At the start of this week, I was looking forward very much to seeing more faces I haven’t seen for the last three or four months at the Liturgy this coming Sunday. Then yesterday we had the news that we were in lockdown again and wouldn’t be able to have anyone at church apart from those needed to serve the Liturgy. I have to confess that my first reaction was; LORD have mercy. I think I felt like the Psalmist sometimes felt when facing difficult times:
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The Holy Mysteries (also known as “Sacraments”) express how God restores people to a loving, trusting relationship with Him through the Church. They are the primary means of communicating His peace, love and grace in the form of His indwelling presence. Let’s explore the Holy Mysteries. Background From the earliest days, the Church considered that there was exactly one Holy Mystery—the Church itself. St Irenaeus wrote:
In the Orthodox Church the Easter Feast is officially called Pascha, which means “Passover,” and it remembers the new and everlasting covenant foretold by the prophets, which was fulfilled by Christ’s Resurrection. Pascha is the major feast of the Orthodox Liturgical year, and is a time of exultant joy and celebration, because Christ has broken the power of death! Let's learn some more about what Pascha is and how it is celebrated.
On the fifth Sunday of Great Lent, we commemorate St. Mary of Egypt and the Gospel reading from Mark (10:32-45). This week is the Sunday before Palm Sunday, or ‘The Triumphal Entrance into Jerusalem’, and the beginning of the salvific Passions that end up on the Cross and then is completed with His glorious resurrection. The Lord began preparing His disciples by telling them what would happen to Him. Foreseeing that the minds of His disciples would be troubled by His Passion, He foretells both the pain of His Passion, and the glory of His Resurrection.
Parishioners and visitors are invited to participate in the Liturgy from their homes via live-stream at 10:00 am on Sunday. The Divine Liturgy is not open for in-person attendance. All other services have been cancelled this week. His Eminence Metropolitan Basilios has written to the clergy and faithful of our Archdiocese yesterday regarding the impact of the Coronavirus. As a result:
A Statement issued by the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East Since the beginning of this year, the world has been subjected to one of the most difficult temptations and health trials, inflicted by the spread of the COVID-19 (Corona) virus, which is sweeping over most countries, infecting tens of thousands of people and killing thousands of them.
On the day of the Presentation of our Lord in the Temple, Sunday, February 2, The Good Shepherd conducted a churching service for Marianne and Sophia. Churching is the blessing of mother and child forty days after giving birth. The mother and child are blessed at the door of the Church, the priest then carries the infant into the altar while asking God to bless them. What follows is a text of the sermon preached by The Good Shepherd’s Æthelwold Jenkins immediately following the churching. — Fr. Geoff
On the first Sunday of the New Year, we celebrate the service of Theophany (also called Epiphany). This service marks the Baptism of our Lord and the physical revelation of His place in the Holy Trinity. ‘And when Jesus was baptized, immediately He went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on Him; and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased”’ (Matthew 3:16-17, ESV).
Seemingly every year there’s a mad rush to tie up loose ends at work, shop, party and stress over visiting the relatives. Despite our streets and shops having awesome decorations, Christmas in Australia has become increasingly secular. The most counter-cultural thing you can do is to make this season an opportunity for increasing your spiritual sensitivity.