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  • A Brief History of our Cathedral

    Holy Trinity Cathedral Parish traces its history to December 2, 1857, when the first Orthodox Society was founded in San Francisco. In those early years, the Orthodox population of the Bay Area was spiritually and sacramentally served by chaplains from Russian Navy ships that frequented San Francisco Bay. During the Holy Week of 1868, an Orthodox Priest was sent to the City from Alaska to conduct the Paschal services here... Read More

  • Nativity Fast

    The Nativity Fast begins on November 15, ushering Orthodox Christians into a time of preparation for the birth of Jesus Christ. How are we to fast? Simply and effectively—each person struggling to his or her true potential, to keep the divinely-inspired guidelines of the fast (i.e., no meat, dairy, etc), to increase prayer, worship and of course, to make a conscious effort to give alms.

  • Fr John leads Advent Retreat

    We hosted our annual Advent Retreat on Saturday, December 9, 2017. Archpriest John Takahashi spoke on "San Francisco and Tokyo in 19th Century Orthodox Christianity.” Parishioners from across the Bay Area attended two talks by Fr. John on the intricate connections in the stories of the missionary work and cathedrals of Tokyo and San Francisco. Photographs...

  • Upcoming

    Tue, Dec 12: 6:00 pm Vespers; followed by parish council meeting.

    Wed, Dec 13: St Herman of Alaska. 9:00 am Divine Liturgy.

    Sat, Dec 16: 6:00 pm Vigil.

    Sun, Dec 17: 10:00 am Divine Liturgy, followed by fellowship meal; IOCC Care Package Assembly and Tree Trimming.

    Visit our full calendar of services.

The Manger and the Cross

"The Word became Flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth." These words from the first chapter of St. John's Gospel describe the Nativity of Christ in its eternal and mystical meaning. The Word that was with God and was God and "all things were made through Him and without Him was not anything made that was made." The Logos, which is the Greek original for the Word, represents the essence, the reason, the wisdom, the creative power and strength, the Word through which God created the world out of nothing. When God says, "Let there be," another book, the Book of Genesis, the first book of the Old Testament, speaks about it. This Word, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, the Son of God, today lies as a small defenseless child in the manger from which the animals eat, in the cave where the animals stay during stormy weather. The Word became Flesh, and this was possible only because humanity prepared for Him one of our kind, the Virgin Mary, Mother of God....

Suggestions for the Nativity Fast

The Nativity Fast is a gift that reminds us to slow down and be purposeful about how we are living these days leading up to the feast of the Nativity of Our Lord.

  • Pray for people: prepare a list of names, and once a week or more frequently pray the Supplicatory Canon to the Theotokos, or a portion of it. Ask the Theotokos to help those people.
  • Each week as you set aside the proportion of your funds to give to the Church in thanksgiving to God and for the operation of the parish, also set aside a portion to give to the poor. Then give it.
  • Celebrate the Feast of St. Nicholas (San Anselmo, Dec. 6) which spiritually ushers us—with joyful exuberance—into the Nativity season. 
  • Celebrate the Feast of St. Herman of Alaska, December 13 (here at the Cathedral).
  • Fast from meat, eggs, cheese, and all dairy. Abstaining from particular foods is really the easiest part of the fast. Much more effort is required when fasting from anger, criticism, resentments, and wandering thoughts, especially those of lust and envy and wasting time in idleness and pointless entertainments. Even more effort is required when we engage in works of mercy to the needy.
  • Attend Vigil on Saturday evening, and by doing so, prepare yourself for Communion on Sunday. Confess at least twice during the Forty Day Fast, one of those times in the week prior to Christmas.
  • Volunteer at one of the many charitable institutions in our city.
  • In the week before Christmas read the Nativity accounts from St. Matthew and St. Luke to your children.

(adapted from bulletin of St. Seraphim Church)

  • Dec 4 2016

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