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Weekly Sunday Bulletin-March 20, 2016

 

Sunday of OrthodoxyMarch 20, 2016

Sunday of Orthodoxy

 

For more than one hundred years the Church of Christ was troubled by the persecution of the Iconoclasts of evil belief, beginning in the reign of Leo the Isaurian (717-741) and ending in the reign of Theophilus (829-842). After Theophilus’s death, his widow the Empress Theodora (celebrated Feb. 11), together with the Patriarch Methodius (June 14), established Orthodoxy anew. This ever-memorable Queen venerated the icon of the Mother of God in the presence of the Patriarch Methodius and the other confessors and righteous men, and openly cried out these holy words: “If anyone does not offer relative reverence to the holy icons, not adoring them as though they were gods, but venerating them out of love as images of the archetype, let him be anathema.” Then with common prayer and fasting during the whole first week of the Forty-day Fast, she asked God’s forgiveness for her husband. After this, on the first Sunday of the Fast, she and her son, Michael the Emperor, made a procession with all the clergy and people and restored the holy icons, and again adorned the Church of Christ with them. This is the holy deed that all we the Orthodox commemorate today, and we call this radiant and venerable day the Sunday of Orthodoxy, that is, the  triumph of true doctrine over heresy.

 

First Sunday of Lent – Sunday of Orthodoxy

There are three major Christian denominations in the world today: Orthodoxy, Roman Catholicism and Protestanism. Each has its own customs and traditions. The Protestant Churches have eliminated most of their customs, traditions and symbols during the last 400 years. The Roman Catholics adorn their Churches with religious statues. Orthodox Christians grace their Churches with Holy Icons. Iconography (the painting of Holy pictures) does not have as its aim to reproduce a saint or an incident from the Gospel or the lives of the saints, but rather to express them symbolically, to impart to them a spiritual character. In Byzantine Iconography the saint is not represented as he is in actual life, that is naturalistically, but as he is now in the heavenly kingdom, as he is in eternity. This is called Liturgical art.

A noted writer once said about our art as he visited our most famous Church (St.Sophia which is now in the hands of the Turks in Constantinople), “Below the dome of St. Sophia I felt that the Byzantine idea has a world wide mission. Never in all the evolution of human art have painters succeeded in spreading the heaven before us so superbly, so truly, so profoundly at no other time did the feeling of rhythm and artistic knowledge find such a mature expression; at no time was art so living and real.” Western painters paint with their eyes’ the Byzantine painters paint with their heart and soul.

These Holy pictures called Icons have always graced our Churches since the Apostolic age. During the seventh century, a Byzantine Emperor attempted to remove all Icons from our Churches believing that Icons should not be worshiped but only God. He actually succeeded in doing away with the Icons, and for over 150 years Orthodox Christians were banned from using Icons in any  shape or form in the Churches and on March 11, 843 AD a great celebration was held in the Church of St. Sophia. There was a great meeting held during that period which defined the position of the Icon in Orthodox worship. The Icons produce within us a sense of repentance of our sins which sanctifies our soul. They are spiritual mirrors through which we see the Heavenly Saints. They are the symbol of our faith in Jesus Christ in accordance with our Orthodox tradition. This is why this Sunday of the restoration of the Icons in our Churches is called “Sunday of Orthodoxy” It is truly a victory for Orthodoxy which has withstood for almost 2000 years. The Sunday of Orthodoxy is celebrated all over the world and is one of the most important feast days of our Faith.

(Lives of the Saints and Major Feast Days by Rev. Fr. George Poulos)

Parish Council on Duty:               

John Argiropoulos, John Ioannou, Jr., Tony Maiorana,  Anna Merkel, Demetri Rapanos, Mark Zaden, Kathy Ziegler

Weekly Sunday Bulletin-March 13, 2016

Forgiveness Sunday

The Holy Fathers have appointed the commemoration of Adam’s exile from the Paradise of delight here, on the eve of the holy Forty-day Fast, demonstrating to us not by simple words, but by actual deeds, how beneficial fasting is for man, and how harmful and destructive are insatiety and the transgressing of the divine commandments. For the first commandment that God gave to man was that of fasting, which the first-fashioned received but did not keep; and not only did they not become gods, as they had imagined, but they lost even that blessed life which they had, and they fell into corruption and death, and transmitted these and innumerable other evils to all of mankind. The God-bearing Fathers set these things before us today, that by bringing to mind what we have fallen from, and what we have suffered because of the insatiety and disobedience of the first-fashioned, we might be diligent to return again to that ancient bliss and glory by means of fasting and obedience to all the divine commands. Taking occasion from today’s Gospel (Matt. 6:14-21) to begin the Fast unencumbered by enmity, we also ask forgiveness this day, first from God, then from one another and all creation.

 

Parish Council on duty:

 

Basil Economou, Michael Fossler, George Georgakakis, Harry Tangalakis, Marion Koliniatis

Weekly Sunday Bulletin – 10th Sunday of Matthew

Dormition of the TheotokosAugust 17, 2014

In birth, you preserved your virginity; in death, you did not abandon the world, O Theotokos. As mother of life, you departed to the source of life, delivering our souls from death by your intercessions.

Apolytikion in the First Tone

Apodosis of the Dormition of our Most Holy Lady the Theotokos– August 23

Parish Council on Duty

George Georgakakis, Manny Daskos, James Carras, Eleni Varvoutis, Michael Haralambis,  Michael Fossler, Juanita Antley

Liturgical – 5th Sunday of Matthew

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Apolytikion Ήχος Δ-4

Το φαιδρόν τής αναστάσεως κήρυγμα…
When the tidings of the resurrection from the glorious angel was proclaimed unto the women disciples and our ancestral sentence also had been abolished to the apostles with boasting did they proclaim that death is vanquished ever more and Christ our God has risen from the dead and granted to the world. His great mercy.

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!

Kontakion

Έπί τοϋ Όρους μετεμορφώθης…
You were transfigured upon the mount O Christ our God and Your disciples, in so far as they could bear, beheld Your glory. Thus, when they see You crucified they may understand Your voluntary passion, and proclaim to the world that You are truly the effulgence of the Father.

Memorial

Effie Manolakos (40days) survived by her son, Paul ( Roula) Manolakos and daughter Georgina Stathakis (Manoli) and four grandchildren.

August 1-14 – Paraklesis to the Mother of God

The service of the Small Paraklesis or “Intercessory Prayer” to the Most Holy Theotokos, the Mother of God, is chanted during the Lenten period  of 1 to 14th August, preceding the Feast of the Koimisis or “Falling Asleep” of the Virgin Mary. The service is also chanted as the prefix indicates, “in every tribulation and in sorrow of soul.”

All those

Do you shelter, O Good One,

Those who in their faith flee unto you,

With your strong hand, you protect;

We who sin have no one else,

Who intercedes for us

Before God, praying endlessly,

In ills and all dangers,

For us who are laden with

Our many sins and mistakes;

Mother, of our God in the Highest

Therefore, we fall down to you, humbly;

From all the misfortunes, keep your servants safe.

Epistle Reading

St. Paul’s Letter to the Romans 10:1-10

BRETHREN, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved. I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but it is not enlightened. For, being ignorant of the righteousness that comes from God, and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness. For Christ is the end of the law, that every one who has faith may be justified. Moses writes that the man who practices the righteousness which is based on the law shall live by it. But the righteousness based on faith says, Do not say in your heart, “Who will ascend into heaven?” (that is, to bring Christ down) or “Who will descend into the abyss?” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). But what does it say? The word is near you, on your lips and in your heart (that is, the word of faith which we preach); because, if you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For man believes with his heart and so is justified, and he confesses with his lips and so is saved.

Gospel Reading

Matthew 8:28-34; 9:1
5th Sunday of Matthew

 At that time, when Jesus came to the other side, to the country of the Gergesenes, two demoniacs met him, coming out of the tombs, so fierce that no one would pass that way. And behold, they cried out, “What have you to do with us, O Son of God? Have you come here to torment us before the time?” Now a herd of many swine was feeding at some distance from them. And the demons begged him, “If you cast us out, send us away into the herd of swine.” And he said to them, “Go.” So they came out and went into the swine; and behold, the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the sea, and perished in the waters. The herdsmen fled, and going into the city they told everything, and what had happened to the demoniacs. And behold, all the city came out to meet Jesus; and when they saw him, they begged him to leave their neighborhood. And getting into a boat he crossed over and came to his own city.

Liturgical – St. Mary of Egypt

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Apolytikion Ήχος Πλ. A – 5th

Τόν συνάναρχον λόγον…
Eternal with the Father and the Spirit is the Word, Who of a Virgin was begotten for our salvation. As the faithful we both praise and worship Him, for in the flesh, did He consent to ascend unto the Cross, and death did He endure and He raised unto life the dead through His all glorious resurrection.

Apolytikion for St. Mary of Egypt

Εν σοί Μήτερ ακριβώς…
God’s image was perfectly preserved in you, O Mother. For, taking up the Cross you followed Christ. You taught us by example to disdain the flesh, a passing thing, but to see the soul which is immortal. Wherefore, O holy Mary, your spirit rejoices with the angels.

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!

Kontakion

Τῇ ὑπερμάχῳ Στρατηγῷ τὰ νικητήρια…
To you, Theotokos, invincible Defender, having been delivered from peril, I your city, dedicate the victory festival as a thank offering. In your irresistible might, keep me safe from all trials, that I may call out to you: “Hail, unwedded bride!”

 

Memorials

Maria Konstantinidis (1yr) survived by her husband, her siblings, 3 children and 8 grandchildren

Trisagia

Caliope survived by her cousin Gari Paticopoulos

Maria Mouskos Lysantratos (7yrs) survived by her husband Apostolos, 2 sons , 1 grandchild , her parents and brother

5th Sunday of Lent– St. Mary of Egypt

When Mary was only twelve years old, she left her parents and departed to Alexandria, where she lived a depraved life for seventeen years. Then, moved by curiosity, she went with many pilgrims to Jerusalem, that she might see the Exaltation of the venerable Cross. Even in the Holy City she gave herself over to every kind of licentiousness and drew many into the depth of perdition. Desiring to go into the church on the day of the Exaltation of the Cross, time and again she perceived a certain invisible power preventing her entrance, whereas the multitude of people about her entered unhindered. Therefore, wounded in heart by this, she decided to change her way of life and reconcile herself to God by means of repentance. Invoking our Lady the Theotokos as her protectress, she asked her to open the way for her to worship the Cross, and vowed that she would renounce the world. And thus, returning once again to the church, she entered easily. When she had worshipped the precious Wood, she departed that same day from Jerusalem and passed over the Jordan. She went into the inner wilderness and for forty-seven years lived a most harsh manner of life, surpassing human strength; alone, she prayed to God alone. Toward the end of her life, she met a certain hermit named Zosimas, and she related to him her life from the beginning. She requested of him to bring her the immaculate Mysteries that she might partake of them. According to her request, he did this the following year on Holy and Great Thursday. One year after this, Zosimas again went thither and found her dead, laid upon the ground, and letters written in the sand near her which said: “Abba Zosimas, bury here the body of wretched Mary. I died on the very day I partook of the immaculate Mysteries. Pray for me.” Her death is reckoned by some to have taken place in 378, by some, in 437, and by others, in 522. She is commemorated also on the Fifth Sunday of Great Lent. Her life was recorded by Saint Sophronius of Jerusalem.

The Prayer of St. Ephrem the Syrian

O Lord and Master of my life! Take from me the spirit of sloth, Faint-heartedness, lust of power, and idle talk.

But give rather the spirit of chastity, humility, patience, love to Thy servant.

Yes, O Lord and King! Grant me to see my own errors And not to judge my brother; For you are blessed unto ages of ages.

Amen

Scripture Readings

Epistle Reading

St. Paul’s Letter to the Hebrews 9:11-14

BRETHREN, when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation) he entered once for all into the Holy Place, taking not the blood of goats and calves but his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption. For if the sprinkling of defiled persons with the blood of goats and bulls and with the ashes of a heifer sanctifies for the purification of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify your conscience from dead works to serve the living God.

Gospel Reading

Mark 10:32-45
Sunday of St. Mary of Egypt

At that time, Jesus taking the twelve again, he began to tell them what was to happen to him, saying, “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man will be delivered to the chief priests and the scribes, and they will condemn him to death, and deliver him to the Gentiles; and they will mock him, and spit upon him, and scourge him, and kill him; and after three days he will rise.” And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came forward to him, and said to him, “Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you.” And he said to them, “What do you want me to do for you?” And they said to him, “Grant us to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your glory.” But Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or to be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?” And they said to him, “We are able.” And Jesus said to them, “The cup that I drink you will drink; and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized; but to sit at my right hand or at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared.” And when the ten heard it, they began to be indignant of James and John. And Jesus called them to him and said to them, “You know that those who are supposed to rule over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. But it shall not be so among you; but whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. For the Son of man also came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Liturgical – Sunday of St. John Climacus

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Apolytikion Ήχος Δ-4

Το φαδρόν τής αναςάσεως κήρυγμα…
When the tidings of the resurrection from the glorious angel was proclaimed unto the women disciples and our ancestral sentence also had been abolished to the apostles with boasting did they proclaim that death is vanquished ever more and Christ our God has risen from the dead and granted to the world. His great mercy.

Apolytikion for St. John Climacus

Ταίς τών δακρύων σου ροαίς…
With the rivers of your tears, you have made fertile the barren desert. Through sighs of sorrow from deep within you, your labors have borne fruit a hundredfold. By your miracles, you have become a light shining upon the world. O John, our Holy Father, intercede to Christ our God to save our souls.

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!

Kontakion

Τῇ ὑπερμάχῳ Στρατηγῷ τὰ νικητήρια…
To you, Theotokos, invincible Defender, having been delivered from peril, I your city, dedicate the victory festival as a thank offering. In your irresistible might, keep me safe from all trials, that I may call out to you: “Hail, unwedded bride!”

 

Memorials

Ernest Constantine (40days) survived by his sister Kalliope Hanlon

Maria Duddleston (40days) survived by her husband Frank, niece Anastasia Arvantitis and Loukia Richardson

Martha Sellas (40days) survived by her children Eleni Uher, Marilyn McClory, and George; granddaughter Nicole and great-grandaughter Alexa

Perry Valentine (40days) nephew and cousin of Betty and Mona Monezis

Costas Pappas (1yr) survived by his wife Anastasia and children John and Andy and siblings Louis, Niko, Christina, Betty and Eleni and family

Trisagia

Constantine Marchelos (3yrs) survived by his children Adrianne and Nick Diakonikolas, Spiro and Nikki Marchelos, Louis and Martha Marchelos,  grandchildren Irene (Tommy) Drivas, Vasiliki Victoria, Marionna and Stephanie and 2 great-grandchildren

Nicholas Stamm (9yrs) survived by his wife Pauline sons Perry and Anthony (Kathi) , daughter Pamela, 6 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren

St. John Climacus (St. John of the Ladder)

On this Sunday of Great Lent, we remember St. John Climacus or St. John of the Ladder. He was the abbot of the Monastery of St. Katherine on Mt. Sinai during the seventh century. St. John wrote The Ladder of Divine Ascent, which is a guide to ascetic living (living a spiritually disciplined life). This book is read in every Orthodox monastery during Great Lent. In this book, St. John writes about 33 rungs of the ladder we climb in our ascent to heaven. Each rung represents a different Christian virtue (obedience, repentance, love, humility, etc.).

In today’s Gospel passage, we are shown that through faith in Christ all things are possible. We too need to cry as the father in today’s Gospel, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief.” Furthermore, this passage reveals that faith to conquer our demons comes only from prayer and fasting. At this point, Christ begins to reveal to the disciples about His upcoming suffering. St. John of the Ladder is commemorated on the Fourth Sunday of Lent. His Feast Day is on March 30.

The Prayer of St. Ephrem the Syrian

O Lord and Master of my life! Take from me the spirit of sloth, Faint-heartedness, lust of power, and idle talk.

But give rather the spirit of chastity, humility, patience, love to Thy servant.

Yes, O Lord and King! Grant me to see my own errors And not to judge my brother; For you are blessed unto ages of ages.

Amen

Scripture Readings

Epistle Reading

St. Paul’s Letter to the Hebrews 6:13-20

BRETHREN, when God made a promise to Abraham, since he had no one greater by whom to swear, he swore to himself, saying, “Surely I will bless you and multiply you.” And thus Abraham, having patiently endured, obtained the promise. Men indeed swear by a greater than themselves, and in all their disputes an oath is final for confirmation. So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he interposed with an oath, so that through two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible that God should prove false, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to seize the hope set before us. We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner shrine behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.

Gospel Reading

Mark 9:17-31
Sunday of St. John Climacus

At that time, a man came to Jesus kneeling and saying: “Teacher, I brought my son to you, for he has a dumb spirit; and wherever it seizes him it dashes him down; and he foams and grinds his teeth and becomes rigid; and I asked your disciples to cast it out, and they were not able.” And he answered them, “O faithless generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him to me.” And they brought the boy to him; and when the spirit saw him, immediately it convulsed the boy, and he fell on the ground and rolled about, foaming at the mouth. And Jesus asked his father, “How long has he had this?” And he said, “From childhood. And it has often cast him into the fire and into the water, to destroy him; but if you can do anything, have pity on us and help us.” And Jesus said to him, “If you can! All things are possible to him who believes.” Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!” And when Jesus saw that a crowd came running together, he rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, “You dumb and deaf spirit, I command you, come out of him, and never enter him again.” And after crying out and convulsing him terribly, it came out, and the boy was like a corpse; so that most of them said, “He is dead.” But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose. And when he had entered the house, his disciples asked him privately, “Why could we not cast it out?” And he said to them, “This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer and fasting.” They went on from there and passed through Galilee. And he would not have any one know it; for he was teaching his disciples, saying to them, “The Son of man will be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill him; and when he is killed, after three days he will rise.”