Thirtieth Sunday after Pentecost;
Sunday before Theophany; Venerable Seraphim of Sarov;
Saint Sylvester, Bishop of Rome
RESURRECTIONAL TROPARION - TONE FIVE: Let us, the faithful, praise and worship the Word, coeternal with the Father and the Spirit, born for our salvation from the Virgin; for He willed to be lifted upon the Cross in the flesh, to endure death, and to raise the dead by His Glorious Resurrection.
Twenty-Ninth Sunday after Pentecost; Sunday after Nativity: The Holy God-bearing Fathers; The Synaxis of the Most-holy Theotokos
RESURRECTIONAL TROPARION - TONE FOUR:
When the women disciples of the Lord learned from the angel the joyous message of Thy Resurrection; they cast away the ancestral curse and elatedly told the apostles: Death is overthrown! Christ God is Risen, granting the world great mercy.
Metropolitan Hilarion celebrates at Moscow representation of Orthodox Church of Czech Lands and Slovakia20. December 2016 - 15:04
On December 19, 2016, the commemoration day of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker and Archbishop of Myra in Lycia, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, head of the Moscow Patriarchate department for external church relations (DECR), celebrated the Divine Liturgy at the St. Nicholas Church-in-Kotelniki – the Moscow representation of the Orthodox Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia, which marked on that day its 17th anniversary.
Bishop Jovan (Puric)
The modern world functions as a single planetary market on which everything is sold and bought: from physical territories, possessions and objects, to virtual “electronic money” and stock market shares, to identity and sovereignty, memory, soul, even past and future! The principle of a market economy emerged as universally valid, possessing not only economic principles but also for comprehensive human life. The overall life of humanity, and every individual human being, in all timezones, depends on the impersonal and ruthless laws and mechanisms of market economics, the aggressive dynamics of supply and demand, production and consumption, input and output. The spirit of this modern consumer civilisation, “the civilization of turning a human being into a thing”, is the spirit of greed and lust, “insatiable hunger for things and possessing them”.
Actually, one of the basic features of modern civilisation, “the fuel” of its progress and development, is that artificial “development” of that insatiable hunger in people, or more precisely the passion for possessing and spending, a hunger which cannot be satisfied by either possessing or spending since, as we know from the Tradition of the ascetic Fathers of the Church, passion may not be “satisfied”; the more it is practised, the more it is developed and permeating the man, subordinating him, reducing his freedom, sucking out his life energy, narrowing the horizon of his godlike personality, numbing its bodily and spiritual senses, passivising the mental powers of his soul, disturbing the psychological and psychical balance of his personality, causing physical and mental diseases, until it brings the man to complete spiritual and life ruin, and even physical death.
BISHOP JOVAN (PURIC)
The complex, polymorphous and fluid problematics of the (“post-Christian”) present have presented the Church – the universal Body of Christ and us Christians, godlike personalities that are the reason-bearing limbs of that Body, with an unprecedented challenge in the history of Christianity thus far, one that we cannot, even if we should wish to, ignore, overlook or suppress. As an answer to this dramatic challenge, we must offer a living and creative Christian answer – a personal-universal witnessing of the present Church generation, an answer articulated on the basis of the Church’s universal traditional experience and a personal experience of faith as our active inclusion in that universal experience, if we wish to fulfill Christ’s commandment – to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world (Mt 5:13, 14), to truly be Christians. Here we should immediately point out that the said word of Christ is not simply some spiritual or moral “suggestion” or “counsel” that may be situationally accepted or rejected by one’s own free will, but an explicit Divine commandment concerning an active witnessing of theandric salt and the light of Christ to all people and nations, and to all of creation, which God personally commands as a necessary precondition for us to be Christians at all, and to call ourselves Christian. The entire history of the Church, which is, in fact, nothing other than the history of its world – a world that she transformed, through Christ’s salt and light, into the Christian world, bears witness to the fact that there are no “Christians outside of the world,” nor is there a “world outside of the Church.” For, a theoretical concept and practice of Christianity by which, in abhorrance of the “sinful world,” Christians isolate themselves into some sort of self-satisfied and righteous “holy remnant” and “island of the saved,” is neither evangelical, nor ecclesiastical, nor Orthodox but, rather, “all too human,” “religious,” psychologizing, pietistic and utopian, and, as such, foreign to the entire Living Tradition of Christ’s Orthodox Church. Precisely due to the fact that this Tradition, through the entire theology of the Fathers, has forever rejected any dualistic understanding of man and the world as being in opposition to the truth of the man of God and the world of God, along with any “religious” dualism, i.e., the introduction of dichotomous schisms and divisions into God’s single creation (and, before all, divisions into “sacred and profane,” “spiritual and material,” “religious and secular,” with the first element of these dichotomous pairs being assigned to the sphere of “salvation,” and the second not only being forejudged as lost for being unclean and ephemeral, but also being consciously “left” to this fate).
Twenty-third Sunday after Pentecost:
The Holy and All-praised Apostle Phillip;
Saint Gregory Palamas; Holy Emperor Justinian
RESURRECTIONAL TROPARION - TONE SIX: The angelic powers were at Thy tomb; and the guards became as dead men; and Mary stood by Thy grave, seeking Thy most pure Body. Thou didst capture hell, not being tempted by it. Thou didst come to the Virgin, granting life. O Lord who didst rise from the dead: Glory to You!