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25 April 2021. Entry of Our Lord into Jerusalem (Palm Sunday)

posted Apr 13, 2021, 6:19 AM by Mamao Thoma


25 April


Entry of Our Lord into Jerusalem (Palm Sunday)





Troparion of the Feast (Tone 1)

By raising Lazarus from the dead before Thy Passion, Thou didst confirm the universal resurrection, O Christ God! Like the children with the palms of victory, we cry out to Thee: O Vanquisher of Death: Hosanna in the highest! Blessed is He that comes in the name of the Lord!

Another Troparion (Tone 4)

When we were buried with Thee in Baptism, O Christ God, we were made worthy of eternal life by Thy Resurrection! Now we praise Thee and sing: Hosanna in the highest! Blessed is He that comes in the name of the Lord!

Kontakion of the Feast (Tone 6)

Sitting on Thy throne in heaven, carried on a foal on earth, O Christ God! Accept the praise of angels and the songs of children, who sing: Blessed is He that comes to recall Adam!


On the Sunday before Pascha, the Holy Church celebrates the Entrance of the Lord into Jerusalem. Six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead (John 12:1). While tarrying there, in the house of Lazarus, many of those who had accompanied Him on the way from Jericho managed to reach Jerusalem and spread the tidings that Christ the Savior was coming there for the Feast of the Passover, and had stopped for a while in Bethany. Hearing this news, Christ's enemies, the scribes and Pharisees came to Bethany, not only on account of Jesus but also to see Lazarus, Whom He had raised from the dead (John 12:9).

The number of people believing in Christ the Savior was growing from day to day, and even some of the Jews who had up until then been hostile towards Him, seeing the miracle He had wrought, believed in Him. This made the scribes and Pharisees even more angry, and they resolved to kill not only Our Lord Jesus Christ, but the righteous Lazarus as well.

Jesus Christ did not want to increase the spite of His foes, the scribes and Pharisees, and for this reason He often avoided direct and open confrontation with them. But the time had come to take all the wrath and spite of these people upon Himself. So that His enemies would have no justification for their unbelief and would not be able to say afterwards that He had hidden His glory and His predestined Messianic mission from them. Our Lord made a ceremonial entry into Jerusalem, fulfilling all that the Prophets had foretold of Him. After spending a day in Bethany, Jesus Christ set out for the Holy City.

Calling to Himself two of His disciples—in all likelihood Peter and John—Our Lord asked them to bring from a nearby village a she-ass and her colt. The disciples went and fulfilled everything: finding at the gates of the town a she-ass and her colt, they brought them to the Savior. The young colt had not been ridden or borne a yoke before (1 Sam. 6:7). The disciples then spread their clothes upon it.

Thus Jesus entered Jerusalem, not in a royal chariot drawn by horses, but on a young ass, covered, not with rich cloths, but with the well-worn robes of the disciples. In this way, as the Evangelists John and Matthew tell us, the sayings of the Prophets were fulfilled: Tell the daughter of Zion, Behold, your king is coming to you, humble, and mounted on an ass, and on a colt, the foal of an ass (Matt. 21:5).

The meek and humble entry of Our Lord Jesus Christ in to Jerusalem was a symbol of peace and humility, for it represented a complete contrast to the triumphal processions of kings at that time. The way in which Christ entered Jerusalem showed that His Kingdom was not of this world, but that He was sent by His Father in Heaven. Jesus was accompanied by throngs of people who had followed Him from Bethany or had met Him on the way.

Having ascended the Mount of Olives, He stopped. From this hill a beautiful view opened out over Jerusalem. The tumultuous joy of the people following the Great Miracle-Worker who had raised Lazarus from the dead, grew even greater at the sight of this beautiful and sacred city.

Not only the disciples, but all who believed in Him rejoiced with a great joy, for they believed that Jesus was the promised Messiah, Who, according to the erroneous beliefs and expectations of the Jews, would sit on the throne of David, the king of glory, and be their ruler and rescue them from the Roman yoke.

At the gates of Jerusalem Jesus was met by a great multitude of people, rejoicing and waving palm branches, who, as St. Matthew tells us, bestrewed the way with them and their garments (Matt. 21:7-8). All this was an expression of particular reverence for the Messiah Whom they had come out to welcome. [We note here that in the Russian Orthodox Church, branches from the pussy willow are used instead of palm branches, obviously on account of the harsh climate.]

During the Lord's triumphant entry into Jerusalem, the whole people, who had come in their multitudes to celebrate the Passover and those who had witnessed Lazarus' resurrection and had been astounded by this great miracle, cried in joyous rapture: Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is He Who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest! (Matt. 21:9). The humble and meek procession of the Savior through the streets of Jerusalem surpassed and eclipsed all the triumphant processions that humanity had ever known.

Seeing the joy of the multitudes around Him, however, the Savior grew sad, and since He loved His people and His city. His heart was filled with sorrow. He knew that the same people, who rejoiced now and cried Hosanna! and saw in Him their salvation, would in a few days cry out in rage: Crucify Him! Crucify Him! (John 19:6). The Savior also knew that the fair and holy city of Jerusalem which He was entering, would soon be desolated and not a stone be left one upon another. As He drew night to the city, Jesus wept over it, saying, "Would that even today you knew the things that make for peace! But now they are hid from your eyes (Luke 19:41-42).

But it was not for Himself that our Lord wept. He wept and grieved because He knew that God's chosen Jewish people were perishing in ignorance and error. The Lord grieved not only for Jerusalem and the Chosen People, but for the whole universe; His gaze reached across the centuries, and saw the sins of future generations, and it was for them that He grieved in His soul; for them He wept and prayed.

Thus, the triumphant entrance of the Savior into Jerusalem which we celebrate on Palm Sunday was accomplished. In the Lord's Entrance, we see His way to voluntary suffering and death for our salvation. And we also see the image of Christ's spiritual Kingdom - the Kingdom of Truth, Peace and Humility.

6th of June 2019. Ascension of Our Lord Jesus Christ

posted Jun 12, 2019, 3:15 PM by Mamao Thoma   [ updated Jun 12, 2019, 3:18 PM ]

6th of June 2019


Ascension of Our Lord Jesus Christ




On this day, the Thursday of the sixth week of Pascha, we celebrate the Ascension of our Lord and God and Savior Jesus Christ.

After His Resurrection, Jesus remained on earth for forty days, appearing to His Disciples in various places. He ate, drank and conversed with them, verifying and assuring His Resurrection. On the fortieth day after Pascha, Jesus appeared to His Disciples in Jerusalem. He gave them His last commandment, to go forth and preach in His Name to all the nations. At the same time, He told them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait until they were clothed with the power from on high by the descent of the Holy Spirit upon them. Having said this, Jesus led His Disciples to the Mount of Olives. Then He lifted up His hands and blessed them. And as He was speaking to them with words of fatherly blessing, Jesus departed from them and ascended into Heaven, being received by a shining cloud, indicating His divine majesty. He gradually disappeared from the sight of the Disciples as they gazed at Him. And as they stood thus, two angels in brilliant white robes appeared to them in the form of men and said to them: Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into Heaven? This same Jesus, Who is taken from you into Heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into Heaven. In these words is fulfilled and defined the doctrine concerning the Son of God and His Word, in the Confession of Faith. After our Lord Jesus Christ fulfilled all His great dispensation for us, He ascended in glory into Heaven, and sat on the right hand of God the Father. His Disciples returned from Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives, rejoicing in the promise of the coming of the Holy Spirit. O Christ our God, Who didst ascend in glory, have mercy on us. Amen.

17th February 2018. His Grace Bishop Saba's visit to Vancouver

posted Jan 27, 2018, 12:34 PM by Mamao Thoma   [ updated Jan 27, 2018, 12:35 PM ]


17 February 2018

His Grace Bishop Saba's visit to Vancouver. 



Saturday morning, February 17th, His Grace Bishop Saba will be visiting Orthodox Monastery of All Saints in Dewdney. His Grace will be meeting with His Grace Archbishop Lazar and His Grace Bishop Varlaam. After the meeting Bishop Saba will meet local Georgian community and parishioners. After meeting there will be lunch and discussions about local challenges and perspectives. 



Address: 37323 Hawkins Pickle Rd, Dewdney, BC V0M 1H0




Ascension of Our Lord Jesus Christ

posted Jun 7, 2016, 5:11 PM by Mamao Thoma   [ updated Jun 7, 2016, 5:15 PM ]


Ascension of Our Lord Jesus Christ




On this day, the Thursday of the sixth week of Pascha, we celebrate the Ascension of our Lord and God and Savior Jesus Christ.

After His Resurrection, Jesus remained on earth for forty days, appearing to His Disciples in various places. He ate, drank and conversed with them, verifying and assuring His Resurrection. On the fortieth day after Pascha, Jesus appeared to His Disciples in Jerusalem. He gave them His last commandment, to go forth and preach in His Name to all the nations. At the same time, He told them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait until they were clothed with the power from on high by the descent of the Holy Spirit upon them. Having said this, Jesus led His Disciples to the Mount of Olives. Then He lifted up His hands and blessed them. And as He was speaking to them with words of fatherly blessing, Jesus departed from them and ascended into Heaven, being received by a shining cloud, indicating His divine majesty. He gradually disappeared from the sight of the Disciples as they gazed at Him. And as they stood thus, two angels in brilliant white robes appeared to them in the form of men and said to them: Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into Heaven? This same Jesus, Who is taken from you into Heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into Heaven. In these words is fulfilled and defined the doctrine concerning the Son of God and His Word, in the Confession of Faith. After our Lord Jesus Christ fulfilled all His great dispensation for us, He ascended in glory into Heaven, and sat on the right hand of God the Father. His Disciples returned from Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives, rejoicing in the promise of the coming of the Holy Spirit. O Christ our God, Who didst ascend in glory, have mercy on us. Amen.

My Dear Homeland

posted Mar 28, 2016, 4:09 PM by Mamao Thoma   [ updated May 13, 2016, 7:07 PM ]



My Dear Friends, we invite you on May 29th to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the Georgian Independence Day.


 Please join us at a special event 

My Dear Homeland… 

Sunday, May 29th, 3:00 p.m

Restaurant Georgia 

1118 Finch Ave, North York 

Tickets $80 (Children under 14 years $10) 

Tickets are available for sale at the Georgian Church in advance or email us at georgianchurch@torontomrevli.ca 

Same day Most Reverend Bishop Saba will visit Toronto and perform divine worship at the Iveron Icon of Mother of God Georgian Orthodox Church in Toronto, and join the celebration  over Georgian traditional dinner with showcasing Georgian dances and songs by professional singers and dance group and also there will be small performance by Sunday School students.


 Proceeds will be donated to the fund for building a Georgian Church in Toronto.





The Expulsion of Adam and Eve from Paradise

posted Mar 12, 2016, 9:00 AM by Mamao Thoma   [ updated Mar 12, 2016, 9:00 AM ]


The Expulsion of Adam and Eve from Paradise





The Sunday of Forgiveness, the last of the preparatory Sundays before Great Lent, has two themes: it commemorates Adam’s expulsion from Paradise, and it accentuates our need for forgiveness. There are obvious reasons why these two things should be brought to our attention as we stand on the threshold of Great Lent. One of the primary images in the Triodion is that of the return to Paradise. Lent is a time when we weep with Adam and Eve before the closed gate of Eden, repenting with them for the sins that have deprived us of our free communion with God. But Lent is also a time when we are preparing to celebrate the saving event of Christ’s death and rising, which has reopened Paradise to us once more (Luke 23:43). So sorrow for our exile in sin is tempered by hope of our re-entry into Paradise.

The second theme, that of forgiveness, is emphasized in the Gospel reading for this Sunday (Matthew 6:14-21) and in the special ceremony of mutual forgiveness at the end of the Vespers on Sunday evening. Before we enter the Lenten fast, we are reminded that there can be no true fast, no genuine repentance, no reconciliation with God, unless we are at the same time reconciled with one another. A fast without mutual love is the fast of demons. We do not travel the road of Lent as isolated individuals but as members of a family. Our asceticism and fasting should not separate us from others, but should link us to them with ever-stronger bonds.

The Sunday of Forgiveness also directs us to see that Great Lent is a journey of liberation from our enslavement to sin. The Gospel lesson sets the conditions for this liberation. The first one is fasting—the refusal to accept the desires and urges of our fallen nature as normal, the effort to free ourselves from the dictatorship of the flesh and matter over the spirit. To be effective, however, our fast must not be hypocritical, a “showing off.” We must “appear not unto men to fast but to our Father who is in secret” (vv. 16-18).

The second condition is forgiveness—“If you forgive men their trespasses, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you” (vv. 14-15). The triumph of sin, the main sign of its rule over the world, is division, opposition, separation, hatred. Therefore, the first break through this fortress of sin is forgiveness—the return to unity, solidarity, love. To forgive is to put between me and my “enemy” the radiant forgiveness of God Himself. To forgive is to reject the hopeless “dead-ends” of human relations and to refer them to Christ. Forgiveness is truly a “breakthrough” of the Kingdom into this sinful and fallen world.


26 June 2015. Holy Father Metropolitan Antim the Iberian

posted Jun 27, 2015, 8:21 AM by Mamao Thoma   [ updated Jun 27, 2015, 8:22 AM ]




Metropolitan Antim was born around year 1650 in Georgia, a country named Iviria by the Romanians. Hence the name of Iberian. Antim's secular name was Andrew. Enslaved by the Turks, Andrew reached Constantinople, being redeemed - probably - by patriarch Dositheus of Jerusalem. He was tonsured as monk under the name of Antim. The future metropolitan came into Wallachia at the beginning of the rule of Constantin Brâncoveanu.


In his new country Antim proved to be a prolific printer. In a stretch of 25 years more than 60 titles have appeared in the print shops that he led or established. His books were written in Romanian, Greek, Slavic, Arabic. A large part of these books were written or translated by Antim himself. With these books the Romanian language consolidated even more its rightful place as religious language.

Antim was advancing fast in the Orthodox hierarchy: abbot at Snagov Monastery (around 1696), bishop of Râmnic (1705) and finally metropolitan of Walachia (1708).


In 1716, Nicholas Mavrocordatos (1670 - 1730) forced Antim to retire from his seat of metropolitan. Deposed by the Patriarchate of Constantinople, Antim was exiled to Sinai Monastery. Antim was killed by the Turkish soldiers who were guarding him on the way toward his forceful exile. His body was thrown into the Tundzha River (a tributary that is emptying into Maritsa River near Adrianople - Edirne).





In 1966 the punishment received by Antim was raised by the Patriarch of Constantinople. In 1992 the Romanian Orthodox Church canonized Antim. Saint Hierarch and Martyr Anthim the Iberian is feasted of 27th of September.

From the name of the Metropolitan came also the name of Antim Cup, a trophy offered to the winner of the rugby matches between the national teams of Romania and Georgia.

13 June 2015. Devastating flood in Tbilisi, Georgia

posted Jun 21, 2015, 9:30 PM by Mamao Thoma   [ updated Jun 22, 2015, 8:58 PM ]

Devastating flood in Tbilisi, Georgia 


Dear all, 

Many of you are aware of the catastrophe that occurred in the capital of Georgia, Tbilisi, on the night of June 13th. Due to heavy rains, the River Vera flooded, completely destroying some houses and residential buildings as well as damaging others. 

As a result of the natural disaster, dozens of families are displaced. Flood related human casualties have already reached 20, and 6 are still missing. As well, there are innumerable animal losses. The river overflowed into the Tbilisi Zoo, killing many animals, while others, including tigers, wolves and penguins, were able to escape into the city. The flooding has also completely destroyed the Dog Shelter. Luckily, the employees were able to escape, and putting their own lives at risk, rescued just 150 out of the 500 dogs housed at the shelter. The flooding and soil erosion have also affected other areas of Georgia, including Tskneti, Village Tsveri and Akhaldaba. Moreover, the excess water has damaged infrastructure in other parts of Tbilisi. In order to recover, Tbilisi desperately needs all the help it can get. The total damages estimated at 100 million USD.

This tragedy has united the government, citizens and companies to contribute in cleaning and restoring the city. Money is being raised in Georgia, in the United States and across the EU. We kindly ask all foreign friends and benefactors to join the effort in rebuilding the capital and assisting those affected by the flood. All money raised will go towards rebuilding the destroyed infrastructure, providing shelter and necessities to the affected families and giving new accommodations to the animals from the zoo and the dog shelter. Please support Tbilisi in getting back on its feet. In the wake of this tragedy, all donations are significant and the citizens of Georgia are deeply grateful for every contribution, large or small.  

We will be posting regular updates on the situation in Tbilisi. Every dollar counts and we thank you all for your kindness. A full recovery will only be possible with the generosity and compassion of the international community.


Please donate for Tbilisi recovery on this online donation site. 

https://www.gofundme.com/RecoverTbilisi

21 May 2015. Ascension of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ

posted Jun 21, 2015, 9:05 PM by Mamao Thoma

Ascension of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ




Thou hast ascended in glory O Christ our God, granting joy to Thy disciples by the promise of the Holy Spirit. Through the blessing they were assured that Thou art the Son of God, the Redeemer of the world! (Troparion).

When Thou didst fulfill the dispensation for our sake, and didst unite earth to heaven, Thou didst ascend in glory, O Christ our God, not being parted from those who love Thee, but remaining with them and crying: I am with you and no one will be against you! (Kontakion)

Jesus did not live with his disciples after his resurrection as he had before his death. Filled with the glory of his divinity, he appeared at different times and places to his people, assuring them that it was he, truly alive in his risen and glorified body.

To them he presented himself alive after his passion by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days, and speaking of the Kingdom of God (Acts 1:3).

It should be noted that the time span of forty days is used many times in the Bible and signifies a temporal period of completeness and sufficiency (Gen 7:17; Ex 16:35, 24:18; Judg 3:11; 1 Sam 17:16; 1 Kg 19:8; Jon 3:4; Mt 4:2). On the fortieth day after his passover, Jesus ascended into heaven to be glorified on the right hand of God (Acts 1:9-11; Mk 16:19; Lk 24:51). The ascension of Christ is his final physical departure from this world after the resurrection. It is the formal completion of his mission in this world as the Messianic Saviour. It is his glorious return to the Father who had sent him into the world to accomplish the work that he had given him to do (Jn 17:4-5).

... and lifting his hands he blessed them. While blessing them, he parted from them and was carried up into heaven. And they returned to Jerusalem with great joy. ... (Lk 24:51-52).

The Church’s celebration of the ascension, as all such festal celebrations, is not merely the remembrance of an event in Christ’s life. Indeed, the ascension itself is not to be understood as though it were simply the supernatural event of a man floating up and away into the skies. The holy scripture stresses Christ’s physical departure and his glorification with God the Father, together with the great joy which his disciples had as they received the promise of the Holy Spirit who was to come to assure the Lord’s presence with them, enabling them to be his witnesses to the ends of earth (Lk 24:48-53; Acts 1:8-11; Mt 28:20; Mk 16:16-14).

In the Church the believers in Christ celebrate these very same realities with the conviction that it is for them and for all men that Christ’s departure from this world has taken place. The Lord leaves in order to be glorified with God the Father and to glorify us with himself. He goes in order to “prepare a place” for and to take us also into the blessedness of God s presence. He goes to open the way for all flesh into the “heavenly sanctuary ... the Holy Place not made by hands” (see Hebrews 8-10). He goes in order send the Holy Spirit, who proceeds from the Father to bear witness to him and his gospel in the world, making him powerfully present in the lives of disciples.

21 May 2015. Ascension of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ

posted May 19, 2015, 5:10 PM by Mamao Thoma   [ updated May 19, 2015, 5:10 PM ]


Thou hast ascended in glory O Christ our God, granting joy to Thy disciples by the promise of the Holy Spirit. Through the blessing they were assured that Thou art the Son of God, the Redeemer of the world! (Troparion).

When Thou didst fulfill the dispensation for our sake, and didst unite earth to heaven, Thou didst ascend in glory, O Christ our God, not being parted from those who love Thee, but remaining with them and crying: I am with you and no one will be against you! (Kontakion)

Jesus did not live with his disciples after his resurrection as he had before his death. Filled with the glory of his divinity, he appeared at different times and places to his people, assuring them that it was he, truly alive in his risen and glorified body.

To them he presented himself alive after his passion by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days, and speaking of the Kingdom of God (Acts 1:3).

It should be noted that the time span of forty days is used many times in the Bible and signifies a temporal period of completeness and sufficiency (Gen 7:17; Ex 16:35, 24:18; Judg 3:11; 1 Sam 17:16; 1 Kg 19:8; Jon 3:4; Mt 4:2). On the fortieth day after his passover, Jesus ascended into heaven to be glorified on the right hand of God (Acts 1:9-11; Mk 16:19; Lk 24:51). The ascension of Christ is his final physical departure from this world after the resurrection. It is the formal completion of his mission in this world as the Messianic Saviour. It is his glorious return to the Father who had sent him into the world to accomplish the work that he had given him to do (Jn 17:4-5).

... and lifting his hands he blessed them. While blessing them, he parted from them and was carried up into heaven. And they returned to Jerusalem with great joy. ... (Lk 24:51-52).

The Church’s celebration of the ascension, as all such festal celebrations, is not merely the remembrance of an event in Christ’s life. Indeed, the ascension itself is not to be understood as though it were simply the supernatural event of a man floating up and away into the skies. The holy scripture stresses Christ’s physical departure and his glorification with God the Father, together with the great joy which his disciples had as they received the promise of the Holy Spirit who was to come to assure the Lord’s presence with them, enabling them to be his witnesses to the ends of earth (Lk 24:48-53; Acts 1:8-11; Mt 28:20; Mk 16:16-14).

In the Church the believers in Christ celebrate these very same realities with the conviction that it is for them and for all men that Christ’s departure from this world has taken place. The Lord leaves in order to be glorified with God the Father and to glorify us with himself. He goes in order to “prepare a place” for and to take us also into the blessedness of God s presence. He goes to open the way for all flesh into the “heavenly sanctuary ... the Holy Place not made by hands” (see Hebrews 8-10). He goes in order send the Holy Spirit, who proceeds from the Father to bear witness to him and his gospel in the world, making him powerfully present in the lives of disciples.

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