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FEASTDAYS IN THE ORTHODOX YEAR

THE HOLY THEOPHANY OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST

By Sergei V. Bulgakov Theophany is understood as a feast in which the event of the baptism of Jesus by John in the Jordan[1] is commemorated and glorified (Mt. 3:13-17. Mk. 1:9-11. Lk. 3:21-22). This feast is called Theophany because during the baptism of the Lord the Divine All-Holy Trinity was revealed: God the Father spoke from heaven about the Son, the Son of ... Read More »

THE FOREFEASTS OF HOLY THEOPHANY (2nd – 5th January)

DAY ONE – THE FOREFEAST OF HOLY THEOPHANY The first day of the Forefeast of Theophany falls on January 2. Like the hymns for the Nativity, many of the Church’s hymns of this period are slightly modified versions of the hymns of Holy Week. One of the hymns at Matins today says that the coming Feast of Theophany will be ... Read More »

PRE-FESTIVE DAYS OF THE THEOPHANY

After the feast of the Circumcision (Jan. 1), the Church turns its gaze from our Lord’s infancy and childhood to his public ministry, which will begin with His baptism (Matthew 3:13-17). The feast of our Lord’s baptism is called the Theophany, meaning “the manifestation” or “appearance of God”, and is celebrated on January 6. During the days leading up to ... Read More »

ON THE CIRCUMCISION OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST

With Special Reference to the oration of Andrew, Archbishop of Crete, the Jerusalemite, On the Feast of the Circumcision of Christ (PG 97, 913-929) By Fr. George Dion Dragas, PhD, DD, DTh., Protopresbyter “And when the eight days were fulfilled for His circumcision, He was given the name JESUS, as He had been already named by the angels, before He ... Read More »

ON THE INCARNATION OF THE SON OF GOD

By Bishop Theophilos of Campania[1] Translated and annotated from the original Greek[2] By Fr GEORGE DION DRAGAS PhD, DD Protopresbyter *1. The Mystery of the Incarnation. God who is All-Powerful could have liberated the human race from the hands of the Devil by a single command. Had he done that, however, we would have known only his All-Powerfulness, which we ... Read More »

St Ephrem the Syrian – Nineteen Hymns on the Nativity of Christ in the Flesh.

Hymn 1 This is the day that gladdened them, the Prophets, Kings, and Priests, for in it were their words fulfilled, and thus were the whole of them indeed performed! For the Virgin this day brought forth Immanuel in Bethlehem. The voice that of old Isaiah spoke,[1] today became reality. He was born there who in writing should tell the Gentiles’ number! The Psalm that David once sang, by its fulfilment came today! The word that Micah once spoke,[2]  today had ... Read More »

The Patristic Understanding of the Virgin Birth of Christ

Where God Wills The Order Of Nature Is Overruled “And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered” (Lk. 2:6). Concerning the birth of Christ, the Prophet Isaiah spoke thus: “Behold she that travailed brought forth, before the travail-pain came on, she escaped it and brought forth a male” (Is. 66:7). ... Read More »

The Orthodox Celebration of Christmas

By Professor Ioannis Foundoulis Preamble: In a few days we will celebrate the great Feast of the Christian world, the Feast of Christmas. The Church will bring once again before the eyes of our soul the event of the birth of the Lord and will summon us to venerate together with the shepherds and the magi the newly-born King and ... Read More »

A CHRISTMAS EPISTLE BY ST. JUSTIN POPOVICH

Perfect God and Perfect Man: Christ Is Born! Glorify Him! God is born on earth, and moreover He is born as a man: perfect God and perfect man—the unique God-man. And He has forever remained as the God-man both on earth and in heaven. Indeed, the God-man is the first perfect man on earth. Perfect man? Yes, because only in ... Read More »

“PROLOGUE” READING FOR FEAST OF THE NATIVITY

By St. Nikolai Velimirovich Prologue From Ochrid, December 25 The Nativity of Our Lord, God and Savior Jesus Christ “But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son” (Galatians 4:4) to save the human race. And when nine months were fulfilled from the Annunciation, when the Archangel Gabriel had appeared to the Most-holy Virgin in ... Read More »