Alhambra Parish Hosts Fifth Annual Sts. Sebastian & Mardarije Orthodox Institute

“For I desire mercy and not sacrifice, and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings” (Hosea 6:6) are the prophetic words which come to mind as clergy slowly began to arrive for the beginning of the 5th annual Sts. Sebastian and Mardardije Institute on Tuesday, February 26, 2019, the feast day of Saint Simeon the Myrrh-Gusher.

His Grace Bishop Maxim of Western America and St. Steven’s Serbian Orthodox Cathedral in Alhambra, California are host to this year’s event in cooperation with the Episcopal Council of the Serbian Orthodox Church in North and South America.

Statement on the Sanctity of Life

The Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America affirms the sanctity of life based on the firm conviction that life begins at the moment of conception.

The Assembly remains steadfast in its conviction that any interference in the development of life is a serious issue, and therefore it regularly participates in a variety of relevant events and also releases pertinent statements on the topic. While recognizing that there are rare but serious medical instances where mother and child may require extraordinary actions, the Assembly of Bishops is deeply concerned that the taking of innocent life through abortion has become an acceptable cultural norm. This phenomenon – increasingly prevalent throughout contemporary societies – was exacerbated by a recent law of the New York State Senate (Bill S.240). The Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America categorically denounces these adverse developments that allow for abortion, under certain unjustifiable circumstances, even within the third trimester of existence. 

On Christian Faith and Life According to the Gospel

Yesterday marks two years since the repose of Russia’s great elder, Archimandrite Kirill (Pavlov). In his memory we have translated one of his sermons on a very essential aspect of his own life—a life of reading the Gospel and living according to it.

In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit!

Dear brothers and sisters! From the time that the Divine Sufferer, our Lord Jesus Christ, spilled His divine and priceless blood on Golgotha for the salvation of the whole world, the foundation of the Christian faith was placed on the earth. The teaching of Jesus Christ, known to us from the Gospel, began to quickly spread throughout the world. And the people who accepted Christ believed in Him as the Son of God, accepted His teaching, and were called Christians. At the present time also many millions of people consider themselves Christians, and that means that they acknowledge the Gospel as the foremost book in the world; as a book which contains the teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ about how we must live here on earth in order to be worthy after death, beyond the grave, of eternal, blessed life, as well as have earthly prosperity in this life. But what is amazing and to our great sorrow, very few people actually follow what is written in the Gospel. Most do not even pick up the Gospel and do not test themselves according to the it.

Sermon of Saint Sava on the True Faith delivered at Monastery Zica, 1220

Brothers and friends and fathers and children called by God, lend your God-loving hearts to hearing the divine dogmas. And hearing these holy words place them, brothers, in your hearts and the conscience of your souls and before the eyes of your mind and understand them.

God, all merciful and lover of mankind, having immeasurable mercy for man, bowed the Heavens and descended to earth, and with His Divine Dispensation and voluntary bearing of many different sufferings to His Divine Body, enlightened the human race; and He sent to the whole world the Holy Apostles, saying: „Go and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit“.

Homily of His Emience Laurus (Skurla + 2008), Metropolitan of Eastern America & New York, for the Sunday After Theophany

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

Dear brethren and sisters, today we are gathered here to glorify in prayer the great feast of Theophany.

This Sunday, in the liturgical language of the Church, is called the Sunday after the Enlightenment.

Some of us probably know that in antiquity, and even today in the liturgical books, the feast of the Theophany of the Lord is referred to as the Day of the Enlightenment.

Why is such a title, such an appellation, applied to the feast of the Baptism, the feast of Theophany?

If we carefully investigate and delve with you into the hymns of these recent days, we would have to direct our attention to the fact that these hymns speak to us of the appearance of our Lord Jesus Christ at the Jordan for baptism.