The Spiritual Watch

Below, please find the first issue of the second volume of The Spiritual Watch, the new 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 II, Issue 1

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 4th, 5th, & 6th 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 Matthew the Evangelist, Jonesboro, Arkansas

Jonesboro is a town located near the Eastern border of Arkansas, with a population of approximately 60,000. From a human standpoint, it’s not the most likely candidate for a traditional Orthodox mission, but for an Orthodox Christian who orders his priorities around Christ and His Church, it makes perfect sense. Read more...

Youth

Report and photos from the 2017 Youth & Family Conference

Ask A Priest

Morning and Evening Prayers

Q. Are the prayers in the blue prayer book [A Prayerbook for Orthodox Christians by the Holy Transfiguration Monastery —ed.] compulsory for everyone? I mean their morning prayers and the service of Small Compline. My confessor gave me a special rule but wasn’t clear about whether this replaced the book prayers or was in addition to them. Read more...