Easter is celebrated to memorialize the resurrection of Jesus Christ from his death three days after he was crucified and tortured on Good Friday. It is a Christian holiday and falls in springtime, marking the end of the Lent season. Easter is one of the most important and holiest holidays in the Christian almanac. Lent season is, in fact, forty-six-days long starting from Ash Wednesday and ending with Easter. The six Sundays falling under this period are not considered a part of Lent. Thus, though fasts are observed in this season, Sundays are excluded from the fast period as they are considered to be a commemoration of Easter Sunday.
IOCC Launches School Assistance Program in Kosovo's Isolated Enclaves
March 18, 2008 - Belgrade, Serbia - International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) announces a new program to provide equipment and repairs to schools located in the most isolated enclaves of Kosovo. This program, worth $30,000, will include repairs and renovations to schools in Gorazdevac (Pec Municipality) and Banje (Srbica Municipality). New equipment, including computers, will be provided for a school in Velika Hoca (Orahovac Municipality), and science lab supplies will be provided for students in Suvo Grlo (Srbica Municipality).
Archbishop Hilarion of the Australia and New Zealand Diocese chairман the sessions of the Synod ROCOR20. March 2008 - 9:12
Archbishop Hilarion of the Australia and New Zealand Diocese will chair the sessions of the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR) until the new head of ROCOR is elected. "The name of Archbishop Hilarion, the first deputy chairman of the Synod, will be mentioned during church services in all ROCOR churches after the name of Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow and all Russia," a spokesman for the department said. The Bishops' Council of ROCOR is expected to elect the head of ROCOR after Orthodox Easter, which falls this year on April 27. The previous head of ROCOR, Metropolitan Laurus, died on Sunday.
Stressing the ever-important message of a visible unity of the Canonical Orthodox Christian jurisdictions in North America, the four Canonical Orthodox Christian Bishops of the West Coast, have joyously announced an expanded schedule of events to foster this unity for the Sunday of Orthodoxy weekend celebrations in Los Angeles on March 15 and 16, 2008. It was perhaps the greatest liturgical celebration of the Sunday of Orthodoxy southern California had ever seen. More than 1,000 Orthodox Christians commemorated the restoration of the holy icons without paying attention to jurisdictional background, restoringв”if only temporarily”a union given from God on high to His Holy Church between Him, His saints depicted in the icons and His people on earth. Four canonical Orthodox Christian bishops concelebrated the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy with each other for the first time ever: His Eminence, Metropolitan GERASIMOS of the Greek Orthodox Christian Metropolis of San Francisco and the West; His Grace, Bishop JOSEPH of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Diocese of Los Angeles and the West; His Grace, Bishop MAXIM of the Serbian Orthodox Christian Diocese of Western America; and His Grace, Bishop BENJAMIN of the Orthodox Church in America Diocese of the West. Joining them were their southern California cathedral deans, the Very Rev. Fathers John Bakas (host priest), Michel Najim, Nicholas Ceko and Michael Senyo. They served in brotherly fellowship around the holy altar, rising above cultural, linguistic or any other man-made divisions.
Sydney, 16 March 2008 - Thousands of Greek Australians gathered around their Primate, His Eminence Archbishop Stylianos of Australia, and in the presence of numerous dignitaries, including the Premier of New South Wales, the Honourable Morris Iemma, and other guests and spectators to celebrate the public manifestation of Greek Independence Day (25 March 1821) in front of Sydney's famed Opera House.
In his remarks, His Eminence noted that in celebrating the struggle for the Independence of Greece and the Feast of the Annunciation of the Theotokos, "we always try to make clear the importance this double celebration derives from the mere fact that it refers to ideals venerated by all people, regardless of place and time." For as the Archbishop noted, "Liberty, peace and justice have always been the presuppositions for a dignified life on our troubled and restless planet."