Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Making a Vasilopita for the New Year

It has always been an honor to be named after St. Basil.  Known for his generosity and care for the poor, St. Basil was also a brilliant theologian.  St. Basil the Great lived during the Fourth Century and was one of the most favored and respected bishop saints in the Orthodox Church, so much so that he is remembered with two feast days:

January 1st on his name day (the Feast of the Circumcision of Our Lord)

January 30th along with St. Gregory and St. John Chrysostom, on the feast of the Three Hierarchs.


Tradition tells us that St. Basil would hide coins in breads and cakes to give to the poor.  This is why we make a cake or bread with a hidden coin on New Year's Day.

Need a recipe for a Vasilopita cake?  I have a recipe for one on the Orthodox Christian Network.

Monday, December 22, 2014

In Defense of Santa

I’ve always liked Christmas, and I’ve always loved Santa.  He was the one I could count on for years to hear my prayers.  It sounds terrible to write that now at my age, but when I was a four, he was the closest thing to Jesus that I could possibly grasp.  Yes, there, I said it.  A man far, far away knows if we’ve been bad or good, and in his mercy, is willing to give me a gift all the same.  Yup, for the longest time, Santa was my Jesus.  ... Read the full post on the Sounding...


Thursday, December 04, 2014

Today's JAR- Celebrating St. Nicholas

Today's JAR- just a reminder

Saturday is the Feast of St. Nicholas. In this season of Santa Claus and gift giving, celebrating St. Nicholas with charity and hospitality is a great way to remember and honor the saint. 

I find it ironic when we spend the day shopping for Christmas gifts, playing Santa, and end up too busy to acknowledge the saint who inspired him. Start the day with Liturgy, and drop off a donation to a shelter, visit a nursing home or even treat someone to lunch. 

St. Nicholas is a wonderful and beloved saint of the Orthodox Church. 
  His Apoylitikion in Greek on Youtube...

Apolytikion of Nicholas the Wonderworker in the Fourth Tone

A model of faith and the image of gentleness, the example of your life has shown you forth to your sheep-fold to be a master of temperance. You obtained thus through being lowly, gifts from on high, and riches through poverty. Nicholas, our father and priest of priests, intercede with Christ our God that He may save our souls.


For the parents..
One tradition is to leave candy, money and fruit for your children on the feast of
St. Nicholas, in memory of the many people he helped through charity.