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Metropolitan JOSEPH Leads Theophany and Anniversary Celebrations for St. John Chrysostom Church

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In a spirit of joy and commemoration, His Eminence Metropolitan JOSEPH celebrated the Feast of Theophany and the 25th Anniversary of St. John Chrysostom Antiochian Orthodox Church in York, PA on the weekend of January 5–7, 2018. His Eminence worshipped with the faithful of St. John on Friday evening, and presided over Hierarchical Divine Liturgies on Saturday for the Great Blessing of Water and on Sunday morning. His Eminence was joined by His Grace Bishop THOMAS, Diocese of Oakland, Charleston, and the Mid-Atlantic, who celebrated with the community as well.

Father Peter Pier is the founding pastor of the congregation. In April of 1995, 13.8 acres of land was purchased for St. John's future home, and in the spring of 1997, His Grace Bishop ANTOUN of Blessed Memory broke ground for construction.

Register Now! 2018 Winter Sacred Music Institute Is February 1-4 in Houston

 

 

 

 

 


The Department of Sacred Music is thrilled to announce the 2018 Winter Sacred Music Institute, being held from February 1-4, 2018, and hosted once again by the ever generous and gracious St. George Orthodox Christian Church in Houston, TX.

Come spend a musical weekend learning, sharing, singing, praying, and of course, eating! A variety of courses will be available to suit your needs, whether it be choral instruction, Byzantine chant, music theory, vocal technique, structure of services, theology, and of course, singing, singing, singing! Sign up today.

Theophany of Our Lord + January 6

O Jordan River, why wast thou astonished at beholding the Invisible naked? And he answereth, saying, I beheld Him and trembled; for how shall I not tremble and fear, when the angels trembled at sight of Him, heaven was astounded, earth was encompassed by trepidation, and the sea was bashful, with all things visible and invisible; for Christ hath appeared in the Jordan to bless the waters. (Tone 4)

He that encompasseth the heavens with clouds putteth on today the courses of the Jordan; and He that lifteth the sin of the world, cleanseth and purifieth me. Yea, the Spirit hath testified of Him from on high that He is the only Son of the Father on high. Let us, therefore, shout to Him, crying, O Thou Who didst appear and save us, glory to Thee. (Tone 1)

January 2018 Edition of The Word Now Available

Click cover to download: 

The January 2018 issue of The Word is now available and contains the following articles:

Today, Salvation Comes to Our House
by Bishop John

Exorcism Precedes Evangelism
by Fr. Joseph Huneycutt

Bearers of the Tradition
by Christopher Veniamin, D.Phil. (Oxon.)

Claiming our Children
by Keidi Lewis

Why Prison Ministry?
by Fr. David Randolph

"Not as Those Who Have No Hope"
by Gregory Abdalah, M.Div.

Other insightful spiritual reflections and updates from Christian Education, our seminarians, The Order of St. Ignatius...

...and more!

St. Basil the Great & The Circumcision of the Lord + January 1

In all the earth that received thy sayings, thy melody did resound, O righteous father, through which thou didst go about and proclaim, as worthy of God, the nature of creatures, cultivating the character of mankind, O thou of kingly Priesthood, Basil. Wherefore, plead thou with Christ God to save our souls.

+Apolytikion of St. Basil, Tone 1

When the Savior condescended for the sake of mankind, He was willing to be wrapped in swaddling clothes, and He Who was eight days old on the side of His Mother, and eternal on the side of His Father did not disdain the circumcision of the flesh. Wherefore, let us cry to Him, O believers, Thou art our God; have mercy upon us.

+Doxasticon of the Feast, Tone 8

Many years to His Grace Bishop Basil of the Diocese of Wichita and Mid-America on his Namesday!
Read Fr. Thomas Hopko's reflection on today's commemorations
The Tradition of the Vasilopita

Nativity Greeting From His Eminence Metropolitan JOSEPH

Nativity 2017

Today doth Bethlehem receive Him Who sitteth with the Father forever. Today the angels glorify, as worthy of God, the babe that is born, shouting: Glory to God in the highest, and on earth be peace, and goodwill among men.

Beloved in Christ,

With great joy I greet you at the dawn of this bright and glorious feast of the Sun of Justice, Christ our God, making the cave a heaven and the manger a noble place!

May He Who deigned to be born in the cave and rest in a manger take up His abode in us. Let us join our voices with the angelic choirs and glorify God, beseeching Him to bring peace, justice, and reconciliation to our troubled world.

Byzantine Hymn of the Nativity

Today is born of the Virgin Him Who holdeth 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!

(Chanted by Reader Nader Hajjar, St. Elias Antiochian Cathedral, Ottawa. Video by kalamation and Fr. Francois Beyrouti.)

St. Ignatius of Antioch + December 20

Like a living monument and an animate image, thy yearly feast is come, O God-bearing Ignatius, proclaiming thy mystic teachings and thy heroic exploits, thy resistance for the Faith even unto blood, and those blessed and celebrated words of thine, which said: I am the wheat of God, and in the teeth of beasts shall I be ground up. Wherefore, as an imitator of the Passion of Christ, intercede that our souls be saved.

+Orthros of the Feast, Tone 1

Read more about St. Ignatius the God-Bearer
Learn about The Order of St. Ignatius
Resources for the Nativity Season

Antiochian Village Summer Camp Registration Opens Monday, December 11

The Antiochian Village Summer Camp Program serves young people ages 9–17 who come to attend one of four two-week sessions. A primary goal of the Village camp program is to present to young people a living experience of the Holy Orthodox Faith in their relationship with God and other campers in a natural environment.

Registrations are now open for the 2018 summer camp season. The sessions run June 17 through August 10; two special sessions are Byzantine Chant Camp held from June 17 – June 29, and Iconography Camp, which runs from July 15 – July 23.  Slots fill up very quickly for this incredibly popular program, so act now! Additionally, it's not too early to think about sending your child to your local diocesan camp; visit The Department of Camping for more information.

ANTIOCHIAN VILLAGE CAMP REGISTRATION LINK

Metropolitan JOSEPH'S Letter for Choir and Chanter Appreciation Sunday

(To be read from the pulpit and printed in the bulletin)

Beloved Brother Hierarchs, Reverend Clergy, and Christ-loving Faithful of Our God-protected Archdiocese:

Blessings and greetings to all of you in the Name of Our Lord, God, and Savior Jesus Christ!

One of the hallmarks of our Orthodox Christian faith is the beauty of our worship. Our ecclesiastical music, when done with prayer and skill, can elucidate the rich theology of our hymnography in such a way that worshippers can exclaim – as did the emissaries sent by Saint Vladimir – "we know not whether we are in heaven or on earth!"

Because we owe such a tremendous amount of gratitude to our choirs and our chanters, we set aside the second Sunday of December to honor them for the key role they play in our liturgical life.

St. Nicholas, Bishop of Myra + December 6

The truth of things revealed thee to thy flock as a rule of faith, a model of meekness, and a teacher of temperance. Therefore thou hast won the heights by humility, riches by poverty. Holy Father Nicholas, intercede with Christ our God that our souls may be saved.

+Troparion, Tone 4

Thou wast a faithful minister of God in Myra, O Saint Nicholas. For having fulfilled the Gospel of Christ, thou didst die for the people and save the innocent. Therefore thou wast sanctified as a great initiator of the grace of God.

+Kontakion, Tone 3

On December 6, we celebrate St. Nicholas the Wonderworker, the fourth-century archbishop of Myra in Lycia (on the southern coast of modern-day Turkey). None of his writings is extant, but his examples of Christian generosity, virtue and love endure to this day. St. Nicholas is the living embodiment of the words "faith without works is dead" (James 2:20). He is also the patron and protector of two cathedrals – Brooklyn and Los Angeles – in our Archdiocese.

December 2017 Edition of The Word Now Available

Click cover to download: 

The December 2017 issue of The Word is now available and contains the following articles:

Celebrating Christmas Defines Us
by Bishop John

Pleading for the Lives of the People of the Middle East
by Sdn. Peter Samore and Sonia Chala Tower

I Would Fly Away and Be At Rest
by Sdn. Peter Samore

The Ghost of Past Christmas Presents
by Fr. Joseph Huneycutt

Wisdom From St. Clement of Rome
by Fr. Daniel Daly

Updates from Christian Education, our seminarians, The Order of St. Ignatius...

...and much more!

Nativity Fast, 2017: Pastoral Letter of His Eminence Metropolitan JOSEPH

I behold a strange and wonderful mystery: the cave a heaven, the Virgin a cherubic throne, and the manger a noble place in which hath laid Christ the uncontained God. Let us, therefore, praise and magnify Him. †Hiermos of the 9th Ode of the First Canon of Christ's Nativity

Beloved Brother Hierarchs, Reverend Clergy, and Christ-loving Faithful of our God-protected Archdiocese,

I greet you with love and joy as we begin this season of preparation for the Nativity in the Flesh of Our Great God and Savior, Jesus Christ!

Today, the Holy Church calls us to prepare for the feast by fasting, prayer, and repentance. The surrounding culture calls us to prepare as well – but by decorating, shopping, and hosting parties. One of the most common questions our clergy receive during this time of year is: Why are we in a period of repentance when the rest of the world is celebrating?

Memory Eternal! + Ghassan O. Sayegh

It is with profound sadness tempered only by the certainty of the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, that we announce the falling asleep in the Lord of the servant of God, Ghassan O. Sayegh, on Thursday, November 23, 2017. Ghassan was the loving father of Archdeacon Emile P. Sayegh, Esq., the Chancellor of the Archdiocese.

Ghassan, 86, of Scottsdale Arizona and Congers, New York, passed into life eternal while surrounded by many of his family members.

He was born in Jordan to Otallah and Martha Khalil Sayegh, and immigrated to the United States (New York) in July, 1953, where he was one of the founding members of the parish of the Virgin Mary Antiochian Orthodox Church, Yonkers, New York, under the guidance of their first pastor then Fr. Philip (Metropolitan PHILIP Saliba), of thrice-blessed memory.

We Give Thanks to Thee, O Christ Our God

Everlasting King, Thy will for our salvation is full of power. Thy right arm controls the whole course of human life. We give Thee thanks for all Thy mercies, seen and unseen. For eternal life, for the heavenly Joys of the Kingdom which is to be. Grant mercy to us who sing Thy praise, both now and in the time to come. Glory to Thee, O God, from age to age.

Akathist of Thanksgiving

His Eminence Metropolitan JOSEPH asks that parishes try to offer divine services in thanksgiving to God for all of His abundant blessings, both on Wednesday November 22, 2017 for Great Vespers or the Akathist of Thanksgiving in the evening, as well as on Thursday, Thanksgiving Day in the morning, to celebrate the Divine Liturgy. Texts from the Department of Liturgics in the Online Liturgical Guide are available.

READ MORE

Fire Tears Through St. Matthew Church in Ohio

Just days before the celebration of its patron, a fire tore through the nave and vestry of St. Matthew Church of North Royalton, Ohio. Damage was so extensive that the pastor, Fr. Andrew Harmon, said repairs could take one year. As a result, the community held divine services for the feast of St. Matthew at a nearby funeral home.

In a letter to the community, His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph wrote: "I learned with shock and sadness of the fire that broke out in your sanctuary this past weekend. My shock and sadness were followed by my paternal pride in learning of the faith and resilience shown by all of you in the wake of this tragedy. Befitting your calling as Orthodox Christians, you have not ceased your rich liturgical life and have made plans to celebrate your patronal feast this evening with joy and hope in Our Lord. May the Grace of God received through your commitment to life of the Church bring your sacred community together to meet the challenges that have been set forth for you!"

Pleading for the Lives of the People of the Middle East: The U.S. Visit of His Beatitude Patriarch John X


 

 

 

 


By Subdeacon Peter Samore and Sonia Chala Tower

“The world would assist both Christians and Moslems much better if it spreads the culture of dialogue in our East and wipes away the culture of the sword…” Patriarch John X

Although he brought the love of the Orthodox Church of Antioch from the Middle East to the United States, His Beatitude Patriarch John X of Antioch and All the East said that he also brought the pain and suffering of the brethren in his native land. From October 21–31, 2017, His Beatitude made several key visits with elected officials and world leaders in Washington, D.C. and New York City to continue pleading for peaceful, diplomatic solutions to end the fruitless, 6.5-year-old war in Syria, the land of the Apostles Paul, Barnabas and Ananias, that has negatively impacted the entire region.

“I Would Fly Away and Be at Rest:" The Last Public Appearance and Funeral of Bishop Antoun

By Subdeacon Peter Samore

On Friday, November 10, the fortieth day of His Grace Bishop Antoun's repose is commemorated, and on Sunday, November 12, His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph asks all parishes to hold Trisagion Services.

“Oh that I had the wings of a dove. I would fly away and be at rest.” (Psalm 54:6)

Although the context of the Psalm is tribulation, it holds a different context for His Grace Bishop Antoun, the longest-serving auxiliary bishop of the Antiochian Archdiocese who left this world on the morning of Monday, October 2, 2017. For, as Metropolitan Joseph remarked in funeral address, Sayidna Antoun did not fly away to leave the rest of us behind, because he never betrayed us. Rather, His Grace took up his new abode at the throne of Almighty God to intercede with Him for us, and reunite the clergy and laity he loved so dearly on the Last Day.

Every bishop of the Archdiocese, along with dozens of clergy and hundreds of faithful, gathered at St. George Cathedral in Coral Gables, Florida – Sayidna Antoun’s cathedral in the Diocese of Miami and the Southeast – to mourn the loss of a man who served them in so many ways since his arrival to the United States in 1959. (View the memorial page for His Grace Bishop Antoun, and view the photo album of the funeral.)

St. Raphael of Brooklyn + First Saturday in November

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. 

Exclusive Interview with His Beatitude Patriarch JOHN X and His Eminence Metropolitan JOSEPH

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New York, New York --  In this video, His Beatitude Patriarch JOHN X of Antioch and His Eminence Metropolitan JOSEPH of the Antiochian Archdiocese of North America share their thoughts about the last ten days of their meetings, talks and events in Washington D.C. and New York City regarding the future of Orthodox Christians in Syria and the Middle East.

The interview is an exclusive with Subdeacon Peter Samore of the Archdiocesan Department of Internet Ministry.