Ὅτε κατῆλθες πρὸς τὸν θάνατον…
When You descended to the realm of death You as life immortal rendered to Hades a mortal blow by Your all radiant divinity, And when You from infernal depths and the darkness below did raise the dead all the hosts of heaven’s powers did proclaim and cry out O life giving Christ and our God we give glory.
Apolytikion for St. Demetrios
Μέγαν εύρατο εv τοίς κιvδύvοις,
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!
Όταν έλθης ό Θεός…
O God, when You come upon the earth in glory, the whole world will tremble. A river of fire will bring all before Your Judgment Seat and the books will be opened, and everything in secret will become public. At that time, deliver me from the fire which never dies, and enable me to stand by Your right hand, O Judge most just.
John Bambalis (40days) survived by his wife Shelby and son Christian and sister Mary Carratt
Paul Bisbikos (40days) survived by his sister Christina Ioannou and family
Nicholas Alexiou (1yr) survived by his wife Georgia, son Anthony Nektarios and daughter Desy and families
Sophia Bambalis survived by her parents George and Christine and brother Peter and her aunt Mary Carratt
Harry (Aristides ) Carratt (16yrs) survived by his wife Mary, children and grandchildren
40 day baby blessing
Steve and Lauren Tsingas and big sister Athena are proud to present John for the traditional blessing
Today is called “Meat-Fare” because during the week following it a limited fasting-abstention from meat is prescribed by the Church. This prescription is to be understood in the light of what has been said above the meaning preparation. The Church begins now to “adjust” us to the great effort which she will expect from us seven days later. She gradually takes us into that effort-knowing our frailty, foreseeing our spiritual weakness.
On the eve of that day (Meat-Fare Saturday), the Church invites us to a universal commemoration of all those who have “fallen asleep in the hope of resurrection and life eternal.” This is indeed the Church’s great day of prayer for her departed members. To understand the meaning of this connection between Lent and the prayer for the dead, one must remember that Christianity is the religion of love. Christ left with his disciples not a doctrine of individual salvation but a new commandment “that they love one another,” and He added: “By this shall all know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Love is thus the foundation, the very life of the Church which is, in the words of St. Ignatius of Antioch, the “unity of faith and love.” Sin is always absence of love, and therefore separation, isolation, war of all against all. The new life given by Christ and conveyed to us by the Church is, first of all , a life of reconciliation, of “gathering into oneness of those who were dispersed,” the restoration of love broken by sin. But how can we begin our return to God and our reconciliation with Him if in ourselves we do not return to the unique new commandment of love? Praying for the dead is an essential expression of the Church as love. We ask God to remember those whom we remember and we remember them because we love them. Praying for them we meet them in Christ who is Love and who, because He is Love, overcomes death which is the ultimate victory of separation and lovelessness. In Christ there is no difference between living and dead because all are alive in Him. He is the Life and that Life is the light of man. Loving Christ, we love all those who are in Him; loving those who are in Him, we love Christ: this is the law of the Church and the obvious rationale for her of prayer for the dead. It is truly our love in Christ that keeps them alive because it keeps them “in Christ” and how wrong, how hopelessly wrong for the dead to a juridical doctrine of “merits” and “compensation” or simply reject it as useless. The great Vigil for the Dead of Meatfare Saturday serves as a pattern for all other commemorations of the departed and it is repeated on the second, third and fourth Saturdays of Lent. (if you want more… please read GREAT LENT- Journey to Pascha by Alexander Schmemann.)
St. Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians 8:8-13; 9:1-2
Brethren, food will not commend us to God. We are no worse off if we do not eat, and no better off if we do. Only take care lest this liberty of yours somehow become a stumbling block to the weak. For if any one sees you, a man of knowledge, at table in an idol’s temple, might he not be encouraged, if his conscience is weak, to eat food offered to idols? And so by your knowledge this weak man is destroyed, the brother for whom Christ died. Thus, sinning against your brethren and wounding their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ. Therefore, if food is a cause of my brother’s falling, I will never eat meat, lest I cause my brother to fall.
Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? Are not you my workmanship in the Lord? If to others I am not an apostle, at least I am to you; for you are the seal of my apostleship in the Lord.
Judgment Sunday (Meatfare Sunday)
The Lord said, “When the Son of man comes in his glory and all the holy angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate them one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and he will place the sheep at his right hand, but the goats at the left. Then the king will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, O blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.’ Then he will say to those at his left hand, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ Then they also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ Then he will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it not to one of the least of these, you did it not to me.’ And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”