The Origin of the Feast of Christmas

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Source: Solia - The Herald by Very Rev. Fr. Antony Bassoline The celebration of the birth of Christ has become the most obvious religious-based public festival of American life. Its arrival in December is prepared for months in advance. It is the one event which generates the most anticipation and to which the most tradition and custom have attached themselves. Individual homes and whole cities dress up for Christmas. In popular sentiment, it has eclipsed the greater feast of the Resurrection, … [Read more...]

For Orthodox Christians, Christmas a time of reflection, not ‘entertainment’

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Source: The Vancouver Sun by Douglas Todd Orthodox Archbishop Lazar Puhalo is four days away from completing his annual 40-day Nativity fast. He refrains from meat, eggs, dairy products, anger, envy and other questionable habits during this time to “discipline the soul.” The 73-year-old leader of an Orthodox monastery in a remote corner of the Fraser Valley says of self-denial: “It is an attempt to control what usually controls us.” The hierarch’s fast will end on Christmas Eve – … [Read more...]

Greek Orthodox church brings aid to Sandy-ravaged Gerritsen Beach

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Source: Brooklyn Daily By Colin Mixson THREE HIERARCHS GREEK CHURCH DONATES TO GERRITSEN BEACH A Midwood parish has done its part to prove that the ancient axiom “beware of Greeks bearing gifts” doesn’t ring true. The Three Hierarchs Greek Orthodox Church, working with the Greek Orthodox Church of St. Nicholas and the Volunteer Fire Department of Bethlehem, Pa., sent a box truck and three Suburbans stuffed with desperately needed supplies to Gerritsen Beach on Dec. 1, a neighborhood … [Read more...]

Metropolitan Tikhon to be enthroned January 27, 2013; service and banquet schedule announced

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Source: Orthodox Church in America   SYOSSET, NY [OCA] The Enthronement of His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon as Primate of the Orthodox Church in America will be celebrated at Saint Nicholas Cathedral, Washington, DC, on the weekend of January 26-27, 2012. On Saturday, January 26, the Vigil will be celebrated at 5:00 p.m. On Sunday, January 27, the Divine Liturgy, followed by the Rite of Enthronement, will begin at 9:00 a.m. A banquet will be held at the Omni … [Read more...]

Full Text of Speech Given by Archdiocesan Council VP Michael Jaharis

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Source: The National Herald [NOTE: In last week’s edition (TNH, Dec. 15) we published a story about a speech that Archdiocesan Council VP Michael Jaharis delivered on October 18 to the Council’s Executive Committee and General Session. Many of you requested that we publish the entire speech so that you may draw your own conclusions. As per your request, here is the entire speech] Your Eminence and Colleagues, A funny thing happened on my way to Phoenix this summer… which deterred me … [Read more...]

Archbishop Demetrios Rushes to Church Near CT Tragedy

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Source: The National Herald by Theodore Kalmoukos NEWTOWN, CT – Archbishop Demetrios of America changed his schedule and instead of making a pastoral visit to the Archangel’s parish in Stamford CT, he went to the neighboring parish of the Dormition of the Virgin Mary in Danbury, close to the area that the massive killings of 20 small children and 6 adults were assassinated by 20 year-old Adam Lanza. Demetrios went to Danbury accompanied by his Chancellor, Bishop Andonios of Fasiane. The … [Read more...]

What Kind of God Would Allow Such a Tragedy to Happen?

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Source: The National Herald by Constantinos E. Scaros This being the week of the “Christmas column,” I was torn between issuing my annual Christmas message and writing about the topic at the forefront of most readers’ minds: the horrific mass pedocide that occurred last week in Connecticut. Keeping in mind that I was midway through a trip to my beloved hometown of Manhattan (I live a considerable distance away these days, in Central Pennsylvania) when the tragedy took place. I pondered … [Read more...]

Year End Summary: What’s up with OCL?

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As the year comes to an end, we wish you a Blessed and Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! The December Issue of Estiator “The Restaurateur” Magazine (www.estiator.com), an excellent monthly trade publication of the Greek-American Food Industry, published and edited by Peter S. Makrias and designed and produced by Vicky Tsavalias, carries an article ("Orthodox Christian Laity Celebrates 25 Years of Service") summarizing the outstanding Program celebrated at the end of October in honor of … [Read more...]

New Orthodox patriarch elected for Church of Antioch

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Source: The Daily Star - Lebanon TRIPOLI, Lebanon: Patriarch John Yaziji was elected Monday as successor to the late Greek Orthodox Patriarch Ignatius IV Hazim, who died earlier this month. The appointment came during a closed meeting of 18 Bishops at Balamand monastery, some 85 kilometers north of Beirut. Speaking following his appointment, Yaziji said he will do his best to keep on serving the church and asked the lord to give him strength in doing so. Hazim, who was born in the … [Read more...]

Sign a White House Petition to protect Christians in the Middle East

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THIS IS AN IMPORTANT EFFORT. PLEASE TAKE THE TIME AND REGISTER YOUR SUPPORT. Friends, Are there 25,000 Orthodox Christians in America who are ready to stand up for Orthodox Christians in the Middle East this holiday season? Hellenic American Leadership Council (HALC) is launching a petition asking President Obama to respond to the fact that religious minorities need protection across the globe, and we need your help. In Turkey alone -- which boasts a population of over 75 million -- … [Read more...]