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His Beatitude Visits the United Nations, Holds Press Conference

On December 10, during his final day in the New York area, His Beatitude, John X, Patriarch of Antioch and all the East, visited the United Nations and held meetings with a variety of officials. (Watch press conference here.) His first meeting was with the Deputy Secretary General, Mr. Ian Eliasson. During that meeting, as well as the other meetings, His Beatitude stressed that the only solution to the crisis in Syria is one of negotiations and peace, not of bombs and war, saying “The Syrian people ask for peace and welfare for themselves and for everyone on earth.” He continued by saying that “as a Christian leader, I can also speak on behalf of the Islamic leaders in Syria in that we all reject extremism. In Greater Syria we have been co-existing for hundred of years.” He also relayed in his various meetings that with regard to humanitarian relief the Orthodox Church is helping everyone, regardless of sect or religion. He stressed that, as Christians, we do not want to be considered a minority that needs special protection, but that the Christians are all part of the fabric of the society and are equal citizens in every respect.

Antiochian Leaders Meet Archbishop Demetrios of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America

On Tuesday, December 9, the North American visit of His Beatitude John X, Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, continued as he and His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph led an Archdiocese group to a meeting, prayers, and reception with His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America at their New York headquarters.

View a photo gallery of the day's meetings.

See our enthronement section for all information regarding the Enthronement of Metropolitan Joseph and the visit of Patriarch John X.

Release: New Head of Antiochian Church in America Enthroned; Antiochian Patriarch to Meet with Officials on Issues in Syria

For Immediate Release: December 8, 2014

The second largest Orthodox Christian Church in North America has a new leader, enthroned by the head of one of the oldest churches on earth.

On  Sat. Dec. 6, the Patriarch of Antioch and All of the East, Patriarch John X of Damascus, Syria, enthroned Metropolitan Joseph as new head of the Antiochian Orthodox Church in North America at that Church’s national St. Nicholas Cathedral in Brooklyn, New York.

Metropolitan Joseph was selected by the Holy Synod of Antioch on July 3 to succeed Metropolitan Philip who died March 19 and headed the Antiochian Church in North America for over 48 years. Metropolitan Joseph was formerly the Bishop of the Diocese of Los Angeles and the West.

He now heads the entire Antiochian Orthodox Church in America, with nine bishops, over 400 clergy, 266 parishes and missions, and about 100,000 faithful throughout the United States and Canada. Over the last 40 years, the Antiochian church has received a sizable number of converts to Orthodoxy in the Americas.

The Speech of His Eminence Joseph at His Enthronement as Archbishop of New York and Metropolitan of All North America

Today we commemorate our great father among the saints, Nicholas the Wonderworker of Myra, the patron of this holy Cathedral. How greatly loved he is throughout the Christian world! He is even honored in popular culture, a fact well known to you all. Let us focus for a moment on the Troparion for St. Nicholas:

Thy works of justice did reveal Thee
to Thy community as a canon of faith,
the likeness of humility
and the teacher of abstinence.

O, Thou Father and great Bishop Nicholas.
Wherefore by humility
thou didst achieve exaltation,
and by Thy meekness wealth,

Intercede therefore,
intercede with Christ
that He will save our souls.

The Speech of His Beatitude Patriarch John X at the Enthronement of His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph

Your Eminence, Metropolitan Joseph,

Brother hierarchs and beloved clergy,

Your Excellencies, and beloved brothers and sisters in Christ,

I address you with the peace of Christ. I address you with the word of the Word who lived among us. "My peace I leave to you, my peace I give to you" (John 14:27). The enthronement of a bishop in the church is the enthronement of peace and love in her midst. Now, the Church expresses her full essence within a community governed with love. O Sayedna, Joseph, in the name of all your brothers in the Antiochian Orthodox Church, I address you personally:

Here, we stand now before the throne of the church. This throne will be honored with your love, covered with your wisdom and ardent with your apostolic Antiochian zeal. Bless this throne, be blessed with this throne through your sacrificial ministry and bless the church entrusted to your paternal care.

Patriarchal Liturgy at St. Nicholas Cathedral, Sunday, December 7

On Sunday, December 7, His Beatitude John X, Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, presided over the Divine Liturgy at St. Nicholas Cathedral in Brooklyn, NY, broadcast live around the world by Noursat television.

View a Photo Gallery of the Patriarchal Liturgy

See our enthronement section for all information regarding the Enthronement of Metropolitan Joseph and the visit of Patriarch John X.

Axios! Metropolitan Joseph is Enthroned by Patriarch John X

On Saturday, December 6, 2014, the Feast of St. Nicholas, His Eminence Joseph, Metropolitan of New York and All North America, was enthroned at St. Nicholas Cathedral in Brooklyn, New York, by His Beatitude John X, Patriarch of Antioch and All the East. May God grant him many, many years!

View a photo gallery of the evening Enthronement.

Listen to audio recordings of the Enthronement remarks of Metropolitan Joseph and Patriarch John X, via Ancient Faith Radio.

View a photo gallery of the morning Divine Liturgy commemorating St. Nicholas, Bishop of Myra.

View a photo gallery of the evening's Gala Enthronement Banquet.

See our enthronement section for all information regarding the Enthronement of Metropolitan Joseph and the visit of Patriarch John X.

Watch Enthronement Weekend Services

Update Sunday Dec. 7:

Noursat's global live broadcast of the Saturday Enthronement of His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph, and the Sunday Divine Liturgy led by His Beatitude Patriarch John X, at St. Nicholas Cathedral in Brooklyn, New York, has now concluded. Recorded video will be made available online as soon as possible in the coming days.

Antiochian Leaders Interviewed

The morning of Friday, December 5, brought media to Archdiocese headquarters for interviews, including John Maddex of Ancient Faith Radio and Fr. Christopher Metropulos of Orthodox Christian Network.

Listen here to an extensive hour-long audio interview by Ancient Faith Radio of Patriarch John X and Metropolitan Joseph, addressing a wide range of subjects including Syria, the Assembly of Bishops, Evangelism, and the future vision for the Antiochian Orthodox Church.

See our enthronement section for all information regarding the Enthronement of Metropolitan Joseph and the visit of Patriarch John X.

Hierarchical Dinner at Archdiocese Headquarters

The North American visit of Patriarch John X continued on the evening of Thursday, December 4, as Metropolitan Joseph hosted a special dinner at Archdiocese headquarters in Englewood, NJ.

View a photo gallery of the evening hereSee our enthronement section for all information regarding the Enthronement of Metropolitan Joseph and the visit of Patriarch John X.

Patriarch John X and Metropolitan Joseph Host St. Vladimir's Seminary Leaders

In an expression of love and solidarity with the suffering Orthodox Christians in the Middle East, St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary presented a gift of $8,000 to Patriarch John X on Thursday, December 4. His Beatitude will personally oversee distribution of the monies, given to alleviate the difficult conditions of the Orthodox faithful of Syria.

The gift represents a tithe, one-tenth of the total of $80,000 donated to the seminary during its successful #GivingTuesday campaign conducted on December 2. Seminary Chancellor/CEO Archpriest Chad Hatfield and Dean Archpriest John Behr were received by Patriarch John X and Metropolitan Joseph at the Archdiocese headquarters in Englewood, NJ, on His Beatitude's first full day in the United States.

His Beatitude Patriarch John X Arrives

His Beatitude John X, Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, arrived safely at New York City's JFK airport in the evening on Wednesday, December 3, and was met by an Archdiocese delegation led by His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph. View a photo gallery of the arrival. See our enthronement section for all information regarding the Enthronement of Metropolitan Joseph and the visit of Patriarch John X.

December 2014 Edition of The Word Now Available

Click cover to download: 

The December 2014 issue of The Word is now available and contains the following articles:

Christmas Traditions and Our Time of Glad Tidings and Joy
by His Grace Bishop John (Abdalah)

Facing the Crisis: Christian Solidarity on the Middle East
by Fr. Paul O'Callaghan

Vision for Life: The Incarnation and the Sanctity of Life before Birth
by Chris Humphrey, Ph.D.

Orthodoxy and Asceticism
by Kevin Allen

Left Behind?
by Very Rev. John W. Morris

Social Action, Spiritual Outreach, and Philanthropy
by Charles R. Ajalat

...and more!

Service Texts for the Enthronement Now Available

His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph has blessed the posting of the liturgical texts that follow for the weekend of his Enthronement, set for December 5-7, 2014 at the Archdiocesan Cathedral of St. Nicholas in Brooklyn, New York.

All of the visiting clergy, laity and guests - as well as people watching on television or online - can print or download to their electronic devices these texts so that they can more easily follow the divine services. They also include "patriarchal elements," that is, portions of the services reserved for His Beatitude Patriarch John X of Antioch and All the East, or for his designees. His Beatitude will either preside over or celebrate all divine services.

On December 5-6, the Cathedral celebrates its patron saint, Nicholas the Wonderworker, Archbishop of Myra in Lycia on the anniversary of his passing into eternal life on December 6, 343. On December 7, His Beatitude will celebrate the Patriarchal Divine Liturgy with Sayidna Joseph and approximately 35 Orthodox Christian bishops, many from the Patriarchate of Antioch.

Release: Patriarch from Syria Coming to Enthrone New Head of Antiochian Church in America

For Immediate Release: November 25, 2014

The head of one of the oldest churches on earth will come to America to enthrone the new head of one of the largest Orthodox Christian Churches in North America.

The Patriarch of Antioch, Patriarch John X, will come from Damascus, Syria, to enthrone Metropolitan Joseph as new head of the Antiochian Orthodox Church in North America.

The enthronement will take place Sat. Dec. 6 at 4:30 p.m. at the Church’s St. Nicholas Cathedral in Brooklyn, NY. 

Metropolitan Joseph was selected by the Holy Synod of Antioch on July 3 to succeed Metropolitan Philip, who died March 19. Metropolitan Joseph was formerly the Bishop of the Diocese of Los Angeles and the West.

He now heads the entire Antiochian Orthodox Church in America, with nine bishops, over 400 clergy, and 266 parishes and missions throughout the United States and Canada.

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 Season of Advent: How are We Called to Respond?

By His Eminence, Metropolitan Joseph

Advent 2014

Greetings and Blessings to the Members of the Antiochian Women, The Order of St. Ignatius of Antioch, The Fellowship of St. John the Divine, Teen SOYO, and all of the beloved faithful of this archdiocese.

“The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight the paths of our God” (Isaiah 40:3).

The Merriam-Webster online dictionary offers the following as one of the definitions for the word “prepare”: “to make yourself ready for something that you will be doing or something that you expect to happen.”

How appropriate it is to focus on the word “prepare” as it relates to the goal of the Advent Season. We are called to prepare ourselves to meet Jesus Christ Himself, the Incarnate God.

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).

Orthodox Institute Features Noted Speakers

The premier weekend for Orthodox Christian educators, the Orthodox Institute, took place at Antiochian Village from October 30 to November 1, 2014. Roberta Sardell, a Sunday School administrator and teacher from St. Stephen Antiochian Orthodox Church in Campbell, CA, submitted the following recap. (Eight of the presentations are available on Ancient Faith Radio.)

When asked why we attended this year's Orthodox Institute, I answered, "Star Power!" This year's conference featured some of the finest speakers and writers of today's Orthodox world. I also relish meeting other Orthodox; those attending represented various jurisdictions, some participating in the Christian Education strand, others seeking adult education, personal inspiration. Two young ladies were so inspired as to begin organizing a network of Orthodox women, intergenerational, for mutual support and spiritual growth.

Archpriest Thomas Zain Interviewed by Ancient Faith Radio on the Enthronement of Metropolitan Joseph

Fr. Thomas Zain and Patriarch John XFr. Thomas Zain and Patriarch John XFr. Thomas Zain of Brooklyn's St. Nicholas Cathedral, and Vicar General of the Antiochian Archdiocese, reflects in a wide-ranging audio interview on the historic significance of the enthronement of His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph coming on December 6; the visits of His Beatitude John X, Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, and metropolitans and representatives from across the worldwide Antiochian Church; the process that has unfolded since the repose of His Eminence Metropolitan Philip of blessed memory; specific plans for the weekend; and more.

Listen to the interview on Ancient Faith Radio.