Banner for the Prayer Corner

Saints, Feasts, and Readings for 10/09/2012

The Falling Asleep of St. John the Evangelist and Theologian
Visit the Prayer Corner for more daily readings, prayers, a monthly calendar of saints and feasts, and more.

Epistle Reading: Philippians 1:8-14

Gospel Reading: Luke 5:12-16

The Falling Asleep of St. John the Evangelist and Theologian

You are viewing the Old Calendar Readings. View the New Calendar

Listen to the Life of the Saint of the Day (Old Calendar)  (New Calendar) 

Prayer Corner

Compline Prayers

Prayer to Our Lord by Monk Antiochus of Pandectis

Grant us, O Master, repose of body and soul as we go to sleep, and preserve us from the gloomy sleep of sin and from every dark and passionate pleasure of the night.  Quell the attacks of the passions; quench the fiery darts of the veil one which are treacherously directed against us.  Put down the rebellions of our flesh, and lull to sleep our every earthly and material thought.  And grant us, O God, a wakeful mind, a chaste thought, a sober heart, and gentle sleep, free from every satanic fantasy.  Raise us up at the hour of prayer, confirmed in Your commandments and having with ourselves a steadfast remembrance of Your judgments. Grant us to hymn Your glory all the night long, that we may sing, bless and glorify Your most honorable and majestic Name of Father, Son and Holy Spirit, now and ever and forever.  Amen.

Orthodox Reading Room

Orthodox Reading Room

A Reflection On The Dormition of the Mother of God

The years of life seem to pass so quickly, the pace of time quickening as the years advance, and no person can escape the relentless currents that carry each of us to life’s twilight and to the inevitable encounter with the specter of our own mortality. This is our common lot in this fallen world ravaged by sin. This world, this life that progresses ruthlessly towards the grave, has been conditioned by the sin of Adam and Eve, that Original Fall with its dark consequences of pain and death. And no one can detour this sojourn through the valley of the shadow of death We must all traverse the fearful crags of ageing, sickness and the ultimate separation of soul and body – even the Most Holy Theotokos, the Birthgiver of God and the Ever-Virgin Mary was subject to the ravages of time and the destiny of mortal flesh. As St. John of Damascus notes in his Second Sermon on the Dormition: “Today the life-giving treasury and abyss of charity is hidden in immortal death. She meets it without fear, who conceived death's destroyer, if indeed we may call her holy and vivifying departure by the name of death. For how could she, who brought life to all, be under the dominion of death? Read more...

The Orthodox Veneration of the Mother of God By St. John of San Franciscoo

The Orthodox Church teaches about the Mother of God that which Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture have informed concerning Her, and daily it glorifies Her in its temples, asking Her help and defence. Knowing that She is pleased only by those praises which correspond to Her actual glory, the Holy Fathers and hymn-writers have entreated Her and Her Son to teach them how to hymn Her. "Set a rampart about my mind, O my Christ, for I make bold to sing the praise of Thy pure Mother" (Ikos of the Dormition). "The Church teaches that Christ was truly born of Mary Ever-Virgin" (St. Epiphanius, "True Word Concerning the Faith"). "It is essential for us to confess that the holy Ever-Virgin Mary is actually Theotokos (Birth-giver of God), so as not to fall into blasphemy. For those who deny that the Holy Virgin is actually Theotokos are no longer believers, but disciples of the Pharisees and Sadducees" (St. Ephraim the Syrian, "To John the Monk"). From Tradition it is known that Mary was the daughter of the aged Joachim and Anna, and that Joachim descended from the royal line of David, and Anna from the priestly line. Notwithstanding such a noble origin, they were poor. Read more...

Monk Moses: The Mother of God's Fifteen Days of August Has Arrived

Saint Gregory Palamas, Archbishop of Thessaloniki, a great theologian, saw the Panagia in a vision and wrote: With what human words can we describe your God-illumined beauty, Virgin Mother of God? Your grace is impossible to be identified with either words or thoughts. Only her divine vision gives brilliance, joy and exultation. The beauty of her face comes from her beautiful soul and pure heart. It's as light poured from the inside out giving it unparalleled decency, all-good beauty. The beauty, coming from her purity, modesty and humility, caught the eye of God on her and made her the Mother of God and of the people. The God-bearer Saint Nikodemos the Hagiorite urges everyone to embrace the mindset of the holy Mother of God. Let us spruce our hearts appropriately in order for the virtues of the Panagia to reside within us, so that by seeing them on us we will receive rich spiritual graces and heavenly goods. The Mother of God's fifteen days of August has arrived. The year so far has given us death in Japan, Syria, Egypt, Libya, Cyprus, Norway and elsewhere. Everyday we receive calls and letters for us to remember in prayer the critically ill patients and the dead from heart problems, cancer, and from various incurable diseases, and to light a candle to the All-Holy Virgin. Read more...

Vacationing Away From God

Everybody loves vacation. We all dream laying on a beach in the Mediterranean, or enjoying a majestic sunrise in a small hut lost in the mountains, or even savoring a week of just doing nothing but sipping a cold drink on the porch. So as soon as the school is off and people go out of town we start seeing more and more empty pews in church every Sunday. Read more...

Dating Advice, Orthodox Style

n the midst of everything that is going on in college, I know that many of you are probably also thinking about getting married or pursing romantic relationships. Dating can be a tough scene for us Orthodox Christians–let’s be honest: there are not that many of us, and there can be a lot of pressure from family to make something work or to choose a particular kind of person. Not to mention the crazy way the world often treats relationships as means simply to fulfill our own selfish desires. A little advice: Take your time to find the right person. No matter how many times yiayia asks you when you’re getting married and making babies, hold out for the right person–the person who makes it easy to love, forgive, and live a life of faith. Read more...

The Sixth Sunday after Pentecost - Thy Sins Be Forgiven Thee

"And He entered into a boat, and passed over, and came into His own city. And, behold, they brought to Him a paralytic, lying on a bed." [Matthew 9:1-2] His own city means Capernaum, for it was there that He was living. He was born in Bethlehem, raised in Nazareth, and lived for an extended length of time in Capernaum. This paralytic is not the same as the one mentioned in John [5:2-9], for that one was beside the Sheep's Pool in Jerusalem, while this one was in Capernaum. And that one had no one to help him, while this one was carried by four men, as Mark says [Mk. 2:3-12], who lowered him through the roof, a fact which fact Matthew omits. And Jesus seeing their faith. Either the faith of the men Read more...

The Fifth Sunday after Pentecost - What Have We to Do with Thee?

"And when He was come to the other side into the land of the Gergesenes, there met Him two possessed with demons, coming out of the tombs, exceeding fierce, so that no man might pass by that way. " While the men in the boat were yet wondering what manner of man this was that even the winds and the sea obeyed Him, the demons come to proclaim the answer. Although Mark and Luke speak of one man who was possessed by a legion of demons (Mk. 5:9, Lk. 8:27), understand that this one man was one of the two mentioned by Matthew, evidently, the more notorious of the two. Jesus came alone towards them, since no one dared to bring them to Him, so fierce were they. They dwelt among the tombs because the demons wish to inspire the belief that the souls of those who have died become demons. Let no one believe this: for when the soul departs from a man, it does not wander about the earth. For the souls of the righteous are in the hand of God (Wis. of Sol. 3:1), and the souls of sinners are also led away, as was the soul of the rich man, Lazarus. Read more...

A Message Signed in Blood

I am not a fan of horror movies. I don’t enjoy feeling frightened by suspense and terror as a means of entertainment. But back in February I forced myself to watch a video that was about as horrifying as anything I have ever seen. It was so awful that I could not bear to watch it to the end. What made it especially horrifying was that it did not feature actors following a script but was a real-life documentary. The video was titled: “A Message Signed in Blood to the Nation of the Cross”. It was the gruesome video of 21 Orthodox Christians of Egypt beheaded by Islamic terrorists on a beach in Libya. The video was designed to send a message filled with fear and terror to the world, especially Christians “the Nation of the Cross”. The terrorists who murdered these men message did send a message to the world but the message was the opposite of what they intended. The video included a subtle message of triumph, victory, courage, and faith. The unintended message has encouraged and united Christians around the world. One of the captions their murderers wrote said “these insisted to remain in unbelief”. Do we understand what this simple sentence means? It means these Orthodox men were given the choice to deny their faith in Jesus and to recite the Muslim confession of faith. It means these men refused to deny Christ and embrace Islam. With a knife at their throats they were given the chance to be rewarded and be returned Read more...

The Third Sunday after Pentecost - Do Not Worry!

The eye is the lamp of the body: if therefore thine eye be sound, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness. This means, if you fill your mind with worries over money, you have extinguished the lamp and darkened your soul. Just as the eye that is sound, or "healthy" brings light to the body, and the eye that is evil, or "diseased" brings darkness, so also does the state of the mind affect the soul. Read more...

The Apostle of Carpatho-Russia: St Alexis Kabaluk

The Holy Bible commands us to remember those who went before us preaching the word of God: Remember your leaders, those who spoke the word of God to you; consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith. (Hebrews 13:7) They are to be our examples and models of faith, piety, and devotion to Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. One such recent example of faith lived and struggled for the Faith in the mountains and villages of many of our ancestors. Our Holy Father Alexis Kabaluk was born with the name Alexander in 1877 in the Rusyn village of Yasinie Read more...

Why Saints?

It is not uncommon as we rub shoulders at work and school with people of different faiths that we are challenged to explain what we believe and why we believe it. I once worked with a nurse who was very proud that her Church was “just Christian without any of those ‘add ons’. One of the “ad ons” that she was referring to and a part of our Faith that is often challenged is our devotion and veneration of the Saints. Some Christians, such as my nurse-friend have the uninformed notion that such devotion crept into the Church at some late century, say the Middle Ages, and that pure, apostolic Christianity had no such practice as the honoring of Saints. In the New Testament, St. Paul referred to all baptized Christians as saints. For example, in his epistle to the Ephesians he addresses all the saints who live in Ephesus. (Ephesians 1:1) Near the close of the New Testament age, in the vision of St. John the Evangelist which is recorded in the book of Revelation, it becomes clear that the saints are not all baptized Christians but only those who remained faithful and endured the persecution and deception of the antichrist. Read more...

Sermon on Pentecost

Let us spiritually extol the grace of the Holy Spirit in spiritual hymns, since spiritual grace has on this day shown upon us from heaven. Though our words are too weak to express adequately the greatness of this [grace], we shall praise its power and activity to the extent of our abilities; for the Holy Spirit probes all things, even the depths of divinity. We are celebrating the day of Pentecost, the day of the Descent of the Holy Spirit to the Apostles, [the day of] the hope of perfection, the end of expectation, the longing for salvation, the fulfillment of prayer and the image of patience. Read more...

The Street Store

In 1965 the world was shocked because Bob Dylan went electric at the Newport Jazz Festival. Having left his acoustic guitar in its case and the audience’s jaws on the floor a new era had dawned for some, and the beginning of a new period of darkness had just begun for others. We are far removed from such alarming news in 2015. Sadly it takes much more immoral and devastating events to capture our attention these days. As the death count of fallen soldiers and innocent people in the Middle East rise, Read more...

The Meaning of Holy Week

Having fulfilled Forty Days... we ask to see the Holy Week of Thy Passion." With these words sung at Vespers of Friday, Lent comes to its end and we enter into the annual commemoration of Christ's suffering, death and Resurrection. It begins on the Saturday of Lazarus. The double feast of Lazarus' resurrection and the Entrance of the Lord to Jerusalem (Palm Sunday) is described in liturgical texts as the "beginning of the Cross" and is to be understood therefore, within the context of the Holy Week. Read more...

St Innocent: The Apostle of America

In 1823, the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church of Russia sent out a request for a priest to volunteer for service to the remote Russian colony of Alaska. Not surprisingly, there was no response from any of the clergy who were reluctant to leave their comfortable lives for the remote wilderness Read more...

Peace on Earth - A Reflection on the Nativity

At this special time of the Christian year, we thrill to hear the story of the birth of Christ. St. Luke's account of the Angel's announcement of this good news to the shepherds closes with these words:" And suddenly there was with the Angel a multitude of the heavenly army, praising God, and saying: "Glory to God Read more...

St. Nicholas the Wonderworker and Archbishop of Myra

Our Holy Father Nicholas, emulator of the Apostles and ardent imitator of the Lord Jesus Christ, appears as a living pillar of the Church, zealous in defense of the faith and a model of pastoral solicitude for holy bishops. Through his countless miracles on behalf of the poor, the abandoned, of those suffering Read more...

True Joy in the Mystery of the Nativity

The Church journeys toward the birth of Christ God, steered by the ship that is the Nativity fast. She does so with the knowledge that unless she struggles up the mountain that is desperately too steep for her to climb, she will never know the breadth of the gift that is the mountain's levelling by the hand of God. Read more...

The Nativity Fast: A Time of Preparation

The Fast of the Nativity is the Church's wise solace and aid to human infirmity. We are a forgetful people, but our forgetfulness is not unknown to God; and our hearts with all their misconceptions and weakened understandings are not unfamiliar to the Holy Spirit who guides and sustains this Church. Read more...

The Nativity Fast And Orthodox Tradition

For us, the Nativity Fast serves to refresh the last part of the year - mystically renewing our spiritual unity with God and preparing us for the Feast of the Nativity of Christ.St. Leo the Great wrote: “Four periods [of the year] have been set aside as times of abstinence so that over the course of the year we might Read more...

How To Avoid Holiday Depression

Much of the post-holiday blues and Christmas depression that occur in the United States may have to with the way Christmas is celebrated in the U.S. People often feel deprived and lonely, in stark contrast to all of the pre-Christmas cheer. Others feel let down and weighed down by food and debt after the Christmas holiday. Read more...

On The Nativity Fast

In recent years there has been a renewed emphasis on the cycle of the liturgical year. The traditions of an earlier age are being presented to the contemporary membership of our churches in an attempt to bring a spiritual element to the cycle of daily life, which has become so secularized. One of the most important seasons to be re-discovered Read more...

On The Spiritual Life: Conversations With Orthodox Nuns

After graduating from Harvard Divinity School, I spent a year in a women's monastery in Greece. One nun I particularly liked, who had a very wry sense of humor, told me: "The monastery is a spiritual hospital. And as you can see, some of the patients are chronic." The nuns would say: Read more...

St. Silouan of Mt. Athos: “I have many sorrows of my own, and they are my own fault…”

Everyone in life has his own battle of Stalingrad, his own cross, his own Golgotha. There are moments when it seems that circumstances are indeed beyond our power, when life breaks down and it’s painful even to look at the world around us. In such moments the soul is tormented by one question: “Why?” Read more...

How Simple Peasants Became God Seers

This is what happened to me once. I was then still a very young priest serving near Thessaloniki. At the same time, I was assistant to a famous theologian, studied theology, and was preparing to defend my doctoral dissertation in a theological university. I was deeply troubled by the disparity between what I taught Read more...

Setting Up Our Children For Moral Failure

Life gets busy and we don’t step back enough to see what we might be doing as parents to hurt our children’s spiritual growth. Being an intentional Orthodox Christian parent is hard work…but it’s worth it. We have a legacy of faith, wisdom and experience we can pass on to our kids if we pay attention. But if we don’t Read more...

The Sunday After The Elevation of the Precious, Life-Giving Cross

He said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. The Sermon of Sermons… is the Sermon for the Cross, presented to us today by our Mother Church, on the Sunday after the elevation of the Honourable Cross. And we are all invited to offer to Read more...

Homily on The Nativity of the Theotokos By St. Andrew of Crete

The present Feast is for us the beginning of feasts. Serving as boundary to the law and to prototypes, at the same time it serves as a doorway to grace and truth. "For Christ is the end of the law" (Rom 10:4), Who, having freed us from the letter (of the law) Read more...

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! On September 1/14, Orthodox Christians from around the world who follow the New Calendar ushered in the beginning of yet another ecclesiastical year, a day of joyful celebration and expectation that the Church calls the Indiction. The Indictio, as it is known in Latin, was a Roman imperial decree issued once Read more...

The Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost - The Stone Which the Builders Rejected

Hear another parable: There was a certain man, a householder, who planted a vineyard, and hedged it round about, and dug a winepress in it, and built a tower, and let it to husbandmen, and went into a far country. Yet another parable He brings to them, showing that though they were Read more...

The Feast of the Circumcision of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Humble Comments and Suggestions

On January 1/14, eight days after the Holy Nativity of our Lord, we celebrate His Circumcision, one of the Feasts of the Lord, on which—in accordance with Hebrew tradition—He received the name Jesus: And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the Child, His name was called Jesus, which was so named of the Angel before He was conceived in the womb (St. Luke 2:21). The true descendants of the Patriarch Abraham were separated from the other nations by the sign of circumcision a disfigurement of Baptism:he circumcision made without hands" [Colossians 2:11ff]) and thereby became members of the God-ruled community of the Old Testament; that is, through circumcision, they entered among the chosen People of God. Read more...

A New Year's Resolution: Be A Saint!

The silent night is far gone and it is day. The Holy Family were guided by an angel and fled into Egypt because of the wicked King Herod’s desire to destroy Jesus even as a child. After his death an angel appeared once more to Joseph calling him to take Mary and Emmanuel (God with us) out of Egypt. This fulfilled the prophecy we hear from the Old Testament book Hosea 11:1, Out of Egypt I will call my son. Now God was always with His Son and at all times on every road. We can see the care given to Jesus and think to ourselves, my gosh that must be nice, to have an angel appear and let you know where God thinks you should be going and how to keep out of danger. Read more...

From Green Aprons To Black Robes

As the new priestly vestments hung in the sanctuary of Saint Michael’s Orthodox Church the morning light filled the nave casting colors of every hue over the dusted pews that awaited family, friends, and a few regulars from the coffee shop. What seemed like years of anticipation and a seminarian’s dream was now more than a present reality. There was no turning back. With not only a priestly ordination to think about and prepare for, but also Reader, Sub-diaconate, and Diaconate services to help guide as a newly ordained Deacon there was much on my mind and much to pull my thoughts. However, my heart was overjoyed for all that would occur this new day and New Year of our Church calendar Read more...

Love Your Enemies… (Luke 6:31-36).

The acid test of love is not whether we love our friends, but whether we love our enemies. A great Russian Saint asked, "How do we know whether a person abides in God and is sincere in his Christian faith? There is no other way of ascertaining this than by examining the person’s life to see if he loves his enemies. Where there is love for one’s enemy, there also is God." That is the great test of whether we are in tune with God; for that is what God Himself does. He sends His rain on the just and the unjust.Chesterton said once, Love means to love that which is unlovable, or it is no virtue at all.But to love our enemies in a world like ours seems highly impractical. To love your enemy — some object — is to allow him to take advantage of you. To love your enemy is to let him step all over you.So we thought, until psychology and psychiatry came along and taught us a few things about hostility and hostile people. Read more...

The Feast of the Protection of the Mother of God

Today the Holy Church marks the day of the Protection of the All-Holy Theotokos. This is essentially a Slavic celebration, but happens in a very few parishes of other Orthodox Churches. Most of you know that this feast arose in Greece, in Constantinople. In the Blachernae temple, St.Andrew the Fool-for-Christ, an well-known ascetic in Constantinople at that time, beheld the Mother of God during the Divine Services standing standing above all the faithful, holding her Protection above them, her archiepiscopal omophorion, invisible protecting each worshipper, each one who was in the church, striving whole-heartedly toward God. Only two people saw this spiritual vision: Read more...

On The Lenten Triodion - By Fr. George Dimopoulos

A certain historian, who was a patron of St. Chrysostom and a great admirer of the saint's virtue, has preserved for us the following account. A statue of the Byzantine Empress Eudoxia was erected outside of the cathedral church of St. Sophia. The people, rather than going to church as usual, remained outside during the Divine Liturgy, dancing around the statue and celebrating its erection in front of their church. Those who were at Divine Liturgy began to leave during the sermon, in order that they might join the crowd that was already outside. Finally, only one old woman remained. St. Chrysostom did not lose his temper; rather, he preached all the more zealously. At the conclusion of the sermon, when he re-entered the holy altar, Chrysostom was asked by one of the priests why he had continued to preach Read more...

Renewal: The Wondrous Beauty of Confession and Communion

There are a number of experiences in life that can be considered transformational. Every day we learn something new that ‘transforms’ us changing our approach to life, some greater than others, but none, in my mind, are as powerful as the healing qualities of confession and communion. Read more...

The Bishop in The Church

So preaching both in the country and in the towns the Apostles appointed their first fruits, when they had tested them by the Spirit, to be bishops and deacons for the future believers. (The First Letter of Clement to the Corinthians). The words of St. Clement, the Bishop of Rome, written to the Church at Corinth sometime in the mid nineties of the first century, reflect the view of the ancient Church that the bishops of the Church were appointed to continue the ministry of the Apostles in the Church who in turn continued the ministry of Christ. Read more...

The Consecration (Ordination) Of An Orthodox Bishop

The Consecration (Ordination) of an Orthodox Bishop is the process during which a candidate for the Episcopate receives the fullness of the grace of the Priesthood through the Sacred Mystery of Ordination by the laying of hands (in the Greek: Cheirotonia) in succession from the Holy Apostles. The office of Bishop is the highest clerical rank in the Orthodox Church. At his Consecration, a Bishop receives grace not only to perform the Sacred Mysteries but also to bestow the grace of Ordination on others. Read more...

The Bishop Is Coming! The Bishop is Coming!

Rarely do I say something that is inclusive of every single person in a group, but in this case I will make an exception. ALL of the youth of our Diocese have known only one hierarch in their lifetime, +His Eminence Metropolitan NICHOLAS, of blessed memory. He was present for many of their baptisms, weddings, communions, camping seasons and other life events that he was privileged to participate in with them. Many of those same people were present in the Cathedral and in New Jersey to pay their respects and honor him as his soul was ushered into the Kingdom of Almighty God. Read more...

Where the Bishop Is There Is The Church

On Tuesday, November 27th, the long-awaited and much-anticipated consecration to the episcopacy of His Grace, Bishop-Elect Gregory will take place at our Christ the Saviour Cathedral in Johnstown. This will be the third time in our storied history that this ancient ceremony will take place in the Mother Church of our Diocese. Bishop Peter was consecrated here in 1963 and Bishop John in 1966, with Archbishop Iakovos being the Main Consecrator for both hierarchs. Once again, we will have a Chief Shepherd Read more...

How To Give Alms to the Homeless

We meet homeless people nearly every day on our life's path; people who are often contemptuously called ”bums.” We see them at the train station, near the subway, in town squares and parks, and of course, at the churches, asking for money. Each time we see them, our hearts deliberate painfully over the question, ”Should we give them alms, or not?” Then, other questions immediately arise, ”How much? How should we give them? Is there any sense in giving at all?” Read more...

A Reflection On The Dormition of the Mother of God - By Archbishop Demetrios

In the beautiful hymns of the Feast of the Dormition of the Theotokos we sing and hear of the miraculous event of the Apostles being gathered for her repose. In the Orthros, we chant the Exapostilarion: "O you Apostles, assembled here in Gethsemane from the ends of the earth, offer a funeral to my body, and You, O my Son and God, receive my spirit." Read more...

The First American Saint

He lived for a time in a cave; later a hut in the woods. His clothes were old, full of patches and always the same. He wore a 16-pound cross and chains. He slept on a wooden bench covered by a deerskin. He was in trouble with the government and accused of treason. While this description might sound like a homeless person in one of our nation's cities, this was the life of the first Orthodox saint of America: St. Herman of Alaska. Read more...

A Journey of Faith To St. John the Compassionate Mission

On Tuesday July 10th, a small group of Jr. A.C.R.Y. members and I embarked on a trip to St. John the Compassionate Mission in Toronto, Canada. The group included Fr. Miles Zdinak, Fr. Peter Paproski, Paul Zdinak, Tim Paproski, Greg Kowal, Anastasia Koss, Alyssa Waryanka, and me. Although not all of us traveled together, both cars had no trouble crossing the border. We arrived at the Mission in the late afternoon where we were greeted by Fr. Deacon Pawel. After receiving a short tour of the Mission, we were shown to our living quarters, which were in a house just a short drive away. Over the next couple of days, I had an absolutely fascinating experience as a member of the Mission’s tight-knit community. Read more...

Seeing Christ in the Face of the Homeless

I recently watched a television program series that brought attention to homelessness in the inner city. It was a great beginning about this life: a life that is difficult to experience, a life that is all to easily seen as hopeless by both those who must live on the street and those who work with them. There is a missing part that is never mentioned to people, that God would want to be those who would extend the help to people on the street and that is: people on the street could literally be your mother, father, brother or sister. There is really literally no separation between "them" and "us". Read more...

The 24th Sunday After Pentecost - Jairus' Daughter - A Commentary By Blessed Theophylact

Jesus returned from the country of the Gadarenes, and the multitude was waiting for Him, eager for both His teaching and His miracles. Then He was approached by a certain ruler of the synagogue, a man who was neither poor nor insignificant, but the foremost of society. The Evangelist even gives the man’s name, so that the miracle might become the more renowned through this confirmable evidence of its truth. In his great need this man falls down before Jesus, although even without the urgency of this need, he ought to have fallen down and acknowledged Jesus as God. Nevertheless, affliction can compel a man to turn to what is better, as David says when he speaks of the horse or mule which has no understanding, whose jaws thou must afflict with bit and bridle when they come not nigh unto thee [Ps. 31:9]. (1) But as Jesus went along the way to the house of Jairus, a woman drew near to Him who showed exceedingly great faith Read more...

The 22nd Sunday After Pentecost - The Parable of Lazarus and The Rich Man - A Commentary By Blessed Theophylact of Bulgaria

And there was a certain rich man, who was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day. And there was a certain poor man named Lazarus, who was laid at his gate, full of sores, and desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. And it came to pass, that the poor man died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried. These words follow closely upon what was said before. Because the Lord first taught, above [Lk. 16:1-13], how we are to be good stewards of wealth, now He appropriately adds this parable which teaches the same thing through the example of the rich man. This is a parable and not, as some have foolishly imagined, something which actually occurred. For good things have not yet been allotted to the righteous, nor punishments to the sinners. The Lord, then, fashioned this story to teach those who show no mercy and give no alms what punishments await them, and to teach the suffering what good things they will enjoy on account of the sufferings they patiently endure in this life. Read more...

The 21st Sunday After Pentecost - The Parable of the Sower - A Commentary By Blessed Theophylact of Bulgaria

And when many people were gathered together, and were come to Him out of every city, He spake by a parable: a sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some fell along the way; and it was trodden down, and the winged creatures of the air devoured it. And some fell upon a rock; and as soon as it wassprung up, it withered away, because it lacked moisture. And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up with it, and choked it. And other fell on good ground, and sprang up, and bare fruit an hundredfold. And when He had said these things, He cried, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear. And Hisdisciples asked Him, saying, What might this parable be? And He said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand. What David said of old, speaking prophetically in the person of Christ, has now come to pass: I will open My mouth in parables. [Ps. 77:2] The Lord speaks in parables for many reasons: to make His listeners more attentive and to stir up their minds to seek the meaning of what is said. For we are apt to be curious about sayings that are obscure in meaning and to disregard sayings that are clear. He also speaks in parables so that those who are unworthy may not understand what is said concerning spiritual mysteries Read more...

The 20th Sunday After Pentecost the Widow of Nain - A Commentary By Blessed Theophylact of Bulgaria

And it came to pass the day after, that He went into a citycalled Nan; and many of His disciples went with Him, and much people. Now when He came nigh to the gate of the city, behold, there was a dead man carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow: and much people of the city waswith her. And when the Lord saw her, He had compassion on her, and said unto her, Weep not. And He came and touched the bier: and they that bare him stood still. And He said, Young man, I say unto thee, Arise. And he that was dead sat up, and began to speak. And He delivered him to his mother. And there came a fear on all: and they glorified God, saying, that a great prophet is risen up among us; and, that God hath visited His people. Because the Lord, while not even present, had healed the centurions servant, He now performs another even more remarkable miracle. He does this so that no one could say, "What is remarkable about the healing of the centurions servant? Read more...

Growing as a Christian in the Heart of Wall Street

I have been a practicing Orthodox Christian for my entire life. Since graduating college five years ago, I have maintained a job in the “working world,” a place where my colleagues and peers are not necessarily Christian, and where I’ve worked for and with organizations that have no Christian mission or affiliation. This, by definition I think, makes me a “Christian in the workplace,” with “workplace” being defined as an ordinary work environment without a specific religious or charitable mission. After four years in undergraduate, and several internships in financial services and technology/media, I worked at a software consulting firm Read more...

The 17th Sunday After Pentecost the Woman of Canaan - A Commentary By Blessed Theophylact of Bulgaria

Then Jesus went thence, and departed into the region of Tyre and Sidon. And behold, a woman of Canaan came from that region, and cried unto Him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, Thou Son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a demon. But He answered her not a word. Why did He not allow the disciples to go by way of the Gentiles [Mt. 10:5], while He Himself went to Tyre and Sidon, which were Gentile cities? Learn then, that He did not go there to preach, Read more...

A Reflection On the Commencement of the Church School Year

The New Church School Year is underway in most of our diocesan parishes. Our church school teachers and parents are to be commended for their participation and involvement in the spiritual formation of our youth for in the words of St. Theophan the Recluse a 19th Century Russian Saint, Of all holy works, the education of children is the most holy. Read more...

A Reflection On the 10th Anniversary of the 911 Terrorist Attacks

There is no one amongst us who does not remember where they were or what they were doing on the morning of September 11, 2001, when the jet planes collided into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, and our brave fellow citizens on United Airlines Flight 93 gave their lives to prevent a third plane from crashing into another target in Washington, DC. Read more...

On The Transfiguration of Our Lord By St. Anastasios of Sinai

Upon Mount Tabor, Jesus revealed to his disciples a heavenly mystery. While living among them he had spoken of the kingdom and of his second coming in glory, but to banish from their hearts any possible doubt concerning the kingdom and to confirm their faith in what lay in the future by its prefiguration in the present, he gave them on Mount Tabor a wonderful vision of his glory, a foreshadowing of the kingdom of heaven. Read more...

A Reflection on The Feast of Pentecost

On the Christian Feast of Pentecost, the fiftieth day after the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit descended upon the Mother of God and the Apostles who were gathered together in the Upper Room. John the Baptist once predicted that Christ would baptize with the Holy Spirit and with fire (Luke 3.16): at Pentecost, at nine o'clock in the morning, the prophecy of the Forerunner came true in the fullness of divine power and joy. Read more...

Bringing The Unchurched To The Well of Living Water

A long time ago, there was a theologian of the church who wrote this: Seeking me, You sat down weary; redeeming me, You bore the cross. The reference was to the Gospel account of the Samaritan Woman who encountered Our Lord at Jacob's well. This reading is prescribed by the Church to be read on the Fifth Sunday of Pascha.Certainly Jesus was tired from his journey. Certainly He was thirsty. But is there still another reason why he sat down by Jacob's well that hot day? Read more...

Bringing The Unchurched To The Well of Living Water

A long time ago, there was a theologian of the church who wrote this: "Seeking me, You sat down weary; redeeming me, You bore the cross". The reference was to the Gospel account of the Samaritan Woman who encountered Our Lord at Jacob's well. This reading is prescribed by the Church to be read on the Fifth Sunday of Pascha. Read more...

Cast Out A Prayer

In this modern world of trial and tribulation I often wonder we are to practice our faith. How much more difficult it must have been for early Christians who were persecuted for their faith often suffering death for their beliefs. What great courage it must have taken for those innocent souls to unyieldingly stand by their belief in Christ. Read more...

The Nativity of Our Lord: A Eureka Moment.

When was the last time you had a ‘eureka’ moment? I remember years ago when I was a boy living in nearby Windber, there was one big department store in town. That store had three floors just packed full of merchandise. I remember going with my mother and father shopping in that store and buying just about anything we needed. You didn’t have to go to any specialty store. you didn’t have to drive to Johnstown either. The name of that big Windber department store? It was called ‘Eureka Store’. Read more...

"Lord, Teach Us to Pray!"

Now it came to pass, as He was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, that one of His disciples said to Him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples (St. Luke 11:1). This particular passage from the Gospel of St. Luke is the introduction to the Lord's Prayer, which Jesus provides as the answer to this request. But it is significant to note that the person asking to be taught how to pray is not one of the passers by, but rather, one of His disciples. Read more...

The Most Deadly Sin

One of the brethren said to his Abba, Tell us of the monks of the last times. Will they fast and pray as we do? The Abba answered, Whoever of them can simply make the sign of the Cross on himself will be greater than any of us. There is a spiritual illness that is consuming the Church and it stems, not from the outside, but from the inside. Read more...

On Tomatoes and the Spiritual Life

One of the criticisms frequently leveled against Christianity in general and the Sacred Scriptures in particular is that they reflect a by-gone era with different values and circumstances. Because many of us live in highly technological and urban societies, we feel that teachings and lessons that come to us from times dominated by primitive, agrarian societies just don't have much relevance for us today. Therefore, many modern people, who may never have encountered a live cow in person on a farm, have a hard time connecting with the parables of Jesus, which make use of many allusions to livestock and crops. Read more...

Making Choices

During our lifetime here on earth, we all want to be part of a group. Whether we're young or old, we all have a need to "fit" in...to be accepted...to be liked, wanted and needed. When we are young, we join sport groups, like soccer and football...clubs like the ski club, science club, Spanish club, etc. When we get older and begin our jobs and careers we join social clubs, health clubs, or any other type of club or group you can think of...just to be part of "the group". When we reach the "golden years" we join the senior citizen groups. It all boils down to the fact that human beings want to be accepted...want to feel a part of something...want to be a part of something. Read more...

Frequent Communion: Tradition or Innovation?

Recently an article was published which stated that the frequent reception of Holy Communion and the practice of receiving Communion without going to Confession each time was unknown in Eastern Europe and was, in fact, "an American innovation." It is, indeed, unfortunate that very often as Orthodox Christians we tend to regard the practices of some other Orthodox jurisdiction or national church as being "correct." The rational for this seems to be "Well, they have been Orthodox for centuries; they must know the correct way..." Or "Our ancestors brought the faith from (fill in the blank); therefore, what they do there now must be the correct way." Read more...

Commanded to Come Home

In his book Mere Christianity, the famous Christian apologist C.S. Lewis gave us his description of the new man in Christ. He wrote: Already the new men are dotted here and there all over the earth. Some...are still hardly recognizable; but others can be recognized. Every now and then one meets them. Their very faces and voices are different from ours: stronger, quieter, happier, more radiant. They begin where most of us leave off. They will not be very much like the idea of "religious people" which you have formed from your general reading. They do not draw attention to themselves. You tend to think you are being kind to them when they are really being kind to you... Read more...

Forgiveness From The Heart

There are times when forgiveness, which is nothing less than a breakthrough of the Kingdom of God on earth, flows with less difficulty from our hearts. There are other times when our mouths may speak forgiveness, but our hearts still hold onto some grudge, some offence, some sin, and we are not able to grant the forgiveness so necessary for the sake of our souls. Why is that? Why does forgiveness proceed from us with less effort sometimes than at other times? Further, if we are struggling with forgiving someone from our heart, what do we do? Are there any "steps" we can take to help heal the rift of sin and find peace for our souls? The parable of the Wicked Servant (Matthew18:23-35) offers an excellent model of the steps required to forgive from the heart. There are at least three steps this parable teaches us that we can take, and really must take, in order for genuine forgiveness to proceed from our hearts, and therefore, for us to receive salvation. Read more...

Daily Prayers

Daily Readings

"When you pray, try to let the prayer reach your heart; in other words, it is necessary that your heart should feel what you are talking about in your prayer, that it should wish for the blessing for which you are asking.... Observe, during prayer, whether your heart is in accord with that which you are saying." - St. John of Kronstadt

About Prayer
Morning Prayers
Evening Prayers
Special Daily Prayers
Prayers For Various Needs
Prayer Before Reading Holy Scripture

Sayings From The Church Fathers

By His own example, the Lord showed us how great a weapon fasting is. With this weapon, He vanquished Satan in the wilderness, and with it was victorious over the three chief satanic passions with which Satan tempted Him: love of ease love of praise and love of money. These are three destructive greeds, the three greatest traps into which the evil enemy of the human race lures Christ's soldiers.

- St. Nicholas Velimirovic

Orthodox Calendar

This year, Holy Pascha was celebrated on April 12th. In 2016, Holy Pascha will be celebrated on May 1st.

See when the Date of Pascha falls in another year:


Search for a parish

Parish Name: 

Address: 

City: 

State: 

Deanery: 

 

Search for a parish within    miles
of zipcode  

Video Broadcasts Button

Subscribe to our email lists