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After prayerful and careful consideration and in consultation with Clergy, medical professionals and lay leadership of the Archdiocese, His Eminence Archbishop Nikitas of Thyateira and Great Britain has decided that all the Churches of the Archdiocese will close for public worship, beginning Saturday, 9 January, 2021, following the same policy enacted during the 1st National Lockdown in March 2020. This measure is enacted to preserve human life and to help in stopping the spread of Coronavirus…..At the proper time, an announcement will be made, as to when the Churches will open for public worship.
The faithful are asked to pray and ask God to send His healing grace upon the world and to be obedient to the Church, the government regulations and medical professionals.
By direction of His Eminence Archbishop Nikitas
In the meantime, Sunday Typika will be streamed on our parish’s Facebook page at 10:30 on Sundays, and Saturday Vespers will be celebrated on Zoom. If you would like to be kept in touch via email, please send us a message using the Contacts tab. Here is a link to the texts of the Typika and Vespers for use at home, together with prayers specifically for use during the coronavirus pandemic.
7 January 2021
We are a multi-ethnic Orthodox Christian parish, founded in 1948 by Polish ex-servicemen and their families. The Parish is a member of the Archdiocese of Thyateira and Great Britain, under the Patriarchate of Constantinople within the world-wide Orthodox Church (sometimes known as the Eastern Orthodox Church).
To message Archimandrite Kyril or to arrange a baptism or wedding please email the Parish Priest@bristol-orthodox-church.co.uk (Tel. 01179706302 or 07944 860 955).
For more see: CONTACTS
Services in church are suspended for the time being.
Saturdays: Vespers 5.30 pm via Zoom
Sundays: Typika from home 10.30 am. This service will be streamed on our Facebook page
CURRENT WEEK’S SERMON:
Homily for 17th January 2021
Archimandrite Kyril Jenner
Today’s reading from Saint Paul’s letter to the Christians in Colossae gives us a brief summary of some fundamental aspects of our beliefs concerning God and our Lord Jesus Christ.
“Give thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.” (Colossians 1:12) All that we have comes from God, and so we should give thanks to him. All that we have is a gift, not something that we have earned. In particular our place in God’s light is something of which we are not worthy, yet God makes us worthy.
Our place in the light, our place with God, which is given to us through our baptism and as a result of the work of Christ, contrasts with the place of darkness from which we are delivered. “He has delivered us from the dominion of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” (Colossians 1:13-14) Through Christ we no longer live under the dark shadow of the consequences of our sins. We receive forgiveness and can then live in the light of God.
How is Christ able to do this for us? “He is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of all creation.”
(Colossians 1:15) Saint John Chrysostom points out that Christ is not, as some have wrongly taught in the past, the first created person, but the first-born of God the Father. (Homily 3 on Colossians) He is the one who makes the invisible God to be visible. Our Lord himself said, “He who has seen me has seen the Father.” (John 14:9) Christ, being truly God, is the image of the Father. Being truly human he makes that image visible to us.
Christ, as God, stands apart from the creation. One often finds much confused debate concerning God, where it appears to be assumed that God is somehow a being within creation. This is not Christian teaching. Creation exists within God, not the other way round. This is clearly what Saint Paul teaches: “for in him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or authorities – all things were created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” (Colossians 1:16-17) Creation is by God the Father, through the Son, and by means of the Holy Spirit. “By the word of the Lord the heavens were established, and by the breath of his mouth all their host.” (Psalm 32:6) (Note that “breath” and “spirit” are the same word in both Hebrew and Greek.)
Creation is not only by God through Christ, but also for Christ as God. We are created in love, to love, and for love. God’s love overflows to us in our creation. Our creation is an act of love by God, and we are here for God to love us. He showed that love above all in our Lord Jesus Christ, who showed his love in dying for us on the Cross, and through his Resurrection bringing us back to God, giving us new life with God through the forgiveness of our sins. We acknowledge that love when we try to love God and to show that love in our dealings with one another.
Above all we acknowledge that Christ “is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the first-born from the dead, that in everything he might be pre-eminent.” (Colossians 1:18) Let us truly love him as the source of our being, the one who restores us to our intended place with God, and let us strive day by day to remain with him, by repenting of our sins, accepting his forgiveness, and living in the light of God. Amen.
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