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Statement by Metropolitan JOSEPH on the Recent Announcement by President Trump Recognizing Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel

Mon, 2017/12/11 - 6:43pm

Englewood, NJ/The Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America

Statement by His Eminence, Archbishop Metropolitan JOSEPH, of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Church of North America on the Recent Announcement by President Trump recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel

“Glory to God in the Highest and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”. Luke 2:14

We in the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Church stand with religious and world leaders in expressing concern over the recent announcement by President Trump in which the United States officially recognizes the city of Jersusalem as the capital of Israel and will therefore be moving the United States Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Our main concern is that this is a unilateral decision being made from outside of the framework of the Middle East peace process and that this will serve to undermine an already complex and difficult situation.

The holy city of Jerusalem is the center of the three major monotheistic religions and is inhabited by their peoples. As Orthodox Christians we revere the sacred sites where our Lord, God and Savior Jesus Christ was crucified and buried and where he rose from the dead inside the walls of the old city. At the same time, the issue of Jerusalem has been the focus of intense political debate since 1948 when the modern State of Israel was established. Since that time and especially since the Six-Day War of 1967, both sides of the conflict have claimed this city as their respective political capital. International law and most countries of the world, including the United States, recognized this situation and agreed that the final status of Jerusalem would be part of a lasting peace agreement between the Palestinians and the Israelis. President Trump’s announcement would appear to undermine the perception of the United States as a neutral party on the global stage, and could impact U.S.-led efforts at achieving a lasting solution to the conflict.

Most alarming is the violence and unrest that this announcement has sparked. We ask those who live in the region to utilize peaceful methods in resolving this conflict and not to resort to violence. We implore world leaders and all those concerned about the announcement to renew a commitment to dialogue and to the Palestinian/Israeli peace process. To do nothing will only lead to more violence and killing, and more generations of Palestinians and Israelis who will likely choose hatred and armed conflict rather than the road to peace.

As we prepare to celebrate our Lord’s Nativity in the flesh, in the town of Bethlehem, just outside the holy city of Jerusalem, let us pray even more that God’s peace, the peace from above, will penetrate the hearts of all.

AttachmentSize Statement Tegarding Embassy Move to Jerusalem 12.08.2017 (PDF)52.9 KB
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Youth Worker Conference to Feature the Theme of Gratitude

Mon, 2017/12/11 - 3:16pm

The Very Rev. Dr. Joseph F. Purpura, chairman of SOYO and the Department of Youth, encourages all parish and Archdiocese-wide youth leaders to attend the pan-Orthodox Youth Worker Conference in early 2018. Themed "The Place of Gratitude in Youth Ministry," the Conference is slated for February 1–3, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. More information is available here.

The Orthodox Youth Worker & Camping Conference is sponsored by the Jurisdictional Youth Departments of the Assembly of Bishops. The Youth and Camping Departments of the American Carpatho-Russian Diocese and Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA will host the 2018 conference.


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Apply to CrossRoad 2018! Summer Program for High School Juniors and Seniors

Mon, 2017/12/11 - 2:50pm

Calling all Antiochian Youth! Are you an Orthodox Christian high school junior or senior interested in exploring your faith? Apply to the dynamic, life-changing program that is CrossRoad! The application deadline is February 1, 2018.

For more information, visit our website!

96 Youth

10 Days

2 Locations

1 Amazing Program


AttachmentSize Download the 2018 CrossRoad Poster (PDF)4.23 MB
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Antiochian Village Summer Camp Registration Opens Monday, December 11

Mon, 2017/12/11 - 1:12pm

The Antiochian Village Summer Camp Program serves young people ages 9–17 who come to attend one of four two-week sessions. A primary goal of the Village camp program is to present to young people a living experience of the Holy Orthodox Faith in their relationship with God and other campers in a natural environment.

Registrations are now open for the 2018 summer camp season. The sessions run June 17 through August 10; two special sessions are Byzantine Chant Camp held from June 17 – June 29, and Iconography Camp, which runs from July 15 – July 23.  Slots fill up very quickly for this incredibly popular program, so act now! Additionally, it's not too early to think about sending your child to your local diocesan camp; visit The Department of Camping for more information.


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Message From the Department of Sacred Music for Choir and Chanter Appreciation Sunday

Fri, 2017/12/08 - 12:01pm

On this second Sunday in December, the Antiochian Archdiocese recognizes the contributions of all of our church singers and their vital role in communicating the teachings of the Church through melody and maintaining the beauty and dignity of our divine services.

It is through the work of hundreds of musicians across the Archdiocese that our experience in holy worship finds its voice.

Today the Department of Sacred Music joins with His Eminence and the clergy and faithful of the Archdiocese to say "thank you" for all the time and love that so many are giving.

The Department of Sacred Music is on a mission to guide chanters, choirs, and congregations to musical excellence in worship for the glory of God. With His help, we:

  • Preserve the historical diversity of musical traditions in our churches
  • Train young musicians and provide resources to new and mission parishes
  • Build strong ties of communication throughout the Archdiocese
  • Organize workshops and seminars that improve the quality of musicianship
  • Publish and distribute new and edited compositions in accordance with professional and liturgical standards

If you are interested in learning more about the specific program that the Department of Sacred Music offers to the Archdiocese, please contact to be added to our mailing list. And consider making a personal donation to the programs that continue the broad range of musical tradition of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America.

May God continue to bless you all and your ministry!

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The Conception of the Theotokos + December 9

Fri, 2017/12/08 - 9:51am

Anna besought the Lord in fervent prayer for a child. The voice of the angel proclaimed to her: God has granted you the desire of your prayer. Do not weep, for you shall be a fruitful vine, bearing the wondrous branch of the Virgin who will bring forth in the flesh the blossom Christ, Who grants great mercy to the world.

Today the great mystery of all eternity, whose depths angels and men cannot perceive, appears in the barren womb of Anna. Mary, the Maiden of God, is prepared to be the dwelling place of the eternal King Who will renew human nature. Let us entreat her with a pure heart and say: Intercede for us with your Son and God that our souls may be saved.

+Vespers of the Feast

Fr. Thomas Hopko on the Conception of Mary

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Metropolitan JOSEPH'S Letter for Choir and Chanter Appreciation Sunday

Thu, 2017/12/07 - 3:50pm

(To be read from the pulpit and printed in the bulletin)

Beloved Brother Hierarchs, Reverend Clergy, and Christ-loving Faithful of Our God-protected Archdiocese:

Blessings and greetings to all of you in the Name of Our Lord, God, and Savior Jesus Christ!

One of the hallmarks of our Orthodox Christian faith is the beauty of our worship. Our ecclesiastical music, when done with prayer and skill, can elucidate the rich theology of our hymnography in such a way that worshippers can exclaim – as did the emissaries sent by Saint Vladimir – "we know not whether we are in heaven or on earth!"

Because we owe such a tremendous amount of gratitude to our choirs and our chanters, we set aside the second Sunday of December to honor them for the key role they play in our liturgical life.

I offer thanks especially for the work of the Department of Sacred Music in working so diligently to expand the repertoire of music and to make it accessible to all. In addition, the department offers the Sacred Music Institute to help our choir members and chanters learn more about this sacred art and fine tune their God-given talents.

To support this work, which is so vital our Orthodox Christian liturgical lives, I ask each parish of this Archdiocese to offer a second collection on December 10, 2017 and to offer special recognition to those who are fulfilling this sacred ministry.

Wishing you all a holy and grace-filled continuation of the fast and joyous feast of the Nativity, I remain,

Your Father in Christ,
Archbishop of New York and Metropolitan of all North America
December 10, 2017

(Photo: St. John Orthodox Church, Memphis, TN)


AttachmentSize Choir and Chanter Appreciation Sunday, 12.10.2017 (PDF)328.47 KB
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St. Nicholas, Bishop of Myra + December 6

Tue, 2017/12/05 - 10:51am

The truth of things revealed thee to thy flock as a rule of faith, a model of meekness, and a teacher of temperance. Therefore thou hast won the heights by humility, riches by poverty. Holy Father Nicholas, intercede with Christ our God that our souls may be saved.

+Troparion, Tone 4

Thou wast a faithful minister of God in Myra, O Saint Nicholas. For having fulfilled the Gospel of Christ, thou didst die for the people and save the innocent. Therefore thou wast sanctified as a great initiator of the grace of God.

+Kontakion, Tone 3

On December 6, we celebrate St. Nicholas the Wonderworker, the fourth-century archbishop of Myra in Lycia (on the southern coast of modern-day Turkey). None of his writings is extant, but his examples of Christian generosity, virtue and love endure to this day. St. Nicholas is the living embodiment of the words "faith without works is dead" (James 2:20). He is also the patron and protector of two cathedrals – Brooklyn and Los Angeles – in our Archdiocese.

Learn more: 

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Many Years to His Grace Bishop Nicholas!

Tue, 2017/12/05 - 10:19am

Apolytikion of St. Nicholas, Tone 4

The truth of things revealed thee to thy flock as a rule of faith, a model of meekness, and a teacher of temperance. Therefore thou hast won the heights by humility, riches by poverty. Holy Father Nicholas, intercede with Christ our God that our souls may be saved.

December 6th is the celebration of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker and the namesday of His Grace Bishop Nicholas. May God grant him many years!

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Boston Byzantine Choir to Present "The Twelve Days of Christmas" Concert

Tue, 2017/12/05 - 1:34am

On December 9, 2017, the Boston Byzantine Choir under the direction of Charles R. Marge, will present "The Twelve Days of Christmas," featuring Orthodox Sacred Chant in English in the season of Christmas through Epiphany, at Ss. Peter and Paul Orthodox Christian Church in Potomac, MD. The concert will be presented at 6:30 p.m., following the 5:30 p.m. Vespers service.

Over the past 25 years, the Boston Byzantine Choir has endeavored to make Byzantine chant and the Orthodox Christian faith accessible to the English-speaking world. The choir grew out of the chanting tradition of St. Mary's Orthodox Church in Cambridge, Massachusetts and has chanted at services and performed in concerts in the Northeast, Montreal and California. The Boston Byzantine Choir is best known for its five recordings of Byzantine Chant in English: "First Fruits," "Mystical Supper," "Thy Passion," "Thy Resurrection," and "Lenten Journey."

The December 9, 2017 event will be the choir's first appearance in the DC/Baltimore area and will include the premieres of several new Byzantine Chant compositions in English written for the choir by Dr. Jessica Suchy-Pilalis.

Listen to the Boston Byzantine choir sing "Rejoice O Bethany."

AttachmentSize Flyer, Boston Byzantine Choir concert 12.09.2017 (PDF)1.32 MB
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Register Now! 2018 Winter Sacred Music Institute Is February 1-4 in Houston

Mon, 2017/12/04 - 10:31pm






The Department of Sacred Music is thrilled to announce the 2018 Winter Sacred Music Institute, being held from February 1-4, 2018, and hosted once again by the ever generous and gracious St. George Orthodox Christian Church in Houston, TX.

Come spend a musical weekend learning, sharing, singing, praying, and of course, eating! A variety of courses will be available to suit your needs, whether it be choral instruction, Byzantine chant, music theory, vocal technique, structure of services, theology, and of course, singing, singing, singing!

And once again, we welcome back our ever-inspiring Youth Music Ministry which will have its own special track for teens between the ages of 14–18. For more information please contact Chris Farha at

HOTEL INFORMATION: Stay at the beautiful Courtyard Houston West University and enjoy the special rate of $105/night, single and double occupancy. The hotel is a short walk to the church, and parking is free. Call 713-661-5996 and don’t forget to mention SGOR to get the special rate!


Adult Registration Form
Youth Music Ministry Application Form
Teen and Adult Scholarship Form 

For more information, please contact chairman Paul Jabara at

See you in Houston!

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Assembly of Bishops Releases Study on Young Adults and Ministering to Them

Mon, 2017/12/04 - 10:16pm

Akron, OH young adult leaders with Bishop ANTHONYThe study "Young Adults and Young Adult Ministries in American Orthodox Christian Parishes" has been released by the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the USA. Download the study report here:

Executive Summary (PDF)
Full Report (PDF)

The subject of young Orthodox Church members was a major topic on the agenda of the recent Annual General Assembly Meeting (October 3–5, Garfield, NJ). This report was prepared in order to help the Assembly address our common concern about the engagement of youth and young adults in the lives of American Orthodox parishes. Examples of what the readers will find in the report include:

Which programs and activities are most crucial for attracting young adult church members?

Why it is important to have a designated young adult leader in a parish?
Which aspects of Orthodox worship are especially appealing to young adult church members?
How does a parish's involvement with an Orthodox Christian Fellowship (OCF) affect young adult parishioners and young adult ministries?

Parishes of five Orthodox jurisdictions participated in this study. The report was prepared by Alexei Krindatch, the Assembly's Research Coordinator.

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Memory Eternal! + The Very Rev. Emile Hanna

Mon, 2017/12/04 - 7:00pm

The Very Reverend Father Emile Hanna, 84, fell asleep in the Lord on November 29, 2017. His wife of 55 years Claudette (Bourada), son David (Lisa Seaton), daughter Nadine (Jim Potts), and granddaughters Emily, Madeline, Ella, Grace and Lilly, were with him during his final peaceful moments. He was predeceased by his brothers Fayez, Samir, and George, and sisters Sadie and Yvette.

Father Emile was born in Aitha el Fakhar, Lebanon and immigrated to the United States in 1956. Within the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese, Fr. Emile faithfully served parishes in Louisville, Kentucky; Montreal, Quebec; Ottawa, Ontario; and Orinda, California. He will be remembered by all of his parishioners for his moving, beautiful liturgical voice.

The Trisagion prayers will be served on Monday, December 4, at 7 p.m., and the funeral service will be held on Tuesday morning at 11 a.m. at St. John the Evangelist Church, 501 Moraga Way, Orinda, CA, 94563. He will be laid to rest at Queen of Heaven Cemetery in Lafayette. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations made to the St. John Building Fund.

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The Holy Great Martyr Barbara + December 4

Sun, 2017/12/03 - 10:15am

Let us honor the holy martyr Barbara, for as a bird she escaped the snares of the enemy, and destroyed them through the help and defense of the Cross.

+Troparion, Tone 8

Singing the praises of the Trinity, you followed God by enduring suffering; you renounced the multitude of idols, O holy martyr Barbara. In your struggles, you were not frightened by the threats of your torturers, but cried out in a loud voice: “I worship the Trinity in one God-head.”

+Kontakion, Tone 4

Read the life of St. Barbara

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Memory Eternal! + Khouria Lynn Wilson

Sat, 2017/12/02 - 5:35pm

Khouria Lynn Wilson, wife of The Very Rev. Wayne Wilson of St. Barnabas Orthodox Church in Costa Mesa, CA, fell asleep in the Lord November 30, 2017. She had bravely fought cancer since March 2017 and has been an inspiration to all who witnessed her battle against this disease.

Khouria Lynn Diane Wilson was born September 21, 1950 in Aruba, Netherlands Antilles, where she lived until the age of 8 when her family, Frank, Barbara and sister Vicki moved to Orange County, California.

During her life, both before and during this time of trial, she has been a woman of faith, grace, generosity, hospitality and overall kindness to all.  She is survived by husband, Fr. Wayne, son Peter, daughter-in-law Alexandra, sister Vicki Oswald, sister-in-law Mary Salazar, and the extended family.

The service schedule will be as follows:

 Viewing and Memorial Trisagion

Wednesday, December 6 @ 7 PM  at St. Luke Church Garden Grove (13261 Dunklee Ave.)
Light reception to follow in their fellowship hall

 Funeral Service

Thursday, December 7 @ 10 AM at St. Luke Church
Procession to Westminster Memorial Park (14801 Beach Blvd.) and graveside service
Mercy Meal at St. Barnabas Church, Costa Mesa (3505 Cadillac Ave Bldg. G-3) to follow graveside service

May her memory be eternal, and may her soul dwell in paradise!

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December 2017 Edition of The Word Now Available

Wed, 2017/11/29 - 10:18pm
Click cover to download:  december_2017_word_for_archdiocese.pdf Magazine Date:  12/2017

The December 2017 issue of The Word is now available and contains the following articles:

Celebrating Christmas Defines Us
by Bishop John

Pleading for the Lives of the People of the Middle East
by Sdn. Peter Samore and Sonia Chala Tower

I Would Fly Away and Be At Rest
by Sdn. Peter Samore

The Ghost of Past Christmas Presents
by Fr. Joseph Huneycutt

Wisdom From St. Clement of Rome
by Fr. Daniel Daly

Updates from Christian Education, our seminarians, The Order of St. Ignatius...

...and much more!

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Ordo 2018, Western Rite Liturgical Guide, Available for Purchase

Wed, 2017/11/29 - 9:08pm

Ordo 2018 (the liturgical guide for Western Rite parishes) is now available for purchase through Lulu. There is a 40% discount on all Lulu products (except eBooks) which expires at 11:59 p.m. EST on November 30, 2017.

The Ordo contains the rubrics for praying the Benedictine office, the Mass (Divine Liturgy), and the daily lectionary for the English Office according to the use and calendar of the Antiochian Western Rite Vicariate.

Use this code when ordering to get the discount: CYBER40.

Order now

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St. Andrew the First-Called Apostle + November 30

Wed, 2017/11/29 - 12:55pm

Let us acclaim Andrew, the preacher of the Faith and servant of the Word. For he fisheth men out of the deep, holding in his hands the Rood instead of a rod; letting down its power like a fishing line, he draweth up souls from the error of the enemy, and offereth them as a wellpleasing gift unto God. O ye faithful let us ever extol him with the choir of Christ’s disciples, that he might intercede with Him to be gracious unto us in the Day of Judgment.

+Doxasticon, Tone 8

Let us praise the divine leader and namesake of courage, first-called disciple and Peter's kinsman. For as of old Christ called to him so he now calls to us: Come, we have found the Desired One.

+Kontakion, Tone 2

On November 30 in the Holy Orthodox Church we commemorate the holy, glorious, and all-laudable Apostle Andrew the First-Called.

Andrew endureth an inverted crucifixion, appearing feet upward in truth and not in shadow.
On the thirtieth Andrew braved a cross head downward.

He was the son of Jonah and brother of Peter, was born in Bethsaida and was a fisherman by trade. At first he was a disciple of John the Baptist, but when the Forerunner pointed to the Lord Jesus, saying, “Behold the Lamb of God!” (John 1:36), Andrew left his first teacher and followed Christ. Then, Andrew brought his brother Peter to the Lord. Following the descent of the Holy Spirit, it fell by lot to Andrew to preach the Gospel in Byzantium and Thrace, then in the lands along the Danube and in Russia around the Black Sea, and finally in Epirus, Greece and the Peloponnesos, where he suffered. In Kiev, he planted a Cross on a high place and prophesied a bright Christian future for the Russian people. In the city of Patras, he performed many miracles in the name of Christ, and won many over to the Lord. Among the new faithful were the brother and wife of the Proconsul Aegeates. Angered at this, Aegeates subjected Andrew to torture and then crucified him. While the apostle of Christ was still alive on the cross, he gave beneficial instructions to the Christians who had gathered around. The people wanted to take him down from the cross but he refused to let them. Then the apostle prayed to God and an extraordinary light encompassed him, which lasted for half an hour. When it disappeared, the apostle gave up his holy soul to God. Thus, the First-called Apostle, the first of the Twelve Great Apostles to know the Lord and follow Him, finished his earthly course. Andrew suffered for his Lord in the year 62.

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Metropolitan JOSEPH and Bishop NICHOLAS Preside at St. John's 30th Anniversary Weekend

Tue, 2017/11/28 - 1:00pm

View the photo gallery by Trent Terry

On the weekend of November 17–19, 2017, His Eminence Metropolitan JOSEPH and His Grace Bishop NICHOLAS made their first visits to St. John Orthodox Church in Memphis, Tennessee. The occasion was the celebration of the parish's 30th anniversary as well as the blessing of the new St. Raphael Hall which was completed in November.

The joyous weekend included a visit to St. Jude Children's Hospital, a wonderful presentation explaining the vestments of the bishop to the children of the Church, and a banquet on Saturday evening in the brand new parish hall.

At the Hierarchical Liturgy on Sunday morning, His Eminence tonsured David Twombly of Memphis and Paul Sudduth from St. Paul Mission in Tupelo, MS as readers. He also elevated Fr. Don Berge to Archpriest. This was a complete surprise to Fr. Don; he has faithfully served as a priest for thirty years and now cares for the mission in Tupelo. Axios!

His Grace, Bishop NICHOLAS stayed two extra days and celebrated the Feast of the Entrance of the Mother of God with the community. It was a great blessing to the community to have the first visit for both Metropolitan JOSEPH and Bishop NICHOLAS. May it be the first of many!

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Save the Date! The Order of St. Ignatius Christmas Reception, December 21

Mon, 2017/11/27 - 1:55pm

Please save the date for The Order of St. Ignatius Christmas Reception!

WHEN:  Thursday, December 21, 2017: 7:30 PM to 9:30 PM

WHERE:  St. Anthony Orthodox Church
385 Ivy Ln.
Bergenfield, NJ 07621

HOSTS:  Metropolitan JOSEPH, V. Rev. Fr. Joseph Allen and Kh. Valerie Allen, and Order Members of St. Anthony Church

RSVP:  By December 14, by phone (724) 238-3677 x410 or via email to  (Official invitation to follow in the mail)

Zlata Ryan
Administrative Assistant for The Order

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