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
Upcoming Services and Events
Fr. Anthony's June 2017 Message
(Because of the importance and centrality of the Jesus Prayer in our spiritual lives, I wish to repeat my article on the subject from June, 2010.)
Beloved in Christ,
Many of us have heard from time to time about the “Jesus prayer.” Then again, many of us are completely unaware of this theologically rich but simple prayer. So, what is this prayer and how can it be of help to us? Let us explore what the Church has to say about this deeply spiritual prayer.
First of all, we should know the text of this prayer before we say another word: Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner. What simple words! Who would ever think that such an important prayer could have so few words?
In his book The Jesus Prayer, by a Monk of the Eastern Church (St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 1995), the author says the following in the introduction to the book: A Romanian writer, N. Crainic, has written that the Jesus Prayer is the ‘heart of Orthodoxy’…More than a private devotion, it borders on the realm of liturgy and even penetrates it. Its implications and possibilities deserve careful attention…
The Jesus prayer has been the central prayer of Orthodox monastics throughout the ages, as well as a central prayer for countless of the pious laity. If one were to visit an Orthodox monastery today, one would encounter both monks and nuns continually whispering this holy prayer on their lips as they go about their daily chores. Those monastics who are quite spiritually advanced may not be uttering the prayer at all, but would be praying it from the heart where the name of Jesus resides in all of us.
The prayer actually has scriptural roots in both the Old and New Testaments. In the Old we have clear indications of the extreme holiness and divine presence surrounding the name of God: You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain. (Exodus 20:7). In the New we have very clear directives regarding the veneration of the name of Jesus: Most assuredly I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you. Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask and you will receive, that your joy may be full. (Jn. 16:23-24); There is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved. (Acts 4:12); Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Phil 2:9-10).
In the book The Jesus Prayer (cited above), the monastic author also says the following: To pronounce the name of Jesus in a holy way is an all-sufficient and surpassing aim for any human life…We are to call to mind Jesus Christ until the name of the Lord penetrates our heart, descends to its very depths…The name of Jesus, once it has become the center of our life, brings everything together.
The premise for using the Jesus prayer, therefore, should be clear to us if we truly understand Christ as the very center of our lives. If we live our lives in such a manner, then we should feel the need to call upon Him throughout the day, and even as we lie down to sleep. Many of the Church Fathers speak of “unceasing prayer” and the “prayer of the heart.” The Jesus prayer is precisely that to which they are referring. It is a prayer that we can all offer to God consistently, effortlessly, and straight from the heart. It is a prayer that chases away the Evil One at the time of temptation. It breaks the distraction that we are all subject to during prayer time. It is the prayer par excellence that brings us immediate peace of mind and spirit.
Currently there are more and more pious lay men and women who practice the frequent repetition of the Jesus prayer. We must not mistakenly believe that this prayer, as well as many other pious practices, are meant only for monastics. We that live in the world need to have spiritual weapons at our disposal, if we are at all serious about living the life in Christ. I wish to close with some thoughts of a great spiritual leader and theologian of the Church of Greece, His Eminence the Metropolitan of Nafpaktos, Hierotheos (Vlahos). The following comes from his book, A Night in the Desert of the Holy Mountain, (Birth of the Theotokos Monastery, 1991): It is necessary that we live in Christ, the Word of God, and become Christ and the Word of God by grace. This is achieved when we live in the Church and participate in its holy mysteries, for the ‘Church is manifested in the holy mysteries, not as symbols, but rather…as the Lord said, like the vine branches in the vineyard’ (Nicholas Kavasilas). This is achieved with the invocation of the name of Jesus and the reciting of the Jesus prayer…All of the theology of our holy Orthodox Church is hidden in this small prayer. That is why we should always meditate on the sweetest and most joy-producing name of Jesus…
In Christ’s love,
Church Services Hours
Orthros at 8:30 am; Divine Liturgy at 9:45 am
Orthros at 9:00 am; Divine Liturgy at 10:00 am
Saturdays at 6:00 pm
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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, Wednesday and Friday from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm
Tuesday and Thursday from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm
Rev. Fr. Anthony Evangelatos - Presiding Priest
Office - firstname.lastname@example.org
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