Metropolitan Nicholas: Pastoral Letters

Metropolitan Reading

Archpastoral Letter on Great Lent 2002

Saturday, March 16, 2002

Before one can take rest, one must first labor. Before the reward comes the sacrifice; before the feast, the fast. My beloved faithful: the Holy and great Fast draws near to us, and it is time for us to draw near to it. It is a season that the world cannot accept, because the world sees only the visible need and not the invisible promise. The world looks at our fasting, our intensified prayer life, our self-restraint, and says: "Why this waste?". Read more...

Lenten Fasting Regulations 2002

Friday, March 15, 2002

We must realize that without fasting, there is no Lent! To that end, the Fathers of the Church established in ancient times through their collective experience the guidelines for Lenten Fasting. Essentially, the rule of the Church for Lent is to "Strict Fast" -abstaining from meat and dairy products from the First Monday of Lent until Pascha. This time includes both Saturdays and Sundays, which in the Orthodox reckoning are considered apart of Lent, unlike the reckoning of the Western Churches. To those who are able, we wholeheartedly recommend that they partake of this practice as much as they are able. Read more...

SCOBA 2002 Encyclical for Cheesefare Sunday

Thursday, March 14, 2002

We greet you in the strength and grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ as we begin the Lenten Season, knowing that He will guide you in prayer, fasting, and worship unto Pascha, the great and glorious celebration of salvation and life. In the Gospel of Matthew we read that as Christ traveled through the cities and villages teaching, preaching, and healing, “He saw the crowds, and He had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd” (Matthew 9:35-36). He saw the genuine physical and spiritual needs of people who were burdened and struggling in the midst of an altered world. He saw human beings, created in the image of God, who needed love, peace, and truth from above. He saw persons who needed acceptance, assurance, and guidance. Read more...

Archpastoral Statement on the Annual March for Life 2002

Monday, January 21, 2002

Christ is born indeed, but many, many children are not. Since the disastrous Roe v. Wade Supreme Court ruling in 1973, literally millions of children are simply not born. Tuesday, January 22nd, will be the 29th anniversary of that tragic ruling. And as is our sad custom, I invite you to walk with me in Washington, D.C. on that day. There we will join thousands and thousands of other concerned participants in the National Right to Life March. Read more...

Archpastoral Letter for the Nativity 2001

Monday, December 24, 2001

Today, I can greet you with no better words than what the Angel says to the Shepherds, on that wondrous Christmas night: Be not afraid: for behold, I bring you tidings of great joy ... For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord (Luke 2.10). Indeed, let us truly lift up our hearts, for in this year of challenge and tragedy, there has been much to keep them low. We have mourned the loss of thousands in September, and our troops continue to fight in faraway deserts. The Holy Lands where Our Saviour walked has been thrown into a new and more dangerous cycle of violence. And while our nation and the world have been gripped by enormous grief, an even more threatening danger now looms on the horizon, with the advent of stem cell research and human cloning. It has been, needless to say, a hard and difficult year. Read more...

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