriarch John X and His Holiness Patriarch Kirill. In addition to the general report below, a joint statement has been issued appealing for peace in Syria.

The Department for External Church Relations of the Russian Orthodox Church reports:

On 25 January 2014, at the Patriarchal and Synodal Residence in St Daniel's Monastery, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia met with His Beatitude Patriarch John X of Antioch and All the East, who is currently visiting the Russian Orthodox Church.

The delegation accompanying His Beatitude Patriarch John X on his visit includes Metropolitan Basilyos of Akkar; Metropolitan Ephrem of Tripoli; Archbishop Niphon of Filippopolis, representative of the Patriarch of Antioch to the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia; archimandrite Philip (Yazegi); archimandrite Parthenius (Allati); archdeacon Gerasimus (Kabbas); and a number of lay people.

Patriarch John X of Antioch and Patriarch Kirill of Moscow Issue Appeal on Syria

The Department for External Church Relations of the Russian Orthodox Church reports:

On 26 January 2014, His Beatitude Patriarch John X of Great Antioch and All the East and His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia made a joint statement addressed to the participants in the Geneva II International Conference on Syria. Taking part in the Conference are representatives of the opposing parties and the world community. The text of the Statement is given below.

We, Primates of fraternal Orthodox Churches, the Church of Antioch and the Russian Church, met in Moscow in order to once again bear witness to love in Christ, the love which our Churches have preserved intact through centuries and which is addressed to all people regardless their nationality, religion or political views.

Today our common prayers go to the long-suffering Syrian people undergoing unprecedented ordeals. The land, in which Muslims and Christians have lived together for centuries, has been filled with tears of those who are lamenting the death of their relatives and friends and who have been driven away from their homes. The calamity that has come to the once peaceful land spares neither old people nor children, neither Muslims nor Christians. No heart can remain indifferent to the horrible tragedy in Syria.

These days, Switzerland is hosting an international conference which gathered at the negotiating table representatives of the opposing parties and the world community. We address our ardent appeal to the participants in the meeting, asking them to exert every possible effort to end the bloodshed and restore peace in the blessed Syrian land.

Nativity Greetings from Patriarch John X

With the mercy of God Almighty

John X

Greek-Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and All the East

To

My brothers, pastors of the Holy Antiochian Church

And my sons and daughters wherever they are in the parts of this Apostolic See

 

“As Thou art God of peace and Father of mercies, Thou hast sent unto us Thine Angel of great counsel, granting us peace. So are we guided towards the light of the knowledge of God, and watching by night we glorify Thee, O Lover of mankind”

With these words, beloved, the hymnographer described the great event of Nativity. With these words, Kosmas the Melodist, son of this east, surpassed ages and times to tell about what he might chant and ask concerning the Nativity of the Lord Christ, messenger of love and spring of peace.

Christ is Born! Glorify Him!

Today is born of the Virgin Him Who holdest all creation in the hollow of His hand.
He Whose essence is untouchable is wrapped in swaddling clothes as a babe.
The God Who from of old established the heavens lieth in a manger.
He Who showered the people with manna in the wilderness feedeth on milk from the breasts.
And the bridegroom of the Church calleth the Magi, and the Son of the Virgin accepteth gifts from them.
We worship Thy Nativity, O Christ.
Show us also Thy divine Theophany!

The Antiochian Archdiocese wishes a holy and blessed Great Feast of the Nativity to all! 

Read more about the Feast, and listen to the beautiful Byzantine Hymn of the Nativity. 

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