Christmas in a Post-Christian Era

Christmas in a Post-Christian Era

Hieromonk Eleftherios Balakos   And while the messiahs are multiplying in this day and age, in the guise of persons, ideologies, policies or religions*, we see a world wallowing in the mud which it has created itself. And you ask yourself: ‘What can I believe?’ ‘Where can I place my...

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The Third Birth of Christ (Part II)

The Third Birth of Christ (Part II)

Stergios Sakkos   Our first encounter with Him is through faith. Faith opens the door of the soul, so that Christ can enter. Faith receives Him, subjects our hearts to Him and engenders within us a fervent interest and powerful desire to approach Him. This is the initial requirement for...

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Recordings from the Christmas Vigil at the Holy and Great Monastery of Vatopaidi

Recordings from the Christmas Vigil at the Holy and Great Monastery of Vatopaidi

As the ‘capital of feasts’, Christmas is honoured on the Holy Mountain with a vigil, during the course of which the monks sing hymns and troparia of exceptional poetic and musical beauty. At the Divine Liturgy on the day itself, ‘Those who have been baptized in Christ’ is sung in...

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On the Nativity of Our Saviour Jesus Christ

On the Nativity of Our Saviour Jesus Christ

Saint John Chrysostom   I see a strange and wondrous mystery. Shepherds’ music reaches my ears: not the piping of a plaintive melody, but the singing of a heavenly hymn. The angels are singing. The archangels join in. The cherubim hymn, the seraphim glorify. They all rejoice at the sight...

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The Incarnation of God as the Opposite to Today’s Sinfulness

The Incarnation of God as the Opposite to Today’s Sinfulness

Archimandrite Ephraim, Abbot of the Vatopaidi Monastery   Beloved Fathers and brothers, today we celebrate the greatest event of all time and all ages: the birth of Christ, the ‘capital of all feasts’, according Saint John Chrysostom. God enters our life, in time, in history as ‘Jesus Christ the man’...

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The Third Birth of Christ (Part I)

The Third Birth of Christ (Part I)

Stergios Sakkos   1. Rebirth The third birth of Christ is in the life of people who believe in Him and accept Him as their own, personal God. Because even though Christ became incarnate in order to save everyone, not everyone will be saved. Of course, the Lord “wants all...

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A Different Kind of Manger

A Different Kind of Manger

Are you still celebrating Christmas? Maybe you are still enjoying your presents or munching on Christmas chocolates. But are you really celebrating? In church, we still sing the Christmas hymns, and our Gospel reading today tells us about Jesus as a baby. Everything is still decorated for the feast day....

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What is the “real story” behind the Christmas?

What is the “real story” behind the Christmas?

What is the “real story” behind the Christmas narratives so familiar to us? Are Christians actually worshipping a pagan god when they celebrate Christmas? Does it matter whether or not Jesus was actually born on December 25th? Only two evangelists, Matthew and Luke, describe the birth of Christ and their...

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Psenica: A Serbian Christmas Custom

Psenica: A Serbian Christmas Custom

On the feastday of St Nicholas, which occurs on December 19th in the Old Calendar, wheat grains (žito) are planted in a small bowl or plate for this Serbian Christmas custom. After the Lord’s Prayer is recited, the seeds are watered and left to grow for the remainder of Advent....

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How do YOU get ready for Christmas?

How do YOU get ready for Christmas?

How did people get ready for the very first Christmas? How do YOU get ready for Christmas? Do you buy or make presents? Do you help cook a fancy dinner? Do you decorate the house? We all have ways of getting ready for the great day. But in today’s Gospel...

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