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HOLY WEEK SERMON SERIES: HOLY SATURDAYFind insights about a hymn on the silence of Jesus’ death. How can God really be d...
04/23/2022

HOLY WEEK SERMON SERIES: HOLY SATURDAY

Find insights about a hymn on the silence of Jesus’ death. How can God really be dead? In the tomb, is Christ split into God and man? And why would Jesus preach the Gospel in Hades out of all places? To find out, read this sermon: https://www.goarch.org/documents/32058/6918301/Holy+Saturday

ABOUT THE NEW SERIES
Holy Week Sermon Series is an easy-to-download daily mini-sermon (500-600 words / 3.5-4.5 minutes) with insights and analyses on a central hymn of the day. It is a collaboration between His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America and the Department of Religious Education (DRE) of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.

His Eminence and the DRE also teamed up with Instagrammer @liveorthodoxy to create unique digital icon creations for the Series. Follow the DRE on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter @goarchDRE to see them.

04/23/2022
04/23/2022
Photos from State Senator Andrew Gounardes's post
04/23/2022

Photos from State Senator Andrew Gounardes's post

HOLY WEEK SERMON SERIES: HOLY FRIDAYFind insights about a hymn on the death of the immortal God, chanted in our churches...
04/22/2022

HOLY WEEK SERMON SERIES: HOLY FRIDAY

Find insights about a hymn on the death of the immortal God, chanted in our churches on Holy Friday. But how can God die? And what plan is being fulfilled? To find out, read this sermon: https://www.goarch.org/documents/32058/0/Holy+Friday

ABOUT THE NEW SERIES
Holy Week Sermon Series is an easy-to-download daily mini-sermon (500-600 words / 3.5-4.5 minutes) with insights and analyses on a central hymn of the day. It is a collaboration between His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America and the Department of Religious Education (DRE) of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.

His Eminence and the DRE also teamed up with Instagrammer @liveorthodoxy to create unique digital icon creations for the Series. Follow the DRE on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter @goarchDRE to see them.

Photos from Archbishop Elpidophoros of America's post
04/22/2022

Photos from Archbishop Elpidophoros of America's post

THIRD CENTENNIAL PILGRIMAGE ANNOUNCED Would you like to ride in a hot air balloon over the Göreme valley or see expansiv...
04/21/2022

THIRD CENTENNIAL PILGRIMAGE ANNOUNCED

Would you like to ride in a hot air balloon over the Göreme valley or see expansive Byzantine frescoes in cave-churches founded by 4th century monks? Join Archbishop Elpidophoros of America for the next Centennial Pilgrimage to Cappadocia, Smyrna, and the Queen City, Constantinople, from May 31-June 13. Space is limited--contact Cloud Tours to reserve your space today!

Won't be able to make this trip but still hoping to join a Centennial Pilgrimage? Be on the lookout for the announcement of the Fourth Centennial Pilgrimage to Pontos in August, where you will have the opportunity to celebrate the Dormition of the Mother of God at Panagia Soumela Monastery!

"“The radiant message of the resurrection” and our cry “Christ is Risen!” today reverberate alongside the horrendous sou...
04/21/2022

"“The radiant message of the resurrection” and our cry “Christ is Risen!” today reverberate alongside the horrendous sound of weapons, the distressing cries of innocent victims of military aggression and the plight of refugees, among whom there are numerous innocent children...We stand and suffer alongside the pious and courageous people of Ukraine that bear a heavy cross. We pray and strive for peace and justice as well as for all those who are deprived of these. It is unimaginable for us Christians to remain silent before the obliteration of human dignity...[War] sows division and hatred; it increases discord among peoples. We firmly believe that humankind is capable of living without war and violence."

2022 Paschal Encyclical of His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew

On Thursday April 21, 2022, Archbishop Elpidophoros of America celebrated the liturgy of Holy Thursday as a priest at th...
04/21/2022

On Thursday April 21, 2022, Archbishop Elpidophoros of America celebrated the liturgy of Holy Thursday as a priest at the Archdiocesan Chapel of Saint Paul.
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📸: Leah Kats

HEALING SACRAMENT IN CONNECTICUT ON HOLY TUESDAY NIGHTOrange—“Let your foreheads be anointed, so that your minds become ...
04/21/2022

HEALING SACRAMENT IN CONNECTICUT ON HOLY TUESDAY NIGHT

Orange—“Let your foreheads be anointed, so that your minds become wise. Let your hands be graced, so that they perform good works. And let your mouths be filled with sweet words, that utter no evil about anyone or anything,” Archbishop Elpidophoros of America said as he invited the congregation of St. Barbara in Orange, CT to receive the Sacrament of Holy Unction on Wednesday April 20, 2022.

Anointing, together with washing, is a recurrent motif of Holy and Great Week. The unnamed woman whom the nun Kassia praises washes and anoints the feet of Christ, and likewise, does Mary, the sister of Lazarus and Martha, preparing his body for death. The courageous women who stood by Christ at the cross’ foot—while the disciples fled in fear of religious and civil authorities—cared for the Christ’s dead body by washing it and anointing it, ensuring its dignified entombment.

On Holy Wednesday evening there are two services held in the Orthodox Church that both hearken back to these motifs. One is the humble Niptir Matins service, and the other is the sacrament of Holy Unction. Rarely seen in the United States, the Niptir Service is proper to Holy Wednesday evening and is the Matins service of Holy Thursday morning’s liturgy. A striking feature of the Niptir is an enactment of Christ’s washing of the disciples’ feet. While the other, the sacrament of Holy Unction, can be prayed on any day of the year and is not actually a Holy Week service, strictly speaking, it has become part of the week’s liturgical cycle as a matter of custom. Unction, of course, is a ritual anointing.

The twin motifs of washing and anointing suffuse the hymns and scriptures of the week and draw our attention to preparation of Christ’s body for death and burial. But the season is not about death—it is about the salvation of life.

Unction is a sacrament of healing, and salvation and healing are very much the same. “In fact, the Greek verb that is normally translated as ‘to save,’ can also mean to ‘save from death,’ or to heal,” the Archbishop explained. “The Holy Oil we receive tonight is for all the needs of our bodies and souls. We receive the Oil for forgiveness, because healing and salvation are very much the same.

The spiritual healing that comes from receiving Unction tonight is for eternity, because the body – even when sick and made well again – will one day suffer the fate of every living thing. But the soul is eternal. That is why the healing we experience may not manifest in our flesh. But it always does so in our souls; if we will but receive it.”

The washing and anointing encountered in the Orthodox Christian tradition during Holy and Great Week lead to the myrrh bearing women, whom we accompany to the Lord’s empty tomb. Seeking the dead body of Christ to wash and annoint, they instead encountered a resplendent heavenly messenger who asked them “why?”—why they mingled their ointment with tears; why they searched for the living among the dead—orienting the faithful Orthodox toward the Paschal mystery and inviting them to join in its proclamation—that out of the death of the crucified Eros comes light that is never overtaken by darkness
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📸: Brittainy Newman
✍️: Menios

HOLY WEEK SERMON SERIES: HOLY THURSDAYFind insights about a hymn on the love of God for His people, chanted in our churc...
04/21/2022

HOLY WEEK SERMON SERIES: HOLY THURSDAY

Find insights about a hymn on the love of God for His people, chanted in our churches on Holy Thursday night. What is the correlation between the Mystical Supper and Divine Liturgy? Why is Christ referred to as the new Adam? And what is the significance of Christ stretching out His hands on the Cross? To find out, read this sermon: https://www.goarch.org/documents/32058/6918301/Holy+Thursday

ABOUT THE NEW SERIES
Holy Week Sermon Series is an easy-to-download daily mini-sermon (500-600 words / 3.5-4.5 minutes) with insights and analyses on a central hymn of the day. It is a collaboration between His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America and the Department of Religious Education (DRE) of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.

His Eminence and the DRE also teamed up with Instagrammer @liveorthodoxy to create unique digital icon creations for the Series. Follow the DRE on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter @goarchDRE to see them.

ARCHBISHOP IN BROOKLYN FOR HYMN OF KASSIANI Brooklyn--The nun Kassia occupies a unique place in Orthodox Church history ...
04/20/2022

ARCHBISHOP IN BROOKLYN FOR HYMN OF KASSIANI

Brooklyn--The nun Kassia occupies a unique place in Orthodox Church history and liturgics. The learned monastic and musician who lived in Constantinople in the ninth century is one of two women of the Byzantine period who wrote in her own name (the other is Anna Comnena), and the only known woman whose compositions appear in the Byzantine liturgy. About fifty hymns are attributed to her, but her eponymous “Hymn of Kassiani” stands out as one of the most recognizable and beloved pieces of music in the Orthodox world. Calling out to the Divine in contrition, “Accept the fountains of my tears, You who draw out from the clouds the water of the sea. Take pity on me; Do not despise me,” the melodist captures the rawness of human vulnerability in her lucid and lyrical verse.

Kassia’s hymn of repentance is heard in Orthodox Christian churches on Great and Holy Tuesday evening. Composed in the first person, the choir takes the voice of one who is exceptionally vulnerable and on the social periphery in first century Palestine—not just a woman, but also a sex worker. The piece is profoundly sympathetic with the human experience, and perhaps it is its ability to evoke emotional memories of shame and fear of judgment that makes it so beloved.

“If you are in this Church tonight expecting God to critique your life and the decisions you have made, I want you to think again.” Archbishop Elpidophoros of America said at Kimisis Theotokou Brooklyn on Tuesday April 19, 2022, asking the congregation, “does the Bridegroom [Christ] look like a judge to you?”

In her contemporary world, the woman of the hymn is powerless and susceptible to rejection. Although she was weak and vulnerable, she possessed a great deal of love and openly offered it. “It is on the basis of our love that our forgiveness will be measured,” the Archbishop said in his homily, adding, “and not because God is unwilling to give it; but because we do not know how to receive it. And she did not let anyone get in her way either. Imagine what was being muttered in that room, as everyone knew her reputation. But she did not let that stop her. She persisted, even if others resisted.

And when the thoughts of the hypocrites were read by the Lord, He asked them all in front of her:

“Do you see this woman here? I entered your home, and you offered Me no water for My feet. But this woman? She washed My feet with her tears, and dried them with the hairs of her head. You gave Me no kiss. But this woman? From the moment she entered, she has not ceased to caress My feet with kisses. You provided Me no oil to anoint My face. But this woman? She anointed My feet with myrrh. This is why I say to you, her many sins are forgiven, because she loved much. But if you are forgiven only a little, you love only a little.”

Kassia's hymn is likely inspired by a narrative trope attested to in all four gospels: an unknown sinful woman who performs an honorific anointing of Jesus’ feet with costly perfume, using her long hair to dry His feet—something regarded as an exceptional gesture. Considerable ink has been spilled over the identity of the woman, the location, timing, and the message. One aspect of the story seems clear—that the followers of Christ miss the point of the moment, which Jesus makes clear: the woman has signaled his impending death and burial.

But she is not simply a harbinger of Christ’s death. She is the first of the myrrhbearers—the ostensibly powerless women who go fearlessly, weeping, to annoint the body of Christ, and who encounter the power of the resurrection of “the One Who comes to set us free from our failings, our sins, and the guilt and shame that come with them.” Unlike the named myrrhbearers who discover the empty tomb, the great irony of the unknown woman is in Jesus’ prediction that the story will always be told “in memory her”— a woman whose very name escapes the Gospel witness.
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📸: Dimitri Panagos/GOARCH
✍️: Menios Papadimitriou

HOLY WEEK SERMON SERIES: HOLY WEDNESDAYFind insights about a hymn on humility sung in our churches on Holy Wednesday nig...
04/20/2022

HOLY WEEK SERMON SERIES: HOLY WEDNESDAY

Find insights about a hymn on humility sung in our churches on Holy Wednesday night. Was it really necessary for the Lord to wash the disciple's feet? And how does our virtue of obedience (ὑπακοή) compare to Christ’s? To find out, read this sermon from the Department of Religious Education: https://www.goarch.org/documents/32058/6918301/Holy+Wednesday

ABOUT THE NEW SERIES
Holy Week Sermon Series is an easy-to-download daily mini-sermon (500-600 words / 3.5-4.5 minutes) with insights and analyses on a central hymn of the day. It is a collaboration between His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America and the Department of Religious Education (DRE) of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.

His Eminence and the DRE also teamed up with Instagrammer @liveorthodoxy to create unique digital icon creations for the Series. Follow the DRE on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter @goarchDRE to see them.

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Excerpt from Orthodox Observer News Release . . . Memorial Service and Tribute Held for Archbishop Iakovos of America Brookline, MA – On Sunday, April 10, Hellenic College Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology commemorated the 17th anniversary of the falling asleep of Archbishop Iakovos of North and South America, with the blessing of His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America. The day began at sunrise in the Holy Cross Chapel, where His Grace Bishop Athenagoras of Nazianzos prepared the memorial table, in front of the icon of Christ, by surrounding Archbishop Iakovos’ photo with Bishop vestments to honor his service to the Church. Prayerfully made kollyva was offered for the repose of his soul and placed on top of the vestments. [see 📸 #3] Representing Archbishop Elpidophoros of America, Bishop Athenagoras of Nazianzos presided over the Divine Liturgy, the Memorial Service, and the Trisagion at the grave of the ever-to-be remembered Archbishop Iakovos, with the melodic chanting of the students of the School that he so loved. His Grace Bishop Joachim of Amissos, Rev. Fr. Michael Kouremetis, Dean of Students, Deacon Dimitrios, and seminarians participated in the Liturgy and the Memorial. The community then gathered at the Maliotis Cultural Center of Hellenic College Holy Cross for a reception. The tribute began with the blessings and greetings from Archbishop Elpidophoros of America, which Bishop Athenagoras of Nazianzos conveyed on his behalf. He expressed how it was a day of sorrow and a day of joy because Archbishop Iakovos worked in this vineyard and gave himself to the Church in America, and is now united with God.... [NEWS RELEASE: https://www.goarch.org/-/archbishop-iakovos-memorial-2022] . . . I am truly grateful to His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America for asking me to represent him at HCHC for our brother in Christ, Archbishop Iakovos. May his memory be eternal! Many thanks to my beloved mother Fotini for all of her help. She is such a blessing.
Camp. Is. Back. Registration for Fanari Summer Camp opens March 11 at 12:01pm. . . Visit fanari.camp/summer-camp for more info . #fanari #summer #camp Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago #LiveOrthodoxy Orthodox Observer
The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America Launches Centennial Celebration- Orthodox Observer, Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, Elpidophoros Archbishop of America - Ελπιδοφόρος Αρχιεπίσκοπος Αμερικής
WASHINGTON, DC - Immediately prior to departing for the service at the Cathedral of Saint Sophia, His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew felt unwell — due to the long flight and full schedule of events upon arrival. His doctor advised him to rest and out an abundance of caution he will be taken to the George Washington University Hospital for observation. https://www.goarch.org/-/press-release
LIVE -- Pan-Orthodox Chorastasia, Saint Sophia Cathedral, Washington, DC.
This is the most beautiful photo of His Eminence Archbishop Archbishop Elpidophoros of America taken by His Grace Bishop Athenagoras Ziliaskopoulos. It was at the most moving point during the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and National Shrine lighting service in commemoration of the 20th Anniversary of 9/11 when His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros Archbishop of America - Ελπιδοφόρος Αρχιεπίσκοπος Αμερικής turned to St. Nicholas with his staff in his left hand and candle in his right, the second before the St. Nicholas lit up. What do we see on His Eminence’s vestments? It’s the Icon of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America Orthodox Observer Only a good brother could capture this image.
Last evening, soon after sunset, His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America turned the lights on at @stnicholaswtc for the first time in a beautiful service marking the 20th anniversary of 9/11. Orthodox Observer Dimitrios S. Panagos (beautiful photos) Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America
On Sunday, September 5, 2021, His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America concelebrated the Divine Liturgy together with His Grace Bishop Damaskinos of Dorylaion at the Patriarchal and Stavropegial Monastery of the Holy Trinity in Chania, Crete via Orthodox Observer.
His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America Homily for the Fifth Sunday of Saint Matthew July 25, 2021: https://www.goarch.org/-/homily-fifth-sunday-matthew-2021 courtesy of Orthodox Observer —
Memory eternal, Dr Korkos! 🙏 via Orthodox Observer Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America Milwaukee Bucks Archbishop Elpidophoros of America #greeks #greekamericans #archon ##bucks #rip #m#memoryeternal