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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 December 2014 - January 2015 Message
Beloved in Christ,
In late December we will take leave of the feast of the Nativity of Christ and begin to prepare for the celebration of our Lord Jesus Christ’s baptism, and His manifestation to the world as God in Trinity, along with the Father and the Holy Spirit. During this holy feast of Theophany, we should be reminded of our own baptism – both its significance and its meaning for our lives today.
Those of us who are “cradle” Orthodox, obviously remember nothing of our baptism because of being infants at the time (With the exception of those unfortunate situations where some parents wait so long to baptize a child, that there is a recollection!). Adult converts who join the Orthodox Church through baptism (because of never having been baptized), are fortunate in that they are active participants in their baptism; they can comprehend the prayers and petitions, and understand the deep significance of the various symbolic rituals, especially because of having gone through catechetical training with their priest.
At the baptisms of children, we tend to get caught up with the “cuteness” of it all. Our focus is totally on the child – whether he was quiet or noisy throughout the service, whether he hated or loved the emersion into the water, whether a noisy child stopped crying abruptly upon tasting the Holy Communion, interest in how lovely the baptismal garment was, etc., etc.. What we tend to overlook is the awesome mystery that is taking place before our eyes – the exorcism of demonic forces, the spiritual death and rebirth of the one baptized, the entering of the Holy Spirit into the child through Holy Chrismation, and the climax of physical union with Christ upon receiving His spotless Body and Blood at the end of the service.
Let us look at excerpts from some of the prayers of the baptismal rite, which demonstrate the awesomeness of the holy mystery taking place before us. During the prayers of exorcism we hear the following: The Lord rebukes you O Devil, for He came into the world and dwelt among men in order to shatter your tyranny and free mankind; hanging on the Cross, He triumphed over all the hostile powers… He destroyed death by death, and conquered you O Devil, who had the power of death…Have fear, come out and depart from this human being, and never return nor hide in him, neither meet nor act upon him, not by night or by day, not at dawn or at noontime, but depart to your own darkness until the appointed great day of judgment.
From another prayer we hear, Therefore I adjure you, most wicked, impure, abominable, loathsome and alien spirit; come out of the man and never again enter into him. Depart; admit the vanity of your power which could not even control the swine. We see with both these prayers that the Church takes Satan head on prior to baptizing one of God’s children. The priest prays to God to drive all the disgusting demons out of His holy temple. The priest and godparent(s) breathes and spits upon Satan and his demons out of disgust, and they then turn their back on them in order to face and acknowledge Jesus Christ as the living God.
Upon blessing the baptismal waters the priest says, Manifest Yourself O Lord, in this water, and grant that he who is baptized in it may be transformed so as to put away the old nature that is corrupted by deceitful desires, and to put on the new nature that is renewed in the image of God the Creator; so that united with You in the likeness of Your burial through baptism, he may also become a partaker of Your resurrection… So here we clearly see that baptism renews and transforms our corrupt, fallen nature by sharing in the Lord’s death and resurrection. Baptism is the door through which we enter onto the path toward salvation and eternal life, having mystically been joined to the body of Christ.
Before anointing the newly baptized with the chrism of the Holy Spirit, the priest prays as follows: Blessed are You O Lord God Almighty, the source of all blessings, the sun of righteousness who shone with the light of salvation on those in darkness through the manifestation of Your only-begotten Son and our God; and You gave to us, unworthy though we be, blessed cleansing through Holy Baptism and divine sanctification through life-giving Chrismation; who now also have been well-pleased to regenerate Your newly-illumined servant by water and the Spirit, granting to him the remission of all his sins both voluntary and involuntary. We see here that we are not only re-born in Christ through baptism, but also cleansed of all sin. Furthermore, we are sanctified and regenerated through the gift of the Holy Spirit. Baptism is not truly complete without Holy Chrismation.
As we reflect upon our own baptism, we should be awestruck to know that we have been set aside from the world and delivered from the power of the Devil; that we have been born anew by sharing in Christ’s death and resurrection through the baptismal waters; and that we have been sealed with the Holy Spirit, thus fully belonging to God as a creature who has been virtually recreated. From that point on, it is up to us to strive to live this way, so that our baptism does not become meaningless and trivialized.
May God bless all of you as we celebrate together Holy Theophany, when we all will pray for spiritual renewal through this holy feast of light – the transforming light of God that shines through all darkness and evil.
In Christ’s love for a blessed Nativity and Theophany,
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 - firstname.lastname@example.org
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