Your browser (Internet Explorer 7 or lower) is out of date. It has known security flaws and may not display all features of this and other websites. Learn how to update your browser.

X

Navigate / search

Blogs

June 29: Saints Peter and Paul

Sermon of Saint Augustine, Bishop of Hippo

Today the Holy Church piously remembers the sufferings of the Holy Glorious and All-Praised Apostles Peter and Paul.

St. Peter, the fervent follower of Jesus Christ, for the profound confession of His Divinity: "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God," was deemed worthy by the Savior to hear in answer, "Blessed art thou, Simon ... I tell thee, that thou art Peter [Petrus], and on this stone [petra] I build My Church" (Mt.16:16-18). On "this stone" [petra], is on that which thou sayest: "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God" it is on this thy confession I build My Church...

  • Jun 26 2016

Saturday of Lazarus

by Protopresbyter Alexander Schmemann

The joy that permeates and enlightens the service of Lazarus Saturday stresses one major theme: the forthcoming victory of Christ over Hades. "Hades" is the Biblical term for Death and its universal power, for inescapable darkness that swallows all life and with its shadow poisons the whole world. But now — with Lazarus’ resurrection — "death begins to tremble." A decisive duel between Life and Death begins giving us the key to the entire liturgical mystery of Pascha. Already in the fourth century Lazarus’ Saturday was called the "announcement of Pascha." For, indeed, it announces and anticipates the wonderful light and peace of the next — The Great — Saturday, the day of life-giving Tomb...

 

  • Apr 22 2016

Sunday of Orthodoxy

We venerate Thy most pure image, O Good One!

Priest Vladimir Sakovich
1919

The first Sunday of the Great Fast is called the Sunday of Orthodoxy. On this day, in commemoration of the victory of Orthodoxy over heresies, the holy Church, as a loving Mother, invites her faithful children to venerate and honor in piety the holy icons of the Savior, the Mother of God and the Saints.

At the start of the eighth century in the Church there began a catastrophe that continued for more than a hundred years. A cruel persecution arose against the holy icons and those who venerated them. The holy vessels used in the celebration of divine services were trampled under foot, because the Saints were depicted on them. Everywhere holy icons were removed, taken from the temples and cast into rivers or burned. The defenders of the veneration of icons were subjected to all possible kinds of persecution, even capital punishment. At that time many bishops, priests and others were tortured for venerating the holy icons. They were shut up in prisons and tortured. Some had their noses or ears cut off. Others had their eyes put out or their hands severed. But the word of Christ, that the gates of Hell should not prevail against the holy Church, and that He would remain with it until the end of the age is immutable. In the year 842, after the last enemy of the veneration of icons finished his days in horrible torment, the emperor Theophilus and his wife the empress Theodora put an end to the persecution and unrest...

  • Mar 20 2016

Sunday of the Last Judgment

On this day we commemorate the inescapable second coming of Christ, ordained by the most divine Fathers to be observed after the second parable of the Prodigal, so that no one who has learned of the love of God for mankind from it will live in laziness saying, "God loves mankind, and when I am separated from Him by sin, all is prepared for my restoration." This fearsome day of judgment has been designated for commemoration at this point in time, that through fear of death and the expectation of future torment, those who live in laziness may be encouraged to the virtues, not trusting only in the love of God, but also realizing that He is the righteous Judge who will judge all men according to their deeds...

  • Mar 4 2016

St. Nicholas the Wonderworker and Archbishop of Myra in Lycia

Saint Nicholas, commemorated on December 6th, is remembered and revered by many Christians of numerous denominations around the world. He is called upon as the patron saint of sailors, merchants, archers, children, and students in various countries. Despite his great popularity, few in our modern day are aware of his rich history and great contributions to the Church.  Read his story here!

  • Nov 24 2015

August 15: The Dormition of the Theotokos

The first chapter of St. Luke's gospel contains an outstanding hymn by the holy Theotokos, which poured out of her heart in response to the salutation of her relative, the righteous Elizabeth:  Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. This Elizabethan prophecy, that we repeat so often in one of our most favorite prayers Rejoice, O Virgin Theotokos, was followed by Mary's hymn, Mary's prayerful prophesy, which is especially important for our attention on the day of her glorious Dormition.

And Mary said: 'My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.' From her childhood her entire life was dedicated to God. Her very birth from the childless and elderly parents was a miraculous one. From her infancy her home was the Temple, where she was presented at the age of three years, and was totally dedicated to God. The angel Gabriel appeared to her and announced the will of God, telling her that the Son of God was to be born of her. In an act of voluntary humility and loving obedience, she accepted on behalf of the whole of humanity this good news, this good will of God concerning her...

  • Jul 18 2015

Summer Saints

Very often, we tend to perceive summer as leisure time, and unfortunately, we include our spiritual life in this.  We tend to lay back spiritually and "take it easy." This is most obviously reflected in our diminished attendance at church services.  And we are probably also less alert in our ascetic efforts: praying, fasting, spiritual reading, charitable works...

This, perhaps, can be somewhat explained by the fact that there are no major Church feasts between the great festival of Pentecost and the majestic celebration of Christ's Transfiguration on August 6.  But, if we glance at the summer pages of the Church calendar, we will find some important things for us.

The first Sunday after Pentecost is dedicated to the memory of All Saints.  At Pentecost, the Holy Spirit descended upon Christ's disciples, thus baptizing the Holy Church.  The presence of the Holy Spirit is manifested by its fruits.  Saints are those who bore these fruits, in every generation they were well pleasing to God; therefore, it is very logical to celebrate their memory immediately after the Feast of Pentecost ...

 
  • Jun 8 2015

A Meditation on the Nativity of Christ

“To Erect the Kingdom of God in Our Own Souls”
Delivered by Saint Tikhon (Bellavin), Bishop of San Francisco

Christmastide breathes the spirit of peace, good will, gentle joy, and holy simplicity. The stillness of night enwraps the fields of Palestine; above them stretches the starry sky, with the brightly shining “Star of the King of Jews”. The day's turmoil is hushed in Bethlehem, filled to overflowing with strangers. Not far from the town is the lonely stable which shelters the Holy Family; in a lowly manger, wrapped in swaddling clothes, lies the Infant, while over Him bends His Mother, with a glad smile. There too, is Joseph, the just man, in reverent contemplation of the great mystery and there are the shepherds — simple men, but pure of heart, come to worship the new-born Christ. And in the heavens above the heavenly hosts are singing: “Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace, good will among men” . . .

 

  • Nov 23 2013

Forgiveness and the Gift of Lent

By Fr. Alexander Schmemann
Forgiveness Sunday 1983

As once more we are about to enter the Great Lent, I would like to remind us – myself first of all, and all of you my fathers, brothers, and sisters – of the verse that we just sang, one of the stichera, and that verse says:"Let us begin Lent, the Fast, with joy." 

Only yesterday we were commemorating Adam crying, lamenting at the gates of Paradise, and now every second line of the Triodion and the liturgical books of Great Lent will speak of repentance, acknowledging what dark and helpless lives we live, in which we sometimes are immersed. And yet, no one will prove to me that the general tonality of Great Lent is not that of a tremendous joy! Not what we call "joy" in this world – not just something entertaining, interesting, or amusing – but the deepest definition of joy, that joy of which Christ says: "no one will take away from you" (Jn. 16:22). Why joy? What is that joy?

So many people under various influences have come to think of Lent as a kind of self–inflicted inconvenience. Very often in Lent we hear these conversations: "What do you give up for Lent?" – it goes from candy to, I don’t know what. There is the idea that if we suffer enough, if we feel the hunger enough, if we try by all kinds of strong or light ascetical tools, mainly to "suffer" and be "tortured," so to speak, it would help us to "pay" for our absolution. But this is not our Orthodox faith. Lent is not a punishment. Lent is not a kind of painful medicine that helps only inasmuch as it is painful...

 
  • Mar 11 2013

Welcome to Holy Trinity

We gather for worship on Saturday evening and on Sunday Morning. We are old. We are young. We are middle aged. Some are married, some are single. Many of us have come to the Orthodox Church after years of searching. The Orthodox Church is the historical Church, which was founded on the day of Pentecost in Jerusalem and spread throughout Judea and finally the world. In our services we celebrate the great truths of the Christian Faith.

Holy Trinity Cathedral is named after the Godhead; God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. This is particularly significant in that the Trinitarian understanding of the Godhead based upon the revelation of God, is uniquely Christian. The Orthodox Church has often been referred to as "the Church of the Holy Trinity" because of her commitment to the critical necessity of maintaining the Trinitarian faith. If God is One yet Three Persons as He has revealed Himself to be, and if we are created in the image and likeness of God, then understanding and living out this Trinitarian nature is critical to our life and faith...

  • May 15 2012

Pages