The Liturgical Guide and Bulletin for Sunday, July 23, 2023

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July 23, 2023


7th Sunday of Matthew




Ezekiel the Prophet




The Prophet Ezekiel (“God is strong”) was the son of Buzi and a priest by rank. He was taken captive and brought to Babylon during the reign of Jechonias. In the fifth year of this captivity, about 594 or 593 B.C., he began to prophesy. Having prophesied for about twenty-eight years, he was murdered, it is said, by the tribe of Gad, because he reproached them for their idolatry. His book of prophecy, divided into forty-eight chapters, is ranked third among the greater Prophets. It is richly filled with mystical imagery and marvelous prophetic visions and allegories, of which the dread Chariot of Cherubim described in the first Chapter is the most famous; in the “gate that was shut,” through which the Lord alone entered, he darkly foretold of the Word’s Incarnation from the Virgin (44:1-3); through the “dry bones” that came to life again (37:1-14), he prophesied both of the restoration of captive Israel, and the general resurrection of our race.





Liturgical Guide



Resurrectional Apolytikion in the Plagal Second Mode
Ἀγγελικαὶ Δυνάμεις ἐπὶ τὸ μνῆμά σου…
Angelic powers were above Thy tomb, and they that guarded Thee became as dead.  And Mary stood by the grave seeking Thine immaculate Body.  Thou hast despoiled Hades and wast not tried thereby.  Thou didst meet the Virgin and didst grant us life. O Thou Who didst arise from the dead, Lord, glory be to Thee.
Reading is under copyright and is used with permission, all rights reserved by: Holy Transfiguration Monastery

Apolytikion for Hieromartyr Phocas in the Fourth Mode
Καί τρόπων μέτοχος, καί θρόνων διάδοχος…
As a sharer of the ways and a successor to the throne of the Apostles, O inspired of God, thou foundest discipline to be a means of ascent to divine vision. Wherefore, having rightly divided the word of truth, thou didst also contest for the Faith even unto blood, O Hieromartyr Phocas. Intercede with Christ our God that our souls be saved.
Reading is under copyright and is used with permission, all rights reserved by: Holy Transfiguration Monastery

Apolytikion of St. Demetrios in the Third Mode
Μέγαν εύρατο εv τοίς κιvδύvοις …
Greatness has been found in danger.  You are champion of the world.  A victor who could turn the nations back.  You boldly encouraged Nestor to defeat Lyaeus in the arena.  Therefore, holy great martyr Demetrios, intercede with Christ our God, to grant us His great mercy.

Seasonal Kontakion in the Second Mode
Προστασία τῶν Χριστιανῶν ἀκαταίσχυντε…
O Protection of Christians that cannot be put to shame, mediation unto the creator most constant:  O despise not the voices of those who have sinned; but be quick, O good one, to come unto our aid, who in faith cry unto thee: Hasten to intercession and speed thou to make supplication,  O thou who dost ever protect, O Theotokos, them that honor thee.
Reading is under copyright and is used with permission, all rights reserved by: Holy Transfiguration Monastery

Epistle Reading



Prokeimenon. Plagal Second Mode. Psalm 27.9,1.
O Lord, save your people and bless your inheritance.
Verse: To you, O Lord, I have cried, O my God.

The reading is from St. Paul’s Letter to the Romans 15:1-7

Brethren, we who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves; let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to edify him. For Christ did not please himself; but, as it is written, “The reproaches of those who reproached thee fell on me.” For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that by steadfastness and by the encouragement of the scriptures we might have hope. May the God of steadfastness and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Welcome one another, therefore, as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.


Gospel Reading


The reading is from Matthew 9:27-35

At that time, as Jesus passed by, two blind men followed him, crying aloud, “Have mercy on us, Son of David.” When he entered the house, the blind men came to him; and Jesus said to them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” They said to him, “Yes, Lord.” Then he touched their eyes, saying, “According to your faith be it done to you.” And their eyes were opened. And Jesus sternly charged them, “See that no one knows it.” But they went away and spread his fame through all that district.As they were going away, behold, a dumb demoniac was brought to him. And when the demon had been cast out, the dumb man spoke; and the crowds marveled, saying, “Never was anything like this seen in Israel.” But the Pharisees said, “He casts out demons by the prince of demons.”And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every disease and every infirmity among the people.




Memorial Prayer


Dimitrios Bakatselos (1 year) survived by his wife Tara, daughters Christina (John), Eleni, and Alexandra, parents Platon and Elefteria, brother Aristotle (Melissa), nieces Demi and Sophia, nephew Christian.

Cypriots who fell for faith and homeland during the July 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus.


Trisagion Prayer


Kyriakos and Eirini Koumides parents of Christina Koumides.








Coffee Hour
In loving memory of Dimitrios “Jimmy” Bakatselos, his family has sponsored Sunday’s coffee hour.

Loving Stitches
We are meeting on Tuesday, July 25 at 11:30am.  Join us for stitching, crafting, lunch, and camaraderie!

Gyro Night
Join us on Saturday, August 19 at 6:30pm for our annual Gyro night.  The meal is complimentary.








Thoughts on Stewardship


Stewardship of our church is really one of those areas where we have indulged the fantasy of magic pills.  Why do we have this community, with this building and this staff and these activities?  In a word, salvation.  This whole business of church—and it behooves us to use the word “business” in this discussion—this whole business of church exists for one reason and one reason only.  To bring you to salvation in Christ Jesus our Lord.  You are here because you understand yourself to be perishing and you seek from God the salvation that you need.

Now, who should pay for your salvation?  You?  Or someone else?  The costs associated with spiritual development: who should bear them?  You?  Or some non-parishioners with a taste for souvlaki and baklava?  Churches have budgets: too often churches try to meet that budget in ways that involve other people’s money.

We make plans to get salvation and to have someone else foot the bill.  Often such plans don’t work so well.  And even when the fund-raising projects succeed, they fail—because they give the parishioners a sense that the working out of their salvation falls to a third party and not utterly on themselves.

There is no magic pill to replace stewardship.  Only dedicated, regular, sacrificial giving of your treasures, proportional to the blessings you receive—only this in the long run serves to fund churches adequately.

It’s a lot to ask.  And the church wouldn’t ask it of you … except it’s the only way.  Nothing else works. Like diet plans that call for no “carbs” or no meat or only salads before 3 pm, quick fixes don’t work for very long.  If you want to lose weight, the only proven approach is the slow steady  lifetime approach of diet and exercise, of sweat and self-discipline.

If you want to have a church, a community with a building to house its worship and its activities, you have to ante up. You have to give—and give a lot.

And you have to give up things you might otherwise like. You have to make your church the top priority in your charitable giving, and not number two or three on the list.

Excerpt of Fr. Mark Sietsema’s sermon:

Stewardship: No Magic Pills



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Sunday               7/23          
8:30am/9:30am                  Orthros/Divine Liturgy
1:15pm                               Bible Study

Tuesday              7/25
11:30am                             Loving Stitches

Sunday               7/30            
8:30am/9:30am                  Orthros/Divine Liturgy
1:15pm                               Bible Study