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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 May 2015 Message
Beloved in Christ,
As we enter the month of May we continue to bask not just in the sunshine of spring, but also in the Light of the Holy Resurrection of our Lord. In the northern hemisphere, it is always a blessing to celebrate Pascha simultaneously with the renewal of all God’s creation around us. The physical renewal of plant life in spring can only occur after the dark and bleak days of dormancy during winter, thus spring is focused on the renewal of life. In the same fashion, Orthodox Christians are spiritually renewed each year at Pascha as we celebrate eternal life – a direct consequence of the Lord’s Resurrection. During Holy Week we are surrounded by many venerable traditions, both during liturgical services and in the home. Many of our beloved traditions of Pascha – both “small t” and “big T” – are clear reminders and symbols of the message of Pascha. Let us look at this aspect of our paschal celebration a bit deeper.
First of all, let us remember that in Orthodox liturgical theology, we never separate the events of the Crucifixion and Resurrection of our Lord. The Church has always considered the three day period from Holy Friday through the Sunday of Pascha, as one continuous liturgical commemoration. After all, without the Lord’s death on the Cross there could be no Resurrection.
When we attend the service of the passion of Christ on Holy Thursday evening, it is traditional for the faithful to hold lit candles from the end of the fifth gospel reading to the end of the service. If we meditate a bit on this tradition, we should be able to see how the candle represents us – persons created in the image and likeness of God. In general, the candles we light in church remind us of the mystery of our being – a union of body and soul represented by the candle and the flame. By being given light from the altar on Holy Thursday evening, we thereby receive the Light of Christ Himself, just as our bodies contain the Light of Christ given to us at baptism. As we hold our lit candles during the service, we should clearly comprehend that we are participants in the death of our Lord. Our goal each year at Pascha is to spiritually die with Christ in order to be risen with Him.
Another venerable tradition upheld on Holy Friday, is that of passing under the Epitaphios as we re-enter the church after the procession. Through this gesture we demonstrate our humility as we bow our heads and necks in order to pass underneath. Humility is one of the fruits of our Lenten struggle, so therefore, we should come to church on Holy Friday in order to bury our egos. After the service, we are all given a flower to take home, again, as a reminder of our participation in the death and burial of Christ. We can also extend the symbolism of the flower both as a reminder of the negative things in our lives that should have died and been buried, as well as a promise of eternal life which pours out from the Tomb.
When we come to the vigil liturgy of Pascha on Holy Saturday morning, we see the priest toss bay laurel leaves and rose petals used at the burial of Christ, just prior to the announcement of His Resurrection. The ancient Greeks used laurel leaves as a sign of triumph and victory, as seen by the use of laurel wreaths to crown victorious athletes. Christ’s death and resurrection were His ultimate victory against the power of the Devil over mankind, thus we clearly pronounce this message through this venerable ritual and immediately after, through the holy word of God.
This brings us to the main celebration of the Resurrection of our Lord commencing late Holy Saturday night. As we all know very well, the main symbol of the Resurrection is the lit candle which we hold throughout the Orthros and Liturgy of Pascha. We have already spoken above of the symbolism of the candle; however, in this case we clearly understand the flame as the Light of the Risen Christ. The Light comes from the “sleepless vigil lamp” constantly burning on the Holy Table, which represents both the Throne of God and the empty Tomb. The distribution and receipt of the Light of the Resurrection should also remind us of the annual miraculous appearance of the Holy Fire in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem (for more information on this miracle, do a google search for articles, as well as a YouTube search for many videos on the miracle).
A secondary symbol of the Resurrection are the red paschal eggs, which are traditionally dyed on either Holy Thursday or Saturday (never on Holy Friday!), and blessed in church after the liturgy of Pascha. It is important for us to teach our children that these are blessed eggs that represent important theological teachings – very different from the multi-colored Easter eggs used in eggs hunts that seem to have more of a connection to bunnies and springtime, than with the death and resurrection of our Lord. Now please do not misunderstand that there is any wrong with multi-colored eggs and egg hunts. We can incorporate such traditions in our celebration as long as we teach the importance and significance of the red eggs, which should be quite obvious. The red color of course represents the blood shed by our Lord in His passion and death on the Cross, while the egg itself represents both the tomb of Christ and new life.
Along with red eggs being a tradition in our homes, there is also the sweet bread baked for the feast known as lambropsomo, which usually has a red egg baked into the loaf. With this tradition we don’t just see a symbol of the death and resurrection of our Lord through the red egg, but also the emphasis on the sweetness of eternal life in the Kingdom granted through the Resurrection. Of course, the paschal celebration is never complete without the presence of roast lamb. Again, this is an obvious symbol of Pascha – the new Passover of the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ, who is the final and perfect sacrifice offered for the redemption of mankind.
Beloved in Christ, hopefully with these in-depth descriptions and commentary on the various traditions of Holy Week and Pascha, you will come to appreciate them even more from year to year. We should always strive to continuously learn about our Orthodox faith, especially when we are raising children, so that they can learn early on how and why we do certain things in church and in the home. Many parishioners will comment on how their parents would always answer their questions about Church with, “that’s just how we do it.” Hopefully we can take this up a notch by giving well-informed answers that make sense!
Christ is Risen!
The concert will take place in the Church community center.
Buffet and Cocktail Reception with Cash Bar at 7:00 pm
Concert from 8:00 - 10:30 pm
Tickets: $50 for adults, $15 under 18
Please call the Church office (508-559-0910) for reservations
Parents are students are invited to a fun afternoon featuring a Moon Bounce, face painting and food!
Parents are invited to an informal discussion group with all the youth program ministries represented.
Immediately following the Divine Liturgy to 3:00 pm.
Join us on Thursday, May 7th for our annual dinner and fundraiser.
Cocktails - 6:00 pm
Dinner - 7:00 pm
Raffle - 8:00 pm
Donation is $125 per person. Participants can bring a guest for dinner for an additional $25.
Please call the office or contact any Parish Council member for tickets.
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.
Donations (in memory of, floral, other)
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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