The Feast of the Resurrection: The Paschal Sermon of St. John Chrysostom

The Catechetical Sermon of St. John Chrysostom is read during Matins of Pascha:

If any man be devout and love God, let him enjoy this fair and radiant triumphal feast. If any man be a wise servant, let him rejoicing enter into the joy of of his Lord…

Source: The Paschal Sermon – Orthodox Church in America

The Paschal Sermon of St. John Chrysostom, Archbishop, Metropolitan, and Patriarch of Constantinople (434–446) and one of the great Fathers of the Church, is traditionally read on the Feast of the Resurrection (Pascha, or Easter) in the Eastern Orthodox Christian Churches. It is often read in Anglican and other churches of the liturgical / sacramental tradition.

Alleluia! Christ is risen!

The Lord is risen indeed! Alleluia!

Wishing everyone a very Happy Easter, and a holy, blessed, and joyful Eastertide.

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Putin congratulates Russians on Christmas

The Russian president noted the huge and unique role of the Russian Orthodox Church and other Christian denominations in reviving high moral values and preserving rich historic and cultural heritage

Source: TASS: Society & Culture – Putin congratulates Russians on Christmas

Wishing all our Eastern Orthodox Christian brothers and sisters, in Russia and elsewhere, a holy and blessed Feast of the Nativity!

And may I also express my fervent wish that the political and other elites of the Western world – in both Europe and America – placed a similarly high priority of “reviving high moral values and preserving rich historic and cultural heritage.”

In Pictures: Orthodox Christmas celebrations

In Pictures: Orthodox Christmas celebrations

Source: In Pictures: Orthodox Christmas celebrations

For us in the West, using the Gregorian calendar, today is the Feast of the Epiphany; but for our Eastern Orthodox Christian friends – in Russia and elsewhere – who still use the Julian reckoning, today is Christmas Eve! Wishing all of them blessings on this Feast of the Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Rejoice! Christ, our Saviour, is born!

The Prince of Wales attends the consecration of the new St Thomas Cathedral Syriac Orthodox Church

Source: The Prince of Wales attends the consecration of the new St Thomas Cathedral Syriac Orthodox Church

During a speech, The Prince said: “It gives me great happiness to be present at the consecration of the Cathedral of St Thomas.

“It is surely deeply encouraging, at a time when the members of the Syriac Orthodox Church in their homelands of Syria and Iraq are undergoing such desperate trials and such appalling suffering, that in Britain the Syriac Church is able to expand and gain in strength. In this way the consecration of your Cathedral is indeed a notable sign of hope for the future.”

Well spoken, Your Highness! Thank you, Sir. Anglicans have long had both contacts and (given our emphasis on tradition and antiquity) theological affinity with the ancient Orthodox Churches of the East, dating back at least to Theodore of Tarsus, who served as Archbishop of Canterbury from 668 to 690, but in fact going back much further.

It is reported that British bishops may have been present at the Council of Nicaea (in Asia Minor) in 325! And given that Britannia was a Province of the Roman Empire until c. 400 AD, and that sea travel was often faster and safer than travel by land, it is not surprising that contacts between East and West were more common than many nowadays believe.

In any case, it was very gracious of HRH The Prince of Wales to give Royal support and blessing to the new Cathedral, especially given the challenges Syrian Orthodox Christians are experiencing in their homelands, as His Highness’ address mentioned. I wish them many blessings!

Queen Elizabeth II receives Russian patriarch at Buckingham Palace

Queen Elizabeth II has received Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia at Buckingham Palace her London residence the patriarch secretary Alexander Volko

Source: Queen Elizabeth II receives Russian patriarch at Buckingham Palace

“According to Volkov, the Queen and Patriarch Kirill will discuss problems of ‘Christians in the Middle East, as well as the current status of traditional Christianity in Europe, which, unfortunately, is facing hard times.'”