Fr Bill

St. John Chrysostom on Fasting: Do you fast?

Christos Anesti! Thank you all for a wonderful Holy Week. Just as you and your families look forward to a fulfilling Holy Week, my family too anticipates a wonderful Holy Week. I want to thank everyone who attended services to pray with us and everyone who helped. From the Liturgy & breakfast on the Saturday of Laz-araus to the Agape Service & Easter picnic, it was a fantastic and spiritual week, filled with beautiful hymns, prayer, fellowship and community. Thank you to everyone who donated funds and to those who volunteered in the Church, the Altar, at the chanting stand, the kitchen, with set up and clean up, with planning, in the office, with our youth, with the flowers and those who cooked and brought food. I truly enjoyed serving as a priest during Holy Week and look forward to spending many more with you here at St. Basil’s Church. God bless you and your families.

– Fr. Bill Tragus is the pastor of Saint Basil Greek Orthodox Church in San Juan Capistrano.

Tags: Holy Week

Message from Fr Bill

Fr Bill

Is Halloween Christian?

What are you going to be for Halloween? Most kids will ask this of one another this October as we get closer the end of the month. Dressing up as a favorite character or scary figure, going out into the dark and receive lots & lots of candy has become an American tradition and kicks-off the Holliday Season. Did you know that Halloween was once a major Christian holiday and commemorated the entire Church community … the martyrs, the current saints of the Church & the saints that have gone before us. The Church holiday commemorated the unity of the whole community of the faithful and still sees the church as the union of all Christian believers, alive and dead.

In the western church, All Saints Day is celebrated on November 1. It is holiday that the Church honors all of God's saints, even those who have not been canonized by the Church. It is a family day of celebration—we celebrate the memory of those family members (sharing with us in the Mystical Body, the doctrine of the Communion of Saints) now sharing eternal happiness in the presence of God. We rejoice that they have reached their eternal goal and ask for their prayers on our behalf so that we, too, may join them in heaven and praise God through all eternity.

In 844, Pope Gregory IV transferred the feast to November 1st, timing it around the harvests to be able to provide food for Christian pilgrims. Pope Sixtus IV in 1484 established November 1 as a holy day of obligation and gave it both a vigil (known today as "All Hallows' Eve" or "Hallowe'en") and an eight-day period...

Continue Reading