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Beloved brothers and sisters in Christ,
Christ is in our midst!
Welcome to the website of the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church of Brockton, MA. The Annunciation is within the Metropolis of Boston, which is part of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America – one of the daughter Churches of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. The Church of the Annunciation is the only Eastern Orthodox Church in Brockton and its surrounding communities.
At the Annunciation, we conduct the full cycle of Sunday services, commencing with Great Vespers on Saturday evenings through Orthros (Matins) and the Divine Liturgy on Sunday mornings. Throughout the liturgical year, we also celebrate the feasts of our Lord and the Theotokos (Mother of God), as well as the feasts of all major saints of the Church. From fall through spring, Small Vespers are also celebrated on most Wednesdays nights, with adult religious education sessions following the service.
We welcome all to worship with us, whether you are visiting the area or live locally. May God bless you!
+Fr. Anthony Evangelatos
Fr. Anthony's April 2014 Message
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
I would like to offer an account of a miraculous event that occurs each year in Jerusalem, which is largely unknown to the majority of Christians, including Orthodox Christians. In fact, many have referred to it as the “greatest of all Christian miracles.” This miracle is known as the Holy Light (usually translated as the Holy Fire), which occurs in the tomb of Christ at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem, during the celebration of Orthodox Pascha.
Each year in the afternoon of Orthodox Holy Saturday, the Patriarch of Jerusalem enters the tomb of Christ, a marble structure which sits under the large dome of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. All vigil lamps and burning candles within the tomb and throughout the church have been extinguished. After offering a lengthy prayer, the main vigil lamp in the tomb is miraculously lit from a mysterious light which appears within the chamber. Then the Patriarch exits the tomb and distributes the flame to the anxiously awaiting faithful throughout the church.
This Holy Fire is understood as the light of the resurrected Christ, which is very central in the Orthodox celebration of Holy Pascha. As we know, this ritual is reenacted (less the miracle), in every Orthodox church at midnight of the Sunday of Pascha. The church is completely darkened and all vigil lamps are extinguished. The priest then exits through the previously closed altar doors and distributes the light of the Resurrection to the faithful. Even though the flame offered in Orthodox churches is not the Holy Fire of Jerusalem, we nonetheless are clearly reminded of the Resurrection of our Lord, thus rekindling our faith each year.
Getting back to the miracle of the Holy Fire, unfortunately, there will always be those who doubt the various miracles and signs so prevalent in Orthodox Christianity, perhaps because of a serious lack of faith. In order to appease the skeptics, the Patriarchate of Jerusalem allows a thorough search of both the tomb of Christ and the Patriarch himself, for matches, lighters, etc. prior to the ritual taking place. These searches are conducted by Muslim guards and by a city official, along with the Israeli chief of police of Jerusalem. These persons are obviously completely unbiased regarding the entire event. After the search of the tomb, the doors are closed and tied together with a white ribbon, over which is placed a seal of pure beeswax. Just prior to entering the tomb for the ritual of the light, the public search of the Patriarch takes place.
After the Patriarch enters and the doors are again closed, he proceeds into the inner chamber of the Holy Sepulcher – the actual tomb of Christ. As he recites a lengthy prayer, many of the faithful witness various amazing things taking place outside of the tomb. Some see a bluish light moving wildly around the large dome of the church, which then directly hits the dome of the Holy Sepulcher below. This light many times branches off and literally jumps toward and lights various vigil lamps around the church complex, as well as the candles of some of the expectant faithful. Probably the most mysterious aspect of this event, is the fact that the flame presented by the Patriarch to the faithful does not possess the normal properties of fire; in other words, it neither produces burning heat nor consumes anything it touches. This phenomenon apparently lasts for several minutes after the Holy Fire’s appearance.
Certainly, there are many who will assume that all this is some type of clever hoax. Others will be truly amazed and spiritually uplifted in knowing this miracle takes place each year. I, personally, have visited the Holy Land (not during Pascha), and heard multiple accounts of this miracle. I have spoken both with clergy and laymen from America who have witnessed this miracle in person. The Orthodox Church can only explain this annual event as a very real sign from God which confirms the greatest event that has occurred in the history of mankind – the true death and resurrection of God Himself in the person of His Son Jesus Christ. May the reader open his/her heart to what this miraculous event is clearly revealing to us.
I would like to wish each one of you a most blessed Holy Week and Holy Pascha. May each one of us be spiritually renewed by the Holy Light of the Resurrection of our Lord this Holy Pascha.
In the Crucified and Risen Christ,
Orthros at 8:45 am; Divine Liturgy at 10:00 am
Orthros at 9:00 am; Divine Liturgy at 10:00 am
Saturdays at 6:00 pm
Saturday, May 31, 2014 from 8:00 to 10:00 pm, 457 Oak Street, Brockton, MA
Visit www.grmusicensemble.com for more infomation about the group
The Annunciation Church now offers an online bill pay service for the convenience of our parishioners. Click on the links below to fulfill your Stewardship or make other payments by credit card.
Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church
457 Oak Street
Brockton, MA 02301
From Route 24 take Exit 18B (Route 27 North - Stoughton).
At lights take a right on to Pearl Street.
At second set of lights take a right on to Oak Street.
Drive 1 mile. The church is on the left. Welcome!
Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm
Rev. Fr. Anthony Evangelatos - Presiding Priest
Office - email@example.com
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