Keep the Message of Christmas Alive

Editor | December 21, 2016

Christ is Born! Glorify Him!

Dear People,

After months of waiting for the birth of their first child, Mary and Joseph searched for a place to stay while traveling. Mary was about to give birth to Jesus. They had no reservations in a town where they were strangers. There were no places to stay. Finally, someone offered them a little stable in a cave outside of Bethlehem. Jesus Christ was born into this world in this most humble way. Angels, shepherds, farm animals, and a late arrival of three kings from the Orient were the only witnesses to his arrival into this world.

The Gospel of Saint Luke is our source of a story filled with images which have become a part of our spiritual lives. We hear the gospel story each Christmas and see the nativity icons and crèches in our churches. The images of Jesus being born in Bethlehem used to be visible everywhere during the Christmas Season. Schools, stores, and public places all had the images of the entire Lukan story of the birth of Christ. The story of the Nativity became visible everywhere to remind us and to help proclaim the message to the world that God is with us.

Through political decisions, the display of religious images has been restricted on civil buildings and properties in most cities in the United States. The restriction has influenced businesses to reduce or eliminate religious Christmas decorations which have the true meaning of Christmas. And the trend has influenced many not to display religious images in front of their homes.

We need to keep the true message of Christmas alive. We can continue to try to challenge the secular trend through political means. This may not be successful today. However, we can decorate the outside of our churches and homes with the images and icons of the complete story of Christmas. In history governments have tried to get rid of Christmas, but Christmas has survived and returned in a stronger way through the spiritual power of the message and the devotion of the people.

Saint Francis of Assisi lived in a time similar to ours. The faith of the people was worn down by war and a lack of faith. Near the end of his life, Saint Francis had an idea of how to bring Christ back into the celebration of Christmas. He proposed the reenactment of the story through a living crèche in the town of Greccio Italy. With the help of the people, Saint Francis gathered the people and animals. During that Christmas season, the people and animals were a living crèche. It is a tradition which has continued in Greccio until the present day. Many miracles of healing and spiritual renewal have been credited to the yearly celebration. The tradition spread around the world.

Each year, the Basilian Sisters of Uniontown Pennsylvania with the help of the people continue the tradition of the living crèche before the celebration of Christmas. The faithful and other people travel great Continue reading

St. Nicholas Celebration centers on ‘Love in Action’

Editor | December 21, 2016

2016 Event Theme Highlights Service The 60th Annual St. Nicholas Celebration was held Sunday, Dec. 4 – the Feast of St. Nicholas – at St. John the Baptist Cathedral and Center in Munhall, Pa. Co-sponsored by the Greek Catholic Union … Continue reading

Remembering the “good ol’ days” of Christmas

Editor | December 21, 2016

Moments both Happy and Sad Marked the Celebration by Lori Downey SS. Peter & Paul, Braddock Christmas has always been such a special Holy Day for me. The birth of our Lord is the reason we celebrate this day and … Continue reading

Mass for Life to be celebrated in Washington, D.C.

Editor | December 21, 2016

Mass for Life to be celebrated in Washington, D.C. event precedes March for Life on jan. 27 The Annual Vigil and March for Life provides an excellent opportunity for the faithful to become pilgrims for mercy. The Shrine of the … Continue reading

Thoughts for our Day (The feast of light)

Editor | December 21, 2016

S a i n t Gregory the Theologian’s H o m i l y 38 was on the feast of Christmas.  His opening words are: “Christ is born, glorify him.” These became the opening words of Ode 1 of the … Continue reading

A farewell…

Editor | December 21, 2016

Simply…Sincerely…Thank You After nearly 12 years of serving Archeparchy of Pittsburgh and The Byzantine Catholic World newspaper, it is with bittersweet thanks that I formally announce my parting with this revered medium. Along with serving The BCW in print, as … Continue reading

…And a hello!

Editor | December 21, 2016

New Editor Excited to Spread Good News by David Mayernik Jr. As the byline above states, my name is David Mayernik Jr. and I am humbled to say I am the new editor of The Byzantine Catholic World. As I … Continue reading

Longing for Christmas peace in the Holy Land

Editor | December 21, 2016

Making a Difference by Tony Magliano During this wonderful time of the year, when Christians throughout the world focus minds and hearts on the coming of God himself upon the earth as one of us, our attention naturally turns to … Continue reading

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The Byzantine Rite boasts of two formularies of the Eucharistic sacrifice, namely, the Divine Liturgy of St. Basil the Great and the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom. In this leaflet we shall examine the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, which at the present time seems to be more popular and is celebrated more frequently in the Byzantine Rite. Before the tenth century it was just the opposite : the Basilian Liturgy was celebrated more often. But because of its brevity, in time, the Chrysostomian Liturgy prevailed. Continue reading