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On the Wings of Divine Love: Antiochian Seminarians Visit the Holy Mountain

Mount Athos — a place where heaven bows down and touches the earth. It is where the veil between this world and the next is thin and translucent. Its soil bears the footprints of countless ascetics and has been watered by the tears of our most beloved saints. Since biblical times, it has been a land that flourishes under the mantle of the Mother of God. It is her garden, where she waters the souls of all those who flock to her, raising them past the Mountain's peak and into heavenly abodes. For well over fifteen hundred years, Mount Athos has been a place of pilgrimage and spiritual retreat.

Last year, His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph blessed the Antiochian seminarians to make a pilgrimage to Mount Athos as part of our seminarian education. Under the pastoral care and supervision of His Grace Bishop Nicholas, we boarded flights to Greece and before we knew it we were sailing along the Athonite coastline, gazing at the small hermitages and castle-like monasteries that dot the rugged terrain. As the boat's gate opened and we stepped foot on the Mother of God's garden, we could hardly believe where we were.

Meatfare Sunday (Sunday of the Last Judgment)

The trumpets shall blow, and the graves shall be empty, and all mankind shall rise trembling. They who have done good shall rejoice with joy, expecting their reward; and those who have done evil shall tremble greatly, moaning and shaking, as they are sent to suffering, separated from the elect. Wherefore, O Lord of glory, be compassionate toward us, and make us worthy to be of those who love thee; for thou art good.

- from Vespers, Tone 6

For those observing the Lenten Fast, Meatfare Sunday is the last day on which meat and poultry are eaten before Pascha.

To learn more about the season of pre-Lenten preparation, please visit our Great Lent section.

Catechesis by St. Theodore the Studite on Meatfare Sunday

Read more about Meatfare Sunday, in an excerpt from Great Lent by Alexander Schmemann.

Listen to Fr. Thomas Hopko's reflections on the Sunday of the Last Judgment on Ancient Faith Radio.

Visit our full section on Great Lent.

Now Available: Hyperlinking of Sacred Music Within Liturgical Texts

 

 

 

 

 


Tired of searching for sheet music to match the texts of the divine services while trying to worship in church? The Departments of Sacred Music and Liturgics have teamed up to make things easier for our chanters and choirs by now providing hyperlinks to pieces of music, built right into the PDF versions of the Liturgical Texts of the Online Liturgical Guide. Click on the hyperlinks from any computer or smart device for many of our hymns arranged by composers of the Antiochian Archdiocese, such as "O Lord, I Have Cried;" apolytikia and kontakia for Sundays feasts and saints; seasonal katabasiae; the Praises; prosomoia (model hymns); and so much more.

Each of the blue-colored links will take you directly to the music itself. Chanters using smart devices (phones and tablets) for the divine services in church can sing that piece of music, hit the "back" button, and return to the Liturgical Text where they left off to continue with the service until the next hyperlink.

Sunday of the Prodigal Son

When I disobey in ignorance thy fatherly glory, I wasted in iniquities the riches that thou gavest me. Wherefore, I cry to thee with the voice of the prodigal son, saying, I have sinned before thee, O compassionate Father, receive me repentant, and make me as one of thy hired servants.

- Kontakion, Tone 3

I have been entrusted with a verdant and faultless region, but I planted evil in its soil and reaped its cares with the scythe of laziness. And I gathered my deeds into sheaves but placed them not on the threshing-floor of repentance. Wherefore, I ask thee, O divine Husbandman, to winnow the straw of my deeds with the breeze of thy compassionate love; and fill my soul with the wheat of forgiveness. Store me in thy heavenly garners and save me.

- from Vespers, Tone 1

Archdiocesan Convention to Celebrate Bishop Antoun’s Lifetime of Service

After eight decades of “love, humility and sunshine” in service to the Antiochian Orthodox Church, His Grace Bishop Antoun of the Diocese of Miami and the Southeast is retiring from active ministry. This July 23-30, the Antiochian Archdiocese’s biennial convention in Miami will celebrate his remarkable witness to our Lord Jesus Christ as an acolyte, deacon, priest and bishop. The convention’s host, St. George Cathedral of Coral Gables, Florida is preparing exciting festivities.

His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph, the venerable hierarchs and the Board of Trustees of the Archdiocese urge all of the clergy and faithful to make plans now to honor Bishop Antoun personally by attending this historic convention. St. George Cathedral will dedicate the “History Journal” to His Grace that will be filled with photos and tributes.

Metropolitan Joseph Commemorates 30th Anniversary of EOC Reception into Archdiocese

Beloved in Christ,

We greet you with great joy as we embark upon this new Lenten journey which lies ahead. Before us lies a strenuous path leading to the Feast of the Holy Resurrection of our Lord and God and Savior Jesus Christ. May your journey be blessed!

This year marks the 30th anniversary of an important event in the life of our Archdiocese. I do not want to let this event pass without remembering and giving thanks to God for it.

Beginning in early 1987, over two-thousand members of the former Evangelical Orthodox Church were received with open arms into the Antiochian Archdiocese of North America. Over the course of several months, the faithful from seventeen parishes in cities across North America were chrismated and clergy were ordained.

Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee

O Lord, Thou didst reproach the Pharisee when he justified himself, boasting of his deeds; and justified the Publican when he approached humbly, seeking forgiveness with sighs; for Thou dost not draw near to arrogant thoughts, nor turn away contrite hearts. Wherefore, we also kneel before Thee meekly, O Thou Who didst suffer for our sakes. Grant us forgiveness and the Great Mercy.

+ Doxasticon from Orthros, Tone 8

When the Pharisee went down with empty glory, and the publican bowed himself in repentance, they came to Thee alone, O Master. But the one through boasting lost his reward, and the other by his silence deserved gifts. Wherefore, by those sighs confirm me, O Christ God, since Thou art the Lover of mankind.

+ from the Praises at Orthros, Tone 1

Feast of the Presentation of Christ in the Temple + February 2

Adorn thy chamber, O Zion, and receive Christ the King. Welcome Mary the heavenly gate; for she hath appeared as a cherubic throne; she carrieth the King of glory. Verily, the Virgin is a cloud of light carrying in her body the Son Who is before the morning star, Whom Simeon carrying in his arms proclaimed to the nations as the Lord of life and death, and the Savior of our souls.
-Vespers of the Feast, Tone 7

Rejoice, O Virgin Theotokos, full of grace, for from thee arose the Sun of justice, Christ our God, lighting those who are in darkness. Rejoice and be glad, O righteous old man, carrying in thine arms the Deliverer of our souls, Who granteth us Resurrection.
-Apolytikion of the Feast, Tone 1

Archdiocese's New Feature Film Speaks to Spiritual Seekers

North America, along with the rest of the world, loves a good feature film. The American movie industry, based in Hollywood, California, is a force to be reckoned with. The global box office revenue from the film industry is about $38 billion dollars a year, and it’s expected to break $50 billion in the next three years. 

This past September a group was blessed to meet with His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph to screen the first Orthodox feature film produced in America. The documentary was created as an outgrowth of the Becoming Truly Human ministry, a new effort of the Archdiocese that is focused on reaching the large numbers of unchurched people in North America. Commissioned by the Archdiocese, the film was directed by Nathan Jacobs. (View the first four minutes of Becoming Truly Human.)

Metropolitan Joseph Hosts Lunch Honoring His Eminence Timothy Cardinal Dolan

On Monday, January 23, 2017, His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph hosted a lunch for thirty people honoring His Eminence Timothy Cardinal Dolan, Roman Catholic Archbishop of New York, at the Archdiocese headquarters in Englewood, NJ. Orthodox and Catholic hierarchs, clergymen, and laymen from the greater New York area were present, including: Metropolitan Tikhon of the Orthodox Church in America (OCA), Maronite Catholic Bishop Gregory Mansour, Syriac Orthodox Bishop Mor Dionysius Jean Kawak, Syriac Catholic Bishop Yousif Habash, Archbishop Mor Titus Yeldo Pathickal of the Malankara Archdiocese of the Syrian Orthodox Church in the USA, and Bishop Nicholas of the Antiochian Archdiocese. Prominent laymen including Mr. Fawaz El Khoury, Vice-Chairman of the Archdiocese Board of Trustees, Mr. Adib Kassis, Managing Director of Middle East Airlines, and Mr. John Abi-Habib, owner of MSI Net, Inc. in Brooklyn, NY, were also present along with greater New York area members of the Archdiocese Board of Trustees. (View more photos.)

Register for the 53rd Biennial Antiochian Archdiocese Convention Now!

 

 

 



His Grace Bishop Antoun of the Diocese of Miami and the Southeast, Fr. Fouad Saba, and all the clergy and faithful at St. George Antiochian Orthodox Cathedral, Coral Gables, Florida, welcome you to South Florida for the 53rd Biennial Antiochian Archdiocese Convention. You will not want to miss all the exciting events in store for you July 23–30, 2017. It's time to register and make your plans now!

The AC2017 Convention Committee has designed wave after wave of family fellowship events including spiritual growth, educational workshops, and wonderful family fun events and activities.

Please note the following with regard to Ticket Book pricing:

Winter 2017 Sacred Music Institute in Houston Has Lenten Theme

St. George, HoustonSt. George, HoustonUpdate: The registration deadline has been extended to February 9th.

It'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. 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