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Abba Seraphim leads a study evening at Mickfield in Suffolk

Abba Seraphim came back to Mickfield in Suffolk on 24 November to speak on the Fathers and the Saints.

This was his third visit to us, and he asked whether this time, being more accustomed to him, we might have a more discursive style of talk; this turned out to be a very good idea, since we were able to have a good give and take in which most members of the audience were able to join ; it was certainly well suited to bringing out Abba Seraphim’s lively sense of wit. Read more ►

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Father Seraphim ordained at Charlton

On Saturday, 11th November, at St Thomas’ Church, Charlton, many clergy, members and friends of the British Orthodox Church, and members of the British Orthodox Fellowship, gathered for the ordination of Deacon Seraphim Mina to the priesthood by Abba Seraphim, Metropolitan of Glastonbury. Read more ►

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Ascension Day – His Grace Metropolitan Seraphim

Preached at St Alban, Holborn

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, One God. Amen

Some years ago my mother and I attended the wedding of a cousin, whose father was a priest in the diocese of Manchester. During the reception which followed, Mother chatted to one of the suffragen bishops who, on discovering that my brother was an Anglican priest, observed that she must be very proud to have two sons who were both in holy orders. Coming from a family with more than its fair share of clergy, Mother is distinctly unimpressed. I’m afraid the poor bishop was somewhat non-plussed when she swiftly replied, “It’s got nothing to do with me” as if she had been accused of complicity in some questionable activity !

This in turn reminds me of a conversation I once had with a devout and enthusiastic young man who was telling me of his vocation to the priesthood founded on his burning desire to emulate our Lord in His priestly ministry. I gently reminded him that during His earthly life our Lord actually performed a diaconal ministry inasmuch as He became as t he servant who washed feet (John XIII: 1-17) and a messenger who preached good news to the poor; proclaimed deliverance to captives, sight to the blind and release for the oppressed (Luke IV: 18-19). “The Son of man came to ‘deacon’ and give his life a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:45) Having offered the sacrifice at Calvary He entered fully into His priestly ministry at His ascension.

Today, I would like us to focus on three aspects of the Ascension which deal with ministry, worship and God’s ultimate purpose for each of us because these are significant areas of convergence between the Orthodox tradition and your witness here at St. Alban’s, Holborn.

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Matthew 5:5 – His Grace Metropolitan Seraphim

Preached at St Alban, Holborn

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, One God. Amen

“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth” (Matthew V:5)

Of all the attributes commended to Christians I suspect that meekness is pretty low in the popularity ratings. Patience, humility, forgiveness, justice, mercy – these all present a positive image of the qualities they represent, whilst it is difficult not to regard meekness as rather insipid. “Gentle Jesus meek and mild” seems to belong to the imagery of the nursery rather than the world at large. When we discover that the etymology of our “meek” derives from the Germanic meuk, ‘soft’ and Old Norse mjukr, ‘soft, pliant’, whose linguistic cousins are words like muck and midden, it is not surprising that meekness is understood as passive submission.

Yet this image of weakness and pusillanimity conveyed in the English is absolutely the opposite to what our Lord was saying in the Beatitudes, or indeed, elsewhere, in the New Testament. Praütes, the Greek word used in the scriptures, however, consists not in a person’s outward behaviour only; nor yet in his relations to his fellow-men; but rather is an inwrought grace of the soul and the exercise of it is first and chiefly towards God. It is that temper of spirit in which we accept His dealings with us as good, and therefore neither dispute nor resist them. The meek are God-controlled, and through their prayers, God gives them mastery over their passions – especially anger. Meekness is not passive gentleness, but strength under control. It is the fruit of power, not weakness. The common assumption is that when a man is meek it is because he cannot help himself; but the Lord was ‘meek’ because He had the infinite resources of God at His command. Meekness in fact is the opposite to self-assertiveness and self-interest; it is equanimity of spirit that is neither elated nor cast down, simply because it is not occupied with self at all.

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Upcoming events

  • 28 September 2014
    • Morning Incense & Divine Liturgy: Bournemouth
      Morning Incense 09.30, Divine Liturgy 10.15
    • Raising of Incense & Divine Liturgy: Doncaster
      Raising of Incense – 9:45am
      Divine Liturgy – 10:30am
    • Morning Prayer: Babingley
      10.30am Morning Prayer
    • Raising of Incense & Divine Liturgy: Charlton
      Raising of Incense 2.00 p.m.
      Divine Liturgy 2.30 p.m.
  • 4 October 2014
    • Morning Incense & Divine Liturgy: Portsmouth
      Morning Incense & Divine Liturgy 10am


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