December 20, 2020 ~ Sunday before the Nativity
On the Sunday that occurs on or immediately after the eleventh of this month, we commemorate Christ’s forefathers according to the flesh, both those that came before the Law, and those that lived after the giving of the Law. Special commemoration is made of the Patriarch Abraham, to whom the promise was first given, when God said to him, “In thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed” (Gen. 22:18). This promise was given some two thousand years before Christ, when Abraham was seventy-five years of age. God called him and commanded him to forsake his country, parents, and kinsmen, and to depart to the land of the Canaanites. When he arrived there, God told him, “I will give this land to thy seed” (Gen. 12:7); for this cause, that land was called the “Promised Land,” which later became the country of the Hebrew people, and which is also called Palestine by the historians. There, after the passage of twenty-four years, Abraham received God’s law concerning circumcision. In the one hundredth year of his life, when Sarah was in her ninetieth year, they became the parents of Isaac. Having lived 175 years altogether, he reposed in peace, a venerable elder full of days.
Ignatius the God-Bearer, Bishop of Antioch
Commemorated on December 20
Saint Ignatius was a disciple of Saint John the Theologian, and a successor of the Apostles, and he became the second Bishop of Antioch, after Evodus. He wrote many epistles to the faithful, strengthening them in their confession, and preserving for us the teachings of the holy Apostles. Brought to Rome under Trajan, he was surrendered to lions to be eaten, and so finished the course of martyrdom about the year 107. The remnants of his bones were carefully gathered by the faithful and brought to Antioch. He is called God-bearer, as one who bare God within himself and was aflame in heart with love for Him. Therefore, in his Epistle to the Romans (ch. 4), imploring their love not to attempt to deliver him from his longed-for martyrdom, he said, “I am the wheat of God, and am ground by the teeth of the wild beasts, that I may be found to be the pure bread of God.”
Holy Father John of Kronstadt
Commemorated on December 20
Saint John of Kronstadt was a married priest, who lived with his wife in virginity. Through his untiring labours in his priestly duties and love for the poor and sinners, he was granted by our Lord great gifts of clairvoyance and miracle – working, to such a degree that in the last years of his life miracles of healings – both of body and of soul – were performed countless times each day through his prayers, often for people who had only written to him asking his help. During his lifetime he was known throughout Russia, as well as in the Western world. He has left us his diary My Life in Christ as a spiritual treasure for Christians of every age; simple in language, it expounds the deepest mysteries of our Faith with that wisdom which is given only to a heart purified by the grace of the Holy Spirit. Foreseeing as a true prophet the Revolution Of 1917, he unsparingly rebuked the growing apostasy among the people; he foretold that the very name of Russia would be changed. As the darkness of unbelief grew thicker, he shone forth as a beacon of unquenchable piety, comforting the faithful through the many miracles that he worked and the fatherly love and simplicity with which he received all. Saint John reposed in peace in 1908.
Resurrectional Apolytikion in the Third Mode
Εὐφραινέσθω τὰ οὐράνια…
Let the Heavens rejoice; let earthly things be glad; for the Lord hath wrought might with His arm, He hath trampled upon death by death. The first-born of the dead hath He become. From the belly of Hades hath He delivered us, and hath granted great mercy to the world.
Apolytikion for the Forefeast of the Nativity in the Fourth Mode
Ετοιμάζου Βηθλεέμ, ήνοικται πάσιν η Εδέμ…
Be thou ready, Bethlehem, Eden hath opened unto all. Ephratha, prepare thyself, for now, behold, the Tree of life hath blossomed forth in the cave from the Holy Virgin. Her womb hath proved a true spiritual Paradise, wherein the divine and saving Tree is found, and as we eat thereof we shall all live, and shall not die as did Adam. For Christ is born now to raise the image that had fallen aforetime.
Apolytikion for Sunday before Nativity in the Second Mode
Μεγάλα τὰ τῆς πίστεως κατορθώματα!
Great are the achievements of faith! In the fountain of flame, as by the water of rest, the Three Holy Children rejoiced. And the Prophet Daniel proved a shepherd of lions as of sheep. By their prayers, O Christ our God, save our souls.
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 Third Mode
Ἡ Παρθένος σήμερον, τὸν Προαιώνιον Λόγον…
On this day the Virgin cometh to the cave to give birth to * God the Word ineffably, * Who was before all the ages. * Dance for joy, O earth, on hearing * the gladsome tidings; * with the Angels and the shepherds now glorify Him * Who is willing to be gazed on * as a young Child Who * before the ages is God.
Prokeimenon. Fourth Mode. Daniel 3.26,27.
Blessed are you, O Lord, the God of our fathers.
Verse: For you are just in all you have done.
The reading is from St. Paul’s Letter to the Colossians 1:12-18.
Brethren, we give thanks to the Father who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. He has delivered us from the dominion of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. He is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of all creation; for in him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or authorities – all things were created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. He is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the first-born from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent.
The Reading is from Matthew 1:1-25
The book of the Genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.
Abraham was the father of Isaac, and Isaac the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers, and Judah the father of Perez and Zerah by Tamar, and Perez the father of Hezron, and Hezron the father of Aram, and Aram the father of Amminadab, and Amminadab the father of Nahshon, and Nahshon the father of Salmon, and Salmon the father of Boaz by Rahab, and Boaz the father of Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of Jesse, and Jesse the father of David the king.
And David was the father of Solomon by the wife of Uriah, and Solomon the father of Rehoboam, and Rehoboam the father of Abijah, and Abijah the father of Asa, and Asa the father of Jehoshaphat, and Jehoshaphat the father of Joram, and Joram the father of Uzziah, and Uzziah the father of Jotham, and Jotham the father of Ahaz, and Ahaz the father of Hezekiah, and Hezekiah the father of Manasseh, and Manasseh the father of Amon, and Amon the father of Josiah, and Josiah the father of Jechoniah and his brothers, at the time of the deportation to Babylon.
And after the deportation to Babylon: Jechoniah was the father of Salathiel, and Salathiel the father of Zerubbabel, and Zerubbabel the father of Abiud, and Abiud the father of Eliakim, and Eliakim the father of Azor, and Azor the father of Zadok, and Zadok the father of Achim, and Achim the father of Eliud, and Eliud the father of Eleazar, and Eleazar the father of Matthan, and Matthan the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom Jesus was born, who is called Christ.
So all the generations from Abraham to David were fourteen generations, and from David to the deportation to Babylon fourteen generations, and from the deportation to Babylon to the Christ fourteen generations.
Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child of the Holy Spirit; and her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. But as he considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit; she will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: “Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and his name shall be called Emmanuel” (which means, God with us). When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he took his wife, but knew her not until she had borne a son; and he called his name Jesus.
Anastasia Sideropoulos (40 days) survived by her grandchildren.
Georgia Micklas (3 years) survived by her children Robert Micklas and Mary (Kenneth) Oxios, 4 grandchildren and 5 great grandchildren.
Vasiliki Marchelos (10 years) and Costantinos Marchelos (10 years) survived by their sons Elias and Spiros and their families.
Schedule of Church Services
- 12/20 Sunday: 9am/10am Orthros/Divine Liturgy
- 12/24 Thursday: 6pm Christmas Eve Liturgy
- 12/27 Sunday: 9am/10am Orthros/Divine Liturgy
Also, we are live streaming our services.
Visit https://stdemetrios.org/ where a link to the broadcast will be found.
Introducing the Metropolis of Atlanta’s 12 Days of Christmas
Who: Every Who Down in Whoville
What: Daily Videos and Family Friendly Activities
Where: Why the North Pole of Course!
When: December 24 – January 6*
Why: So we can celebrate Christmas as a Metropolis Family!
How: Daily Emails Sent Directly to your Inbox**
*We added 2 Bonus Days for Fun!
**If you do not already receive Emails from the Metropolis of Atlanta Youth, Education and Hellenic Culture Department
click this link to sign up:
Dear Ladies of St. Demetrios,
This has been a year like none other. Many of us and our loved ones have faced illness, unemployment, and loneliness. And yet the women of St. Demetrios have reached out to fill our spiritual, material, and emotional needs. It was women, through the Ladies Philoptochos, St. Elpis (Hope) chapter, who called to check on parishioners, got food and money to families who were suddenly unemployed, called and sent cards to the sick, reached out to our young people, and donated to the needs of greater Ft. Lauderdale.
But our patron St. Elpis wasn’t alone. She was the daughter of Sophia (Wisdom) and the sister of Pistis (Faith) and Agape (Love). To continue its work, Philoptochos needs ALL the wisdom, hope, faith, and love of ALL the women of St. Demetrios.
Please use the form below to join or renew for 2021.
Daughters of Penelope News
- Membership Drive
We would love to have you join our wonderful Chapter!! Anyone who joins and is initiated in December, their membership is paid for the entire year of 2021. If you have been a member and would like to be reinstated, reinstatement fee is waived for the month of November.
Please contact Erin Ryan at 954 683-6452 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Toy Drive
We are collecting toys for Christmas for Children. There will be a box in the Narthex.
Light a Candle & Say a Prayer at Saint Demetrios
“It is impossible to imagine an Orthodox church in which candles are not lit.”
(Blessed Simeon of Thessalonica, 15th Century)
“I am the light of the world; he who follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12)
We know that at this time it can be difficult to pray from home and not physically be in the church. One of the first things most people do upon entering an Orthodox Church is to light their candle and offer prayers for one’s personal needs or that of a family member or friend, we also light candles to pray for protection and safety so that we may live this life without fear.
If you wish to light a candle, visit https://saintdemetrios.square.site After you select the candle(s) that you would like us to light and before pressing the “Place Order” button, please submit the names of your loved ones, those who are alive and/or those who have departed this life. During these times we would be happy to light the candle for you and read the names that have been submitted during the Divine Liturgy.
Dear St. Demetrios Family,
St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church, Ft. Lauderdale is open to the faithful. We are complying with all CDC, State, Local and Archdiocese guidelines. Here is the list of things that will be taking place on Sundays.
1) Everyone must wear a mask in order to enter the church.
2) Before entering the church, the temperature of each person will be taken by a designated person. If the person’s temperature is above 100.4 F he or she will be kindly asked to return to their home, both for their safety and the safety of others.
3) Parish Council will direct each parishioner to the designated X in the pews for each person or household to sit starting in the front of the church and working their way to back.
4) A place to accept offerings will be provided in the Narthex upon entering or leaving.
5) Parishioners are not to move around the church during the services to light candles or venerate icons.
6) Names and phone numbers of each attendee at every service will be taken in the event that a subsequent infection requires tracing.
7) If you have any symptoms of coronavirus, COVID-19 (fever, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell), you must NOT attend church, and immediately seek medical attention for yourself and your household.
8) Parishioners who are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 as defined by civil authorities are given dispensation not to attend services and will be asked to refrain from attending.
9) In terms of preventing the spread of this virus, we ask parishioners to follow CDC directives, which currently include: washing of hands thoroughly and frequently, covering your coughs and sneezes, avoiding sharing personal items, wearing a mask, and maintaining a social distance of six feet.
10) Honor is to be shown to Holy Icons and the Holy Cross by only doing your cross and bowing, keeping in mind not to kiss or to touch the Holy Icons and the Holy Cross.
11) No one is to enter the Holy Altar except the clergy and assigned adult helpers.
12) For Memorials, please write the names of your deceased for the clergy to pray for their souls (without Koliva).
13) Artoclasias will be celebrated as normal.
14) No service books will be left out for common use. This includes papers of any kind (bulletins etc.). Parishioners are encouraged to bring their own service books.
15) During Holy Communion – Communicants must line up row by row (with help from Parish Council) and remain six feet apart using the designated social distancing X’s that have been placed in the church. Communicants may remove their masks only momentarily to receive Holy Communion.
16) For the continued safety of those attending church services in person, parishioners should immediately leave when the service is finished. For the sake of others, please do not socialize in the Narthex or other areas of the church or its surrounding buildings or parking lots. Additionally, Sunday Coffee Fellowship hours will be suspended until further notice.
Yours In Christ,
Fr. Peter Zougras