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.
Afflictions bring blessing to man; self-esteem and sensual pleasure, evil.
—St. Mark the Ascetic, On the Spiritual Law.
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.
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.
A Rejoinder to Fr. Basil Gregoriates and an Apology for Breaking Communion with Ecumenist Bishops
In every age the devil tempts the faithful by various means: persecutions, foreign invasions, the lure of worldly seduction. Among his most effective snares are heresy and schism which, by separating Christians from the Church, lead them away from Christ and into spiritual deception and apostasy. Read more...
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...
2021 St. Xenia Camp
Greetings St. Xenia Camp family,
As previously announced, through the intercessions of St. Xenia, the prayers of so many of you, and with the blessing of Metropolitan Demetrius, St. Xenia Camp 2021 will return to Forest Acres in Fryeburg, Maine August 15-21! Given the continued impact of COVID-19, camp this year may yet be somewhat different from the past Forest Acres experiences. We are sharing this information ahead of registration so that all families can make an informed decision on whether they feel comfortable sending their camper(s) this year. [Read more...]
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...