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On tonight's "Orthodoxy Live," host Fr. Evan Armatas discusses the responsibility of wedding sponsors, ways to enhance prayer, dialoguing with Evangelical friends who don't value the physical world, and C. S. Lewis.
Hear the voice of gladness, O women; for I have trodden down rebellious Hades, and raised the world from corruption. Wherefore, hasten ye and proclaim the glad tidings to My beloved; for I desire that joy shall break forth thence upon My creation, whence first came forth sorrow.
--Orthros of the Feast, Tone 2
On this day, the third Sunday of Pascha, we celebrate the feast of the holy Myrrh-bearing women. And we also make commemoration of Joseph of Arimathea, who was a secret disciple, and Nicodemus, who was a disciple by night.
The women disciples bring myrrh unto Christ;
And I bring a hymn as it were myrrh unto them.
The women went to Christ’s tomb on Holy Pascha to anoint His body, only to discover it empty. We know the names of only seven of these women: Mary Magdalene; Mary the Mother of James and Joses; Joanna the wife of Chuza; Salome the mother of the sons of Zebedee; Susanna; and Mary and Martha, the sisters of Lazarus. Joseph was a rich and noble man, and a member of the Privy Council of Jerusalem. He dared to ask Pilate for the undefiled body of our Savior, which he took and buried in his own tomb. Accompanying Joseph to the sepulcher was Nicodemus, a Jerusalemite who was one of the leaders of the Pharisees. Nicodemus brought 100 pounds of myrrh and aloes to scent and embalm the body of Christ.
By the intercessions of the holy Myrrh-bearers, Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus, O God, have mercy on us. Amen.
When Thou didst cry, Rejoice, unto the Myrrh-bearers, Thou didst make the lamentation of Eve the first mother to cease by Thy Resurrection, O Christ God. And Thou didst bid Thine Apostles to preach: The Savior is risen from the grave.
As the Myrrh-bearers went to Thy tomb, O Savior, they were perplexed in mind and said to themselves: Who will roll the stone away from the sepulcher for us? And looking up, they saw that the stone was rolled away. They were awestruck by the form of the Angel and his raiment. They were taken with trembling and thought to flee; and the youth cried to them: Be not afraid; He Whom ye seek is risen; come, behold the place where the body of Jesus lay, and go quickly, proclaim unto the Disciples: The Savior is risen from the grave.
--Kontakion and Oikos of the Feast
From the Speaking the Truth in Love archives Fr. Thomas Hopko examines who the Myrrhbearing Women were and clears up some misconceptions about Mary Magdalene in the process.
Bobby Maddex interviews Nicholas Reeves, Assistant Professor of Liturgical Music at St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary, about an upcoming master class on the interpretation of Orthodox sacred music. The class will be led by Maestro Vladimir Gorbik and held at St. Seraphim of Sarov Orthodox Church in Santa Rosa, California.
We extend our prayers and love to His Eminence, Archbishop Joseph of the Diocese of Los Angeles and the West, and locum tenens of the Diocese of Eagle River and the Northwest, on the occasion of his Name's Day on May 19, 2013 (St. Joseph of Arimathea, Second Sunday after Pascha). May God grant him many years!
Learn more about Joseph of Arimathea (Come and See Icons)
Read about Archbishop Joseph
Visit the Diocese of Los Angeles and the West
Visit the Diocese of Eagle River and the Northwest
Archbishop Demetrios of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America has issued the following release:
NEW YORK – In response to the reports in Turkish and world media about an assassination plot against His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, Archbishop Demetrios of America today wrote to President Obama urging him to exercise his good offices to ensure the safety of His All Holiness.
Noting the continuing crisis in Aleppo, Syria, where the Greek Orthodox and Syriac Orthodox Hierarchs remain missing, kidnapped by terrorists, the Archbishop asked the President to protect His All Holiness, as the 1,700 year presence of the Ecumenical Patriarch in Constantinople (modern-day Istanbul) is the highest Christian presence of a Christian leader in a Muslim country.
Pascha, 2012: Fr. Thomas Zain, St. Nicholas Antiochian Orthodox Cathedral, Brooklyn, NY"Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and upon those in the tombs bestowing life!" (Paschal Troparion)
The team at Antiochian.org is issuing a call for Holy Week, Pascha, and Bright Week photos! Send all photos to: firstname.lastname@example.org as high resolution JPEG attachments. Please include a caption for each photo you send, and tell us the name of the parish and priest represented by the photo. We can post videos to our Antiochian.org Vimeo account too, so feel free to send us your videos. More questions? For general submission guidelines, read our checklist here.
Charles Ajalat writes on May 13:
The following needs just a minute or two of your time to help obtain the release of the two bishops who were kidnapped three weeks ago in Syria while on a humanitarian mission. One of the bishops is Metropolitan Paul (Yazigi), brother of our Antiochian Patriarch, John X. The other is the Syriac Archbishop Youhanna (Ibrahim). Six prominent members of Congress are already spearheading this effort, and yesterday sent a Dear Colleague letter to their remaining 429 colleagues to join as co-signers of the letter they are sending to the Secretary of State later this week (with a copy to Ambassador Ford), asking the Representatives to commit to their signing by this Friday noon. I have been working with the Congressional Representatives and they have asked me to contact you for needed help.
The letter to the Secretary and the Dear Colleague letter are both attached below. Both simply express the Members concern and ask that the release of these hostages be a priority of our Government.
The sponsors of the kidnapped bishops’ letter (“Sherman letter”) so far include Congressional Representatives Brad Sherman a senior member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee (Los Angeles), Carolyn Maloney (New York, Co-Chair Hellenic Caucus), Gus Bilirakis (Tampa, Co- Chair Hellenic Caucus) John Sarbanes (Baltimore), Trent Franks (Arizona and Chair of the International Religious Freedom Caucus) and Mike Pompeo (Kansas and a member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence). God willing, before the deadline for the Congressional Representatives of this Friday to sign, many other prominent members of Congress will be joining them (a number more signed on after the Dear Colleague letter below). I also understand Congressman Darrell Issa, Chairman of the House Oversight Committee and Congressman Justin Amash (Michigan) are going to be signing today.
Each of the 435 Representatives in Congress, however, are besieged with many matters, get numerous such requests with similar short timelines, and there is a serious need to bring the matter to the attention of the Congressional Representatives as many times and by as many people as possible and to encourage them by letting them know their own constituents are concerned about the bishops’ safety .
In that regard, I ask two non-time consuming things of you: 1. encourage your Congressman and members of Congress who are part of the caucuses supporting the letter by a one-sentence phone and e-mail message (all as simply set forth below); and 2. forward this e-mail to as many of your friends as possible asking them to do the same.
With regard to caucuses, if any of you know members of the caucuses supporting the letter, which presently are the International and Religious Freedom Caucus (60 members), and the Hellenic Caucus (119 members, list attached) in addition to contacting your Congressional Representative, please contact as many of the Caucus Members as possible and ask them to sign the Sherman letter. The Hellenic Action Group has also taken up this cause and their support will be very important.
With respect to your Congressional Representative, please immediately call, leave a voice mail and send an e-mail pursuant to the following instructions:
(1) call immediately your Congressional Representative’s Office in Washington D.C. (You can get the phone number by going to contactingthecongress.org and putting in only your zip code).
(2) When the receptionist answers ask for (1) first, the e-mail address of, and (2) then to speak to, the person in charge of Foreign Affairs or Syria for the Congressional Representative’s office and if you reach the aide’s voice mail, leave the following message:
“Please ask my representative to sign before Friday the Sherman letter requesting the release of the two bishops kidnapped in Syria.”
If for any reason the receptionist won’t give you the aide’s e-mail address, use the following for the e-mail address: email@example.com (using your actual representative’s first name and last name—you may want to ask the receptionist for the correct spelling or check it on the internet) and whether you have the actual e-mail address of the aide or the e-mail address you constructed as above, please send the same e-mail message as the bolded message above.
Thank you for your help on this urgent, time-sensitive matter,
Charles Ajalat's full request in support of the release of the Archbishops, with the text of the letter being prepared for the Secretary of State by the US Congress, can be read here (PDF format). He is an attorney, former member of the Archdiocese Board of Trustees, and founder of IOCC, FOCUS North America, and other organizations.
For a directory to aid in contacting Congress, please see this resource.
Ancient Faith Radio has interviewed Charles Ajalat regarding this effort in Congress. Listen here.
l. to r. Metropolitan Philip, Metropolitan Tikhon, Bishop NicholasFor the first time since his election as Primate of the Orthodox Church in America in November 2012, His Beatitude Metropolitan Tikhon, Primate of the Orthodox Church in America, was the guest of His Eminence Metropolitan Philip at the offices of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America in Englewood, New Jersey on Tuesday, May 14, 2013. Metropolitan Tikhon was accompanied by Archpriest John Jillions, OCA Chancellor; Archpriest Leonid Kishkovsky, OCA Director of External Affairs and Interchurch Relations; and Subdeacon Roman Ostash. Joining Metropolitan Philip in welcoming the OCA delegation was His Grace Bishop Nicholas, Auxiliary-Brooklyn and Resident Assistant to Metropolitan Philip; Archpriest Thomas Zain, AOCA Vicar General; and Archpriest George Kevorkian, AOCA Assistant to the Metropolitan. A warm atmosphere provided the context for substantive conversations about the current plight of Christians in the Middle East and specifically the situation of the two Syrian hierarchs who remain in captivity as well as the OCA’s recent history, the ongoing work of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and Central America, and hope for a united autocephalous Orthodox Church in North America.
Charles Ajalat joins us to talk about a letter being circulated in Congress that calls for action to be taken by the State Department to secure the release of the two Archbishops being held in Syria. We urge you to call your congressional representative and urge them to sign the Sherman Letter.
Bobby Maddex interviews Vlad Morosan, the director of the professional choral group Archangel Voices, about an upcoming concert at Holy Trinity Orthodox Church in Danbury Connecticut. The event will take place on June 8, 2013, at 7:30 PM, and the cost is $45 per ticket ($20 for students), which includes a wine and cheese reception.
Kids Club flyer for Houston ConventionHouston, Texas, and the parish of St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church, are playing host to the 51st Antiochian Archdiocese Convention, with Southern-themed events planned for every age. Since June 1st is the last day for Early Bird Registration, and June 28th is the last possible day to reserve a room, the time to act is now. In the meantime, there's still time to sign up for a Parish Life Conference (PLC) in your diocese; these kick off in early June and continue until the first week in July.
"Young Bob Packet....always the teacher with a collection of historical hysterical! Beloved by high school and college students alike! Who better to volunteer to guide our teens and clergy wives through the one and only WWI Museum in Kansas City during the Diocese of Wichita and Mid-America Parish Life Conference." Diocese of Wichita, June 5-8, Kansas City
"Fine dining, New Orleans style, means lots of tasty seafood! Tour the city, the river, and the bayous of New Orleans, LA." Diocese of Miami, June 12-16, New Orleans, LA.
"Hey Teens, You like science, right? On Thursday, June 20, Teen SOYO will spend time volunteering at the Kentucky Science Center in downtown Louisville. This is a terrific place that hosts many visitors each year." Diocese of Toledo, June 19-23, Louisville, KY
"For our Caribbean Themed Buffet Dinner featuring a live Calypso band, come and feel like you are on the islands with great Caribbean food and music! Stop by later in the evening to relax, socialize and enjoy some live jazz music." Diocese of New England, June 27-30, Andover, MA
"We are privileged to have Archpriest Dr. John Behr as our keynote speaker, addressing this year’s theme of 'The End of History … The Last Judgment.' Fr. John is the dean of St Vladimir’s Seminary and professor of Patristics, teaching courses in patristics, dogmatics and scriptural exegesis at the seminary, and also at Fordham University, where he is the Distinguished Lecturer in Patristics." Dioceses of LA & Eagle River, July 3-7, Anaheim, CA
"Featured spiritual speakers at the PLC will include keynote speaker Prof. Christopher Veniamin (Patristics Professor at St. Tikhon’s Seminary and a spiritual son of Elder Sophrony Sakharov), Samuel Noble (researcher in medieval Arabic Orthodox Christianity and doctoral candidate at Yale University), Jonathan Jackson (General Hospital and Nashville actor and lead singer of the band Enation, as well as a convert to Orthodox Christianity), and Fr. Noah Bushelli (pastor and homeschooling father of six)." Dioceses of Charleston & NY, July 3-7, Lehigh Valley, PA
"Antiochian Women, come and tour Old Montreal, stretching for over two kilometres along the St-Lawrence River!" Diocese of Ottawa, July 4-7, Montreal, Quebec.
The story of the appearance of Christ to His disciples on the evening of the Resurrection, as well as eight days later, richly demonstrates the importance of gathering together on the Lord's Day. Fr. Thomas Soroka reminds us that our gathering together allows us to experience the coming eternal Kingdom here and now.
Orthodox Christian Fellowship's (OCF) Executive Director Jennifer Nahas announces that "we have posted applications for our 2013-2014 Student Leaders to serve on the Student Advisory Board. We are looking for talented, committed students who are passionate about OCF to help guide the direction of Orthodox campus ministry, implement programs and bring the student voice into decision making. We look forward to putting a board in place that is representative of the variety of Orthodox jurisdictions and traditions we have in North America.
"Your recommendations would be incredibly helpful. Please, if you know of a college student who could lead, inspire and serve Orthodox Campus Ministry, encourage them to apply online. Another option is to pass along their name to our North American Chapter Relations Coordinator, Christina Andresen, at firstname.lastname@example.org."
Fr. Andrew Stephen Damick and Kevin Allen discuss what it means to be a Christian in light of the thousands of Christian denominations. Fr. Andrew is the author of the Conciliar Press book Orthodoxy and Heterodoxy.
On tonight's "Ancient Faith Today" (05/12), Fr. Andrew Stephen Damick, author of Orthodoxy and Heterodoxy: Exploring Belief Systems through the Lens of the Ancient Christian Faith, discusses the sensitive subject of defining who a Christian is (and who a Christian is not!). Click here to listen at 8/7 Central.
From the archives of Frederica Here and Now, enjoy this episode where Frederica Mathewes-Green defends the character of St. Thomas, whom we commemorate on the Sunday after Pascha.
Today the fragrance of spring is shed forth, and the new creation shall rejoice. Today the locks shall be lifted from the doors with the faithlessness of the beloved Thomas, as he shouteth out, Thou art my Lord and my God.
-Orthros of the Feast
On the second Sunday of Pascha, we inaugurate the celebration of Christ’s Resurrection, and the occasion whereon the Holy Apostle Thomas touched the Savior’s side.
If the seals of the Virgin’s womb and of the grave did not hinder Thee,
How could the seals of the doors hinder Thy might, O Savior?
This day is called New Sunday, Thomas Sunday or Anti-Pascha. The last term means “in place of Pascha”, because Thomas did not hear of Christ’s Resurrection and disbelieved it. We remember his doubt but do not repeat it. After this Sunday, the Church dedicates Sunday to the Resurrection.
As the Disciples were gathered together on the Sunday following the Resurrection, Jesus entered and greeted them in His usual way, saying, “Peace be unto you.” Then He showed them His hands, feet and side. Jesus ate before His Disciples and reassured them of His Resurrection. However, Thomas was not with them at that time, and insisted upon seeing the Savior’s scars— the print of the nails in His hands and feet, and the spear in His side—before he would believe that Jesus was risen. The Master told Thomas to see and feel. Then Thomas immediately cried out, “My Lord and my God!” But Jesus tells His Disciples, “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe.” This also clearly illustrates the two Natures of Christ: the human and the divine.
By the intercessions of Thine Apostle Thomas, O Christ our God, have mercy on us. Amen. (Synaxarion of the Feast)
Republished May 10: The Archdiocese encourages all of her members to show their continuing support for kidnapped archbishops Paul and John of Aleppo, first and foremost through heartfelt prayer. We also encourage people to sign and promote the online petition available here at the website of the White House, calling for United States government action on behalf of the abducted metropolitans. Please use the petition at this link.
Support and attention for Archbishop Paul and Archbishop John continues to grow. The Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and Central America has published their joint letter to US Secretary of State John Kerry here. The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese has published Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew's call for the release of the archbishops. The Russian Orthodox Church has published several statements, including the patriarchal message from Patriarch Kirill to Patriarch John X available here, along with the list of documents available below. Pope Francis of the Roman Catholic Church prayed for the release of the metropolitans, as announced here. The Archdiocese is grateful for these and all other ongoing efforts for the sake of Archbishop Paul and Archbishop John, and all our brothers and sisters suffering in the region.AttachmentSize Letter of Patriarch Kirill to Patriarch John X50.42 KB Letter of Metropolitan Hilarion to Patriarch John X58.49 KB Letter of Patriarch Kirill to Mar Ignatius Zakka I Iwas38.8 KB Letter of Metropolitan Hilarion to Mar Ignatius Zakka I Iwas48.89 KB Letter of Patriarch Kirill to UN Secretary General Ki-moon53.63 KB Letter of Patriarch Kirill to US President Obama56.15 KB Letter of Patriarch Kirill to Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan58.05 KB
On a new "Ancient Faith Presents," Bobby Maddex welcomes back to the program Anne Van Fossen, one of the founders of the Classical Learning Resource Center, to discuss some of the exciting new developments that are taking place at the online school.