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The turning point of time

A homily delivered in Three Hierarchs Chapel at St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary on December 25, 2015.   Today, at this feast, we stand at the turning point of time.   Not simply another turning point, as the world spins on its axis, or rotates around the sun, but the turning point of time itself;…

Joseph, Son of David

The feast of our Lord’s Nativity in the flesh celebrates the great gift of new life and rebirth from God. Mary gives birth to the Son of God, and Joseph gives him the name Jesus, a name that communicates the Child’s divine vocation: to save God’s people from their sins (Matt 1:21). In taking our…

Unless the Lord Comes to Us: Advent Reflections

“Unless the Lord comes to us, we are completely helpless.” –St. Maximos, Greek ascetic, the 4th Century It is November 16 as I write this. My mailbox is now brimming every day with glossy catalogs proclaiming the virtues of the triumphant, capitalistic existence of comfort and indulgence that we have all imbibed to one degree…

Peanuts, Popcorn, and Christmas Cartoons

When I was young, I would get to watch some great TV cartoons during the Christmas season. Waiting to devour a bowl of popcorn, I would anxiously anticipate the appearance of the “special presentation” logo and with abandon throw myself into the stories of Frosty, Kris Kringle, and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Nowadays, kids can…

The Divine Child

Protopresbyter Alexander Schmemann was a priest, theologian, and one of the leading spokesmen for Orthodox Christianity in the 20th century. Fr. Alexander served as the Dean of St. Vladimir’s Seminary from 1962 up until his death in 1983. On this day, the 28th anniversary of his repose, we honor his memory by sharing the following…

Come and see!

While the canon of the feast of the Nativity begins to be sung on the festival of the entrance of the Virgin Mary into the temple, the first prefeast hymns of Christmas are sung on the feast of “the all-praised and first-called apostle Andrew.” In the gospel according to St John, Philip calls his friend…

Temples of the Living God

During the first days of the Christmas fast the Church celebrates the feast of the entrance of the child Mary into the Jerusalem temple… The spiritual story tells how, coming into the temple, the child Mary is led into the Holy of Holies by the priest Zachariah, the father of John the Baptist, there to…