Selections from Vespers, Liturgical Music Committee of the Diocese of Chicago and Mid-America, Choral Seminar, St. Nicholas Orthodox Church in McKinney, Texas. May 5/18 – 7/20 2012

Video Selections from Vespers
Orthodox Choral Seminar, of the Liturgical Music Committee of the Diocese of Chicago and Mid-America
St. Nicholas Orthodox Church in McKinney, Texas. May 5/18 – 7/20 2012.
Vespers, Sat May 6/19, Psalm 103. Trinity-St. Sergius Lavra Chant. Arr. Priest George Johnson. Conducted by Larissa Kaminsky Sander
Blessed is the Man No. 2 by Kurt (Reader Lawrence) Sander. Directed by Larissa Kaminsky Sander.
O Gladsome Light, melody by St. Elias Skete on Mount Athos. Conducted by Larissa Kaminsky Sander.
Vespers, The Great Prokimenon, Tone 6, Carpatho-Russian Chant. Conducted by Larissa Kaminsky Sander.
Vespers, Paschal Stichera, Tone 5, Znameny Chant, Arr. L. Margitich. Conducted by Larissa Kaminsky Sander.
Prayer of St. Symeon. No. 5 by N.V. Lebedev. Performed by the participants of the Seminar at a live Orthodox service. Conducted by Larissa Kaminsky Sander.
“O Theotokos Virgin, Rejoice”. Tone 4 Kievan Chant and Resurrection Monastery Chant. Performed by the participants of the Seminar at a live Orthodox service. Conducted by Larissa Kaminsky Sander.
End of Vespers, Psalm 33, Archimandrite Matthew. Performed by the participants of the Seminar at a live Orthodox service. Conducted by Larissa Kaminsky Sander.

The Healing of the Blind man – without courage there will never be healing.

What is the most important part of the healing of the blind man story? It is undoubtedly the courage of the blind man and how because of his courage he was brought to full enlightenment and healing. Our healing in Christ will not proceed to completion without personal courage. It does not matter how talented, intelligent or knowledgeable you are, or whether you have more self control than most and your life is in good order or not – without personal courage and willingness to stand up and be a Christian in our post Christian age (a misnomer term, there has never been a “Christian” age, since the world has always been against Christ), you will not be healed of your passions and sins and achieve perfection. The dialogue of the blind man with the Pharisees of his age (every age has them), shows how we incrementally become wiser and sounder in soul as we react to whatever the world brings to is with courage, and with what we know at the time. This is an “every man” kind of story. The blind man had no special talent, nor did he have complete knowledge (his answers showed him growing in knowledge), but he was courageous, and because of this, he gained not only physical eyes, but also spiritual ones. Anyone who is tempted to cave in to the political correctness of this age, which demands certain ways of thinking, speaking and acting, needs to ponder the healing of the blind man in great detail.

“Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.” Commentary by Saint Nicolai Velimirovich, Missionary Letters, Part 1, Letter 9, followed by contemporary commentary.

“Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.” (Mat 10:34)
Thus said the Lord. Read it as if He had said, “I did not come to reconcile truth and lie, wisdom and stupidity, good and evil, justice and violence, bestiality and humanity, God and mammon; but I came to bring a sword so that I may cut and separate one from the other, so they do not mingle” What will you cut with O Lord? …

You will be a missionary…

“You will be a missionary. Let your first rule of missionary work be – praying to God for the apostates.”
St Nicolai Velimirovich, Missionary Letters, Part 1, Letter 4

We had spoken about the 1st Matinal Resurrectional Gospel yesterday in the adult school. The so called “Great Commission” was discussed, and the difference in how Protestants and Orthodox approach, understand and fulfil the Lord’s command: “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations…”

Surely St Nicolai’s admonition is part of that difference. …

She left her waterpot! The extreme humility and faith of the Samaritan Woman.

The story of the woman at the well, St Photini (Svetlana) has an enormous amount of deep and important theology, but the most important part is the personality of the Samaritan woman must be understood an emulated to understand any of it. She was very humble; when the Lord exposed her sin, she stayede with Him to hear more. When she understood Him, she left her waterpot. We esplore these two actions. She was an extremist. We cannot be saved unless we are too.

Two homilies on the 4th Sunday of Pascha. Faith must deal with despondency and the variable relationship of faith to miracles.

Two homilies on the 4th Sunday of Pascha, the Healing of the Paralytic. One on the Gospel, and one on the epistle.

The Healing of the Paralytic by the sheep’s pool has many deep theological concepts in it, but none of this matters if we do not adopt the character and faith of the paralytic. We examine his patience and also his despondency. All true faith must battle with despondency. The paralytic and other examples during this Paschal period, such at the Apostle Thomas and Peter, and the Myrrh bearing women teach us this critical lesson.

Exegesis of Acts 9:32-42, the reading for the 4th Sunday of Pascha. Two miracles of Peter. The variable relationship of faith to miracles.

Just do the right thing. All the time. God will roll away the stone. Myrhbearing Women. Next text homily.

The stoty of the Myrhhbearing women and Joseph and Nikodemus is fundementally about boldness, and doing the right thing, without regard to how it will get done. Here is a small excerpt: To become bold doesn’t mean you do something without being scared. It means you do something despite the fact that you’re scared, or confused, or whatever. That’s what courage is. Courage is to do things regardless of how you feel, and that’s what the Myrrhbearing Women did, and that’s what Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus did, and that’s what we must do. And there will be moments in our life when we have to be bold, not just one, but many moments.