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The Great Feast of the Transfiguration + August 6

"Thou hast been transfigured, O Saviour, on Mount Tabor, indicating the transformation of mankind which shall take place at thy dreadful Second Coming. Moses and Elijah did converse with thee. But thy Disciples, whom thou didst call, when they beheld thy glory, O Master, were dazzled by thy brightness. Wherefore, O thou who didst at that time cause thy light to shine on them, lighten our souls."

+ First Kathisma of the Feast

"O thou holy One who hast sanctified the whole universe by thy light, thou hast been transfigured on a high mountain, and hast shown thy Disciples thy might and that thou shalt deliver the world from transgression. Wherefore, do we cry out to thee, O compassionate Lord, save our souls."

+ Idiomelon of the Feast

August Liturgical Texts Available for Download

Icons of the Dormition of the Theotokos, the patronal feast of St. Mary Antiochian Orthodox Church of Cambridge, MA, host parish of the 52nd Archdiocesan Convention.Icons of the Dormition of the Theotokos, the patronal feast of St. Mary Antiochian Orthodox Church of Cambridge, MA, host parish of the 52nd Archdiocesan Convention.The Liturgical Texts for August, blessed by His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph, are now ready for clergy and laity to download from the Online Liturgical Guide.

This month, the last of the Orthodox Christian liturgical calendar, features two of the twelve Great Feasts celebrated by the Church: the Transfiguration of our Lord, God and Savior Jesus Christ (August 6); and the Dormition, or Falling-Asleep, of the Most-Holy Theotokos, the Ever-Virgin Mary (August 15). Celebration of these two feasts are not limited to one day each, but are expanded to seven days after the Transfiguration, and eight days after the Dormition.

In preparation for the Dormition, many parishes sing the famous Paraklesis Service with the Little Supplicatory Canon to the Theotokos.

Dormition Fast Begins on August 1st

The Theotokos, the Virgin Mary, was “blessed amongst women,” and she was chosen “to bear the Savior of our souls.” Orthodox Christians consider her to be the Queen of all the saints and angels.

Knowing that she is eternally present at the throne of God interceding for mankind, we pray for her love, guidance, and protection. Every year the Orthodox Church sets aside the first fourteen days of August in honor of the Virgin Mary. This fast period is climaxed on August 15th, when the Church gathers to celebrate the Great Feast of the Dormition (Falling-Asleep) of the Theotokos.

His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph Hosts Dinner in Honor of His Beatitude Patriarch John X

View the photo gallery

On July 28, 2015, His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph, Primate of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America, hosted a dinner in honor of His Beatitude John X, Patriarch of Antioch and all the East, at the Archdiocese headquarters in Englewood, New Jersey.

In attendance were the Antiochian hierarchs who accompanied the Patriarch, the first hierarchs of the Orthodox Churches who are located in the NY/NJ metropolitan area, representatives from the Roman Catholic church, the Syriac Catholic church, local Muslim spiritual leaders, and diplomats representing Syria, Georgia, Lebanon, and Cyprus.

His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph introduced His Beatitude and spoke about the tireless work of His Beatitude for peace in Syria, Lebanon, and the entire region. (The remarks of Metropolitan Joseph are here).

Patriarch John X Stresses Unity, Peace, at St. Vladimir's Convocation

L to R: Fr. John Behr, Patriarch John X, Metropolitan Tikhon, Metropolitan Joseph, Fr. Chad HatfieldL to R: Fr. John Behr, Patriarch John X, Metropolitan Tikhon, Metropolitan Joseph, Fr. Chad HatfieldView the Patriarchate's Facebook photo album

On Monday, July 27, 2015, the Board of Trustees and Faculty Council of St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary bestowed a Doctor of Divinity degree honoris causa upon The Most Blessed John X (Yazigi), Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and All the East [read the Citation here].

In his remarks following the ceremony, His Beatitude underscored the bonds of unity—past, present, and future—between the Church of Antioch and the seminary, He also captivated the hearts of the more than 200 people who had gathered to honor him, as he passionately called for peace for all peoples in his homeland of Syria and its neighboring countries in the Middle East.

“I am very thankful for two important facts,” His Beatitude began, “first, for the numerous Antiochian priests and bishops who received their theological formation at St. Vladimir’s Seminary, and second, for the longstanding relationship that exists between the [Antiochian] Archdiocese and the seminary, a relationship fostered by the late Metropolitan Philip of thrice-blessed memory, which continues to be strengthened today by my brother [in Christ], Metropolitan Joseph.

Festive Patriarchal Divine Liturgy Concludes Antiochian Archdiocesan Convention

By Subdeacon Peter Samore

With one patriarch, fifteen metropolitans and bishops, scores of clergy, two large choirs and nearly 2,000 faithful, the 52nd Convention of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America concluded, as is tradition, with the celebration of the Divine Liturgy on Sunday, July 26, 2015. This year, leading worship inside Boston's Hynes Convention Center Auditorium – converted into a church for the gathering's purposes – was the father and chief shepherd of the ancient Orthodox Christian see of Antioch, His Beatitude the Most Blessed Patriarch John X. He described the partaking of the "Lamb of God" as "the fulfillment of the work of this convention."

"You are the children of God, as St. Paul tells us," His Beatitude said in his sermon, referring to Sunday's Epistle lection from Galatians (3:23-4:5). "This directs us to the dignity that is our relationship to the likeness of the Father. This is a means of strength, to be called the children of God, but it should also give us a sense of humility."

The Address of His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph to the General Assembly of the 52nd Archdiocesan Convention

The Address of His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph to the General Assembly of the 52nd Archdiocesan Convention 
July 24, 2015, Boston, Massacusetts

Listen to His Eminence's address on Ancient Faith Radio

Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the Cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:1-2)

Your Beatitude and Beloved father in Christ Patriarch John X, brother Hierarchs, Reverend Clergy, beloved monastics, honored guests, and delegates to this 52nd Archdiocesan Convention:

I greet you with great joy as we gather together as one unified Archdiocese of the Church of Antioch to do the work of the Lord. Our joy is increased a hundred fold by the presence of our Father in Christ, His Beatitude Patriarch John X who is presiding over this Convention. We welcome him with love and prayers for the great burden which he carries to be the father of all of his spiritual children throughout the vast expanse of the world where we find the Church of Antioch. We bear in mind that His Beatitude has spiritual children around the world, from the Middle East to Europe, from North America to Central and South America, and from Australia and New Zealand to the Philippines. Wherever he is present, he is ever mindful of the needs of his spiritual children everywhere, and he never ceases to search for ways to bring comfort to them. May our gracious and loving Lord bless him and his ministry to all of us.

The Address of His Beatitude Patriarch John X of Antioch to the General Assembly

The Address of His Beatitude Patriarch John X to the General Assembly of the 52nd Archdiocesan Convention
July 23, 2015

Listen to His Beatitude's speech on Ancient Faith Radio

Your Eminence, Your Excellences, Beloved brothers and sisters in Christ:

I am so happy to be among you. And I take the opportunity to greet all of you expressing the love of the one and unique Antiochian Church. Such a church extends their wings over the sea drawing an eternal image of its testimony to Jesus Christ in all the world.

Syria Update from the 2015 Boston Antiochian General Assembly

A video highlighting the situation of the Church in Syria which was presented at this morning's General Assembly:

Historic Boston Convention is in Full Swing

After the opening of the 52nd Antiochian Archdiocese Convention on Monday, July 22 in Boston, MA, a full day of events on Tuesday found His Beatitude Patriarch John X and His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph addressing a variety of archdiocesan groups. (View the gallery by

At 11:30 a.m., following the 9 a.m. Divine Liturgy, the two held a special session for clergy. Patriarch John spoke of the meaning of the priesthood, and also stressed that the Antiochian Church is working hard within extremely difficult circumstances, to bring peaceful solutions and dialogue to the troubled Middle East.

Patriarch John X Visits Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology

On Monday morning, July 20, 2015, His Beatitude Patriarch John X visited Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in Brookline, MA. His visit to the beautiful campus included an extensive tour of the grounds, a service in the Holy Cross Chapel, and a luncheon. Patriarch John was hosted by His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, and accompanied by His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph and other distinguished hierarchs, clergy, and lay leaders.

During the luncheon, several seminarian scholarships were announced, in honor of the Patriarch and Metropolitan Joseph, and in memory of Metropolitan Philip of Blessed Memory. His Beatitude was also presented with gifts, one of which was a hand painted icon of the Apostle Paul in honor of Patriarch John's brother, Metropoltian Paul of Aleppo, whose whereabouts remain unknown following his abduction two years ago.

Patriarch John X Celebrates Divine Services at St. George Cathedral in Worcester, MA

On Saturday and Sunday, July 18-19, 2015, His Beatitude Patriarch John X celebrated Great Vespers, Orthros and Divine Liturgy at St. George Cathedral in Worcester, Massachusetts. His Beatitude was joined by His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph, as well as many other Antiochian bishops, clergy and faithful. Following Great Vespers on Saturday, a fundraising dinner was held to benefit the university of Balamand in Lebanon. 

Photo galleries from July 18-19:

Welcoming Patriarch John X to Worcester
Great Vespers
Fundraising Dinner for University of Balamand
Orthros, Divine Liturgy and Luncheon

Update - St. George Cathedral has shared the following videos from the Patriarchal Services this weekend:

Services with Patriarch John X to be Broadcast Live

On July 18-19, 2015, St. George Cathedral in Worcester, MA will welcome His Beatitude John X, Patriarch of Antioch and All the East. Together with His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph, His Beatitude will celebrate Divine Services at the Cathedral on Saturday evening and Sunday morning.

If you cannot attend in person, consider tuning in to the Live Broadcast, either at or for the following scheduled services (Eastern time):

Saturday, July 18th Vespers Service • 5:00 pm
Sunday, July 19th Orthros • 8:45 am
Patriarchal Divine Liturgy • 10:00 am

Patriarch John X Arrives in North America

The Patriarch of Antioch and all the East, His Beatitude Patriarch John X, arrived in North America from Damascus, Syria on Thursday, July 16th, 2015. His Beatitude was greeted at the airport by His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph, along with other Antiochian clergy and faithful. In addition to visiting his spiritual children of the United States and Canada, the Patriarch's will preside over the 52nd biennial Convention of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America. The Convention will be held at the Sheraton Boston Hotel in Boston, Massachusetts from Monday July 20 through Sunday July 26.

Following his arrival at the airport, His Beatitude visited St. John Chrysostom Chapel at the Archdiocese headquarters in Englewood, New Jersey.

View a gallery of images of Patriarch John X's arrival.

Reflections on the Becoming Truly Human Program

"Becoming Truly Human" is an eight week outreach course offered by the Antiochian Archdiocese that uses the vehicle of small group discussions and hosted meals to share the love of Christ. The following two articles by a layman and priest, tell the story of how this program is changing lives.

~~For many years as a Protestant, I witnessed to others because I thought it was my duty. After all, we had been scripturally mandated by the Great Commission to do so, hadn't we? Unfortunately, try though I might, I can't remember many of the names or personal circumstances of those with whom I shared the Gospel. I mostly thought that my work was finished and the rest was up to God. (Read James Blackstock's reflection.)

~~For many years I have felt that in my parish, and in Orthodox Christian parishes in general, there is a need for an evangelism program that is more than simply posting the time of our services and asking parishioners to invite friends to the liturgy. The Divine Liturgy is definitely very powerful and full of the Grace of God. However, I think that most of our parishioners hesitate to invite others to come to an Orthodox Liturgy without laying some ground work that they often do not feel equipped to do. (Read a reflection by Fr. Michael Byars.)

Race and Ethnicity Issues Explored on Ancient Faith Today

(Chesterton, IN) During the most recent podcast in the program "Ancient Faith Today," host Kevin Allen explored Orthodox Christian teachings on racism, ethnic separatism, and racial profiling. Kevin's guest was Fr. Michael Varlamos, Orthodox priest and historian. On the show, the two discussed why it was that His Eminence Iakovos, archbishop of North and South America for the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese from 1959-1996, chose to join the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in the historic 1965 march on Selma, Alabama. (Listen to the full program on Ancient Faith Radio)

"Given the recent tragedy of the nine African-American Christians who were murdered during a Bible study at an African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, SC, as well as the rising of racial tensions across this country, I wanted to investigate what the Orthodox Church's positions and canonical teachings are, regarding racial and ethnic hatred," said Allen.

"One of the most public and heroic events in the history of the Orthodox Church in the United States," Allen continued, "was when His Eminence Iakovos of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese joined Dr. King to march nonviolently in Selma, Alabama, potentially risking his own safety.

Response of Assembly of Bishops to Obergefell v. Hodges

July 2nd, 2015

The Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America strongly disagrees with the United States Supreme Court decision of June 26, Obergefell v. Hodges, in which the Court invents a constitutional right for two members of the same sex to marry, and imposes upon all States the responsibility to license and recognize such "marriages."

The Supreme Court, in the narrowest majority possible, has overstepped its purview by essentially re-defining marriage itself. It has attempted to settle a polarizing social and moral question through legislative fiat. It is immoral and unjust for our government to establish in law a "right" for two members of the same sex to wed. Such legislation harms society and especially threatens children who, where possible, deserve the loving care of both a father and a mother.

As Orthodox Christian bishops, charged by our Savior Jesus Christ to shepherd His flock, we will continue to uphold and proclaim the teaching of our Lord that marriage, from its inception, is the lifelong sacramental union of a man and a woman. We call upon all Orthodox Christians in our nation to remain firm in their Orthodox faith, and to renew their deep reverence for and commitment to marriage as taught by the Church. We also call upon our nation's civic leaders to respect the law of Almighty God and uphold the deeply-rooted beliefs of millions of Americans.

Metropolitan Joseph's Letter in Support of March for Marriage

On April 25, 2015, on the National Mall in Washington D.C., people journeyed from around the U.S. for the March for Marriage. This year's March included an Orthodox gathering, sponsored by the group Crown Them With Glory. Prior to the March, His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph released a letter encouraging the faithful of the Antiochian Archdiocese to participate. Given its timeliness, we are reposting that message below.

To our Beloved Hierarchs, Reverend Clergy and all of the Faithful of this God- Protected Archdiocese:

Blessings to you during this Holy Season of the Great Fast! On January 16th of this year, the Supreme Court agreed to hear four new cases on same-sex "marriage," and "rule on the power of the states to ban same-sex "marriages" and to refuse to recognize such "marriages" performed in another state." More details on the announcement can be found at the Supreme Court's website.

Ancient Faith Integrates All Ministries in New Design

Ancient Faith Ministries (AFM) announces the re-design of, which now features the full integration of all of its divisions: Ancient Faith Radio, Ancient Faith Publishing, Ancient Faith Blogs, and Ancient Faith Films. The new site officially launched on Monday, June 15.

The new site uses a magazine format to feature four different types of content. It will also allow users to search podcasts by "groups," "themes," "authors," "freshness," and "recent episodes." The content on the site is almost fully tagged and categorized, which makes the search function much more accurate and robust. There is also a complete authors list with bios of all contributors of podcasts, books, and blogs.

" is no longer just the home of Ancient Faith Radio; rather, it is the home of each division of Ancient Faith Ministries, combining all of our content—print, audio, video, and retail—into one seamless, integrated, and complementary package," says Ancient Faith Ministries CEO John Maddex.

Feast of the Holy, Glorious Apostles Peter and Paul + June 29

Verily, the all-solemn Feast of the two Apostles hath arrived, bringing us salvation. Wherefore, let us mystically exult, crying unto them: Rejoice, O ye who have become luminaries to those in darkness, two rays of the Sun! Rejoice, O Peter and Paul, adamant pillars of the divine doctrines, ye friends of Christ and two honored vessels! Be ye present among us in an invisible manner, and grant immaterial gifts to those who extol your feast with songs.

--Doxasticon of the Feast, Tone 6

Our prayers for all of the parishes and faithful who celebrate their namesday with this Feast, the Patronal Feast of the Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East.

Sheet music for this Feast is available here courtesy of the Department of Sacred Music. Download "The Akathist Hymn to the Holy Apostles" here.