Friday, June 26, 2009

A Question and Answer Worth Pondering...

(hat tip to Fr. Stephen Freeman for the link)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

June 24: Nativity of the Holy, Glorious
Forerunner and Baptist John

The Gospel (Luke 1: 5) relates that the righteous parents of St John the Baptist, the Priest Zachariah and Elizabeth (September 5), lived in the ancient city of Hebron. They reached old age without having children, since Elizabeth was barren. Once, St Zachariah was serving in the Temple at Jerusalem and saw the Archangel Gabriel, standing on the right side of the altar of incense. He predicted that St Zachariah would father a son, who would announce the Savior, the Messiah, awaited by the Old Testament Church. Zachariah was troubled, and fear fell upon him. He had doubts that in old age it was possible to have a son, and he asked for a sign. It was given to him, and it was also a chastisement for his unbelief. Zachariah was struck speechless until the time of the fulfillment of the archangel's words.

St Elizabeth came to be with child, and fearing derision at being pregnant so late in life, she kept it secret for five months. Then her relative, the Virgin Mary, came to share with her Her own joy. Elizabeth, "filled with the Holy Spirit," was the first to greet the Virgin Mary as the Mother of God. St John leaped in his mother's womb at the visit of the Most Holy Virgin Mary and the Son of God incarnate within Her.

Soon St Elizabeth gave birth to a son, and all the relatives and acquaintances rejoiced together with her. On the eighth day, in accordance with the Law of Moses, he was circumcised and was called John. Everyone was amazed, since no one in the family had this name. When they asked St Zachariah about this, he motioned for a tablet and wrote on it: "His name is John." Immediately his tongue was loosed, and St Zachariah glorified God. He also prophesied about the Coming into the world of the Messiah, and of his own son John, the Forerunner of the Lord (Luke. 1: 68-79).

After the Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ and the worship of the shepherds and the Magi, wicked king Herod gave orders to kill all male infants. Hearing about this, St Elizabeth fled into the wilderness and hid in a cave. St Zachariah was at Jerusalem and was doing his priestly service in the Temple. Herod sent soldiers to him to find out the abode of the infant John and his mother. Zachariah answered that their whereabouts were unknown to him, and he was killed right there in the Temple. Righteous Elizabeth continued to live in the wilderness with her son and she died there. The child John, protected by an angel, dwelt in the wilderness until the time when he came preaching repentance, and was accounted worthy to baptize the Lord. - from the Menologion at

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Wisdom from Fr. John Breck

Now retired from teaching at St. Vladimir's in New York and St. Sergius' in Paris, Fr. John Breck resides in the Lowcountry of South Carolina. He continues to serve the Church in many ways, including a regular column posted on entitled, "Life in Christ."

These words conclude his most recent offering:

If today's atheists, made such by fad or by conviction, could know and experience the God all of us have the capacity to know, they would fall on their knees and shed tears of joy. This is not romantic wishful thinking. It's not evangelical exuberance. It's a simple fact, based on a reality so well expressed one time by a sister in a Catholic monastic community: "God," she said, out of the wellspring of her own knowledge and experience, "has placed in the inner depths of every person an insatiable longing for himself!"

The God who fulfills that longing is the God who has brought all of us into being, who has sacrificed himself for us out of his inexhaustible love, and who continues to embrace us and to lead us into an eternal and glorious communion with himself. He is the God who, as those license plates insist, "loves us!" From the depths of his heart he strives to bless and to save all of us, without exception. All of us, and perhaps especially those who -- because of painful experiences with clergy, or because of hypocrisy on the part of Christians they knew, or because of the heavyhandedness of those who would browbeat them into a fictitious conversion experience -- profess themselves to be materialists, secularists, pastafarians or atheists.

Read it all here.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

June 21:
Synaxis of the Saints of North America

Saturday, June 20: No Vespers

(Vespers next Saturday, June 27)

Sunday, June 21:

Third Hour Prayers - 9:45 AM

Divine Liturgy - 10:00 AM

Friday, June 12, 2009

June 14: Sunday of All Saints
The 1st Sunday after Pentecost

Sunday Schedule

Music Workshop - 9:00 AM

Third Hour Prayers - ~9:45 AM

Divine Liturgy - 10:00 AM

Monday, June 08, 2009

Palms, Passion, Pascha, Pentecost!
Glimpses of our Mission's Life
from the Vigil for Palm Sunday to Pentecost

On the Vigil of Palm Sunday, we joyfully celebrated Holy Chrismation. Here, a catechumen professes the Orthodox Faith at the Entrance of the Church.

On Great and Holy Friday, we recalled the Passion of Christ our God and venerated His Holy Shroud, also known as the Epitaphios or Plaschanitsa, adorning it with flowers.

Holy Pascha was Glorious! Christ is Risen!
Christos Anesti! Khristos Voskrese!
Al Maseeh Qam! Christos a Inviat! Kriste Aghsdah!

The Blessing of the Baskets after the Paschal Liturgy - meat and cheese in abundance!

Another Chrismation on the Vigil of Pentecost (Trinity Sunday)

The seal of the gift of the Holy Spirit. Amen!

After the Festal Divine Liturgy and Kneeling Vespers, everyone was ready for Coffee Hour - especially the little ones.

Glory to Jesus Christ! Glory to Him forever!

Blessed art Thou, O Christ our God,
Who hast revealed the fishermen as most wise
By sending down upon them the Holy Spirit -
Through them Thou didst draw the world into Thy net.
O Lover of Man, glory to Thee!

(Troparion for Pentecost-Tone 8)

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Holy Pentecost
Day of the Holy Trinity

Schedule for this Weekend:

Saturday, June 6

Great Vespers with Holy Chrismation - 5:00 PM

Pentecost Sunday, June 7

Music Workshop - 9:00 AM

Third Hour Prayers - 9:45 AM

Divine Liturgy - 10:00 AM

Vesperal Kneeling Prayers will follow the Liturgy