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Rising Victorious

by Frederica Mathewes-Green

Jesus is standing on the broken doors of hell. The massive portals lie crossed under his feet, a reminder of the Cross that won this triumph. He stands braced and striding, like a superhero, using his mighty outstretched arms to lift a great weight. That weight is Adam and Eve themselves, our father and mother in the fallen flesh. Jesus grasps Adam's wrist with his right hand and Eve's with his left, as he pulls them forcibly up, out of the carved marble boxes that are their graves.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Publishes Iconography Article with Mother Alexandra

The icon illustrates an ancient understanding of Jesus' resurrection as the gift he offers to all humanity on a renewed Earth. While all Orthodox churches are filled with icons, the Resurrection icon in the camp chapel at Antiochian Village retreat and conference center is one of the largest in Pennsylvania and possibly the United States.

"An icon is theology in color," said Mother Alexandra, founder of the Convent of St. Thekla, which also is on the grounds of Antiochian Village in Bolivar, Westmoreland County. The center, which also houses a museum and bookstore, is a ministry of the Antiochian Orthodox Church.

On Pascha Sunday the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette published Orthodox Icons Are Seen As "Theology in Color", with extensive comments from Antiochian monastic Mother Alexandra. Click here to enjoy the article in full.

April 2010 Newsletter: Jesus' Words Prove He Claims To Be Equal With The Father

Dear Friend of St. Athanasius Academy:

In love of our newly departed Fr. Jack and his eternal remembrance, we offer a teaching from an upcoming Academy booklet on the Gospel of John. This seems appropriate during the Paschal season, as we celebrate our being set free from the fear of death; learning, by faith, to live in the hope of the Resurrection and His promise of the world to come.

See the attached PDF file for this month's full teaching.

Paschal Letter of His Beatitude IGNATIUS IV, Patriarch of Antioch and all the East

Easter 2010

Christ is risen.

Christ is risen from the dead.  He arose victorious as He trampled down Death and shattered its shackles.  His victory was accomplished through love and gentleness, not through the sword.  Hence, His victory will be understood only by those who come to Him with love and the gentleness of a lamb.  It is through love that Christ will prevail in the world.

This is the Day of our Lord, let us celebrate it with joy.  This is the Day of our Victory.  This is the Day in which Death, with its terrible power, was trampled upon and humiliated.    And the sun has shone with its brilliant light, and all things are transformed by shedding their old and antiquated forms.  Today, there is no more reason to grieve because the great enemy has been crushed, and the Kingdom of God has prevailed for all time.  The Church today is made ecstatic by the Resurrection of Christ.  The angels in heaven and the faithful on earth all proclaim in jubilation “Christ is risen, praise the Lord – Christ is risen.  Glory be to Thy Holy Resurrection.”  Let all humanity proclaim with us “Indeed, He is risen.”  In this spirit, I am pleased to greet you and to share with you the joy of this great feast of the Resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Let us with joy celebrate a new beginning.

IGNATIUS IV

Patriarch of Antioch and all the East

International Holy Week Photo Galleries from OBL News

Palestinian Orthodox Christian children hold palm fronds on Orthodox Palm Sunday in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Sunday March 28, 2010.Palestinian Orthodox Christian children hold palm fronds on Orthodox Palm Sunday in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Sunday March 28, 2010.Recommended by Fr. Joseph Huneycutt on his Orthodixie blog, the OBL News website has assembled several galleries of powerful images of Holy Week from around the Orthodox world.

Click here for Palm Sunday photos.

Click here for Holy Thursday photos.

Click here for Holy Friday photos.

Click here for photos of the Holy Fire Pascha services of Jersusalem.

Click here for photos of Pascha celebrations around the world.

Metropolitan PHILIP Writes His Holiness KIRILL, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, with Prayers in Wake of Moscow Terrorism

March 30, 2010
His Holiness, KIRILL
Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia

Your Holiness:

Greetings to you during these all holy days as we prepare to celebrate the resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. May God give you strength!

We were horrified to learn of the barbaric attack yesterday on the beloved citizens of Moscow by a group of terrorists. This was especially disturbing as it took place during the Great and Holy Week of the Church. On behalf of all the bishops, clergy and faithful of the Self-Ruled Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America, please accept our sincere and deep sympathies to Your Holiness, the Russian government and the Russian people. May the innocent blood which was shed on Calvary wash away our sins and the sins of the entire world.

OCA and Antiochian Archdiocese Paschal Celebration Website

FeastOfFeasts.org is an Orthodox Christian celebration of Holy Pascha and the Resurrection of Christ. The site was created in 2009 through a joint effort of the Antiochian Archdiocese Department of Internet Ministry and the Orthodox Church in America Department of Communications. We encourage readers to visit the site's collection of articles, reflections and more on Holy Week and the central Feast of our faith.

Very Rev. Alexander Atty to Serve as Dean of St. Tikhon's Orthodox Theological Seminary

The Very Rev. Dr. Alexander Atty has received the blessing of His Eminence Metropolitan PHILIP to accept, and has accepted, an appointment as Dean of St. Tikhon's Orthodox Seminary in South Canaan, PA. The appointment will be effective on July 1, 2010. Fr. Atty is currently a member of the seminary's Board of Trustees. He is a priest of the Antiochian Archdiocese who has served as pastor of St. Michael the Archangel Church of Louisville, KY, since 1980.

Fr. Alexander was born August 7, 1951 in Johnstown, PA, and holds a BS in engineering. After earning his MDiv at St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary, he earned his DMin from the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. Ordained a priest on December 9,1979 at St. Nicholas Cathedral, Brooklyn NY, he was elevated to the rank of archpriest in 1988. Fr. Atty is married to Khourieh Olga, whose father is the retired OCA priest, Fr. John Nehrebecki.
 
We pray that our Lord will bless this appointment, and that St. Tikhon's Seminary will continue to make great forward strides under the leadership of Fr. Alexander.

Click here for the announcement from the Orthodox Church in America.

Meet the Staff

The Antiochian.org team has added a Meet the Staff page, linked at the right. We appreciate the opportunity to serve you and our community of readers.

Paschal Greetings from His Grace Bishop MARK

Christ is risen from the dead trampling down death by death and upon those in the tombs bestowing life.
We celebrate the abolition of death, the destruction of Hades and the first fruit of everlasting life.
And as we leap with joy, we praise the Cause of these good gifts, the God of our fathers who alone is blessed and most glorified.

Beloved of God,

Christ is Risen! Truly, He is Risen! El Messieh kahm! Hakken kahm! Khristos voskrese! Voistinu voskrese! Let God, arise and let His enemies be scattered! As smoke vanishes so let them vanish! So the sinner will perish before the face of God, but let the righteous be glad! This is the day that the Lord has made! Let us rejoice and be glad in it! Let us embrace one another and forgive all things for the sake of Christ’s Holy Resurrection. Christos anesti! Alithos anesti! Cristos vaskres! Vaistinu vaskres! Cristos a inviat! Adevarat a inviat!

Yours in Christ,

 

 

 

+ MARK
Bishop of Toledo and the Diocese of the Midwest

Paschal Greetings from His Grace Bishop BASIL

“When Thou hadst fallen asleep in the flesh, as one mortal, O King and Lord, Thou didst rise again on the third day, raising up Adam from corruption, and abolishing death: O Pascha of incorruption! O Salvation of the world!” (The Exaposteilarion of Pacha)

To the Right Reverend, Very Reverend and Reverend Clergy, the Christ-loving Monastics, and the Faithful Laity of the Diocese of Wichita and Mid-America:

I embrace and greet you with a holy kiss in the Name of our Risen Saviour. Christ is risen! Χριστὸς ἀνέστη! ! ألمسيح قام Христос Воскресе! Hristos a înviat! Cristo ha resucitado!

"Death was terrible to the human race before the death of Christ, but after Christ’s Resurrection man became terrible to death, for One of us conquered death, did not remain in the grave, and did not see corruption. The former Pascha was the liberation of Israel from Egypt. Our Pascha is the liberation from the slavery of death and corruption. Christ is risen! I now know that my salvation has indeed been wrought. I know that God did indeed appear on earth. There have been great men, conquerors of the elements, conquerors of nature, but death equalized all and revealed our common nothingness. Who is this Who has passed through the gates of death? He can only be God. This means that God was indeed incarnate on earth, has indeed brought the healing medicine against that which consumes me and the corruption that tortures me. The Incarnation and the Resurrection are combined into one. The Incarnation gives the meaning of the Resurrection, and the Resurrection irrefutably confirms that the Incarnation is truth and reality, and not illusion or dream. Now death is not frightening to me, for I have seen the victory over corruption." (New Hieromartyr Hilarion Troitsky, 1886-1929)

Confession: The Healing Sacrament

By Jim Forest

The very word confession makes us nervous, touching as it does all that is hidden in ourselves: lies told, injuries caused, things stolen, friends deceived, people betrayed, promises broken, faith denied—these plus all the smaller actions that reveal the beginnings of sins.

Confession is painful, yet a Christian life without confession is impossible.

Click here to read the article in full.

Antiochian.org thanks Conciliar Press for the use of this and other essays featured on our Discover Orthodox Christianity section.

Blackout at Archdiocese Headquarters in Englewood (Update: Power Restored)

Due to the severe storm that hit the Northeast on Saturday, March 13, there has been no power or telephone service at the Archdiocese Headquarters in Englewood, New Jersey since Saturday. At this point, there is no reliable estimate as to the restoral time. We apologize to all those who have been unable to contact the office since Saturday.

Update Thursday, March 18: Electricity and phone service have been restored, and communications can return to normal. We apologize for any inconvenience caused by the outage.

Announcing "Romans: A Commentary" from OCABS Press

The Orthodox Center for the Advancement of Biblical Studies is pleased to announce publication of the latest addition to the Chrysostom Bible Series, Romans: A Commentary.  In this volume, the author, Paul Nadim Tarazi, explains that Romans, "the one gospel meant for all the nations living in the Roman empire East and West," was addressed to the capital city and positioned at the beginning of the Pauline corpus to emphasize the universality of St. Paul's teaching. Not only Romans, he argues, but all of Paul's epistles were meant to be read at church gatherings everywhere, "together with the Old Testament." The book is available in both e-book and paperback versions.

The V. Rev. Dr. Paul Nadim Tarazi is Professor of Biblical Studies and Languages at St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary. He is the author of a three volume Introduction to the Old Testament, a four volume Introduction to the New Testament, Galatians: A Commentary, I Thessalonians: A Commentary, Land and Covenant, and the Chrysostom Bible, Genesis: A Commentary and Philippians: A Commentary. His Audio Bible Commentaries on the books of the New Testament are available online through the Orthodox Center for the Advancement of Biblical Studies (OCABS).

Metropolitan PHILIP Appeal for Chile Earthquake Relief

Courtesy Mariana Bazo / ReutersCourtesy Mariana Bazo / ReutersMarch 1, 2010

TO BE READ FROM THE PULPIT

“Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need.”  (Acts 2:44-45)

Once again we are confronted with the images of destruction, death and human tragedy in the wake of the severe earthquake that struck Chile on Saturday, February 27th, 2010.  More than 700 are confirmed to have died, with the toll expected to be higher.  More than 1.5 million people are homeless or without shelter.  I have been in touch with my brother, Metropolitan SERGIOS (Abd), the Primate of the Antiochian Archdiocese of Chile.  His Eminence is personally safe and sound, but several of his churches have suffered damage from the earthquake, and the status of some of the faithful is still to be determined.  As the quote above from the Book of Acts reminds us, it has always been the tradition of the Church to help any brothers and sisters in Christ who are in need.  As such, we are asking all of our parishes and missions to appeal for prayers and donations in order to assist those who are in need in Chile.

March 2010 Newsletter: Hospitality of Abraham

Dear Friend of St. Athanasius Academy:

The letter below continues our in-depth study of the BOOK OF GENESIS and is a small snippet of this month booklet: NOAH TO ABRAHAM. These are the more detailed notes edited for the OSB - Old and New Testament. It provides a detailed explanation of the time from the Covenant of Noah to just before the birth of Isaac, the son of Abraham. We start with a few verses followed by a detail discussion. It is perfect for family study. The notes are based on the renowned Fathers of the Church with relevant Scriptures included to help connect the dots. Please don’t miss these.

See the attached PDF file for this month's full teaching.

Spring Governing Council Meeting

The Order of St. Ignatius Governing Council will be meeting on Friday, May 21, 2010 at the Grand Hyatt in New York City, New York.

Bishop MARK Sunday of Orthodoxy Audio Available Online

His Grace Bishop MARK of the Diocese of Toledo visited Houston for the first weekend of Great Lent. Fr. Joseph Huneycutt posts here about the visit, and includes links to the following audio:

Bishop MARK's Sunday of Orthodoxy Sermon at St. George Antiochian Church of Houston

Bishop MARK's Pan-Orthodox Vespers Remarks

Archpastoral Directive Regarding Typikon of the Great Feast of the Annunciation

February 24th, 2010

Archpastoral Directive

To our Venerable Hierarchs and beloved clergy of our God Protected Archdiocese:

Greetings and blessings to all of you in the Spirit of this Great and Holy Lent.

It has come to my attention that there is some confusion concerning the Typikon of the Great Feast of the Annunciation. We have discovered that different Typikons deal with this issue in different ways.

Therefore we ask you to abide by the following directions:

1)            You may celebrate the Pre-Sanctified Liturgy on Wednesday morning, March 24th.

2)            Celebrate Matins and Divine Liturgy for the Annunciation on Wednesday evening or Thursday morning, March 25th.

Wishing you a blessed journey to the Empty Tomb, I remain,

Your father in Christ,

 

 

 

Metropolitan PHILIP

Archbishop of New York and Metropolitan of All North America

Dept. of Conventions and Conference Planning Launches AntiochianEvents.org

The Department of Convention and Conference Planning announces the launching of a new website dedicated to assisting parishes in planning and executing Parish Life Conferences and Archdiocese Conventions:  Antiochian Events (www.antiochianevents.org).  The Antiochian Archdiocese funded this project, and NAC Fellowship of St. John the Divine will cover its annual operating expenses.

The new website includes a comprehensive system for online registration and payment functions.  Conference and convention participants will be able to register for events, to submit Souvenir Journal sponsorships, to upload journal messages and art work, to register for vendor or display booths, to make general donations, and to make individual or corporate sponsorship donations.

SCOBA Address for 2010 Sunday of Orthodoxy

Friday, February 12, 2010

 

Now to Him Who by the power at work within us is able
to do far more abundantly than all that we can ask or think,
to Him be glory in the Church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, for ever and ever. Amen.
(Eph. 3:20-21).

February 21, 2010
The Feast of the Sunday of Orthodoxy


The Hierarchs of the Standing Conference of the Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas

To all the Clergy and the Laity of the Holy Orthodox Churches in the Americas

Beloved Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

We, the Hierarchs of the Standing Conference of the Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas, greet you on the Feast of the Sunday of Orthodoxy with words of the Holy Apostle Paul that were selected by the Primates of the worldwide Orthodox Church to close their Message proclaimed on October 12, 2008. Indeed, we glory in our God whose love for us exceeds every thought or imagining that could enter our minds or hearts. As the Apostle Paul says in another place: Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him (I Cor. 2:9).

In the historic Synaxis and in the Message that was declared by it, the Primates of worldwide Orthodox Christianity proclaimed the following with one voice and one heart:

Prayers Requested for Bishop ANTOUN Following Surgery

Please pray for His Grace Bishop ANTOUN of the Diocese of Miami and the Southeast, who is resting following successful surgery on Thursday, February 11, in Florida.

February 2010 Newsletter: The Flood and Baptism

Dear Friend of St. Athanasius Academy:

This month’s booklet concerns the study notes from the Book of Genesis. What follows are the complete and detailed study notes from CHAPTER 7: THE FLOOD. From these detailed notes, came the finalized study notes found in the OSB - Old and New Testament. This booklet provides a more detailed account and explanation of Noah and the Flood. The layout format offers a general summary of the verses being studied. After this, we offer a more detailed explanation and understanding as to their meaning, based on the renowned Fathers of the Church. Included and underlined, are relevant New Testament Scriptures to show how that which is first foreshadowed in the Old, is brought to light in the New Testament, showing the harmonious interconnection.

See the attached PDF file for this month's full teaching.

Antiochian.org Adds Map of Archdiocese Parishes

Antiochian.org has upgraded our parish directory with a Google-powered map that includes each community in our Archdiocese. Click here to see it in action. As always, you can still also find a parish listings by state and by diocese. Our team also recommends the pan-Orthodox directory that SCOBA maintains here.

Your feedback is welcome. Please also remember to let us know if there are any corrections needed to the information we have for your church. You can contact us via email at editor@antiochian.org.

Antiochian.org Adds Calendar of Readings, Feasts, Events

The Dept. of Internet Ministry has added a calendar to Antiochian.org. Click here to visit. The calendar currently includes daily Scripture readings for all of 2010; major Feasts and Fasts; the feast days of selected saints; and events across the Archdiocese. We will continue to expand this resource over time. So if you would like to see an event added to the calendar, or have any other recommendations, please email us at editor@antiochian.org.

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