Orthodox Calendar 2017
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Святитель Василий Великий Обрезание Господне
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Old Style
January 1
New Style
January 14
Saturday before the Theophany. Tone 4.
No fast.

Совершается служба великому праздникуThe Circumcision of Our Lord Jesus Christ

Cовершается служба, не отмеченная в Типиконе никаким знакомSt. Basil the Great, archbishop of Caesarea in Cappadocia (379).

Martyr Basil of Ancyra (ca. 362) St. Athanasius, bishop of Mogilev and Polotsk (1801). St. Emilia, mother of Sts. Macrina, Basil the Great, Naucratius, Peter of Sebaste, and Gregory of Nyssa (4th c.).

New Hieromartyrs Platon (Kulbush), bishop of Revel, Estonia, and archpriests Michael Bleive and Nicholas Bezhanitsky (1919), and Alexander (Trapitsyn), archbishop of Samara (1938).

St. Eugendus, abbot of Condat in the Jura Mountains (510). St. Fanchea of Killeany (Ireland) (ca. 520). St. Fulgentius, bishop of Ruspe in North Africa (533). St. Theodosius of Tryglia, abbot. St. Clarus, abbot of St. Marcellus Monastery in Vienne (Gaul) (ca. 660). New Martyr Peter of Tripolis in the Peloponnese, at Temisi in Asia Minor (1776). St. Gregory, bishop of Nazianzus, father of St. Gregory the Theologian (374).

Repose of Sergius A. Nilus, spiritual writer (1929), Nun Faina of Starobelsk (1972), and Archimandrite Mitrophan (Manuiloff) (1986).

Thoughts for Each Day of the Year
According to the Daily Church Readings from the Word of God
By St. Theophan the Recluse

St. Theophan the Recluse

New Year’s Day. The Circumcision of the Lord. Saint Basil the Great. [Col. 2:8–12; Luke 2:20–21, 40–52].

Since New Year’s Day is the beginning of the days of the year, we ought to gather in our soul those thoughts, feelings and dispositions that would direct our affairs throughout the year in a Christian way. We will find this the moment we bring to mind what New Year’s Day is in the spiritual life. In the spiritual life, New Year’s Day is when one who has been living carelessly becomes zealous about salvation and pleasing God. When one makes this resolution, then all is rebuilt afresh both internally and externally, upon new beginnings—the old passes away and all is new. If you have this, renew it; if not, acquire it—and for you this will be New Year’s Day.

A worthy celebration of the feast of the Circumcision of the Lord and of the commemoration of Saint Basil the Great are also tied with this. The essence of this change we have mentioned is that a person begins from this moment on to live solely for God, for his salvation; whereas previously he lived exclusively for himself, preparing destruction for himself. Now he abandons former habits, all comforts and all in which he found pleasure; he cuts off passions and lustful dispositions and takes on works of strict self-denial. Such a change precisely represents what, according to the Apostle, the circumcision of the heart should be. The celebration of the circumcision of the Lord reminds us of this and obligates us to do it, while St. Basil the Great provides us with an example to follow. So all the themes which crowd our consciousness on New Year’s Day come together into one—our inner renewal through the circumcision of the heart. If it pleases the Lord to give someone this mindset on New Year’s Day—that is, not only to think in such a way, but also to bring all of this into his life—he will celebrate New Year’s Day in a most perfect Christian manner, and will prepare for a Christian passing of the whole year. On the following New Year’s Day he will only have to renew and enliven what he has now taken on.

Saturday before Theophany. [I Tim. 3:14–4:5; Matt. 3:1–11]

The house of God, which is the Church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth (I Tim. 3:15). Consequently there is no need for us to look here and there to search out where the truth is. It is near. Be in the Church, contain all that it contains, and you will be in the truth. You will possess the truth and live by it and in it, and you will overflow with true life. The truth does not exist outside of the Orthodox Church. It is the only faithful guardian of all that was commanded by the Lord through the holy Apostles, and therefore is the true Apostolic Church. Some have lost the Apostolic Church; but since their Christian conscience tells them that only an Apostolic Church can truly preserve and show the truth, they decided to make such a church, and they made it, and called it by that name. They could call it the Apostolic Church, but they could not impart the essence to it. For the Apostolic Church was created according to the good will of the Father by the Lord and Saviour, and by the grace of the Holy Spirit through the Apostles. Such a church cannot be created by people. Those who think they can create such a church are like children playing with dolls. If there is no true Apostolic Church on the earth, there is no need to waste the effort on the creation of it. But thanks be to the Lord, He has not allowed the gates of hell to prevail against the holy Apostolic Church. It exists and will remain, according to His promise, unto the end of the world. This church is our Orthodox Church. Glory be to God!


The Feast of the Circumcision of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Humble Comments and Suggestions

On January, eight days after the Holy Nativity of our Lord, we celebrate His Circumcision, one of the Feasts of the Lord, on which—in accordance with Hebrew tradition—He received the name "Jesus": "And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the Child, His name was called Jesus, which was so named of the Angel before He was conceived in the womb" (St. Luke 2:21).

Homily on the Day of the Circumcision of the Lord and Commemoration of St. Basil the Great

Hieromartyr Thaddeus (Uspensky)

“The Lord of all endures circumcision, and He circumcises man’s sins, for He is good.” This is the meaning of today’s Church feast. The Circumcision was established by God and commanded through Abraham to all the chosen people of the Jews. It was a sign of entering into the Covenant with God, the seal of the promise to be always in Obedience to Him from childhood, to be faithful to Him unto the shedding of blood.

Homily on the Circumcision of the Lord

Igumen Nikon (Vorobiev)

According to the Law of Moses, the law given by the Lord Himself to Abraham, anyone who wanted to be a member of the Israelite nation, the chosen people of God, had to subject himself to a particularly bloody operation. This applied to anyone of the male sex. They were given what was called circumcision. This sign of circumcision remained with them for the rest of their lives. It was a reminder that this man is a member of the Israelite nation. But almost everything that took place in the Old Testament was but a shadow prefiguring the subject that was just about to come.

St. Basil the Great

In many Greek homes, a special cake is baked on the eve of St. Basil's Day (January 1st) with a gold or silver coin hidden inside. In the evening, just before midnight strikes and the new [calendar] year begins, all the lights are turned off for a minute to signify the dawning of a New Year. The family gaily exchanges wishes for "A Happy New Year!" and the cake is cut: one slice for St. Basil, one for each family member, one for each of the pets, and then the largest slice of all is cut for the poor people of the world. In one of these slices is hidden the coin, which brings blessings to its recipient throughout the year.

St. Basil the Great, Archbishop of Cæsarea in Cappadocia

Saint Basil the Great, Archbishop of Caesarea in Cappadocia, “belongs not to the Church of Caesarea alone, nor merely to his own time, nor was he of benefit only to his own kinsmen, but rather to all lands and cities worldwide, and to all people he brought and still brings benefit, and for Christians he always was and will be a most salvific teacher.” Thus spoke St Basil’s contemporary, St Amphilochius, Bishop of Iconium.

St. Basil the Great and Christian Philanthropy

Many things are said and written about the great Cappodocian Father of the 4th century St. Basil the Great of Caesarea. In Basil the Great, we find the consummate theologian, liturgical scholar, ascetic and evangelist of the Faith. Too often, however, one more aspect of Basil is left overlooked and that is Basil as the first great Christian philanthropist.

St. Basil, the Great Visionary of Creation

Jesse Dominick

As a theologian St. Basil is distinguished as a luminous visionary of the dogma of creation. His Hexaemeron, or commentary on the six days of creation, delivered as a series of nine sermons during Lent sometime around 370 AD, has stood the test of time to become the Church’s most authoritative text on the matter.

Martyr Basil of Ancyra

Saint Basil lived in the time of Julian the Apostate (331-363), and confessed his faith in Christ before the governor Saturninus.

St Emilia, the Mother of St Basil the Great

St Basil the Great’s mother St Emilia was the daughter of a martyr. On the Greek calendar, she is commemorated on May 30.