Archive for September, 2011

Electronic Newsletter September 19 / October 2

Friday, September 30th, 2011


St. Nicholas Orthodox Church

McKinney, Texas

Electronic Newsletter

September 19 / October 2

15th Sunday after Pentecost

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


Announcements

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 we can generate a relatively accurate budget for the year.

Both forms are available in the literature rack in the narthex of the Church, or can be requested by email from Dn. Nicholas.

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St. Nicholas and the other North Texas Orthodox Churches are participating in the 40 days for life Vigil by praying together outside Dallas's late-term abortion clinic on Wednesday, October 19th. See Father's blog post for details. You can also help by saying a short prayer for the victims of abortion (not only the babies, but also their mothers and those who work in the industry) each day.

Prayer Requests

For the Health and Salvation.

  • 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


Saturday 10/1

  • 4PM Confession

  • 5PM Vigil

Sunday 10/2.

  • 10AM  Divine Liturgy

  • 12:45PM Sunday School

Monday 10/3

  • 7:30PM Molieben

Wednesday 10/5.

  • 7PM Vespers

Thursday 10/6

  • 9AM  Liturgy

Saturday 10/8

  • 4PM Confession

  • 5PM Vigil

Sunday 10/9.

  • 10AM  Divine Liturgy

  • 12:45PM Special Presentation on Missions


Fasting in the Coming weeks

We fast normally now. We abstain from meat, dairy, wine and oil on Wednesdays and Fridays.

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The abyss of humility of the Greek Syrophonecian woman – Mark 7:24-30

Thursday, September 29th, 2011

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Synopsis: The abyss of humility of the Greek syrophonecian woman is seen when she answered our Lord's curt dismissal with the words "Yeah Lord, but even the little dogs under the table eat of the children's crumbs." We need to acquire this kind of humility! We look at her humility and also two modern and incredible examples, gleaned from a talk by Papa Dimitrios Carellas. One concerns a woman who cared for her husband's mistress after he brought her into their home, and then accomplished another ascetic feat with her that had the angels in awe, and another concerning a ROCOR bishop falsely accused of sexual assault. We also look at the life of Nun Theodora of Alexandria (9/11). Let us try to acquire even a drop of the humility of these holy ones. We also look at the meaning of the words from the Epistle: "In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins". Wondrous is God in His Saints, and wondrous is His Holy blood which redeems us!

More homilies on weekdays are HERE

Mark 7:24-3024 And from thence he arose, and went into the borders of Tyre and Sidon, and entered into an house, and would have no man know it: but he could not be hid. 25 For a certain woman, whose young daughter had an unclean spirit, heard of him, and came and fell at his feet: 26 The woman was a Greek, a Syrophenician by nation; and she besought him that he would cast forth the devil out of her daughter. 27 But Jesus said unto her, Let the children first be filled: for it is not meet to take the children's bread, and to cast it unto the dogs. 28 And she answered and said unto him, Yes, Lord: yet the dogs under the table eat of the children's crumbs. 29 And he said unto her, For this saying go thy way; the devil is gone out of thy daughter. 30 And when she was come to her house, she found the devil gone out, and her daughter laid upon the bed.

Ephesians 1:1-91 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus: 2 Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: 4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: 5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, 6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. 7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; 8 Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; 9 Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:


If the "LISTEN NOW" link does not work, copy this URL into your browser: http://www.orthodox.net/sermons/pentecost-thursday-16_2011-09-29+humility-of-the-greek-syrophenician-woman-who-cared-for-her-husbands-mistress_mark7-24-30-ephesians1-1-9.m3u

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

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What does this mean – God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, and we have this treasure in earthen vessels?. Exaltation of the Cross.

Monday, September 26th, 2011

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Synopsis: On this Sunday before the Exaltation of the Cross, two of the epistle readings (2 Corinthians 4:6-15 and Galatians 6:11-18) relate directly to the cross. St Paul states emphatically: "God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ." What does it mean to "glory" in the cross? People glory in many things – wealth, attractiveness, popularity, political correctness, having a good marriage, job, etc. None of these things is glorying in the cross. We answer this important question, and also why we who are "new creatures" because of the cross "have this treasure in earthen vessels".

More homilies on the Exaltation of the Precious Cross are HERE



Galatians 6:11-18 11 Ye see how large a letter I have written unto you with mine own hand. 12 As many as desire to make a fair shew in the flesh, they constrain you to be circumcised; only lest they should suffer persecution for the cross of Christ. 13 For neither they themselves who are circumcised keep the law; but desire to have you circumcised, that they may glory in your flesh. 14 But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world. 15 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature. 16 And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God. 17 From henceforth let no man trouble me: for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus. 18 Brethren, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.

2 Corinthians 4:6-15 6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. 8 We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; 9 Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; 10 Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. 11 For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus' sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh. 12 So then death worketh in us, but life in you. 13 We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak; 14 Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you. 15 For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God.


If the "LISTEN NOW" link does not work, copy this URL into your browser: http://www.orthodox.net/sermons/feasts-of-the-savior-exaltation-of-the-cross-02_2011-09-25+sunday-before-the-exaltation+god-forbid-that-i-should-glory,-save-in-the-cross-of-our-lord-jesus-christ_2corinthians4-6-15,galatians6-11-18.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-exaltation-of-the-cross-02_2011-09-25+sunday-before-the-exaltation+god-forbid-that-i-should-glory,-save-in-the-cross-of-our-lord-jesus-christ_2corinthians4-6-15,galatians6-11-18.mp3


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

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Orthodox Christians Prayer for 40 Days for Life Vigil: October 19th, 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Saturday, September 24th, 2011

The following is from an email sent by Fr Seraphim Hipsch, from our sister parish, St Sava Orthodox Church (Allen, TX). I have taken the liberty of highlighting some items.

I support this endeavor, and encourage anyone in my parish to participate. Ask me if you are not sure what to do.

I have signed up for 1-3 PM, Wednesday. Oct 19th. Would you like to join me?

PLEASE TAKE NOTE of Fr Seraphim's (the "other" Priest Seraphim, of St Sava) excellent explanation of sin, in the context of abortion, below.

 

Prayer outside Southwestern Late-term Abortion Facility, 8616 Greenville Ave., Dallas

Sign up Below!

VERY IMPORTANT INFORMATION IS IN THE EMAIL… PLEASE READ

As the Body of Christ, members of the Life-giver, we Orthodox Christians of North Texas are offering prayers for those who are tempted to have an abortion, those who have committed an abortion and those who have fallen to the delusion of the Enemy, believing that they help people by assisting in the act of abortion. All are invited to participate in this prayer vigil and especially those who have a real heart for those who have been affected by the tragedy of abortion. we are organizing a modified prayer vigil on October 19th, from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

We are trying to get at least two people per time slot, hopefully one male. More than two are more than welcome to participate.

Logistics:

  •  If there is only one person present at the clinic, we are asked to stay in the car.
  •  Also, please sign up through the volunteer calendar even if you are planning to "drop in". This will help with planning and making sure that prayer times are covered. My intention is to be present most of the day.
  •  At the site, you will find a box. At this box, is a collection of forms and prayer books. The prayer books, and papers, will be helpful to passing the time in prayer
  • Also, there are forms there for people to sign. These forms are a declaration that all participants are there for peaceful purposes, to pray for those who have committed abortion and for those who repent, for the healing of all those involved.

I have been going there weekly for some time, at least on Saturdays and at times Fridays as well. This of course is not our only ministry to those who struggle with the sin of abortion. We actively support Real Options for Women, both financially and with volunteer efforts.

This is not a protest. Rather, this is asking the All Holy Spirit to come and deliver those under the bondage of demonic influence, praying for their repentance and ultimate healing.

The sidewalk is located next to a very busy and dangerous street for children. As such, I would only recommend older, mature children to be present so as to avoid any potential loss of life.

For parking, please make sure to only park along the street of Broadbrook or in the parking lot of Gaston Oaks Baptist Church. If you park in the office complex, your vehicle will be towed. Also, only stand on the sidewalk that lines Greenville Ave. If you round the corner or stand on the grass, there is a likelihood of being arrested by the Dallas Police. Please obey the public laws.

If you have any questions, please contact me. (Fr Seraphim Hipsch – fr.seraphim@stsavanorthtx.org)

If you would like to sign up, please go to the link below:

http://www.volunteerspot.com/login/entry/222345634764778054

God keep you!

 

A Brief Discussion on Abortion:

What is sin? This is a critical fact to bear in mind. What is sin? Sin is a parasite, thriving off the negative / death-ward choices and actions that we as mankind make. This sin, this cancer conceals the eyes of our hearts from the One who truly loves. The tempting thoughts come to us and say, "No one loves. No one cares. No one understands. Therefore, you have to take care of your own problems your own way. There just isn't any other choice." My brothers and sisters, how often have we heard these thoughts within, and we give into temptation. Instead of waiting for the comfort that God can bring, the healing that God can bring to our passions, our torment, we attempt to satisfy ourselves, only making our condition worse, adding sin to sin.

The temptation of abortion cannot be singled out as the worst or that only the worst of people do such a thing. All sin separates us from the Love of the only Lover of Mankind. And because we have this common disease, we can struggle to take up the burden of others, to repent on behalf of those who are still in the throws and intoxication of sinful thoughts and temptations that we all might be freed from the clutches of the evil one. Perhaps we have already fallen to the sin of Abortion, then we must choose to get up. Get up! Why? Because there is a Heavenly Father who loves us tremendously. There is One who can take the worst of all that we give Him and make something very beautiful out of it. He takes death and makes it to become Life. This is what we celebrate through Passion week and Pascha, the transfiguration of the ugliness of sin and death, the annihilation of the evil virus of sin and the beginning newness of life.

So, that no matter how far we think we have fallen, even if we believe we have fallen into the depths of hell, Christ is Risen! Christ has descended into hell to raise us up.

Christ is our joy! Christ is our path back to wholeness again and out of the pit of the dark ashes of sin. We find ourselves in a foreign country, meaning that we do not belong here, in a state of separation from Christ. Our experience of life is not to be alone, the feeling of separation.

The whole context and nature of asking for mercy is not from some juridical judge; rather, we are begging the Physician to come and to heal our wounds. This could be likened to a mother and father in an Emergency Room situation begging the physician to come and to heal their child. We are doing the same to our Physician, to come and to heal the wounds of our soul and to somehow make good to come out of the evil we all have done. Christ Pantocrator, Christ All-mighty, is able to make such a change.

God keep us all as we labor to heal both our hearts and to help those around us.

If you would like to sign up, please go to the link below:

http://www.volunteerspot.com/login/entry/222345634764778054

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Sunday Before the Exaltation of the Cross We are saved from the poison of our passions and sin through the Cross. Exegesis of John 3:13-17. Text and Audio.

Saturday, September 24th, 2011


Sunday Before the Exaltation of the Cross

We are saved from the poison of our passions and sin through the Cross.

Exegesis of John 3:13-17

2010

In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Today, brothers and sisters, is the day before the Sunday before the Exaltation of the Holy Cross[1]. On this day we always have this reading where Christ describes the Cross and describes the standard that Moses had, the serpent in the wilderness. And there is also this famous verse that everyone knows; in fact, even people that are not Christian know it, because they have seen it on buses and in end zones:

 

John 3:16 banner at a football gane. http://www.orthodox.net/photos/john-316.jpg

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His Only Begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”[2]

 

The real meat of this reading is not that verse. It is only describing the Lord’s loves for us; the rest of the passage teaches us how to benefit from that love. First the Lord begins by saying,

 

 

“No man has ascended up to Heaven, but He that came down from Heaven, even the Son of Man which is in Heaven.”

 

He’s speaking of Himself. He was standing right before them when He spoke to them; but He’s also God, so He is in all places at all times.

 

“Son of Man”[3], is a messianic appellation, just as is “Son of David” and many other ones; He was wont to call Himself the Son of Man” often. The Son of Man is in Heaven AND was standing before them, firmly rooted on earth. And He said that no one has ascended except the Son of Man. The inference is that He, by His Own will, can ascend or can descend and, as God, He can make it possible for us to ascend. He then ties our ascending to the way of the cross, because He refers to Moses lifting  up the serpent in the wilderness. And so must the Son of Man be lifted up:

 

“And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: 15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.”

 
This standard with the brass serpent in the wilderness is described in Numbers[4]. The people were complaining about being a long time in the desert. They had been gone for many years because of their sins. The actual distance between Egypt and Israel is long; it is about a week’s walking journey, and yet it took them forty years because of their sins. They were well into this trip by then, and they were complaining to Moses, and the Lord sent fiery serpents upon the ground, and they bit the people, and they were dying from poisonous snake bites. The Lord told Moses to make a fiery serpent and put it upon a staff; so Moses did, making a brass serpent. And the instructions were that anyone who had been bitten could look upon this standard and live. And of course, this is a type[5] of the Cross, a foreshadowing of the Cross. Lifting up the serpent on a staff, obviously very much like a cross. And the people were saved by looking to the cross.

So the Son of Man would be lifted up as well. And we can be saved by looking to this Son of Man, the Son of God, the son of David, Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten, when we look upon Him on the Cross.

And then He says,

 

“That whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have eternal life.”

 

He had just spoken about poison. Serpents had bitten people and the poison was in their system and was killing them, but the cross saved them. So this image of poison is true for us too.

 

Our poison is sin. Our poison is passions. We are saved from our passions and sin through the Cross.

 

Why?

 

Because the Son of Man has the authority to lay down His life and to take it up again. And He would shortly lay down His life and take it up again.

 

He has the authority to change our nature such that we no longer would be held by death.

 

That is what happened after His death on the Cross. He descended into Hades of His Own will and filled Hades with His divinity and broke the gates of Hades. We sing about this in Pascha, and actually we sing about it every Saturday evening[6]. And in breaking those bars, breaking the bonds that hold humanity when they die, He made us capable of ascending.

So, brothers and sisters, when you look to the Cross, you should be thinking: “The Cross is my way of life; the Cross is the reason that I can live.” 

 

So this is eternal life: To be saved by Jesus Christ, the One Who hung on the Cross as a symbol for all generations. What an incredible symbol! Can you think of a better symbol – Our Lord looking down upon us and saving us? Now we adorn our houses and our churches and our breast and everything else with the Cross. But we must understand what the meaning is: the Cross saves, because we need Jesus Christ to change our nature. And that’s what He did when He was up on the Cross.


In a few hours we will be singing,

 

“Before Thy Cross we bow down and worship, and Thy Holy Resurrection we glorify.”[7]

 

The Cross and the Resurrection must be spoken of in the same context, in the same sentence, in the same breath. When you look at the Cross, you should see the Resurrection because the Lord allowed Himself to be crucified so that He would go down to Hades and break it.

The only way to realize this salvation is of course to believe in Jesus Christ. This is what we must do. This is our task, because:

 

after the Lord says: “the Son of Man must be lifted up,” He follows:  “that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.”

I’ve spoken of this word “belief” many times. This is one of the most misunderstood words ever. To believe is not just to know something that’s true. To believe is not to think something is true. Belief is to live according to what is true.

So we believe in the Son of Man, the Son of God, Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten. That is, we live as He lived

So when you look at the Cross, there should be many things that go through your mind. I don’t mean necessarily discrete thoughts because thoughts are really not capable of expressing the meaning of the Cross, however the soul knows.

What is everlasting life? It is to know Jesus Christ. This is very early in the Gospel of John, only the third chapter. Later on in the 17th chapter, after many months of ministry and perhaps even years of ministry, the Lord spoke to His disciples about eternal life at the Last Supper, at the institution of the Eucharist, and He said,

 

“This is eternal life, that they might know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, Whom Thou has sent.”[8]

Eternal life is possible because of our Lord’s death on the Cross. So when you look to the Cross, look to the source of your salvation, and note that the original cross, shall we say, or one of the original crosses, one of the many types of the crosses in the Old Testament, was this standard with the serpent on it. And the people were saved from the poison that was in their systems. And there is poison in you. And that poison, the Lord wants to have obliterated, and that poison is sin and passion.

 

This is the road to salvation: To look upon the Cross and to desire to follow the way of the Cross, which is our Lord’s way. And may God help you.

Now, remember that tonight at two o’clock we’ll have vigil for the Exaltation of the Cross[9]. This is a very, very important service. At the end of the service we prostrate ourselves before the Cross, and then we stand up again because the Cross is the source of our resurrection.

It is one thing to talk about it, but it is another thing to live it. You should be living in the Resurrection right now today, brothers and sisters, living for eternity, not for anything temporary. You’re no longer creatures of the earth, but you’re creatures of Heaven. You’re citizens of the Heavenly Kingdom now. And indeed in the Divine Liturgy we are in the Kingdom at this very moment, although you might not feel it; it’s only because of what’s wrong with us that we don’t feel it; because it is true.

So may God help us to follow the way of the Cross and to be saved. Amen.

 

 

Priest Seraphim Holland 2010.    

Transcribed by the hand of Helen; may God save her and her loved ones.

This and other Orthodox materials are available in from:

St. Nicholas Orthodox Church, McKinney, Texas

 

·         Mailing Address: Box 37, McKinney, TX 75070

·         Rectory Phone: 972/529-2754

·         Email: seraphim@orthodox.net

·         Web Page: http://www.orthodox.net

·         Redeeming the Time Blog: http://www.orthodox.net/redeemingthetime/

 

This homily is at:

http://www.orthodox.net/sermons/feasts-of-the-savior-exaltation-of-the-cross-02_2010-09-26+sunday-before-the-exaltation.html

http://www.orthodox.net/sermons/feasts-of-the-savior-exaltation-of-the-cross-02_2010-09-26+sunday-before-the-exaltation.doc

AUDIO: http://www.orthodox.net/sermons/feasts-of-the-savior-exaltation-of-the-cross-02_2010-09-26+sunday-before-the-exaltation.mp3

http://www/.orthodox.net/redeemingthetime

Archive of commentaries: http://www.orthodox.net/scripture

Archive of homilies: http://www.orthodox.net/sermons

 

To receive regular mailings of sermons, and scriptural and services commentary and other things throughout the church year, read our blog “Redeeming the Time” (http://www.orthodox.net/redeemingthetime). You may also subscribe to the RSS Feed or receive its postings by email.

 

Our parish Email list (http://groups.google.com/group/saint-nicholas-orthodox-church) also has all the latest postings from our website and blog; everyone is welcome to join.

 

All rights reserved.  Please use this material in any edifying reason. We ask that you contact St. Nicholas if you wish to distribute it in any way.  We grant permission to post this text, if completely intact only, including this paragraph and the URL of the text, to any electronic mailing list, church bulletin, web page or blog.

 



[1] The Exaltation of the Precious Cross is celebrated on Sept 14 (Sep 27 on the civil calendar). The service is very similar when the cross is also commemorated on the third Sunday of Great Lent.

 

[2] John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” It was common in the seventies to see these signs (with the verse or just the verse reference)  unfurled in the end zone when an extra point was being kicked in football games.

 

[3] “Son of Man” is used dozens of times in Ezekiel, and in Daniel there is this famous verse: “I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.” (Daniel 7:13)

 

[4] Numbers  21:5-9  And the people spake against God, and against Moses, Wherefore have ye brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? for there is no bread, neither is there any water; and our soul loatheth this light bread.  (6)  And the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died.  (7)  Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, We have sinned, for we have spoken against the LORD, and against thee; pray unto the LORD, that he take away the serpents from us. And Moses prayed for the people.  (8)  And the LORD said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live.  (9)  And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived.

 

This incident is referred to in the services for the exaltation of the Cross. For example:

 

“Moses set up on a wooden pole a cure against the deadly, poisonous bite of the serpents as crosswise upon the wood – in a symbol of the cross – he placed a serpent that creeps upon the earth, and thus he triumphed over the calamity. Therefore let us sing to Christ our god, for he has been glorified.” (Matins canon, Exaltation of the Cross)

 

[5] A “type” is an allegorical foreshadowing of a future event or person. You cannot read more than a page in the Old Testament without encountering one, and all the important types – regarding Christ, the crucifixion, the virgin birth, baptism, etc are mentioned in the hymns of Orthodox services – particularly in Vespers and Matins. 

[6] There are literally hundreds of examples. Every Sunday we celebrate the resurrection with dozens of hymns that describe the event of the resurrection, the cross, and all their implications in Vespers and Matins for Sunday. Pascha hymnology is full of this teaching too. Perhaps the best and most clear example is the Paschal troparion: “Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and upon those in the tombs bestowing life”.

[7] See  http://www.orthodox.net/questions/sunday_of_the_cross_1.html for a discussion of this hymn:

Normally Christians do not prostrate themselves on Sunday. Why? What is a prostration? On the Sunday of the Holy Cross we do prostrate. Why and when?

 

Christians do not prostrate on Sunday because this is the day we always celebrate the Resurrection, and we recall how God is able to make us stand. Our standing reminds us of the resurrection. There are one or two Sundays a year when we do prostrate (the Third Sunday of Great Lent, and the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, if it falls on a Sunday. On this day, the hymn "Before Thy cross", which we sing while prostration, teaches us what our prostrations mean:

 

Before Thy Cross, / we fall down in worship, O Master, / and Thy holy Resurrection / we glorify.

 

When we prostrate, it is in worship of the Risen Lord, and when we raise ourselves up, we recall the resurrection.

 

A Christian prostrates when he makes the sign of the cross, and falls to his hands and knees (it is usually easier to have the hands touch the floor a moment before the knees), and bows his head to the ground, then gets back up.

[8] John 17:3

[9] The Exaltation of the Cross was Monday that year. I have often struggled with a way to get people to attend vigil on Sunday because many do not want to go home and then come back. I cannot say that any solution has been satisfactory – either serving vigil early in the afternoon, after we have eaten breakfast, or serving at the usual time at night.

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Electronic Newsletter September 12/25

Friday, September 23rd, 2011


St. Nicholas Orthodox Church

McKinney, Texas

Electronic Newsletter

September 12/25

14th Sunday after Pentecost


O Lord, Save Thy people and bless Thine inheritance!

Grant victory over adversaries,

and by Thy cross preserve Thy habitation!

 

Tuesday, September 27th is the Feast of the Exaltation of the Precious Cross. Let us come together — on Monday evening for Vigil, on Tuesday morning for Liturgy, or both — to honor the Precious Cross and our Lord Who was crucified thereon for our sake.

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


Announcements

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 we can generate a relatively accurate budget for the year.

Both forms are available in the literature rack in the narthex of the Church, or can be requested by email from Dn. Nicholas.

Prayer Requests

For the Health and Salvation.

  • 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


Saturday 9/24

  • 4PM Confession

  • 5PM Vigil

Sunday 9/25.

  • 10AM  Divine Liturgy

  • 12:45PM Sunday School

Monday 9/26

  • 7:00PM Vigil

Tuesday 9/27. Exaltation of the Cross. FAST DAY.

  • 9:00AM Liturgy

Wednesday 9/28.

  • 7PM Vespers

Thursday 9/29

  • 9AM  Liturgy

Saturday 10/1

  • 4PM Confession

  • 5PM Vigil

Sunday 10/2.

  • 10AM  Divine Liturgy

  • 12:45PM Sunday School


Fasting in the Coming weeks

We fast normally now. We abstain from meat, dairy, wine and oil on Wednesdays and Fridays. This Tuesday, the Exaltation of the Precious Cross, is a Fast Day.

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Thy Nativity, O Theotokos Virgin…

Tuesday, September 20th, 2011

Thy nativity, O Theotokos Virgin, hath brought forth joy to all the world.

For from thee hath dawned forth the Sun of Righteousness, Christ our God,an

annulling the curse and bestowing the blessing,

abolishing death and granting us life everlasting!

 

Joachim and Anna give birth in their old age to a baby girl named Mary, and dedicate her to the Lord. The latest in a grand line of children born, by God's promise, to barren women — only unlike all of the others recorded for us, this child is a girl. And her birth, the Holy Church tells us, brings joy to all the world……

Imagine this from the perspective of the righteous faithful of her time — with, of course, the addition of our own hindsight — or rather, from the eternal perspective which the Church provides.

In the beginning, the first-created man and his wife lived a life of joy. But as a tragic consequence of their sinful act of self-will, they brought the curse of death upon themselves and upon the whole world. But from the very moment when the Lord explained the curse, He also promised that a Redeemer would come.

Thus began the history that we know as the Old Testament, a story of a few men of faith, of many men of sin, and of the God who continued to love and correct them all. As time went on, the Lord set aside a chosen people and nurtured them with His law, hedging them about as it were to prepare them for His coming. As the promised time came closer He restated the promise, through the prophets, more and more clearly.

And now the time has truly drawn near, for we have seen the birth of her who is to give birth to the promised Messiah! The world did not know it at the time, but looking back we can tremor with anticipation on its behalf!

The time is near at hand! He is coming! The sanctified vessel has been prepared, the sacred tabernacle, she who is blessed among women, who will bear Him who annulls the curse and abolishes death, who bestows the blessing and grants us life everlasting!

Truly, joy has come to all the world!

Most Holy Theotokos, intercede with thy Son and our God that He grant our souls remission of transgressions!

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Electronic Newsletter September 5/18

Friday, September 16th, 2011

 

St. Nicholas Orthodox Church

McKinney, Texas

Electronic Newsletter

September 5/18

13th Sunday after Pentecost


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


Announcements

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 we can generate a relatively accurate budget for the year.

Both forms are available in the literature rack in the narthex of the Church, or can be requested by email from Dn. Nicholas.


Two major feast days are approaching:

  • The Nativity (Birthday) of the Theotokos, on Wednesday, 9/21
  • The Exaltation of the Precious Cross, on Tuesday, 9/27

Prayer Requests

For the Health and Salvation.

  • 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

 

Saturday 9/17

  • 4PM Confession
  • 5PM Vigil

Sunday 9/18.

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

Monday 9/19

  • 7:30PM Molieben

Tuesday 9/20

  • (Time TBA) Vigil

Wednesday 9/21. Nativity of the Theotokos.

  • 9AM Liturgy
  • 7PM Vespers

Thursday 9/22

  • 9AM  Liturgy

Saturday 9/24

  • 4PM Confession
  • 5PM Vigil

Sunday 9/25.

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

Fasting in the Coming weeks

We fast normally now. We abstain from meat, dairy, wine and oil on Wednesdays and Fridays.

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Beheading Of The Glorious Prophet Forerunner And Baptist John Hidden Addictions And Passions Kill.

Monday, September 12th, 2011

Icon of St John the Baptist. LISTEN NOW

Synopsis: The story of the beheading of John the Baptist shows us how an ordinary life ends in death. Herod was an ordinary man, since he was ruled by his passions and sins (lust,adultery,ambition,drunkeness) and because of his indulgence in his passions, most if which he was not aware of, he was also a coward, and when he made an unwise oath, he was unwilling to renege on it to save face. Therefore, he had Saint john beheaded, who then passed into eternal life, and Herod continued his descent into eternal death. We explore especially how hidden passions (present in all of us!) can kill the soul.

More homilies about the Beheading of St John the Baptist.

Beheading Of The Glorious Prophet Forerunner And Baptist John
Possibilities and clarity, and the Kontakion of the feast.
2008
Also in Format: Word DOC or mp3
SYNOPSIS:Thoughts concering the Kontakion of the feast of the beheading of the Forerunner, and the precious gift of clarity of thought sometimes given especially during the early morning liutrgy.
 
 

Mark 6:14-30 14 And king Herod heard of him; (for his name was spread abroad:) and he said, That John the Baptist was risen from the dead, and therefore mighty works do shew forth themselves in him. 15 Others said, That it is Elias. And others said, That it is a prophet, or as one of the prophets. 16 But when Herod heard thereof, he said, It is John, whom I beheaded: he is risen from the dead. 17 For Herod himself had sent forth and laid hold upon John, and bound him in prison for Herodias' sake, his brother Philip's wife: for he had married her. 18 For John had said unto Herod, It is not lawful for thee to have thy brother's wife. 19 Therefore Herodias had a quarrel against him, and would have killed him; but she could not: 20 For Herod feared John, knowing that he was a just man and an holy, and observed him; and when he heard him, he did many things, and heard him gladly. 21 And when a convenient day was come, that Herod on his birthday made a supper to his lords, high captains, and chief estates of Galilee; 22 And when the daughter of the said Herodias came in, and danced, and pleased Herod and them that sat with him, the king said unto the damsel, Ask of me whatsoever thou wilt, and I will give it thee. 23 And he sware unto her, Whatsoever thou shalt ask of me, I will give it thee, unto the half of my kingdom. 24 And she went forth, and said unto her mother, What shall I ask? And she said, The head of John the Baptist. 25 And she came in straightway with haste unto the king, and asked, saying, I will that thou give me by and by in a charger the head of John the Baptist. 26 And the king was exceeding sorry; yet for his oath's sake, and for their sakes which sat with him, he would not reject her. 27 And immediately the king sent an executioner, and commanded his head to be brought: and he went and beheaded him in the prison, 28 And brought his head in a charger, and gave it to the damsel: and the damsel gave it to her mother. 29 And when his disciples heard of it, they came and took up his corpse, and laid it in a tomb. 30 And the apostles gathered themselves together unto Jesus, and told him all things, both what they had done, and what they had taught.


If the "LISTEN NOW" link does not work, copy this URL into your browser: http://www.orthodox.net/sermons/feasts-of-the-saints-08-29_2011-09-11+beheading-of-the-glorious-prophet-forerunner-and-baptist-john+hidden-addictions-and-passions-kill_mark6-14-30.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-saints-08-29_2011-09-11+beheading-of-the-glorious-prophet-forerunner-and-baptist-john+hidden-addictions-and-passions-kill_mark6-14-30.mp3


RSS feed of Sunday and some weekday homiliesRSS feed of Sunday and some weekday homilies:http://feeds.feedburner.com/OrthodoxChristianSermonsOnTheGospelsEpistlesAndOtherTopics

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

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Service Commemorating the Ten Year Anniversary of September 11, 2001 Served in churches of the Greek Archdiocese, Metropolis of Atlanta.

Sunday, September 11th, 2011


Service Commemorating the Ten Year Anniversary of September 11, 2001

Served in churches of the Greek Archdiocese, Metropolis of Atlanta.

 

 

Priest: Blessed is our God, always, now and forever and to the ages of ages.

People: Amen.
 

Choir: (Eviogitos El Christe o Theos lmon)[1] Blessed art Thou, O Christ our God, / Who hast shown forth the fishermen as supremely wise / by sending down upon them the Holy Spirit, / and through them didst draw the world into Thy net. // O Befriender of man, glory be to Thee.

 

Choir: (Soson Kyrie)[2] O Lord, save Thy people and bless Thine inheritance. Grant Thou victory unto Orthodox Christians over their enemies, and by the power of Thy Cross do Thou preserve Thy commonwealth.

 

Choir: (Ti Upermacho)[3] To Thee, the Champion Leader, we Thy servants dedicate a feast of victory and of thanksgiving as ones rescued out of sufferings, O Theotokos: but as Thou art one with might which is invincible, from all dangers that can be do Thou deliver us, that we may cry to Thee: Rejoice, Thou Bride Unwedded!

 

Priest: Have mercy on us, 0 God, according to Thy great love, we pray to Thee hear us and have mercy.

People: Kyrie Eleison, Kyrie Eleison, Kyrie Eleison

 

Priest: Again we pray for all pious and Orthodox Christians

People: Kyrie Eleison, Kyrie Eleison, Kyrie Eleison
 

Priest: Again we pray for our Archbishop Alexios and for all our brotherhood in Christ.

People: Kyrie Eleison, Kyrie Eleison, Kyrie Eleison
 

Priest: Again we pray for mercy, life, peace, health, salvation, visitation, protection, pardon and remission of the sins of the servants of God, all devout and Orthodox Christians living and residing in this community and city, for the members, council members, trustees and benefactors of this Holy and Sacred Church.

People: Kyrie Eleison, Kyrie Eleison, Kyrie Eleison
 

Priest: Again we pray for our country, the United States of America, for our President, for those in civil authority, for the men and women who serve in our armed forces and their families, and for those living in areas of conflict throughout our nation and throughout the world.

People: Kyrie Eleison, Kyrie Eleison, Kyrie Eleison
 

Priest: Again we pray for the reconciliation of nations, the ending of hostilities and the establishment of peace in the world.

People: Kyrie Eleison, Kyrie Eleison, Kyrie Eleison
 

Priest: Again we pray for mercy, life, peace, health, salvation, visitation, protection, strength and healing for the servants of God, all those whose lives were affected by the terrorist attack on America on September 11, for their health and salvation, let us pray.

People: Kyrie Eleison, Kyrie Eleison, Kyrie Eleison
 

Priest: Again we pray for the repose of the souls of God’s servants, those who fell asleep in the Lord during and after the terrorist attack on America on September 11, and for the forgiveness of their sins voluntary and involuntary; that the Lord our God will place their souls where the just repose, let us ask for the mercies of God, the kingdom of heaven and for the remission of their sins from Christ our immortal king and our God.

People: Aionia I Mnimi, Aionia I Mnimi, Aionia Auton I Mnimi May their memory be eternal, may their memory be eternal, may their memory be eternal. Aionia I Mnimi, Aionia I Mnimi, Aionia Auton I Mnimi.

 
Priest: Again we pray for the protection and safekeeping of this Holy Church, this city and every city and town, from wrath, famine, pestilence, earthquake, flood, fire, sword, foreign invasions, civil strife and accidental death, that our good and loving God may be merciful, gracious and favorable to us, that He may turn and keep away from us all wrath and sickness, and deliver us from His impending justified chastisement and have mercy on us.

People: Kyrie Eleison, Kyrie Eleison, Kyrie Eleison
 

Priest: Again we pray that the Lord our God will hear the voice of the petitions of us sinners and have mercy on us.

People:Kyrie Eleison, Kyrie Eleison, Kyrie Eleison

Priest: Hear us O God our Savior, the hope of all the ends of the earth and from those who live far off on the sea. Be gracious towards us, O Master, towards our many sins, and have mercy on us. For Thou art a merciful and loving God and to Thee we offer up Glory, to the Father, and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and forever and to the ages of ages.

People: Amen

 

Priest: Let us pray to the Lord.

People: Kyrie Eleison

Priest: 0 Lord, our God, Creator and Sovereign ruler of all, who has put boundaries around the nations for the people to live in peace, and who has blessed our country with prosperity and freedom, we ask that Thou extend Thy hand from heaven and place it upon our nation especially today, as we commemorate the unjustified and savage attack on September 11, 2001.

 

We pray that Thou wilt grant rest to the souls of all those who died in faith on that dark and sad day, that Thou wilt continue to grant healing to those who were wounded, and that Thou wilt grant comfort to those who are still in grief over the loss of their loved ones. Lord, protect the men and women of our armed forces, together with their families. Also we ask that Thou wilt bless and guide our President and all the leaders of this nation, by inspiring them with Thy love and understanding, enable them to make the right decisions so the Faithful live in peace.

 

In places where there is violence, bring peace.

In places of spiritual darkness, bring the Light of Christ.

In places of sadness, bring joy.

In places of hate, bring love and reconciliation, and in places of despair, bring hope.

 

All in all, we ask Thee to bless us with Thy presence and make us faithful followers of Thy Son, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Hear us, 0 God our Savior and help us, save us, have mercy on us and protect us by Thy Grace.
For Thou art the King of Kings, the Provider of Peace and the Savior of our souls and to Thee we give glory: to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and forever and to the ages of ages.

People: Amen.
 

Chant: The Apollitikion of the Holy Trinity (Eviogitos)

 

People: God bless America, land that I love
Stand beside her, and guide her,
Through the night with the Light from Above.
From the mountains, to the prairies,
To the oceans, white with foam
God bless America, my home sweet home.
God bless America, my home sweet home.

Priest: Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us.

People: Amen.

 

 

The original text of this service was received in email from my father in law in an image file. The language has been changed to reflect liturgical usage, and common Orthodox hymns changed to the versions sung in our church. We did not use this service[4], but is an example of what was done in another local church on this somber day. This small supplicatory service (paraklesis) was served after Divine Liturgy.

 

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

 

This article is at:

http://www.orthodox.net/journal/2011-09-11-service-commemorating-the-ten-year-anniversary-of-september-11-2001-served-in-churches-of-the-greek-archdiocese.doc

http://www.orthodox.net/journal/2011-09-11-service-commemorating-the-ten-year-anniversary-of-september-11-2001-served-in-churches-of-the-greek-archdiocese.html

 

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)



[1] It is customary to refer to hymns by their first few words. This often also indicates the melody to sing. This hymn is the troparion for Pentecost.

[2] This is the troparion for the Cross. It is sung on the Feastday of the exaltation of the cross, and in all daily matins services, and other services.

[3] The Kontakion from the Akathist to the Theotokos. It is sung in many services, notably at the end of the first hour at vigil.

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