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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 November 2014 Message
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
During our annual festival I conduct a number of church tours, during which I usually receive a variety of questions about our faith. One question that is posed quite frequently is regarding the difference between the various Orthodox jurisdictions. Many people will specifically ask what the difference is between Greek and Russian Orthodoxy, assuming that they are two distinct faith traditions. Even many “cradle” Orthodox can be confused regarding the various canonical jurisdictions of world-wide Orthodoxy, especially in regard to the use of the old and new calendar. I would like to take this opportunity to briefly clarify these issues for everyone’s edification.
First of all, we need to go back to the early history of the Church to refresh our memory regarding the five original ancient administrative centers of Orthodox Christianity. These are Jerusalem (where the Church originated on the day of Pentecost); Antioch (currently located in Damascus, Syria); Alexandria, Egypt; Constantinople (modern-day Istanbul, Turkey); and Rome (up to the Great Schism of 1054 AD). The first four centers mentioned above continue to be the ancient Patriarchates of Orthodox Christianity, which still have jurisdiction over their immediate geographic areas, and in some cases, over parishes in the diaspora. Obviously, because of the Great Schism, Rome went in her own direction to create the Roman Catholic Church by separating from the remaining body of Christianity – the Eastern Orthodox Church.
It should be noted that the Patriarchate of Constantinople – the Ecumenical Patriarchate – is so named because of its primacy of honor as the symbolic spiritual leader of world-wide Orthodoxy, not to be confused with the Catholic understanding of the papacy as supreme head of world-wide Catholicism. This primacy of honor is based on the central role of Constantinople, as the former capitol of the Byzantine Empire, in all aspects of the Church’s growth and maturation.
Eventually, many ancient local Churches under the jurisdiction of some of the ancient Patriarchates were granted autocephaly, a term denoting self-rule without the oversight of the Mother Patriarchal Church. Two such examples with which we are quite familiar, are the Churches of Greece and Cyprus. A small group of Orthodox Churches has been granted autonomy, which denotes partial self-rule with oversight of the respective Mother Church. Many autocephalous Churches are considered patriarchates, such as the Churches of Bulgaria, Romania, and Russia. To clarify our situation as the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, we are directly under the oversight of the Ecumenical Throne of Constantinople, as are the other Greek Orthodox Churches throughout the diaspora, such as Australia, Canada, South America, as well as other various locations in the world.
Just having mentioned Greek Orthodox Churches, it is also important to clarify that being Greek Orthodox is not necessarily connected to one’s ethnicity. Throughout Church history, this term has been used to identify those Churches whose liturgical language has primarily been Greek. An example of this is the Patriarchate of Jerusalem which uses the title “Greek Orthodox” because of the historical use of Greek in its services. More and more however, the Arabic liturgical language is being used so as to better minister to the Orthodox Palestinians, who are the primary members of the Patriarchate of Jerusalem.
In summary regarding Orthodox jurisdictions throughout the world, we can clearly see that there are many co-existing jurisdictions – both the ancient and newer Patriarchates, as well as the various autocephalous and autonomous Churches, which all fall under the umbrella of Eastern Orthodoxy. This is actually the best and most accurate term to use when one inquires about our faith tradition. No matter whether we are Greek, Arabic, Russian, Serbian, converts, or from any other jurisdiction of Orthodoxy, we are all Eastern Orthodox Christians – members of the One Holy Catholic, and Apostolic Body of Christ, founded in 33 AD.
Now, having clarified the jurisdictional matter, let us turn to the issue of the Church calendar. Historically, the Eastern Orthodox Church has used the ancient Julian calendar of the former Roman Empire. During the Renaissance in Western Europe, the Julian calendar was found to be inaccurate and was replaced by the Gregorian calendar, which is now the internationally accepted secular calendar. The two calendars currently have a difference of 13 days, with the Julian being the calendar that lags behind.
Since the switch to the Gregorian calendar was made in Western Europe after the Great Schism, this change did not affect the Orthodox world which continued to live according to the older Julian calendar, both ecclesiastically and civilly. Even after many modern nations in which Orthodoxy existed officially changed to the Gregorian calendar, many of their respective Churches did not. In fact, the majority of canonical Orthodox Churches in the world still use the Julian calendar. Note my use of the term canonical, which now introduces another issue needing clarification.
There are a number of schismatic, non-canonical Orthodox Churches under one umbrella, which are generally referred to as Old Calendarist. This movement was a reaction to those canonical Orthodox jurisdictions which chose to follow the secular Gregorian calendar. Many other issues became part of the general reaction of the Old Calendarists, which eventually led to the severance of ties with their former Mother Church. For our purposes here, I will not go into the detailed, multi-faceted history of this movement.
In summary regarding the calendar issue, we must not jump to the erroneous conclusion that an Orthodox jurisdiction using the old Julian calendar is uncanonical. In most instances, it will be one of the recognized canonical jurisdictions described earlier in this article. This is a completely separate issue than that of the splinter Orthodox groups known as Old Calendarists, as immediately described above, which obviously also use the old Julian calendar.
Beloved in Christ, I realize that I’ve shared a lot of information in this article. I hope that it has helped to clarify some of the issues that many of us have found perplexing over the years. The main point that we should all take away from this article, is that canonical Orthodoxy continues to be the undivided Body of Christ. No matter whether we are ethnically Orthodox from one of the major jurisdictions, or converts to the Orthodox faith, we are all Eastern Orthodox Christians – brothers and sisters in Christ, united by the Holy Body and Blood of our Lord that we partake of in the Holy Eucharist.
Metropolis of Boston Philoptochos Fashion Show: Lights - Fashion - Philanthropy
Saturday, November 15, 2014
Lombardo's - Randolph, MA
For reservations contact:
Elaine Zetes: 781-598-1333
Diane Stamantopoulos: 978-530-1064
Church Services Hours
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
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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