The Pan-Orthodox Vespers on the Sunday of Orthodoxy was held at the Church of St Nicholas in Marrickville, Sydney on 1 March 2015. Various Orthodox Churches in Sydney came together to pray and to jointly declare their Orthodox Faith with a Procession of icons around the Church.

His Eminence Archbishop Stylianos officiated the Vespers service together with His Grace Bishop Irinej of the Serbian Orthodox Church, His Grace Bishop Mihail of the Romanian Orthodox Church and His Grace Bishop Seraphim of Apollonias. They were joined by many Clergy of the other Orthodox jurisdictions, with the participation of all our Sydney Clergy and many faithful.

Towards the end of Vespers, a Procession of the Icons took place, after which an excerpt from the Synodikon of the Seventh Ecumenical Council was read. It was also a great honour to have the Miracle-working Kursk Root Icon of the Theotokos present for the faithful to venerate. This joyous occasion ended with a communal meal expressing the friendship and solidarity of the Inter-Orthodox faithful.

Photos:

http://www.orthodox.net.au/en/community/photos#nanogallery/nanoGallery/6124503768175612113

 

Sunday of Orthodoxy
Sunday of Orthodoxy

 

New 2015 legal year in NSW
New 2015 legal year in NSW
 The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia, under the aegis of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of Oceania, hosted the 32nd Annual Opening of the Law Term for 2015 with a Pan-Orthodox Prayer Service held at the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Sydney on Tuesday evening, 10 February 2015. Many notable participants, including clergy and lay, legal professionals from the Inter-Orthodox community, were present to pray with and for dignitaries from the judiciary, including distinguished Supreme Court judicial officers, headed by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of New South Wales, The Honourable Tom Bathurst QC, as well as Mr John Eades, President of the New South Wales Bar Association.

Read more: The Annual Opening of the New Law Term for 2015 in Sydney

Baptism in Fiji
Baptism in Fiji
Over the last few weekends Orthodoxy has been growing in the Island nation of Fiji. With the consecration of the new church Holy Trinity and mass Baptism and Wedding of native Fijians we happy to say that we have 4 Orthodox Fijians Priest, and over 200 Native Fijians Orthodox Glory be to God as our church is growing in the Pacific.

Photos: http://www.orthodox.net.au/en/community/photos#nanogallery/nanoGallery/6115615201716928273

Opening of the Legal Year 2015 Service in Melbourne

Legal Year 2015
Legal Year 2015
The Episcopal Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of Oceania, sponsored the Annual Opening of the Legal Year for 2015 with a Pan-Orthodox Prayer Service held at the St Eustathios Greek Orthodox Church in South Melbourne on Tuesday morning, 3 February 2015. Many notable participants, including clergy and lay, legal professionals from the Inter-Orthodox community, were present to receive and pray with and for the dignitaries from the judiciary, including distinguished Supreme Court justices.

Read more: Legal year 2015 Service in Melbourne

The Feast of the Protection of the Mother of God, held on the 14 October, is a well beloved day in the Russian Orthodox Church. In Australia, this is emphasised by the fact that we have two parishes dedicated to protection of the Virgin Mary; the Protection Cathedral in Melbourne and the Protection Church in Cabramatta, NSW.

 

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image007

 

The saintly Grand Duke Andrei Bogolubsky (1155-1174) originally introduced the Feast into Russia in 1160, after become acquainted with the Don Cossacks and seeing their devotion to the miraculous vision of the Mother of God over Constantinople in 911 AD, decided to dedicate his realm to the protection of the Heavenly Mother. In 1164, Grand Duke Andrei instructed the Russian Church to include the Feast of the Protection into the church calendar and this started a period of church construction dedicated to the Protection - "Pokrov"; the most famous church of that period is the unsurpassed "Pokrov on the Nerli" built in 1165 near the Grand Duke's residence at Bogolubovo. Another equally famous Pokrov church (commonly known as that of St Basil the Blessed on the Red Square), was built in 1555, by Tsar Ivan IV, to commemorate the victory over the Kazan Khanate and the end of the invasions of the Kazan Tatars into Russian lands. Here again, the Russian People dedicate the victory to the protection of the Mother of God.

Today, the Russian Church celebrates this Feast with great pomp and ceremony. Traditionally in Russia, this also marks the beginning of the so-called "wedding season."

This year in Melbourne the 14 October turned out to be a fine day. The chief celebrant was His Grace, Bishop Irinej, of the Australian and New Zealand Metropolitanate of the Serbian Orthodox Church who was accompanied by three members of his clergy: Archpriest Petar Damnjanovic, Priest Veselin Svorcan and Deacon Dragan Rajcevic. The full complement of clergy also included; Mitred Archpriest Michael Protopopov - Dean of Victoria, Archpriest Nicholas Karipoff – Rector of the Protection Cathedral, Archpriests Nicholas Dalinkiewicz, Peter Sheko and Simeon Kichakoff, Hieromonk Kyril Gavras and Protodeacons Basil Kozulin and Alexander Abramoff. A large number of altar servers also enhanced the service. The choir consisted of singers from Melbourne, Dandenong and Geelong parishes under the direction of the very able Nikolai Cowall.

 

After the reading of the Gospel, His Grace offered a homily, which he began with a greeting on the Patronal feast, saying that it was; "A great honour, privilege and joy to celebrate here the feast day of the Protection of the Mother of God in this magnificent Cathedral."Vladyka then interpreted the meaning of the Gospel reading for the Mother of God and connected it with the historical event, the miracle of the Pokrov, Protection of the Mother of God on 1/14 October 911 in Constantinople, threatened by the attack of a great army. He remembered the words of Fr Serge Bulgakov, who said that Marxism, even Communism couldn't destroy people if they earnestly pray to the Mother of God who intercedes for them with tears, as seen by Blessed Andrew and his disciple Epiphanius. Vladika spoke of the perception of Orthodox liturgical theology concerning the effectiveness of the Heavenly Mother's prayers. He noted that a number of hymnographers are celebrated this day, beginning with St Romanus the Melodist from the 6th century, depicted in the anachronistic way of iconography in the image of the feast. Others include John Koukouzelis, a Serb from Albania and Gregory of the Great Lavra, who wrote, "In Thee rejoices", sung at St Basil's liturgy. These hymnographers magnified the Mother of God, because great is the love of the Mother and certain is her protection. Vladyka finished his sermon with these words: "May she protect you and your children! S prazdnikom, dorogie!"

 

One visitor to the Feast rejoiced that; "There is an all embracing sense of being Orthodox, a Serbian bishop, Russian, Serbian and Greek priests, the choir made up of singers from all the Russian parishes all add to a feeling of unity in the Faith. The Feast Day becomes more than a parish celebration; it is a vision of the Triumph of Orthodoxy. The Procession around the church, although beautiful in itself, also symbolises that unity which unites all Orthodox in one Faith, in one Jesus Christ. There is so much majesty in the occasion which transcends the national or parochial barriers which we often put up." At the end of the service Bishop Irinej, on behalf of Metropolitan Hilarion presented a number of certificates to the Sisterhood of the church for their diligent services. Amongst these was the Head Sister Luba Cowall who celebrated fifty years of service to the parish. The celebration concluded with a luncheon where in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere everyone was able to enjoy each other's company and delicious repass.

fiji
fiji

Fiji is a compilation of about three hundred islands in the Southeastern Pacific Ocean with about 800,000 inhabitants. The two largest islands are called Viti Levu and Venua Levu. On the first island there are three major cities; the capital Suva which has a large natural seaport and an airport. Lautoka which also has a large natural seaport and Nadi which has a smaller seaport excavated especially for tourism purposes and the International Airport.

 

All the islands are verdant with beautiful beaches and mountains from which race large rivers and rushing waterfalls. The tropical, warm, climate and abundant rains are factors which make the land, here, fertile and productive. The mountains are covered with forests and cultivated fields of sugar cane, bananas, papaya, mangoes and other trees and exotic multicoloured flowers.

Read more: Getting to know Fiji and its Inhabitants

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At the invitation of His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, the First-Hierarchs of all the Orthodox Autocephalous Churches will gather from March 6-9, 2014, for a Sacred Synaxis at the Phanar in order to deliberate on matters pertaining to the entire Orthodox Church throughout the world and procedural issues for the convocation of the Holy and Great Council, whose preparation is coming to an end. Prior to this, from March 4-5, 2014, a Preparatory Committee for the Synaxis was also held at the Ecumenical Patriarchate, chaired by His Eminence Metropolitan John of Pergamon, in order to formulate the program of proceedings and draft the Message of the First-Hierarchs, who will conclude the Synaxis with a concelebration on the Sunday of Orthodoxy in the venerable Patriarchal Church of St. George, thereby also visibly expressing the unity of Orthodoxy.
During this festive Divine Liturgy on the occasion of great feast of Orthodoxy, the Message of the First-Hierarchs will be read from the Patriarchal Ambon to the faithful of the Most Holy Churches throughout the world.

Source: Ecumenical Patriarchate

photo: Ecumenical Patriarchate, patriarchia.ru

 

Source and more photos: http://www.spc.rs/eng/synaxis_firsthierarchs_orthodox_churches

 

Communique of the Primates
Communique of the Primates
By the grace of God, the proceedings of the Synaxis of the Primates of the Orthodox Autocephalous Churches concluded today, on the Sunday of Orthodoxy.

The Synaxis took place at the Phanar from 6-9 March, 2014, at the invitation and under the presidency of His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, and was attended by all the most venerable Primates in person, with the exception of His Beatitude Patriarch John of Antioch, who, due to illness, was represented by Hierarchs of his Church.

The proceedings of the Synaxis were carried out in a very fraternal spirit; the Hierarchs discussed maters concerning the life of the Orthodox Church in the contemporary world, and particularly in regions where Orthodoxy and Christianity in general face serious problems and difficulties; the Hierarchs also expressed their support and profound interest of the Orthodox Church in its entirety concerning their fellow human beings suffering in those regions. Above all, the Synaxis considered the prevailing situation in the Middle East and recent developments in Ukraine, as well as the ongoing uncertainty about the fate of the bishops, Metropolitan John of Aleppo, and Yuhanna Ibrahim of the Syriac Church, who were kidnapped by unknown persons a very long time ago.

Read more: Communiqué of the Primates of the Orthodox Churches

Istanbul
Istanbul
His Holiness Serbian Patriarch Irinej had an honour to officiate today at the morning service before mutual service of the Divine Liturgy of the Primates of Local Orthodox Churches. 

The Conciliar Holy Liturgy commenced at 10 a.m., at the Cathedral Church of Saint George the Great martyr at the Phanar. Immediately after the Holy Gospel, chief secretary of the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, Archimandrite Bartholomew Samaras, read the Message of the Primates of the Local Orthodox Churches, which was solemnly signed yesterday after the end of the Meeting. 

 

Source and more photos: http://www.spc.rs/eng/istanbul_conciliar_holy_liturgy_primates_local_orthodox_churches

Pan-Orthodox Liturgy
Pan-Orthodox Liturgy
Orthodoxy in Melbourne under the aegis of the Episcopal Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in Oceania commemorated the beginning of the First World War in the "Axion Estin" ("It is Truly Meet") Greek Orthodox Monastery in Melbourne on Saturday, 19 July 2014 with the celebration of a Pan-Orthodox Hierarchical Divine Liturgy and Memorial Service.

The Holy and Sacred Liturgy was concelebrated by their Graces Bishops Ezekiel of Dervis (Ecumenical Patriarchate), Irinej of Australia and New Zealand (Serbian Orthodox Church), Mihail of Australia and New Zealand (Romanian Orthodox Church) and Iakovos of Miletoupolis (Ecumenical Patriarchate). Three priests and one deacon from each canonical Orthodox jurisdiction assisted in the celebration of the Liturgy.

Read more: Pan-Orthodox Liturgy and Memorial Service in Commemoration of the beginning of WWI

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The Sunday of Orthodoxy also this year was solemnly marked in Sydney with Inter-Orthodox concelebration of the Sunday vesper service at the Greek church of Saint Nicholas in Marrickville.

Read more: Sunday of Orthodoxy marked in Sydney

Message of the Primates of the Orthodox Churches
Message of the Primates of the Orthodox Churches

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

 

Through the grace of God, the Primates of the Most Holy Autocephalous Orthodox Churches, to the Orthodox faithful throughout the world, all of our Christian brothers and sisters as well as every person of goodwill: we extend God's blessing and our greeting of love and peace.

"We always give thanks to God for all of you and mention you in our prayers, remembering before our God and Father your work of faith, labor of love, and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ." (1 Thess. 1.2-3)

Read more: Message of the Primates of the Orthodox Churches