North America

Statement of the ACOB-USA Executive Committee Concerning Holy Week and Pascha (Easter)

Friday, April 03, 2020 PDF Version To the Clergy and Faithful Orthodox Christians of the United States of America: During this period of crisis, we, members of the Executive Committee of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America, are meeting in conference call sessions every Friday to continually monitor the COVID-19 pandemic. Together, we discuss both pastoral and practical matters concerning the operational situation of our churches. As such, allow us first to thank all the medical health professionals, first responders, delivery personnel, and clergy who put themselves on the front lines in a sacrificial manner for the protection of our health and salvation. We are facing unprecedented circumstances in extraordinary times. Many guidelines from various jurisdictions, following State and Federal regulations as well as CDC recommendations, have been successfully implemented in parishes around the country, helping to slow the spread of COVID-19. After consultation with public health and insurance officials, law enforcement, theologians, and pastoral care professionals, we, members of the Executive Committee, have reached a consensus concerning Palm Sunday, Holy Week and Pascha (Easter) and strongly encourage all Bishops of the Assembly to implement the following recommendations: Services, celebrated by a maximum of five people consisting of a Priest, a Deacon, Chantor(s), and/ or Server(s), continue in the churches and may be streamed online for the faithful to pray from their homes.None of the traditional material offerings are to be distributed to the faithful in any way, including palms and/or pussy willows, flowers, candles, and eggs, etc.Spiritual guidance may be heard over the phone, but the implementation of the Sacrament of Confession and Prayer of Absolution remains at the discretion of the local Bishop. Whereas some Bishops might implement more stringent practices out of love and concern for their flock and broader society,

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Assembly of Bishops USA Announces COVID-19 Resource Center for Orthodox Christians

The Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the USA announces an online resource center for clergy and faithful during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Resource Center includes updated news from the various jurisdictions as well as practical guidelines and resources for families, ministry leaders, parish leadership, and everyone. The Center will be updated regularly with new materials and expanded selections.

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Archbishop Elpidophoros Announces the Creation of a New Vicariate in the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese

On Monday, March 9, 2020, following approval of the Mother Church of Constantinople last November after the request of the Holy Eparchial Synod, His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros, Primate of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America and Exarch of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, announced the creation of the Vicariate for the Orthodox Christian Communities of Slavic Tradition. The new Vicariate will report directly to Archbishop Elpidophoros and at the beginning includes hundreds of faithful belonging to the following three Orthodox communities: Saint Matrona of Moscow Cathedral of Miami, Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker Monastery in North Fort Myers, Florida, and Saint John the Forerunner and Baptist Cathedral of Brooklyn. The clergy of the Vicariate are Very Rev. Archimandrite Alexander Belya, Very Rev. Archpriest Vasiliy Deyak, Rev. Archpriest Oleksandr Belya, Rev. Archpriest Ioann Spasyuk, Rev. Protodeacon Rostislav Zadorozhnyy and Rev. Deacon George A. Hero.  Archbishop Elpidophoros has appointed Very Rev. Archimandrite Alexander Belya as the first Vicar of the Vicariate. Source

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Encyclical for the Sunday of Orthodoxy

Thursday, March 05, 2020 Sunday of Orthodoxy 2020 “Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see heaven opened,and the angels of God ascending and descendingupon the Son of Man” (John 1:51) To the Reverend Clergy, Monastics, and Pious Faithful of our Holy Orthodox Church in the God-protected Land of America: Beloved Brothers and Sisters in Christ, Greetings and blessings to all of you on this bright feast of the Sunday of Orthodoxy! We hear in the Holy Gospel, Our Lord proclaiming that the heavens are opened through the union of the human and divine, the created and uncreated, in His Person. This central kerygma of our Faith was upheld by the Holy Fathers of the Seventh Ecumenical Council and finally restored on this day by the God-crowned Empress Theodora when the veneration of the icons triumphantly returned to the Church. While we process with the icons in our churches, our celebration should not be merely a remembrance of a past event with significance only for those who inherited it as a cultural tradition. We must remember that the valiant martyrs and confessors that struggled in defense of the icons did not do so to defend an esoteric theological formula but to proclaim the Faith that “established the universe.” They recognized that those struggling against the veneration of the icons were confining God in the heavens instead of recognizing the sanctification of creation ushered in by the incarnation of Christ. The Holy Patriarch Tikhon, when he was the Archbishop of San Francisco, mournfully spoke on the Sunday of Orthodoxy in 1903 of “many who were born, raised and glorified by the Lord in the Orthodox faith, yet who deny their faith, pay no attention to the teachings of the Church, do not keep its injunctions, do not listen to their spiritual pastors,

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Patriarch of Serbia Irinej at the State Department

Since Mr. Brownback was received last year by His Holiness Patriarch at the Serbian Patriarchate in Belgrade, the meeting began with the memory of the talks that took place at the time. His Holiness, the Patriarch, outlined the views of the Serbian Orthodox Church on various topics related to the Serbian people and the Serbian Orthodox Church. He asked for a little more attention to be given to the Serbian matter. The interlocutors agreed that communication is the most important, but also that it depends on leaders from the top. The meeting was held with the attendance and the participation of His Grace Bishop Jovan of Sumadia, member of the Holy Synod of Bishops; His Grace Bishop Irinej of  East America; protonamesnik Vasilije Vranic,PhD;  dean of the Cathedral Church of Saint Luke in Washington; as well as proto-deacon Damjan Bozic, PhD. Source

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Oca consecrates New Bishop as Vicar for Romanian Episcopate

Just a few days after consecrating Archimandrite Alexis (Trader) as Bishop of Bethesda at St. Nicholas Cathedral in Washington, D.C., His Beatitude Metropolitan Tikhon of Washington and All America and other hierarchs of the Orthodox Church in America consecrated Hieromonk Andrei (Hoarște) as Bishop of Cleveland, auxiliary to His Eminence Archbishop Nathaniel of the Romanian Episcopate. The services were celebrated at St. George Cathedral in Southfield, Michigan on Friday, January 31 and Saturday, February 1, reports the Orthodox Church in America. The newly-consecrated Bishop Andrei was elected by the OCA Holy Synod on November 12, thus confirming the vote of the Electoral Congress of the Romanian Orthodox Episcopate of America on August 31. On Friday evening, Cathedral Dean Archpriest Laurence Lazar presented Bishop-elect Andrei to the Holy Synod and the assembled clergy and faithful. In addition to Met. Tikhon and Abp. Nathanael, Archbishop Benjamin of San Francisco, Archbishop Irénée of Ottawa, Archbishop Michael of New York, Archbishop Alexander of Dallas, Archbishop David of Sitka, Bishop Paul of Chicago, Bishop Alexis of Bethesda, Metropolitan Gregory of Nyssa of the Carpatho Russian Diocese of North America, and Metropolitan Nicolae of the Romanian Orthodox Metropolia of the Americas (Romanian Patriarchate) participated in the service. During the course of the Liturgy the next day, Fr. Andrei was consecrated to the episcopacy. His Beatitude offered a homily, noting that, “We have gathered here today to celebrate a great event: the consecration and ordination of a new bishop for Christ’s Holy Church.” He also noted that Bishop Andrei had made “a full confession of the Orthodox faith. He recited the Creed, and he expressed his loyalty to the theology of the Ecumenical Councils and the Church Fathers.” Emphasizing the role of the bishop, Met. Tikhon noted: “Saint Irenaeus, a bishop only two generations removed from the Apostles, emphasized this connection between

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Trailer for New St. Joseph the Hesychast Documentary with Jonathan Jackson Published Online (+videos)

A documentary on one of the greatest saints of the 20th century will soon be released. In the meantime, a trailer for the film, “Elder Joseph the Hesychast,” has been published online on the “sceptic production” YouTube page. St. Joseph is one of the newest saints of the Orthodox Church. Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople announced his canonization during a visit to Mt. Athos in October. As His Eminence Metropolitan Athanasios of Limassol of the Cypriot Orthodox Church says of St. Joseph in the trailer: “The quietude of Elder Joseph was such that he wanted nothing and nobody else, nothing human in his heart except Christ.” The film features 5-time Emmy award winning actor and convert to Orthodoxy Jonathan Jackson in the role of St. Joseph. View the trailer below:

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Metropolitan Tikhon (OCA) Sends Letter of Support to Patriarch Irinej

In a letter dated January 7, 2020, His Beatitude Metropolitan Tikhon addressed a letter to His Holiness Patriarch Irinej of Serbia concerning the situation of the Orthodox Church of the Serbian Patriarchate in Montenegro. The text of the letter reads as follows;

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ROCOR: A regular session of the Synod of Bishops is held

On Monday, September 23, 2019, a regular session of the Synod of Bishops was held, chaired by His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America and New York, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia. Participating in the meeting were His Eminence Archbishop Mark of Berlin and Germany; His Eminence Archbishop Kyrill of San Francisco and Western America; His Eminence Archbishop Gabriel of Montreal and Canada; His Eminence Archbishop Peter of Chicago and Mid-America; His Grace Bishop Irenei of London and Western Europe and His Grace Bishop Nicholas of Manhattan. Having heard a report from the Pre-Council Commission, and also from Archbishop Peter, the President of the Jubilee Committee preparing for the 100th anniversary celebrations of the Russian Church Abroad, the Synod of Bishops confirmed the previous decision to conduct convene a Council of Bishops at St Elizabeth Convent in the Bavarian city of Buchendorf, Germany, in June of 2020. Coinciding with the council will be celebrations of the Centennial of the Russian Church Abroad by the German diocese. The bishops then heard a report by Archbishop Gabriel on the recent pilgrimage of clergyman and laity of the Russian Church Abroad to the holy sites of the Russian Orthodox Church and their meetings with hierarchs, clergy and believers, which took place this summer. Bishop Irenei then delivered a report on inter-Orthodox relations and the present situation at Elevation of the Holy Cross Cathedral in Geneva. A general parish assembly was recently held and new parish by-laws were adopted. In discussing the question of adding to the ranks of the episcopacy, the Synod of Bishops decided in view of circumstances to permanently remove the candidacy of Archimandrite Alexander (Belya) as Bishop of Miami and Vicar of the Eastern American Diocese. Administrative and financial matters were also discussed at the

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Articles populaires

More than 10,000 Montenegrin Faithful Gather to Prayerfully Protect Their Churches

The Orthodox faithful of Montenegro continue to raise their voices against the scandalous new law that gives the state the authority to seize Church properties, coming out in prayerful defense of their holy churches and monasteries. Yesterday, January 12, more than 10,000 faithful took part in a prayerful procession in the capital city of Podgorica to this end, reports the official Facebook page of the Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ of the Montenegrin Metropolis of the Serbian Orthodox Church. The procession and litiya were led by His Grace Bishop Metodije of Diokleia, the vicar of the Montenegro Metropolis. The bishop was attacked and hospitalized at a previous protest just after the law was passed by the Parliament late last month. Bp. Metodije addressed all those gathered, calling “all our brothers to a feast of love and the path of freedom.” He also wished all those present to “awaken and be as children, like the Divine Child, and to fill our souls, our lives, our hearts with the living God,” and called upon the faithful to “not to leave the nests and hearths of faith of the living and of our holy ancestors.” According to the Serbian hierarch, “anyone who has an eye to see all these eagles gathered around Christ—the Divine Child, and he who has an ear to hear the song of freedom will know, as the wise men, where the holy Infant was born, where they sang the song of freedom, where the cave is located, where is the greatest glory of this world and of the next.” After the service, many thousands of faithful took part in a procession from the Cathedral of the Resurrection to the Church of St. George and back. Prayer services and processions have been held throughout Montenegro since the law was

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Patriarche John X, Calling to form a rescue government that would to pull the country and the people out of the crisis

His Beatitude John X, Patriarch of Antioch and All the East of the Greek Orthodox Church, called to hurry in forming a Lebanese government. His Beatitude’s words came as part of the Sunday homily during the Divine Liturgy that was held in the Monastery of Our Lady of Balamand.

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Press release from the Episcopal Council of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Montenegro

Following the promulgation of the law robbing the churches and ecclesiastical goods of the Orthodox Church in Montenegro, the members of the Episcopal Council of the latter published the following press release Podgorica, December 29, 2019 The Episcopal Council of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Montenegro which, by decision of the Holy Assembly of Hierarchs of the Serbian Orthodox Church in May 2006, is made up of the bishops of the Metropolitan Diocese of Montenegro and the Coast, of the Diocese of Budimlje -Nikšić, of the diocese of Mileševo and of the bishopric of Zahumlje-Herzegovina and of the Littoral, met in Podgorica on December 28 and 29 of the year of the Lord 2019. The diocesan bishop of Methodius, Vicar of the Metropolitan of Montenegro-Coastal, who was detained at the Military Medical Academy in Belgrade on December 26 due to the use of physical force over him by the Police at the Tara Đurđević Bridge on December 26, did not participate in the gathering. His fellow bishops wish him a speedy recovery and return. At the end of prayers of intercession to the Most Holy Mother of God – celebrated during times of misfortunes and trials – and which took place on Saturday December 28 in the Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ in Podgorica, the Episcopal Council held a session during which the hierarchs discussed the newly created situation, in which the holy Orthodox Church of God found itself after the adoption by the Parliament of Montenegro of the openly anti-ecclesial, discriminatory and unconstitutional law, on “religious or confessional freedom and the legal situation of religious denominations”. The bishops agreed that the promulgation of such a law without prior dialogue, with numerous procedural violations and incompatibilities with international standards, is undoubtedly directed against the Orthodox Church, specifically against the

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An initiative of the Patriarch of Jerusalem for a meeting of primates of the local Orthodox Churches

We have just received a press release (read below) from the office of the Patriarchate of Antioch which informs us of the initiative of the Patriarch of Jerusalem to find a solution to the crisis caused by the recognition of the new Orthodox Church of Ukraine by the Patriarchate of Constantinople. Recall that there is a dispute between the two patriarchates (Jerusalem and Antioch) over the jurisdiction over Qatar which was the reason for the Patriarchate of Antioch’s refusal to participate in the Council of Crete in 2016.. “His Beatitude Patriarch John X received His Eminence Christopher, metropolitan of Amman, delegated by His Beatitude, Patriarch Theophilus III, on December 28, 2019, to the Patriarchate of Damascus. His Eminence Theophilus delivered a message concerning a meeting in Amman of the primates of the Orthodox Churches with the aim of “preserving the Orthodox unity” shattered by the Ukrainian crisis. In this regard, Patriarch John X reaffirmed the firm position of the Antiochian Church, announced by the Holy Synod of Antioch, which insists on the need for a “synaxis” meeting of the primates of the local Orthodox Churches, so that all Orthodox Churches collaborate to resolve Orthodox problems. ”

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Patriarch Bartholomew confirms the creation of the Vicariate of Russian tradition in France

In a message to the priests, monks, and nuns of the Vicariate of the Russian tradition, Saint Mary of Paris and Saint Alexis the Just, Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople gave his blessing for the creation of a Vicariate within the Metropolis of France of the Ecumenical Patriarchate This message follows the visit of a delegation who visited Istanbul from December 16 to 18. You can read a report of this visit, as well as other information on the life of the Vicariate in Letter n ° 2 which you can download here. Sources : 1 and 2

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Two archpriests of the Archdiocese of Russian Orthodox Churches in Western Europe are appointed to the commissions of the Inter-conciliar Conference of the Moscow Patriarchate

During its session of December 26, 2019, the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church decided to complete the composition of the Inter-Council Conference of the Russian Orthodox Church and to include in particular: 1) the archpriest Jean Gueit, vice-president of the Diocesan Council of the Archdiocese of the Orthodox Churches of Russian tradition in Western Europe, in the liturgical and ecclesial art commission, 2) the archpriest Nicolas Cernokrak, dean of the Institut Saint-Serge in Paris, in the theology and theological education commission.

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“Faith & Utterances 2 – One Ark” by Archpriest Alexander A. Winogradsky Frenkel (Patriarchate of Jerusalem)

Could we speak of unique memory and mesmerizing consciousness that has been passed down through the generations from ancient times, from the time when there was a longing for unity?   Such a unity today seems unreal in the world of our generation but remains an idea stored inside of ourselves since its initial creation. We should be obsessed with reaching, returning to unity, unification, reunion, and reunification in utopian processes, even while reality shows breaches, splits, rejections of souls and dangerous absence of tolerance between nations, citizens, all peoples. The Jewish calendar in September entered the year 5780, switching the Hebrew decade from the seventies to the eighties. Jewish tradition will reach out to the Nations during the 58th century of their calendar that is based on the Sumerian calculation of ages and times. In the Hebrew tradition of Gematria–interpretation of the alphabet–the letter “ayin/עין”  symbolizes “Seventy – ע”. It is linked to the concept of the seventy nations that existed by the time of the Tower of Babel. The Jewish calendar just finished a decade of the seventies. Now we are in the new decade of the “Eighties – פ”. The number eighty in Gematria is called the letter “peh”. It is written ” פ ” in Hebrew and ” ܦ ” in Aramaic (Serto chart). In Hebrew, it is connected to the two-consonant radical “Peh/פה = Mouth”. In Hebrew, “peh” refers to an aperture, an orifice, a hole that is here and/or there, location, compact and precise. It is of course also “mouth,” as the word is most commonly used today, but also because the word opens the possibility of speech (Hullin 142a). The mouth suggests physical and technical capacities to speak and utter sounds. As said: “On can speak in one way through the mouth and in

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P. Nicolas Xenos nommé vicaire épiscopal général de la Métropole grecque orthodoxe de France

L’archiprêtre du trône oecuménique p. Nicolas Xenos est nommé par son éminence le métropolite Emmanuel, vicaire épiscopal générale de la Métropole grecque orthodoxe de France. Le père Nicolas, originaire de Zakynthos, est membre du clergé de la métropole grecque depuis 1990. Depuis 2007, il se rend à l’église de la Présentation du Seigneur dans le quartier de Sartrouville. Source

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His Holiness Patriarch Kirill: restoration of unity is a testimony not to human wisdom, but to the power of God

On 3rd November 2019, an official reception on the occasion of the reunification of the Archdiocese of Orthodox Parishes of Russian Tradition in Western Europe with the Russian Orthodox Church took place in the Refectory Chambers of the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow.

His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia shared with all those present his thoughts about the reasons behind the historic reunification of the Archdiocese of Orthodox Parishes of Russian Tradition in Western Europe with the Mother Church.

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International Orthodox academic theologians appeal to Holy Synod of the Serbian Orthodox Church to protect academic thought

This appeal of international Orthodox theologians, 86 scholars from 40 academic institutions and 13 countries, is made following the deeply concerning pronouncements and edicts coming from the beloved Patriarchate of Serbia. We have come together with this appeal as we are concerned about impingements on the freedom of speech and academic thought, independence of universities, and ecclesiastical morality. Support for this appeal is great, and the number of signatories to this appeal would have been far greater had we not limited the period to join to three days.

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“Faith & Utterances” 1 by Archpriest Alexander A. Winogradsky Frenkel (Patriarchate of Jerusalem)

These are the daily dates that I use to share every day on my different sites and blogs as they appear on this Sunday night: יום א’ ראשון וראשי און א שיינעם זונטיק כ”ח דתשרי תש”ף. Приятного Воскресенья 27-ого\14-ого Октября 2019-7528. Blessed Sunday 27\14 of October 2019-7528 – Safar 29, 1441. 6769, 29, (tishrin qadmaya) ܬܫܪܝܢ ܩܕܡܝܐ It shows that we are on the first head day (of the week) [Hebrew], a nice Sunday [Yiddish] 28 of Tishri 5780 / a sweet Sunday or Day of the Resurrection 27/14 of October 2019-7528 [Russian] / on the 29th day of the Month Safar of the Year 1441 of the Hijri, i.e. on the 29th day of the first (month) on Tishrin in the Year 6769 after the Assyrian comput. I daily refer to these traditions. Basically, it allows to appreciate times and delays. It means that we are on the move, live on the same planet, in different locations and that we understand the deployment of measurable periods and spaces according to contrasted cultural patterns. They maintain the primacy of a diversified system, among all the human beings, in view to approach the quality of living in a special generation. Contemporary existence and continuous streaming that advances ahead of future times. A year ago, I had started to publish posts in English on this site. These were conceived as chronicles on the connection between the Eastern Christian Orthodox traditions and the way the Jewish traditions could meet at the present. It was just a sort of a launch, merely a project. Serving as an Orthodox priest in Israeli society and being born a Jew of Hebrew, Yiddish, multi-faceted backgrounds, I have spent long years of reflecting on the present development of new diachronic and synchronic cultural, mental, social, linguistic and spiritual-theological

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Days of hospitality, Autumn 2019

By Archpriest Alexander Winogradsky Frenkel (Patrairchate of Jerusalem)
Are we going to dwell in huts, booths, tents, tabernacles? or sukkot\סוכות? From Tishri 14, 5780/October 13, 2019 till Tishri 23, 5780/October 22, 2019, the Jewish Community celebrates the harvesting feast of the Booths

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Appeal of the First Hierarch to the God-Loving Flock, in Connection with the Coronavirus Pandemic

Dear in the Lord fathers, brothers, and sisters! I sincerely greet you with the very warmest well-wishes for the blessings of God, good health, spiritual calm, and the patience so needed in this trying time! I especially greet the doctors, nurses, and all who work in the hospitals, sincerely wishing them increased strength and Heavenly aid! I wish for those who are sick — and for their friends and relatives — comfort in the hope of God’s will, which always directs man toward the good. Our prayers are with all of you. As a result of measures being taken to halt the spread of the Coronavirus infection, which have been instituted by the governments of countries in which our Church maintains a presence, many of us have been deprived of the Divine Services and of communal worship in the temples. In some parishes, following the strict recommendations of local authorities, no services are held at all; in others, it is possible to serve, but this must be done with closed doors and in the presence of an extremely limited number of people, who themselves observe the required distance from one another. In many parishes, the service is performed by a single priest, sung by a single chanter. For these parishioners, it is a comfort to know that prayer is still being offered up in the churches, that the living and the dead are being commemorated. And where the Divine Services are being broadcast over the Internet via live-stream, many unite and join in this prayer, creating a prayerful atmosphere in their own homes. I have even heard of instances where some among the faithful light candles and lamps and, standing in their prayer corners, follow along with the service and pray. I think that such church ‘attendance’ has the virtue

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Encyclical for the Sunday of Orthodoxy

Thursday, March 05, 2020 Sunday of Orthodoxy 2020 “Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see heaven opened,and the angels of God ascending and descendingupon the Son of Man” (John 1:51)