The Meeting of the Lord is one of the instances in the Holy Tradition of the Church which brings forth youth and childhood as an image and vessel of God's presence and of His renewing Grace. Christ the new-born baby fulfills the purpose of the Law and the proclamation of the prophets.Saint Simeon and Saint Anna show us the way in which we can receive Him. God's Kingdom is near, it comes to us in the Divine-human person of Christ, who renews and rejuvenates our life every day. This is what Orthodox Youth Ministry is always called to be: an invitation to meet the Lord and be changed by this Meeting so that we may, in turn, fulfill the commandment of our Lord to, "Go and Bear Fruit". John 15:16
As we all rejoiced in the Celebration of our Lord’s Nativity, as one Holy and Apostolic Church we continue walking with Christ on the feast of His entrance into the Temple. Initiated in 1992, this feast has been celebrated since 1993, as the World Day of Orthodox Youth, which calls all Orthodox around the world to celebrate the significant role of young people in our Church.
Celebrations like these ought to be celebrated widely throughout all our Orthodox Communities, and serve not only as a reminder of the dynamic value and potential of the youth, but also to incite all of us to zealously offer ourselves to Christ and His Church, as the Apostle Peter urges, with “whatever gift we have received, to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms” (1 Peter 4:10).
Even though we come from different lands, cultures and mindsets, the love of Christ unceasinly calls and unites us all into the same purpose and journey towards the Kingdom of Heaven. Here lies the beauty of our Faith. Divided as we are physically, we come together in the Holy Eucharist; we pray for each other, therefore none of us is ever alone and isolated, but an active member of the Body of Christ, in an everlasting bond.
To serve this purpose, Suprasl - A World Fellowship of Orthodox Youth, was created to bring together Orthodox young adults from all over the world, to help us understand one another a bit more, to learn from each other and pray together, as the Lord commanded, “to be one”. I would like to invite you to join us on Saturday February 10 for an online prayer gathering to celebrate this day and the blessings of brotherhood in Christ that we were given!
With love in Christ,
Anna Berbati, Tirana, Albania
Students from the Patriarchate of Antioch at Suprasl 2023
Students from the Patriarchate of Romania at Suprasl 2022
Students from the Patriarchate of Serbia at Suprasl 2022
The Icon of the Feast Day of the
Meeting of the Lord
THE MOTHER OF GOD
The Mother of God brings Christ to the temple in Jerusalem forty-days after his birth out of humility, to fulfill the requirements of the Law. She is pictured holidng out her hands, offering Christ to Saint Simeon.
Shown as an infant, Christ is placed in the outstretched arms of the elder Simeon. He is sometimes seen giving a blessing. It is the Chritst-child as Emmanuel “the Word of the Father withouth beginning, without separating Himself from His Diviitiy.” (Vespers of the Feast)
St. Simeon receives Christ from the Mother of God and giving thanks to God he spoke the words we hear at each evening Vespers, “Lord now lettest thou they servant depart in peace according to Thy word, for mine eyes have seen Thy salvation, which Thou hast prepared before the face of all people, a light to enlighten the Gentiles, and the glory of Thy people Israel” (Luke 2:29-32).
ST. ANNA THE PROPHETESS
On the far left is St. Anna, who did not leave the temple, but served God with fasting and prayers night and day." She arrived just when Saint Simeon met the Divine Child. She also gave thanks to the Lord and spoke of Him to all those who were looking for redemption of Jerusalem” (Luke 2:38). In the icon of the Feast she holds a scroll which reads: “This Child has established Heaven and earth.”
ST. JOSEPH THE BETROTHED
Pictured behind the Mother of God, St. Joseph is carrying is carrying two doves, or young pigeons. These birds symbolise the Church o Israel and the Church of the Gentiels, as well as the two Testaments, of which Christ is the unique Head.
“On the World Day of Orthodox Youth we want to remind every Orthodox young person that no matter where you are in the world that you are not alone. We want to assure you that our Orthodox Church is bigger than we are, it is bigger than our church or our country. It is full of young people just like you who are praying for you, and together we give thanks that we are all connected by the Church and through the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. You and I, We are one in the Holy Eucharist.” Elijah Ssemwogerere, Uganda
In 2016 the patriarchs and metropolitans who gathered in Crete for the Holy and Great Council paid special attention to our importance in the life of the Orthodox Church:
Ask your priest to hold a prayer service or Bible study for the young people of your parish and invite Orthodox youth from your area. The theme might be the Feast day itself, or the youth and their needs.
Invite the youth of your parish, area or student group to offer your services to those in need. Reach out to a charitable organisation in your area to see how you can be an icon of God’s presence in the world.
Invite Orthodox Youth in your area or college campus to visit a monastery, or go on a spiritual nature hike.
Make a Pilgrimage
Learn more about Suprasl: A World Fellowship of Orthodox Youth
Download here a bulletin insert and graphic for posting
Suggested copy for you:
“Initiated in 1992, with the blessing of His All Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew, The World Day of Orthodox Youth is a special day for young people in the Church to emphasize the importance of ministry of young people. It is also a day to remind us that our youth are not simply the “future” of the Church, but that they are full and active members of the Orthodox Church. Learn more about the World Day of Orthodox Youth here: www.suprasl.org/worldday.
Suprasl: A World Fellowship of Orthodox Youth in an international network of Orthodox Youth. To learn more visit: www.surpasl.org”