Skip to Navigation

Featured Articles

Winter 2017 Sacred Music Institute in Houston Has Lenten Theme

St. George, HoustonSt. George, HoustonIt's not too late to sign up for the Winter 2017 Sacred Music Institute (SMI), with the theme of "Great Lent: A Church Singer's Guide." This SMI will be held on February 17–19, 2017, at St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church in Houston, TX. At the same time, teens will have their very own sessions in the Youth Music Ministry (YMM) track, studying Byzantine chant with Rassem El-Massih and choral music with Paul Jabara. Presentations on the Akathist Service and Presanctified Liturgy will be offered and God-willing, the teens will lead one of the services.

Don't miss this opportunity to gain a better understanding of Lenten services, their history and structure, and to learn new music, both Byzantine chant and Western choral. Instructors include Chairman Paul Jabara, Diocesan Directors Mareena Boosamra Ball and Chris Farha, and chanters Rassem El-Massih and Emily Lowe. The Institute will offer instruction in Byzantine chant, vocal and choral technique, conducting, and theology. Private and small group vocal lessons will be available throughout the weekend. Also, the newest member of our team, professor and vocal technician Anamaria Popescu of McGill University, will provide vocal instruction to both teens and adults. Scholarships are available for both teens and adults: contact Chris Farha for more information.

Register now!

Theophany of Our Lord + January 6

O Jordan River, why wast thou astonished at beholding the Invisible naked? And he answereth, saying, I beheld Him and trembled; for how shall I not tremble and fear, when the angels trembled at sight of Him, heaven was astounded, earth was encompassed by trepidation, and the sea was bashful, with all things visible and invisible; for Christ hath appeared in the Jordan to bless the waters. (Tone 4)

He that encompasseth the heavens with clouds putteth on today the courses of the Jordan; and He that lifteth the sin of the world, cleanseth and purifieth me. Yea, the Spirit hath testified of Him from on high that He is the only Son of the Father on high. Let us, therefore, shout to Him, crying, O Thou Who didst appear and save us, glory to Thee. (Tone 1)

St. Basil the Great & The Circumcision of the Lord + January 1

In all the earth that received thy sayings, thy melody did resound, O righteous father, through which thou didst go about and proclaim, as worthy of God, the nature of creatures, cultivating the character of mankind, O thou of kingly Priesthood, Basil. Wherefore, plead thou with Christ God to save our souls.

+Apolytikion of St. Basil, Tone 1

When the Savior condescended for the sake of mankind, He was willing to be wrapped in swaddling clothes, and He Who was eight days old on the side of His Mother, and eternal on the side of His Father did not disdain the circumcision of the flesh. Wherefore, let us cry to Him, O believers, Thou art our God; have mercy upon us.

+Doxasticon of the Feast, Tone 8

Many years to His Grace Bishop Basil of the Diocese of Wichita and Mid-America on his Namesday!
Read Fr. Thomas Hopko's reflection on today's commemorations
The Tradition of the Vasilopita
Read "Message for the New Year" by Fr. George Shalhoub

Statement from His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph on the Recent Bombing of the Coptic Church in Egypt

A nun reacts as Egyptian security forces inspect the scene of the bomb explosion. (Khaled Desouki/Getty Images)A nun reacts as Egyptian security forces inspect the scene of the bomb explosion. (Khaled Desouki/Getty Images)Lest they be forgotten, His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph urges the clergy and the laity of the Antiochian Archdiocese to continue to pray for peace for the people of Egypt, especially after the bombing of St. Peter Coptic Orthodox Church, next to St. Mark Coptic Orthodox Cathedral, in Cairo. There, 25 Coptic Christians lost their lives, and 49 others – mostly women and children – were wounded during Sunday worship.

“These are defenseless people who did not deserve to have their lives ended or drastically altered forever,” Sayidna Joseph said. “All over the world, but especially in the Middle East, harmless Christians are crucified daily for their faith. When we ask ‘why,’ we know there is never a good answer.

“The injustice continues and the international community is silent. The Christians of the Middle East will live in this never-ending nightmare of terror – especially in the name of religion – without courageous powers stepping forward.

The 2016 Nativity Letter of His Beatitude Patriarch John X

His Beatitude Patriarch John XHis Beatitude Patriarch John XWith the mercy of God
 

John X

The Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and all the East

To my brethren the pastors of the holy Antiochian Church.

To my sons wherever they are in this Apostolic See.

"When it was time for thy presence on earth the first enrollment of the world took place. Then it was that thou didst decide to enroll the names of men who believe in thy nativity"

Every winter, the Baby of the cave visits us to wipe away with His simplicity, our distress and difficulties, to touch with His humility our souls, and to illumine our world with His divine peace.

The Lord used the cave to walk into the caves of our souls, to clean them and to crystallize them with His divine love.

On Christmas we are always called to remember that the Lord of the cave has come to join us and to be with us, to build up his home in our souls, and plant His seeds in the heart and in the whole human person. 

Byzantine Hymn of the Nativity

Today is born of the Virgin Him Who holdeth all creation in the hollow of His hand.
He Whose essence is untouchable is wrapped in swaddling clothes as a babe.
The God Who from of old established the heavens lieth in a manger.
He Who showered the people with manna in the wilderness feedeth on milk from the breasts.
And the bridegroom of the Church calleth the Magi, and the Son of the Virgin accepteth gifts from them.
We worship Thy Nativity, O Christ.
Show us also Thy divine Theophany!

The Nativity Sermon of St. John Chrysostom

Behold a new and wondrous mystery.

My ears resound to the Shepherd’s song, piping no soft melody, but chanting full forth a heavenly hymn. The Angels sing. The Archangels blend their voice in harmony. The Cherubim hymn their joyful praise. The Seraphim exalt His glory. All join to praise this holy feast, beholding the Godhead here on earth, and man in heaven. He Who is above, now for our redemption dwells here below; and he that was lowly is by divine mercy raised.

Bethlehem this day resembles heaven; hearing from the stars the singing of angelic voices; and in place of the sun, enfolds within itself on every side, the Sun of justice. And ask not how: for where God wills, the order of nature yields. For He willed; He had the power; He descended; He redeemed; all things yielded in obedience to God.

Memory Eternal + Right Reverend Protosyngellos Paul Doyle

May his memory be eternal! On December 17, 2016, the Right Reverend Protosyngellos Paul Doyle fell asleep in the Lord. Update: Funeral schedule is now available, please scroll down.

His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph writes:

"Thou art a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek."

Beloved hierarchs, clergy and faithful laity of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America:

It is with a sorrowful heart, lightened only by confidence in the abundant mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, that I announce the passing of the Right Reverend Protosyngellos Paul Doyle. For almost 42 years, Fr. Paul has led an exemplary life as a priest of the Holy Orthodox Church, and, I dare say, one of the most profoundly humble men I have ever met.

Registration Opens for Antiochian Village Summer Camp 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Antiochian Village and the Department of Camping announce that Summer Camp 2017 Registration is NOW OPEN!!!

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER!

Make sure you register your child for camp! Spots fill up fast!

Summer 2017 Dates:
Session 1 (2-weeks) - June 18-30
Session 1 (1-week) - June 18-25
Session 2 - July 2-14
Session 3 - July 16-28
Session 3 (Iconography Camp) - July 16-24
Session 4 - July 30-August 11

Re-Gifting Christmas Gifts?

by His Grace Bishop John, from The Word Magazine, December 2016

My wife and I never seemed to be able to settle the question, Is it right to re-gift? My love would shop for days, seeking the perfect gift to express her love and care for the person for whom she was shopping. I was never much of a shopper, and re-gifting allowed me to recycle really nice items that I didn't need, or had no room to store. Surely one could make the case that, when it comes to money, and perhaps wine, everyone re-gifts. If we receive gifts of money, and we give gifts of money, we are sort of re-gifting. I could even make the case that things, like money, convey the transfer of value.

Christmas gifts are somehow related to remembering the gift from God of His Son, or rather, the gift of Christ of Himself. This gift is offered in full knowledge that, with it, come suffering, humiliation and death. This gift is offered so that we can be given real life, that is, the love and life of God within the life and love of the Holy Trinity.

St. Herman of Alaska + December 13

St. Herman of AlaskaIn an obscure corner of what is now Alaska, on an Aleutian island called Spruce, a monk labored from the late 1700’s until his repose in 1837. Braving subzero temperatures, plagues and storms, ill treatment from fellow Russians who resented and misunderstood him, St. Herman lived a life marked by astonishing ascetic labor that gave birth to a deep love and concern for all with whom he came in contact. Strangely, despite the miracles associated with him not only throughout his life but also, after his death, he was all but forgotten after he reposed.

"Thirty years will pass after my death, all those who live now on Spruce Island will be dead, you alone will remain alive, and you will be old and poor; then they will remember me," Father Herman said to his Aleut follower, Ignatius Aliaga. As with other prophecies of the saint, this one too was fulfilled, as in 1867, Bishop Peter of Alaska began a formal investigation into his life. It wasn’t until 1894 that his story became known to the outside world, and then his glorification waited another 76 years, until August 9, 1970.

The Conception of the Theotokos + December 9

Anna besought the Lord in fervent prayer for a child. The voice of the angel proclaimed to her: God has granted you the desire of your prayer. Do not weep, for you shall be a fruitful vine, bearing the wondrous branch of the Virgin who will bring forth in the flesh the blossom Christ, Who grants great mercy to the world.

Today the great mystery of all eternity, whose depths angels and men cannot perceive, appears in the barren womb of Anna. Mary, the Maiden of God, is prepared to be the dwelling place of the eternal King Who will renew human nature. Let us entreat her with a pure heart and say: Intercede for us with your Son and God that our souls may be saved.

+Vespers of the Feast

Fr. Thomas Hopko on the Conception of Mary

Metropolitan Joseph's Message for Choir and Chanter Appreciation Sunday 2016

December 11, 2016
Choir and Chanter Appreciation Sunday

“I will sing unto the Lord as long as I live: I will sing praise to my God while I have my being” Psalm 104:33

Beloved in Christ:

Greetings to you and your families as we prepare to celebrate the Nativity of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ according to the flesh.

As is the custom in our Archdiocese, the second Sunday of December is dedicated to our choirs and chanters who work so hard to make our divine services beautiful throughout the year. Our choirs in the Archdiocese resemble our families and parishes. Some are large and strong; some are small and need help. Some have many polished and professional singers; others depend on the goodwill of volunteers with little or no musical training. Some have weekly practices and others less often. The common thread is that they all do what they do out of a love for the divine services and a desire to praise the All-Holy Trinity.

St. Nicholas, Bishop of Myra + December 6

The truth of things revealed thee to thy flock as a rule of faith, a model of meekness, and a teacher of temperance. Therefore thou hast won the heights by humility, riches by poverty. Holy Father Nicholas, intercede with Christ our God that our souls may be saved.

+Troparion, Tone 4

Thou wast a faithful minister of God in Myra, O Saint Nicholas. For having fulfilled the Gospel of Christ, thou didst die for the people and save the innocent. Therefore thou wast sanctified as a great initiator of the grace of God.

+Kontakion, Tone 3

On December 6, we celebrate St. Nicholas the Wonderworker, the fourth-century archbishop of Myra in Lycia (on the southern coast of modern-day Turkey). None of his writings is extant, but his examples of Christian generosity, virtue and love endure to this day. St. Nicholas is the living embodiment of the words "faith without works is dead" (James 2:20). He is also the patron and protector of two cathedrals – Brooklyn and Los Angeles – in our Archdiocese.

Metropolitan Joseph Honored at NYC Ecumenical Gathering

View the Facebook gallery

On November 29, 2016, His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph was honored along with the recently appointed Syriac Archbishop John Kawak, in an ecumenical gathering at the St. Vartan Armenian Orthodox Cathedral in New York City. The gathering, hosted by His Eminence Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, primate of the Diocese of the Armenian Church of America (Eastern), celebrated the occasion of the enthronements of Metropolitan Joseph and Archbishop John; due to scheduling issues, the event had been postponed several times.

Hierarchs and clergy from throughout the New York area were present, including: His Beatitude Metropolitan Tikhon, primate of the Orthodox Church in America; Archbishop Bernardito Auza, Papal Nuncio to the United Nations; Maronite Bishop Gregory Mansour, and many others from various Christian faith communities.

December Liturgical Texts Now Available

St. Barbara of Heliopolis in Syria (left), and St. John of DamascusSt. Barbara of Heliopolis in Syria (left), and St. John of DamascusTwo saints with a strong following and devotion in the Patriarchate of Antioch, as well as the prophets and ancestors of our Lord, God, and Savior Jesus Christ Himself, are celebrated in the weeks leading up to Christmas. The Liturgical Texts for December, blessed by His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph, are now ready for clergy and laity to download from the Online Liturgical Guide.

We celebrate two Syrian saints on December 4. Saint Barbara of Heliopolis left the protection of her father's tower and learned of the true Christian faith from pious women. Once St. Barabara accepted Christ, her father martyred her, but a lightning bolt struck his house and killed him.

We Give Thanks to Thee, O Christ Our God

Everlasting King, Thy will for our salvation is full of power. Thy right arm controls the whole course of human life. We give Thee thanks for all Thy mercies, seen and unseen. For eternal life, for the heavenly Joys of the Kingdom which is to be. Grant mercy to us who sing Thy praise, both now and in the time to come. Glory to Thee, O God, from age to age.

Akathist of Thanksgiving

What do American Orthodox do on Thanksgiving? We give thanks, to our Creator and Fashioner and God. The following links offer inspiration and assistance in celebrating this great American holiday in proper fashion, in full eucharistic thanksgiving "for all things of which we know and of which we know not, for blessings seen and unseen that have been bestowed upon us."

The Entrance of the Theotokos + November 21

Today is the prelude of God's goodwill and the prophecy of the salvation of men. The Virgin appears openly in the temple of God and foretells Christ to all. So let us cry to her with loud voices: Rejoice, thou who art the fulfillment of the Creator's providence.

+Troparion of the Feast, Tone 4

Today in the Holy Orthodox Church we celebrate the feast of the Entrance of the Theotokos into the Temple. Leading the procession into the Temple were virgins with lighted tapers in their hands, then the three-year-old Most-holy Virgin, led by her father and mother. The virgin was clad in vesture of royal magnificence and adornments as was befitting the “King’s daughter, the Bride of God” (Psalm 44:13-15).

Nativity Fast Begins on November 15

Tuesday, November 15, 2016, is the beginning of this year's Nativity Fast. The Nativity Fast is one of the four Canonical Fasting Seasons in the Church year. This is a joyous fast in anticipation of the Nativity of Christ.

In the weeks between now and December 25, Orthodox Christians prepare themselves to celebrate the birth in the flesh of our Lord Jesus Christ. As we begin the fast, we encourage both believing Orthodox and inquirers to review the reflections and resources in our special Nativity section.

For additional general resources on the Orthodox Christian tradition of feasting and fasting, visit the Feasts and Fasts section of Discover Orthodox Christianity.

Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church Presents Archdiocese with $25,000 for Syrian Relief

His Eminence Metropolitan Alexios Mar Eusebius of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church (India) Diocese of Southwest America visited St. Nicholas Cathedral of Brooklyn on the afternoon of November 8, 2016, to present the proceeds of collections in their diocese for Syrian Relief. Archpriest Thomas Zain, Vicar General of the Archdiocese and Cathedral Dean, received the check on behalf of His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph, who was on an archpastoral tour.

Father Thomas welcomed Metropolitan Alexios Mar Eusebius and thanked him on behalf of those who are suffering and displaced as a result of ongoing Syrian war. This generous gift of $25,000 will be used to help educate the children of those new immigrants who have arrived as a result of the war and have come with nothing or very little. Father Thomas then gave the Metropolitan a tour of the Cathedral and hosted him to lunch before the Metropolitan departed for the airport to return to his headquarters in Houston. The hierarchs, clergy, and faithful of the Antiochian Archdiocese are grateful to Metropolitan Alexios and the entire Malankara Diocese for their thoughtfulness and concern for the displaced people of Syria who have found their way to these blessed shores.