The Spiritual Watch

Below, please find the latest issue of The Spiritual Watch, the official publication of the Metropolis of America, published with the blessings of His Eminence, Metropolitan Demetrius of America. In The Spiritual Watch, you will find news and information regarding our Holy Metropolis, as well as spiritual writings.

The Spiritual Watch, Vol VII (New: February 24/March 8, 2024)

Quote From the Fathers

[Abba Moses said:] 'Fasts and vigils, the study of Scripture, renouncing possessions and everything wordly are not in themselves perfection, as we have said; they are its tools. For perfection is not to be found in them; it is acquired through them. It is useless, therefore, to boast of our fasting, vigils, poverty, and reading of Scripture when we have not achieved the love of God and our fellow man. Whoever has achieved love has God within himself and his intellect is always with God.'
—St. John Cassian, On the Holy Fathers of Sketis.

About the Season

The Pentecostarion is the period of the ecclesiastical year from Pascha to Pentecost.

Having just been prepared through the Triodion, the Great Fast and Holy Week we celebrate the Feast of feasts and Festival of festivals, the Resurrection of Christ. It is through the church services that we noetically relive the events in the Gospel and the life of Christ becomes our own life, for it is not we who live but Christ who lives in us.

Continuing the spirit of Holy Week, where the ecclesiastical commemoration of the events surrounding the Passion of Christ followed in chronological order, the Church celebrates the Apostle Thomas's touching the Resurrected Body of Christ on the eighth day of Pascha, on the fortieth day of Pascha we celebrate His Ascension into the Heavens and on the fiftieth day we celebrate Pentecost.

From Pascha till Pentecost we read from the Gospel according to St. John the Theologian. This telling of the Gospel differs from the other three synoptic Gospels in that it focuses on Christ’s Divinity. The synoptic Gospels were used during catechism and the Gospel according to St. John was reserved for the enlightened after baptism. Great and Holy Saturday was the day on which the catechumens were baptized so it is on Pascha that we begin to read from the Gospel according to St. John.

The fourth, fifth, and sixth weeks of Pascha emphasize Christ's divinity though His unprecedented preaching to the Jews and the healings performed in the Temple of Solomon during the Jewish feasts, and His revelation to St. Photeine, the Samaritan woman that He is the Messiah.

The Sunday in-between the Ascension and Pentecost is dedicated to the Fathers of the 1st Ecumenical Council in Nicaea. When speaking of His Ascension, Christ promised not to leave us orphans but that He would be with us, even until the end of time. It is through His Church (against which the gates of Hades shall not prevail) through the mystery of Apostolic Succession that He is with us. At a bishop’s ordination the hymns of Pentecost are chanted because the bishops are successors of the Apostles and the same Holy Spirit Who descended upon the Apostles also descends upon the ordinand. After the Leave-taking of Pentecost is the 1st Sunday of Matthew and having completed the Acts of the Apostles we continue with St. Paul’s epistle to the Romans. Although the Pentecostarion comes to an end and the ecclesiastical year continues, a connection is made between Pentecost and the continuing life of the Church. This connection is expressed in the commemoration All Saints from all ages and in all places, Prophets, Apostles, Hierarchs, Martyrs & Righteous. All of whom worship the Triadic God in Orthodox manner.

Truly their sound hath gone forth into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world for Christ is with us always even unto the end of time.

About the Church

The Church of the Genuine Orthodox Christians (GOC) of America is The Traditionalist Orthodox Church serving the faithful of North and South America following the old (Julian) calendar. Having its roots in the Diocese of Astoria, founded by Metropolitan Petros (Astyfides) in 1954, it presently consists of two Metropolises (America and Toronto) and two dioceses (Etna and Portland, and Boston), shepherded by five hierarchs, under the Presidency of His Eminence, Metropolitan Demetrius of America.

The Church of the GOC of America is an autonomous Eparchy whose Mother Church is The Holy Synod of the Church of the GOC of Greece, under the Presidency of His Beatitude Archbishop Kallinikos of Athens and All Greece. The bishops belonging to the Eparchial Synod are also members of the Holy Synod of the Church of Greece. We resist the heresy of Ecumenism.

Missions

Saint John of Kronstadt - Bunnell, Florida

St. John of Kronstadt Orthodox Church began as a mission parish in the year 2000, in a home chapel in Palm Coast, FL – a small town on Florida’s northeast coast located between St. Augustine and Daytona Beach. After two years, it became necessary to have services in area community centers, rented for Sundays and other Holy Days. Read more...

Youth

2023 Youth Conference

Please join us for the 2023 youth conference in Chicago, IL! To learn more, visit the home page or visit the conference website.

Ask A Priest

Fasting

Q. There seems to be a lot of variation in how people observe fasting, but my confessor told me to fast from oil on Wednesday and Friday. Oil is a pretty vague category, though, and I was wondering if I could get a more explicit description of what kinds of food and drink are excluded on strict fast days. Read more...