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 Fast

One of the four fasts of the Church, the Apostles' fast begins on the Monday after the Sunday of All-Saints and is broken on the feast of the Apostles Peter and Paul on July 12. During the Apostles' fast, oil, wine and shellfish (seafood) are permitted on weekdays (save Wednesdays and Fridays) and fish is permitted on the weekends. In monasteries the mid-hours are chanted two or three times a week when "Alleluia" replaces "God is the Lord" in matins. The Apostles' fast is anywhere between eight and forty-two days, depending on the date of Pascha.

Of the four fasts of the Church, the Apostles' fast is the most disregarded. It is heard that this is because it changes every year many do not know when it starts or finishes and therefore they neglect to observe it. It is also considered difficult (or more correctly, bothersome) to observe owing to the fact that it is in the summer.

The incarnation of the Pre-eternal Word of God and His three-year ministry upon the earth is the central event of all human history and it is through celebrating the various feasts that the life of Christ is relived in our own lives. From Christ's conception to His nativity and baptism up until His death and resurrection, His ascension into Heaven and the descent of the Holy Spirit upon His Apostles and Disciples, we relive these events year after year so that through these observances Christ's life may begin to be be manifested in our own lives.

The Church, the Ark of Salvation, realizes that without preparation the feast days will not be distinguished from every other day and we will not truly experience the feast. With this in mind the Church has appointed fast periods of various lengths and intensities which correspond to the greatness of the coming feast.

The Apostles' fast serves to keep us from forgetting Christ during the summertime when daily schedules are relaxed and we are on vacation. The fact that it is an easy fast only removes any excuse we may have for not observing it. And then on the day of the feast itself we will be appropriately prepared to celebrate in an Orthodox manner.

Through the prayers of Thy Holy Apostles, O Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on us and save us. Amen

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.

Orthodox Awareness

Why Do We Follow the Old Orthodox Calendar?

Why do we follow the Old Orthodox Calendar?

a Because based on it, the First Ecumenical Council established the Paschal Canon and appointed that the feast of Holy Pascha may fall anywhere from March 22nd until April 25th, while with the New (Papal) Calendar it can fall as late at May 8th.

b The Gregorian (Papal) Calendar has been condemned by three Pan-Orthodox Councils under Patriarch Jeremiah Tranos (1583, 1587, 1589) Read more...

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

Two-Headed Snake Cane?

Q. Can you tell me what the two-headed snake cane the Greek Bishop is walking with represents? What does it mean?
-V.T. Read more...