Archive for August, 2011

A Prayer to the Most Holy Theotokos, by St John of Damascus From His Third Sermon on the Dormition

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011


 

Dormition of the Mother of God, by Theophanes, http://www.orthodox.net/ikons/dormition-theophanes-the-greek-01.jpg

 

No one stands between Son and Mother. … Accept, then, my good-will, which is greater than my capacity, and give us salvation.

 

Heal our passions,

Cure our diseases,

Help us out of our difficulties,

Make our lives peaceful,

Send us the illumination of the Spirit.

Inflame us with the desire of thy son.

Render us pleasing to Him, so that we may enjoy happiness with Him, seeing thee resplendent with thy Son’s glory, rejoicing forever, keeping feast in the Church with those who worthily celebrate Him who worked our salvation through thee, Christ the Son of God, and our God.

 

To Him be glory and majesty, with the uncreated Father and the all-holy and life-giving Spirit, now and forever, through the endless ages of eternity. Amen.

 

 

St John of Damascus http://www.orthodox.net/ikons/john-of-damascus-02-photios-kontoglou.jpg Excerpted from Sermon 3 on the Dormition, by St. John of Damascus

 

 

 

 

Priest Seraphim Holland 2011     St Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church, McKinney, Texas

 

This article is at:

http://www.orthodox.net/journal/2011-08-31-prayer-to-the-most-holy-theotokos-by-st-john-of-damascus-from-his-third-sermon-on-the-dormition.html

http://www.orthodox.net/journal/2011-08-31-prayer-to-the-most-holy-theotokos-by-st-john-of-damascus-from-his-third-sermon-on-the-dormition.doc

 

New Journal entries, homilies, etc. are on our BLOG: http://www.orthodox.net/redeemingthetime

 

Journal Archive: http://www.orthodox.net/journal

 

Blog posts & local parish news are posted to our email list. Go to here: http://groups.google.com/group/saint-nicholas-orthodox-church to join.

 

Redeeming the Time BLOG: http://www.orthodox.net/redeemingthetime

Use this for any edifying reason, but please give credit, and include the URL of the article. This content belongs to the author. We would love to hear from you with comments! (seraphim@orthodox.net)

 

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A Christian Understanding of Freedom by Archbishop Dmitri of Dallas and the South

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011

Stylianos of Australia

A Christian Understanding of Freedom

by Archbishop Dmitri of Dallas and the South

People generally use the word freedom in order to describe two things: the first and perhaps most persistent meaning of the term is simply lack of subjection to any kind of ownership or tyrannical authority, the lack of restriction of one’s actions, the absence of obstacles to self-determination or personal choices, the right to make up one’s own mind with regard to occupation, speech, assembly, religion and so on. Naturally, this kind of freedom is entirely desirable and, in many ways, our very nation came into being out of a deeply felt need for this. Although our democratic system of government has experienced many pitfalls and defects, and throughout the course of our history we have not always been able to achieve perfect freedom in the sense just described, it is none the less true that few would question the desirability for such freedom. Men are still willing to make enormous sacrifices – their very lives at times – for the ideal of freedom.

Christian teaching lies at the very heart of such an ideal. And in spite of the ups and downs of Church history, wherein even the Church has seemed to be an accomplice to agencies and forces that would deny this kind of basic right to the human race, it would be inaccurate to say that the Christian Church in most of its classical forms teaches that men are not destined to be free in this very sense. It is incompatible with Christian teaching to maintain that man should be shackled with restrictions against his personal freedom to pursue a way of life to his own choosing.

At the same time it appears also that freedom is being increasingly applied to a kind of license which says that man is not to be subjected to any kind of restriction that is not to his liking. Even when the common good demands the contrary he is somehow to be free to "do his own thing." The blame for much of the disorder and confusion of our own times could perhaps be laid to this concept of freedom: the near capitulation of our legal system in face of demands for freedom to peddle pornography, to sell drugs, to defy the law enforcement agencies of the cities, etc.

In this particular article it is not our intention to dwell on the matter of freedom as described above, making this a plea for law and order. Rather, we wish to present a general account of the Orthodox Church’s understanding of freedom, in light of Christ’s work of redemption, His "breaking the chains of hell and overthrowing the tyranny of hades."

Jesus said, "If you continue in my word, then you are my disciples indeed; And you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free" And those who heard Him said, "We are Abraham’s seed, and we were never in bondage to any man, how sayest thou, you shall be made free?" And He answered, Verily I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin." (1 John 8:31-34)

He said in another place, "I am the way, the truth and the life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. If you had known me, you should have known my Father also; and from henceforth you know Him, and have seen Him." (John 14: 6-7)

Jesus Christ is the truth about God and the truth about man, since He is both God and man. God’s real nature is completely revealed in the Son of God, the Incarnate Word, and the whole truth about man, his worth, value and dignity, are realized and made manifest to man in the Son of Man, Jesus of Nazareth. And since man’s fundamental sin was and is godlessness or atheism, we then understand what is meant by the statement that "Christ came into the world to save His people from their sins."

An author once pointed out that, "Mankind is in bondage until Christ sets men free." St. Paul in the Epistle to the Romans says, "For when you were the servants of sin, you were free from righteousness. But what fruit had you then from those things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. But now set free from sin and become servants to God, you have your fruit unto holiness, and as your end, life everlasting." (6:20-22)

The deepest and most fundamental of the Church’s understandings of freedom is simply the freedom from sin and its wage or consequences. The understanding that Christ has given to men a freedom that cannot be taken away, no matter what the external circumstances of life may be, has provided the strength, the dynamism, the very life of the Church in the different periods of her bondage, her restrictions. There was the long three century persecution of the Church by the Roman Empire, and the very martyrs were witnesses and advocates of their freedom in Christ. The Moslem conquest and domination of much of the world that had been Christian, and the reduction of Christians to second-class citizenship, the restrictions against their proclaiming the Gospel, brought no despair to those who knew Christ and His truth. This lasted well into the nineteenth century in certain places. And in our own twentieth century, restrictions and persecutions, perhaps heavier and more severe than in any other time, in Communist lands failed to extinguish the light of Christian truth, and finally the most essential Christian freedom.

It is in Christ, as perfect Man, that man comes to the full realization of what it means to be in the image and likeness of God. For man’s freedom is an Icon, an image of the Divine Freedom itself.

It is just when our freedom lies within the "opus Dei," the work of God, that it does not cease to be true freedom. The "Let it be to me according to thy word," of the Virgin at the Annunciation does not come from a simple submission to His will, but that very acceptance expresses the ultimate freedom of her being. In this sense, she was the first fruits of the intervention of God into human time and history, the first product of the Incarnation. She is the image of the Church, those who receive the Word of God and keep it, of those who would lose their life and gain it.

Christ, in becoming Incarnate, has permitted us, not to imitate, but to relive His life, to conform ourselves to His essence.

In each Christian’s response to God, in saying, "let it be to me according to Thy will," he identifies himself with the God-Man Christ, and in this way, the Divine Will, freedom comes as an expression of one’s own will. The will of God, His work, His freedom have become one’s own. "It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me," says St. Paul. (Galatians 2:20)

None of the foregoing is said to diminish or to negate in any sense the validity and importance of all human beings, especially Christians, to seek, to work for freedom in the usual earthly, if you will, sense of the word: social justice, equality, and the right to pursue, unrestricted, a better life here and now for the human race. The Christian, if he takes his commitment seriously, can never be guilty of putting restrictions in the path of others, of coercing, of forcing. On the other hand, what has been said is conceived as a reminder that much of the Christian world, my own Church, has a long experience of this, has lived under repression in places where freedom, justice, equality, and the right to differ, were given lip-service, but were not realities. The hope of Christians, their consolation is based on a higher freedom, which only God can give, which our Lord Jesus Christ showed us.

From The Dawn
Newspaper of the Diocese of the South
Orthodox Church in America
October 1998


 

Thanks to Reader Daniel Rudder for sending this on his mailing list.

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The Dormition troparion and kontakion in English and Church Slavonic, Exapostilarion with additional verses and Dormition stichera on “Lord I have cried” sung by the choir at St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox church in McKinney, TX. 15/28 August 2011. Video

Tuesday, August 30th, 2011

 

The Dormition trioparion and kontakion in English and Church Slavonic, sung by the choir at St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox church in McKiiney, TX. 15/28 August 2011

http://youtu.be/dI48nUT18IQ


 

 

The Dormition Exapostilarion with additional verses, sung by the choir at St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox church in McKiiney, TX. 15/28 August 2011

http://youtu.be/6tkoNgZHeLU


 

The Dormition stichera on "Lord I have cried" sung by the choir at St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox church in McKiiney, TX. 15/28 August 2011

http://youtu.be/J9ghXq_i4CI

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Pictures of services for +Archbishop Dimitri

Tuesday, August 30th, 2011

https://picasaweb.google.com/100387890136193134917/ArchbishopDMITRI#

 

Picture from Mon service for +Archbisop Dimitri

https://picasaweb.google.com/100387890136193134917/ArchbishopDMITRI#

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“Mary hath chosen that good part” and “blessed are they that hear the word of God and keep it.” Dormition of the Theotokos.

Monday, August 29th, 2011

Dormition of the Theotokos by Theopanes the Greek.

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Synopsis: The usual reading for feasts of the Mother of God is actually a composite reading in which she does not appear at all, but another "Mary" (the sister of Lazarus) is mentioned, who shares her name. The reason why is because this selection, coupled with a later part of the same Gospel succinctly sums up the virtues of the Theotokos: "Mary hath chosen that good part" and "blessed are they that hear the word of God and keep it." On this great day, let us examine ourselves, as to whether we have also chosen that good part, and kept the word of God. This is why we venerate the Most Holy Theotokos with such love; our veneration is in vain if we do not also emulate! Let us examine how we can accomplish this.

More homilies on the Feasts of the Theotokos are HERE

Homilies on the Paraklesis Canon to the Theotokos are HERE

Luke 10:38-42; 11:27-28 38 Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. 39 And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus' feet, and heard his word. 40 But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me. 41 And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: 42 But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her. 27 And it came to pass, as he spake these things, a certain woman of the company lifted up her voice, and said unto him, Blessed is the womb that bare thee, and the paps which thou hast sucked. 28 But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.


If the "LISTEN NOW" link does not work, copy this URL into your browser: http://www.orthodox.net/sermons/feasts-of-the-theotokos_2011-08-28+dormition+mary-hath-chosen-that-good-part-and-blessed-are-they-that-hear-the-word-of-god-and-keep-it_luke10-38-42,11-27-28.m3u

If this file does not work for you, try the direct link to the actual mp3 file:http://www.orthodox.net/sermons/feasts-of-the-theotokos_2011-08-28+dormition+mary-hath-chosen-that-good-part-and-blessed-are-they-that-hear-the-word-of-god-and-keep-it_luke10-38-42,11-27-28.mp3


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Electronic Newsletter August 15/28 Dormition of the Theotokos

Friday, August 26th, 2011

St. Nicholas Orthodox Church,

McKinney, Texas

Electronic Newsletter

August 15/28

11th Sunday after Pentecost

Dormition of the Theotokos

 

 

In giving birth thou didst preserve thy virginity;

In thy dormition thou didst not forsake the world, O Theotokos.

Thou wast translated unto life since thou art the Mother of Life,

and by thine intercessions dost thou redeem our souls from death!

 

 

 

 

Announcements
Prayer Requests
Schedule of Divine Services in the Coming week
Fasting in the Coming week

Links related to Transfiguration, Dormition


Announcements

We began our Church School program for 2011-2012 on Sunday, August 14th. We will be running three regular classes this year, in addition to the year-round preschool class during the Sunday homily. All three classes will take place at approximately 12:45 on Sunday afternoons, after we have had some time to get something to eat.

1. The Elementary School class, for children in grades 1-4 or so, will meet on the 1st, 2nd and 4th Sundays of each month. Matushka Marina will teach this class.
2. The Middle School class, for children in grades 5-8 or so, will meet on the 1st and 3rd Sundays of each month. Dn. Nicholas will teach.
3. The class for adults and teens will meet on the 2nd and 4th Sundays of each month. It will focus on the fundamentals of the faith — the Creed and the Lord's Prayer — and their meaning for our daily lives as Orthodox Christians. Dn. Nicholas and Fr. Seraphim will teach.

 


We have a list of things our parish needs. If you or somebody you know wish to supply one of these items, please contact us.

 


We will be holding our annual membership and pledge drive in September. If you consider St. Nicholas your parish home, please consider filling out a membership form. In addition, new and continuing members are encouraged to fill out a financial pledge form. This is a good-faith estimate of your monthly contributions for 2012, so that the treasurer can generate a relatively accurate budget for the year.

 

Prayer Requests

For the Health and Salvation.

  • Natalia and Nicholas (traveling in Ukraine until mid August)
  • David
  • Elizabeth
  • Priests Jean and Grégoire & all the faithful and suffering of Haiti.
  • The suffering people of East Japan.
  • The suffering people of Minot, ND

For a more complete listing, please see our parish prayer list. Anyone can make requests.



Schedule of Divine Services in the Coming week

Friday 8/26

  • 7PM Paraklesis

Saturday 8/27

  • 4PM Confession
  • 5PM Vigil

Sunday 8/28. Dormition of the Theotokos.

  • 10AM  Divine Liturgy
  • 12:45PM Sunday School

Monday 8/29

  • 7:30PM Molieben

Wednesday 8/31

  • NO Vespers

Thursday 9/1

  • NO Liturgy

Saturday 9/3

  • 4PM Confession
  • 5PM Vigil

Sunday 9/4

  • 10AM  Divine Liturgy
  • 12:45PM Sunday School

Fasting in the Coming weeks

There is no fasting on the feast of Dormition, Sunday 8/28, and after this we fast as usual on Wednesdays and Fridays only.

 

Links: Dormition



Here is a short talk about the Dormition of the Theotokos.

  • Dormition means falling asleep
  • The Story.
  • A balanced view.
  • The intercession of the Theotokos.
  • Heresies about the Theotokos:
    • The heresy of the Theotokos as "co-mediatrix"
    • The heresies of The "Immaculate Conception" and "Original Sin" are discussed at length. VERY IMPORTANT!
  • The ever-virginity of the Theotokos explained.

If the "LISTEN NOW" link does not work, copy this URL into your browser: http://www.orthodox.net/catechism/feasts-of-the-theotokos_2010-08-28+dormition+after-liturgy-short-talk.m3u

If this file does not work for you, try the direct link to the actual mp3 file:http://www.orthodox.net/catechism/feasts-of-the-theotokos_2010-08-28+dormition+after-liturgy-short-talk.mp3


 

2009
Also in Format: Word DOC or mp3 You can watch this sermon on the following video platforms: YouTube, Yahoo, MySpace, Metacafe, DailyMotion, Blip.tv and Veoh
SYNOPSIS:We can learn what the church values most about the Theotokos from the Dormition Troparion: In giving birth thou didst preserve thy virginity, / in thy dormition thou didst not forsake the world, O Theotokos. / Thou wast translated unto life, / thou who art the Mother of Life. // And by thine intercessions dost thou redeem our souls from death

Dormition Troparion, Kontakion & Exapostilarion, sung at St Nicholas.

LINK: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JtFHdVdHotE


Explanation of the Dormition troparion

In giving birth thou didst preserve thy virginity, /
in thy dormition thou didst not forsake the world, O Theotokos. /
Thou wast translated unto life, /
thou who art the Mother of Life. //
And by thine intercessions dost thou redeem our souls from death

 

 

Text Homily.

We can learn almost everything that we need to know from listening and praying in the services.

The Dormition troparion, "In giving birth Thou did preserve Thy virginity," proclaims our belief, that the  Theotokos was a virgin before birth, during birth and after birth. And if you want to have this explained, then you do not understand. It is a mystery that we cannot understand, but the Church has been unanimous about this for well over a millennium, almost two millennia. …

The entire troparion is explained.

Also in audio: LISTEN NOW


 

If the "LISTEN NOW" link does not work, copy this URL into your browser: http://www.orthodox.net/sermons/feasts-of-the-theotokos_2009-08-28+dormition+explanation-of-the-dormition-troparion.m3u

If this file does not work for you, try the direct link to the actual mp3 file:http://www.orthodox.net/sermons/feasts-of-the-theotokos_2009-08-28+dormition+explanation-of-the-dormition-troparion.mp3

 




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Illumined With Effulgence Of The Virtues. To Be In The Presence Of God

Wednesday, August 24th, 2011

Transfiguration Icon.

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Old for the new but still new for the old since we are in the post-festival period of the Transfiguration, this short homily highlights something we must keep in mind every day.

Synopsis: The most important aspect of the Transfiguration of our Lord on Mount Tabor is that it is a harbinger of things to come. The apostles were not ready to be in the presence of the divine uncreated light of God, and yet in the end we all will be in His presence. What must we do to become ready? The aposticha for the forefeast teaches us: "Illumined with the effulgence of the virtues, let us proceed to the holy mountain, that we may behold the divine Transfiguration of the Lord." (Vespers Aposticha, August 5, Forefeast of the Transfiguration). Let us look at what happened to the apostles and why and what we must do as the aposticha teaches.

More homilies on the Transfiguration are HERE


If the "LISTEN NOW" link does not work, copy this URL into your browser: http://www.orthodox.net/sermons/feasts-of-the-savior-transfiguration_2011-08-17+illumined-with-effulgence-of-the-virtues+to-be-in-the-presence-of-god+_,vespers-aposticha-for-the-prefestival-of-transfiguration.m3u

If this file does not work for you, try the direct link to the actual mp3 file:http://www.orthodox.net/sermons/feasts-of-the-savior-transfiguration_2011-08-17+illumined-with-effulgence-of-the-virtues+to-be-in-the-presence-of-god+_,vespers-aposticha-for-the-prefestival-of-transfiguration.mp3


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Archive of Audio and text homilies:http://www.orthodox.net/sermons

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Old Testament Appearances Of Jesus Christ. Exegesis of the Parables For Transfiguration Vespers

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011

Transfiguration Icon.

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Synopsis:Old for the new, but still new for the old since we are in the midst of the after-feast for transfiguration, the Parables at Transfiguration Vespers are important to understand. Similar events to the Transfiguration of Jesus Christ occurred in the Old Testament. Three selections from the Old Testament are read during the Vespers, involving Moses twice and also the Prophet Elijah. These parables are briefly explained.

More homilies on the Transfiguration are HERE

Exodus 24:12-1812 And the LORD said unto Moses, Come up to me into the mount, and be there: and I will give thee tables of stone, and a law, and commandments which I have written; that thou mayest teach them. 13 And Moses rose up, and his minister Joshua: and Moses went up into the mount of God. 14 And he said unto the elders, Tarry ye here for us, until we come again unto you: and, behold, Aaron and Hur are with you: if any man have any matters to do, let him come unto them. 15 And Moses went up into the mount, and a cloud covered the mount. 16 And the glory of the LORD abode upon mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it six days: and the seventh day he called unto Moses out of the midst of the cloud. 17 And the sight of the glory of the LORD was like devouring fire on the top of the mount in the eyes of the children of Israel. 18 And Moses went into the midst of the cloud, and gat him up into the mount: and Moses was in the mount forty days and forty nights.

Exodus 33:11-23; 34:4-6, 8 11 And the LORD spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend. And he turned again into the camp: but his servant Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man, departed not out of the tabernacle. 12 And Moses said unto the LORD, See, thou sayest unto me, Bring up this people: and thou hast not let me know whom thou wilt send with me. Yet thou hast said, I know thee by name, and thou hast also found grace in my sight. 13 Now therefore, I pray thee, if I have found grace in thy sight, shew me now thy way, that I may know thee, that I may find grace in thy sight: and consider that this nation is thy people. 14 And he said, My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest. 15 And he said unto him, If thy presence go not with me, carry us not up hence. 16 For wherein shall it be known here that I and thy people have found grace in thy sight? is it not in that thou goest with us? so shall we be separated, I and thy people, from all the people that are upon the face of the earth. 17 And the LORD said unto Moses, I will do this thing also that thou hast spoken: for thou hast found grace in my sight, and I know thee by name. 18 And he said, I beseech thee, shew me thy glory. 19 And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy. 20 And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live. 21 And the LORD said, Behold, there is a place by me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock: 22 And it shall come to pass, while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a clift of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by: 23 And I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts: but my face shall not be seen. 4 And he hewed two tables of stone like unto the first; and Moses rose up early in the morning, and went up unto mount Sinai, as the LORD had commanded him, and took in his hand the two tables of stone. 5 And the LORD descended in the cloud, and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD. 6 And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, 8 And Moses made haste, and bowed his head toward the earth, and worshipped.

1 Kings 19:3-9, 11-13, 15-16 3 And when he saw that, he arose, and went for his life, and came to Beersheba, which belongeth to Judah, and left his servant there. 4 But he himself went a day's journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree: and he requested for himself that he might die; and said, It is enough; now, O LORD, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers. 5 And as he lay and slept under a juniper tree, behold, then an angel touched him, and said unto him, Arise and eat. 6 And he looked, and, behold, there was a cake baken on the coals, and a cruse of water at his head. And he did eat and drink, and laid him down again. 7 And the angel of the LORD came again the second time, and touched him, and said, Arise and eat; because the journey is too great for thee. 8 And he arose, and did eat and drink, and went in the strength of that meat forty days and forty nights unto Horeb the mount of God. 9 And he came thither unto a cave, and lodged there; and, behold, the word of the LORD came to him, and he said unto him, What doest thou here, Elijah? 11 And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD. And, behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the LORD was not in the earthquake: 12 And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice. 13 And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave. And, behold, there came a voice unto him, and said, What doest thou here, Elijah? 15 And the LORD said unto him, Go, return on thy way to the wilderness of Damascus: and when thou comest, anoint Hazael to be king over Syria: 16 And Jehu the son of Nimshi shalt thou anoint to be king over Israel: and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abelmeholah shalt thou anoint to be prophet in thy room.

 


If the "LISTEN NOW" link does not work, copy this URL into your browser: http://www.orthodox.net/sermons/feasts-of-the-savior-transfiguration_2011-08-18+old-testament-appearances-of-jesus-christ+parables-for-transfiguration-vespers.m3u

If this file does not work for you, try the direct link to the actual mp3 file:http://www.orthodox.net/sermons/feasts-of-the-savior-transfiguration_2011-08-18+old-testament-appearances-of-jesus-christ+parables-for-transfiguration-vespers.mp3


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Understanding the Law of God in the Paraklesis Canon, Ode 5

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011

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Synopsis:

New for the old, and old for the new (although at least some parishes chant this canon weekly); we are currently chanting the Small Canon to the Theotokos in the Paraklesis service nightly, and giving short meditations on the content of this beautiful prayer.

A meditation on the 5th Ode of the Small Paraklesis Canon to the Theotokos, especially about how to understand the law of God. It is not even close to what the West thinks! The following hymns are discussed:

"Lord, enlighten us by Thy precepts and by thy commands; and by the power of Thy lofty arm bestow Thy peace upon us all, since Thou art Friend of man."

"Dissipate the gloom of my trespasses, O bride of God, with the clear brightness of thy radiance; for thou didst bear the Light divine which was before all-time."

"Heal me, O Pure one, of the sickness which the passions bring, and make me worthy of a guardiancy; and by thy prayers intercessions grant thou health to me."

More homilies on the Paraklesis Canon to Theotokos are HERE


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Exorcism of the demoniac son. A very common question and the 2 ways to understand the answer.

Monday, August 22nd, 2011

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Synopsis: The story of the exorcism of the lunatic son contains a very important question that all of us ask everyday – "Why?" We ask this question consciously and unconsciously and even dissatisfaction, confusion and ignorance are forms of this question. The solution is given in two parts. Firstly, our Lord tells us but we asked this question because of our unbelief, and the solution to this unbelief is given; prayer and fasting, and, very importantly, our admission of our unbelief and prayer that the Lord will help us to believe.

More homilies on the 10th day after Pentecost are HERE

Matthew 17:14-23 14 And when they were come to the multitude, there came to him a certain man, kneeling down to him, and saying, 15 Lord, have mercy on my son: for he is lunatick, and sore vexed: for ofttimes he falleth into the fire, and oft into the water. 16 And I brought him to thy disciples, and they could not cure him. 17 Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him hither to me. 18 And Jesus rebuked the devil; and he departed out of him: and the child was cured from that very hour. 19 Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out? 20 And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. 21 Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting. 22 And while they abode in Galilee, Jesus said unto them, The Son of man shall be betrayed into the hands of men: 23 And they shall kill him, and the third day he shall be raised again. And they were exceeding sorry.


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