The Spirit of Christmas

The Spirit of Christmas

Archimandrite Iakovos Kanakis   At this time of year, people often talk about the ‘spirit of Christmas’. But are we all talking about the same thing? I think not. It seems to me that if the ‘spirit of Christmas’ is only the presents, shopping in general, family meals, gatherings and...

Read more
Carols from Kastoria

Carols from Kastoria

What we call ‘kalanda’ (carols) are the songs of praise and goodwill which are sung on the eve of the great Christian feasts and which belong, in anthropological terms, to what we call good luck rituals. The carols for the Twelve Days of Christmas are still remembered, though those for...

Read more
Christmas can be approached only through faith

Christmas can be approached only through faith

Athanasios Moustakis     ‘When Abraham was called, by faith…’ As is the case every year, the Epistle reading for the Sunday before the Nativity of Christ focuses on faith. It consists of two excerpts from chapter 11 of Paul’s Epistle to the Hebrews (verses 9-10 and 32-40) in which...

Read more
Waiting in Joyful Hope

Waiting in Joyful Hope

As we come closer to the commemoration of the birth of Christ, we would do well to consider exactly what it is that we celebrate. By in large, the Christian world marks the birth of Jesus in the cave at Bethlehem, the “en-fleshing” of the Divine Word, “full of grace...

Read more
Christ Is Here!

Christ Is Here!

The twinkling lights speak of His presence. His birth returns light to the world as He illuminates every shadow of darkness in the world and within us. Christ is here! The evergreen speaks of eternal life. The candy canes display red and white stripes of blood and purity. Christ is...

Read more
Why I Love Seasonal Employees (and Why You Should, Too)

Why I Love Seasonal Employees (and Why You Should, Too)

I had a flashback tonight on my way home from the mall, where I was doing some Christmas shopping. I kept thinking about the sales clerk that rang up the multitude of hostess gifts I had to buy for all of the socials and parties that we attend this time...

Read more
The Custom of the Christmas Tree

The Custom of the Christmas Tree

Protopresbyter Panteleïmon Krouskos   For many people with a secular outlook, decorating the Christmas tree is the essence of Christmas. In Greece, this custom was imported from abroad and was introduced by the Bavarians*. The first time a Christmas tree was decorated was in Otto’s palace and thereafter it spread...

Read more
Understanding and Living Our Faith: What Do You Mean Santa Isn’t Real?

Understanding and Living Our Faith: What Do You Mean Santa Isn’t Real?

Do you remember your childhood when you believed in Santa Claus? Do you remember that excitement you felt Christmas Eve in anticipation of what was to come the next day? I remember one Christmas Eve, when I was about 6 or 7, sitting in my bedroom with my brother and...

Read more
Distilling One’s Cave

Distilling One’s Cave

Metropolitan of Toronto Sotirios   Two thousand and seventeen years ago, our Lord chose to renew his covenant with the world and to penetrate deep into the innermost essence of human nature. In this way, we can say that God incarnate sought to be born in the ‘cave’ of men,...

Read more
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...

Read more