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Feasts

Feasts

Dormition of the Holy Theotokos

The first chapter of St. Luke’s gospel contains an outstanding hymn by the holy Theotokos, which poured out of her heart in response to the salutation of her relative, the righteous Elizabeth: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.” This Elizabethan prophecy, that we repeat so often in one of our most favorite prayers “Rejoice, O Virgin Theotokos,” was followed by Mary’s hymn, Mary’s prayerful prophesy, which is especially important for our attention on…

Transfiguration and the Blessing of Grapes and Apples

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, In August, we celebrate two Great Feasts of the Church: the Transfiguration of our Lord and God and Savior, Jesus Christ, and the Dormition (Falling Asleep) of Our Most-holy Lady the Theotokos and Ever-virgin Mary. The first of these feasts commemorates the events described by the Evangelists Matthew (17:1-13) and Luke (9:28-36). In view of His forthcoming death on the cross, the Lord revealed to His chosen disciples the voluntary character of His passion…

Two Soldiers of Christ: Boris and Gleb

It seems remote, the steppe on that July evening of 1015. Tents were being pitched. A prince, Boris, Vladimir’s son, was camping for the night with his retinue of a few hand-picked men. They were particularly conscious that evening of their limited numbers since earlier that same day a whole army had been marching with them. Now it had gone: the army had deserted its prince. The enemy, moreover, was on its way. When Boris had ridden out earlier in…

Pentecost 2022 Photographs

“And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place” (Acts 2:1). On Saturday evening, June 11, and the morning of Sunday, June 12, the Cathedral of the Diocese of the West celebrated the great saving day of Pentecost: the feast of the Holy Trinity and its patronal feast. His Eminence, Archbishop Benjamin of San Francisco and the West presided at the divine services. Festal Vigil was served on Saturday night with…

Pentecost 2022 Homily of His Eminence, Archbishop Benjamin

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. As I am sure many of you already know, I am rather fascinated by what we might call the fulfillment of the prophecies, rites, and customs of the Old Covenant in the New — in particular, in Orthodox Christianity. I understand Christianity to be the heir to all the Law and the Prophets gave witness to. Our present celebration of Pentecost is no exception. Pentecost…

The Paschal Message of His Eminence, Archbishop Benjamin 2022

To the Reverend Clergy, Monastics, and Faithful of the Diocese of the West: “Indeed the hour is coming, yes, has now come, that you will be scattered, each to his own, and will leave Me alone. And yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me. These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” Jesus…

Fifth Week of Lent: April 6-8, 2022

During this week, the Fifth Week of Great Lent, we celebrate additional church services that are a little longer. This is by design, and helps us intensify our Lenten efforts of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. If a believer is accustomed to attending only the Sunday Liturgy during Great Lent, then the opportunity for a deeper Lenten experience will, alas, be missed. What should one expect this week? On Wednesday evening, at the Presanctified Liturgy, the usual antiphonally sung Psalms will…

Address of Archbishop Benjamin at the Prayer Service for Peace in Ukraine

“And Cain said to Abel his brother, “Let us go out to the field.  And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel and killed him.  Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?”  He said, “I do not know;  am I my brother’s keeper?”  And the Lord said, “What have you done?  The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to me from the ground.” Brothers and sisters, today the sons of Cain are killing their brother…

Nativity Message of Archbishop Benjamin

May the brightness of the Child come into the world this day to dispel its darkness enlighten all of you, my beloved flock. May the hope given to us this day never fade away no matter the difficulties facing us. May the Gift that is placed in our hands this day always be received as the only gift that matters.

Let Us Celebrate, O People!

Let us celebrate, O people! Let us go up in spirit! Let us raise our minds on high! These are not simply exclamations of enthusiastic piety and emotional devotion for the few strange people who like that sort of thing. They are exhortations and commands which are essential to the spiritual life of all human beings who must hear and obey as if their life depended upon it. Because, in a real sense, it does…

Nativity Message of Metropolitan Tikhon

May the brightness of the Child come into the world this day to dispel its darkness enlighten all of you, my beloved flock. May the hope given to us this day never fade away no matter the difficulties facing us. May the Gift that is placed in our hands this day always be received as the only gift that matters.

Pentecost 2021 Photographs

“On the last day, that great day of the Feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink…” (John 7:37-52; 8:12). On Saturday evening and the morning of Sunday, June 20, our Cathedral parish celebrated our patronal feast day of Pentecost, the coming of the Holy Spirit. His Eminence, Archbishop Benjamin presided at the festal services. Our festivities began with a festal vigil and reception Saturday night celebrated with all of our…