Parish Bulletin – January 20, 2013
33rd SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST
Ven. Euthymius the Great
Colossians 1:12-18, Hebrews 13:17-21
Luke 18:35-43, Luke 6:17-23
Choir Director: Veronika
We welcome you to the Orthodox Church. Please feel at ease and free to participate in the singing. As a visitor you are welcome to come forward at the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy and venerate the Cross offered by the priest. Additionally you may receive the blessed bread (Antidoron) that is offered at that time. If you have questions or would like further information, the priest or one of the members of the parish will be pleased to help.
A word to our visitors on Holy Communion
The Orthodox Church does not practice open Communion. Therefore, only members of Canonical Orthodox Churches exercising jurisdiction in America may approach the Chalice for Holy Communion. The Orthodox do not regard Holy Communion solely as an act of personal piety, but also as an expression of union with the Orthodox Church’s faith, doctrine, and discipline. Orthodox visitors wishing to receive Holy Communion should make their intention known to the priest in advance — ask any member of the parish for help in relaying your intention to the priest. Orthodox Christians should prepare themselves to receive the Sacrament of Holy Communion through recent Confession, prayers of preparation for Holy Communion, and fasting (at minimum, from midnight before receiving).
“Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in a an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord.” – I Corinthians 11:27
TROPARIA AND KONTAKIA
Troparion of the saint, in Tone 4:
Rejoice, O desert who hast not given birth! Be of good cheer, thou who hast not felt the pangs of travail! For the man of spiritual desires hath multiplied children for thee, planting them with piety and nurturing them with abstinence unto the perfection of the virtues. By his prayers, O Christ God, bring peace to our life.
Kontakion of the saint, in Tone 8:
Creation found joy in thine honored nativity and in thy divine memory, O venerable one, receiving the good cheer of thy many miracles. Give richly of them to our souls, and wash away the defilement of our sins, that we may chant: Alleluia!
Opportunities to give:
➢ Food donations to the Ashland Food Project
- Please sign up for coffee fellowship/kitchen cleanup. This is very important if we are to continue with our fellowship meals after Sunday Liturgy!
- Fr. Andreas and his family will be out of town on Monday and Tuesday, but will be back for Vespers on Wednesday.
- Parish Council meeting following Liturgy today.
- Please sign up for house blessings!
Service Schedule this Week:
Wednesday – 6.00 pm, Great Vespers (St. Xenia of Petersburg)
Thursday – 6.40 am, Hours, Divine Liturgy (St. Xenia of Petersburg)
Saturday – 6.00 pm, Great Vespers
Sunday – 8.40 am, Hours, Divine Liturgy
Confession after Vespers or by appointment!
Other Activities Next Week:
- Saturday, 4.30 PM – Choir practice
It is part of life in the Church to have one’s home blessed with the Holy Water of Theophany, thereby “renewing” it as a place wherein God is welcomed and dwells amongst its inhabitants. When parishes were made up of persons and families all living in more or less proximity to the Church, this customary blessing was undertaken by the clergy immediately after the Blessing of Waters on the day of the Feast itself, and it continued until all the homes in the community were blessed.
In our day, when parishioners most often live some distance from the Church, such a system is not so practical. With that in mind, a signup sheet is placed at the candle-stand for you to indicate a day and approximate time you are available for a house blessing. You are encouraged to re-claim some of the communal festal nature of the event by coordinating your house blessing with others in your vicinity, processing (usually by car) to each home, and perhaps ending with a meal!
What does a House Blessing involve?
A short visit by the priest of perhaps 20 minutes: a prayer of blessing followed by the sprinkling of all the house with Holy Water, a dismissal, and “Many Years” sung to all members of the house.
What is assumed?
That one have an established place of prayer in one’s home – icon(s), candle, etc. (icon corner/shelf). It is from this “home altar” that the service begins. The priest will bring all else needed for the blessing.
It is also advisable to have the Troparion of the Feast available, and perhaps even to learn it by heart.
Troparion of Theophany – Tone 1
When Thou, O Lord, was baptized in the Jordan / the worship of the Trinity was made manifest. / For the voice of the Father bore witness to Thee, / and called Thee His Beloved Son! / And the Spirit, in the form of a Dove, / confirmed the truthfulness of His word. / O Christ, our God who hast revealed Thyself, // and hast enlightened the world, glory to Thee!
Begin With Yourself
“May the Lord give us the spiritual strength to transform ourselves. We know that time is running out, and the evil spirits know this, too. They do not want a single person to be free from evil thoughts. With that aim, they teach even small children to oppose their parents so that, when these children grow up, they will be easy prey for them… But it can all take a turn for the good if each one of us begins with himself, if the transformation starts with us. We should try to have good thoughts which will radiate from us. A meek and humble person is always very pleasant to be with, for he emanates peace and warmth. That person may not say a single word, yet we rejoice to be in his presence. So, if we all begin with ourselves, transformation will take place. Goodness will be renewed and established all around us, in our country, and further abroad.”
– Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica, “Our Thoughts Determine our Lives”
Heeding the Gospel in Humility
“Perhaps someone might say, “I would like to obey the Son of God; but how can this be done, when two thousand years have passed since our Lord Jesus Christ dwelt on earth in the flesh and preached His all-holy teaching?”
It is very easy for us to be continually with Christ, to ceaselessly hear His sweet voice, and to nourish ourselves with His life-giving teaching; for the Lord Jesus Christ still abides with us. He abides with us in His Holy Gospels, through the Holy Mysteries of the Church; He abides through His omnipresence and omnipotence—bountifully, as befits the boundless, all-perfect God. That the Lord abides with us is plainly proved by souls freed from the captivity of sin, the bestowal of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, and by many signs and wonders.
Those who wish to approach the Lord and unite with Him in blessed union forever should begin this sacred work with scrupulous study of God’s words; they should begin by studying the Gospels, where Christ can be found, and from which Christ speaks and acts. The words of the Gospels are spirit, and they are life (Jn. 6:63). They turn a fleshly man into a spiritual man, and revitalize a soul deadened by sin and the cares of life. They are spirit, and they are life— beware of trying to explain the great word of the Spirit with your reason, which crawls upon the earth; beware of attempts to explain words filled with awesome Divine power in ways that might seem simpler to your deadened soul, deadened heart, and deadened mind. A word spoken by the Holy Spirit can only be explained through the Holy Spirit.
Those who wish to approach the Lord in order to hear His Divine teaching, to be enlivened and saved by Him—come and stand before the Lord with utmost reverence and holy fear, as do the bright Angels, His Cherubim and Seraphim. Your humility will turn the earth upon which you stand into heaven. The Lord will speak to you from His Holy Gospels as to His beloved disciples! May the holy fathers who expound the Holy Gospels through the gift of the Holy Spirit be your guides to an exact and unmistaken understanding of the Holy Gospels.
It is folly to approach the Gospels, to approach the living Lord Jesus Christ Who abides in the Gospels, without the appropriate reverence, brazenly and self-reliantly. The Lord accepts only the humble, who are filled with an awareness of their sinfulness and nothingness and with repentance, while He turns away from the proud. By turning His face away from a brazen tempter—that is what I call an irreverent, light-minded, and cold listener—He strikes that tempter with eternal death. The God-inspired elder Symeon announced the incarnate God the Word thus: Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against (Lk. 2:34). The word of God is a rock, a rock of immeasurable breadth and weight; And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken (Mt. 21:44), and his brokenness cannot be restored whole.
Brothers, let us be reverent and active hearers of the Word of God! Let us show submission to the Heavenly Father, Who spoke to us today from His Holy Gospels about His all-holy Word: This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him (Mt. 3:17; 17:5). We shall hear Him! We shall hear Him! And the good-will of the Heavenly Father shall abide with us unto the ages of ages. Amen.”
– St. Ignatius Brianchanivov
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