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Source: St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary Yonkers, NY – St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary (SVOTS) is poised to establish a permanent Institute of Sacred Arts (ISA) on its campus, with “creativity and holiness for the life of the world” as its mission, thanks to a $250,000 grant from the Henry Luce Foundation. The grant, announced November 29, 2018, will help the Seminary build upon the Sacred Arts Initiative (SAI) which the Luce Foundation also funded in 2016. The Institute of Sacred Arts will introduce a curriculum where art and theology are mutually interpretive: theology informing the arts, but also arts informing theology. “Many universities and divinity…

Source: Tampa Bay Times A former dove-bearer and granddaughter of St. Nicholas’ longtime priest calls the rule ‘theologically unjustifiable’ By Tracey McManus TARPON SPRINGS — For 112 years, a priest has cast a white cross into the Spring Bayou as boys in good standing with St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Cathedral dived into the water for the chance to find it, the highlight of the annual Epiphany event celebrating the baptism of Jesus Christ. Tradition says the one who emerges grasping the cross is rewarded with a year of blessings. In Tarpon Springs, the largest Epiphany celebration in the Western Hemisphere, boys…

Source: St. Basil Greek Orthodox Church Service Celebrate’s Christ’s Baptism in the River Jordan On Sunday, January 6, 2019, at 12:30 pm at the Park Number 571 Boathouse, at 2828 South Eleanor Street in Chicago, St Basil Greek Orthodox Church will hold the Second Annual Theophany/Epiphany Blessing of the Waters service on the Chicago River. Outdoor Blessing of the Water services are spiritually important for Eastern Orthodox parishioners, but rare in this part of the world. While in the past outdoor Blessing of the Water services have been held within the City of Chicago, it had been over a decade…

Source: Bigorski Monastery On January 4, 2019, His All Holiness, the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew welcomed in his patriarchal residence the Reverend Hieromonk Luke of Xenophontos. Father Lucas, the most famous Athonite painter and calligrapher, gave His All Holiness the parchment with a calligraphy of the Tomos for the autocephalous Church in Ukraine, hand written by him, with the blessing of his Abbot, Archimandrite Alexios of the Xenophontos Monastery, Mount Athos. The representatives of the Ukrainian Church, headed by the Metropolitan of Kiev, Epiphanius, have already arrived at Phanar, where the next day they will attend the ceremonious act of the Tomos ratification by the Ecumenical Patriarch.…

by Aykhan Hasanov The Republic of Azerbaijan is a Caspian coastal state in the Southern Caucasus which re-established its independence upon the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Located at the crossroads of Eastern Europe and Southwest Asia, Azerbaijan acts as a bridge-builder in the dialogue of both civilizations. Historical background, geographical position, and population’s ethnic composition gave rise to the existence of various religions on its territory. At certain periods, idolatry, fire-worship, Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam and a number of other beliefs spread across to varying degrees, mutual influence of which had drawn up the originality of country’s religious…

Source: St. Catherine’s Vision December 2018 Cherished Brothers and Sisters in Christ, With deep love and gratitude to God for the past year, I write to you now as we begin to enter the heart of the Nativity season and the New Year! Thank you for your friendship, prayers and support that have been sustaining our efforts to this day! From our very beginning, Saint Catherine’s Vision (SCV) has been striving to spiritually encourage and educate women and men who have been endeavoring to follow Christ. We have been building relationships and consulting with groups of persons interested in the various…

via VIDEO | Syrian Christian town where Jesus’ language remains in use celebrates Christmas One of the places where Christmas was celebrated on Tuesday is Maaloula, a small town near Damascus, where residents still speak Aramaic, the language used by Jesus Christ. Maaloula is located in a mountainous area near the Syrian capital, where two ancient Christian monasteries also stand.  Some of the damage can still be seen at Christian sites, like defaced crosses and icons or damaged frescos, informs Russia Today. But with peace returning to the cradle of Christianity in Syria, people there gathered together with their…

Source: The Washington Post By E.J. Dionne Jr. Christmas remains wondrous, but it arrives at a difficult moment for Christianity in the United States. We still see Christmas trees strapped to the tops of cars, neighbors lighting up their homes, and children getting as excited as ever. And the churches will be unusually full. This last point is revealing: A relative decline of religious observance has brought forth the “Chreasters,” Christians who attend services only on Christmas and Easter. Regular worshipers can be disdainful of the Chreasters. They make it hard for the loyalists to find seats in the pews and…

Source: Oinos Educational Consulting by Frank Marangos, D.Min., Ed.D., FCEP Merry Christmas Click Bells to View Video Bells are used to tell time, sound an alarm, call to worship, toll the passing of loved ones, commemorate historical events, and express joy. By recalling God’s Gift of the Incarnation of His Son, Christmas bells also encourage philanthropic generosity. Bells are only mentioned once in Holy Scripture. Attached to Aaron’s vestments and “heard when he went into the Holy Place before the Lord” (Exodus 28:33-35), the sound of the High Priest’s bells indicated the condition of Israel’s relationship with God. While the sound…

Benedict Sheehan Saint Tikhon’s Monastery and Seminary are proud to announce that their music director, Benedict Sheehan, played key roles in two of the 2019 GRAMMY®-nominated projects for “Best Choral Performance” as announced on Friday, December 7, 2018. The Clarion Choir’s recently released disc, Kastalsky: Memory Eternal, was one of this year’s nominees. Sheehan worked closely with Clarion music director Steven Fox on every phase of this project from its inception in 2016 to its culmination in the premiere of the fully orchestrated version of the work in the Washington National Cathedral this past October. Clarion’s recording of Memory Eternal…

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