Saturday, May 12 / May 25, 2013
Epiphanios of Cyprus
[Abba Moses said:] 'Fasts and vigils, the study of Scripture, renouncing possessions and everything wordly are not in themselves perfection, as we have said; they are its tools. For perfection is not to be found in them; it is acquired through them. It is useless, therefore, to boast of our fasting, vigils, poverty, and reading of Scripture when we have not achieved the love of God and our fellow man. Whoever has achieved love has God within himself and his intellect is always with God.'
—St. John Cassian, On the Holy Fathers of Sketis.
The Pentecostarion is the period of the ecclesiastical year from Pascha to Pentecost.
Having just been prepared through the Triodion, the Great Fast and Holy Week we celebrate the Feast of feasts and Festival of festivals, the Resurrection of Christ. It is through the church services that we noetically relive the events in the Gospel and the life of Christ becomes our own life, for it is not we who live but Christ who lives in us.
Continuing the spirit of Holy Week, where the ecclesiastical commemoration of the events surrounding the Passion of Christ followed in chronological order, the Church celebrates the Apostle Thomas’ touching the resurrected Body of Christ on the eighth day of Pascha, on the fortieth day of Pascha we celebrate His Ascension into the Heavens and on the fiftieth day we celebrate Pentecost.
From Pascha till Pentecost we read from the Gospel according to St. John the Theologian. This telling of the Gospel differs from the other three synoptic Gospels in that it focuses on Christ’s Divinity. The synoptic Gospels were used during catechism and the Gospel according to St. John was reserved for the enlightened after baptism. Great and Holy Saturday was the day on which the catechumens were baptized so it is on Pascha that we begin to read from the Gospel according to St. John.
The 4th, 5th, & 6th weeks of Pascha emphasize Christ’s divinity though His unprecedented preaching to the Jews and the healings performed in the Temple of Solomon during the Jewish feasts, and His revelation to St. Photeine, the Samaritan woman that He is the Messiah.
The Sunday in-between the Ascension and Pentecost is dedicated to the Fathers of the 1st Ecumenical Council in Nicaea. When speaking of His Ascension, Christ promised not to leave us orphans but that He would be with us, even until the end of time. It is through His Church (against which the gates of Hades shall not prevail) through the mystery of Apostolic Succession that He is with us. At a bishop’s ordination the hymns of Pentecost are chanted because the bishops are successors of the Apostles and the same Holy Spirit Who descended upon the Apostles also descends upon the ordinand. After the Leave-taking of Pentecost is the 1st Sunday of Matthew and having completed the Acts of the Apostles we continue with St. Paul’s epistle to the Romans. Although the Pentecostarion comes to an end and the ecclesiastical year continues, a connection is made between Pentecost and the continuing life of the Church. This connection is expressed in the commemoration All Saints from all ages and in all places, Prophets, Apostles, Hierarchs, Martyrs & Righteous. All of whom worship the Triadic God in Orthodox manner.
Truly their sound hath gone forth into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world for Christ is with us always even unto the end of time.
We are pleased to post a video chronicling the construction of the unique St Maximos the Confessor Orthodox Parish in Owego, New York, under the pastorship of Fr Thomas Marretta. This unique Church was constructed according to an ancient Byzantino-Spanish style using traditional construction techniques.
The Church of the Genuine Orthodox Christians (GOC) of America is an Old Calendar Orthodox Church serving the faithful of North and South America. Having its roots in the Diocese of Astoria, founded by Metropolitan Petros (Astyfides) in 1954, it presently consists of two Metropolises (America and Toronto) and two dioceses (Portland and Boston), shepherded by five hierarchs.
The Church of the GOC of America is an autonomous Eparchy whose hierarchs are members of the Holy Synod of the Church of the GOC of Greece, under the Presidency of His Beatitude Archbishop Kallinikos of Athens and All Greece. We follow the Patristic (Julian) Calendar and resist the heresy of Ecumenism.
In the early 20th century, the idea of promoting the union of Churches (Orthodox and heterodox) began to gain ground among circles in the Eastern Orthodox Church by establishing a "Communion of Churches" modeled on the League of Nations.
The Patriarchal Encyclical of 1920 foresaw a series of steps toward the “union of the Churches,” of which the first was the change of the calendar for the simultaneous celebration of feast days by all the “Churches.” The content of the encyclical was kept secret from the faithful and only after a few years became known. Read more...
Jonesboro is a town located near the Eastern border of Arkansas, with a population of approximately 60,000. From a human standpoint, it’s not the most likely candidate for a traditional Orthodox mission, but for an Orthodox Christian who orders his priorities around Christ and His Church, it makes perfect sense. Read more...
Q. Can you please explain the significance of the forty day memorial service? An Evangelical family asked one of our relatives that question. We said that it’s best to ask a clergy member. Thank you in advance for your response. (We will forward it to them as soon as possible).
-P. & M. G. Read more...