The Synaxis of the Twelve Holy Apostles

On 30 June each year, the Church honours the Synaxis (a celebratory gathering) of the Twelve Holy Apostles. The commemoration of a Synaxis is commonly observed on the day following a major feast day. It recognises the participation of a Saint or a group of Saints in the major feast preceding the Synaxis. For example, the Church holds a Synaxis in honour of St John the Baptist on the day after the Theophany. The feast of the Synaxis of the Twelve Holy Apostles follows the feast of the pre-eminent apostles Peter and Paul (29 June). Each of the Twelve is [...]

By |2016-10-14T14:49:59+11:00July 8th, 2015|Comments Off on The Synaxis of the Twelve Holy Apostles

Pascha – Joy and Light!

‘May we glorify Your mighty acts, your unspeakable plan of salvation for our sake’. (From the Matins Service of the Sixth Friday of Lent). Pascha is a time of joy and light, because when we celebrate our Lord’s Resurrection, we anticipate the immortality of our own soul and the resurrection of our own body. In the final week prior to Pascha, we are led step by step through the events that led to our Lord’s Crucifixion, and we are filled with so much awe at what our Saviour suffered for the sake of our salvation. During the services, we witness [...]

By |2016-10-14T14:50:03+11:00June 7th, 2015|Comments Off on Pascha – Joy and Light!

The Passover

The Passover On Holy Tuesday morning, we hear in the reading from the Gospel according to St Matthew: ‘Now Jesus said to His disciples, “You know that after two days is the Passover, and the Son of Man will be delivered up to be crucified” (Mat 26:2). What is the significance of Christ suffering His Passion during the great Jewish festival of the Passover? St John Chrysostom explains how the remembrance of the Passover, and the deliverance of the Israelites from Pharaoh and the Egyptians, is an ancient type which was fulfilled in the Crucifixion of Christ. Christ reminds His [...]

By |2015-12-08T16:03:49+11:00May 8th, 2015|Comments Off on The Passover

Contemplating the Icon of the Nativity

It is said that icons are a pictorial representation of Scripture, where iconographers utilise not only geometry and colour, but also symbolism, theology and perspective. This is true for the icon of the Nativity of Christ where the mystery of the Incarnation, which was hidden from before time, is now revealed to all through its contemplation. Isaiah states that “the ox knows its owner and the donkey its master’s crib; but Israel does not know, my people do not consider” (Isaiah 1:3). Here the least intelligent of domesticated animals show wise instinct to recognise the Saviour, whereas Israel did not [...]

By |2016-10-14T14:50:10+11:00March 7th, 2015|Comments Off on Contemplating the Icon of the Nativity

Christmas . . . Xmas . . . ✗!

Christmas . . .  Xmas . . .  ✗!   In the past, perhaps up to the generation previous to ours, Christmas was celebrated with a significant insight into its meaning: that is, we commemorated the birth of Jesus Christ. As a result, the day had a considerable religious significance with corresponding relevant expressions of Church events, carol singing, exuberant Christmas decorations, giving to the poor and the needy, and real expressions of goodwill to one another. That was then. . .  when people celebrated Christmas more or less meaningfully. But things changed, somehow with rapidity. Our "Western" civilisation, discovered [...]

By |2016-10-14T14:50:10+11:00March 7th, 2015|Comments Off on Christmas . . . Xmas . . . ✗!