CWN - Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill has sent a message of encouragement to the Orthodox prelates who have gathered in Crete for the Pan-Orthodox Council that opens on Sunday.

Although the Russian Orthodox Church has indicated that it will not participate in the meeting, Patriarch Kirill wrote that the disputes among Orthodox churches must not be allowed to “bring division and trouble into our ranks.” He urged respect for the decisions of all Church leaders, whether or not they had opted to join in this week’s council.

The Russian Patriarch said that the meeting in Crete “can become an important step toward overcoming the present differences.” It could, he said, aid in “the preparation of that Holy and Great Council which will unite all the local autocephalous churches without exception.” Thus he reiterated the stand of the Moscow Patriarchate that because some Orthodox churches will be absent, the meeting in Crete should be seen as a prelude to the Pan-Orthodox Council, rather than—as it was intended—the council itself.

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Teachings of Christ

“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand. I and the Father are one.” (John 10:27-30 ESV)

Entrance of the Mother of God into the Temple

Today is the prelude of the goodwill of God * and the heralding of the salvation of mankind; * the Virgin appears clearly in the temple of God * and foretells Christ to all. * Let us also with a mighty voice cry out to her: * “Rejoice, O Fulfillment of the Creator’s divine plan.” (Troparion - Tone 4)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

The most pure Temple of the Savior, * the most precious Bridal-Chamber and Virgin, the sacred Treasury of the glory of God, * is brought today into the house of the Lord, * bringing with her the grace that is in the Divine Spirit. * The angels of God praise her in song: * “She is the heavenly tabernacle.” (Kontakion - Tone 4)

(November 21st)

Random Proverb

"Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise. Without having any chief, officer, or ruler, she prepares her bread in summer and gathers her food in harvest." (Proverbs 6:6-8 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

“Only one sin is nowadays severely punished: the attentive observance of the traditions of our Fathers. For that reason the good ones are thrown out of their places and brought to the desert.” (ep. 243)