Friday, April 22, 2016

1.Lazarus Saturday • 2.Annunciation

Sharing: Two Separate Articles: 

Sermon of St. Metropolitan Philaret on Lazarus Saturday,(+1985): 

and- In the UK: at the GOC St. Edward's Brotherhood in Brookwood: The Annunciation, Three Bishops and Three Archimandrites


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Dan Everiss

Fri, Apr 22, 2016 at 1:16 PM

 *Both articles shared by Archimandrite Alexius of St. Edward's Brotherhood:
The Annunciation celebration was of this year, 2016.
"After my death our beloved Church abroad will break three ways .... first the Greeks will leave us as they were never a part of us ... then those who live for this world and its glory will go to Moscow ... what will remain will be those souls faithful to Christ and His Church." St. Philaret of NY 1985   

Lazarus Saturday

Sermon on Lazarus Saturday by Metropolitan Philaret (Voznesensky, +1985)
of Eastern America and New York
It often happens that a child does a bad thing, and his father properly punishes him.  But when he sees the child crying in sorrow, parental love takes hold and the father seeks to console the punished child.
A terrible sentence was imposed upon our fallen ancestors living in the Garden of Eden.  The Lord, after their terrible sin, when they betrayed Him and heeded the tempter, His enemy, said: “thou return unto the ground, for out of it wast thou taken,” that is “unto dust thou shalt return.”  In this way the Lord sentenced our ancestors and their progeny to death, for before this, mankind was not to taste death.  Having no sin, man could not before then die and would have lived forever, but after that, he became the prey of death.  But our Lord knows that death is terrifying for man, that nothing terrifies him more.  That is why, in order to ease the very thought of death, in order to alleviate this fear, the Lord performed His wondrous deeds of which we read in the Holy Gospel.
In particular, He performed the miracle we remember today, the greatest of His miracles—the Raising of Lazarus.
The Lord had earlier told the Apostles: “he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live.”  He said that the moment would come when those in the grave would hear the voice of the Son of God and would emerge alive.  And yet death, which destroys the body of man, horrifies us.  And the Lord, consoling us, encouraging us, made an example of Lazarus, who, hearing the voice of the Son of God, came out of his tomb.  He spoke, His Omnipotent Voice shook the depths of hell, and Lazarus, whose body had already begun to decay, came out of the tomb alive, unharmed and in good health.
Today’s holiday is for this reason especially close to our hearts, especially joyful.  Today we celebrate our future resurrection.  In seven or days the Holiday of Holidays will arrive, the Triumph of All Triumphs, when we will celebrate the Resurrection of our Lord, “raising us with Him,” as the Church sings.  And so to illustrate how this will occur, how the dead will rise from their graves to the sound of the voice of the Son of God, the Lord raised the dead Lazarus.  That this is so is declared by the troparion which will be sung today and tomorrow: “By raising Lazarus from the dead before Your Passion, You confirmed the universal resurrection, O Christ God!”—that is, it confirmed that there will be resurrection for all.
Our souls are filled with special joy on this day, a brilliant joy, because death ceases to terrify us.  How unfortunate are the godless!  Of course, we know that they are in error, that man is not annihilated after death.  But these poor folks think that death comes and everything comes to an end, the person is dead, his body is killed and there is no question of any life.  All their talk about how their leaders live in eternity in the hearts of their followers are simply nonsense!
The human soul does not seek this, it seeks only an escape from the fear of death.  The Lord grants it, for after all He had done for us, it turns out that death is not disappearance into the abyss of non-existence, but only a temporary slumber, but longer than earthly sleep.  But sleep nonetheless, for with His Almighty Voice, He will wake us all at a time known only to Him so that we pass into eternity.
How bright and happy is this day!  The human soul cannot but tremble with elation because, again, we are celebrating our universal resurrection!  Remember this, o human soul, and thank your Lord for His great mercy to you.

Shared also by Archimandrite Alexius in the UK:
Subject:  In the UK: at the GOC St. Edward's Brotherhood in Brookwood: The Annunciation, 2016,
Three Bishops and Three Archimandrites

Begin forwarded message:

From: Alex Spiroglou 
Subject: Ποιμαντικὴ Ἐπίσκεψις στὴν Ἀγγλία
Date: 22 April 2016 17:47:38 GMT+01:00

​​Two photos and the Greek GOC text of this event:

MEMBERS of the Saint Edward Brotherhood met His Grace, Bishop Ambrose, on his arrival in this country at Gatwick on 24th April / 6th March, and took him to the Convent, where the Vigil for the Great Feast of the Annunciation, the community’s dedication festival, was chanted.  Fr Borislav Popov joined the Bishop and the Brotherhood clergy in this celebration and for the Divine Liturgy the next day.  After both services, Mother Vikentia and her sisters invited the participants to festal meals.  After taking his leave of the faithful there, Bishop Ambrose came to Brookwood, where he stayed until the following Sunday.  He was present at our celebration of the Presanctified Liturgy on the Synaxis of the Archangel Gabriel, and that evening chanted the Akathist service for us, as Fr Alexis was indisposed.  On the Saturday, he attended the services for the Soul Sabbath.  On that day Bishop Sofronie of Suceava, who had arrived in England on the Friday evening, celebrated the Mystery of Holy Unction at the Convent for the Romanian Faithful.  On the Sunday, Saint John of the Ladder, both Bishops celebrated the Divine Liturgy at Brookwood and were joined by Bishop Evloghie of Sibiu, the three hierarchs concelebrating together. 
* During the Matins service, before the Divine Liturgy, Archimandrite Daniel (Toyne), a clergyman formerly of the Œcumenical Patriarchate, was received into our Diocese and back into Traditionalist Orthodoxy by cheirothesia, Bishop Ambrose reading the prayer for him and completing his vesting.  Fr Daniel then joined us in the celebration of the Divine Liturgy. 
 We were also joined by Archimandrite Seraphim and Father Deacon Nicolae from Romania, and thus had three Bishops and three Archimandrites serving together, with Fr Borislav, assisted by Fr Nicolae and our Fr Sabbas as deacons.  During the Liturgy, Bishop Ambrose preached a sermon in English, and then Bishop Evloghie preached in Romanian, explaining the significance of sequence of the Sunday commemorations during Great Lent.  At the end, Bishop Ambrose gave a further short address, introducing Fr Archimandrite Daniel to our people.  Fr Daniel had been baptised by Metropolitan Cyprian the Elder at Fili about 38 years ago, and on returning to England was a parishioner at the old Russian Orthodox Church Abroad Cathedral at Emperor’s Gate, Kensington.  His work took him to Singapore, where there was only a church of the Œcumenical Patriarchate, for which after some years he was ordained, and built up the mission there, travelling to Pakistan and other countries in South East Asia, doing missionary work.  He is now resident in Germany, and will be there until his retirement from his teaching post, by which he supports himself.  His Grace pointed out that by now joining our diocese, he is returning home.  Though staying in Germany, Fr Daniel will be returning as often as possible to England to help our communities here.  About 200 people attended the celebration on this Sunday, and we are thankful that again Catalin Tamasanu provided us with a sound system, so that the sermons could be heard by all. We are also thankful that the weather was fine, so that the many people whom we could not accommodate within the old Mortuary hall, could eat outside. While they did so, the three Bishops and our new Archimandrite were able to mingle among them and speak to them.  Fr Borislav then kindly drove Fr Daniel to Heathrow to catch his flight, and Vasileos Cancanteras drove Bishop Ambrose back to the priest’s house attached to the Convent in London, where he stayed before returning to Greece. 

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