Archive for May, 2007

Sunday of All Saints

Wednesday, May 30th, 2007
"The Sunday of All Saints is celebrated the Sunday after Pentecost. . . . The ministry of the Holy Spirit enlightens mankind, and makes us able to attain the destiny God has predestined us to obtain. The Saints are those who have shown forth the fruits of the Spirit abundantly. Is it not appropriate that we should meditate upon the marvelous gift of the Holy Spirit by meditating upon His wondrous works – the Saints?" ( http://www.orthodox.net/questions/sunday_of_all_saints_1-a.html)
 
Saturday, 6/2: Vigil, 5PM
Sunday, 6/3: Divine Liturgy, 10AM
 
Announcements:
 
Beginning in June, we will attempt to hold regular choir rehearsals, as well as classes for those interested in better understanding the services or helping to read the psalms and canons. This is an excellent opportunity to get involved in one of these important ministries! Speak to Nicholas if you are interested; we welcome readers in both English and Church Slavonic.
 
The Descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles
- mankind draws its first breath of the Spirit of God
(see below for Russian text)

The descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles was mankind’s first inspiration of breath from the Spirit of God. Remember Ezekiel’s prophecy about the valley full of human bones (Ezekiel 37:1-14). Remember how, by his word, bone joined to bone, how the bones were then covered with sinews, flesh and skin, but how they as yet had no breath in them. And Ezekiel “prophesied unto the wind.” He prophesied, “and the breath came into them, and they lived" (Ezekiel 37:9-10). That valley full of bones is fallen mankind, which, estranged from God, did not have life in it. As the prophet said, it did not have breath in it.

However, the Lord did not abandon mankind. Through a variety of providential actions, He prepared it for life. By the time Our Lord and Savior had appeared, mankind could be described as completely prepared for new life; it resembled a solid body, with bone upon bone, covered with sinew and skin, lacking only breath. The Holy Gospels clearly state that little more was needed, and that the time for it to quicken had arrived.

Why was the Holy Spirit yet lacking? Because Jesus had not yet been glorified. But then the Lord was Resurrected and Ascended in glory to Heaven. The Spirit of God descended, and, drawing It in, mankind came alive. The Apostles, all the Church gathered together in the Upper Room on Mt. Zion, were the lips through which mankind drew its first breath of the Spirit.

In ordinary respiration, air is inhaled into the lungs. It passes through a large channel to progressively narrower ones until it has spread throughout. The lungs receive the life-giving air, and the process of respiration, inhaling and exhaling, is the actual means by which its life-giving power is distributed.

So it is with the Holy Spirit. Once mankind has inhaled the Spirit of God, it continues to breathe with it. The Holy Church is the set of lungs where this takes place. The Holy Mysteries of God and other actions of sanctification comprise the channel into the lungs. The rhythmic movement of the chest is the annual rhythm of all of the church’s liturgical actions, e.g. Great Lent and its attendant rites, followed by the celebrations of the Pentecostarion, followed once again by the fast, and then festal days, and so on, just like the rhythmic movement of the chest.

The Church of Christ, the Christian faithful – wherever they might be ?C thus breathe. Because Christianity exists within mankind, all of mankind draws breath from It, but not everyone communes of the quickening action of that Divine Breath. This is because one part of mankind has damaged organs of respiration, while another does not submit itself to the benevolent influence of this respiration.

Full inspiration requires that the pathways in the lungs be neither damaged nor clogged. Likewise, for the Spirit of God to have Its full effect upon man, the organs He Himself had ordered to communicate Himself must be whole. That is to say, all of the Divine Mysteries and liturgical functions, as established by the Holy Apostles under the inspiration of the Spirit of God, must be preserved intact. Where they have been damaged, the breathing of the Spirit of God is incomplete, and, it follows, does not impart Its full effect. …

At the same time, let us not exalt ourselves, asserting that we possess the healthy means to breathe with the Spirit of God, true Holy Mysteries and the real structure and organization of the Church. Wherever we do not breathe the Spirit of God, there is no life. The Church breathes with this Spirit, and we must as well. The lips through which the Divine Spirit is received, the heart that opens to receive It, is living faith.

Participation in the Mysteries and liturgical actions according to the order of the Holy Church brings one into contact with It. To make It one’s own, one must act upon Its inspiration expressed in the demands of conscience and the Commandments of the Gospel. One who follows that way of life breathes with the Spirit and is enlivened by It. True evidence of spirituality is prayer, that which is justly called the breathing of the Spirit. One who prays well, in a collected manner and fervently, both in church and at home, breathes with the Spirit.

Bishop Theophan the Recluse (http://www.stjohndc.org/Fathers/0106d.htm)

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????????? ??????? ???? ???? ?????? ????? ???????????? ???????????? ?????. ?????????? ??????????? ????????? ? ????, ?????? ?????? ???????????? (???. 37, 1-14). ???????, ??? ?? ????? ??? ??????????? ????? ? ???????, ??? ??? ??????????? ????? ??????, ?????? ? ?????,- ?? ???? ??? ?? ???? ? ???. ? ??????? ???? ?????????: "?????? ??????????? ????". ? ?? ????? ???????????,-"? ????? ? ??? ???, ? ??? ?????" (???. 37, 9). ??? ???? ?????? ???? ????? ??????? ????????????, ???????, ? ???????? ?? ????, ?? ????? ? ???? ????? ? ?? ????? ????, ??? ??????? ???????. ?? ??????? ?? ???????? ??? ? ??????? ? ????????? ?????????????? ???????????????? ??????????. ?? ??????? ??????? ?????? ????????? ???, ????? ???????, ?????? ???? ?????? ??????? ????? ?????, ???????? ?? ???? ???????, ? ??????? ????? ????????? ? ??????? ? ??????? ??????, ?????? ? ?????, ?????? ???? ?? ???? ? ???. ? ????????? ????????? ????, ??? ????? ????????? ??? ??? ???????; ?????????? ????????: ?? ???? ???? ???????,- ??????? – ??? ????? ?? ??? ??????????. ?? ??? ??????? ???????, ???????? ?? ?????? ?? ?????; ???????????? ??? ?????, ? ???????????? ?????, ??????? ???. ????????, ??? ??? ??????????? ? ???????? ??????? ???????, ???? ?????? ??????, ???????? ??????? ???????????? ???? ?????? ????? ????. ???????? ? ??????? ?????? ??????????? ???????? ? ??????, ?? ???????? ?????? ?? ??? ????? ??????, ???? ?????? ?? ????????? ????????. ????? ???????, ????????? ???????????? ??????? – ??????, ? ?????? ????????? ??? ????????????? ???? ???? ???????, ???? ? ?????. ??? ? ?? ????????? ? ???? ???????: ?????? ??????? ???????????? ?????, ??? ???????????? ????? ?? ? ??? ??? ???????????. ??????, ? ??????? ??? ???????????, ???? ?????? ???????; ?????? ? ?????? – ??? ???????????? ???????? ?? ? ?????? ????????????? ????????; ????????? ????? – ??? ??????? ???????? ???? ???????????????? ??????, ????????, ??????? ???? ?? ???? ????? ?????, ????? ????????????????? ???????????, ????? ????? ????, ? ????? ??????? ???, ? ??? ?????, ????-?-???? – ????????? ?????. ??? ????? ???????? ???????, ??? ??? ? ??????? ???????? ?????????. ? ??? ??? ???????????? – ? ????????????, ?? ??? ???????????? ? ????? ? ???, ???? ? ?? ??? ????????? ??????????? ????????? ????? ????????????? ???????.

??????? ????? ??, ??? ? ????? ????? ???????????? ?????????? ?????? ???????, ?????? ????? ?? ?????????? ???? ??????? ????? ????????????? ???????. ??? ??? ??? ????, ????? ??????? ???? ?????? ???????, ??????????, ????? ?????? ??? ?????? ?? ???? ?????????? ? ????????, ??? ? ??? ????, ????? ???????????? ??? ???????? ???? ?????? ????????, ??????????, ????? ??????, ?? ????? ??????????? ??? ????????? ????, ???? ????, ?? ???? ????? ??? ???????????? ???????? ? ???????????????? ??????????? ? ??? ????, ??? ??? ??????????? ??????? ??????????, ?? ???????? ???? ?????. ??? ?????????? ??? ??????????, ??? ??????? ???????????? ????? ?? ????? ?, ?????????????, ?? ????? ??????? ????????. 

…?????? ?? ????? ????????? ???? ???, ??? ?? ???????? ????????? ???????? ??????? ???????????? ?????, ?? ???? ????????? ?????????? ?????????? ? ????????? ?????????? ??????. ??? ??????? ???????????? ????? ??? ?????. ??????? ????? ???? ?????; ? ??? ?? ?????? ?????? ??. ????, ???????? ?????????? ???????????? ???, ??? ??????????? ?????? ??? ???????? ???, ???? ????? ????. ??????????????? ? ??? ???? ??????? ? ????????? ? ????????????????? ?? ?????? ?????? ??????; ???????? ??? ???? ???????? ?? ??? ????????, ??????????? ? ??????????? ??????? ? ? ????????? ????????????. ??? ????? ???, ??? ????? ????? ? ?????????? ??. ?????? ?? ????????????? ????????????? ???? ???????, ??????? ??????????? ???????? ???????? ????. ??? ??????, ???????? ? ????? ??????? ? ?????? ? ????, ??? ????? ?????.

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Pannikhida Saturday

Friday, May 25th, 2007

Father Seraphim will serve a general Pannykhida (prayers service for the repose of the souls of those who have departed before us) at approximately 4:30 on Saturday, before the Vigil for Pentecost.

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Pentecost

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2007
On Sunday, May 27th, the Church celebrates the Holy Feast of Pentecost.
 
"The Holy Spirit that Christ had promised to his disciples came on the day of Pentecost (Jn 14:26, 15:26; Lk 24:49; Acts 1:5). The apostles received "the power from on high," and they began to preach and bear witness to Jesus as the risen Christ, the King and the Lord. This moment has traditionally been called the birthday of the Church.

"In the liturgical services of the feast of Pentecost, the coming of the Holy Spirit is celebrated together with the full revelation of the divine Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The fulness of the Godhead is manifested with the Spirit's coming to man, and the Church hymns celebrate this manifestation as the final act of God's self-disclosure and self-donation to the world of His creation. For this reason Pentecost Sunday is also called Trinity Day in the Orthodox tradition." (www.oca.org)

 
It is traditional on Pentecost to decorate the church with flowers and greenery, symbolizing the new life brought by the Holy Spirit.
 
Saturday, May 26th: Vigil, 5PM
Sunday, May 27th: Divine Liturgy, 10AM, followed by Vespers with the "Kneeling Prayers"
 
After the Divine Liturgy on Pentecost, we hold a special Vespers service, with the reading of several special prayers – during which we bow to the floor - asking for the Grace of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Everybody should make a special effort to attend these services!
 
On the Saturday before Pentecost, the church remembers those who have departed before us. We will have either a general pannykhida or a Divine Liturgy for the departed – more information will be sent later.
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About the Ascension

Monday, May 14th, 2007

About the Ascension, from the Law of God (see below for Russian text):

When the day of the Jewish Pentecost drew near, the disciples of Christ returned from Galilee to Jerusalem.

On the fortieth day after the resurrection of Jesus Christ, they were all together in one house. Jesus Christ appeared to them and spoke with them saying, "Thus it is written that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be preached in His name to all nations beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to all creation. He, who believes and is baptized, will be saved, but he, who does not believe, will be condemned. And these signs accompanies those who believe: in My name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover."

Then, the Saviour said to the disciples that soon the Holy Spirit would come upon them, and until that time He charged them not to depart from Jerusalem. He said, "I send the promise of My Father upon you; but stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high; for John baptized with water; but before many days, you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit."

Conversing with the disciples, the Saviour led them out of the city as far as Bethany to the Mount of Olives. The disciples, overjoyed with the words of the Saviour, surrounded Him and started to ask, "Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?"

The Saviour said to them, "It is not for you to know the times or seasons which the Father has fixed by His own authority. But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the end of the earth."

When He had said this, Jesus Christ lifted up His hands and blessed His disciples. While He blessed them, He parted from them, and He was lifted up to Heaven; and soon, a cloud took Him out of their sight.

Thus our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ ascended in His physical body to Heaven and sat down at the right Hand of God the Father. His human soul and body took on the indivisible glory with His divinity. In His divinity, He always is and will be in Heaven and everywhere.

The disciples worshipped the ascended Lord and for a long time continued to stand and gaze into Heaven after Him. Then, two angels in white robes appeared before them and said, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into Heaven? This Jesus, Who was taken up from you into Heaven, will come to earth in the same way (that is, in the flesh) as you saw Him go into heaven."

After this the disciples of Jesus Christ returned to Jerusalem with great joy and stayed there together awaiting the descent of the Holy Spirit. All of them, together in soul, spent the time in prayer and were continually in the Temple of God praising and thanking God. With them, there were several women and Mary, the Most-holy Mother of the Lord Jesus Christ, with their relatives.

In those days, the apostles prayerfully, by casting lots, chose from among the other disciples of Christ the twelfth apostle, Matthias, to take the place of Judas the betrayer, who perished.

Ascended to Heaven, Jesus Christ according to His own promise invisibly always comes to earth among those who believe in Him, and He will come again to earth in a visible form to judge the living and the dead who will then rise from the dead. After this, the new life will begin, the life of the next age, another, eternal life, which for true believers and pious people will be completely blessed but for disbelievers and sinners will be a time of great torment.

Troparion of the Feast.

Thou didst ascend into glory, O Christ our God, having gladdened Thy disciples with the promise of the Holy Spirit; and they were assured by the blessing that Thou art the Son of God, the Redeemer of the world.

(from the Law of God by Archpriest Seraphim Slobodskoy)

in Russian:

??????????? ???????? ????????? ?????????????, ? ??????? ???????? ???????????? ?? ??????? ? ?????????. ? ????????? ???? ????? ??????????? ?????? ?????? ??? ????????? ? ????? ????. ????? ??????? ?????? ?? ? ????????? ? ????, ??????: "??? ????????, ? ??? ????????? ?????????? ?????? ? ??????????? ?? ??????? ? ?????? ????; ? ??????????? ???? ?? ??? ??? ???????? ? ???????? ?????? ?? ???? ???????, ??????? ? ??????????. ?? ?? ????????? ????. ????? ?? ????? ???? ? ???????????? ????????? (?????? ????????) ???? ?????. ??? ????? ???????? ? ?????????, ?????? ?????; ? ??? ?? ????? ????????, ??????? ?????. ??????????? ?? ????? ???????????? ??? ????????: ?????? ???? ????? ???????? ?????; ????? ???????? ?????? ???????; ????? ????? ????, ? ???? ??? ???????????? ??????, ?? ????????? ??; ???????? ???? ?? ???????, ? ??? ????? ???????".

????? ????????? ?????? ????????, ??? ????? ?????? ?? ??? ??????? ????; ? ?? ???? ??????? ??????? ?? ?? ??????????? ?? ??????????. ?? ??????: "? ????? ?????????? ???? ????? ?? ???; ?? ?? ??????????? ? ?????? ??????????, ???? ?? ?????????? ????? ?????; ??? ????? ??????? ?????, ? ?? ????? ????????? ???? ?????? ??????? ????? ??????".

??????? ? ?????????, ????????? ????? ?? ?? ?????? ? ??????? ???????, ?? ???? ?????????.

???????, ???????????? ??????? ?????????, ????????? ??? ? ????? ??????????: "?? ? ??? ?? ?????, ???????, ?????????????? ?? ??????? ????????"

????????? ?? ?????? ??: "?? ???? ???? ????? ??????? ??? ?????, ??????? ???? ??????? ? ????? ??????. ?? ?? ??????? ????, ????? ?????? ?? ??? ??? ??????, ? ?????? ????????????? ??? ??? ? ??????????, ? ?? ???? ????? ? ??????? ? ???? ?? ???? ?????".

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??? ??????? ? ????????? ??? ????? ??????? ???????? ????????????? ????? ?? ?????? ? ??? ??????? (?? ?????? ???????) ???? ???? ??????, ?. ?. ??? ???????????? ???? ? ???? ??????? (????? ??) ????? ??????????? ? ????????? ???, ? ????????? ????? ?? ?????? ??? ? ????? ?? ???? ? ?????.

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??????? ??????????? ???????????? ??????? ? ????? ?????????? ?????? ? ???????? ?? ???? ????? ???. ????? ??????? ????? ???? ??? ?????? ? ????? ??????? ? ???????: "???? ???????????! ??? ?? ?????? ? ???????? ?? ????? ??? ?????, ??????????? ?? ??? ?? ????, ????? ?????? (?? ?????) ????? ?? ??????? (?. ?. ?? ????? ????????????), ??? ?? ?????? ??? ?????????? ?? ????". ????? ????? ??????? ?????? ?????? ???????????? ? ????????? ? ??????? ???????? ? ?????????? ??? ??? ??????, ?????? ????????? ??????? ????. ??? ??? ?????????? ????????? ? ???????, ?????? ?????? ? ????? ??????, ?????????? ? ????????? ????. ? ???? ???? ????????? ???? ? ????? ????????? ?????? ??????? ?????? ?????? ?? ?????? ??????????. ? ??? ??? ????????, ???????????, ??????? ?? ?????? ?? ?????? ???????? ????????? ???????????? ???????? ??????, ?? ????? ????????? ????-?????????.

?????????? ?? ????, ????? ???????, ?? ???????????? ??? ????????, ???????? ?????? ????????? ?? ????? ????? ???????? ? ???? ? ????? ?????? ?? ????? ??????? ???????, ????? ?????? ????? ? ???????, ??????? ????? ??????????. ????? ???? ???????? ????? ???????? ????, ?. ?. ??????, ?????? ?????, ??????? ??? ??????? ???????? ? ????????????? ????? ????? ?????? ?????????, ? ??? ?????????? ? ????????? ?????? ???????????.

(from http://days.pravoslavie.ru/Life/life6951.htm )

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Services and meetings for May 14th-20th

Monday, May 14th, 2007

On Thursday, we celebrate the Ascension of the Lord, "when, on the fortieth day after His Resurrection, Jesus led His disciples to the Mount of Olives, and after blessing them and asking them to wait for the fulfillment of the promise of the Holy Spirit, He ascended into heaven" (www.goarch.org).

  • Wednesday, 6:00 PM – Molieban for our parish
  • Wednesday, 6:30 PM – Vigil
  • Thursday, 8:00 AM – Liturgy

The Sunday of the Holy Fathers of the First ecumenical council is celebrated the Sunday before Pentecost, following Ascension Thursday. When Christ ascended, He reiterated His promise of the Holy Spirit to the apostles. The Holy Spirit guided the church, and this guidance is magnificently made manifest in the ecumenical councils, when dogmas were confirmed and heretics were put to shame. As we await the celebration of the giving of the Holy Spirit, it is appropriate to think of the ways in which He guides the church. Through the Holy Spirit, who guided the Holy Fathers in the councils and confirmed their pronouncements in the mind of the Church, the Orthodox Faith, which is nothing less than the only correct and saving faith in the true God, was preserved
(from Fr. Seraphim's Q&A at http://orthodox.net/questions/first_ecumenical_council_1.html ).

  • Saturday, 3:00 PM – Parish council meeting, with the discussion of our land and building needs – all are encouraged to attend!
  • Saturday, 5:00 PM – Vigil
  • Sunday, 10:00 AM – Liturgy
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Services for the 6th Sunday of Pascha

Wednesday, May 9th, 2007

On the 6th Sunday of Pascha, we remember when our Lord healed the man who was born blind. Information on this feast can be found here:
http://www.oca.org/OCchapter.asp?SID=2&ID=77

We also remember the Holy Apostle James, the son of Zebedee, whose life can be found here:
http://ocafs.oca.org/FeastSaintsLife.asp?FSID=101248 .

This is also the last Sunday of Pascha. On Thursday of this week, we will celebrate the Ascension of our Lord into Heaven, and the promise of the coming of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost.

Services this weekend:
Saturday, 5PM: Vigil
Sunday, 10AM: Divine Liturgy

Service for Ascension:
Wednesday, 6:30PM: Vigil
Thursday, TBA: Liturgy

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Molieban for our Parish on Friday

Wednesday, May 9th, 2007

There will be a molieban for our parish on Friday at 6:30, at the church. Please come, and join us in praying for God’s will for our community as we continue to struggle with building maintenance problems and as we explore our options with our new land in McKinney.

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Article on the Sundays of Pascha

Thursday, May 3rd, 2007

I just found a short article overviewing the Church’s celebration of the period between Pascha and Pentecost. It can be found here: http://www.orthodoxytoday.org/articles7/BarakosLent.php.

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5th Sunday of Pascha

Thursday, May 3rd, 2007

On the 5th Sunday of Pascha, we remember Christ’s conversation with the Samaritan woman by Jacob’s well, in which he promises that “whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life” (John 4:14).

This year, the 5th Sunday of Pascha falls on St. George’s day, so we will also celebrate the memory of the Great Martyr George, whose victorious struggle serves as a wonderful example of this “living water” active in our lives.

As in all recent weeks, we fast on Wednesday and Friday, but may use Wine and Oil in honor of the Resurrection.

Service Schedule:
Saturday, 5/5: Vigil, 5pm
Sunday, 5/6: Liturgy, 10am, followed by trapeza and church school

Mark your calendars! The Ascension of Christ is celebrated on Thursday, May 17th. We will have Vigil on Wednesday evening, and Liturgy (fairly early) on Thursday morning.

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