For the sake of liturgical order, there must be a connection between the movable and immovable cycles of the calendar, so that the
combination of the one with the other is harmoniously attained. The Church Calendar
successfully integrates the Menaion cycle with the Paschal cycle by synchronizing
the lunar Jewish Calendar and the solar Julian Calendar. This harmonization, however, is
impracticable using the "New Julian" Calendar, which is why the New
Calendarists still use the Old Style (i.e., the Church Calendar) for the
Paschal cycle; it is hopelessly insuperable for them to harmonize the New Calendar with
the lunar cycles in any comprehensible fashion. Prima facie, the incorrect use of
the Church Calendar by the New Calendarists goes unnoticed. It is, however, a plain and
simple fact. They are inconsistent in their reform of the calendar, since for the
immovable cycle they use the New Calendar, while for the movable cycle they use the Old
Calendar. On the one hand, we can conclude from this that the "New Julian"
Calendar is flawed at an essential level, since it is unable completely to fulfill the
needs of ecclesiastical chronology. On the other hand, we can also conclude that the New
Calendarists have either little understanding or little respect (or, more likely, both)
for the nuances of time-reckoning, since in the most unsophisticated and artificial manner
they have needlessly and harmfully complicated chronological computations by mechanically
forcing two entirely different calendars together in their New Style services, with no
Evangelical or real scientific justification for doing so. 160 Nowhere else do we encounter
such a discrepancy, viz., the simultaneous use for the same purpose of two
incompatible calendars. Has anyone, for example, ever tried to combine the Sothic Calendar
with the Chinese Calendar? The notion is absurd. Moreover, if modernists were to apply the
New Calendar to the movable cycle of Feasts as literally as they have for the immovable
one, Pascha would have to be shifted by thirteen daysin which case it would always
fall on a Monday, a canonical and liturgical violation so blatant that even modernists
would find the idea laughable.
The Holy Orthodox Church has ordained
that in every monastery and parish, someone is to be appointed the responsibility of
preserving canonical order in the Divine Services. This individual is called the "Canonarch,"
and his main duty is to consider all aspects of the Divine Services in relationship to the
demands made by the Typicon, so that liturgical observances are correctly
celebrated. This task is considered extremely important, because the proper celebration of
the Divine Services is a criterion of a God-pleasing life; accordingly, errors of
negligence or disobedience in the Divine Services are considered to be grave sins meriting
severe epitimia. In this regard, the arbitrary and uncalled-for intervention of
the New Calendar is indefensible. The Typicon makes full provision for the
various coincidences of immovable and movable Feasts, as well as the Fasts determined by
them, stipulating an exact liturgical order with detailed instructions. Thus, in many
ways, it is the most indispensable of service books; and yet, the New Calendarists have
practically destroyed the Typicon. As an example, let us consider the fact that,
following the "New Julian" Calendar, the Feast of the Annunciation can never
take place during Great Week or coincide with Pascha. This latter occurrence, when Pascha
falls on March 25 (Old Style), the Feast of the Annunciation, the Orthodox Church has
celebrated from antiquity with special
liturgical joy, calling it "Kyriopascha," "the Lord's Pascha"
161 (Figure 24 ). The New Calendarists thus deprive themselves of a uniquely Grace-filled
liturgical event, and the same is true concerning many other Feasts. 162
An especially egregious violation
perpetrated by the introduction of the New Calendar concerns the observance of the
Apostles' Fast. The conclusion of this Fast is determined by the immovable cycle of
Feasts, for it always ends on June 28 (Old Style), i.e., the day before the Feast of the
Holy Apostles Peter and Paul; its first day, however, is dependent upon the movable cycle
of Feasts, for, while it always begins on the Monday after the Feast of All Saints (the
First Sunday after Pentecost), this day can fall anywhere between May 18 (Old Style) and
June 21 (Old Style), inclusively. Thus, the Holy Church has established that the Apostles'
Fast should last from eight to forty-two days. For the New Calendarists, this Fast is
either severely curtailed or entirely abolished. (See Addendum 1, "The Late
Celebration of Pascha in 1983.") Those who violate the Fast in this way would do well
to heed Canon 219 of the Nomocanon: "If any monastic, save for the case of
illness, should fall into pride and violate the fasts established for common observance by
the Church, and providing that he is in charge of his mental faculties, let him be
anathema." What kind of person would knowingly invoke an anathema upon himself?
We have repeatedly compared the
calendar reform to the story of the Trojan horse. Let us reflect carefully on the
similarities of this story with the introduction of the New Calendar into the Orthodox
Church. The Greeks who were waging war upon the city of Troy hit upon a brilliant idea.
They constructed a huge wooden horse which they presented as a gift to the Trojans.
Unbeknownst to the Trojans, this wooden horse was hollow inside and hid a detachment of
soldiers. Imagining their fortress to be impregnable and seeing no danger in a wooden
horse, the Trojans wheeled it inside the city gates. That night, under cover of darkness,
the soldiers hidden within emerged, threw open the city gates to their comrades waiting
outside, and together they put the entire city to the sword. Likewise, the enemies of
Christ have their own wooden horse in the New Calendar, which with feverish zeal they
strive to implement throughout the Orthodox Church. This calendric Trojan horse had
hidden within itself a virulently anti-Orthodox spirit which, once the "Pan-Orthodox
Congress" admitted it into the citadel of the Holy Church, unleashed a surprise
attack on Orthodoxy. The New Calendar threw open the defensive gates of the Holy Canons,
allowing the most destructive innovations to pour into the Church. These innovations now
hammer away at Orthodox Christianity, and, if permitted to continue, will utterly demolish
the faith in people's souls and cause the spiritual death of the world. This a much graver
situation than that faced by the inhabitants of ancient Troy, for the Savior warns us,
"Fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather
fear him which is able to destroy both soul
and body in Hell." 165 Thus,
learning a valuable lesson from the story of the Trojan horse, let us cast away from us,
well beyond the gates of the Holy Church, that incomparably more fearsome weapon of
subversion, the New Calendar, which threatens the destruction of both body and soul.
132. St. Matthew 5:17.
133. [In contemporary practice, the Divine Liturgy of Saint
James is celebrated only by certain local Orthodox Churches, on October 23, the Feast Day
of this Apostle.Eds.]
134. St. Luke 1:26.
135. Cf. ibid., 2:21.
136. Cf. ibid., v. 22.
137. Kontakion of the Nativity of Christ.
138. Apolytikion of the Annunciation.
139. Apolytikion of the Entrance into the Temple.
140. Kontakion of the Nativity of Saint John the
141. The length of the Gregorian year is 365 days, five
hours, forty-eight minutes, and forty-six seconds, whereas the Julian year is 365 days and
six hours. In other words, the latter is longer than the former by eleven minutes and
142. [Regarding the Orthodox commemoration of this
particular figure, Saint Nicholas of Ochrid and Zhicha ( 1956) recounts the following
noteworthy story. Once there was an Orthodox man in Belgrade married to a Papist wife. On
the Orthodox Feast of Saint Elias, July 20 (Old Style), he forbade her to work; however,
because his wife followed the Latin reckoning, she impertinently replied that Saint Elias'
Day had already taken place two days (sic) earlier. Defiantly, she then proceeded
to knead some dough, but instead of becoming bread, the dough turned into stone in her
hands. Visiting Belgrade at the time was a certain Abbot Paisios of Jerusalem, whose
monastery was dedicated to the Holy Prophet Elias. Taking a piece of this stone back with
him to the Holy City, he placed it in front of an Icon of the monastery's Patron Saint as
a testimony to the inspired character of the Orthodox Menaion (see Bishop Nikolai
Velimirovich, The Prologue from Ochrid, trans. Mother Maria, Vol. iii
[Birmingham: Lazarica Press, 1986], p. 87).Eds.]
143. From the fourth century to the twentieth century, the
"correction" of the Gregorian Calendar in relation to the Julian Calendar
increased from one to thirteen days; by analogy, in centuries preceding the fourth, it
would be necessary to introduce a negative "correction," because the vernal
equinox would need to be moved backwards according to the Julian Calendar. Thus, for
example, the New Calendarists should not celebrate the Nativity of Christ on December 25,
but on December 23, a two-day "correction" in the opposite direction, since
December 25 according to the Old Calendar, during the period of the first century b.c.
through the first century a.d., would have corresponded to December 23 according to the
144. S. I. Seleshnikov, History of the Calendar and
Chronology (1985 ), p. 174. [Oddly enough, this is something which the leader of the
American Revolution shares in common with the leader of the Russian Revolution. George
Washington (1732-1799) was born on February 11, 1731 (Old Style), at a time when the
American colonies were still on the Old Calendar (see the chapter "History of the
Calendar Reform of Pope Gregory XIII"). Thus, Washington's Birthday, a legal holiday
throughout the United States, is officially given as February 22, 1732 (although it is
formally observed on the third Monday of February, a concession to the American weakness
for the "three-day weekend").Eds.]
145. Tchaikovskii, Textbook of the Paschalion, p.
146. [For an in-depth examination of this phenomenon, see
Bishop Auxentios of Photiki, The Paschal Fire in Jerusalem: A Study of the Rite of the
Holy Fire in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre (Berkeley, CA: St. John Chrysostom
Press, 1993 ). A strikingly similar supernatural phenomenon also occurs annually on August
6 (Old Style), the Feast of the Transfiguration, at the Greek Monastery located on Mount
Tabor; see an eyewitness account in T. and F. Markovtsy, "A Miracle on Mount
Tabor," Orthodox Life, Vol. xliii, No. 5 (September-October 1993 ), pp.
147. St. Luke 22:19.
148. Archimandrite Nahum, The GraceGiving Fire at
the Sepulchre of the Lord (Moscow: 1991), p. 39.
149. Paschal Stichera, Sticheron 1.
150. Paschal Canon, Ode 3, Troparion 1.
151. Paschal Canon, Ode 8, Irmos.
152. Paschal Stichera, Verse 4.
153. He later attended the Fourth cumenical Synod at
154. J.-P. Migne, Patrologia Latina, Vol. lviii,
cols. 606-609. [This particular miracle and the miracle of Saint Elias' Day mentioned
earlier are both events cited by Saint Nicodemos of the Holy Mountain ( 1809), in his
exposition of the Seventh Apostolic Canon, as evidence of the sacred character of the
Church Calendar. Saint Nicodemos further cites another unusual example: "...[I]n the
region of Heli[o]polis, Egypt, where the great pyramids are, God performs the following
strange paradox every year, to wit: on the evening of our (not the Latins') Holy Thursday,
the earth vomits old human relics and bones, which cover the ground of an extensive plain
and which remain standing until the following Thursday of the Assumption (misnamed
'Ascension' by the Latins), and then they go into hiding, and no longer show themselves at
all, until Holy Thursday comes again. This is no myth or fable, but is true and certain,
having been verified by older and recent historians.... In fact, these human bones presage
the future resurrection of the dead, just as the Prophet Ezekiel [ fl. 6th cen.
b.c.] too saw them" (The Rudder, trans. D. Cum mings [Chicago: The Orthodox
Christian Educational Society, 1957], pp. 10-11).Eds.]
155. [For a full account of this miracle, with eyewitness
accounts, see the "Appendix" in PapaNicholas Planas: The Simple
Shepherd of the Simple Sheep (Boston, MA: Holy Transfiguration Monastery, 1981), pp.
.156 [Here is another one: "On Pascha, 1996, a dried
and dead wreath of thorns, placed on a Cross with an Icon of the Crucified Christ that
adorns the Chapel of the Hermitage of Sts. Cyprian and Justina, a small monastic community
in Pyrgos, Greece, under the jurisdiction of...[Metropolitan Cyprian of Oropos and
Fili]..., began to sprout green leaves. This moving image of the life which we Orthodox
Christians find even in death is a fitting testimony to the mystery of Christ's Pascha and
His life-bestowing Death and Resurrection. Archimandrite Father Gregory, Superior of the
Brotherhood in Pyrgos, reports that the wreath, unwatered and otherwise completely dry and
dead, continues to this day to produce green leaves and evidence of life" (Orthodox
Tradition, Vol. xiv, Nos. 2 & 3 , p. 44).Eds.]
.157 [One we should not neglect to mention is the
appearance of Saint Elisseos the Prophet ( fl . 9th cen. b.c.) to the recently
Glorified Saint Nicholas of Athens (1932). After the calendar reform of 1924, when those
who maintained the Old Calendar were first being persecuted, Saint Nicholas wanted to
serve the Feast of the Holy Prophet Elisseos in the Church dedicated to his name in Athens
(it has since been demolished), but decided against it after considering the possible
confrontations which might ensue; he arranged, therefore, to serve at the Church of Saint
Spyridon in Mantouka instead. However, the next day, June 14 (Old Style), found Saint
Nicholas in the Church of Saint Elisseos, serving the Divine Liturgy in honor of the Holy
Prophet. In great perplexity, his spiritual children asked him why he had changed his
mind, to which Saint Nicholas replied with his characteristic simplicity, "...[T]his
morning I saw the Prophet and he told me to come here to serve and not to fear anything,
because he will watch over me" (PapaNicholas Planas, op. cit.,
p. 54 ).Eds.]
158. [Further examples include two contemporary Saints who
both reposed on the Feast of the Annunciation according to the Old Calendar. The first is
Saint Savvas the New ( 1948), who followed the Old Calendar during his many years on
Mount Athos and in Jerusalem. However, he reposed in the Convent of All Saints on
Kalymnos, a convent which out of obedience to the local Bishop had adopted the New
Calendar. Nonetheless, when Saint Savvas reposed on April 7 (New Style), one of the nuns
was granted a vision of his soul ascending to Heaven, in which she heard him chanting,
"Announce, O earth, great joy"a hymn for the Annunciation, a Feast which
the Old Calendarists at that very time were celebrating (see Constantine Cavarnos, St.
Savvas the New [Belmont, MA: Institute for Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies, 1985],
p. 78). The second is Saint Justin of Chelije ( 1979), who followed the Old Calendar
throughout his life. Born on March 25, 1894 (Old Style), he was Baptized with the name
"Blagoje" in honor of Blagovest, i.e., the Annunciation. Eighty-five
years later, he reposed on March 25, 1979 (Old Style), the very same Feast Day (see Father
Daniel Rogich, Serbian Patericon, Vol. i [Platina, ca: St. Herman of Alaska
Brotherhood, 1994], pp. 247-248, 260). In addition, Saint Bede of Wearmouth-Jarrow
( 735), recounts a case in his History of the English Church and People which
verifies the correctness of the movable cycle of the Church: Upon becoming Abbot of Iona,
Saint Egbert ( 729) took great pains to convince his monks that they should abandon
their longstanding Celtic version of Quarto-decimanism and instead adopt the universal
Nicene Paschalion. Finally acquiescing to their spiritual Father's advice, the Brotherhood
celebrated Pascha for the first time according to the Orthodox Paschalion on April 24, 729
(Old Style). Saint Egbert himself served the Paschal Liturgyand reposed immediately
thereafter. His monks recognized this as obvious sign that their decision was truly
God-pleasing (see [Venerable] Bede, A History of the English Church and People,
trans. Leo Sherley-Price (Baltimore, MD: Penguin Books, 1955), pp. 321-322).Eds.]
159. [The life of the Holy Tsar-Martyr Lazarus of Serbia
( 1389) combines the phenomenon of a Saint appearing on his Feast Day with the
phenomenon of a Saint reposing on the day of his Patronal Feast. The fateful Battle of
Kosovo, when Saint Lazarus would meet his Martyric end, took place on Vidovdan, i.e.,
the Feast of the Holy Martyr Vitus of Lucania (ca. 303), June 15 (Old Style).
This is also the date of the commemoration of the Holy Prophet Amos of Tekoa ( fl .
8th cen. b.c.), who was Saint Lazarus' Patron Saint. Out of his great piety, Saint Lazarus
had dutifully celebrated the Service of the Cutting of the [Webmaster (as I have no
Cyrillic font capability): Slava Kolach]a unique and special commemoration
observed by Serbian Orthodox in which bread and wine are blessed in honor of one's Patron
Saintthe night before the battle. In return for his faithfulness, God sent two
Heavenly messengers to comfort and to strengthen Saint Lazarus in anticipation of his
upcoming ordeal: one was clad in white, while the other was clad in crimson. The Saint
clad in white was an Angel who introduced Saint Lazarus to the other Saint:
"...[T]his man in the garb of a martyr of the Church is my brother, the holy prophet
Amos. He is your patron Saint, your Krsna slava, which you began to celebrate
last night with bread and wine, but which today you celebrate with blood and
death..." (Bishop Nikolai Velimirovich, "The Tsar's Testament," in The
Mystery and Meaning of the Battle of Kosovo, trans. the Right Rev. Todor Mika and the
Rev. Stevan Scott [Grayslake, il: The Free Serbian Orthodox Diocese of America and Canada,
1989), p. 55).Eds.]
160. [It is precisely this "jury-rigging" of the
Orthodox Paschalion with the Gregorian Calendar by the New Calendaristsand
not the faithful adherence of the Old Calendarists to the harmonious combination of the
Orthodox Paschalion with the Julian Calendarwhich has lead to a rupture of
liturgical unity within the Orthodox Church today. As Archimandrite Cyprian of Fili
explains, the New Calendar innovation has "deeply divided" the Orthodox:
"1) One faction...observes the Patristic Calendar and the Paschalion of the
Fathers; 2) another part observes the New Calendar and the Patristic Paschalion;
3 ) a third part observes the New Calendar and a new Paschalion (Finland and
Estonia); and 4) a final part simultaneously observes the New and Patristic Calendars and
the Paschalion of the Fathers!" (Archimandrite Cyprian Agiokyprianites, Orthodoxy
and the Ecumenical Movement [Etna, ca: Center for Traditionalist Orthodox Studies,
1997], pp. 63-64 ).Eds.]
161. [One would imagine that this complete elimination of Kyriopascha
from the liturgical life of the Orthodox Church would outrage patriotic Greeks, since
it was precisely on the coincidence of the Feasts of the Annunciation and Pascha on March
25, 1821 (Old Style), that Greece challenged the Turkish Yokeanother miracle
traditionally taken as a sign of Divine favor towards the Church Calendar. Kuriopsxa
has also manifested its miraculous Grace to our own generation by its most recent
occurrence in 1991; that was the year of the demise of Communism in Russia, a demise
which, furthermore, was finalized by a last, desperate gasp in the form of an abortive
Communist coup thwarted on August 6 (Old Style)the Feast of the
162. [The incongruous combination of the "New
Julian" Calendar with the Nicene Paschalion actually obstructs the Grace
which flows from the channels of the Divine Services by creating liturgically absurd
situations. For example, March 9, the Feast of the Forty Martyrs of Sebaste, is always
confined to the forty days of Great Lent when calculated according to the Church Calendar.
In the hymns for this Feast, an obvious parallel is drawn between the Forty Martyrs and
the forty days of the Fast: "O athletes of Christ, ye have rendered the most
honorable Fast most radiant through the commemoration of your glorious suffering; for
being forty in number, ye hallow the forty days of Lent, emulating the Savior's suffering
in your own suffering for Christ..." (Doxasticon at the Praises). When
celebrated according to the "New Julian" Calendar, however, March 9 sometimes
falls before the forty days of Great Lent have commenced (as early as Tuesday of the Week
of the Prodigal Son), thereby spoiling the Lenten spirit of the hymnography of the Feast
of the Forty Holy Martyrs. A similar thing occurs with regard to the Feast of Saint George
the Trophy-Bearer, April 23. When April 23 is observed according to the Church Calendar,
it always falls within the Pentecostarion period (and in those instances when
Pascha falls on April 23, 24, or 25, the Typicon transfers the Feast of Saint George to
Bright Monday, i.e., one to three days later). The hymns to this universally venerated
Great Martyr are therefore replete with Paschal imagery: "...A shining and Divine
Resurrection hath sent us from the earth towards a Heavenly Pascha. At the same time, the
bright memorial of the all-glorious Martyr George, that we celebrate in joy and light,
shineth forth..." (Exaposteilarion for the Saint). However, April 23
according to the "New Julian" Calendar sometimes falls within Great Lent (as
early as the Saturday of the Akathistos), leaving the dilemma of whether to chant
the Divine Service with all of its Paschal imagery intacteven before Pascha has been
celebrated, or to transfer the Feast fourteen to sixteen days later to
163. Cf. I Corinthians 12:26.
164. St. Matthew 18:17.
165. Ibid., 10:28.