Weekly Sunday Bulletin – St. Gregory Palamas

Apolytikion Ήχος Πλ. B – 6th

Άγγελικαί δυνάμεις…
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. Gregory of Palamas

Ὀρθοδοξίας ὁ φωστὴρ…
O Gregory the Miracle Worker, light of Orthodoxy, support and teacher of the Church, comeliness of monastics, invincible defender of theologians, the pride of Thessalonica, and preacher of grace, intercede forever that our souls maybe saved.

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!”

Memorial

Constantine Zarbalas (9yrs) survived by his wife Sofia and daughters Nikol (Tom) Maroulis, Eleni (Teddy) Pantaridis, Stella (Reggie) Workman, Son Bobby (Diana) Zarbalas and 12 grandchildren.

Trisagia

Kalimorphe Neztek (21yrs) survived by her sons Gust and John

Yianni Haselidis and Yianni Rigas survived by their niece Nikol Maroulis

 Saints and Feast Days

Sunday of St. Gregory Palamas

This divine Father, who was from Asia Minor, was from childhood reared in the royal court of Constantinople, where he was instructed in both religious and secular wisdom. Later, while still a youth, he left the imperial court and struggled in asceticism on Mount Athos, and in the Skete at Beroea. He spent some time in Thessalonica being treated for an illness that came from his harsh manner of life. He was present in Constantinople at the Council that was convened in 1341 against Barlaam of Calabria, and at the Council of 1347 against Acindynus, who was of like mind with Barlaam; Barlaam and Acindynus claimed that the grace of God is created. At both these Councils, the Saint contended courageously for the true dogmas of the Church of Christ, teaching in particular that divine grace is not created, but is the uncreated energies of God which are poured forth throughout creation: otherwise it would be impossible, if grace were created, for man to have   genuine communion with the uncreated God. In 1347 he was appointed Metropolitan of Thessalonica. He tended his flock in an apostolic manner for some twelve years, and wrote many books and treatises on the most exalted doctrines of our Faith; and having lived for a total of sixty-three years, he reposed in the Lord in 1359.

His holy relics are kept in the Cathedral of Thessalonica. A full service was composed for his feast day by the Patriarch Philotheus in 1368, when it was established that his feast be celebrated on this day. Since works without right faith avail nothing, we set Orthodoxy of faith as the foundation of all that we accomplish during the Fast, by celebrating the Triumph of Orthodoxy the Sunday before, and the great defender of the teachings of the holy Fathers today.

 Wisdom of the Fathers

Our passionate life must be offered to God, living and active, so that it may be a living sacrifice. The Apostle Paul even said the same of the body: “I exhort you,” he says, in fact, “by the mercy of God, to offer your body as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God.” “Romans 12:1) How can our living body be offered as a sacrifice pleasing to God? When our glance is meek… when we draw down and pass to others the mercy from on high, when our ears are attentive to the divine teachings, not only to understand, but , as David says, “to remember God’s commandments in order to carry them out.” (Psalm 102:18)… When our tongue, our hands and our feet all serve the divine will, is not this observance of God’s commandments an activity common to soul and body?

St. Gregory Palamas

The Akathist Hymn to the Most Holy Theotokos

“Rejoice, unfading rose.
Rejoice, the only one who budded forth the unfading apple.

Rejoice, birth-giver of the aromatic balm of the King of all.
Rejoice, O Bride unwedded, the world’s salvation.”

The Akathist Hymn is a profound, devotional poem, which sings the praises of the Holy Mother and Ever-Virgin Mary. It is one of the most beloved services in the Orthodox Church. It was composed in the imperial city of Constantinople, “the city of the Virgin,” by St. Romanos the Melodist, who reposed in the year 556. The Akathist Hymn has proven so popular in the liturgical life of the Church that many other hymns have been written following its format. These include Akathists to Our Lord Jesus Christ, to the Cross, and to many Saints.

The Akathist hymn consists of praises directed to the Mother of God, beginning with the salutation of the Archangel Gabriel: “Rejoice.” As the hymn is chanted all of the events related to our Lord’s Incarnation pass before us for our contemplation. The Archangel Gabriel marvels at the Divine self-emptying and the renewal of creation which will occur when Christ comes to dwell in the Virgin’s womb. The unborn John the Baptist prophetically rejoices. The shepherds recognize Christ as a blameless Lamb, and rejoice that in the Virgin “the things of earth join chorus with the heavens.” The pagan Magi following the light of the star, praise Her for revealing the light of the world.

The word “akathistos” means “not sitting,” i.e., standing; normally all participants stand while it is being prayed. The hymn is comprised of 24 stanzas, arranged in an acrostic following the Greek alphabet. The stanzas alternate between long and short. Each short stanza is written in prose and ends with the singing of “Alleluia.” Each longer stanza ends with the refrain: “Rejoice, O Bride Unwedded.”

The first part of the hymn is about the Annunciation to the Virgin Mary by the Angel. It describes Mary’s surprise at the news, her visit to her mother and Joseph’s doubts as to her innocence. The second part is about the birth of Christ, the worship of the Shepherds and Magi, the flight to Egypt and the visit to Saint Simeon in the Temple. In the third part the hymn directs our attention to the renewal of the world by Christ’s coming, and the amazement of the Angels and the wise men at the sight of the Incarnation of God’s Son. The fourth and the last part is once more a lyric and rhetorical appraisal of Virgin Mary, whom the poet adorns with the most beautiful of adjectives asking her to accept his poetical offering and to intercede for the salvation of human race from the earthly sin

– See more at: http://lent.goarch.org/akathist_hymn/learn/#sthash.8wBE8ZnS.dpuf

Epistle Reading

St. Paul’s Letter to the Hebrews 1:10-14; 2:1-3

“IN THE BEGINNING, you O Lord, didst found the earth, and the heavens are the work of thy hands; they will perish, but thou remainest; they will all grow old like a garment, like a mantle thou wilt roll them up, and they will be changed. But thou art the same, and thy years will never end.” But to what angel has he ever said, “Sit at my right hand, till I make thy enemies a stool for thy feet?” Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to serve, for the sake of those who are to obtain salvation? Therefore we must pay closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it. For if the message declared by angels was valid and every transgression or disobedience received a just retribution, how shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation? It was declared at first by the Lord, and it was attested to us by those who heard him.

Gospel Reading

Mark 2:1-12

Sunday of St. Gregory Palamas

At that time, Jesus entered Capernaum and it was reported that he was at home. And many were gathered together, so that there was no longer room for them, not even about the door; and he was preaching the word to them. And they came, bringing to him a paralytic carried by four men. And when they could not get near him because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him; and when they had made an opening, they let down the pallet on which the paralytic lay. And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “My son, your sins are forgiven.” Now some of the scribes were sitting there, questioning in their hearts, “Why does this man speak thus? It is a blasphemy! Who can forgive sins but God alone?” And immediately Jesus, perceiving in his spirit that they thus questioned within themselves, said to them, “Why do you question thus in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise, take up your pallet and walk? But that you may know that the Son of man has authority on earth to forgive sins”-he said to the paralytic-“I say to you, rise, take up your pallet and go home.” And he rose, and immediately took up the pallet and went out before them all; so that they were all amazed and glorified God, saying, “We never saw anything like this!”