Brethren and children in the Lord
The indescribable love of God together with His infinite mercy has made us worthy once again to become partakers of heavenly joy upon the great and world-saving feast of Christ?s Nativity.
The announcement of great joy from heaven ??unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord? echoes throughout the ages and once again this year, doxologies fill the domes of the churches and the sound of bells fill the air, spreading the joyous message.
The excellent, heavenly melodists Damascinos, Cosmas, Romanos and the rest of the Godly-wise hymnographers take part in the celebration, chanting the hymn together with the chanters here upon the earth: ?Christ is born, give ye glory. Christ is come from Heaven, receive ye Him. Christ is on earth, be ye exalted. Sing unto the Lord all the earth ?!
The common joy of heaven and earth was first spoken by the angel unto the shepherds of Bethlehem: ??behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people?.
Our senses are filled with heavenly joy according to the hymn, ?today all creation is filled with the joy of Christ?s birth from the Virgin?.
The Lord has shone His mercy upon us, raising up fallen man to the ancient honor he had before the fall, through His incarnation and divine baptism.
The world today is not moved by this great and extraordinary feat of the divine economy and does not attempt to ascend to the all-honored benefaction of God.
Unfortunately, it remains under the rule of ?the rulers of the darkness of this world? being content to wallow in sin.
It is not moved by the great, divine and sacrificial love, the only love of it?s kind as the Lord Himself assures us ?Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends?.
The Lord has given an example to mankind of godly humility and love as the foundation of the virtues without which no other virtue is obtained or accomplished, for Christ tells His friends: ?Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.?
Who today yearns for the friendship of Christ? How many meditate upon the great mystery of the Nativity? How many feel indebtedness before God?
The modern celebration of this great day expels the heavenly and takes on the form of a worldly feast.
Pious feast lovers. Pious Orthodox.
Honorable laborers of Christ?s vineyard.
Let us celebrate, not as the world does but in compunction and in a God-pleasing manner to the glory of God. We all know that in our days sin revels to the heights. Christ has been banished. Piety is cast out as we have seen with recent events in Esphigmenou. The pastors and teachers are forcing the people away from Christ with their scandalous lives and their anti-Patristic teachings.
Orthodoxy has been betrayed. The sacred canons have been trampled upon and rendered useless. The feasts of the Church have been transformed into secular customs for the manipulation of the people and personal vanity, in antithesis to Jesus who ?hath not where to lay his head?! This is not patristic, nor traditional, nor toward the imitation of the good.
We, who witness to the truth, are derided and warred against because we are united with the God-bearing Fathers of the Church, those bright stars of the noetic firmament and golden mouths of the Word. We strive to preserving the noetic Thermopylae being obedient to the Patristic spirit and never being united with today?s modernists and papophiles who personify the anti-Patristic spirit of this age.
Whence we piously celebrate the Nativity of Christ together with the Church Triumphant in the heavens, in order that we may receive the blessings and grace of the incarnation of God the Word and become inheritors of His kingdom.
So be it.
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...
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...