Parish Bulletin – January 27, 2013
34th SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST
Translation of the Relics of St. John Chrysostom
Colossians 3:4-11, Hebrews 7:26-8:2
Matthew 22:35-46, John 10:9-16
Choir Director: Innocent
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 8:
The grace of thy mouth, shining forth like the radiance of fire, hath illumined all the inhabited earth. And it revealeth to the world no treasures of avarice, but hath shown us the heights of humility of mind. Instructing us by thy words, O father John Chrysostom, entreat the Word, Christ God, that our souls be saved.
Kontakion of the saint, in Tone 1:
The honored Church was mystically gladdened by the return of thy precious relics; and having hidden them like most precious gold, by thy supplication she bountifully imparteth the grace of healings unto them that hymn thee, O John Chrysostom.
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!
- Adult Education Class after Vespers on Wednesday.
- Vigil for the Feast of the Presentation on Friday evening, followed by Divine Liturgy on Saturday morning, at 8.00 am.
- Please also sign up for house blessings!
Service Schedule this Week:
Wednesday – 6.00 pm, Vespers
Thursday – 6.40 am, Hours, Divine Liturgy
Friday 6.00 pm, Vigil (Feast of the Meeting of Christ in the Temple)
Saturday – 8.00 am, Divine Liturgy (Feast)
6.00 pm, Great Vespers
Sunday – 8.40 am, Hours, Divine Liturgy
Confession after Vespers or by appointment!
Other Activities Next Week:
- Wednesday, following Vespers: Adult Education Class
- 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!
Pay Attention to the Small Things
One time, some seniors from the Athonite School asked him (Elder Paisios) what they should watch out for most in their lives.
“Pay attention to the little, everyday things,” he answered. “You sit there comfortably in your armchair, and you think that it’s not bad or a sin you say, ‘It doesn’t matter.’ It doesn’t matter if we eat a little more or if we ask for good food. It doesn’t matter if we sleep a little bit more, it doesn’t matter if I was a little short with my parents or someone else. This doesn’t matter, that doesn’t matter… We justify all these little wrongs. But not paying attention to these small things will lead us to do even bigger wrongs – and then we’ll say, ‘it doesn’t matter’ about them too. We shouldn’t let the body be lazy, because the body affects the spirit. We have to be vigilant.”…
“If I hurt someone,” he said, “I’d go to Athens and start knocking on doors until I found him. And when I found him, I’d make a prostration down to the ground, and I’d say to him, ‘Forgive me for hurting you, my brother.’ I wouldn’t be able to pray until after I’d done that.”
– Elder Paisios
Simple Acts of Kindness
The lives of saints are full of examples of simple practices that have led many to become giants of virtue. Abba Agathon prayed to God, “Please, God, help me do Thy Will today so that I can say that at least for one day I did what Thou didst ask of me to do.”
And what do you think he did? Nothing different than what he usually did. He didn’t say, “Let me sit down and pray from morning till night.” No. He asked, “What kind of work do I have today?” He then told himself, “I have to go to the flour mill to grind my wheat.” He loaded his sack of wheat on his shoulders and went to the mill.
Incidentally, when I first went to Mt. Athos, they still had those types of mills. There were neither machines nor animals to turn the millstone. It had to be done by hand, by the monks. It required a lot of hard, physical labor to grind the wheat. The moment Abba Agathon was ready to spread his wheat, another arrived and pleaded with him to let him go first because he was in a hurry. Abba Agathon replied, “Gladly”. The other person said, “Well, since you are here, can you give me a hand to move the stone? “Fine.” They finished the grinding and the other person got his flour and left.
Then as Abba Agathon was about to unload his wheat, another person came, and it happened all over again. Then two more came along asking him for the same thing. Night came, and Abba Agathon was still unable to grind his wheat. He put it on his back and returned to his hermitage.
This was considered by the monastic tradition as an example of perfect spiritual work. Abba Agathon did not complain. He did not get upset. He did not say, “Okay, fellows, you are from this area. I came from afar, from the desert. Let me grind my wheat.” Such example demonstrate that these hermits were blessed not because of prolonged states of fasting and prayer but because o simple acts of kindness that could be done by any one of us.
I am reminded of a story in which Satan appears in front of an abbot and has a conversation with him. Satan tells the abbot, “All day long I cause havoc among your monks. I make them quarrel among themselves as they work the fields and begin the other tasks you assign them, and I am close to destroying them. Unfortunately, during the night they manage to damage the traps and nets that I set up for them.” Then the abbot asks him, “How do they do that?” And Satan replies, “Every night they do prostrations and ask forgiveness of each other.”
– From the book “Inner River”, by Kyriacos Markides
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