The Dormition of the Mother of God

Transcript from remarks given by Fr. Evan on the feast of the Dormition of the Mother of God. Sermon 8.15.14 – The Dormition of the Theotokos In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, Amen. Many years to all of you on this Great Feast Day, that of the Dormition or the Falling Asleep of the Mother of God. To many of you who celebrate your name day, we wish God’s blessings upon you. This morning, the Church assigns to the liturgy, a reading that may seem a bit … [Read more...]

I Need Lent

Recently, just a few days ago, I asked somebody, “How are you doing?” Their response was to some degree unexpected but to those who have struggled to live the Christian life, perhaps it wasn’t that unusual. The young man said to me, “Father, I need Lent.” He went on to say, “I think I’ve come to realize how wise the church is in providing this annual challenge. I need lent.” So needless to say, for the past few days I’ve been thinking about these simple three words, “I need Lent,” and you may … [Read more...]

Epiphany-Theophany-Feast of Lights

On January 6th the Church celebrates one of the great and wonderful events in the life of Jesus Christ, His Baptism. Jesus was baptized in the River Jordan by the Prophet and Saint, John the Baptist. In the New Testament we read how Jesus approached John who was preaching a life of repentance and spiritual purity in the wilderness and asked to be baptized. Saint John's famous response was simple and straightforward, "I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me" (Matthew 3.13)? While … [Read more...]

Advent

  Sermon, Advent, Fr. Evan Armatas: Each year on November 15 the Church begins its preparation for the coming Feast of the Nativity of Christ.  This date comes forty days before December 25 and is known by some as the Advent fast or even little lent. The strictness of this fast is not as severe as that preceding Great and Holy Pascha.  Yet many of the themes found in the Great Fast of the Church are also present here in this fast. Preparation is a main component of any … [Read more...]

The Feast of Weeks – Pentecost

From the Orthodox Study Bible (Old Testament): The Feast of Weeks was the festival celebrated at the beginning of the grain harvest (Ex 34:22). This was the feast at which the Hebrews offered their firstfruits of the harvest to the Lord at the tabernacle. It was one of the three major Jewish feasts, along with the Passover and the feast of Tabernacles (see Ex 23:14-17; 34:18-23; Dt 16:1-17). According to Leviticus 23:15, 16, the Feast was celebrated for seven consecutive weeks beginning “the … [Read more...]

Christ our Passover

From the Orthodox Study Bible (Old Testament): Passover, the central rite and symbol of Judaism, is based on the experience of the liberation of the Hebrew people from bondage in Egypt (Ex 12:1-15:21). It is called Passover both because the Lord passed over the homes of the Hebrew, sparing them from the death that came to the first-born in Egypt, and because the Hebrews passed over the Red Sea as if it were dry land. Passover celebrates God’s steadfast love and devotion to His people and their … [Read more...]

The Transfiguration

From the Orthodox Study Bible: “And He was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light” (Matt. 17:2). The Transfiguration is a theophany-a manifestation of God, especially of the divinity of Christ, through a display of His uncreated, divine energy. Therefore, the Orthodox Church celebrates the Transfiguration of the Lord as a major feast day. Several elements of the Transfiguration show that Christ is Messiah and God. Because God … [Read more...]