Featured Articles


Choir and Chanter Appreciation Sunday

A word from Metropolitan Philip:

“I will sing with the spirit, and I will also sing with the understanding. Otherwise, if you bless with the spirit, how will he who occupies the place of the uninformed say 'Amen' at your giving of thanks, since he does not understand what you say? For you indeed give thanks well, but the other is not edified.” ( l Corinthians I4: I5-I 7).

Beloved In Christ,

As we gather together each day and each week to participate in the liturgical life of our Church, and celebrate the mysteries of our Faith, we realize that none of this would be possible if it were not for the presence of our faithful chanters, choir directors and choir members. They are there not simply to sing the hymns and responses for us, as if we were coming to listen to a concert of Orthodox music each week. Rather, they are there to help guide and lead us all in our worship of God, as we give thanks to Him who given us this life through our own perfect offering and sacrifice of praise.

The Holy Great Martyr Barbara + December 4

Let us honor the holy martyr Barbara, for as a bird she escaped the snares of the enemy, and destroyed them through the help and defense of the Cross.

-Troparion, Tone 8

Singing the praises of the Trinity, you followed God by enduring suffering; you renounced the multitude of idols, O holy martyr Barbara. In your struggles, you were not frightened by the threats of your torturers, but cried out in a loud voice: “I worship the Trinity in one God-head.”

-Kontakion, Tone 4

Read the life of St. Barbara

Read about The Custom of "St. Barbara's Branch" in Europe

December 2010 Edition of The Word Now Available Online

Click cover to download: 

The December 2010 issue contains the following articles:

Taking Water to the Jordan, pg. 4

Fr. Joseph Allen Visits Balamand, pg. 6
by Fr. Bassam Nassif

Eating in an Anciently Refreshing Way, pg. 9
by Rita Madden, MPH, RD

An Unimaginable Experience, pg. 21
by Mary Salim

Ascending the Mountain, pg. 22
by Fr. Kevin Gregory

...and more!

Advent Reflections by Fr. Thomas Hopko on Antiochian.org

Once again during the Nativity season, Antiochian.org brings our readers a collection of excerpts from The Winter Pascha by Fr. Thomas Hopko.

"When the winter begins to make way into the Northern World, the Church of Christ begins to celebrate a 'splendid three-day Pascha'." Thus Father Thomas Hopko begins the first of forty meditations for the season of Advent, Christmas and Epiphany, ending with the feast of the Meeting of the Lord in the Temple on the fortieth day after Christ's birth. A protopresbyter in the Orthodox Church and Dean Emeritus at St. Vladimir's Seminary, Fr. Hopko is a popular speaker and podcaster, and the author of numerous articles and books. In this book, Fr. Thomas draws upon the rich liturgical life of the Church as well as contemporary writers, to present thoughtful meditations focused on the preparation and celebration of Christ's birth.

Many thanks to the SVS Press staff for their kind permission and assistance. Go here to order a copy of The Winter Pascha.

Interview with Antiochian Archpriest Gregory Hallam, Manchester, UK

Archpriest Gregory Hallam, Dean of the Antiochian Orthodox Deanery of the United Kingdom and Ireland, and blogger at Antioch Abouna, recently launched a podcast on Ancient Faith Radio. Titled A Voice From the Isles, the podcast features Fr. Gregory's sermons and lectures, delivered to Orthodox Christians and inquirers in the United Kingdom. Recently, antiochian.org caught up with him in cyberspace, where he graciously answered our questions.
 

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself, Father. How does a Christian clergyman in the United Kingdom end up as a priest and Dean in the Antiochian Archdiocese?

I wasn't raised in the Anglican Church but I served it for 12 years as a priest after coming to faith in my early 20s.  My journey to Orthodoxy is a long story so I will just give you a reasonably detailed but short summary. 

My first encounter with the Orthodox Church was at Anglican seminary 30 years ago when I attended a liturgy in English at a parish in the Greek Archdiocese in Southampton.  This was in the context of an ecumenical visit from our college to the church there.  I was blown away by the worship much in the same way that the emissaries of Kiev reacted after experiencing the Liturgy at the Great Church in Constantinople.  I then began a theological exploration of Orthodoxy while still at Anglican seminary and found that it rang true in every aspect of Christian life.

Book of the Epistles: New Edition Now Available

The Book of the Epistles
An Orthodox Lectionary
Download Order Form (PDF)

Endorsed by His Eminence Metropolitan PHILIP as the Official Lectionary of the Self-Ruled Antiochian Archdiocese of North America, the Book of the Epistles makes its debut in 2010. Compiled by Fr. Charles Baz, and reviewers include Fr. Paul Tarazi, Fr. David Hester, Dn. Ezra Ham. Thoroughly prepared and well-produced.

This book is a “must have” for every Orthodox Church! GET YOUR COPY TODAY!

PRICE: $60.00 per copy (Plus 12% Shipping and Handling)

Specifications:

  • 510 Pages Total
  • Length 9.25” x Width 6.25” x 1.5”
  • Two-Tone Print (Red & Black)
  • High Quality Cream White Paper
  • Gold Gilded Edges & Gold-Embossed Cover
  • Two Ribbon Markers
  • Hardbound—Red Leather
  • Lightweight (29.4 OZ)
  • Smyth Sewn* Casebound Binding
  • Easy-to-Read Font

Fr. George Morelli Offers Resources For Clergy and Laity

Priest and clinical psychologist Fr. George Morelli has published a treasure trove of informative, insightful articles readily available on this website. In his Chaplain's Corner, Father addresses pastoral concerns with a frank and practical approach. His "Good Marriage" articles blend the best of current psychological insight with the writings of the Fathers, and in-depth reflections such as "Beauty-the Divine Connection," draw extensively from both his clinical experience and his knowledge of Scripture and Holy Tradition. In his recent treatise, The Ethos of Orthodox Catechesis (published in six parts), Fr. George examines in depth the singular Orthodox approach to catechism, and how parents, teachers and pastors can integrate a truly Orthodox ethos in their teaching ministries. 

November 21 is IOCC Sunday: "A Day of Sharing"

As Orthodox Christians finish up the first week of the Nativity Fast and prepare for the Thanksgiving holiday, International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) will be observing IOCC Sunday on November 21. Themed "A Day of Sharing," the event will be spotlighting the ministry of IOCC at parishes all across the United States. Orthodox Christians are being encouraged to:

  1. Make a generous donation to support the humanitarian work of the IOCC
  2. Become a volunteer for the organization
  3. Become a Parish Representative (information available here)
  4. Participate in a local IOCC Event and
  5. Pray for all those in need.

For more information, or to download Sunday bulletin inserts, go the IOCC website's special section devoted to IOCC Sunday.

St. Athanasius Academy: Ministering for 34 Years

St. Athanasius publicationSt. Athanasius publicationThirty four years ago, a group of evangelical Christians on the road to Orthodoxy founded St. Athanasius Academy with the vision of serving the Church through long distance study programs, theological studies, and research. From the start, they strategically focused on publishing materials for the laity, as well as producing audio and video tapes, and ultimately, the Orthodox Study Bible. Fifteen years ago, the Academy began to minister to prisoners who were discovering the Orthodox faith through their Prisoner Education Program, which provides study scholarships to qualifying students. Current Academy Director Paul Goetz says, "We have a steady prisoner-student list of 100 active prisoners. And we mean active. We grade and respond to nearly 120 lessons per month. Their enthusiasm is marvelous."

Adds Goetz, "Along with our Correspondence Division (its primary focus being the laity), and our Prisoner Education Project, we continue publishing our research. We are providing live classes – even webcam studies – on the Orthodox philosophy of the Seven Ecumenical Councils, Orthodox theology, studies the Book of Romans and the Gospel of John, and monastic principles for non-monastics. Even here, we provide detailed study notes based on the renowned Fathers of the Church."

Recently, antiochian.org interviewed Paul Goetz about the ongoing work of St. Athanasius Academy. Read the interview in full here.

Listen to an interview with Fr. Jack Sparks, St. Athanasius Founder, here, and listen to Part II here.  

2010 Clergy Wives Weekend Inspires and Refreshes

By Valerie Zahirsky

“Everywhere Present and Filling All Things”: The Holy Spirit or the Clergy Wife? was the theme of the second annual Clergy Wives Weekend, held at Antiochian Village in Ligonier, PA from October 29-31. Over 70 wives of priests, deacons, and wives of seminarians headed for ordination from all across the country – including Alaska! - came together for this pan-Orthodox weekend of prayer, reflection and informal, enjoyable fellowship.

The program included a welcome on Friday night by Maria Abdalah, daughter of Kh. Joanne Abdalah – in whose memory the Weekend is dedicated. Presenting a short overview of the Weekend’s focus, and how we have experienced the Holy Spirit since the dawn of creation, Kh. Stefanie Yazge set the stage for the Weekend’s speakers. The evening concluded with Little Compline. (Click HERE to view a photo gallery of the weekend.)

His Grace Bishop Joseph Leads Pilgrimage to the Middle East

Bishop Joseph and pilgrims at St. Ananias House on Straight StreetBishop Joseph and pilgrims at St. Ananias House on Straight StreetBy the grace of God, a pilgrimage led by His Grace Bishop Joseph, has arrived safely in Damascus, Syria, where it will begin a journey spanning three countries over the next two weeks. Upon arriving in Damascus, the delegation was received in the VIP reception room at the airport and then proceeded to St. Christophoros Monastery in Saydnaya. The group had dinner and celebrated Sayidna's 60th Birthday.

The sixteen delegates will first visit Patriarchate of Antioch and all the East and the Patriarchal Cathedral of the Dormition (“al-Mariamiyeh”) and Headquarters in the “old city.” Over the course of the trip, the group will travel throughout Syria, Lebanon and southern Turkey. The delegates will visit various monasteries, churches, and historic sites in these countries, including Ss. Peter and Paul Church in Antioch (present-day Antakya in Turkey), where “the Disciples were first called Christians” (Acts 11:26). This pilgrimage will be documented daily with text and photos, HERE.

November 2010 Edition of The Word Now Available Online

Click cover to download: 

The November 2010 issue contains the following articles:

Al-Kafaat, pg. 4

Purity, Virginity and Chastity, pg. 6
by Samantha Michael

Gay and Lesbian Ordination: An Eastern Orthodox View, pg. 14
by Archpriest John W. Morris, Ph.D.

Old Testament Women at the Annunciation: Gleanings from the Western Rite Lectionary, pg. 18
by Lynette Smith

Book Review: Land and Covenant, pg. 24
by Fr. Aaron Warwick

...and more!

Archpastoral Directive Concerning the Implementation of the Resolution of The Holy Synod of Antioch Dated August 19, 2010

Click image to download PDF versionClick image to download PDF versionNovember 2, 2010
ARCHPASTORAL DIRECTIVE

To our Venerable Hierarchs and beloved clergy of The Self-Ruled Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America:

Greetings and Blessings to all of you in the Name of our Lord and God and Savior Jesus Christ!

Please find attached to this letter an opinion from the Department of Legal Affairs, and a document entitled “Implementation of The Synodal Resolution of August 19, 2010”.

Effective immediately, all points that are specified in the document entitled “Implementation of The Synodal Resolution of August 19, 2010” are to be implemented across the entire Archdiocese, and are considered the policy of this Archdiocese. It is expected that all of our clergy will become familiar with these points and follow them as they are documented. This implementation is entirely consistent with the resolution of the Holy Synod of Antioch dated August 19, 2010 and will insure the good order and strong unity of this Archdiocese.

Wishing you a peaceful remainder of the Fall season, I remain,

Your Father in Christ,



 

Metropolitan PHILIP
Archbishop of New York and Metropolitan of all North America
The Self-Ruled Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America

Urgent Communication from His Eminence Metropolitan Philip Regarding the Diocese of Toledo and the Midwest

Click here to download this letter in PDF format

TO BE READ FROM THE PULPIT AND PUBLISHED IN THE CHURCH BULLETIN

October 27, 2010
To: The Clergy of the Diocese of Toledo and the Midwest
From: His Eminence, Metropolitan PHILIP
Re: Appointment of His Grace, Bishop THOMAS as Locum-Tenens of the Diocese

Beloved in the Lord:

Greetings in the name of our Lord, God and Savior Jesus Christ. I pray you are in good health. As you are no doubt aware, our Local Synod of the Archdiocese met on Friday, October 22, 2010 in Jacksonville, FL. Among the things we discussed was the deteriorating situation in the diocese. As such, it was determined that the best thing was to transfer His Grace, Bishop MARK to the Diocese of Eagle River and the Northwest. A majority of the bishops of the synod agreed with the decision that this was in the best interest of the Archdiocese so that both the Diocese of Toledo and His Grace, Bishop MARK could have a fresh start. Citing health reasons, Bishop MARK said he could not live in that part of the country and subsequently requested to be released to the Orthodox Church in America. The synod agreed to his request and, at present, he is working out the details of his release with His Beatitude, Metropolitan JONAH. During this interim period, Bishop MARK asked to remain in the Toledo chancery until the end of the year. I agreed to this request and we will continue to pay Bishop MARK his stipend until the end of December.

2011 Liturgical Guide Now Available

Place your order for the 2011 Liturgical Guide Today!Place your order for the 2011 Liturgical Guide Today!Click here to download order form (Word Format)

Fr. Elia Shalhoub writes:

Beloved in Christ:

Greetings and best wishes to you in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

With the Grace of God and the blessings of our beloved Father in Christ His Eminence Metropolitan Philip I have prepared the 2011 Liturgical Guide which I have been preparing every year for the last Thirteen years.

For the Last 4 years, with Sayadna Philip’s blessings I took the chance to print and distribute the Guide on my own, I would like to thank every parish and every individual who supported the use of the hard copy of the Guide by purchasing one or more.

Archdiocesan Synod and Board of Trustees to Meet this Weekend

This weekend, the regular Fall meetings of the Archdiocesan Synod of Bishops and the Archdiocesan Board of Trustees will be held in Jacksonville, Florida. The Archdiocesan Synod will meet during the morning of Friday October 22, 2010. The Archdiocesan Board of Trustees will meet in their first session during the evening of Friday October 22, and will reconvene during the morning of Saturday October 23.

We ask all of the faithful for your fervent prayers for our hierarchs and the members of the Board of Trustees that their meetings will be greatly blessed.

Diocese of Los Angeles Celebrates 15 Years of Bishop Joseph

Many years, Master!

from the Diocese of Los Angeles web site:

Orthodox Christians living in what was known then as the Western Region of the Antiochian Archdiocese of North America witnessed a new dawn in 1995. For the first time in its existence, the Western Region had a permanent auxiliary bishop to pastor the immediate needs of the clergy and laity in a closer, more personal proximity. This bishop took up residence in the Los Angeles Chancery to make regular visits to then 40-some (now nearly 60) parishes and missions in eight American states and three Canadian provinces, covering the largest geographic and diverse territory of the Archdiocese. When he was asked to come to North America, and eventually the West Coast, His Grace, Bishop JOSEPH (Al-Zehlaoui) did not question it for two reasons: his obedience to the Holy Orthodox Church; and because, he says, his new assignment came about so quickly there was no time for inquiry.

Click here to read more, and to visit the Diocese's extensive photo galleries of His Grace.

Metropolitan Philip Interviewed on Ancient Faith Radio

Chesterton, IN — Ancient Faith Radio is pleased to announce a new Illumined Heart interview with Metropolitan Philip Saliba:

The past few years have seen their controversies within the Self Ruled Antiochian Archdiocese of North America. On September 30, 2010, Kevin Allen, host of The Illumined Heart, and John Maddex, co-founder and president of Ancient Faith Radio, traveled to Englewood, New Jersey to visit the headquarters of the Antiochian Archdiocese and the home of its Archbishop, Metropolitan Philip Saliba. Their purpose was to seek clarification on several key areas that have become a concern to many and fodder for the blogosphere. His Eminence warmly welcomed them and gave Kevin the freedom to ask any question he thought would be helpful to the AFR audience in understanding several critical issues.

Four specific topics addressed include:

  • The meaning and future of self rule in the Antiochian Archdiocese.
  • The status of the Bishops in North America and the meaning as well as the ramifications of the title “Auxiliary Bishop.”
  • The finances of the Antiochian Archdiocese and in particular the status of an audit.
  • The view point of His Eminence on the Episcopal Assembly, SCOBA, and the future of administrative unity in North America.

AFR has left the Metropolitan’s remarks intact and unedited to make them available to the audience for their own evaluation and conclusions.

Orthodox Conference on Missions and Evangelism, Oct. 15-17, is Now Free!

Fr. Nicholas Triantafilou, Conference SpeakerFr. Nicholas Triantafilou, Conference Speaker

Santa Barbara, CA — The Department of Missions and Evangelism announces that the Orthodox Conference on Missions and Evangelism, scheduled for October 15-17 at St. Nicholas Orthodox Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, is being offered free to all!

Conference presentations and workshops are designed to help participants better understand and articulate the Christian Gospel as understood by the Orthodox Church, and learn how to share the gospel of the Kingdom of God with others.

“Due to the generosity and vision of a few sponsors, we now are able to open the Conference to everyone at no cost,” said Howard Lange, conference coordinator.

Final Report of the 46th Regular Session of the Holy Synod of Antioch Published in The Word

Synod at August MeetingSynod at August Meeting

The final report of the 46th Regular Session of the Holy Synod of Antioch, which took place in the Monastery of St. Christopher between the 17th and the 20th of August 2010 under the leadership of His Beatitude IGNATIUS IV, has been released in The Word magazine. For the Arabic version of the report, go to page 8 in the October issue of The Word.

On Tuesday, August 17, 2010, the regular session of the Holy Synod of Antioch was held, lasting until Friday, August 20, 2010, under the leadership of His Beatitude IGNATIUS IV (Hazim) and in the presence of the Fathers of the Synod of Antioch, the metropolitans of the nation and the emigration. They studied an agenda related to pastoral and ecclesial matters and adopted appropriate decisions related to them.