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Pentecostalism and Eastern Orthodox Christianity

Ancient Faith Radio - 10 hours 16 min ago
On the next "Ancient Faith Today" (4/27), Father Barnabas Powell will talk about why he left Pentecostalism, why he was drawn to Eastern Orthodox Christianity, and how he and the Orthodox tradition view this contemporary Christian movement. Listen to a brief preview here and then "tune in" to Ancient Faith Talk at 8/7c.
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40th Day Trisagion Prayers for Metropolitan Philip

Antiochian Archdiocese - Tue, 2014/04/22 - 1:49pm

As per the instructions from His Eminence Metropolitan Silouan of Buenos Aires and all Argentina, Patriarchal Vicar for the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America:

Since the fortieth day of the repose of Metropolitan Philip of thrice-blessed memory coincides with Thomas Sunday (a day on which memorials may not be served), Fortieth Day Trisagion Prayers of Mercy for Metropolitan Philip are to be prayed (with kollyva) in all cathedrals, parish church temples, and monasteries of our Archdiocese on the Sunday of the Myrrhbearing Women, May 4, 2014.

Read a moving tribute by Economos Antony Gabriel.

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Holy Great-Martyr George

Antiochian Archdiocese - Tue, 2014/04/22 - 9:32am

Blessed Feast Day to our many St. George parishes!

As the deliverer of captives and the protector of the poor, as the physician of the feeble and combatant of kings, holy champion and great martyr George, intercede with Christ our God to save our souls.

+ Troparion of St. George, Tone 4

Thou wast cultivated by God and didst become a most wonderful cultivator of piety, and didst harvest for thyself the sheaves of virtue, for having sown in tears thou didst reap in joy and having withstood to death thou art garnered for Christ. By thy intercessions, O Saint, thou dost obtain for us all remission of our sins.

+ Kontakion of St. George, Tone 4   

 

Read the life of St. George

Visit our Paschal section

(If April 23 falls on or before Great and Holy Pascha, the Feast of St. George is translated to Bright Monday.)

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Great and Holy Pascha Readings and Resources

Antiochian Archdiocese - Tue, 2014/04/22 - 12:51am

      Christ is Risen! Indeed He is Risen!

It is the day of the Resurrection, be illumined, people, Pascha, the Lord’s Pascha. From death unto life, from the earth to heaven has Christ Our God led us singing the song of victory.

For more information and resources regarding Pascha, please visit Antiochian.org's Pascha section, a collection of articles, audio, video and imagery celebrating the Resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

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Pastoral Letter of His Eminence Metropolitan Silouan in Tribute to His Eminence Metropolitan Paul of Aleppo

Antiochian Archdiocese - Mon, 2014/04/21 - 4:41pm

Metropolitan Paul of Aleppo Celebrating PaschaThe Hope That Never Fails

"The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God;
and if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ;
if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified with Him."
(Romans 8:16-17)

Beloved in Christ,
Hierarchs, clergy, Members of the Board of Trustees and faithful
Of this God-protected Archdiocese:

Christ is risen! Truly He is risen!

I am writing to you on the Holy day of the resurrection of our Lord, not only to greet each one of you and convey my personal salutation, as well as those of our clergy and parishioners in Argentina, but also in order to address you upon the one year anniversary of the abduction of our beloved brother Metropolitan Paul of Aleppo, Alexandretta and Dependencies.

April 22nd of 2013 was a remarkable day in our Patriarchate. On the eve of celebrating the commemoration of the Great Martyr Saint George, Metropolitan Paul undertook a new witness of faith, a witness expressed through a new commitment toward his Archdiocese, his Church and all of us.

It was a remarkable day because none supposed that he would be the engineer in charge, among many others, building the edifice of hope in our lives. This construction started a year ago, and it is still growing high in the eyes of our Lord, in depth in our lives, and in extension in the world bringing others to abide by the same hope.

All those who are concerned by such a construction stands in owe how this engineer manages to follow everything from behind the scenes, in a meticulous but very generous and professional way. The final shape of the building is not known beforehand, as is the case in engineering, because it depends on the will of Him who is blessing this construction and the will of the engineer in charge of the design, execution and supervision. Surely, this building will be one of the most amazing and spacious in modern history.

The beauty of this building is invisible. It is hidden in its foundation based on the invincible faith of the engineer in charge and his wholehearted self-offering in order that those who are suffering, mourning, lost and in despair, can find a shelter, along with all those who serve and struggle, as well as those who became victorious or are heroes.

The workers in such a construction are brethren from everywhere; no previous acquaintance gathered them, but the grace of God. They do not have any experience in such a construction, but they strive every day to strengthen themselves while they serve and witness to their faith with joy and abide by prayer and the meditation of the Word of God.

Everyone is waiting for the day when the dedication of this building will take place. Such a day will be a great one indeed, on earth and in heaven. The light shining forth on that day will be such that it will vanquish the darkness of monstrosities and consciences, as well as the multitude of sufferings and grief. The joy of that day will reveal how true and real is the word of God. It will also manifest how His promise comes to fruition and completion.

On account of this hope, witnesses from our Archdiocese in Aleppo, in their celebration of Pascha yesterday, on Saturday evening, April 19th, and today, on Sunday morning, April 20th, revealed how strongly they felt the power of the resurrection of Christ despite their lack of water, food, electricity and their basic and foremost necessities. They are on the footstep of their shepherd in sharing the paschal joy of Christ's victory over death.

For our part, on April 22nd 2014, we will light a "candle of hope" for Metropolitan Paul, for Archbishop Youhanna Brahim, and for all those who are captive in Syria, who are in danger and in grief. Having spoken only about His Eminence, Metropolitan Paul of Aleppo does not diminish or disregard at all the witness of his companion, His Eminence, Archbishop Youhanna or any other person in the same situation. Our sole intention is to give a witness to the one we know, and open the way to others to do the same. These persons teach more by their living example, but also by their silence and invisible presence, than any of us do by our words. They are examples to emulate and bow down before, in reverence and gratitude for their long term and unwavering witness to Christ on behalf of all of us.

Our continued prayers for them are recompensed by seeing this building of hope becoming higher, bigger, wider, grounded on earth but reaching heaven.

May our Lord deliver them from captivity, bring peace back to Syria, and comfort the souls of all our brethren, Christians and Muslims, in Syria!

+ Silouan

Metropolitan of Buenos Aires and all Argentina & Patriarchal Vicar of New York and all North America

 

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Agape Vespers Gospel

Ancient Faith Radio - Mon, 2014/04/21 - 1:01pm
It is a tradition in many Orthodox Churches to read the Gospel at Agape Vespers in as many different languages as possible. With our international listenership, we thought we might be able to take this practice to a whole new level. Click on the image on the left to see the languages we have collected so far. Is your native language not represented? Please feel free to do your own recording by clicking here.
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The Descent of Jesus Into Hades

Ancient Faith Radio - Sat, 2014/04/19 - 8:34am
In this Speaking the Truth in Love podcast, Fr. Thomas Hopko uses the Paschal icon as an opportunity to clear up some misconceptions about Sheol/Hades and Gehenna/Hell.
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The Miracle of the Red Egg

Ancient Faith Radio - Fri, 2014/04/18 - 12:45pm
On a new "Ex Libris," the podcast of Ancient Faith Publishing, Bobby Maddex interviews Elizabeth Crispina Johnson, the author of the new Ancient Faith Publishing children's book The Miracle of the Red Egg.
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Pascha 2014 Pastoral Letter from His Eminence Metropolitan Silouan

Antiochian Archdiocese - Fri, 2014/04/18 - 7:40am

How to resurrect with Christ

"If then you were raised together with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated on the right hand of God" (Colossians 3:1)

Beloved in Christ

Hierarchs, clergy and faithful,

Of this God-protected Archdiocese

Christ is risen! Indeed He is risen!

Christ defeated death! We are no longer subject to it; rather we are Christ's, who gave us "the right to be God's children" (John 1:12) and to be His "friends" (John 15:15)! What great news! What a great gift! What a great reality! An eternal bond is granted to whoever believes in Christ as Savior from death - divine adoption in Christ's name!

From now on, the Lord commissioned us to be victorious not only over death "from outside," but also over death "from within," that is, over our own selfishness. He also commanded us to be messengers of the Good News and heralds of His victory - and ours, too - over any kind of death. He asked us, as Christians, to abide by love rather than by hate, by hope rather than by despair, by faith rather than by logic, by justice rather than by injustice, by forgiveness rather than by resentment, by humility rather than by vanity and arrogance, and by sacrifice rather than by self-interest.

Christ defeated death in our lives! He set us free from fear: from fearing death, from fearing evil, from fearing illness and calamities, from fearing each other, from fearing the uncertainty of the future, from fearing insecurity and unemployment, from fearing violence and terrorism, and from fearing persecution and sufferings for His sake. Instead, He gave us the power and the means to seek the true freedom. The freedom to love each other even though we differ in character, education and profession. The freedom to forgive each other even though we have suffered. The freedom to ask forgiveness from each other even though we have badly hurt each other. The freedom to serve each other even though we differ in origin, background and culture. The freedom to work together even though we differ in thinking, worldview, ability and capacity. The freedom to abide by the truth and raise our children to seek Him. The freedom to defend the unjust and the needy and restore them their rights. The freedom to be at the Lord's hand, obedient, prayerful and faithful.

Christ defeated death in our reality! He gave us the gift to start anew, to renew our heart, to purify our mind, and to reaffirm our commitment of faith at His service. He restored in us the dignity of our person, the beauty of our nature, and the bounty in our personality.

Christ defeated death in our relationships! Christ is the only mediator between God and man. However, He made us "bridges" of salvation to reach others. As Antiochian Orthodox Christians in North America, we are bequeathed an apostolic "lineage:" tradition, inheritance and mission. In this regard, the image of the "bridge" summarizes the Antiochian witness that emerges out of the past, prompts the present and prepares the future of the Antiochian Orthodox Church on the eve of the election of a new Metropolitan to succeed to His Eminence, Metropolitan Philip of eternal memory.

Christ´s victory over death is a responsibility when it is handed over to us. "I am the Way," (John 14:6) the Lord said. "We are the bridge," we would respond to Him. Indeed, the Lord means for us to be His co-workers in this most unprecedented cooperation between heaven and earth. Antiochian Orthodox, among others, are leading the work of building a bridge between East and West, between our Patriarchate and the Archdiocese, among their brothers and sisters of other Orthodox Churches in North America, among their brethren whom they invited to share this apostolic faith, toward those are in need. If Christ is the "bridge" from heaven to earth and from earth to the netherworld, saving in this way the entire creation, then you understand that being a "bridge" means to follow Christ in His openness to humanity, in bringing humanity to unity, in serving your brethren to the extent of your ability and capacity.

I am glad for your witness – a bridge that unites both ends and that is open for people to come across in both directions, and for Christ to work the salvation of each one. I am sure that, as we are celebrating our Lord's resurrection from the dead, you will treasure this divine gift of being a bridge. Indeed, I am certain that you will not spare any means to serve the Divine Providence toward humanity.

May our Lord guide all of us by His eternal light shown forth from the empty tomb!

+ Silouan

Metropolitan of Buenos Aires and all Argentina & Patriarchal Vicar of New York and all North America

 

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Understanding the Cross of Christ

Ancient Faith Radio - Thu, 2014/04/17 - 11:05pm
As we contemplate the crucifixion, Fr. Tom Hopko takes an extensive look at the death of Christ and the juridical assumptions that have been taught largely in the West. This talk was given in March 2009 at Holy Ascension Orthodox Church in Charleston, SC.
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Papal Supremacy and the Parting of the Ways

Ancient Faith Radio - Thu, 2014/04/17 - 11:15am
In an anecdotal introduction to his new reflection, Fr. John Strickland tells the story of the fall of Constantinople to the western crusaders in 1204, showing how this event, inspired in part by new claims of papal supremacy, resulted in the permanent separation of eastern and western Christendom.
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Holy Friday Pastoral Message from His Eminence Metropolitan Silouan

Antiochian Archdiocese - Wed, 2014/04/16 - 10:03am

How to be crucified with Christ

"I have been crucified with Christ" (Galatians 2:20)

Beloved in Christ,
Hierarchs, clergy and faithful
Of this God-protected Archdiocese:

The mystery of Christ is very simple. Yet in order to embrace it in our lives, we need a mind and a heart as humble as His. The mystery of His love to humankind is such that it surprises us, whenever we meditate on it and are conscious of it. It surprises us because it reveals the love He has for us. He "is love" (1 John 4:8), isn't He?

Christ manifested His love to us in a very particular way: the way of a bridegroom with his bride. The Church preserved from the Lord's last moments before death the image of a marriage. The "picture" she took of this wedding has been expressed in two different ways in our celebrations on the first days of Holy Week. In fact, we chant at Matins of these holy days: "Behold the Bridegroom comes in the middle of the night...", and "I see Thy Bridal Chamber adorned, O my Savior, but have no wedding garment that I may enter. O Giver of Light, enlighten the vesture of my soul, and save me." We also make a procession with the icon of the "bridegroom" with the inscription, "Behold, the man!" (John 19:5). It is the icon of the Lord of the "utmost humility," the whole image of His passion, a snapshot of His unconditional love for us. It was the last picture taken of Him before His death on the Cross. It is the best picture ever taken of Him. The Church raises in front of our eyes this "picture" in order that we recall today in our hearts His love and humility, and commit ourselves again to follow Him on the way of the Cross.

The way of the Cross is not painful. The sufferings that Christ endured in His body did not hurt Him as much as did our indifference, ignorance, rejection and betrayal. We have heard His words to God the Father, on the eve of His crucifixion, in which He asked Him to "remove from Him the cup" (Luke 22:42), that is, the cup of our betrayal of His love. However, we all were also witnesses of how He wholeheartedly accepted the cup – accepted us as we are, in our own wickedness – to the end. This "end" was His love manifested on the Cross in His words of forgiveness: "Father, forgive them, for they don't know what they are doing" (Luke 23:34), but also in His triumphal death: "It is finished" (John 19:30). He did love us to the very end of His life, and to the very end of our own misery, in order to accomplish our salvation, to restore in us love and the freedom to love each other as He did (John 13:34; 15:12).

Following Christ on the way of the Cross was, and still is, the very heart of the Christian "kerygma:" preaching and education. It instills in us the power of love that Christ handed over to His disciples throughout the centuries in order to befriend the "oikoumene," that is, the whole world. Abiding by the way of the Cross has one finality: to bring every human being to the knowledge of the truth - to know the Father (Cf. John 17:3), to believe in the Lord as our Savior from death and evil, and to receive the gift of life eternal from the Holy Spirit. It is a journey that we begin in this earthly life and continue throughout eternity.

Practically, the way of the Cross is the same. It is "to be crucified with Christ" (Galatians 2:20), as the Apostle Paul exclaimed. I had this in mind when His Beatitude Patriarch John X of Antioch asked me to be the Patriarchal Vicar of this God-protected Archdiocese. Therefore, I want to ask that each of you, beloved members of this Archdiocese, see how you can "translate" such words in your own lives, behaviors and activities, in a practical, but heavenly, way. In fact, all of us together need to ensure that this transitional period preceding the election of a new Metropolitan, successor to His Eminence, Metropolitan Philip of eternal memory, be filled with the fragrance of the same love and faithfulness of the perfume that Mary poured out on Christ's head (Cf. Matthew 26:7).

Mary's pre-burial ointment prior to the Lord's death (Cf. Matthew 26:12) prefigures our own way of following Christ in this transitional period, on the way of the Cross. Even though the disciples (or Judas) misinterpreted or condemned her action, the Lord asked that this ointment be a prefigurement of the announcement of His resurrection from the dead (Cf. Matthew 26:13). If we share this way, we also share the hope that the Lord proclaimed to Mary on the eve of His passion. As a fact, we will share the gladness that is coming forth from God´s promise to us: the fulfillment of our faith in Him.

I am sure that our Lord now "is working" (John 5:17) great things among us for our salvation. Let us follow Him on His way. Let us be His witnesses among our brethren. Let us be His trusted disciples in the service of our church and His co-workers for the salvation of the world.

+ Silouan

Metropolitan of Buenos Aires and all Argentina & Patriarchal Vicar of New York and all North America

 

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Encouragement for Holy Week (John 12:1-18)

Ancient Faith Radio - Tue, 2014/04/15 - 10:15am
Orthodox Christians around the world will embark upon the most important time of the year, Holy Week, leading to the celebration of the Resurrection of Christ. Fr Tom Soroka reminds us that Holy Week is our opportunity to experience the value of Christ above all things in our life.
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Great and Holy Wednesday

Antiochian Archdiocese - Mon, 2014/04/14 - 7:05pm

The woman who had fallen into many sins, perceiving Thy divinity, O Lord, fulfilled the part of a myrrh-bearer; and with lamentations she brought sweet-smelling oil of myrrh to Thee before Thy burial. "Woe is me," she said, "for night surrounds me, dark and moonless, and stings my lustful passion with the love of sin. Accept the fountain of my tears, O Thou who drawest down from the clouds the waters of the sea. Incline ot the groanings of my heart, O Thou who in Thine inneffable self-emptying hast bowed down the heavens. I shall kiss Thy most pure feet and wipe them with the hairs of my head, those feet whose sound Eve heard at dusk in Paradise, and hid herself for fear. Who can search out the multitude of my sins and the abyss of Thy judgements, O Savior of my soul? Despise me not, Thine handmaiden, for Thou hast mercy without measure."

Tone 8, by Kassiani the Nun

Sheet music for the Service of Holy Unction.

Fr. George Morelli on the Ethos of Orthodox Christian Healing.

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Video of the Palm Sunday Homily of His Beatitude Patriarch John X

Antiochian Archdiocese - Mon, 2014/04/14 - 1:44pm

The Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East has released the following video of the remarks of Patriarch John X on Palm Sunday, April 13 2014, in Arabic with English subtitles.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source (For viewing on YouTube. Video embed above may not be able to be viewed in certain browsers.)  

 

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The First Three Days of Holy Week

Ancient Faith Radio - Mon, 2014/04/14 - 7:42am
In a six-part reflection, Fr. Thomas Hopko examines the first three days of Holy Week and the significance of the scripture and verses as we prepare for Great and Holy Pascha. Listen to part one here and then click on the image to the left to hear the other five parts.
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Raising Godly Children

Ancient Faith Radio - Sun, 2014/04/13 - 8:57pm
Elissa D. Bjeletich, author of In God's Hands - A Mother's Journey Through Her Infant's Critical Illness as well as the AFR podcast Raising Saints, and Elizabeth White, author of Following A Sacred Path - Raising Godly Children, join host Kevin Allen to discuss how to develop the spiritual nature of children and raise them to love and experience God.
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OCPM Reflection: "The Legacy of Metropolitan Philip"

Antiochian Archdiocese - Sun, 2014/04/13 - 3:24pm

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Together with our Orthodox brethren, Orthodox Christian Prison Ministry reflects on the legacy of His Eminence Metropolitan Philip. He was instrumental in the development and growth of OCPM and has always been close to our hearts.

When OCPM Founder Fr Duane Pederson was ordained into the Orthodox Church in 1991, he had already been active in prison ministry for more than 25 years. It was with the blessing of Metropolitan Philip that Fr Duane continued to work in prison ministry after his ordination. "Usually you're ordained to an altar, to a parish," said Fr Duane. Yet His Eminence ordained Fr Duane to continue ministering to people in prison and on the streets. "His Eminence had the foresight to step out and include the incarcerated as part of the Church."

It was with Metropolitan Philip's blessing that men in prison were catechized. The Virginia H. Farah Foundation played a timely role by funding the costs of Orthodox books and icon cards that were sent into prisons. As a result, said Fr Duane, "All these prisoners started to become Orthodox. We began to find cradle Orthodox who had been hiding in the prisons as well."

Seeing that there were men in prison who wanted to be received into the Church, Metropolitan Philip gave Fr Duane a parish-one without walls-and named it Holy Apostle Silas. He gave Fr Duane an antimins (a consecrated altar cloth necessary for celebrating the Eucharist) to use when celebrating the liturgy in prisons. With his new parish Fr Duane was able to baptize men in prison. "His Eminence was willing to care for those who had no parish," said Fr Duane.

It was because of Metropolitan Philip that the Antiochian Archdiocese established a department of prison ministry in the early 1990s with Fr Duane as its head. As word of the department spread, Fr Duane was contacted by Orthodox prison workers in other jurisdictions who were seeking connection with their Orthodox brethren. With His Eminence's blessing, Fr Duane and others organized the first pan-Orthodox conference of prison workers in St Augustine, FL in 1996.

As the idea of a pan-Orthodox prison ministry began to grow, Fr Duane recalls a formative experience he had while visiting an Antiochian Orthodox man in prison. There were other Orthodox men in the same prison-Greeks and Russians-but because Fr Duane was under the auspices of the Antiochian Archdiocese, the prison wouldn't let him visit these other men. He was struck more than ever by the need for a united, Orthodox prison ministry under the Standing Conference of the Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas (SCOBA). (The Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and Central America has since assumed the work of SCOBA).

"Metropolitan Philip gave his blessing in 2006 to gift OCPM from the Antiochian Archdiocese to SCOBA. He gave that gift to the entire American Orthodox Church," said Fr Duane.

"Over the years, he gave his support by really wanting this ministry to succeed. And allowing it to succeed," recalled Fr Duane. "His Eminence was willing to take a risk and step out where others had not. Even [in the face of] criticism, he was willing to stand up and care for those who weren't being cared for."

May his memory be eternal!

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Greetings and Visitation Information from Metropolitan Silouan

Antiochian Archdiocese - Sat, 2014/04/12 - 5:42pm

His Eminence Metropolitan Silouan, Metropolitan of Buenos Aires and all Argentina, and Patriarchal Vicar of New York and all North America, writes:

Buenos Aires, April 12th 2014

Very Esteemed Hierarchs, Reverend Clergy,

Honorable Members of the Archdiocese Board of Trustees
and Beloved Faithful
of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America

I wholeheartedly greet you on Lazarus Saturday, having experienced the tranquillity of the company of the Lord to His closest friend, and having shared His imperishable promise to Lazarus´ sisters, Mary and Martha, that He is the resurrection for whoever believes in Him!

Last Wednesday, I arrived back in Buenos Aires in order to celebrate Holy Week and Pascha with our parishioners in Argentina. Nevertheless, I did not stop working for your beloved archdiocese, and I will do until my functions as a vicar come to fulfilment, when the Holy Synod of Antioch elects a new Metropolitan in order to succeed to His Eminence, our beloved Metropolitan Philip of eternal memory.

I would like to share with you some aspects of my experience, during the two weeks I have spent with you, from Monday March 24th (arrival to the Archdiocese´s Headquarters) until Tuesday April 9th (Departure to Buenos Aires).

The first week was dedicated to the preparation of the funeral and reception of the Hierarchs, clergy and faithful who came from different parishes, churches and jurisdictions from the US, Canada and from abroad. We were blessed by the presence of the Hierarchs of the Holy See of Antioch, Their Eminences, Metropolitan Elias of Beirut, Metropolitan Antonio of Mexico, Metropolitan Sergio of Santiago (Chile), Metropolitan Damaskinos of Sao Paolo (Brasil), Metropolitan Ephrem of Tripoli, Metropolitan Ignatius of France and His Grace Bishop Ilia (Auxiliary of the Archdiocese of Akkar). At the same time, many dignitaries, religious as well as civil, came to pray and pay their last farewell to His Eminence. The faithful seemed to have been moved by the prayers, celebrations, words, and the fraternal company and presence of all the brothers and sisters in a time of grief and mourning, but also a time of hope and faith.

The burial at the Antiochian Village was a time for me to meet with the Saliba Family, and later on to accompany Saiedna Philip to his new dwelling place, from where a "bridge" has been installed, i.e. a bridge of prayers: ours, for his eternal repose in peace; and his, for our salvation.

After the burial, during the second week, a series of administrative meetings took place at the Headquarters in order to insure the best continuity of the ongoing work of the archdiocese. The members of the concerned departments showed their best collaboration, dedication and cooperation in that regard. I feel grateful to all of them because they relieved me from a great responsibility by the way everyone carries on his work. A public announcement has been made about the timetable of the procedure that will take place in Chicago in order to prepare for the election of three nominees to the office of Metropolitan: The Local Synod meeting on May 13th; the Board of Trustees meeting on May 14th; and finally the Special Nominating Convention on June 5th.

Additionally, as agreed with the esteemed Hierarchs of the Archdiocese in our meeting of Saturday March 29th, I began a series of visits to the dioceses between Wednesday 2nd and Sunday 6th of April, as follows:

- Wednesday April 2nd: Celebration of the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts at St. Nicholas Church at Bridgeport, CT, followed by a dinner with the parishioners in the church´s hall. His Grace, Bishop Nicholas, organized the visit and accompanied me and His Grace, Bishop John, along with our archdiocesan seminarians from Saint Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary.

- Thursday, April 3rd: meetings at the Chancery of the Diocese of Worcester and New England, lunch with members of the Board of Trustees from the region, followed by an almost four-hour clergy meeting. His Grace, Bishop John, who accompanied me in the visit, organized the visit.

- Friday, April 4th: Celebration of the last Akathist at the Antiochian Village, in the Church of Saints Peter and Paul, followed by a general meeting with the SOYO members, Fellowship of Saint John the Divine members and other faithful present at the celebration. His Grace, Bishop Thomas, who accompanied me in the visit, organized this visit.

- Saturday morning, April 4th: Supplication Service to Saint Raphael with the SOYO members, followed by a Trisagion at the tomb of Saiedna Philip, and later on, a conversation with them at the Conference Center.

- Saturday afternoon, April 4th: (partial) Clergy meeting of the Diocese of Charleston, Oakland, and the Mid-Atlantic in Pittsburgh at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, followed by Hierarchal vespers and attendance at the IOCC´s dinner in for the benefit of victims of the war in Syria at the church hall. His Grace, Bishop Thomas, who accompanied me in the visit, also organized this visit.

- Sunday morning, April 5th: Celebration of the Divine Liturgy at the Basilica of Saint Mary in Livonia (Detroit), followed by lunch in the church hall with the parish council and founders of the church.

- Sunday evening, April 5th: Vespers at Saint George Church in Troy, MI, followed by dinner in the church hall with the parishioners. On this visit, His Grace, Bishop Anthony, accompanied me.

In fact, the purpose of these visits is, first, to come to know you as much as the short time of my functions as a vicar allows. I want to convey to you my sympathy for the falling asleep of Saiedna Philip, as well as words of hope and comfort during this transitional period. These visits are also an opportunity for me to come to listen to you, try to answer your inquiries, and prepare with you the "spirit" with which the Special Nominating Convention shall be conducted.

After Pascha, other visits will follow in order to cover the other dioceses. I will be visiting Wichita, Houston, Miami, Los Angeles and San Francisco from April 22nd till 29th. After that, I am hopefully planning to visit Washington DC from May 2nd till 4th, and later on Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa, from May 9th till 11th. The hierarchs of each diocese will announce in due time the specific program for each city once it is confirmed.

At the end of this brief summary, I have a request to ask from you. There is a big need for solidarity between all of us, in order to insure that this transitional period be the expression of what the Church means to us, of how we want to serve it, and of how we want it to be for us and also for our children in the days, months and years to come.

May you have a blessed "journey" heading towards Jerusalem along with our Lord, crucified and resurrected among the dead for our salvation.

+ Silouan
Metropolitan of Buenos Aires and all Argentina & Patriarcal Vicar of New York and all North America

 

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Lazarus Saturday

Ancient Faith Radio - Sat, 2014/04/12 - 8:05am
Fr. Thomas Hopko explores the ultimate Messianic sign from the Gospel of St. John.
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