Orthodox Church of the Mother of God website - Home page
Welcome to the official website of the
Orthodox Church of the Mother of God,
Joy of all the Sorrowful
- We are a growing parish in the Diocese of New York and New Jersey, of the Orthodox Church in America (OCA).
- We are in historic Mays Landing, New Jersey, easily reachable near where Route 40 meets Route 50 in Atlantic County.
115 Hudson St.
Mays Landing, New Jersey 08330
Turnersville, NJ 08012 US
- Category: Worship
Elevation of the Cross
By Fr. Thomas Hopko
The Elevation of the Cross, celebrated on September 14, commemorates the finding of Christ's Cross by Saint Helen, the mother of the Emperor Constantine in the fourth century; and, after it was taken by the Persians, of its recovery by the Emperor Heraclius in the seventh century at which time it was "elevated" in the Church of the Resurrection in Jerusalem. From this latter event the "universal elevation" of the Cross was celebrated annually in all of the churches of the Christian Empire.
The day of the Elevation of the Cross became, as it were, the national holiday of the Eastern Christian Empire similar to the Fourth of July in the United States. The Cross, the official emblem of the Empire which was placed on all public buildings and uniforms, was officially elevated on this day by the bishops and priests. They blessed the four directions of the universe with the Cross, while the faithful repeated the chanting of "Lord have mercy." This ritual is still done in the churches today after the solemn presentation and elevation of the Cross at the end of the Vigil service of the holy day following the Great Doxology of Matins.
- Category: Saints and Icons
The world of Christian symbols is a hierarchy of signs that have their origin in divine forms of which they are images, according to St. John of Damascus [Three Apologies Against the Iconoclasts]. The sacred central point of this world is the sign of the Holy Cross, symbol of the New Testament, symbol of victory over death, and the intersection of the heavenly and the earthly. As St. John Damascene further states: As the four ends of the Cross are held together and united by its center, so are the height and the depths, the length and the breadth, that is, all creation visible and invisible, held together by the power of God [The Orthodox Faith]. This is affirmed by St. John Chrysostom, who pointed out that the Cross is the joining of the heavenly and the earthly and the defeat of Hell [Works, Vol. II, Bk. 1, St. Petersburg, 1905, p.953].
- Category: Saints and Icons
(the Icon of the Mother of God "the Joy of All the Sorrowful" is Commemorated on July 23, October 24, and November 19)
About the Patron of our Parish
By Helen Creticos Theodoropoulos
Deep within the heart of the Church, in the place where sorrow and joy meet and where our bitter tears are kissed away by a mother's love, we encounter the Most Holy Mother of God. The Church in its devotion to the Ever-Virgin Mary has always known that she is a mystery and a gift given to us by God. The Theotokos is a mystery that can be experienced and encountered, and yet never explained or described in words of logic and science, and she is a gift that brings radiant joy and comfort in the midst of darkness and need. Through the centuries the Church has expressed its love for her through countless hymns, has praised her in its most exquisite poetry and song, and has portrayed her in its most beautiful and beloved icons. No other saint is the subject of so much devotion, and no other saint has so many miracles attributed him or her.
As the local community of the Church of the Mother of God, this parish, exists for the purpose of worshiping God according to the Holy Scriptures and Tradition of the Holy Orthodox Church, to encourage union with God among the members of the parish, to seek out the lost, the searching, and the un-churched and to strive to bring them into union with the Church, to provide religious education to its members and potential members, provide charitable aid, and to defend, promote, and witness to theOrthodox Christian Faith in southern New Jersey.
This website is a tool to help in this purpose. Primarily to publicize our existence in southern New Jersey, and hopefully, encourage people to "come and see".
The many pages on this website contain information we hope is helpful.
Our Church Building
Our church building, and the services celebrated within it, are from the tradition of the Church, from the vision of St John the Apostle, as well as the Old Testament Temple. The interior of the Orthodox Church buildings are particularly styled to give the experience of the unity of all things in God. They are not constructed to reproduce the upper room of the Last Supper, nor to be simply a meeting hall for people whose life exists solely within the bounds of this earth. The church building itself, is an image of the world.