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Apolytikion Ήχος Πλ. Δ – 8th
Εξ ύψους κατήλθες…
From on high did You descend O merciful Lord. For us did You endure three days in the tomb. That we may be, released from passions in this world. You who are our resurrection and our life, glory unto you O Lord!
Apolytikion of St. Demetrios
Μέγαν εύρατο έν τοίς κινδύνοις…
The world found in you a great champion in dangers a victor who could turn the nations back! As you restrained Levi in the arena, you also inspired Nestor to courage! Therefore, holy, great martyr, Demetrios, entreat Christ God to grant us great mercy!
Της σοφίας οδηγέ
O Master, Prudence, Guide of Wisdom, Instruction to the foolish and Defender of the poor, strengthen my heart and grant it discernment. Give me words, Word of the father, for behold, I shall not keep my lips from crying out to You, “O Merciful One, have mercy on me who have fallen.”
Maria Duddleston survived by her husband Frank and niece Anastasia Arvanitis
Elias Tzaneteas reposed in Toronto , survived by his son George, daughter-in- law Dimitra and grandsons Elliot and Paul
Constantin Voicu reposed in Romania, survived by his son Mihai, daughter-in-law Ana and granddaughter Michelle
Mary Anastasiou (1yr) survived by her son Tom, daughter-in-law Ellen and family
Dr. George Mehallis (7yrs) survived by his wife Dr. Mantha Mehallis, son Spero and his wife Rocio and brother Stephen Mehallis and family
James Truman (10yrs)survived by his wife Helen and children Peter, Kathy, Alison and Nicholas
Gerald Hyland (17yrs) survived by his wife Antonia Hyland, daughters Rena Shahan and Elizabeth Hyland and 3 grandchildren
Cheesefare Sunday (Matthew 6:14-21)
The theme of this Sunday refers to the expulsion of Adam from Paradise. Adam in Paradise misused his freedom by allowing himself to be persuaded by the evil one to disobey the command to not eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. The evil one convinced him that by so doing he would know more than God. The Church in its hymnology presents the condition of Adam outside of Paradise as weeping and working hard for his livelihood. The Gospel passage of the day refers to the manner of praying, fasting, almsgiving and all good works. These are to be done in secret, without boasting. The meaning of this Sunday is the condescension of God to the human weakness, “for if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father also will forgive you; but if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” (v. 14-15). This is emphasized in the Lord’s Prayer.,The week (six days) preceding Sunday of Cheese and after Meat Sunday, is the addition to the period of the Great Lent which completes the forty days of fasting (excluding Saturdays and Sundays). The name of this Sunday, “Cheese”, implies that the fast of this week is the gradual transition from eating meat to the strict fast of Lent, which starts the next day, Monday, with the first Sunday of Lent at the end of the preliminary seven days (Sunday of Orthodoxy).
The Significance of Great Lent
Great Lent before Easter is when the Christian participates fully in preparing himself to praise and glorify his God as Lord and Savior. Great Lent is like a “workshop” where the character of the faithful is spiritually uplifted and strengthened; where his life is rededicated to the principles and ideals of the Gospel; where the faith culminates in deep conviction of life; where apathy and disinterest turn into vigorous activities of faith and good works. Lent is not for the sake of Lent itself, as fasting is not for the sake of fasting. But they are means by which and for which the individual believer prepares himself to reach for, accept and attain the calling of his Savior. Therefore, the significance of Great Lent is highly appraised, not only by the monks who gradually increased the length of time of the Lent, but also by the lay people themselves, although they do not observe the full length of time. As such, Great Lent is the sacred Institute of the Church to serve the individual believer in participating as a member of the Mystical Body of Christ, and, from time to time, to improve the standards of faith and morals in his Christian life. The deep intent of the believer during the Great Lent is “forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal of the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus”, Philippians 3:13-14.
The value of fasting consists not in abstinence only from food, but in a relinquishment of sinful practices, since he who limits his fasting only to an abstinence from meat is he who especially disparages it. Do you fast? Give me proof of it by your works. If you see a poor man, take pity on him! If you see a friend enjoying honor, do not envy him. For let not the mouth only fast, but also the eye, and the ear, and the feet, and the hands and all the members of our bodies. Let the hands fast by being pure from avarice. Let the feet fast by ceasing from running to forbidden spectacles. Let the eyes fast by being taught never to fix themselves rudely upon handsome countenances. For looking is the food of the eyes, but if it be unlawful or forbidden it mars the fast and overturns the safety of the soul; but if it be lawful and safe, it adorns fasting. For it would be an instance of the highest absurdity to abstain from meats and from unlawful food because of the fast, but with the eyes to feed on what is forbidden. Do you not eat flesh? Do not feed on licentiousness by means of the eyes. Let the ear fast also. The fasting of the ear is not to receive evil speaking and calumnies. “You shall not receive an idle report,” it says. Let also the mouth fast from foul words. For what does it profit if we abstain from birds and flesh and yet bite and devour our brethren?
St. John Chrysostom, Lenten Homily
St. Paul’s Letter to the Romans 13:11-14; 14:1-4
Brethren, salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed; the night is far gone, the day is at hand. Let us then cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light; let us conduct ourselves becomingly as in the day, not in reveling and drunkenness, not in debauchery and licentiousness, not in quarreling and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.
As for the man who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not for disputes over opinions. One believes he may eat anything, while the weak man eats only vegetables. Let not him who eats despise him who abstains, and let not him who abstains pass judgment on him who eats; for God has welcomed him. Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for God is able to make him stand.
Forgiveness Sunday (Cheesefare)
The Lord said, “If you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father also will forgive you; but if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
“And when you fast, do not look dismal, like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by men. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, that your fasting may not be seen by men but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”