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 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!
Upcoming Services and Events
Annunciation Vespers - Sunday, March 24, 2019
Join us as we celebrate the Feast Day Vespers of our beloved Church. His Eminence Metropolitan Methodios will preside at 7:00 pm, followed by a Reception in his honor by the Ladies Philoptochos Society.
Palm Sunday Luncheon - Sunday, April 21, 2019
Join us for the traditional Fish Dinner on Palm Sunday immediately following the Liturgy. Please see a Parish Council member or contact the Church office for tickets at (508) 559-0910. Tickets are $25 for Fish and $5 for Pizza.
Fr. Michael's March 2019 Message
The Sundays of Great Lent and the Saturday of Lazarus
Beloved in Christ,
The first Sunday of Great Lent is known as the Sunday of Orthodoxy. We commemorate the restoration of the Holy Icons, which took place on March 11, 843 AD. This event happened during the reign of Empress Theodora, when the Patriarch of Constantinople was Methodios the Confessor. The triumph of the Orthodox is celebrated with the procession Holy Icons throughout the Church. As the procession takes place the people chant the following hymn:
Your undefiled Icon we venerate, Lord, asking for forgiveness of all our faults, O Christ our God. For of your own will you were pleased to ascend in the flesh upon the Cross, to deliver those you created from the bondage of the foe. Therefore, in thanksgiving, we cry to you: You have filled all things with joy, O our savior, now that you have come, all the world to save.
The Second Sunday in Lent we honor the memory of Saint Gregory of Palamas Archbishop of Thessaloniki. Saint Gregory was born in Constantinople and spent the early part of his life on Mount Athos and Verria. He later went to Thessaloniki where he was ordained into the priesthood. Upon returning to Mount Athos he became the champion of the “Hesychasts” (Silence) against the heresy of Barlaam. The Hesychasts were monks who believed that it was possible to experience the uncreated light of God through perfect quiet of the body and mind (hesychasm). Barlaam taught that is was impossible. Saint Gregory differentiated the divine essence of God (which is unattainable) and the divine energy of God, which is attainable.
The practice of hesychasm is the theological concept of Theosis. Saint Athanasios the Great and many other Church Fathers write that the highest goal in life for the Christian is to be like God. This process of being God like is called Theosis. Orthodox Christians receive the Holy Spirit through the Sacraments of Chrismation during Baptism. The indwelling of the Holy Spirit enables us to achieve Theosis as we use our free will to follow Christ. When people reach the highest level of spirituality, they see in a mystical fashion the uncreated light of God.
The third Sunday of Lent is known as the Adoration of the Holy Cross. On this Sunday we venerate the Holy and Life-giving Cross on which our Lord and Savior sacrificed himself for us out of love. As he himself said: “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friend” (John 15:13). The Cross-is lifted before us adorned with flowers as a symbol of hope, strength, and the patience to endure through fasting and prayer the remaining half of Great Lent. We are asked to suffer with Him so that we may rejoice in him. We are asked to experience Holy Friday with Him so that we may Rise with Him on Holy Pascha.
The message of this day is clear “Whoever wishes to come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow” (Mark 8: 34).
On the fourth Sunday in Lent, we commemorate the memory of Saint John Climacus, author of “The Ladder of Divine Ascent”. The “Ladder of Divine Ascent” is the sum total of all the virtues which lead us to heaven. Saint John writes that this composition cannot be made of one virtue alone, just as “the diadem of the King is not made of only one precious stone.” At the top of his ladder of thirty-rungs, Saint John places three noble virtues Faith, Hope and Love.
Saint John was born in 525 AD and went to Mount Sinai at 16 years of age to live a spiritual life. At 19 he traveled to the desert of “Tholas” where he spent 40 years in prayer and meditation. It was there he wrote the “Ladder of the Divine Ascent” which is the “rule” of the monastic communities.
The book contains three basic segments: Break with the World, Practice of Virtues, and the Struggle with Passions through a Contemplative Life. He later returned to Sinai where he was made Abbot but later returned to the desert because he could not live in containment and died at the age of 70 in peace.
The fifth Sunday in Lent, we commemorate Saint Mary of Egypt, whose life story is one of the most moving in the chronicles of Christianity. Her story shows us God’s grace, love, mercy and forgiveness. Forgiveness of the Lord is giving through genuine repentances and sincere change in our life. It is God’s answer to us at times when we are burdened with guilt, fear and despondency because of wrongdoings. Satan makes us feel like we have been thrown into a trash pile by God, being forgotten and unworthy to enter God’s Holy Church and receive His love. God’s love redeems and restores us constantly.
Saint Mary of Egypt was born in Alexandria in 345 and as an adult lived the life of a prostitute.
While she roamed the streets of Alexandria, Mary heard that many people were going to Jerusalem to celebrate the Elevation of the Holy Cross. Out of curiosity and with the prospect of increasing her purse, she followed them to the Holy City. Upon coming to the Church of the Resurrection, where the Holy Cross was to be elevated, a divine power prevented her from entering the Church. This spiritual event was the beginning of her repentance; this Divine power enabled her to acknowledge her sinful life. Upon this transformation she was able to enter the church with out any difficulty.
Full of contrition she was determined to deprive herself of all the pleasures of this world, even the most innocent ones. She crossed the Jordan River and traveled deep into the Judean wilderness. Cut off from the world she cried floods of tears for her sins, subjecting her body to strictest fast and other hardships for forty-seven years proving the great power of repentance.
A Saintly hieromonk named of Zosimas, who traditionally went into the desert as was the custom of the monks during the early part of Holy Week. While walking in the wilderness he met, what he thought was a ghost, he soon realized that it was a woman. She asked him for something to cover herself with because she was naked. She then told him her story and asked Zosimas to bring her Holy Communion. He returned again the following Holy Week and gave her Holy Communion at the banks of the Jordan River. She received the Sacrament and then walked on top of the Jordan River and disappeared into the desert. The following year Zosimas went to the desert again and found the holy body of Mary and buried her relics with reverence and respect.
Saturday of Lazarus; Lazarus was born in Bethany the son of Simon the Pharisee. Christ was a close friend to Simon and visited his home frequently thus the children of Simon, Lazarus, Martha and Mary, became close friends with Jesus.
As the Holy Passion of Christ approached the mystery of the Resurrection had to be foreseen. Jesus raised the daughter of Jairus from the dead and then the son of the widow of Nain on the way to the cemetery. Christ knew that Lazarus had died and was already four days in the tomb. The Lord came to Bethany to raise his dear friend from the dead and to solidify, to the people, that He is the Son of God. The miracle of the raising of Lazarus provoked the hatred of the Scribes and the Pharisees, thus they decided to kill them both.
But what was their reason? They rationalized that the raising of the daughter of Jairus and the widow’s son could be attributed to the possibility that they were not really dead, therefore not a true miracle. But the raising of Lazarus, after being in the tomb for four days could only be explained as a true miracle brought about by God. This rendered credibility to the fact that Jesus was the Son of God and that attracted thousands to Him.
Jesus immediately went into the wilderness while Lazarus went into hiding until after the glorious Resurrection of Christ. After the Resurrection, Lazarus traveled to Cyprus and became the Bishop of Kitium. He lived there for 30 years until his second and final death.
Saint John the Evangelist is the only Gospel writers who makes mention of the raising of Saint Lazarus. The reason being that John wrote his Gospel after the death of Saint Lazarus. The other Evangelist wrote their Gospels while Lazarus was still alive and did not want to write about the miracle and arouse the fury of the Scribes and the Pharisees. Lazarus never spoke of his death and resurrection experience during the final 30 years of his life.
I pray that your Lenten Journey be Blessed with peaceful and serene days. May the Holy Theotokos protect you from the subtle attack of Satan during the Holy Season and may we all be worthy to celebrate His Holy and Glorious Resurrection.
May you have a blessed Lenten Journey.
In His Love,
+ Father Michael
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
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Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church
457 Oak Street
Brockton, MA 02301
Rev. Protopresbyter Michael A. Kouremetis
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 2:00 pm
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