Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Who needs directions? I draw my own maps!

The Hours of Pascha

The following is sung during the entire Bright Week in place of the Hours, Compline, Midnight Office and Morning and Evening Prayers.

Through the prayers of our holy fathers, O Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on us. Amen.

Christ is risen from the dead, trampling on death by death, and upon those in the tombs bestowing life. (Thrice)

Having beheld the Resurrection of Christ, let us adore the Holy Lord Jesus, the only sinless One. We worship Thy Cross, O Christ, and Thy holy Resurrection we praise and glorify; for Thou art our God, and we know no other than Thee; we call on Thy Name. O come all you faithful, let us worship Christ’s holy Resurrection. For behold, through the Cross joy has come to all the world. Ever blessing the Lord, let us praise His Resurrection. By enduring the Cross for us He destroyed death by death. (Thrice)

Hypakoe: Forestalling the dawn, the women with Mary came and found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre, and heard from the Angel: Why seek among the dead, as if He were a man, Him Who lives in everlasting light? Behold the grave-clothes. Run and tell the world that the Lord is risen, and has slain death. For He is the Son of God Who saves mankind.

Kontakion: Though Thou didst descend into the grave, O Immortal One, yet didst Thou destroy the power of hell, and didst rise again as Conqueror, O Christ our God, saying to the myrrhbearing women, Rejoice! And giving peace to Thine Apostles, and offering to the fallen resurrection.

Troparion: In the grave bodily, in hell with the soul as God, in Paradise with the thief, and on the throne with the Father and the Spirit wast Thou Who fillest all things, O Christ the Infinite.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit...

How life-giving, how much more beautiful than Paradise, and truly more resplendent than any royal palace, proved Thy Tomb, O Christ, the Source of our resurrection.

... Now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Rejoice! Sacred and divine abode of the Most High. For through thee, O Mother of God, joy is given to those who cry: Blessed art thou among women, O spotless Lady.

Lord, have mercy. (40 times)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,
now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

More honourable than the Cherubim, and incomparably more glorious than the Seraphim; thou who in virginity didst bear God the Word; thee, true Mother of God, we magnify.

Through the prayers of our holy fathers, O Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us. Amen.

Christ is risen from the dead, trampling on death by death, and upon those in the tombs bestowing life. (Thrice)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,
now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Lord, have mercy. (Thrice)

Through the prayers of our holy fathers, O Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us. Amen.

Questions arise about possible coordination of church fires

(NY Post) - The historic Manhattan cathedral that was gutted in a massive fire was one of four Christian Orthodox churches to go up in flames on Orthodox Easter Sunday — sparking fears of a coordinated attack on the religion.

While FDNY officials said the blaze at the Serbian Orthodox Cathedral of St. Sava on West 25th Street does not appear suspicious, members of the Orthodox community have doubts.

They are worried that the blaze — along with church fires in Australia and Russia — were set in retaliation for the religion’s role in blocking the canonization of Croatian Nazi supporter Cardinal Aloysius Stepinac — whose potential sainthood has created a rift between Serbia and Croatia, with the leaders of each lobbying Pope Francis.

Croatian Prime Minister Tihomir Oreskovic discussed the issue in a visit to the Vatican in early April, while Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic made his case last September.

Francis decided last week to postpone the ceremony for Stepinac, prompting concerns about potential retaliation.

“Too many churches have burned to call it an accident,” said Dr. Dušan T. Bataković, a former Serbian ambassador who is now director of the Institute for Balkan Studies in Belgrade.

“It is very strange that it happened, that the fires all took place on Easter, the greatest Christian Orthodox holiday,” he said. “Some kind of terrorist action cannot be excluded.”

In addition to the fire that engulfed St. Sava, churches in Sydney and Melbourne, Australia, and in northern Russia were all engulfed in flames just hours after Easter services.

“Within the last six months, the Serbian church was urging Pope Francis not to canonize into a saint Cardinal Stepinac, for his complicity in the large-scale massacres and genocide against the Serbs, Jews and Roma [Gypsies],” Bataković said.

“Despite protests from the Croatian church, the pope postponed the decision of making Stepinac a saint, and there is a lot of anger, because he is considered as one of the key church members in the Croatian history.”

In a letter to Francis, Serbian Orthodox Patriarch Irinej said, “We are afraid that there are too many open questions and wounds which Cardinal Stepinac symbolizes.

“His canonization, to our great regret, would return the relations between Serbs and Croats, as well as between Catholics and Orthodox faithful, back to their tragic history.”

Barry Lituchy, executive director of the Jasenovac Research Institute, a Brooklyn-based human-rights nonprofit, told The Post he has been bombarded with calls from worried Orthodox community members.

“This is a terrible tragedy, and the thought that this is an attack has not escaped us,” he said. “This deeply affects everyone in the Serbian community.”

In Sydney, fire reduced the Macedonian Orthodox Church of the Resurrection to rubble, rending the 126-year-old sanctuary in two, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.

Patriarch John X of Antioch to speak at Bose

(Monastero di Bose) - The Conference is open to all. Simultaneous translations will be provided into Italian, Greek, Russian, French, and English.

Lodging will be provided at the Monastery and in the nearby area. There will be daily transportation service for those who are not lodged at the Monastery.

To register for the Conference, please contact the Secretariat and then send the registration form by 31 August 2016. For further information, contact the Secretariat.

Now all things have been filled with light, both heaven and earth and those beneath the earth;
so let all creation sing Christ's rising, by which it is established.

- St. John of Damascus

Bose, 7-10 September 2016

Conference Summary:

The conference hopes to shed light on the close ties between the witness rendered to Christ by the martyrs and communion between the Churches in their scriptural and patristic foundations and in particular in the traditions of the various Orthodox Churches. The subject is dramatically present today in times of war and persecution that touch many Christian communities in the world. The experience of the martyrs of the twentieth century is a precious evangelical heritage for all the Churches and for all mankind.


Patriarch Youhanna X of Antioch, Enzo Bianchi, Job of Telmessos, Panteleimon Manoussakis, Ekaterini Tsalampouni, Georgy Zakharov, Athanasios Papathanassiou, Ieronim of Jegar, Andrew Louth, Kirill Kaleda, John Stroyan of Warwick, Lidya Golovkova, Konstantin Sigov, Tamara Grdzelidze, Bogdan Tătaru-Cazaban, Daniela Kalkandjieva, Shahe Ananyan, Kurt Koch, Aristotle Papanikolaou.

Remember the Christians of Aleppo

Damascus, May 2nd, 2016

“The people of Aleppo are deprived of the joy of the Resurrection”

While the world celebrated the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ from the dead, according to the Eastern Calendar, Christians in Aleppo were deprived of the joy and the festivities of this joyful occasion and were targeted by the terroristic groups with missiles and shells that resulted in dozens of martyrs or wounded people. These victims’ fault is that they chose to remain in the land of their ancestors.

While we denounce the bombings of these terroristic groups during the celebration of the Resurrection of the Lord, in the Christian areas of Aleppo and other regions, we appeal to the world community, all people of good will and the decision makers to do their best and intensify their efforts to bring peace back to this region and the entire Middle East.

We pray to God Almighty to have mercy on the souls of the “Martyrs of the Resurrection Day”, to heal the wounded and give recovery to the wounded. May He give us all comfort and renew in us the hope in the resurrection of Syria.
Christ is Risen.

Ignatius Aphrem II
Patriarch of Antioch and All the East
Supreme Head of the Universal Syrian Orthodox Church

St. Vlad's builds up Armenian-Orthodox academic ties

(SNAS) - Last week, The Very Rev. Fr. Garegin Hambardzumyan, dean of the Gevorgyan Theological Seminary of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, visited St. Nersess Armenian Seminary in Armonk, NY. During his stay at St. Nersess, Fr. Garegin met with The Rev. Fr. Mardiros Chevian, dean of St. Nersess, and with the seminarians. He also had the opportunity to visit St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary in Crestwood, NY to meet with its dean, The Very Rev. Fr. John Behr. Together they discussed the establishment of an academic cooperation between the Gevorgyan Seminary, St. Vladimir's Seminary, and St. Nersess Armenian Seminary which may include an exchange of faculty as well as students.

In June, Fr. John Behr will have the opportunity to visit the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin to further discuss the planned cooperation and to meet with the seminary's faculty. He will also have the opportunity to address the seminarians at Gevorgyan Theological Seminary and study a manuscript at the Matenadaran. Fr. Mardiros Chevian will accompany Fr. Behr to Armenia. While there, Fr. Mardiros will welcome St. Nersess seminarians Deacon Michael Sabounjian and Deacon Alex Calikyan to the seminary at the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin where they will study during the summer.

Fr. Garegin also attended the annual Clergy Conference and Diocesan Assembly, hosted by the St. Gregory of Narek Armenian Church in Cleveland, OH from April 25 - May 1. He will visit several parishes within the Eastern Diocese during the remainder of his stay.

The Great Fasika Chase

Fasika (Ge'ez: ፋሲካ; from Greek Pascha) is the Ge'ez, Amharic, and Tigrinya word for Easter, also called Tensae (Ge'ez: ትንሣኤ, "to rise").

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Хрістос воскрес! Воістину воскрес!

Paschal image medley

Got swords? Georgia knows Christ is Risen!

Paschal Hours recording free for Bright Week

(OCRB) - Throughout Bright Week the Hours of Pascha are sung in place of the morning prayers, the evening prayers, and the first, third, sixth, and ninth hours. This recording was made at the home of our founder, Archpriest Chad Williams, and is sung by the St. Alexander Nevsky Church ensemble, comprised of his wife and several of his children. Please enjoy this free download, as our Paschal gift to you -- an aid in your worship on this bright and most glorious feast! Download here.

Čokatisja. Let the egg battles commence!

Pascha in St. Petersburg!

The "gold" standard - St. John Chrysostom's Paschal Oration

(Monachos) - The Paschal sermon of St John Chrysostom is read aloud in every Orthodox parish on the morning of the Great and Holy Pascha Jesus Christ. According to the tradition of the Church, no one sits during the reading of St John's sermon, but all stand and listen with attentiveness.

If any man be devout and loveth God,
Let him enjoy this fair and radiant triumphal feast!
If any man be a wise servant,
Let him rejoicing enter into the joy of his Lord.

If any have laboured long in fasting,
Let him how receive his recompense.
If any have wrought from the first hour,
Let him today receive his just reward.
If any have come at the third hour,
Let him with thankfulness keep the feast.
If any have arrived at the sixth hour,
Let him have no misgivings;
Because he shall in nowise be deprived therefore.
If any have delayed until the ninth hour,
Let him draw near, fearing nothing.
And if any have tarried even until the eleventh hour,
Let him, also, be not alarmed at his tardiness.

For the Lord, who is jealous of his honour,
Will accept the last even as the first.
He giveth rest unto him who cometh at the eleventh hour,
Even as unto him who hath wrought from the first hour.
And He showeth mercy upon the last,
And careth for the first;
And to the one He giveth,
And upon the other He bestoweth gifts.
And He both accepteth the deeds,
And welcometh the intention,
And honoureth the acts and praises the offering.

Wherefore, enter ye all into the joy of your Lord;
Receive your reward,
Both the first, and likewise the second.
You rich and poor together, hold high festival!
You sober and you heedless, honour the day!
Rejoice today, both you who have fasted
And you who have disregarded the fast.
The table is full-laden; feast ye all sumptuously.
The calf is fatted; let no one go hungry away.
Enjoy ye all the feast of faith:
Receive ye all the riches of loving-kindness.

Let no one bewail his poverty,
For the universal Kingdom has been revealed.
Let no one weep for his iniquities,
For pardon has shown forth from the grave.
Let no one fear death,
For the Saviour's death has set us free.
He that was held prisoner of it has annihilated it.

By descending into Hell, He made Hell captive.
He embittered it when it tasted of His flesh.
And Isaiah, foretelling this, did cry:
Hell, said he, was embittered
When it encountered Thee in the lower regions.

It was embittered, for it was abolished.
It was embittered, for it was mocked.
It was embittered, for it was slain.
It was embittered, for it was overthrown.
It was embittered, for it was fettered in chains.
It took a body, and met God face to face.
It took earth, and encountered Heaven.
It took that which was seen, and fell upon the unseen.

O Death, where is thy sting?
O Hell, where is thy victory?

Christ is risen, and thou art overthrown!
Christ is risen, and the demons are fallen!
Christ is risen, and the angels rejoice!
Christ is risen, and life reigns!
Christ is risen, and not one dead remains in the grave.
For Christ, being risen from the dead,
Is become the first-fruits of those who have fallen asleep.

To Him be glory and dominion
Unto ages of ages.


The annual Paschal post... with lemon!