Archive for February, 2012

A prayer is a promise. From the Great Canon

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012


Spotless Mother of God, only all-hymned Virgin, pray intensely that we may be saved. (Great Canon, Ode 2, Clean Wed, Theotokion)

 

When chanting this verse from the Great Canon tonight, which shows the confidence we have in the intercession of the Mother of God, I trembled a little. When a reasonable person asks for something, they know there is an obligation placed upon them. If we ask the all pure one to pray intensely, we must also attempt in our feeble way to pray intensely. Her prayers are powerful, but God is not pleased with the lazy.

The Most Holy Theotokos indeed will pray intensely to her Son, and we should do no less, otherwise we are liars and hypocrites. We are liars because we are breaking the tacit promise of this prayer, and hypocrites because the All-Holy will be praying that we be helped to be made pure by her Son, and to ask for help but give no assistance to the helper is to be a lazy hypocrite.

 

O Lord, Lord, help me to pray intensely!

 

Priest Seraphim Holland 2012     St Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church, McKinney, Texas

 

This article is at:

http://www.orthodox.net/journal/2012-03-01+the-great-canon+a-prayer-is-a-promise+spotless-mother-of-god-only-all-hymned-virgin-pray-intensely-that-we-may-be-saved.html

http://www.orthodox.net/journal/2012-03-01+the-great-canon+a-prayer-is-a-promise+spotless-mother-of-god-only-all-hymned-virgin-pray-intensely-that-we-may-be-saved.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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Electronic Newsletter February 13 / 26 Forgiveness Sunday

Monday, February 27th, 2012

 

St. Nicholas Orthodox Church,

McKinney, Texas

Electronic Newsletter

February 13 / 26  

Forgiveness Sunday

Announcements

"Mighty Mites" Collection

Prayer Requests

Schedule of Divine Services in the Coming week

Fasting in the Coming week


Announcements

We are now in the midst of Great Lent. This time of year is specifically set aside for us to intensify our spiritual labors, so that we might come to better know both ourselves and God's mercy and might be prepared to meet the feast of our Lord's Resurrection.

The Diocese of Chicago and Mid-America Youth Committee is hosting a Lenten Retreat on the weekend of the Sunday commemorating St. Mary of Egypt (Friday evening, 3/30 – Sunday, 4/1).  This event is open to all Orthodox Christian youth of college and graduate student age.  See the diocesan website for more information.

The Diocese of Chicago and Mid-America announces open registration for a pilgrimmage this fall to the Holy Land led by Bishop Peter.  The pilgrimage will take place between Sept. 14 and Sept. 28 and will include the feast days of the Nativity of the Theotokos and the Elevation of the Holy and Life-Creating Cross.  For further information, see the diocesan website.

We will be holding a Pysanky class every Saturday from February 11th through March 31st, from 1pm – 4pm. If you are interested in participating, you are encouraged to buy you own Kitski set, which is available for $20 if you order it through Matushka Marina. You will also need to bring your own eggs in a cardboard carton. Contact Matushka Marina for further information.

As you know, our deck has been completed, and is a wonderful addition to our facility. We need to complete the work by cleaning and sealing the deck as soon as possible. Please contact Fr. Seraphim or Dn. Nicholas if you can help with this work.

Our parish has a brotherhood, named in honor of St. John of San Francisco. It's mission is one of both service and fellowship, and one of its roles is to help with tasks that need to be done around our building and grounds. So far our membership is very small, however. If you are interested in joining the brotherhood, please contact Dn. Nicholas. 


"Mighty Mites" Collection

This week we collected $57 for RACS (http://racssf.org/).

Next week we will collect to raise funds to clean, stain and seal our deck and to furnish it with fans for the summer.


Prayer Requests

For the Health and Salvation.

  • Alexandra (4 y/o girl wih brain cancer)

  • Priests Jean and Grégoire and all the faithful and suffering of Haiti,  and our sponsored household: Catherine and her family.

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


Schedule of Divine Services in the Coming week

Monday 2/27

  • 7PM Great Canon of St. Andrew

Tuesday 2/28

  • 7PM Great Canon of St. Andrew

Wednesday 2/29

  • 7PM Great Canon of St. Andrew

Thursday 3/1

  • 9AM Divine Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts

  • 7PM Great Canon of St. Andrew

Saturday 3/3

  • 4PM Confession

  • 5PM Vigil

Sunday 3/4.

  • 10AM  Divine Liturgy

  • 12:45PM Middle and Elementary Classes.

  • 6:00PM  Pan-Orthodox Vespers at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, Dallas

Fasting in the Coming week

On weekdays of Great Lent, we abstain from meat, poultry, fish, eggs and dairy products as well as olive oil. On weekends, olive oil may be used.

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Now it is high time to awake out of sleep; exegesis of the Epistle for the Sunday of Forgiveness.

Sunday, February 26th, 2012

LISTEN NOW

Synopsis: The Epistle for the Sunday of Forgiveness is a perfect introduction into the purpose and aim of Great Lent.

Homilies on Forgiveness Sunday (Cheesefare) are HERE

Homilies on the first Sundday of great Lent are HERE

Romans 13:11-14:4 11 And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. 12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. 13 Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. 14 But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof. 1 Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations. 2 For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth herbs. 3 Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him. 4 Who art thou that judgest another man's servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.


If the "LISTEN NOW" link does not work, copy this URL into your browser: http://www.orthodox.net/sermons/great-lent-sunday-before-great-lent-05_2012-02-25+sunday-of-forgiveness+now-it-is-high-time-to-awake-out-of-sleep_romans13-11-14-4.m3u

If this file does not work for you, try the direct link to the actual mp3 file:http://www.orthodox.net/sermons/great-lent-sunday-before-great-lent-05_2012-02-25+sunday-of-forgiveness+now-it-is-high-time-to-awake-out-of-sleep_romans13-11-14-4.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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Do not make friends because of evil & Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. Week of the Last Judgment: Thursday

Sunday, February 26th, 2012

LISTEN NOW

Synopsis: The week before Great Lent begins, we visit the Passion of the Lord; we will of course look at it in great detail Holy Week. The account of the passion is so full and rich that we learn something new from it every time we read it. Today we look at the friendship of Herod and Pilate – it has much to teach us about our friendships. We also look at Jesus' last great teaching by example: "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do."

More homilies on the weeks before great Lent are HERE

Homilies on Forgiveness Sunday (Cheesefare) are HERE

Homilies on the first Sundday of great Lent are HERE

Luke 23:2-34, 44-56 2 And they began to accuse him, saying, We found this fellow perverting the nation, and forbidding to give tribute to Caesar, saying that he himself is Christ a King. 3 And Pilate asked him, saying, Art thou the King of the Jews? And he answered him and said, Thou sayest it. 4 Then said Pilate to the chief priests and to the people, I find no fault in this man. 5 And they were the more fierce, saying, He stirreth up the people, teaching throughout all Jewry, beginning from Galilee to this place. 6 When Pilate heard of Galilee, he asked whether the man were a Galilaean. 7 And as soon as he knew that he belonged unto Herod's jurisdiction, he sent him to Herod, who himself also was at Jerusalem at that time. 8 And when Herod saw Jesus, he was exceeding glad: for he was desirous to see him of a long season, because he had heard many things of him; and he hoped to have seen some miracle done by him. 9 Then he questioned with him in many words; but he answered him nothing. 10 And the chief priests and scribes stood and vehemently accused him. 11 And Herod with his men of war set him at nought, and mocked him, and arrayed him in a gorgeous robe, and sent him again to Pilate. 12 And the same day Pilate and Herod were made friends together: for before they were at enmity between themselves. 13 And Pilate, when he had called together the chief priests and the rulers and the people, 14 Said unto them, Ye have brought this man unto me, as one that perverteth the people: and, behold, I, having examined him before you, have found no fault in this man touching those things whereof ye accuse him: 15 No, nor yet Herod: for I sent you to him; and, lo, nothing worthy of death is done unto him. 16 I will therefore chastise him, and release him. 17 (For of necessity he must release one unto them at the feast.) 18 And they cried out all at once, saying, Away with this man, and release unto us Barabbas: 19 (Who for a certain sedition made in the city, and for murder, was cast into prison.) 20 Pilate therefore, willing to release Jesus, spake again to them. 21 But they cried, saying, Crucify him, crucify him. 22 And he said unto them the third time, Why, what evil hath he done? I have found no cause of death in him: I will therefore chastise him, and let him go. 23 And they were instant with loud voices, requiring that he might be crucified. And the voices of them and of the chief priests prevailed. 24 And Pilate gave sentence that it should be as they required. 25 And he released unto them him that for sedition and murder was cast into prison, whom they had desired; but he delivered Jesus to their will. 26 And as they led him away, they laid hold upon one Simon, a Cyrenian, coming out of the country, and on him they laid the cross, that he might bear it after Jesus. 27 And there followed him a great company of people, and of women, which also bewailed and lamented him. 28 But Jesus turning unto them said, Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me, but weep for yourselves, and for your children. 29 For, behold, the days are coming, in the which they shall say, Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bare, and the paps which never gave suck. 30 Then shall they begin to say to the mountains, Fall on us; and to the hills, Cover us. 31 For if they do these things in a green tree, what shall be done in the dry? 32 And there were also two other, malefactors, led with him to be put to death. 33 And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left. 34 Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots. 44 And it was about the sixth hour, and there was a darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour. 45 And the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst. 46 And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost. 47 Now when the centurion saw what was done, he glorified God, saying, Certainly this was a righteous man. 48 And all the people that came together to that sight, beholding the things which were done, smote their breasts, and returned. 49 And all his acquaintance, and the women that followed him from Galilee, stood afar off, beholding these things. 50 And, behold, there was a man named Joseph, a counsellor; and he was a good man, and a just: 51 (The same had not consented to the counsel and deed of them;) he was of Arimathaea, a city of the Jews: who also himself waited for the kingdom of God. 52 This man went unto Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. 53 And he took it down, and wrapped it in linen, and laid it in a sepulchre that was hewn in stone, wherein never man before was laid. 54 And that day was the preparation, and the sabbath drew on. 55 And the women also, which came with him from Galilee, followed after, and beheld the sepulchre, and how his body was laid. 56 And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the sabbath day according to the commandment.


If the "LISTEN NOW" link does not work, copy this URL into your browser: http://www.orthodox.net/sermons/great-lent-week-before-great-lent-06-thursday_2012-02-23+do-not-make-friends-because-of-evil+father-forgive-them-for-they-know-not-what-they-do_luke23-2-34,44-56.m3u

If this file does not work for you, try the direct link to the actual mp3 file:http://www.orthodox.net/sermons/great-lent-week-before-great-lent-06-thursday_2012-02-23+do-not-make-friends-because-of-evil+father-forgive-them-for-they-know-not-what-they-do_luke23-2-34,44-56.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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Forty Days for Life McKinney Texas, Feb 22 – April 1, 7am – 7pm

Saturday, February 25th, 2012


At:

Planned Parenthood 1720 W Eldorado Pky, Ste 106, McKinney, TX 75069

 

A nationwide prayer vigil to end legal abortion and heal all those involved in abortion.

 

* * * * * * * * * * * *

 

Orthodox Christians will gather to be the only guaranteed prayer support on the following days and times.

 

Mar 6, Tue, 7am-7 pm


Mar 17, Sat 7am – 3pm

 

* * * * * * * * * * * *

HOW TO VOLUNTEER:

 

A Public Calendar has been set up. You may use it to look at staffing for the two “Orthodox days”.

 

1.     Please go: http://tinyurl.com/orthodox40dayscal

2.     You will see a full month calendar displaying. Set the Display to “Week” or “Day” using the link at the top right, and the arrows at the top left to display Mar 6 or Mar 17

3.     You can come at any time, but if you can, please look for blocks where there are less than 2 people signed up. 

4.     Note the times you want to sign up for and send email/call/text Fr Seraphim.  Please include your email, which not be published, but will used to correspond with you and confirm the times you are signed up for.

 

* * * * * * * * * * * *

 

Perhaps you wonder "what in the world will I do there for a whole hour"? It is quite simple to pray the Jesus prayer quietly or silently. The "Akathist for a woman who has had an abortion", and the Supplicatory canon to the Theotokos will be available. The Lenten hours, with a litany for the unborn and those who are wounded by abortion inserted will be prayed at appropriate intervals.

 

* * * * * * * * * * * *

Planned Parenthood is Located in the business strip at the northeast corner of Medical Center Dr. and Eldorado Pkwy.  Please do NOT park or enter the property (business strip) where Planned Parenthood is located. You may park at the Steak and Shake across the street. Stay on the public sidewalk. 

 

http://tinyurl.com/orthodox40dayscal  

http://www.40daysforlife.com/mckinney/

http://www.orthodox.net/journal/2012-02-25-mckinney-forty-days-for-life.pdf

 

Contact:         Priest Seraphim Holland, St Nicholas Orthodox Church, McKinney TX

Fr Seraphim will be onsite all day.

Email: seraphim@orthodox.net

Phone/text: 972-658-5433

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Cheesefare Wednesday Feb 9/22 2012 Joel 2.12-16; Joel 3.12-21

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

There is no Divine Liturgy on this day. We are getting very close to Great Lent now.

Joel 2.12-16 at the Sixth Hour

The time of Great Lent should be a period or repentance and change. This reading from Joel sums it up quite well: “Now therefore saith the Lord: Be converted to me with all your heart, in fasting, and in weeping, and in mourning. 13 And rend your hearts, and not your garments, and turn to the Lord your God: for he is gracious and merciful, patient and rich in mercy, and ready to repent of the evil.” (Vs 12,13)

 

This explains the purpose of fasting – to be converted. Fasting helps us to “turn to the Lord … God”, for various physical and spiritual reasons. Of course, fasting must be coupled with prayer and repentance, or else the faster will only be hungry. Try fasting with seriousness and vigor, and you will understand.

 

How do we “rend our hearts”?  The text tells us to do this instead of rending (tearing) our garments. The Jews would rend their garments when they heard blasphemy. We must rend our hearts when we fall from the way of truth, because of our sins, passions, habits, stupidity. We must develop a soft and emotive heart, which feels the blackness and coldness of sin.  This is not an exercise in self-loathing, as the West misunderstands (and either focuses too much on depravity or ignores sin because it is too difficult to emotionally bear), but the ability to feel pain in the heart because of sin, whether it be one’s own or that of others. This pain in our heart should lead us towards the Great Physician, the Only One who can assuage our pain, and it should motivate and help us to in some small way emulate the Great Physician in helping others wounded like ourselves.

 

23 And you, O children of Sion, rejoice, and be joyful in the Lord your God: because he hath given you a teacher of justice, and he will make the early and the latter rain to come down to you as in the beginning. 24 And the floors shall be filled with wheat, and the presses shall overflow with wine and oil.

 

The preceding refers to the Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. The “latter rain” is the Holy Spirit.

 

“And I will restore to you the ears which the locust, and the bruchus, and the mildew, and the palmerworm have eaten; my great host which I sent upon you. 26 And you shall eat in plenty, and shall be filled: and you shall praise the name of the Lord your God, who hath done wonders with you, and my people shall not be confounded for ever.”

 

Here is the outlook we should have in Lent. There must be expectation. The passage is describing the restoration of Israel, but for we Christians, this is the restoration and healing of the human soul. We must feel the pain to see the gain.

Joel 3:12-21 VESPERS

Joel tells his people to “Put ye in the sickles, for the harvest is ripe” (13), and I cannot help but read this in the context of being on the threshold of Great Lent. Truly, this is a time to “put in the sickle” and harvest the virtues. God will help them grow, but we must put in the time and effort. The beginning of Lent should be a time of excitement, expectation. It is a time to work. May God “cause the growth”.

 

From the most recent Prison Ministry Letter:

http://www.orthodox.net/prison-ministry/prison-ministry-pastoral-letter-2012-02-14+readings-for-cheesefare-and-clean-week.html

http://www.orthodox.net/prison-ministry/prison-ministry-pastoral-letter-2012-02-14+readings-for-cheesefare-and-clean-week.doc

http://www.orthodox.net/prison-ministry/prison-ministry-pastoral-letter-2012-02-14+readings-for-cheesefare-and-clean-week.pdf

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Cheesefare Tuesday Feb 8/21 2012 Jude .1-10 Luke 22.39-42, 45-23.1

Tuesday, February 21st, 2012

Here is an excerpt from the most recent prison ministry letter (http://www.orthodox.net/prison-ministry/prison-ministry-pastoral-letter-2012-02-14+readings-for-cheesefare-and-clean-week.doc which I sent out last week. I try to comment a little bit about the daily scriptures. Please read them. The commentary today is on Jude 1-10 and Luke 22.39-42, 45-23.1.

Jude 1-10

This first thing to notice is how Jude addresses himself. He was the son of Joseph the Betrothed, who, you will remember, was a widower when he was called to be betrothed to the Theotokos and be her protector.  He always referred to himself as “the brother of James”, who was known as the “brother f the Lord”. The story of how he gained this appellation also tells us why Jude, with his great humility, referred to himself as subordinate to his brother.

 

Note that Jude was one of the 12 apostles, but James was not – he was of the Seventy. The Brother of the Lord, however, was also with the Lord during his earthly ministry, and, like James, grew up with him. After the resurrection, he was appointed Bishop of Jerusalem – at a time when Jerusalem was filled with the twelve Apostles! He was well respected and loved, and wrote one of the most important epistles of the NT (and most maligned, because it says in plain “English” that we cannot be saved without works (“faith without works is dead”, and this dogma does not set well with those who are in thrall to the new doctrines promulgated since Luther and the reformers). It was said that his knees looked like those of a camel, because of his many prostrations, and he was a lifelong virgin. He died a martyr, and quite early, being thrown off a building by the (unbelieving) Jews, and having his head crushed by a blow.

 

Here is the story. When Joseph was old, he wished to divide his property to his four sons – Rueben, James and Jude, and also Jesus, whom he counted as a son, although he knew (and his family too) that He was not his natural father. Jude protested, and James offered to give Jesus his portion. For this one act of kindness and love, James is remembered as the “brother of the Lord”, and Jude forever remembering his sin, referred to himself humbly as the “brother of James”.

 

Do not be afraid to let your past sins humble you. If you forget where you came from, you will lose your way. We should not wallow in our sins, and “forgiving ourselves” can be difficult, but we must remember that we have sinned grievously in the past, and this knowledge will help keep us humble. If we gain true humility, we will “forgive ourselves’ too, but we will never forget who we were before.

 

The Apostle Peter also remembered his denial of the Lord, and when he was crucified, considered himself unworthy to be crucified in the same way his Lord was, ands asked to be crucified upside down. The is not doubt that these great apostles, Jude and Peter, repented fully of their sins, but in their humility they remembered them.

 

It is clear that heresies began to assail the church very early, and Jude makes a general reference to them, and in so doing describes the basic content of most heresies: “For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ” (Jude 1:4)

 

There is more here, and in time we can discuss it, but we must move on.

Luke 22:39-42, 45-23:1

Our Lord’s prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane shows His divine and human will. He was not a madman – His human flesh did not want to suffer, but He gave His human will over to the will of God, as an example of what we must do: “Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.” (Vs. 42). May god help us to emulate this. It is always best to seek the will of God and do it. Our will, when separated from God, will ALWAYS be wrong.

 

A little historical note. The one who stuck the servant of the high priest was Peter. (Vs. 50) He was identified in St John’s Gospel[1]. When St John’s gospel was written, the need for secrecy (to protect Peter) has ceased.

 

This passage also talks about Peter’s denial of the Lord. He denied him because he was afraid. Fear has overtaken great men before. Remember that Elias, after killing all the prophets of Baal, ran away because he was afraid of Jezebel.  Since Peter has great love for the Lord, and was true to His teaching, he overcame this great sin. This was because of his courage. He went out and wept, but he did not run away and hang himself as Judas did. Like any man, Peter was a mixed up combination of fear and courage, sin and sanctity. We are like him as regards sin and fear, but will we emulate his courage?

 

“70 Then said they all, Art thou then the Son of God? And he said unto them, Ye say that I am.”

 

The Jews considered the lord to have committed blasphemy because He unambiguously called himself God. The words “I am” are the way  God describes himself – He is. He did not begin, He will not end, He is. Jesus assertion concerning himself directly refers to the verse in Exodus that any Jew would know: “And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.(Exodus 3:14 KJV). The pre-incarnate Jesus was the one who spoke to Moses, according to our tradition.



[1] John 18:10 KJV  Then Simon Peter having a sword drew it, and smote the high priest's servant, and cut off his right ear. The servant's name was Malchus.

 

 

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Electronic Newsletter February 6 / 19 Sunday of the Last Judgment

Monday, February 20th, 2012

 



St. Nicholas Orthodox Church
,

McKinney, Texas

Electronic Newsletter

February 6 / 19  

Sunday of the Last Judgment

Announcements

"Mighty Mites" Collection

Prayer Requests

Schedule of Divine Services in the Coming week

Fasting in the Coming week


Announcements

Please plan to attend Forgiveness Vespers this coming Sunday evening. This is the first service of Great Lent, and ends with an opportunity to ask forgiveness of one another.

The Diocese of Chicago and Mid-America Youth Committee is hosting a Lenten Retreat on the weekend of the Sunday commemorating St. Mary of Egypt (Friday evening, 3/30 – Sunday, 4/1).  This event is open to all Orthodox Christian youth of college and graduate student age.  See thediocesan website for more information.

The Diocese of Chicago and Mid-America announces open registration for a pilgrimmage this fall to the Holy Land led by Bishop Peter.  The pilgrimmage will take place between Sept. 14 and Sept. 28 and will include the feast days of the Nativity of the Theotokos and the Elevation of the Holy and Life-Creating Cross.  For further information, see the diocesan website.

We will be holding a Pysanky class every Saturday from February 11th through March 31st, from 1pm – 4pm. If you are interested in participating, you are encouraged to buy you own Kitski set, which is available for $20 if you order it through Matushka Marina. You will also need to bring your own eggs in a cardboard carton. Contact Matushka Marina for further information.

As you know, our deck has been completed, and is a wonderful addition to our facility. We need to complete the work by cleaning and sealing the deck as soon as possible. Please contact Fr. Seraphim or Dn. Nicholas if you can help with this work.

Our parish has a brotherhood, named in honor of St. John of San Francisco. It's mission is one of both service and fellowship, and one of its roles is to help with tasks that need to be done around our building and grounds. So far our membership is very small, however. If you are interested in joining the brotherhood, please contact Dn. Nicholas. 


"Mighty Mites" Collection

This week we collected $65 for a gift for our Bishop Peter.

Next week we will collect for RACS (http://racssf.org/)


Prayer Requests

For the Health and Salvation.

  • Alexandra (4 y/o girl wih brain cancer)
  • Priests Jean and Grégoire and all the faithful and suffering of Haiti,  and our sponsored household: Catherine and her family.

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


Schedule of Divine Services in the Coming week

Monday 2/21

  • 7PM Molieben

Wednesday 2/23

  • 7PM Vespers

Thursday 2/24

  • 9AM Divine Liturgy

Saturday 2/26

  • 4PM Confession
  • 5PM Vigil

Sunday 2/27.

  • 10AM  Divine Liturgy
  • 12:45PM Adult and Elementary Classes.
  • 6:00PM Forgiveness Vespers

Fasting in the Coming week

This is Cheesefare week. Meat is no longer eaten until Pascha. All other foods are allowed every day this week, including dairy products and eggs.

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Sunday of the Last Judgment (Meatfare Sunday). Our Father will come to us in our repentance, and He will question us about our changes.

Monday, February 20th, 2012

The Last Judgment

Synopsis: The Sunday of the Last Judgment gives the 3rd piece of important information to us in our preparation for Great Lent. We have learned that to be saved one must not judge others, and feel the weight of personal sins and ask God for mercy. We have seen the process of repentance, from the onset of sin, its destructive affects, self-realization of sin, and the importance process to "arise and go" to our Father, and the critical detail, without which we would never complete our repentance and be saved – our Father will go to us, as we are trying to change, and comfort us and empower us to complete the good work we have started. Today's Gospel about the last judgment shows the end result of true repentance, and also the "flip side" – the outcome for those who do not repent. It is a frightening spectacle, and not a pleasant one to meditate upon, but absolute necessary for us to remember. Lets us talk about how Jesus Christ came the first time, how His second coming will be, and what we must do to hear the blessed words: " Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world".

More homilies on the Sunday of the Last Judgment are HEREThe Last judgment

Matthew 25:31-46 31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: 32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: 33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. 34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: 36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. 37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? 38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? 39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? 40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. 41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: 42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: 43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. 44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? 45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. 46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.


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“Meat commendeth us not to God” exegesis of epistle reading for Meatfare Sunday.

Sunday, February 19th, 2012

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Synopsis: Perhaps one of the best remembered scriptures among those who do not fast and do not read the scripture much is the well known phrase of Saint Paul: "But meat commendeth us not to God: for neither, if we eat, are we the better; neither, if we eat not, are we the worse." We look at the context of this true statement, and its application to our day. The entire passage is about sensitivity to our brother's weakness, and how the phrase "when ye sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ" is quite similar to the one in today' Gospel: " ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me" We also discuss why we fast – it is a natural requirement of our human nature, and is an easy and readily available way to train ourselves in self-control. Without self-control, we cannot make any progress in the spiritual life.

More homilies on the sunday of the Last Judgment, Meatfare are HERE

1 Corinthians 8:8-9:2 8 But meat commendeth us not to God: for neither, if we eat, are we the better; neither, if we eat not, are we the worse. 9 But take heed lest by any means this liberty of your's become a stumblingblock to them that are weak. 10 For if any man see thee which hast knowledge sit at meat in the idol's temple, shall not the conscience of him which is weak be emboldened to eat those things which are offered to idols; 11 And through thy knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died? 12 But when ye sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ. 13 Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend. 1 Am I not an apostle? am I not free? have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? are not ye my work in the Lord? 2 If I be not an apostle unto others, yet doubtless I am to you: for the seal of mine apostleship are ye in the Lord.


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