|Restoration Work at Holy Trinity Monastery - Phase One of Electrical Upgrade - 06/15/13|
We have begun the first phase of the electrical upgrade to the main monastic dormitory and the Cathedral. This involves adding 4, 100 amp fused disconnects in main electrical room in the basement of the monastery, installing conduits , cabling and 42 main lug panels on all floors and the church as well as running new undeground cable from the dormitory to the Church. This phase is nearly complete. The next stage is the most difficult and time consuming stage of the project which will require the rewiring of the buildings, disabling and removing old wiring and connecting new wires to the new panels. We ask for your support to help us continue this work.
|65th Annual Commencement of Holy Trinity Seminary - 05/26/13|
Holy Trinity Orthodox Seminary held its Sixty-Fifth Annual Commencement on Sunday, May 26, 2013.
|Radonitsa - 05/14/13|
On Tuesday May 14 2013 the first pannykhida after Pascha was served at Holy Trinity Monastery.
|Bright Tuesday 2013- Photo Report - 05/07/13|
On Tuesday, May 7 2013 of Bright Week Archbishop Gabriel of Montreal and Canada served at Holy Trinity Monastery.
|Holy and Great Wednesday - Presanctified Liturgy 2013 - Photo Report - 05/01/13|
|Holy Unction Service - Great Tuesday 2013 - Photo Report - 04/30/13|
The Mystery of Healing and Forgiveness
So they (the Apostles) went out and preached that people should repent. And they cast out many demons, and anointed with oil many who were sick, and healed them (Mark 6: 12–13).
Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the presbyters of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven (James 5: 14–15).
Christ as Saviour and Healer
Christ came into the world for the salvation of all. One of the signs of His divine ministry was the healing of the sick. He healed those who were blind, paralysed, possessed, crippled, deaf and dumb, and, in general, all types of physical infirmities. The power of healing remains in the Church since Christ Himself remains in the Church through the Holy Spirit. The power of healing was given to the Holy Apostles and through them to the bishops and priests. One of the ways that healing was done was through the anointing of the sick with blessed oil.
The Purpose of Holy Unction
The Mystery of Holy Unction is a service of the anointing of the sick with blessed oil. It is the Church’s specific prayer for the spiritual, physical, and mental healing of a sick person, whatever the nature or seriousness of the illness may be–and there is not one of us who does not need healing for some physical, mental or spiritual illness. However, not only is Holy Unction for healing, but, as Saint James says in his Epistle, it is also for the forgiveness of our sins.
Holy Unction and Confession
Orthodox Christians who confess on a regular basis and are struggling for their salvation are able to participate in the Mystery of Holy Unction. The proper order is:
1. Repentance and Confession
2. Holy Communion
3. Holy Unction - anointing with Holy Oil
Holy Unction and Fasting
In general, one does not need to fast when receiving Holy Unction.
Homily On the Mystery of Holy Unction
By Saint Nikolai Velimirovich
‘... and anointed with oil many who were sick, and healed them’ (Mark 6:13)
The Holy Apostles did this, and we are commanded to do likewise. The Apostle James wrote for us: ‘Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the presbyters of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven’ (James 5: 14–15). One must call no-one but the priest, the elders of the Church, and they must anoint him in no-one’s name (so that it be not diabolical) but that of the Lord. No-one but the Lord will raise him, neither can anyone but the Lord forgive him his sins. But why with oil, and not by some other means? Because it is so commanded; and it is for us simply to show our obedience and faith. Why is it commanded that we be baptised with water, chrismated with myrrh and communicated with bread and wine? These things are God’s choice and God’s business, and it is for us to be obedient and to believe. The elements used in the various Mysteries differ, but the grace is one even as the Lord is one, and everything is from the Lord. Why does the Lord use material means to pour His grace upon us? The Lord does not need these material things, but rather we, as long as we are material, need them. In condescension to our weakness, the Lord makes use of matter. To the immaterial angels, He gives grace by immaterial means.
Of itself, the oil is powerless, as is every material thing on its own, but God’s grace is all-powerful. God gives His grace through the oil, and it heals the sick, raises the weak and restores the insane to sanity.
Oh, my brethren, how ineffable is God’s goodness! What has the Lord not done for us? What more could we desire? He has foreseen all our needs and provided medicine for them in advance. He only seeks from us that we believe in Him and fulfil His commandments. Is it not blind of us, and shameful, that we often carry out the directions of doctors, mortal men like ourselves, more carefully and conscientiously than we do those of God immortal?
O all-gracious Lord, shatter the stone of our hearts with the power of Thy grace; that we may, before our last hour, show Thee the gratitude we owe Thee, O our gracious and most wise God. To Thee be glory and praise for ever. Amen.
The Prologue from Ochrid by Saint Nikolai Velimirovich
|Palm Sunday 2013 - 04/28/13|
Homily on the Entry of the Lord into Jerusalem (Palm Sunday) by Saint Nikolai Velimirovich
One of the most miraculous details of our Savior’s life was foreseen by the Prophet Zacharias through the dark glass of time, and described thus: Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Sion; proclaim it aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem; behold, the King is coming to thee, just, and a Saviour; he is meek and riding on an ass, and a young foal And when he had thus spoken, he went before, ascending up to Jerusalem. And it came to pass, when he was come nigh to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount called the mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples, saying, Go ye into the village over against you; in the which at your entering ye shall find a colt tied, whereon yet never man sat: loose him, and bring him hither. And if any man ask you, Why do ye loose him? thus shall ye say unto him, Because the Lord hath need of him.(Zach. 9:9). The Apostle Luke, an eyewitness, describes this event:
And they that were sent went their way, and found even as he had said unto them. And as they were loosing the colt, the owners thereof said unto them, Why loose ye the colt? And they said, The Lord hath need of him. And they brought him to Jesus: and they cast their garments upon the colt, and they set Jesus thereon. And as he went, they spread their clothes in the way. And when he was come nigh, even now at the descent of the mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen; saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest.
And some of the Pharisees from among the multitude said unto him, Master, rebuke thy disciples. And he answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out. saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes. For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side, and shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation. And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it, and he went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold therein, and them that bought; saying unto them, It is written, My house is the house of prayer: but ye have made it a den of thieves. And he taught daily in the temple. But the chief priests and the scribes and the chief of the people sought to destroy him, and could not find what they might do: for all the people were very attentive to hear him (Lk. 19:28–48).
This is the description of an historical event that took place twenty centuries ago, as related by an eyewitness. But this event has more than historical significance; it also has a spiritual meaning, and therefore also a moral meaning for every modern-day Christian. According to the spiritual meaning, Jerusalem signifies the human soul, and the entry of the Lord into Jerusalem signifies the entrance of God into the soul.
The multitudes of people, crowded and pushing one against another, joyfully awaiting and greeting Christ, symbolize the noble sentiments and exalted thoughts of a person who joyfully greets God, his Savior and Deliverer. The leaders of the crowd of people, who hate Christ and want to kill Him, personify the lower desires and earthbound thoughts, which take the upper hand over man’s noble nature and oppress it. Now this lower human nature rebels against God’s entry into the soul, for when God is enthroned there, the lower nature will inevitably be destroyed.
The Temple in Jerusalem symbolizes the holy of holies of the human soul—that sacred place where the Holy Spirit has if only a miniscule haven even in the greatest sinner. But earthly passions penetrate there also, and lower human nature has used even it to achieve its base aims.
Christ heals the soul of those sick ones who fall down before Him with faith, and this means that certain impulses of the soul, although sick, thirst for unity with God and seek for Him, the only true Doctor in the world. Christ’s prophecy of Jerusalem’s destruction symbolizes the destruction of any soul that God rejects, lays low, and spews forth from Himself.
No one in this world is happy unless he has opened wide the gates of his spiritual Jerusalem—his soul—and received God into himself. A godless man feels lonely to despair. The society of others does not make his loneliness go away, but only increases it. However he who has taken God into his soul will never feel lonely even in a desert. No one dies an eternal death other than one in whom God has died.
|Lazarus Saturday - Tonsure into Riassophor Monk - 04/28/13|
On Friday April 26 2013 after the Matins service for Lazarus Saturday, Archimnadrite Luke tonsured Novice Alexander to a Riassophor Monk. Father Alexander makes church candles as his obedience. Archimandrite Luke said that the candle is a symbol of Christ and a symbol of prayer and wished the newly tonsured monastic that his life be with Christ always doing the Jesus Prayer.
|Moleben and Akathist served to the Myrrh Bearing Icon "Softener of Evil Hearts" - 04/22/13|
On Monday April 22 2013 a moleben and Akathist was served to the myrrh bearing icon "Softener of Evil Hearts". The icon will be in Jordanville until Bright Tuesday. Usually during Lent the icon does not give much myrrh according to its keeper Sergei but for the first time it has been giving a lot of myrrh during its stay in Jordanville for the past two weeks. Archimandrite Luke had to change the myrrh soaked cotton from the icon as the container which hold the cotton was soaked with myrrh. Myrrh forms as drops which then run down the glass and icon and collect onto the cotton.
|Saturday of the Akathist 2013 - 04/19/13|
On Friday April19, Archbishop Gabriel of Montreal and Canada led the service of the Akathist to the Mother of God during the matins service. Following the Matins service Novice Victor Gregory was tonsured a riassophore monk. Archimandrite Luke wished the newly tonsured monk patience and perseverance in his monastic struggles.
|Presanctified Liturgy of the Apostle James - 04/12/13|
On Friday Aril 12, 2013 the Presanctified Liturgy of the Apostle James was served for the first time at Holy Trinity Monastery.
A short History of the Presanctified Liturgy of the Apostle James by Bishop Jerome of Manhattan
The Presanctified Liturgy of St. James was the traditional form of the Presanctified, as celebrated by the Church of Jerusalem in the Holy Sepulchre. The oldest Greek text was published in 1896 and subsequent editions of Brightman's "Liturgies Eastern and Western", Vol. I: Eastern Liturgies, on pp. 494-501. This edition contains only the litanies, exclamations and some rubrics, but not the inaudible prayers of the celebrant. It is found complete, in the "Liturgicon of Jerusalem" (also entirely in Greek), published some years ago by the Jerusalem Patriarchate.
Judging by the text in Brightman, this Liturgy was at first celebrated, not in conjunction with Vespers, but together with the Typica. Therefore the Litanies said "Let us complete our prayer unto the Lord", and not "...our *evening* prayer unto the Lord". This also explains several other peculiarities of the text. The earlier form of the Liturgy began with a procession from one chapel to another in the church of the Holy Sepulchre, which is why it substitutes the "Tropar of the day" for "O Gladsome Light" at the Entrance.
The Presanctified Liturgy of St. James includes the Creed, the prayer "Vouchsafe O Lord", and other material not normally found in the Presanctified. A translation into modern Serbian was published by Bishop Chrysostom of the Banat diocese, where it is celebrated on specific days in Lent. However, the Jerusalem edition says this Liturgy can be celebrated on any Lenten weekday.
|Sunday of the Holy Cross and Annunciation - Photo and Video Report - 04/07/13|
|The Northern Clergy Retreat concluded with the Hierarchal Presanctified Liturgy - 04/03/13|
Wednesday, April 3, marked the final day of the Northern Lenten Retreat for clergy of the Eastern American Diocese and the Patriarchal Parishes in the USA at Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, NY. The retreat concluded with the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts, led by the First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad, His Eminence, Metropolitan Hilarion. The First Hierarch was concelebrated by His Grace, Bishop George, and retreat participants. During the Little Entrance, Priest Job Watts (rector of St. Nektarios Church in Lenoir City, TN) was awarded the kamilavka.
The Liturgy was an expression of the spiritual unity that has dwelt among the clergy, and is characteristic of past lenten retreats in the Diocese. "Our unity as the Body of Christ is manifested when we partake of the one Holy Bread," said Fr. Job. "That unity is the basis from which everything else flows. Roundtable discussions and lectures will bring us no benefit if we are not mystically tied together through the Holy Bread."
Archpriest Mark Shinn (rector of St. Andrew’s Patriarchal Cathedral in Philadelphia, PA) echoed his sentiments: "Love reigns at the altar table. Prior to communing, we embrace one another with the words, ‘Christ is in our midst – He is and ever shall be.’ One cannot imagine the Church without this understanding of love and unity, centered on the Holy Eucharist. It is the living incarnation of what it means to be the Church."
After the Liturgy, a farewell luncheon was held in the monastery refectory, followed by an akathist in the main cathedral to St. Luke, the Surgeon of Simferopol, before a piece of his holy relics. The Northern Clergy Retreat thus concluded, and participants departed to their home parishes, spiritually energized for the remainder of the Fast.
Source : http://www.eadiocese.org
|Northern Lenten Retreat at Holy Trinity Monastery - 04/02/13|
On Tuesday, April 2, the Northern Lenten Retreat for clergy of the Eastern American Diocese and the Patriarchal Parishes in the USA officially commenced at Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, NY. On the eve of the retreat, many clerics began to arrive in Jordanville, traveling great distances to be with one another in these sacred days of Great Lent. Over 85 clerics and matushkas are participating in the Northern Retreat, in addition to all of the seminarians of Holy Trinity Seminary.
Before the beginning of the Great Compline, the First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad, His Eminence Hilarion, Metropolitan of Eastern America & New York, together with His Grace, Eastern American Diocesan vicar Bishop George of Mayfield, and gathered clergy, greeted the holy relics of the Holy Hierarch St. Luke of Simferopol in Holy Trinity Cathedral. The relics have been traveling across the East Coast with the blessing of the Administrator of the Patriarchal Parishes in the USA, His Eminence Justinian, Archbishop of Naro-Fominsk, and will remain in Holy Trinity Monastery for the duration of the conference.
On Tuesday morning, upon completion of the appointed lenten services, retreat participants assembled in the seminary hall for a moleben before the beginning of any good work. Metropolitan Hilarion then welcomed the participants, wishing them God’s aid for a fruitful retreat. Monastery abbot Archimandrite Luke (Murianka) also welcomed the clergy and noted the pleasant effect that the unexpected snowstorm had on the penitential spirit of the retreat. "The holy fathers of our monastery have always maintained that snow and wintery weather during Great Lent, help us to focus more intently on prayer," said Fr. Luke.
On Tuesday, April 2, marked the first full day of the Northern Lenten Retreat for clergy of the Eastern American Diocese and the Patriarchal Parishes in the USA at Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, NY. The day included a full schedule of lectures on the lives of the saints, the history of the Diocese, and exciting missionary activity abroad.
The first lecture was "One who came to love suffering," by Archpriest Victor Potapov (dean of the South and rector of St. John the Baptist Cathedral in Washington, DC), who spoke on the life of St. Luke, Surgeon of Simferopol. This was followed by two video lectures by Protopresbyter Valery Lukianov (dean of New Jersey and rector of St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Howell, NJ) on the lives Archbishops Averky (Taushev) and Nikon (Rklitsky), touching on personal recollections and remarks by the senior-most cleric of the Eastern American Diocese (who unfortunately could not attend due to illness, and recorded the lectures in conjunction with the diocesan Media Office).
After a luncheon, the retreat broke for free time, resuming with a talk by Priest Peter Jackson (rector of Sts. Theodore Church in Buffalo, NY) on his visit to Guatemala and the 50,000 recent Maya Orthodox converts. Archpriest Gregory Naumenko (rector of the Protection of the Mother of God Church in Rochester, NY) then led a group discussion with the assembled priests and hierarchs. During Compline and Matins, retreat participants’ confessions were heard by Metropolitan Hilarion and Bishop George.
|First Week of Great Lent 2013 - 03/24/13|
The first week of Great Lent was observed at Holy Trinity Monastery with customary solemnity. There were no classes at the seminary that week, so the seminarians, the monks, and the local Orthodox community all joined in prayer at the divine services.
Every day the services began early in the morning, before dawn. The semantron woke the monastery and seminary communities and called them to prayer. The full liturgical cycle was followed each day, with Midnight Office, Matins, the Hours, Typika, and Vespers. On Wednesday and Friday, the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts was served at Vespers. The services took over seven hours with readings from the Holy Fathers, and ended after noon, when the only meal of the day was served without oil. After a rest, at six o’clock in the evening all gathered again in the monastery church for Great Compline. Archimandrite Luke read the Great Canon of St. Andrew from Monday to Thursday. On Friday we read the canons for Holy Communion. Everyone in the community prepared to receive Communion on Saturday morning, which this year commemorated both St. Theodore the Tyro and the Forty Martyrs of Sebaste.
On Sunday, which celebrates the Triumph of Orthodoxy, His Grace Bishop Jerome of Manhattan came to celebrate the Divine Liturgy with the monastery clergy. At the end of the Liturgy, the Anathema Service began. Protodeacon Joseph Jarostchuk intoned the anathemas. This year, another anathema was added to the service taken from from the Pan-Orthodox Council of 1583 anathematizing all who, “[do] not confess with heart and mouth that the Holy Spirit proceeds out of only the Father, essentially and hypostatically, as Christ says in the Gospel.”
|Fifth Anniversary since the Repose of Metropolitan Laurus - 03/16/13|
Saturday March 16, 2013 marked the fifth anniversary since the repose of Metropolitan Laurus. A hierarchical liturgy was served at 6 am presided by Metropolitan Hilarion and accompanied by many clergy. At the end of the service a pannykhida was served for the reposed of Metropolitan Hilarion. May God grant rest to his soul and his example serve for us a reminder of our calling to strive to fulfill Christ's commandments in all aspects of our life as did Vladyka Laurus throughout his life.
|Talk by Metropolitan Hilarion to the Brotherhood of Holy Trinity Monastery - 03/15/13|
On Friday March 15 2013 his Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion gave a talk to the fathers of Holy Trinity Monastery about his recollections of the various holy monastics that lived in Jordanville. He talked about the virtues of the founders of the monastery, Fr Panetelimon and Fr. Joseph, about Fr Germogen the gardener, Fr Vladimir, Fr Prokopy the cook, Archbishop Averky, Archbishop Vitaly and about the life of Metropolitan Laurus, his monastic beginnings in Vladimirona and the virtues that characterised him namely his love, purity and simplicity. The Metropolitan then gave practical advice to the monastic about cultivating prayers, good thoughts, not relying on our own judgement and discernment which often lead one astray and on cultivating humility and obedience in our monastics duties. He also shared from his own experience that there are no perfect monastic situations. He concluded by saying that he believes that many of the fathers who struggled in our monastery and are now in the cemetery attained sanctity.
|More talks by Archimandrite Luke at Parishes in Texas - 03/01/13|
On Monday March 1 2013, Archimandrite Luke was invited to conduct a conference with the women of the parish of St. Jonah. A moleben was served, followed by two hours of questions and answers concerning spiritual life, social issues, Scripture and iconography.
On Tuesday he was asked to speak to the adult Scripture class at St. Joseph's Antiochian Church in Houston. Questions and answers concerning the role of monasteries in Church life, apocalyptic times and Scripture were presented.
|An Exhibition of Russian Icons From 18th and 19th Centuries and a Celebration of Orthodox Christian Liturgical Music - 03/01/13|
St. Jonah Orthodox Church, a parish of the Russian Church Outside of Russia, Diocese of Chicago and Mid-America, sponsored an exhibit of historic Russian icons and a Liturgical Choral Concert in the English language, March 1-3, 2013 in Spring, Texas. Guest speakers were the Archimandrite Luke (Murianka), Dean of Holy Trinity Seminary and Abbot of Holy Trinity Monastery, along with Dr. Kurt Sander, composer of Orthodox Liturgical Music and Associate Professor of Music Theory and Composition and Music Department Chair at Northern Kentucky University. Many of you may recognize Kurt as both a graduate and resident theory professor at the Summer School of Liturgical Music at the Holy Trinity Orthodox Monastery in Jordanville, New York, and currently music director at St. George Russian Orthodox Church in Cincinnati, Ohio. With us also was Larissa Sander, Chairperson of the Diocese of Chicago and Mid-America Liturgical Music Committee.
The goal of the weekend was to impart a two-fold understanding about Orthodox Liturgical Worship and its components part- Word of God, icon and music. The first was to awaken ‘cradle’ Orthodox believers to the factors that appeal to one joining the Church- her inner life. The second was to share the Church’s self-understanding. The component parts of worship do not exist independently from each other, as if things unto themselves. Their artful expression is generated by and understood within the life of the Church. No other criterion outside her reveals the true meaning of their artfulness and aesthetic. The Word of God, icon, and music are each ‘Sacrament’, each unified with the other in the power, operation, and descent of the Holy Spirit to help lead our lives into redemption. Finally the liturgical arts have as their point of reference the revelation of God in the Old and New Testaments, not as afterthoughts but as the continuous movement to God toward man, through the divine energies of God at work in iconography and church music.
Archimandrite Luke spoke on the topic, “The Knowledge of Icons that Leads to God.” Kurt Sander spoke on the topic, “Ineffable Beauty: An Introduction to the Aesthetics of Orthodox Liturgical Art and Music.” Both linked the foundation of iconography to the creation of church music in a profound, engaging and thoughtful way unheard of before especially with regard to Orthodox Church Music.
The topics led us to conclude with the celebration of the Saturday evening All-night Vigil and Sunday morning Divine Liturgy. Fr. Luke as the main celebrant concelebrated with Fr. John Whiteford, rector of St. Jonah Church and resident Deacon David Companik, who was the master of ceremonies for the weekend. Other guest clergy included the Sunday homilist, the Hieromonk Innokenty (Reichert) from SS. Sergius and Herman Church in Houghton, MI, and Deacon and Mrs. Alexander Petrovsky, member of the Diocese of Chicago and Mid-America Liturgical Music Committee, from St. Innocent Church in Carol Stream, IL.
The choir of St. Jonah Church, under the direction of Ms. Demetra Short, sang a selection of hymns dedicated to the feast days of the Mother of God. The singing was complemented with commentary by Kurt Sander on the musical selections and text, and Iconographer John Lickwar on the corresponding icon. The choral presentation filled the church to capacity with one hundred and fifty plus and additional attendees having to stand outside. The choral concert work of Nicholas Kotar, now student at Holy Trinity Seminary, inspired the format of our choral presentation. We express our gratitude to his ground breaking work.
Our Concert Program Booklet included a letter from Fr. John Whiteford welcoming visitors and sharing information about the parish. He says, “Please keep in mind that by attending this weekend’s events, you will have walked into the first Orthodox Church in the world dedicated to the Holy hierarch Jonah of Manchuria. The year 2025 will mark his repose, October 20, 1925 (N.S.), and by that time it is our hope that we will have finished building a Temple and complex suitable to celebrate the occasion, and host the pilgrims that will come to join in that celebration.”
St. Jonah Orthodox Church was especially pleased to host the experience provided by this weekend for two reasons. First, here in Texas, we have joined with Ancient Faith Radio to provide to the world the unique opportunity of rediscovering Holy Trinity Orthodox Monastery and Seminary as the spiritual centers they have always been in the Orthodox world. Ancient Faith Radio was present to record and make each presentation available to a world-wide audience reaching one hundred and thirty countries with as many as six hundred thousand hits a month. Second, the program was not an academic event. It was intended as we said in the beginning, to connect people in part to the integrity of the Church through understanding the component parts of her liturgical worship.
“I’m personally more excited about events that might bring in more un-churched or Protestants and expose them to Orthodoxy…Not being artistically inclined I wouldn’t have thought the concert would have been a great vehicle for that either, but I’m glad I was wrong.”
Mr. James Hall, Attorney Warden, St. Jonah Orthodox Church
“Last Sunday, after an alert from a friend, I attended the Liturgy at St. Jonah’s about an hour north of Houston. It was a singularly joyous experience, due largely to the beauty of the choir….The great credit, of course, is due to its Choral Conductor, Demetra Short. She encompasses all of the qualities needed: gentle leadership combined with a thorough knowledge and love of the music…I’ve chosen my words carefully…As I left the program, I said to the crowd collected outside: There is BEAUTY, there is WONDER inside!”
Ms. Olga Bennett Orthodox Christian and Visitor to St. Jonah’s
Glory to God for All Things!
|Feast of the Three Hierarchs - 02/12/13|
On Tuesday February 13, 2013 Holy Trinity Seminary celebrated the Feast of the Holy Three Hierarchs. His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion led the services. We had the special blessing to have also the Kursk Root Icon for Vigil and the Divine Liturgy which brought by the Rev. Priest Nikolai Olhovski. Some of the service was sung in Greek for vigil by the seminary choir being part of a tradition established by Archbishop Averky. Before the Divine Liturgy the seminarians reader Peter Markevich was made a subdeacon and John Martin was tonsured a reader. In the afternoon a reception was held in the Seminary Hall where Metropolitan Hilarion spoke about the Holy Three Hierarchs, their life and how it serves as an example for the seminarians to follow. Following the Metropolitan's talk Protopresbyter George Dragas gave a talk explaining the theological significance of the dismissal hymn of the Saints. Archpriest Vladimir Tsurikov then announced various scholarships that were award to seminarians. Archimandrite Luke greeted everyone on the Feast and thanked all who made it possible to celebrate the Feast of the Three Hierarchs in a worthy manner.
| ||Indication of the Way into the Kingdom of Heaven - 02/04/13|
Holy Trinity Publications is proud to announce its newest release, a new edition of Indication Of the Way Into the Kingdom of Heaven.
The book was written in 1833 by the then Priest John Veniaminov, who would go on to become the first Orthodox Bishop in America, and is now known throughout the entire Orthodox world as St. Innocent of Moscow and Alaska. St. Innocent, at the time, was a missionary priest among the Aleut peoples of Alaska, and his book was published first in their language. Following in the footsteps of Sts. Cyril and Methodius and countless Orthodox missionaries before him, St. Innocent was quick to appreciate the need for people to hear about the Word of God in their own language. Since that time, it has been translated into many different languages and never been out of print, continuing to touch the souls and open the hearts of those eager and ready to hear God’s message of love.
St. Innocent, in his introductory words, reveals the ultimate truth of our existence here on Earth, “People were not created merely to live here on earth like animals that disappear after their death, but to live with God and in God, and to live not for a hundred or a thousand years, but to live eternally.” With these heartening words St. Innocent sets his readers off on their own personal search for salvation
This new edition includes points of reflection at the end of each chapter, making it an ideal text for catechesis, church schools, and group studies.
Further information about the book and how to order it can be found here.
O Holy Father Innocent, Pray to God for Us!!
|Sermon on the Nativity of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ by Archimandrite Luke - 01/07/13|
In the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ!
Christ is born!
Although our Lord's Nativity is full of profound theological significance in every aspect of the event, and though spiritual contemplation is indeed the goal of our life in Christ, our Saviour did not become incarnate so that we might only spiritually contemplate this mystery. God became human in order to affect a change in the lives of every person.Our Lord brought to us the sword of spiritual struggle, a battle against evils spirits and the passions, which separate us from a blessed, joyful life in God. Why is a struggle even necessary? Because the state we find ourselves in is dead, dull, sluggish, carnal, lazy and indifferent to the life of the spirit. Our Lord Jesus Christ said that He is from above and we here below are called by Him to rise up from our cadaverous state and become alive spiritually. This requires effort, forcing ourselves, sweat and blood. St. Paul teaches us to give blood and receive the spirit. And Christ in every moment of His life showed us an example of active struggle, even in His very birth which He choose to take place in humble, primitive conditions, a cave for animals, a feed trough, utter poverty. But let us look more closely at this scene and we discover the presence of all embracing love, in the divine infant, His holy parents, the shepards, wise men and the heavenly angels. Love and deep peace shed by God on men of good will.
Dear brother and sisters how can we approach and obtain such a blessed state? The Holy Spirit through the Prophet Isaiah says, "Thou shalt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee. In other words, You will keep perfectly peaceful the one whose mind remains focused on You, because he remains in You. The direction of all our spiritual struggle should be to concentrate all the powers of our soul on Christ. Great sacrifice is required and much effort for this, but the fruit is perfect peace. Who among us would not want to abide in everlasting perfect peace of soul?
As the world continues to sink deeper and deeper into the mire of ever more multifaceted passions, and the prince of this world grows ever stronger in his control of antichristian forces through godless governments and their leaders, and by means of demonically inspired mass media, let us turn our backs on this nightmare and utterly reject every attempt to draw us away from the Only Begotten Son of God, our Saviour, the infant Christ. The Lord in His gospel commands us to be vigilant. Vigilance is required to remain continually in Christ. May the otherworldly peace of this great feast inspire us in this holy, salvific struggle, to remain steadfast in our devotion to Christ and His divine Church, the only source of salvation.
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