February 28, 2023

Great Compline in the Worship of Great Lent

 By Stylianos Gerasimos

Throughout the course of his life the Christian has his attention directed to God and is brought into communion with Him through prayer. This is why St. Gregory the Theologian emphasizes: "Unite your breathing with the remembrance of God."

Prayer is the tangible means by which man feels in his heart the energies of the Infinite God visiting him. This whole prayerful state of man culminates during the period of Great Lent. The Church helps in this matter with its frequent worship services.

In the morning we chant a very long service that includes the Midnight Hour, Matins and the Hours, as well as the next day's Vespers. There is also Great Compline, the Divine Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts and the Great Canon. Every Sunday morning the Divine Liturgy of Basil the Great is celebrated, while in the afternoon there is a Solemn Vespers. Finally, every Friday we sing the Salutations to the Most Holy Theotokos.

Let Us Fast With a Fast That is Pleasing To the Lord (St. John Maximovitch)

 By St. John Maximovitch

The time has come for our preparation for eternal life, the time for meeting with the Lord who is coming to earth again.

The Church calls on all of us to remember that, in addition to daily earthly concerns and deeds, there is also eternal life, that we are all called to live forever.

What should be the preparation? In purification of the spirit and restraint of the flesh. “The race of demons,” Christ said, “is overcome only by fasting and prayer.”

Therefore, prayer is needed first of all.

An Interpretation of the Lenten Prayer of Saint Ephraim the Syrian (St. Luke of Simferopol)

By St. Luke, Archbishop of Simferopol and All Crimea

February 27, 2023

Second Homily on Fasting (St. Luke of Simferopol)

By St. Luke, Archbishop of Simferopol and All Crimea

(Delivered on March 2, 1952 - Cheesefare Sunday)

"The fast has come - the mother of chastity."

Oh, how rightly sacred chants call fasting the mother of chastity, for nothing disposes so much to the violation of chastity as overeating and drunkenness.

But we are not only talking about sexual chastity when praising fasting: there is another form of chastity - spiritual chastity. This is purity of heart, and fasting disposes us to this goal - purity of heart.

I know, of course, that you cannot always get the lenten food that you would like. What will I say about this? I will say that it is important not only what will enter your mouth, but even more important is your spiritual disposition, your attitude to fasting. For if you do not have fast food and are forced to eat everything that you can't have, then God will not condemn you for this.

February 26, 2023

Homily Three for the Vespers of Forgiveness (St. Luke of Simferopol)

 By St. Luke, Archbishop of of Simferopol and All Crimea

(Delivered in 1959 - Cheesefare Sunday)

Every year on this holy evening of Forgiveness Sunday there is great joy for all good Christians and for us, your shepherds, for you come in great numbers to breathe in the divine fragrance of the most important and at the same time the simplest words of Christ: “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” (Matt. 6:14-15).

When a certain scribe asked the Lord Jesus Christ which commandment is the greatest in the Law, He answered him: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind: this is the first and greatest commandment; the second is similar to it: love your neighbor as yourself” (Matt. 22:37-39).

Homily Two for the Vespers of Forgiveness (St. Luke of Simferopol)

By St. Luke, Archbishop of of Simferopol and All Crimea

(Delivered on March 2, 1952 - Cheesefare Sunday)

"But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses" (Matt. 6:15).

Oh, what simple, yet profoundly, profoundly correct words! What deep truth in them!

Well, tell me, if a person hates his offender so much that he does not want to forgive him in any way, does he deserve forgiveness from God? Oh no, of course not.

Homily for Cheesefare Sunday - "The Night Has Passed and the Day is Near" (St. Luke of Simferopol)

By St. Luke, Archbishop of Simferopol and All Crimea

(Delivered on March 7, 1954 - Cheesefare Sunday)

Do not remain indebted to anyone for anything except mutual love. He who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments: "Do not commit adultery," "Do not murder," "Do not steal," "Do not bear false witness," "Do not covet," and all the others are contained in this word: "Love your neighbor as yourself." Love does no harm to the neighbor; therefore, love is the fulfillment of the law” (Romans 13:8-10).

Do you not recognize, my beloved, in these words of the holy apostle the same thing that I told you last Sunday about the Last Judgment of Christ? I told you that the Lord Jesus Christ will only ask people about one thing at His Judgment, only about whether they did works of mercy or did not do them, and those who did works of mercy He will glorify forever in His Kingdom, and those who are cruel, deprived of mercy, who never helped his neighbor, He will condemn him to eternal torment.

“And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed” (Romans 13:11)

February 24, 2023

A Summary of the First and Second Finding of the Head of John the Baptist

The daughter of Herodias from a previous marriage, Salome (not referred to in the Gospels by name), on the birthday of Herod Antipas "danced and pleased Herod and those reclining with him." As a reward for the dance, Herod promised Salome to fulfill her every request. She, at the instigation of her mother, who hated John for denouncing her marriage to Herod Antipas, asked for the head of John the Baptist, and “the King was saddened, but for the sake of an oath and those reclining with him, he did not want to refuse her” (Mark 6:26). An executioner was sent to John's dungeon, who cut off his head and, bringing it on a platter, gave it to Salome, and she "gave it to her mother." John's body was buried by his disciples and the death was reported to Jesus (Matt. 14:6-12; Mark 6:21-29).

February 23, 2023

On the Illustrious Saint Polycarp (St. Jerome)

 By St. Jerome

(On Illustrious Men, 17)

Polycarp, a disciple of the apostle John and by him ordained bishop of Smyrna, was the leader of all Asia, where he saw and had as teachers some of the apostles and of those who had seen the Lord.

He, on account of certain questions concerning the day of the Passover, went to Rome in the time of the emperor Antoninus Pius, while Anicetus was bishop of the Church in that city. There he led back to the faith many of the believers who had been deceived through the persuasion of Marcion and Valentinus, and when Marcion met him by chance and said "Do you know us" he replied, "I know the firstborn of the devil."

February 22, 2023

The Triodion and our Spiritual Life

 By Metropolitan Athanasios of Limassol

The period of the Triodion is a miniature of the entire spiritual life of man. It is enough for one to follow the meanings of the hymns of the days, to see the course of the struggle that man has made before him. It begins from the foundation of the spiritual life to the end, which is the sanctification and deification of man. The Triodion is a very rich spiritual period, and due to the particular circumstances of each person, living within the various obligations that each person has, it is not easy to completely follow all the spiritual opportunities that this period gives us.

The course of the Triodion is divided into three periods. One before the beginning of the fast, the other is the period of the holy fast and then the Great Week of the Holy Passion of the Lord and the Resurrection. The period before fasting is a preparatory period, which shows us how we can struggle and what is the real way that man can enter into this spiritual struggle. The basis of all life in Christ is nothing else but the attitude of repentance. Repentance is born of humility.

February 19, 2023

Homily on the Terrible Day of Judgment and the Dream of Nebuchadnezzar (St. Luke of Simferopol)

By St. Luke, Archbishop of Simferopol and All Crimea

(Delivered on Meatfare Sunday in 1958)

In very ancient times, the powerful despot Nebuchadnezzar reigned in Babylon, subjugating many kingdoms of the earth.

One night he had a terrible dream, which greatly disturbed him. But waking up in the morning, he completely forgot this dream and ordered all magicians, charmers, fortune-tellers and wise men to be called to him. From them he demanded to explain his dream to him. But, of course, no one could know and say what the king dreamed of, and they only promised him to interpret his dream if he himself told it to them.

Nebuchadnezzar fell into a furious rage and ordered to exterminate all the wise men, magicians and charmers in his kingdom.

Second Homily on Meatfare Sunday and the Last Judgment (Archpriest Rodion Putyatin)

By Archpriest Rodion Putyatin

"I was sick and you visited Me" (Matthew 25:36).

At the Last Judgment, our Lord Jesus Christ will say to those standing at His right hand: "Come, blessed of My Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world."

Who are these fortunate ones whom Jesus Christ will invite with such love to the Kingdom of Heaven? There will be many of them, and among them there will be those who visit the sick. Yes, listeners, because we visit the sick, Jesus Christ will receive us into the Kingdom of Heaven.

February 18, 2023

Homily on the Commemoration of the Dead (St. Luke of Simferopol)

 By St. Luke, Archbishop of Simferopol and All Crimea

(Delivered on April 11, 1948 - 4th Sunday of Great Lent)

Much to my chagrin, some of you go to the gatherings of sectarians and there become infected with their false teachings.

Some also became infected with the false teaching that one should not pray for the dead, one should not make offerings for their repose. But you know that every Saturday during Great Lent, the dead are commemorated. Therefore, you must establish yourself in the Orthodox teaching about the commemoration of the dead, you must not believe what you hear from the renegades of the Church.

What does the Holy Church teach? We have authentic and ancient testimonies that the holy apostles already performed commemorations of the dead and prayed for them. There are evidences in the works of the Teachers and Fathers of the Church that have come down to us that already in ancient times, in the very first centuries of Christianity, they prayed for the dead and commemorated them.

February 17, 2023

Homily on the Repentance of the Prodigal Son (Fr. Nikolaos Loudovikos)

 By Fr. Nikolaos Loudovikos

I think that from today's Gospel (of the Prodigal Son) we can understand, by studying carefully, how the only joy of man, the great joy, from which all joys spring, the only joy of man, is God. That is why our Church is overwhelmed by this joy.

This joy is not a common joy, at Easter, it also has Great Friday prior to it. It is not a common euphoria, it is the joy of repentance.

We must be careful not to understand repentance only psychologically and individually. Repentance is not just a change in self-awareness, as the Western Theologians, first of all Augustine, taught us. It is not just a change in our knowledge of ourselves. It is something that concerns my very existence, my ontology. We would say it is something that concerns the event, the being, the existence - it is communion.

Hagia Sophia Church in Warsaw Is Completed

Eight years after the foundation stone was laid, construction work on the Hagia Sophia Cathedral in Warsaw was completed.

The happy news was announced to the faithful by His Eminence Metropolitan Sawa of Warsaw and All Poland himself.

The Primate of the Church of Poland thanked everyone for their financial, physical and prayerful support in the entire construction process.

Metropolitan Sawa mentioned that the Cathedral was built in honor of those who died and were exiled in the Warsaw Uprising and in the labor camps in World War I and II.

Church of Saint Theodore the Tiro in Derinkuyu of Cappadocia

The Church of Saint Theodore the Tiro (Aziz Theodoros Trion kilisesi in Turkish)) is located in Malakopi (today’s Derinkuyu) near the Cappadocian underground city. On the top of the entrance of the church, the inscription says:

“This sacred Church of Saint Theodore of Tiro has been built under the auspice of the Parishah Sultan Abdülmecid Han, with the blessing of Aziz Matropolitan Neophytos of Iconium Efendi and thanks to the donations of the Christian inhabitants of Malakopi, under the direction of the architect Kyriakos Papadopoulos Efendi from Chaldia. The church has been blessed and consecrated to Saint Theodore. Saint Theodore bless the country and protect it from dangers. Amen. Year 1858 May 15.”

February 16, 2023

The Sacred Icon of the Panagia in Plikati of Konitsa

By Saint Gerasimos Mikragiannanitis

On the 16th of February in Konitsa, an annual synaxis is held in honor of the Most Holy Theotokos and Ever Virgin Mary, whose icon was found in the village of Plikati (of Konitsa).


The Divine Icon of the Pure Theotokos, located in Plikati,
Has been glorified with miracles.
On the 16th I honor the glory of the Icon of the Mother of God.

This miraculous icon of the Theotokos is located in the village of Plikati, which is near Konitsa in Epirus. It had been hidden for a long time, unknown when, somewhere in the forest, and it was revealed like this, as we will show below.

About two hundred years ago, residents of the village grazed their sheep in a wooded area, which they call Petsilepi and is located south of the village of Aetomilitsa, formerly Dentsiko.

The shepherds saw for consecutive nights a light shining in the opposite forest, which created a lot of fear for them and they suspected that there was a lair of criminals.

February 15, 2023

Faith and Works: An Orthodox Philokalic Perspective (3 of 6)

 ...continued from part two.

3. Roman Catholic "created grace" and Protestant "sola fide": An Orthodox Philokalic Response

As is known, Roman Catholic theology understands justification as the result of the infusion (infusio) of grace into man as a supernatural state (habitus) or attribute, since the justice of God the Father was "satisfied" through the death of the Savior on the cross (Anselm of Canterbury). Created grace raises (gratia elevans) man to the level that now allows him, as a new creation, to lovingly respond to God's grace by performing good works. The grace of justification (gratia gratum faciens) is thus understood as a created measure that is added to and exists in the believer (gratia inharens) in order to make his will to turn to God with perfectly formed faith, love and hope (fides caritate et spe formata). The works performed in this state of justification are considered meritorious (merita) and are therefore rewarded by God after death with eternal life, which, according to Roman Catholic theology, lies in the beatific vision (visio beatifica) of the divine essence and of the intra-trinitarian projections (in this regard see the most representative modern Roman Catholic Dogmatic: G. L. Müller, Katholische Dogmatik, passim).

February 14, 2023

The Hermitage of Saint Damian on Mount Kissavos

The holy new martyr Damian was born around 1500 in the village of Myrichovos to rayah parents. His village Richovos or Myrichovos, in the district of Karditsa, was a poor village with mostly farmers. From a young age he desired to dedicate himself to God and become a monk. So he went to Mount Athos at a young age and presented himself to the Holy Monastery of Philotheou where he became a monk. While there he was called by God to go to his homeland in Thessaly to rekindle their spiritual life.

The enslaved Greeks listened attentively to the divinely inspired words of Saint Damian and their conscience was awakened and they corrected their way of life. These fiery sermons quickly created dislikes and thus began the first persecution of the Saint. The Hagarenes slandered the Saint as an impostor and set in motion an assassination plan.

February 12, 2023

Homily for the Epistle Reading on the Sunday of the Prodigal Son

Sunday of the Prodigal Son

(Homily on 1 Corinthians 6:12-20)

By Archimandrite Constantine Haralambopoulos

The denunciatory discourse of today's Apostlic Reading regarding the corruption of the flesh awakens us and reminds us of our duty as Christians, as people of God, not to surrender to the power of the passions but to tame the body through self-control and to purify the spirit through prayer.

At all times, my brethren, man is carried away by the sirens of lust and falls into the sins of the flesh. Therefore, the words of the Apostle, supported by the Great Father of the Church Basil, in his discourse "On Fornication", make us responsible for obeying the flesh.

In our age, sensual pleasure and worship of the flesh is promoted. Modern man's behavior is unnatural while it is projected as normal, abolishing the naturalness of life and transforming society into a society of animalistic violence and dehumanization.

An Instructive Lesson for Young Men from the Parable of the Prodigal Son (St. John Maximovitch)

 By St. John Maximovitch

(Delivered in Shanghai in 1946)

“And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the portion of goods that falls to me’” (Luke 15:12-14).

The Parable of the Prodigal Son contains the most instructive lesson for a young man.

In fact, in the prodigal son we see the full character of a volatile youth: frivolity, thoughtlessness, a passion for independence - in a word, everything that usually distinguishes most young men. The youngest son grew up in his parents' house. Having reached his youthful years, he already thought that his parents' house was too small for him. It seemed to him unpleasant to live under the guidance of his father and the supervision of his mother, he wanted to imitate his friends, indulging in the noisy pleasures of the world. “I,” he argued, “am the heir to a rich estate. Wouldn't it be better if I got my part now? I can dispose of wealth differently than how my father disposes." And the frivolous young man was carried away by the deceptive brilliance of the pleasures of the world and decided to overthrow the yoke of obedience, thus he decided to leave his parents' house.

February 11, 2023

Faith and Works: An Orthodox Philokalic Perspective (2 of 6)

 ...continued from part one.

2. The Philokalic View Towards "External Justification" (Protestantism) and the Roman Catholic "Meritocracy"

This is how we can understand why the sola fide of Protestants is lacking:
Faith does not save as a general idea, emotional state, acceptance of theoretical truths or even existential conviction. I remind you that the central Protestant idea, the justification of the sinner by faith alone (this "article" "stands or falls with the Church" according to Luther!) consists in the fact that God was "satisfied" by the death of His Son, thus the sinner by his faith alone (sola gratia) recognizes externally by grace alone (sola gratia) only Christ (propter Christum or solus Christus). Attention: God recognizes, not justifies the sinner. This means that the believer still remains in sin, but is now counted by God as righteous (the famous phrase "simul justus et peccator"). It is a purely judicial action, so justification is understood as a judicial measure (justitia forensis). Justice is an attribute of Christ and is not an action or attribute existing in the believer (justitia aliena), however it somehow brings about the renewal of the believer. From there on, good works are devoid of any merit (in contrast to Roman Catholic teaching), and are only the fruit and sign of justification. The faith of justification is an absolute gift of God. However, by looking towards Christ, the believer finds the certainty of salvation. Here, in my opinion, the teaching of "merit" is replaced by the "certainty" of salvation. (For details I refer, among others, to one of the most recent relevant studies: H.M. Barth, Die Theologie Martin Luthers, Gütersloh 2017, 272-273).

February 10, 2023

The Metropolitan Who Was Granted an Extension of Life from Saint Haralambos

Metropolitan Dionysios of Trikki and Stagon (1905-1/4/1970)

Since the feast of Saint Haralambos is approaching, we will share with you a story that Father Gerasimos Fokas of Mytilene used to tell us and is related to Saint Haralambos:

During the Second World War 1940-1942, Metropolitan Dionysios of Trikki and Stagon served as a preacher of the Holy Metropolis of Mithymna and in August 1942 he was arrested by the German occupiers on the charge of helping and treating British soldiers. The Germans tortured him severely and sentenced him to a ten-year prison term.

In the first phase, he was sent to Thessaloniki to the Pavlos Melas Camp, and then he was for three years in the German camps Stone and Bernau, where he was horribly tortured and was on the verge of death several times. With the intervention of the Panagia, he survived.

Faith and Works: An Orthodox Philokalic Perspective (1 of 6)

 By Dr. George D. Panagopoulos,
Professor of Dogmatics at the
University Ecclesiastical Academy Of Vella Ioannina

Not a few Orthodox theologians in our days overtly or covertly try to downgrade the Neptic-Hesychastic tradition and to diminish the importance of Monasticism in the life of the ecclesiastical body by "denouncing" Philokalic piety as primarily "prayerful" and ascetic living as an attempt at "individualization by works". In this way, they bring to the fore, consciously or unconsciously, the "oft-repeated" criticism raised by Protestants against monastic asceticism as an "ethic of meritorious works" (cf. G. Florovsky, The Byzantine Ascetic and Spiritual Fathers).

February 7, 2023

History of the Return of the Relics of Hosios Loukas from Venice to His Monastery in 1986

The sacred relics of the Venerable and God-bearing Luke, known more popularly as Hosios Loukas, which were treasured in the magnificent katholikon of his eponymous Monastery until 1460, due to the occupation of the Boeotian land by the Turks, were transferred by the Hosioloukaite monks of the Monastery to Lefkada. From there, due to the arrival of the Turks in Lefkada, they were transported to Bosnia by the rulers of Bosnia, who bought them from the Turks thinking they were the relics of Luke the Evangelist, since there had been confusion between the two saints bearing the same name.

February 6, 2023

Saint Photios the Great's Encyclical to the Eastern Patriarchs (867)

In 867, Ecumenical Patriarch Photios the Great sent a famous Encyclical to the Eastern Patriarchs and held a great synod with many hundreds participating. The encyclical and synod addressed errors in doctrine and practice being used by Frankish missionaries in Bulgaria and it reprimanded Pope Nicholas for ruling with an iron fist (Constantinople received many complaints from bishops and monastics in the West regarding Nicholas’ tyrannical reign as pope).  This synod is often called a "Robber Synod" that led to the "Photian Schism" in Western resources. However, at this point, Nicholas had excommunicated Photios and had broken communion with the Christian East four years prior. So blaming Photios for the schism is historically ignorant.

Encyclical to the Eastern Patriarchs (867)

By St. Photios the Great

Countless have been the evils devised by the cunning devil against the race of men, from the beginning up to the coming of the Lord. But even afterwards, he has not ceased through errors and heresies to beguile and deceive those who listen to him. Before our times, the Church, witnessed variously the godless errors of Arius, Macedonius, Nestorius, Eutyches, Discorus, and a foul host of others, against which the holy Ecumenical Synods were convened, and against which our holy and God-bearing Fathers battled with the sword of the Holy Spirit. Yet, even after these heresies had been overcome and peace reigned, and from the Imperial Capital the streams of Orthodoxy flowed throughout the world; after some people who had been afflicted by the Monophysite heresy returned to the True Faith because of your holy prayers; and after other barbarian peoples, such as the Bulgarians, had turned from idolatry to the knowledge of God and the Christian Faith: then was the cunning devil stirred up because of his envy.

Homily Four on the Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee (St. Luke of Simferopol)

By St. Luke, Archbishop of Simferopol and All Crimea

(Delivered on February 2, 1958)

Every year, shortly before Great Lent, you hear the blessed parable of our Lord Jesus Christ, which teaches us how to pray to God and how not to pray to Him. This parable is so deeply important that we need to renew it in our memory every year and delve deeper and deeper into it. Many times I have already tried, according to my understanding, to put into your hearts and minds the interpretation of this great parable of Christ.

But this year, too, a thought came to me from God that I have not yet told you all that is necessary. Therefore, let us delve once more into the grace-filled teaching of the Lord Jesus Christ to us what kind of prayers please Him and what burden Him. Hence, again I will remind you of the blessed parable of the publican and the Pharisee.

February 5, 2023

Homily Three on the Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee (St. Luke of Simferopol)

 By St. Luke, Archbishop of Simferopol and All Crimea

(Delivered in 1952)

The Holy Fathers commanded for us a very important and saving rule, which is unlikely to be fulfilled by all of you.

The rule is that every evening before going to bed, sit down for a short time and think over everything that happened that day: all your deeds, actions, thoughts, all your behavior, all your words, and delve into whether there was anything evil and bad done on that day.

And if you find evil and bad, then repent. This rule is very important for the reason that if we get used to remembering every evening what we did during the day, what we said and thought, if we find everything bad, then we will be displeased, ashamed; and we will gradually correct ourselves, get used to not doing what we did and what we noticed.

February 4, 2023

Saint Isidore of Pelusium, the Philosophical Ascetic of the Church

 By Lambros Skontzos

Egypt was the cradle of monasticism in early Christian times. Great ascetic figures brightened Egyptian monasticism. One of them was Saint Isidore of Pelusium. A truly great personality of Orthodox monasticism, who perfectly combined in his person asceticism and theology.

He came from lower Egypt. He was born in 350 near Mount Pelusium and therefore received the nickname Pelusiumite, which was located at the northeastern end of the Nile Delta. His parents were virtuous, faithful and noble, and raised him in piety. Having the financial ability, they gave him a great education. He learned his first letters in his hometown. Then, around 370, he went to Alexandria, where he studied at the famous philosophical schools there. He studied Theology at the famous Catechetical School of Alexandria, where his teacher was the great ecclesiastical theologian and teacher Didymus the Blind. He studied ancient Greek literature and studied the Holy Bible and the Fathers of the Church in depth. He was a particular admirer of Saint John Chrysostom (354-407) and a scholar of his works. He even supported him during his dispute with Patriarch Theophilus (+ 412) and worked for his restoration in Alexandria.

February 3, 2023

Fifth Homily for the Day of the Reception of the Lord (Archpriest Rodion Putyatin)

 By Archpriest Rodion Putyatin

"So he came by the Spirit into the temple" (Luke 2:27).

The Reception of our Lord Jesus Christ is such a feast in our Church, of which we have only twelve in a year, and therefore it is called a Great Feast. Who receive our Lord Jesus Christ - where, when and how? Righteous Symeon received our Lord Jesus Christ in the temple of Jerusalem, on the fortieth day after His birth, when His parents, according to the law, brought Him there.

Christian Listeners! And each of us will certainly receive the Lord Jesus Christ in this life. If we don’t receive Him, then we won’t find peace in life, we won’t be calm at death, we won’t rest with the saints even after death – for all the ages, for all eternity we will worry, suffer from sins, if we don’t receive Jesus Christ.

February 2, 2023

Homily Two on the Feast of the Reception of the Lord (St. Luke of Simferopol)

 By St. Luke, Archbishop of Simferopol and All Crimea

(Delivered in 1953)

1953 years ago, for the first time, the world heard that prayer of St. Symeon the God-Receiver, which you now hear every day at Vespers: “Now let Your servant depart in peace, Master, according to Your word; for my eyes have seen Your salvation which You have prepared before the face of all peoples, a light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of Your people Israel.”

The soul of St. Symeon the God-Receiver departed in peace, after 300 years of life in the world in anticipation of the fulfillment of the prophecy of Isaiah: “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Emmanuel, which means, 'God is with us.'"

Fourth Homily for the Day of the Reception of the Lord (Archpriest Rodion Putyatin)

By Archpriest Rodion Putyatin
Holy Father, Bless!

So the deacon speaks on behalf of all Christians, addressing the priest. The deacon does not bless, but asks the priest to bless. Why? Because among us Orthodox, especially at church services, God blesses the priest, he sends up the glory to God, and equally, God's blessing and sanctification is taught mainly by the priest. So it is with us, so it was with the Old Testament. When the righteous Joseph and the Blessed Virgin Mary with the Infant Jesus on the fortieth day after His birth came to the temple of God to bless God and receive a blessing from God, who blessed? The Priest, the holy righteous Symeon. Anna the prophetess also blessed God then, but she blessed later, when she heard Symeon blessing,

February 1, 2023

Third Homily for the Day of the Reception of the Lord (Archpriest Rodion Putyatin)

 By Archpriest Rodion Putyatin

"We magnify Thee, Life-Giver Christ, and honor Your Most Pure Mother, Who, according to the law, has now brought Thee to the temple of the Lord."

According to the law of Moses, on the fortieth day after the birth of Jesus Christ, the Mother of God came and brought Him with her to the temple of God, where the holy righteous Symeon received Him and, taking Him in his arms, blessed God and sang the well-known song: "Now let Your servant depart in peace..."

Remembering this event, the Holy Church established a feast and, rejoicing, magnifies the Christ Child then offered and glorifies the Most Holy Virgin Theotokos who brought Him.

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