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Cathedral of the Annunciation

24W Preston St, Baltimore, MD 21201



Cathedral News

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  • Thursday, October 08, 2020 1:35 PM | Anonymous

    Greetings in our Lord -

    I pray this finds you well.

    The Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople issued a communique today regarding three items and His Eminence Metropolitan Evangelos.

    You may follow this link for the entire message  - https://www.goarch.org/-/ecumenical-patriarchate-communiqu--october-2020

    Beginning today, His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew appointed as Patriarchal Vicar, His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America as locum tenens, which means he now holds the place of our hierarch.

    As additional developments are released, you will be notified.

    In Christ,
    Father Dean

  • Sunday, September 27, 2020 2:05 PM | Anonymous

    Greetings,

    As we continue with following guidelines for contact tracing, you are kindly asked to register for services this Sunday, September 27, 2020.

    We also have services on Wed., Sept 23 (Conception of the John the Baptist), Fri., Sept. 25 and Sat., Sept 26 (Dormition of St. John the Evangelist). To register for these services, go to www.annunciationbaltimore/calendar and click on the day for the link.

    In accordance with Baltimore City regarding COVID limitations, the Cathedral is at 50% capacity, which would be at 400 people.

    Today, September 20 was the first time using the adapted format for Sunday school. The packet for Sunday school is attached in this mailing.  For more information, contact Trevor.

    We sincerely thank those who have been joining us for services and look forward to seeing you.

    God bless,
    Father Dean

  • Monday, September 07, 2020 7:56 AM | Anonymous

    Greetings in our Lord,

    I pray this finds you to be in the best of health.   

    With great joy, the local authorities have allowed capacity to reach 50% in the Cathedral and Cemetery Chapel. We must continue to follow guidelines such as wearing face masks covering our nose and mouth, along with physical distancing.

    God bless,
    Father Dean

  • Saturday, August 22, 2020 8:08 AM | Anonymous

    The Very Reverend and Reverend Clergy
    Esteemed Members of the Metropolitan Council, Esteemed Members of the Parish Councils, Philoptochos Sisterhood, Faculty and Students of the Catechetical and Greek Afternoon Schools, Directors and Participants of all Youth Organizations, and all devout Orthodox Christians of the Communities of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of
    New Jersey

    My Beloved in the Lord,


    The Turkish government, after having illegally and unjustly claiming the Great Cathedral of Agia Sophia as their own for use as a mosque, has sought to continue their lawless and unconscionable actions by converting the Church of the Holy Savior in Chora to a mosque. Though it was readily apparent even before this most recent affront that the Turkish government will stop at nothing to advance their carefully crafted plans of religious and cultural genocide against Orthodox Christians and Greek culture, this latest abhorrent action proves to be nothing short of a vile assault against not just against all Christians, but all people who treasure the principles of justice, peace, and religious freedom.

    The Greek Orthodox Metropolis of New Jersey strongly and unreservedly condemns the actions of the Turkish government and calls upon the international community to raise its voice against this most recent effort to appropriate and alter religious and cultural history by converting the Church of the Holy Savior at Chora to a mosque.

    Turkey’s history of discriminatory actions against the ethnically Greek population of Turkey is both profoundly disturbing and well-documented. Their blatant intent to subjugate religious and cultural minorities – their own citizens – is their enduring legacy. It is obvious that the only goal Turkey aims to accomplish is to completely eradicate Orthodox Christianity and exterminate any reference to the native population which gave birth to the City of Cities, Constantinople.

    Thus, it falls to us to bring this evil injustice to light so that people throughout the world know of the wickedness which emanates from actions of the Turkish government. Therefore, as Orthodox Christians, as descendants of the Byzantine cultural heritage, and as people who love that which is good and just, I encourage you to raise your voices. Raise your voices for our churches and monasteries. Raise your voices for religious freedom. Raise your voices against the inequalities and cruelties perpetrated by the Turkish government, namely Turkey’s President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Most importantly, raise your voices in support of our Mother Church, the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, by which we are lovingly and spiritually sustained and forever connected to the heart and apex of Orthodoxy.

    My beloved in the Lord, we must not allow these malicious and dark forces to perpetrate their hatred without speaking the truth and shedding light on this most important issue. The desecration of Orthodox Churches and the continued persecution of our Mother Church and Orthodox Christians throughout Turkey cannot and must not be tolerated. Let us always keep in our most fervent prayers our beloved Mother Church, our spiritual Father, His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, and the Church of the Holy Savior at Chora so that it will return to its original status, a Church. Praying that the Theotokos, the Protectress of the Queen City of Constantinople, blesses and is with you always, I remain

    With Paternal Love and Blessings,

    † EVANGELOS
    Metropolitan of New Jersey


    Statement Concerning the Church of the Holy Savior at Chora.pdf

  • Wednesday, July 15, 2020 11:25 AM | Anonymous

    To the Very Reverend and Reverend Clergy
    Esteemed Members of the Metropolitan Council, Esteemed Members of the Parish Councils, Philoptochos Sisterhood, Faculty and Students of the Catechetical and Greek Afternoon Schools, Directors and Participants of all Youth Organizations, and all devout Orthodox Christians of the Communities of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of
    New Jersey

    My Beloved in the Lord,

    As we remember the tragic and unjust invasion of Cyprus by the Turkish government on July 20, 1974, we are once again reminded of the brutality that was displayed, the savagery that was exhibited, and the barbarity which was shown towards the people of Cyprus. These terrible injustices which were directed towards our Cypriot brothers and sisters has left a deep wound which has never healed and never could be healed until justice is delivered and Cyprus is once again united.

    The events that took place forty-six years ago witnessed families being torn apart, Greek Cypriots being forced from their homes, civilians being murdered, churches being destroyed, and the Hellenic heritage being eviscerated by a government which does not care for peace and harmony, but which seeks to advance its own agenda at whatever cost to human life. It is lamentable that these actions have become commonplace for the Turkish government as their policy of hatred, antagonization, violence, and radicalization has become more prevalent especially recently with their decision to convert the Great Church of Agia Sophia to a mosque.

    The “ethnic cleansing” perpetrated by the Turkish authorities against the Greek Cypriots is one of the many despicable actions committed by Turkey in its history of violence and subjugation. This history of suppression and viciousness extends back hundreds of years to the Ottoman occupation and has been unrelenting even to the present day. Turkey’s desire to exterminate the Orthodox faith, the Hellenic culture, the Greek language, and Hellenic history has been ceaseless. In the last 100 years alone, the Turkish government has committed genocide, forcibly closed the Halki Theological School, and continued the religious persecution of our Mother Church, the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

    Nevertheless, in the face of these adversities, we must continue to stand strong against all forces of evil, division, and injustice. We must always be an unwavering voice for our Orthodox faith, our Hellenic identity, religious freedom, and justice for all. We must also speak out against the terrible atrocities committed against the Cypriot people whose homeland was taken from them and who suffered losses of life and property through the illegal actions of Turkey. Let us not speak of these events as a part of past history, but let us continue to actively advocate for the victims, realizing that this chapter of history is still not complete.

    Finally, I ask as we remember this solemn anniversary of our fallen mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, friends and neighbors, that we pray for the repose of their souls and for their entrance into God’s Eternal Kingdom. May we continually reflect on the events of July 1974, prayerfully remembering those who lost their lives in the struggle for liberty and their struggle for justice in Cyprus. Praying that our loving Lord grants eternal rest to those who lost their lives as a result of the Cypriot Invasion and praying that He guards and protects all of His people, I remain

    With Paternal Love and Blessings,

    † EVANGELOS
    Metropolitan of New Jersey


    Encyclical - Commemoration of the Invasion of Cyprus.pdf

  • Friday, July 03, 2020 6:07 PM | Anonymous

    My Beloved in the Lord,

    We are all graced with an abundance of gifts from God which are too manifold to enumerate and too precious to fathom. These gifts encompass each and every aspect of our lives and include every person we meet, every sight we behold, and every breath we breathe. Yet none of these can compare to one particular gift which God has given to humanity, and to humanity alone – freedom.

    “Freedom” is an exceptionally substantial term and it is truly impossible to describe its vast meaning for us Orthodox Christians. In contemporary society it amounts to an individualistic expression of self-determination and autonomy. We often speak of a freedom from something. Yet, in Orthodoxy it has a deeper meaning since we envision it as a freedom towards something. Freedom in the Orthodox context does not entail doing whatever we desire, but in receiving this gift from God, it must then reflect the manner in which we received it. Thus, we must use our freedom in love. God gave us this gift not out of compulsion, but willingly out of His own love for us. So too are we called to exercise our freedom in love because we are a reflection of our Creator and, as such, our individuality is not entirely our own. Therefore, it is evident that this gift of freedom is not a freedom from another, but a freedom towards love especially as we hear in Scripture, “You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love” (Gal. 5:13).

    It is with this understanding of freedom – Christian freedom – that we should reflect on its meaning as we celebrate our nation’s 242nd anniversary of its independence. We often hear countless politicians, media personalities, and fellow citizens who reference the word “freedom” as a rallying cry, sometimes as a means to remind us of the sacrifices that were made to “form a more perfect union.” Other times, however, it is lamentably used as an empty declaration the means of which are to further a particular point of view. This application of the term “freedom” often reduces it down to a mantra to be broadcast rather than elevating it as a principle to be upheld. Furthermore, it becomes far too easy to lose sight of the essence of this gift which God has made us beneficiaries.

    In exercising our freedom in love, we are enabled to right wrongs when we see injustices, to heal pain when we encounter suffering, and to bring tranquility to a world in chaos. It encourages us to lift up the dejected, to comfort the marginalized, and to give voice to those too frail to be heard. It opens our eyes to the plight of our neighbor regardless of race, gender, age, socio-economic status, or nationality because every person bears the unmistakable and distinct image of Christ within them and is entitled to their God-given dignity of personhood. Freedom in love motivates us to advocate for those whose freedoms are oppressed such as our Mother Church, the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, the nation of Cyprus, the Syrian and Armenian peoples, and countless others who have endured untold horrors and atrocities within the past century.

    If, however, we choose to use our freedom in another way – in a manner that promotes exclusion, apathy, or that seeks to set a chasm between us and the other – then we create for ourselves an unbridgeable divide which not only separates us from our neighbor, but also eternally separates us from God. This would denigrate the very gift of freedom given by God and entrusted to us to safeguard. Squandering this gift would evoke the fear of one of our founding fathers, John Adams, when he said, “Oh posterity! You will never know how much it cost the present generation to preserve your freedom. I hope you will make good use of it. If you do not, I shall repent in heaven that I ever took half the pains to preserve it.”

    Let the celebration of our nation’s independence inspire us to seek this freedom in love continually within our hearts and minds so that it may permeate our very being and so that we may be encouraged to become ambassadors of freedom everywhere and for every person seeking justice throughout the world. “Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!” (2 Cor. 9:15).

    With Paternal Love and Blessings,
    † EVANGELOS
    Metropolitan of New Jersey


    Encyclical on Independence Day 2020.pdf

  • Monday, June 01, 2020 4:19 PM | Anonymous

    To the Devout Orthodox Christians of the Parish Communities of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of New Jersey

    My Beloved in the Lord,

    Χριστὸς Ἀνέστη! Christ is Risen!

    I pray this letter finds you all well and in good health as our Holy Orthodox Church, our Metropolis, our Ecclesiastical Communities, and our nation continue to confront the challenging effects of COVID-19 (Coronavirus).

    The past couple months have been particularly challenging for all people as the devastating effects of the Coronavirus have permeated all facets of society. Nevertheless, there have been noticeable improvements to the present situation which has made it possible for some states and communities to recommence in-person gatherings, albeit, in a limited capacity. As such, the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of New Jersey has been developing a Parish Reopening Strategy so that Parishes and parishioners alike may adequately prepare once the Parishes are permitted to once again open their doors to the devout faithful. A critical element of this strategy centers around the parishioners of each community complying with a series of requirements which conform to State and Local regulations, CDC guidance, and additional Metropolis of New Jersey directives/requirements. A list of these requirements are as follows:

    • Parishioners must register their attendance with their full names and contact information. Your Parish Priest will notify you of the registration process and platform which the Parish will use.
    • Parishioners must screen themselves prior to coming to church including a temperature check even if they have not experienced any symptoms of COVID-19. If they have any symptoms, they are not to attend Church.
    • Parishioners shall not come to the Church by a ride share (Uber, Lyft), taxi, or by means of public transportation. It is strongly recommended that Parishioners arrive in their own vehicle or arrange for another parishioner to transport them.
    • Parishioners must sanitize their hands upon entering the Church.
    • Parishioners must wear protective masks throughout the Services.
    • Parishioners must adhere to the social distancing guidelines of keeping a six foot distance from other parishioners at all times in the pews and throughout the Church. The only exception being for families that have quarantined together, as they will be able to sit together in a designated section of the Church.
    • Parishioners are not to wander in the Church, in the Parish facilities, or outside on the parish grounds.
    • Small children shall not be allowed to roam the aisles.
    • Only one parishioner will be allowed in the restroom at a time. Parishioners must thoroughly wash their hands after using the restroom.
    • Parishioners must leave the Church premises, including the parking lot and exterior grounds, upon conclusion of the Divine Liturgy, all the while maintaining social distancing standards.
    • If after attending any service a parishioner experiences symptoms of or tests positive for COVID-19, in addition to immediately contacting their medical provider, they must contact the Church office to inform the parish of the date that they attended service.

    These measures will help to ensure that all of our Clergy and devout faithful remain as safe as possible during these turbulent times as we start to reopen our Ecclesiastical Communities for the Divine Services. It is my sincerest prayer that as we move forward, we do so safely and with thoughtfulness for our own health and for the health and safety of those around us. Praying that our loving Lord, who is the Physician of our souls and bodies, continues to guard and guide each of you and your families, I remain,

    With Paternal Love and Blessings in the Risen Lord,

    † EVANGELOS
    Metropolitan of New Jersey


    Encyclical To Faithful Regarding Reopening Requirements.pdf

  • Saturday, April 04, 2020 3:20 PM | Anonymous

    Beloved Cathedral family and friends,

    We know that at this time it can be difficult to pray from home and
not physically be in our church. One of the first things faithful do upon entering an Orthodox church is to light their candle and offer prayers for one?s personal needs or that of a family member or friend. We also light candles to pray for protection. During this period of time, when the world is stricken with COVID, we ask for our Lord to guide us in all things.

    I know that a number of our faithful have either been laid-off, terminated, or living under serious financial constraints as a result of this virus. It is an unbelievable reality in which we are living. At this point, sadly, we know of a number of friends, family, or acquaintances that are living under a number of adverse conditions and we are constantly in prayer. If anyone is living under serious financial constraints as a result of this, kindly contact me and let us see what can be done to assist.

    Even though parish services and events have been postponed for the safety of our parishioners, we can still participate in the life of the Church through prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. Online donations are available through our parish website, annunciationbaltimore.org. Click the Donate button in the upper right-hand corner of the page. We are grateful for your continued stewardship during these difficult times. Many of you typically make a stewardship donation when attending services, either writing a check or with cash. During these difficult times, I, along with the parish council, and staff, have enrolled in the online giving program through our website, and you are invited to do the same. It allows us to continue our commitment to stewardship and to make those weekly offerings.

    It is typical that there are a number of faithful who light candles for various reasons. For those wishing to light a candle, the suggested donation for a multi-day votive candle is $10. Click on the Donate button in the upper right corner. You will see space for you to enter the amount, in the space next to that, simply type your names to be commemorated. A separate email if you wish to complete in google will be sent to you.

    Faithful are also encourage you to make donations using your mobile devices by downloading the Give+ app. Type in “Annunciation Cathedral Baltimore” and follow the prompts.

    As we pray the upcoming services, I ask you to have that time in your homes peaceful and focused in prayer. Listen carefully to the service and take that time for you to offer your prayers and petitions.

    God is with us! May the Theotokos protect us!
    Father Dean

    Join us in prayer tomorrow, 8:00 AM, Orthros, 9:30 AM, Liturgy, www.annunciationbaltimore.org

    Online coffee hour, 11:45 AM - https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/368622509

    Sunday School, 12:15PM - https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/971089341

  • Wednesday, April 01, 2020 1:31 PM | Anonymous

    Good Afternoon Cathedral Community,

    Tonight we will celebrate the service of Compline with the Great Canon at 6pm.  Although this service is long, it is one of the most beautiful and introspective services during the Lenten season.  You can follow along with us during the live stream using the text here. https://www.agesinitiatives.com/dcs/public/dcs/p/s/2020/04/01/co4/gr-en/index.html  Tonight’s we will pray the service of Compline with a canon inserted into the middle.
     

    Compline
    Compline (ἀπόδειπνο) is a service done after dinner.  ἀπό (after) + δείπνο (supper) = ἀπόδειπνο.  The Compline service is typically done in monasteries— sometimes together in the church, and sometimes as private prayer in their cells.  Many parishes do a form of Compline during Lent, and some people read parts or the whole Compline service as their evening prayer before bed.  If you have “My Orthodox Prayer Book” by the Archdiocese Religious Education Department you can find a selection of prayers from Compline to use in your personal prayers.
    The Compline service can have other liturgical parts inserted into it, such as canons or kontakia.  In this way, Compline can serve as a shell for new material or new services.  The Service of the Akathist Hymn on Friday evenings during Lent is simply Compline with a canon for the Theotokos inserted into the middle.  Tonight’s service is simply Compline with a canon by St. Andrew of Crete inserted into the middle.

    Canon
    A canon is a long poem of odes typically found in the Orthros service (the morning prayer service).  Canons introduce a melody and add hymns (called “troparia”) following the same melody, with refrain verses interspersed.  Since many people are familiar with the Akathist Hymn, here is how that canon starts.

    • Melody: “I open my mouth and pray the Spirit fill it, like David said…”
    • Refrain: “Most-holy Theotokos, save us.”
    • Troparion: “O Maiden and Virgin pure, the great Archangel saluted you…”
    • Refrain: “Most-holy Theotokos, save us.”
    • Troparion: “Hail, O Virgin Bride of God! Through you was Adam restored to life…”
    • etc.

    Tonight we will add the Great Canon, composed by St. Andrew of Crete, into the Compline Service.  This canon is unique in that it is very long (250 troparia!), it contrasts many Biblical images of good and bad, and it is a dialogue between the person praying it and his/her own soul.  Some people will cross themselves or do a prostration during each refrain.  The canon starts like this.

    • Melody: “He became for me a helper and a shelterer for salvation…”
    • Refrain: “Have mercy on me, O God. Have mercy on me.”
    • Troparion: “Where shall I begin to weep for the actions of my wretched life…”
    • Refrain: “Have mercy on me, O God. Have mercy on me.”
    • Troparion: “Come, wretched soul, with your flesh to the Creator of all…”
    • etc.

    Themes
    St.  Nicholas Orthodox Church in McKinney, Texas has outlined some general themes that we can pay attention to while praying this canon.

    • How we should think about ourselves
      • “Where shall I begin to weep for the actions of my wretched life? What first-fruit shall I offer, O Christ, in this my lamentation? But in Your compassion grant me forgiveness of sins.” (Ode 1, Troparion 1)
    • Desire to change – dialogue with the soul
      • “Come, wretched soul, with your flesh to the Creator of all. Make confession to Him, and abstain henceforth from your past brutishness; and offer to God tears of repentance.” (Ode 1, Troparion 2)
    • Recognizing reality
      • “The end draws near, my soul, the end draws near; yet you do not care or make ready. The time grows short, rise up: the Judge is at the door. The days of our life pass swiftly, as a dream, as a flower. Why do we trouble ourselves in vain?” (Ode 4, Troparion 2)
    • How to pray – laments and supplications to God
      • “You are the Good Shepherd: seek me, the lamb that has strayed, and do not forget me.” (Ode 3, Troparion 6)
    • Old Testament and New Testament examples of righteousness and unrighteousness, for emulation or avoidance
      • “Do not look back, my soul, and so be turned into a pillar of salt. Fear the example of the people of Sodom, and take refuge in Zoar. (Genesis 19:26)” (Ode 3, Troparion 24)
      • “All the names of the Old Testament have I set before you, my soul, as an example. Imitate the holy acts of the righteous and flee from the sins of the wicked.” (Ode 8, Troparion 12)

    I hope this outline and explanation of the service was helpful.  Join us tonight at 6pm by going to our parish website: https://annunciationbaltimore.org/Live-Stream.

    In Christ,
    Trevor

  • Sunday, March 29, 2020 5:16 PM | Anonymous

    Greetings –

    With Coronavirus that is crippling the world, it is a time for us to ask for our Lord’s guidance in everything. We have paused our lives and instead of always being on the go, our commute for some is from one room in our house to the other. For those in the medical field, hospitality, or others who need to be out in public, it is creating new ways in which we live. As a parish, it is allowing to use different and “high tech” methods to reach our faithful.

    The live streaming of services is very popular with our faithful. I am extremely grateful to everyone involved in making this possible. I am grateful for your patience while we try this new platform of attending and praying the liturgy online. This will eventually become something permanent, but in no means a replacement for attending services. It is being done, for as said in Liturgy today, “for those absent with good cause.” This has been something that I have wanted to have added to our ministries, and it is being developed quickly. I thank John Hall, Trevor Bullock, and all involved in these temporary measures. I again thank you for your patience and again, invite you to subscribe to our YouTube channel. Plan on joining us in prayer for the Compline Service which begins at 6:30 PM. Log onto our website, www.annunciationbaltimore.org.

    On Sundays, following Liturgy, we enjoy the fellowship in coffee hour. Today was our first “virtual coffee hour.” It sounded like we were in the hall with everyone at the same time either greeting one another, waving, offering a kind word, or – can you hear me? Needless to say, it was wonderful to see each other – we will continue this as long as needed.

    Keeping our young people connected is important. We had Sunday School today and we are grateful to our director, Maria Durham, and our pastoral assistant, Trevor Bullock, leading in discussion. We will continue this next Sunday and also add other meetings for Young Adults and GOYA. Encourage those of this age group to participate. Even if they have never participated before, now is a good time to start – it is never too late.

    The days that have passed have been difficult, and the days approaching, only God knows. God give us all strength – God give us all courage – God give us all patience!

    You are intently in my prayers and know that you are sincerely missed.

    May God bless you, always!
    Father Dean

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24W Preston St, Baltimore, MD
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