Fr Thomas Hopko teaches about the Feast of the Nativity of the Theotokos by looking at the hymnology associated with the feast
The first great liturgical celebration, Church feast, of the ecclesiastical year that begins in September in the Orthodox Church is the festival of the Nativity, the birthday of the Virgin Mary, of Christ’s mother, the Theotokos, Virgin Mary. This festival is on the 21st of September.
It’s fitting that the very first great feast of the Church year would be Mary’s birthday especially as we recall that the last great festival of the ecclesiastical year in August is Mary’s entrance into eternal life; her kimesis, her falling asleep, her dormition. So we end the year with the Dormition of Mary and we begin the year with the birth of Mary.
The Byzantine Creation Era, also "Creation Era of Constantinople," or "Era of the World" (Greek: Έτη Γενέσεως Κόσμου κατά 'Ρωμαίους also Έτος Κτίσεως Κόσμου or Έτος Κόσμου ) was the Calendar officially used by the Eastern Orthodox Church from ca. AD 691 to 1728 in the Ecumenical Patriarchate, by the Byzantine Empire from AD 988 to 1453, and in Russia from ca. AD 988 to 1700.
Derived from the Septuagint version of the Bible, it placed the date of creation at 5,509 years before the Incarnation, and was characterized by a certain tendency which had already been a tradition amongst Hebrews and Jews to number the years from the foundation of the world (Latin: Annus Mundi/Ab Origine Mundi [AM]). Its year one, the supposed date of creation, was September 1, 5509 BC to August 31, 5508 BC.
We should never forget the awful attacks that happened 15 years ago. We pray our gracious God that He grants rest eternal to all of His servants that lost their life on that day. But we should not hold anger or hatred against anyone. These are not Christian feelings, they blind our spiritual senses and lead us away from God. We have to find strength to forgive and pray to our Lord that He give us this strength.
Unless otherwise specified, the articles here are posted by Father Aleksey, who has no sense of humor and is extremely straight forward.