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Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria & All Africa

All Glory, Honour and Worship to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and forever, and unto the Ages of ages. Amen. Remembering also our Most Holy, Most Pure, Most Blessed and Glorious Lady, Maria, Theotokos, yet Ever Virgin, together with all the Saints. And let us commit ourselves and one another and our whole Life to Christ our God. Amen.

1 January 2013 Circumcision of Christ our Saviour


Also the Feast of ST BASIL THE GREAT St Basil of Ancyra St Emilia, Righteous Mother of St Basil the Great
FESTAL APOLYTIKION CIRCUMCISION
OF

CHRIST

Morfin analliotos anthropinin proselaves, Theos on kat Thou


ousian Poleiefsplaghne Kyrie, ke Nomon ekpliron peritomin, thelise katadehi sarkikin, ina pafsis ta skiodi, ke perielis to kalimma ton pathon imon. Doxa ti agathotiti, ti Si! Doxa ti efsplahnia Sou! Doxa ti anekfrasto, Loge, singatavasi Sou!
KONTAKION OF THE CIRCUMCISION OF CHRIST TONE 3

took on human form without change in Thee, being God in Essence, O Lord Most Compassionate. And Thou accepted Circumcision in the Flesh, in total fulfilment of the Law, to put an end to the acts of darkness, and roll away the veil of our sufferings. Glory to Thy Goodness, O Lord! Glory to thy Tenderness! Glory to Thine inexpressible Condescension, O Word!

ton olon Kyrios peritomin ipomeni ke vroton ta ptesmata os agathos peritemni. Didosi tin Sotirian simeron kosmo: Here de en tis Ipsistis ke O tou ktistou Ierarhis ke Fosforos, O Thios Mystis Hristou Vasilios.
OF

Now the Lord of all that is undergoes Circumcision, in


His Goodness cutting off the sins and failings of mortals. He this day grants Salvation to the whole world; and the Hierarch and Bright Daystar of the Creator now rejoices in the Highest: Basil the Wise and Divine Initiate of Christ.

FESTAL APOLYTIKION

ST BASIL

THE

GREAT

Is pasan tin gin exilthen O fthongos Sou, os dexamenin


ton Logon Sou; diou theoprepos edogmatisas, tin fisin ton onton etranosas, ta ton anthropon ithi katekosmisas. Vasilion Ieratevma, Pater Osie; Presveve Hristo to Theos, Sothine tas psihas imon.
KONTAKION OF ST BASIL THE GREAT TONE 4

Thy voice has gone out all over the earth, which was
ready to accept Thy Word; by which in a Godly manner Thou Dogmatised; the nature of all that exists Thou clarified; the manners of people Thou Purified. As Royal Priesthood that Thou art, O Father Righteous, Intercede with Christ our God, that our souls may be Saved.

Ofthis vasis asistos ti Ekklisia,


ISODIKON GREAT ENTRANCE:

nemon pasin asilon, tin kiriotita vrotis, epi sfragizon sis dogmasin, Ouranofantor Vasilie Osie.

For the Church art Thou in Truth a Firm Foundation,


granting an inviolate Lordship to all mortal men and Sealing it with what Thou has taught, O Righteous Basil, Revealer of Heavenly Things.

Defte

proskinisomen.... SOSON IMAS IIE THEOU, O SARKI PERITIMITHIS, psallontas Si, Allelouia!

Come

let us worship...

Save us, O Son of God,

CIRCUMCISED IN THE FLESH, who sing to Thee:

Allilouia!

Matins Gospel:

John 10 : 1 9

CHRIST OUR GOOD SHEPHERD

At that time, our Lord Jesus said: Most assuredly, I say you, he who does not enter the Sheepfold by the Door, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. But He Who enters by the Door is the Shepherd of the Sheep. To Him the Doorkeeper opens, and the Sheep hear His Voice; and He Calls His own Sheep by name and leads them out. And when He brings out His own Sheep, He goes before them; and the Sheep follow Him, for they know His Voice. Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers. Jesus used this illustration, but they did not understand the things which He spoke to them. Then Jesus said to them again: Most assuredly, I say to you: I Am the Door of the Sheep. All who ever came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the Sheep did not heed them. I Am the Door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be Saved and will go in and out and find Pasture.

Prokeimenon:

My mouth shall speak Wisdom... Hear this, all you Nations!


The Epistle of St Paul to the Colossians 2 : 8 12
ST PAUL SPEAKS OUT AGAINST FALSE THEOLOGY OF HERETICS

Brethren, Beware lest any man cheat you by philosophy, and vain deceit; according to the tradition of men, according to the elements of the world, but not according to Christ. For in Him dwells all the Fullness of the Godhead corporeally; and you are filled in Him, Who is the Head of all Principality and Power; in Whom also you are Circumcised with Circumcision Not Made By Hand, in the despoiling of the body of the flesh, but in the Circumcision of Christ, buried with Him in Baptism, in Whom also you are Risen again by the Faith of the Operation of God, Who has raised Him up from the dead.

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CIRCUMCISION OF CHRIST OUR SAVIOUR 1 JANUARY 2013

May the Peace and Joy of our Lord & Saviour, Jesus Christ, fill and heal all hearts and souls!

The Holy Gospel According to St Luke 2: 20 21;


THE CIRCUMCISION
OF

40 52
OF

OUR LORD & HIS FIRST TEACHING

IN THE

TEMPLE

AT THE

AGE

TWELVE YEARS

At that time, the Shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them. And when eight days were completed for the Circumcision of the Child, His Name was called Jesus, the Name given by the Angel before He was Conceived in the Womb. And the Child grew and became strong in Spirit, filled with Wisdom and the Grace of God was upon Him. His parents went to Jerusalem every year to attend the Feast of the Passover. And when He was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem according to the custom of the Feast. When they had finished the days, as they returned, the Boy Jesus lingered behind in Jerusalem. However, Joseph and His Mother did not know it, and supposing Him to have been in the company, they went a days journey. Then they sought Him among their relatives and acquaintances and when they did not find Him, they returned to Jerusalem, to look for Him. So it was that after three days they found Him in the Temple, sitting in the midst of the Teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions. And all who heard Him were astonished at His understanding and answers. So when they saw Him, they were amazed; and His Mother said to Him: Son, why have Thou done this to us? Look Thy father and I have sought Thee anxiously. So He said to them: Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Fathers Business? But they did not understand what He said to them. Then He went down with them to Nazareth, and was subject to them, and His Mother kept all these things in her heart, while Jesus increased in Wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and men. Our Lord Jesus Christ received Circumcision This was the first Statement made by Christ according to the precepts of Mosaic Law which concerning God as His Heavenly Father. He faithfully followed throughout His Life and Christ did not break the 5th Commandment, Honour Ministry because He fulfils the Law as given by thy father and mother because what He had done God to St Moses. by remaining at the Temple after His Mother and After the Resurrection of Christ, Holy Baptism replaced Guardian had left the city, was an Act of physical Circumcision as the Universal Mystery of Righteousness. Salvation and Initiation into the Church. (IT IS REFERRED He obeyed God and did Gods Will although St Joseph TO AS BEING THE NEW CIRCUMCISION.) the Betrothed and the Ever Blessed Theotokos did In the Orthodox Church it is an ancient Tradition to not fully understand at the time and were naturally name a child on the Eighth Day of its life. This is concerned for His safety. not the Holy Mystery (Sacrament) of Baptism and While He grew up, Christ was subject to His Parents Chrismation that takes place a month or two later. His Legal Guardians, clearly demonstrating His It is also a different Service to the 40 Day Churching of humble Obedience to and respect for His earthly the Mother that occurs 40 days after the birth of a Family. baby. He grew up healthy in Body and Spirit, increasing daily The Incarnation [assuming or taking on a visible, in Wisdom, Stature and Favour with God and physical body of flesh and bone] means that our men and bringing into plain view the Wisdom and Lord Jesus Christ experienced normal human Grace inherent in Him. physical, emotional and intellectual growth, but In His Incarnation, Jesus Christ makes humanity under the special Overshadowing Grace of completely His own, including progress in Wisdom Almighty God that fills Him with Wisdom and and Grace. Strength both physical and Spiritual. He experienced and Sanctified every stage of human Pilgrimages to Jerusalem on the three great Feasts of life. Passover, Pentecost and Tabernacles, were Since our Lord Jesus Christ is at once both God and customary for all Hebrews except those who lived Man, our Lord increased humanly in the Grace and at great distances from the Temple. Entire Clans Wisdom that were already fully His in His Divine and Communities would travel together for safety Nature. and companionship. The growth of Christs Humanity prefigures our own When our Lord Jesus Christ referred to My Fathers growth into Union with Him. Business He referred to Gods Will in preparation As Christ our God and Creator took on complete for His Divine (and public) Ministry. humanity, He made it possible for us to achieve Spiritual Purity or Theosis and become God-like

Christs Circumcision,

St Basil the Great and the New Calendar Year


was the first to enter into a Holy Covenant with God, the Sign of which was male Circumcision. Later, his ancestors and, in particular, Moses received the Law of God which is considered by many to be the beginning of the Old Covenant. The Old Covenant, however, started not from Moses and not from the Sinai Law, but much earlier and the Covenant between God and man was with Abraham and was established through Circumcision. According to the New Covenant, a bloodless, Spiritual Circumcision has actually continued!
EVERY ONE OF US MALE AND FEMALE - DURING OUR HOLY BAPTISM IS TONSURED BY THE CUTTING OF A SMALL BITS OF OUR HAIR IN THE SIGN OF THE CROSS THE NEW, BLOODLESS CIRCUMCISION.

Dear Brethren: Today we celebrate three Feasts: the Circumcision of our Lord Jesus Christ, St Basil the Great and the New Year according to the Julian Calendar. Today you may have noticed that the Divine Liturgy was a bit longer than usual for it was the Liturgy of St Basil the Great, which we celebrate only ten times a year. It is Spiritually Intense and the Prayers of the Priest are significantly longer compared to the Liturgy of St John Chrysostom, with which we are all accustomed. We also celebrate the Circumcision of our Lord Jesus Christ even though some may question why we do so, since we live according to the New Covenant and no longer have to Circumcise our infant boys, which is surely a defunct Old Covenant practice. However, it is one of the most important Great Feasts of Christ that we celebrate and as mentioned in the Dismissal Prayer we celebrate our Lord Who on the Eighth Day has deigned to be Circumcised for our Salvation - the Circumcision of Jesus Christ enables us to receive Divine Salvation! Circumcision was established before the Law was given, in the times of Patriarch Abraham who

Our Lord Jesus Christ said: I came - not to break the Law - but to fulfil It. In Slavonic, in Greek, and in English the meaning of the word fulfil is not only to obey but also to fill something up - like a vessel. And that is the meaning of the New Covenant Circumcision. As a physical Sign of Faith in God it was given to the Old Covenant believers, starting from Abraham, and it continues except according to the New Covenant, it conveys a far more profound Spiritual Meaning and Grace, for our entire Holy Baptism serves as a bloodless Circumcision a

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CIRCUMCISION

OF

CHRIST ST BASIL

THE

GREAT 1 JANUARY 2013

bloodless offering of ourselves, body and soul, to God. Physical Circumcision is done in the flesh, while Holy Baptism is Circumcision in spirit and heart. Circumcision of the Old Covenant was performed on every newborn male child on the Eighth Day of his life because had a very special meaning. As it is written: "...one day of our Lord is like a thousand years and a thousand years like one day." We are currently living ...in the Seventh Day... for the Eighth Day has not yet come i.e. the Day of Salvation, the Day of Eternity- which will come on the Lord's Day at His Second Coming or physical reappearance when all Creation will behold Him in all His Magnificent Glory. On that Final Day the Eighth Day - the Righteous will enter Eternal Life. Sunday is the first day of the week because Saturday is the Seventh Day - the Sabbath - the day on which the Lord rested and which He granted for us to rest as well. While we live in the "Seventh Day" period we count Sunday as the first day of every week and Saturday as the seventh. But when the Lord's Day comes and the age of the Seventh Day ends, Sunday will open up as the Eternity of the Eighth Day. Faithful Christians attend Church on Sundays, which is a depiction of the Lord's Day to come. Our Lord Jesus said: "I am the Alpha and the Omega" the Beginning and the End, and so, too, is the Lord's Day - Sunday - the first day as well as the Eighth Day simultaneously. We are all Circumcised so we celebrate our Lords Circumcision as well as due to the fact that the Eighth Day after His Birth signified His Coming and the Fulfilment of His Divine Mission. Furthermore, the number seven was the Sign of Fulfilment of a Sacred Task and the Sign of the Time. Thus our Lord Jesus Christ fulfilled His Sacred Duties for which His Heavenly Father had sent Him to fulfil, which enable us to enter into Eternity Eternal Life in His Kingdom. On the other hand, when our Lord Jesus was Circumcised on the eighth day, He joined Israel, which is a Mystical Body. There is nothing national about Israel for it is a group of Believers chosen by God who Love and Obey Him - who live in a special Union with Him. Therefore, "Israel" and "Church" are interchangeable. The Old Covenant Israel was not fully United with God. Abraham was in a Covenant with God, but Israel was not in a Union with God as the Church today. We truly do receive God like those of us who receive Holy Communion today for we have entered into complete Union with Him.

We partake of the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, and we know that the Trinity - our God, is indivisible -wherever there is our Lord Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten Son of God - there is the Father and there is the Holy Spirit as well. By receiving Christ we are receiving God - we are receiving the Holy Trinity and the "Grace upon Grace" the Grace of the New Covenant. As the New Covenant Israel, we are constantly living in a state of Grace since we are in Union with God. When we open the Holy Bible, we see the Old Testament and the New Testament - all in one book. We do not read only the New Testament but also the Old Testament because as the Divinely Inspired Wisdom of Holy Scripture states: "There is nothing new under the sun." As the True Israel of God, we are a continuation of the Old Covenant Israel so it is imperative that we have a connection for if we do not have a connection, we would merely be self-proclaimed believers. Therefore, we have to be connected with the Old Covenant and with the ancient Patriarch, Abraham, for the Divine Promise that was given by God to Abraham also relates to us the New Israel. Consequently when our Lord Jesus Christ accepted Circumcision, He became a significant Member of the Old Covenant Israel and when He - the Divine Giver of the New Covenant - received Old Covenant Baptism He became the vital connection or link. between the New and Old Covenant Church. Through our Lord Jesus Christ the Old and New Covenant Israel i.e. all of us who have been Baptised - are indeed united. Furthermore, todays Great Feast is profoundly significant with regard to the end times, when the Hebrews will finally accept our Lord Jesus Christ as the only True Messiah/Saviour. Today we celebrate the first drops of our Lord Jesus Christs Most Precious Blood, which was shed for His Eternal Israel for all mankind who accept His Divine Truth and Worship. Gods Divine Gift of Eternal Salvation first offered first to the Hebrews on this very day more than two thousand years ago - still awaits the Joyous Day when they and all humanity will finally understand and accept His Divine Grace that was offered to all human beings, and at last will come aboard the Ark of Covenant the Ark of Salvation, which is a True Church of Christ our Lord and Saviour. Amen.
ADAPTED & EDITED BY MP - SERMON BY FATHER VICTOR DOBROFF RUSSIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH - http://orthodoxy-news.livejournal.com/218342.html

St Basil the Great


St Basil was born circa 330 at Caesarea in Cappadocia. He came from a wealthy and pious family that produced a number of Saints, including his mother St Emilia (Emilyvor Emmelia), grandmother St Macrina the Elder, his sister St Macrina the Younger, another younger sister St Theosebia and two brothers - St Gregory of Nyssa and St Peter of Sebaste. While St Basil was still a child, the family moved to Pontus; but he soon returned to Cappadocia to live with his mother's relations, and was raised by his grandmother,St Macrina. Eager to learn, he went to Constantinople and spent four or five years there as well as in Athens, where the future Emperor Julian was a fellow student. St Basil and St Gregory (the Theologian) became lifelong friends and they both were deeply influenced by Origen and compiled an anthology of
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uncondemned writings of Origen known as the Philokalia - (not to be confused with the later compilation of the same name). It was while in Athens that St Basil seriously began to contemplate his Christian Faith. He resolved to seek out and learn from the most famous Ascetic Hermits and Monks of Syria and Arabia - to learn from them how to attain enthusiastic Piety and how to control the demands of his flesh under submission by means of Asceticism. St Basil was eventually elected Abbot of a Monastery near Arnesi in Pontus, in which his widowed mother, St Emilia, his sister, St Macrina and several other Faithful woman has committed themselves to a life of Prayer, Contemplation and charitable works.

CIRCUMCISION OF CHRIST OUR SAVIOUR 1 JANUARY 2013

May the Peace and Joy of our Lord & Saviour, Jesus Christ, fill and heal all hearts and souls!

Basil sided with those who accepted the Omoousios of the Holy Trinity (being of the same Divine Essence) in opposition to the heretical Arianism, thus drawing nearer to St Athanasios the Great. In 365, St Basil was ordained Presbyter of the Church at Caesarea by his ecclesiastical superiors, who wished to use his Inspired Spiritual Talents against the Arians, who were increasingly numerous in that part of the country, and who were favoured by the Arian Emperor, Valens, who then reigned in Constantinople. In 370 Eusebios, Bishop of Caesarea, died, and St Basil was elected as his successor and his extraordinary abilities were put to the test. Caesarea was an important Diocese, and its Bishop was unofficially the Exarch of the great Diocese of Pontus. Although passionate, dedicated and somewhat imperious, St Basil was also generous and sympathetic, yet his zeal for Orthodoxy (True Christian Teaching) did not blind him to whatever was good in an opponent; and for the sake of Peace and Charity he was content to waive the use of Orthodox terminology when it could be surrendered without a sacrifice of Truth. With all his might St Bail resisted the heretical Emperor Valens, who strove to introduce Arianism into his Diocese, and impressed the Emperor to such a degree that - although inclined to banish the intractable Bishop - Valens decided not to persecute him. To an Imperial Prefect who was astonished at the temerity of the Faithful Bishop, St Basil remarked: "Perhaps you have never before dealt with a proper Bishop!" In order to save the Church from the heresy of Arianism, St Basil entered into liaisons with the

St

West, and with the help of St Athanasios, he strove to overcome its distrustful attitude toward the Omoousians (those who firmly believed in the CoEssence of the Holy Trinity) The difficulties had been complicated further by bringing in the question of the Divine Essence of the Holy Spirit the third Person of the Holy Trinity and although St Basil objectively advocated the Consubstantiality or Co-Essence of God the Holy Spirit with God the Father and God the Son, he remained faithful to Eastern Tradition that did not allow the predicate Omoousios to the Holy Spirit and for this he was reproached as early as 371 by the Orthodox zealots among the Monks, but St Athanasios defended him. St Basils relationship with St Eustathios was maintained in spite of their Dogmatic differences, which had caused a certain amount of suspicion. On the other hand, St Basil was grievously offended by the extreme adherents of Omoousianism, who seemed to him to be reviving the Sabellian heresy
(WHICH BELIEVED THAT THE HOLY TRINITY WAS MERELY DIFFERENT MODES OR ASPECTS OF ONE GOD, RATHER THAN THREE DISTINCT DIVINE PERSONS IN ONE GODHEAD AS CHRIST REVEALED TO US.)

St Basil did not live to see the end of the unhappy factional disturbances and the complete success of his continued exertions on behalf of Rome and the East. Having been a victim of liver disease, and due to his excessive Asceticism St Basil succomed to an early death. A lasting monument of his Episcopal Love, devotion and care for the poor, the suffering and the destitute was the great institute at the gates of Caesarea, which was used as poorhouse, hospital, and hospice.

THE WRITINGS

OF

ST BASIL

THE

GREAT

The principal Theological writings of Basil are his treat our neighbours natural needs of hunger, Treatise on the Holy Spirit which is a lucid and thirst and shelter as our own - even though they edifying appeal to Holy Scripture and early are separate individuals. Christian Tradition to prove the Divinity of the Consequently, later Theologians explicitly explain this Holy Spirit, and his Refutation of the Apology of as an example of how the Saints become ...an the Impious Eunomios, written in 363 or 364 Image of the one common Nature of the Three three books against Eunomios of Cyzicos, the Persons of the Holy Trinity. chief exponent of Anomoian Arianism. Three hundred of St Basils letters that still exist The first three books of the Refutation are his work; reveal a rich and observant nature, which, despite the fourth and fifth books that are usually the troubles of ill-health and Ecclesiastical unrest, included to do not belong to St Basil, or to remained optimistic, tender and even playful. Apollinaris of Laodicea, but probably to Didymos His principal efforts as a reformer were directed the Blind. towards the improvement of the Liturgy, and the St Basil was a famous, profound Preacher, and many reformation of the Monastic Orders of the Eastern of his Homilies, including a series of Lenten Orthodox Church. Lectures on The Six Days of Creation (GR. Most of the Divine Liturgies bearing the name of St HEXAMERON), and an Exposition of the Psalter, have Basil, in their present form, are not primarily his been preserved. work, but they nevertheless preserve the Some of his writings - like those against usury (LENDING AT recollection of St Basil's activity in this field in EXORBITANT INTEREST) and on the famine of 368, are formularizing Liturgical Prayers and promoting valued for their history of morals, while other Church-song. writings illustrate the veneration of Holy Martyrs One Divine Liturgy that is attributed to him is The and their Holy Relics, and his address to young Divine Liturgy of Saint Basil the Great, a Liturgy men concerning the study of classical literature, that is somewhat longer than the more commonly which shows that St Basil was forever influenced used Divine Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom, by his personal education that had taught him to which is always celebrated on certain great Feast appreciate the importance of the classics as Days in the Holy Orthodox Church, such as every preparatory instruction. Sunday of Great Lent and on 1 His Ascetic endeavours are exhibited January, the Commemoration in his Moralia and Regulae of St Basil the Great. ALL ST BASILS WORKS, AND A FEW SPURIOUSLY ethical manuals for use in the ATTRIBUTED TO HIM, ARE AVAILABLE IN THE PATROLOGIA GRAECA, WHICH INCLUDES LATIN world and in Monastic Life TRANSLATIONS OF VARYING QUALITY. NO CRITICAL respectively. EDITION IS YET AVAILABLE. It is in the Ethical Manuals and moral ADAPTED & EDITED BY MP: HTTP://ORTHODOXWIKI.ORG/BASIL_THE_GREAT Sermons that the practical aspects of his Theoretical Theology are illustrated. In his Sermon to the Lazicans St THE RIGHTEOUS FAMILY OF ST BASIL THE GREAT: FIRST ROW: ST PETER OF SEBASTE, ST BASIL THE GREAT, ST Basil explained how due to our BASIL, ST GREGORY common nature we are obliged to SECOND ROW: ST THEOSEVIA, ST NAUKRATIOS, ST EMMELIA
TOP: ST MACRINA

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CIRCUMCISION

OF

CHRIST ST BASIL

THE

GREAT 1 JANUARY 2013

Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria & All Africa


All Glory, Honour and Worship to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and forever, and unto the Ages of ages. Amen. Rememberi ng also our M ost Holy, Mos t Pure, Most Blessed and Gl orious Lady, Maria, Theotok os, yet Ever Virgi n, toge ther with all the Saints. A nd let us commit ourselves and one another and our whole Life to Chris t our God. Amen.

6 January 2013 Holy Theophany Baptism of Christ & Revelation of the Holy Trinity

FESTAL APOLYTIKION THEOPHANY

En Iordani Vaptizomenou Sou Kyrie, When


i tis Triados efanerothi Proskinisis. Tou gar Gennitoros i Foni prosemartiri Si, Agapiton Se Iion Onomazousa. Ke to Pnevma en idi peristeras eveveou tou Logou to asfales. O Epifanis, Hriste O Theos, ke ton kosmon Fotisas, Doxa Si!
FESTAL KONTAKION - THEOPHANY

Thou, O Lord, was Baptised in the Jordan, the Worship of the Trinity was made manifest. For the Voice of the Father bore witness to Thee, calling Thee the Beloved Son, and the Spirit like a dove, confirmed His Word as sure and steadfast. O Christ our God, Who has appeared and Enlightened the world: Glory to Thee!

Epefanis

simeron ti ikoumeni, ke to fos sou Kyrie, esimiothi ef imas en epignosi imnountas se. Ilthes efanis to Fos to aprositon.

Thou hast appeared today to the inhabited earth, and


Thy Light, O Lord, has been marked upon us, who with knowledge sing Thy praise: Thou hast come, Thou art made manifest, the Light that no man can approach.

SECOND FESTAL ANTIPHON-THEOPHANY

imas Ie Theou O EN IORDANI IPO IOANNOU VAPTISTHIS, psallontas Si: Allilouia! INSTEAD OF THE TRISAGION ( AGIOS O THEOS... )

Soson Osi

Save As

us, O Son of God BAPTISED BY JOHN IN THE JORDAN, who sing to Thee: Allilouia! many of you as have been Baptised into Christ, have put on Christ: Alleluia!

is Hriston Allilouia!

Evaptisthite,

Hriston

enedisasthe.

The Holy Gospel According to


THE BAPTISM
OF

St Mark 1 : 9 - 11
OF THE

CHRIST

AND THE

REVELATION

HOLY TRINITY

At that time, our Lord Jesus Christ went from Nazareth of Galilee, and was Baptised by John in the Jordan River. And immediately, coming up from the water, He saw the Heavens parting and the Spirit descending upon Him like a dove. Then a Voice came from Heaven: Thou art My Beloved Son in Whom I Am well pleased.

T he E pi s t le of St Pa u l t o S t T i tu s 2 :1 1- 1 4 & 3 : 4- 7
THE GRACE
OF

GOD SAVES US

THROUGH

BAPTISM

IN

JESUS CHRIST &

THE

HOLY SPIRIT

Titus my child: the Grace of God that brings Salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, Righteously, and Godly in the present age, looking for the Blessed Hope and Glorious Appearing of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ, Who gave Himself for us, so that He might Redeem us from every lawless deed and Purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for Good Works. But when the Kindness and the Love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, not by Works of Righteousness which we have done, but according to His Mercy He Saved us, through the Washing of Regeneration and Renewing of the Holy Spirit, Whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour, that having been Justified by His Grace we should become Heirs according to the Hope of Eternal Life. COMMUNION WITH HIM: OUR BLESSED While Christian Ethical Teaching often appears similar to VICTORIOUS STRUGGLE. other systems - St Paul used both Roman and Jewish THE WASHING OF REGENERATION, BAPTISM, ethical terms - T H E B A S I S O F C H R I S T I A N AND RENEWING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT, ETHICS IS UNIQUE. CHRISMATION, FORM A UNITY IN OUR Christians are good not merely because of Obedience to S A L V A T I O N , which is clear throughout the New Law or harmony with nature, nor in order to gain Testament. Immortal Bliss for the soul. Rather, they are Our Lord Jesus revealed the fact that W E A R E B O R N Righteous in anticipation of the Age to come, the FROM ABOVE THROUGH WATER AND THE Eschaton, the Age of the Fullness of Creation in the SPIRIT. Incarnate Son of God. St Peter preached S A L V A T I O N I N C H R I S T T H R O U G H Grace is the Uncreated Energy of God, the Gift of the HOLY BAPTISM AND BY RECEIVING THE GIFT Holy Spirit, through which He grants His Gifts to OF THE HOLY SPIRIT. mankind in Tender Mercy and Good Will. St Paul called us to T H E W A S H I N G O F T H E W A T E R Divine Grace is a Formative Power, the Rule of the Life AND THE RENEWING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT. of the Age to come, requiring our determined While St Paul was painfully aware that we are awaiting participation. the Consummation of the Age to come, he knew: V WE ALREADY PARTICIPATE IN THE LIFE OF V TO BELONG TO GOD IS TO BECOME LIKE GOD THE KINGDOM. not in our fallen human nature but according to the perfect Creation of God T O R E G A I N V BAPTISM AND CHRISMATION ARE THE BEGINNING, THE RITE OF PASSAGE OUR LOST LIKENESS TO GOD. TOWARD A PROGRESSIVE LIFE OF V To be Ransomed, or Owned by God is not simply a RENEWAL IN CHRIST. legal and static condition, but A L I F E I N

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THEOPHANY

&

THE

BAPTISM

OF

CHRIST -

6 JANUARY 2013

5.

The Holy Gospel According to St Matthew 3 : 13 - 17


Jesus Christ Is Publicly Proclaimed The Son Of God At His Baptism

At that time, Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be Baptised by him. And John tried to prevent Him, saying: I need to be Baptised by Thee, and art Thou coming to me? But Jesus answered and said to him: Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfil all Righteousness. Then he allowed Him. When He had been Baptised, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the Heavens were opened to Him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. And suddenly a Voice came from Heaven, saying: This is My beloved Son, in Whom I Am well pleased. The Feast of Epiphany (a Divine Manifestation or OUR LORD JESUS DID NOT NEED PURIFICATION. Revelation), or Theophany (a Manifestation or However, by making the Purification of humanity His own, Revelation of God), commemorates T H I S M O S T HE WASHED AWAY THE SIN OF HUMANITY, SIGNIFICANT DAY IN HUMAN HISTORY AND GRANTED REGENERATION, AND REVEALED THE POINTS TO THE AGE TO COME ETERNITY MYSTERY OF THE HOLY TRINITY. THE AGES OF AGES. Thus, H I S B A P T I S M W A S N E C E S S A R Y F O R T H E Thou art My Son, today I have Begotten Thee, is a FULFILMENT OF ALL GODS RIGHTEOUSNESS. composite quotation from Psalm 2:7 St Gregory of Nyssa taught us: Our Lord Jesus entered the filthy [i.e. SINFUL] waters of the world and when He I S A I A H 4 2 : 1 Behold! My Servant Whom I uphold, came out, H E R A I S E D U P [I.E. PURIFIED] T H E E N T I R E My Elect One, in Whom My Soul delights! WORLD WITH HIM. The substitution of Son for Servant reveals T H E D E I T Y OF CHRIST, THE NATURALLY AND ETERNALLY The Spirit of God hovered over the water at the first BEGOTTEN SON OF GOD. Creation. Now T H E H O L Y S P I R I T H O V E R E D L I K E THE BAPTISM OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST A DOVE TO ANOINT THE MESSIAH, THE SON OF REVEALS THE GREAT MYSTERY OF THE HOLY GOD, AT THE BEGINNING OF THE NE W TRINITY: CREATION. THE FATHER SPEAKS; Jesus Christ did not become the Son of God this day; THE HOLY SPIRIT DESCENDS; rather, I N H I S B A P T I S M T H E E T E R N A L S O N O F THE INCARNATE SON IS BAPTISED AND GOD IS REVEALED TO ALL HUMANITY. ANOINTED. THE HOLY SPIRIT ALWAYS RESTS ON CHRIST.

Holy Theophany The Prologue of St Nikolai And when he immersed the Lord in the Jordan River "When the Lord Jesus had lived for thirty years from His
Birth in the Flesh, He began His Teaching and Saving Work. He marked this very Beginning of the Beginning by His Baptism in the Jordan River. St Cyril of Jerusalem commented: 'The Beginning of the world - water; the Beginning of the Gospel - the Jordan.' At the Baptism of the Lord in the water, that Mystery was revealed to the world that had been predicted in the Old Testament and fabled in ancient Egypt and India - the Mystery of the Holy Trinity of God. God the Father revealed Himself to the sense of hearing, God the Holy Spirit to the sense of sight and God the Son, further beyond these, to the sense of touch. The Father gave His Testimony of the Son, the Son was Baptized in the waters and the Holy Spirit, like a dove, hovered over Christ. And when St John the Baptist bore witness of Christ and said: 'Behold the Lamb of God, Who taketh away the sin of the world!' (JOHN 1:29) ...O Trinity beyond all being, beyond all Goodness, beyond all Godhead, All-Powerful, All-Vigilant, invisible, incomprehensible; Creator of the spiritual beings and rational natures, innate Goodness, Unapproachable Light that Enlightens everyone coming into the world, shine also in me Thine unworthy servant. Enlighten the eyes of my mind that I may dare to sing the praises of Thy measureless Benevolence and Power. May my Supplication for the people here present be acceptable, so that my offences may not prevent the Holy Spirit from being present here; but permit me now without Condemnation to cry out to Thee and say: O Master, Lover of mankind, beyond all Goodness, Almighty, Eternal King: We Glorify Thee, the Creator and Fashioner of the Universe. We Glorify Thee, O Only-Begotten Son of God, without father from Thy Mother, without mother from Thy Father. For in the preceding Feast we beheld Thee as an Infant, but in the present Feast we behold Thee as full and perfect Man - our God, made manifest as Perfect God from Perfect God. For today the moment of the Feast is here - for us and the Choir of Saints assembled with us - as Angels keep Festival with mortals. Today the Grace of the Holy Spirit like a dove dwelt upon the waters. and Baptized Him, there were thus revealed both the Mission of Christ in the world and the Path of our Salvation. That is to say: Christ takes upon Himself the sin of the whole human race. He dies under it (the immersion) and rises again (the coming up out of the water), and we must die to the old, sinful man and rise again, Cleansed, Renewed and Re-born. Here is our Saviour and here is the Way of Salvation. The Feast of the Theophany is also called the Illuminating, for in the Jordan River there is given to us an Illumining - revealing God to us as the Holy Trinity - Consubstantial and Undivided. Another important Truth is that each of us who has been Baptized in the Sanctified Water of Holy Baptism is Illumined by the Father of Lights, through the Perfect Merits of the Son and in the Power of the Holy Spirit."

From Theophany Prayers by Patriarch Sophronios of Jerusalem


Today the Sun that never sets has dawned and the world is made Radiant with the Light of the Lord. Today the Moon with its radiant beams sheds Light on the world. Today the stars formed of light make the inhabited world lovely with the brightness of their splendour. Today the Clouds rain down from Heaven the shower of Justice for mankind. Today the Uncreated by His own Will accepts the laying on of hands by His own creature. Today the Prophet and Forerunner draws near, but stands by with Fear seeing Gods Condescension towards us. Today the streams of Jordan are changed into Healing by the Presence of the Lord. Today all Creation is watered by Mystical Streams. Today the failings of mankind are being washed away by the waters of Jordan. Today Paradise is opened for mortals and the Sun of Righteousness shines down on us. Today the bitter water as once for Moses people is changed to Sweetness by the Presence of the Lord. Today we have been Delivered from the Ancient Grief, and Saved as the New Israel. Today we have been Redeemed from darkness and are filled with Radiance by the Light of the Knowledge of God. Today the gloomy fog of the world is Cleansed by the Manifestation of our God. Today all creation shines with light from on High...

6.

(DONATIONS GRATEFULLY ACCEPTED)

THEOPHANY

&

THE

BAPTISM

OF

CHRIST -

6 JANUARY 2013

Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria & All Africa


All Glory, Honour and Worship to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and forever, and unto the Ages of ages. Amen. Rememberi ng also our M ost Holy, Mos t Pure, M ost Blessed and Glorious Lady, Maria, Theotok os, yet Ever Virgin, together with all the Saints. A nd let us commit ourselves and one another and our whole Life to Christ our God. Amen.

7 January 2013 After Feast of Theophany Synaxis of St John the Baptist & Forerunner to Christ
Also the Feast of St Pachomios of Keno Lake St Brannock of Braunton St Cedd of Lastingham

FESTAL APOLYTIKION

OF

THEOPHANY

En

Iordani Vaptizomenou Sou Kyrie, i tis Triados efanerothi Proskinisis. Tou gar Gennitoros i Foni prosemartiri Si, Agapiton Se Iion Onomazousa. Ke to Pnevma en idi peristeras eveveou tou Logou to asfales. O Epifanis, Hriste O Theos, ke ton kosmon Fotisas, Doxa Si!
OF

When

Thou, O Lord, was Baptised in the Jordan, the Worship of the Trinity was made manifest. For the Voice of the Father bore witness to Thee, calling Thee the Beloved Son, and the Spirit, like a dove, confirmed His Word as Sure and Steadfast. O Christ our God, Who has Appeared and Enlightened the world: Glory to Thee!
TO

FESTALAPOLYTIKION

ST JOHN

THE

BAPTIST & FORERUNNER TONE 2

CHRIST

OUR

LORD & SAVIOUR

Mnimi

Dikeou met engomion; Si de arkesi i martiria tou Kyriou Prodrome; anedihthis gar ontos ke Profiton sevasmioteros, oti ke rithris Vaptise, katihiothis ton kirittomenon. Othen tis Alithias iperathlisas, heron evingeliso ke tis en Adi: Theon fanerothenta en Sarki, ton eronta tin amartian tou kosmou, ke parehonta imin to Mega Eleos.

The memory of the Just is praised; but for Thou shall


suffice, the Witness of the Lord, O Forerunner; for Thou hast truly come forth as more honoured than the Prophets, since Thou proved worthy to Baptise, in the streams, the One they preached about. Thus, having contended for the Truth supremely, with Joy Thou brought the Good News, even to those in Hades of God Who appeared in the Flesh, and took away the sin of the world, and Who grants to all His Great Mercy.

FESTAL KONTAKION

OF

THEOPHANY

Epefanis

simeron ti ikoumeni, ke to fos sou Kyrie, esimiothi ef imas en epignosi imnountas se. Ilthes efanis to Fos to aprositon.

Thou hast appeared today to the inhabited earth, and


Thy Light, O Lord, has been marked upon us, who with knowledge sing Thy praise: Thou hast come, Thou art made manifest, the Light that no man can approach.

SECOND FESTAL ANTIPHON

imas Ie Theou O EN IORDANI IPO IOANNOU VAPTISTHIS, psallontas Si: Allilouia! INSTEAD OF THE TRISAGION ( AGIOS O THEOS... )

Soson Osi

Save As

us, O Son of God BAPTISED BY JOHN IN THE JORDAN, who sing to Thee: Allilouia! many of you as have been Baptised into Christ, have put on Christ: Alleluia!

is Hriston Allilouia!

Evaptisthite,

Hriston

enedisasthe.

The

Acts of the Apostles 19 : 1 - 8


THE DISCIPLES OF ST JOHN THE BAPTIST

Brethren, it happened, while Apollos was at Corinth, that Paul, having passed through the upper regions, came to Ephesos. And finding some Disciples, he said to them, Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed? So they said to him, We have not so much as heard whether there is a Holy Spirit. And he said to them, Into what then were you Baptised? So they said, Into Johns Baptism. Then Paul said, John indeed Baptised with a Baptism of Repentance, saying unto the people that they should believe on Him Who would come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. When they heard this, they were Baptised in the Name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied. Now the men were about twelve in all. And he went into the Synagogue and spoke boldly for three months, reasoning and persuading concerning the things of the Kingdom of God. Ephesos was a large, magnificent city, the capital of the In the Church, THE LAYING ON OF HANDS FOR THE Roman Province of Asia Minor. Located on the main RECEIVING OF THE H OLY S PIRIT IMMEDIATELY route from Rome to the East, it was a major centre of THE FOLLOWS THE H OLY M YSTERY OF B APTISM . trade and commerce, not only in goods but also in TWO EVENTS ARE DISTINCT BUT NOT SEP ARATE . ideas. The Orthodox Church continues this Apostolic St Paul remained in Ephesos for at least two years and Sacramental Practice. three months. F AITHFUL P REACHING OF THE H OLY G OSPEL DEMANDS Because of its strategic location, the city became a centre P REACHING THE K INGDOM OF G OD . of outreach for the growing Church. ANY R ELATIONSHIP WITH C HRIST WITHOUT THE R EALITY Churches were formed in almost every city and town in the OF H IS K INGDOM - AS IT IS EXPERIENCED IN THE province within three years, including the churches to C HURCH AND IN THE A GE TO COME FALLS FAR which the Seven Letters in the Book of Revelation/the SHORT OF T RUE C HRISTIANITY . Apocalypse are addressed.

AFTER FEAST

OF

THEOPHANY - SYNAXIS OF ST JOHN THE BAPTIST 7 JANUARY 2013

7.

The Holy Gospel According to St John 1 : 29 34


ST JOHN THE BAPTISTS TESTIMONY TO CHRIST OUR LORD

At that time, the next day John saw Jesus coming towards him, and said: Behold! The Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world! This is He of Whom I said, After me comes a Man Who is preferred before me, for He was before me. I did not know Him; but that He should be revealed to Israel, therefore I came Baptising with water. And John bore witness, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from Heaven like a dove, and He remained upon Him. I did not know Him, but He Who sent me to Baptise with water said to me: Upon Whom thou see the Spirit descending, and remaining on Him, this is He Who Baptises with the Holy Spirit. And I have seen and testified that this is the Son of God. St Johns naming our Lord Jesus Christ publicly as the When you make His Life an Offering for sin, He shall Lamb of God recalled St Isaiahs Servant of God see His Offspring and shall prolong His Days; Who died for the transgressions of His People. through Him the Will of the Lord shall The Prophecy of St Isaiah foretold of Christ: prosper, out of His Anguish He shall see Light; He Surely He has borne our infirmities and carried shall find satisfaction through His Knowledge. our diseases; yet we accounted Him stricken The Righteous One, My Servant, shall make many struck down by God - and afflicted. Righteous and He shall bear their iniquities. And He was Wounded for our transgressions, Therefore I will allot Him a portion with the Great and crushed for our iniquities; upon Him was the He shall divide the spoil with the strong: because Punishment that made us whole, and by His He poured out Himself in Death, and was Bruises we are Healed. numbered with the transgressors; yet He bore the All we - like sheep - have gone astray; we have all sin of many and made Intercessions for the turned to our own way, and the Lord has laid transgressors. [ISAIAH 53:4 12] upon Him the iniquity of us all. Christ, the True Paschal Lamb, offered Himself for our He was oppressed, and He was afflicted, yet He did Deliverance from Darkness [OF SIN, IGNORANCE, DISOBEDIENCE not open His Mouth; like a lamb that is led to the TO GOD, ETC] as St Peter the Holy Apostle reminded us: slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers (conduct yourselves throughout the time of is silent, so He did not open His Mouth. your stay here in Fear;) knowing that you were By a perversion of justice He was taken away. not Redeemed with corruptible/perishable Who could have imagined His Future? For He was cut things, like silver or gold, from your aimless off from the Land of the Living, stricken for the conduct received by tradition from your Fathers, transgression of My People. but with the Precious Blood of Christ, as of a They made His Grave with the wicked and His Tomb Lamb Without Blemish and Without Spot. [1 PETER:1819] with the rich, although He had done no violence, The Holy Spirit ...remained upon Him, because and there was no deceit in His Mouth. CHRIST OUR LORD POSSESSES THE HOLY Yet it was the Will of the Lord to crush Him with SPIRIT IN HIS FULLNESS! pain.

Synaxis of St John the Baptist The Prologue of St Nikolai


St John the Baptists greatest role during his life was enacted on the day of Holy Theophany, and because of this the Church of Christ has, from the earliest times, dedicated the day following Theophany to his memory. This day is also connected with an event involving the Sanctified hand of the Forerunner. St Luke wanted to take St John's body from Sebaste, where the great Prophet had been beheaded by Herod, to Antioch, his own birthplace. He was only able to take one of St Johns hands, which was preserved at Antioch until the 10th century, when it was moved to Constantinople, from whence it disappeared during the Turkish occupation. St John the Forerunner is commemorated several times during the year, but his greatest Feast is 7 January, the Synaxis of St John the Baptist. Amongst the contemporaries of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, St John the Baptist holds a very special place, by the manner of his birth and of his earthly life, by his role as Righteous Baptiser of mankind to Repentance and his Baptism of the Messiah, and, lastly, by the tragic manner of his departure from this world. He was of such moral Purity that he indeed deserved the title 'Angel'*, as he was named in the Scriptures, rather than being thought of as just an ordinary mortal man. St John the Baptist differs from all the other Holy Prophets of God in that he had the Joy of showing forth to the world our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, Whom he had foretold. Furthermore, after his death, St John continued preaching the Coming of Christ in Hades, until the Harrowing of Hades at the Descent of Christ after His Crucifixion.
(*THE WORD 'MESSENGER' IS, IN GREEK, 'ANGELOS'. SEE MALACHI 3:1, MATT. 11-10)"

of soul and body to those who ask him for his Intercessory Supplications to God. May St. John the Baptist & Forerunner Intercede to Christ for all of us and help us. Amen
ADAPTED & EDITED BY MP:
HTTP://FULL-OF-GRACE-AND-TRUTH.BLOGSPOT.COM

THE SANCTIFIED RIGHT ARM OF ST JOHN THE BAPTIST & FORERUNNER TO CHRIST OUR LORD AND SAVIOUR, WHICH IS REVERENTLY PRESERVED AT THE HOLY MONASTERY OF DIONYSIOU ON MOUNT ATHOS.

Through his Holy Relics and Holy Icons, and at the Prayers of the Faithful, St John the Forerunner continues to work endless Miracles and Healings

8.

AFTER FEAST

OF

THEOPHANY - SYNAXIS OF ST JOHN THE BAPTIST 7 JANUARY 2013

Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria & All Africa


All Glory, Honour and Worship to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and forever, and unto the Ages of ages. Amen. Rememberi ng also our Mos t Holy, Mos t Pure, Most Blessed and Glori ous Lad y, Maria, Theotokos, yet Ever Virgin, together with all the Saints. And let us commi t ourselves and one another and our whole Life to Christ our God. Amen.

10 January 2013 St Gregory of Nyssa


(YOUNGER
BROTHER OF

ST BASIL

THE

GREAT)

Also the Feast of St Dometian of Melitene St Markianos the Presbyter of Constantinople St Paul Ascetic Abbot of of Obnora, Vologda - St Theophan the Recluse of Tambo St Makarios. Ascetic Abbot of Pisma and Kostroma Monasteries St Theosebia the Deaconess, sister of St Basil the Great & St Gregory of Nyssa St Antipas of Valaam MonasteryFESTAL APOLYTIKION - THEOPHANY

En

Iordani Vaptizomenou Sou Kyrie, i tis Triados efanerothi Proskinisis. Tou gar Gennitoros i Foni prosemartiri Si, Agapiton Se Iion Onomazousa. Ke to Pnevma en idi peristeras eveveou tou Logou to asfales. O Epifanis, Hriste O Theos, ke ton kosmon Fotisas, Doxa Si!
OF

When

Thou, O Lord, was Baptised in the Jordan, the Worship of the Trinity was made manifest. For the Voice of the Father bore witness to Thee, calling Thee the Beloved Son, and the Spirit like a dove, confirmed His Word as sure and steadfast. O Christ our God, Who has appeared and Enlightened the world: Glory to Thee!

FESTAL APOLYTIKION -ST GREGORY

NYSSA TONE 4

O Theos ton Pateron imon, O pion ai meth imon kata O God of our Fathers, ever dealing with us according
tin Sin epiikian, mi apostrisis to Eleos Sou af imon, alla tes afton ikesies en Irini kivernison tin Zoin imon.
FESTAL KONTAKION - THEOPHANY

to Thy Gentleness: take not Thy Mercy from us, but by their Entreaties guide our Life in Peace.

Epefanis

simeron ti ikoumeni, ke to Fos Sou Kyrie, esimiothi ef imas en epignosi imnountas Se. Ilthes efanis to Fos to aprositon.

Thou appeared today to the inhabited earth, and Thy


Light, O Lord, has been marked upon us, who with knowledge sing Thy praise: Thou came;, Thou art made manifest, the Light that no man can approach.

FESTAL KONTAKION - ST GREGORY

OF

NYSSA

Tis

Ekklisias O entheos Ierarhis, ke tis sofias sevasmios imnografos, Nissis O Grigoros nou Grigorios, sin Angelis Horefon, ke entrifon to tho Foti, presvevi apafstos iper panton imon.

Rejoicing

with the Angels and taking delight in the Divine Light, Gregory of Nyssa, the vigilant mind, the God-Inspired Hierarch of the Church, and Wisdom's revered Hymnographer, intercede unceasingly for us all.

Prokeimenon:

O Lord, Save Thy People and Bless Thine Inheritance. I Will appeal to Thee, O Lord our God.
The Epistle of St Paul to the Ephesians 4 : 7 13
WE
MUST USE OUR

SPIRITUAL GIFTS

Brethren: to each one of us Grace was granted according to the measure of Christs Gift. Therefore He says: When He ascended on High, He led captivity captive, and granted Gifts to mankind.(Now this ...He ascended... what does it mean but that He also first descended into the lower parts of the earth? He Who descended is also the One Who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things.) And He Himself gave some to be Apostles, some Prophets, some Evangelists, and some Pastors and Teachers, for the equipping of the Saints for the Work of Ministry, for the edifying of the Body of Christ, until we all come to the Unity of the Faith and of the Knowledge of the Son of God, to a Perfect Man, to the measure of the stature of the Fullness of Christ.. While the Holy Church Of Christ is One in Essence, it is The reference to the lower parts of the earth concerns diverse in its Holy Gifts and Functions. either the earth itself i.e. The Incarnation of the Unity does not mean uniformity and each member of the Eternal Son of God or physical burial and Hades the Body of Christ His Holy Church is unique in the place of the dead (before the Coming of Christ) and Sight of God, with different Gifts and specific roles the Death of Christ and His Descent into Hades in His granted to each soul by God. human Nature. Diversity in operation is based on the Ascent of the Son of ONLY CHRIST - WHO IS BOTH GOD AND MAN - CAN FILL ALL God into Heaven and the Descent of the Holy Spirit THINGS. Who Enables and Activates us - providing everything ONLY CHRIST OUR SAVIOUR CAN REIGN OVER THE UNIFICATION necessary for our Eternal Life in Christ, which we alone AND FULFILMENT OF ALL CREATION. are unable to do. The Divine Gifts that St Paul mentions in this particular We are also guided, taught and assisted by specially Gifted section of his Epistle to the Ephesians are limited to people who work by the Grace of God for the sake of those who lead our Holy Church. the maturity and stability of the entire Holy Church of The Holy Spirit extends His Divine Gifts to each person at Christ i.e. For all the Faithful Disciples of Christ, as their Chrismation immediately after their Holy well as those who are presently outside the nurturing Baptism, but the Ministry Gifts listed here form one Protection of the Holy Church. leadership group who are responsible for equipping St Pauls Rabbinic manner of intertwining the Ascension of the laity the people for our own Holy Work of Christ with the Descent of the Holy Spirit, reveals the Ministry. unique Relationship between the Body of Christ His THERE IS A DIVERSITY OF PEOPLE AND HOLY GIFTS IN Holy Church and the Divine Gifts of the Holy Spirit CHRISTS HOLY CHURCH FOR THE UNITY OF SERVICE, FOR that make everything possible for us to achieve. THE METICULOUS PRESERVATION OF TRUTH, AND FOR THE

AFTERFEAST

OF

THEOPHANY ST GREGORY

THE

THEOLOGIAN

OF

NYSSA 10 JANUARY 2013

9.

OPERATION OF DIVINE LOVE AGAPE which is the primary Quality of Christian Growth and Development. The Church in which Christian Life i.e. our Life in Christ develops, is not primarily an organisation, but an organism whose parts or MEMBERS RECEIVE THEIR EDIFYING POWER FROM CHRIST TO GROW INTO HIM. St Paul did not look at Christians as being isolated individuals who progressed towards Perfection

Theosis but rather as Unique and Sanctified Members of Christs Body, EACH SOUL STRIVING TO REACH THE PERFECT FAITH AND FULL KNOWLEDGE OF THE SON OF GOD. Thus UNITY OF FAITH CANNOT BE SEPARATED FROM KNOWLEDGE OF THE SON OF GOD.

The Holy Gospel of Christ According to St Luke 3 : 19 22


OUR CALL TO REPENTANCE & THE DIVINE REVELATION
OF

THEOPHANY

At that time, Herod the Tetrarch, being rebuked by St John the Baptist concerning Herodias, the wife of his brother, Philip, and for all the evil deeds that Herod had done, also added this, above all, that he imprisoned John. When all the people were Baptised, it came to pass that Jesus also was Baptised; and while He prayed, the Heaven was opened. And the Holy Spirit descended like a dove upon Him, and a Voice came from Heaven, which said: Thou art My Beloved Son; in Thee I Am well pleased! King Herod was a Tetrarch, meaning that he was one of 1. HE AFFIRMED ST JOHN THE BAPTISTS HOLY MINISTRY OF four Governors of the region that was under Roman REPENTANCE in preparation of Gods Kingdom of occupation. Heaven. He was a wicked, paranoid Ruler who called himself 2. HE WAS REVEALED AND CONFIRMED WITHOUT A DOUBT BY King, even though, in reality he was not of any Royal GOD THE FATHER AND THE HOLY SPIRIT AS THE LONGLineage. AWAITED MESSIAH the Eternal Christ God - the His cruelty and persecution of the innocent was infamous Incarnate Eternal Word and Beloved Only Begotten and St John the Baptist loudly and vehemently Son of God the Father. condemned both him for his unbridled wickedness 3. HE IDENTIFIED WITH HIS PEOPLE BY DESCENDING INTO and his sister in law, Herodias for her similar evil THE BAPTISMAL WATERS WITH THEM. lifestyle. 4. HE PREFIGURED HIS OWN DEATH ON THE CROSS, THEREBY Herod had divorced his wife in order to co-habit unlawfully GIVING HOLY BAPTISM ITS ULTIMATE MEANING. (THE DEATH OF SIN AND THE REGENERATION OF ETERNAL LIFE IN CHRIST) and immorally with Herodias, the wife of his living 5. HE FULFILLED THE MANY TYPES MENTIONED IN THE OLD brother, Philip. TESTAMENT such as when Moses led Gods People However, when he had St John the Baptist illegally and out of bondage through the Red Sea and when the unjustly imprisoned, it was the biggest mistake of his Ark of the Covenant was carried into the Jordan life. River so that the Hebrew Nation could finally enter Herod actually feared the wrath of the people and secretly the Promised Land respected St John the Baptist so he did not dare to 6. HE OPENED HEAVEN THE ETERNAL HEAVENLY KINGDOM harm him and apparently listened to what the Holy OF GOD to our fallen world that has been Prophet loudly and clearly preached, even from his separated from our Loving God through our sins dark and dank dungeon below the palace. our Fall from Divine Grace the Ancestral Sin of But all too soon, the devious plotting and planning of St Adam and Eve. John the Baptists arch-enemy, Herodias, would finally V THEOPHANY MEANS GOD REVEALED, and the Son of be gratified during a drunken banquet when she God was revealed by the Descent of the Holy Spirit would take full advantage of the situation and have and by the Voice of God the Father, which was the him murdered. greatest and most clear public Manifestation of V OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST MOST CERTAINLY DID NOT Almighty God as Holy Trinity in human history/ REQUIRE BAPTISM FOR THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS V THE DIVINE DECLARATION OF GOD THE FATHER ALSO BECAUSE HE WAS THE ONLY HUMAN BEING (i.e. in APPLIES TO EVERYONE WHO IS BAPTISED INTO CHRIST his human or Incarnate Nature) WHO WAS JESUS AND WHO FAITHFULLY LIVES IN CHRIST SINCE COMPLETELY SINLESS. OUR HOLY ADOPTION AS HEIRS OF GOD IS BESTOWED Having fully taken on our human nature, CHRIST RESISTED UPON US DURING OUR HOLY BAPTISM BY GOD. ALL TEMPTATION AND HE NEVER FELL INTO ANY SIN V THE HOLY SPIRIT WHO HOVERED ABOVE THE HEAD OF OUR WHATSOEVER. LORD JESUS CHRIST WAS NOT AN INCARNATION BUT He thereby showed us by His Perfect Example that DESPITE RATHER A VISIBLE SIGN FOR THE PEOPLE TO WITNESS. ALL THE TEMPTATION THAT TRIES TO OVERWHELM AND This Divine Appearance of the Holy Spirit further fulfils the DEFEAT US, IT IS POSSIBLE TO REJECT IT AND BECOME type prefigured after the Great Flood: just as a dove VICTORIOUS over the evil one and his sly deceptions. announced to Noah that Gods Wrath had ceased, so V BY BEING BAPTISED, OUR LORD JESUS ACCOMPLISHED too THE HOLY SPIRIT ANNOUNCES HERE THAT CHRIST HAS SEVERAL THINGS: RECONCILED US TO GOD BY SWEEPING SIN AWAY IN THE FLOOD WATERS OF BAPTISM! (ST THEOPHAN THE RECLUSE)

St Gregory of Nyssa
St Gregory was raised in a very large pious Christian family, many of whom became Saints. He received a good education and taught rhetoric at one point .and in 372, his brother, St Basil, ordained him as Bishop of Nyssa in Cappadocia. St Gregory and St Basil both valiantly defended the Faith against the attacks of the Arians. St Gregory was twice deposed as Bishop due to false accusations made by the heretics but he was finally justifiably reinstated in 378. In 379, his brother St Basil the Great died and as the two brothers were extremely close, St Gregory deeply mourned his loss. To honour him St Gregory wrote his Funeral Oration and completed St Basil's Hexaemeron, a series of nine Sermons, delivered during Great Lent, which described and elaborated upon the Genesis account of the world's Creation in six days. (HEXAEMERON MEANS "SIX
DAYS").

The following year, their sister, St Macrina, also died, and St Gregory wrote a Hagiography detailing her Life in Christ. St Gregory attended the local Synod of Antioch, and zealously defended Orthodoxy. The Council was called to rebut a heresy that denied the perpetual Virginity of the Theotokos, on one hand, and other the other, it forbade worship of Her as God or part of the Godhead. St Gregory continued to fight Arianism. He attended the Second Ecumenical Council in Constantinople, which added the final section concerning the Holy Spirit to the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed. For the rest of his life, St Gregory continued to attend Church Councils, discuss Doctrinal matters, and combat various heresies. He reached old age and finally reposed in the Lord at the end of the fourth century.

10.

AFTERFEAST

OF

THEOPHANY ST GREGORY

THE

THEOLOGIAN

OF

NYSSA 10 JANUARY 2013

Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria & All Africa


All Glory, Honour and Worship to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and forever, and unto the Ages of ages. Amen. Rememberi ng also our M ost Holy, Mos t Pure, Most Blessed and Gl orious Lady, Maria, Theotok os, yet Ever Virgi n, toge ther with all the Saints. A nd let us commit ourselves and one another and our whole Life to Chris t our God. Amen.

32nd Sunday After Pentecost

Tone (7) Varys/Grave

1 3 J a n ua r y 2 0 13

Afterfeast of Theophany Sunday After Theophany


Also the Feast of St Hermylos & St Stratonikos of Belgrade St Irenarchos the Recluse of Rostov St Eleazar the Venerable of Anzersk Island, Solovki St Peter of Anium, Hieropolis St James, Bishop of Nisibis St Hilary, Bishop of Pontiers St Maximos Kavsokalyvites of Mount Athos St Elian, Missionary to Cornwall, England
RESURRECTION/FESTAL APOLYTIKION TONE (7) VARYS/GRAVE

Katelisas

to Stavro Sou ton Thanaton. Ineoxas to listi ton Paradison. Ton Myroforon ton thrinon metevales ke tis sis Apostolis kirittin epetaxas, oti Anestis, Hriste O Theos, parehon to kosmo to Mega Eleos.

By Thy Cross Thou destroyed Death;


Thou opened Paradise to the Thief; Thou changed the funeral lament of the Myrrh-Bearers, and Commanded them to announce to Thine Apostles that Thou had Risen from the dead, O Christ our God, Who bestows on the world Great Mercy!

FESTAL APOLYTIKION - THEOPHANY TONE (7) VARYS/GRAVE

En

Iordani Vaptizomenou Sou Kyrie, i tis Triados efanerothi Proskinisis. Tou gar Gennitoros i Foni prosemartiri Si, Agapiton Se Iion Onomazousa. Ke to Pnevma en idi peristeras eveveou tou Logou to asfales. O Epifanis, Hriste O Theos, ke ton kosmon Fotisas, Doxa Si!

When

Thou, O Lord, was Baptised in the Jordan, the Worship of the Trinity was made manifest. For the Voice of the Father bore witness to Thee, calling Thee the Beloved Son, and the Spirit like a dove, confirmed His Word as sure and steadfast. O Christ our God, Who has appeared and Enlightened the world: Glory to Thee! Above, Thou appeared today, to the earths people and Thy Light, O our Lord, has been marked upon us who in True Knowledge sing unto Thee: Thou came, Thou appeared, O Light Unapproachable!
HIS ELEVEN APOSTLES

FESTAL KONTAKION - THEOPHANY

Epefanis

simeron ti ikoumeni, ke to Fos Sou, Kyrie, esimiothi ef imas, en epignosi imnountas Se. Ilthes, efanis, to Fos Aprositon

From

Resurrection Gospel 10 :John 21 : 1 14


OUR RESURRECTED LORD JESUS
SERVES BREAKFAST TO

Prokeimenon:

The Lord shall reign forever! Praise the Lord, O my soul!


The Epistle of St Paul to the Ephesians 4 : 7 13
WE
MUST USE OUR

SPIRITUAL GIFTS

Brethren: to each one of us Grace was granted according to the measure of Christs Gift. Therefore He says: When He ascended on High, He led captivity captive, and granted Gifts to mankind.(Now this ...He ascended... what does it mean but that He also first descended into the lower parts of the earth? He Who descended is also the One Who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things.) And He Himself gave some to be Apostles, some Prophets, some Evangelists, and some Pastors and Teachers, for the equipping of the Saints for the Work of Ministry, for the edifying of the Body of Christ, until we all come to the Unity of the Faith and of the Knowledge of the Son of God, to a Perfect Man, to the measure of the stature of the Fullness of Christ... While the Holy Church of Christ is One in Essence, it is Holy Church and the Divine Gifts of the Holy Spirit diverse in Its Holy Gifts and Functions. that make everything possible for us to achieve. Unity does not mean uniformity and each member of the The reference to the lower parts of the earth concerns Body of Christ His Holy Church is unique in the either the earth itself i.e. the Incarnation of the Sight of God, with different Gifts and specific Roles Eternal Son of God or physical burial and Hades the granted to each soul by God. place of the dead (before the Coming of Christ) and Diversity in operation is based on the Ascent of the Son of the Death of Christ and His Descent into Hades in His God into Heaven and the Descent of the Holy Spirit human Nature. Who Enables and Activates us - providing everything ONLY CHRIST - WHO IS BOTH GOD AND MAN - CAN FILL ALL necessary for our Eternal Life in Christ, which we alone THINGS. are unable to do. ONLY CHRIST OUR SAVIOUR CAN REIGN OVER THE UNIFICATION We are also guided, taught and assisted by specially gifted AND FULFILMENT OF ALL CREATION. people who work by the Grace of God for the sake of The Divine Gifts that St Paul mentions in this particular the maturity and stability of the entire Holy Church of section of his Epistle to the Ephesians are limited to Christ i.e. For all the Faithful Disciples of Christ, as those who lead our Holy Church. well as those who are presently outside the nurturing The Holy Spirit extends His Divine Gifts to each person at Protection of the Holy Church. their Chrismation immediately after their Holy St Pauls Rabbinic manner of intertwining the ascension of Baptism, but the Ministry Gifts listed here form one Christ with the Descent of the Holy Spirit, reveals the Leadership Group who are responsible for equipping unique Relationship between the Body of Christ His

32ND SUNDAY AP AFTER THEOPHANY REPENTANCE & HEAVENLY KINGDOM 13 JANUARY 2013

11.

the laity the people for our own Holy Work of Ministry. There is a diversity of people and Holy Gifts in Christs Holy Church for the Unity of Service, for the meticulous Preservation of Truth, and for the Operation of Divine Love Agape which is the primary Quality of Christian Growth and Development. The Church in which Christian Life i.e. Our Life in Christ develops, is not primarily an organisation, but an

Organism whose parts or members receive their edifying Power from Christ in order to grow into Him. St Paul did not look at Christians as being isolated individuals who progressed towards Perfection Theosis but rather as unique and Sanctified members of Christs Body, each soul striving to reach the Perfect Faith and Full Knowledge of the Son of God. Thus UNITY OF FAITH CANNOT BE SEPARATED FROM KNOWLEDGE OF THE SON OF GOD.
KINGDOM
OF

The Holy Gospel According to St Matthew 4 : 12 17


REPENTANCE &
THE

HEAVEN

At that time, when Jesus heard that John had been put in prison, He departed to Galilee. And leaving Nazareth, He went and dwelt in Capernaum, which is by the sea, in the regions of Zebulun and Naphtali, that it might be fulfilled, which was spoken by Isaiah the Prophet, saying: The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, by way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles: the people who sat in darkness have seen a Great Light, and upon those who sat in the region and shadow of Death, Light has dawned From that time Jesus began to preach and to say: Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand! After the illegal imprisonment of St John the Baptist, our TRUE AND SINCERE REPENTANCE IS BROUGHT ABOUT BY OUR Lord Jesus went to live in Galilee. Consequently the TRUE AND SINCERE FAITH IN CHRIST AND THE HOLY Inspired Prophesy of St Isaiah, the Holy Prophet of TRINITY. God, was fulfilled. Our continuing Repentance is motivated by our Faith. St Isaiah had lived so many centuries before and his WE ARE IN A PERPETUAL STATE OF SPIRITUAL LIFE AND Prophecies were recorded in the Book of Isaiah (circa SPIRITUAL DEATH I.E. REPENTANCE AND FORGIVENESS 745 680 BC, which was between 25 years before the (Spiritual Life and a return to Divine Grace) and Assyrian captivity of the Northern Kingdom of Judah to surrendering to the temptations through our sinful approximately 40 years afterwards.) thoughts, which become sinful words and deeds i.e. St Isaiahs Prophecy concerning our Lord and Saviour falling into Spiritual Death , which is our terrifying Jesus Christ- i.e. his Vision of the Glory of God is alienation from the Divine Grace of God. one of infinite Transcendence. So THIS LIFE OF PREPARATION FOR ETERNITY IS A CONSTANT MANKINDS ROLE IS ONE OF FAITH IN RESPONSE TO DIVINE STRIVING AND STRUGGLE against the weakness of our HOLINESS AND VISION FOR THE ENTIRE WORLD and ST flesh and the temptation of the fallen world and the ISAIAH REVEALED THE MESSIAH OUR LORD JESUS deceptions of the evil one. CHRIST THE HOLY ONE OF ISRAEL IN AMAZING THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN IS PRESENT WHEREVER CHRIST DETAIL as if he were relating history instead of OUR LORD AND SAVIOUR IS so through our constant predicting the distant future! Spiritual Watchfulness and Struggle, we are able to He even described Theotokos and how She was to return after each fall to His Divine Presence and Love. Conceive and Bear God the Son Incarnate with Her The word METANOIA (REPENTANCE) LITERALLY MEANS to Virginity intact. change ones mind, or more generally, TO TURN Furthermore, ST ISAIAH DESCRIBED THE SUFFERING PASSION AROUND COMPLETELY. OF CHRIST TOGETHER WITH HIS GLORIOUS RESURRECTION Thus TRUE REPENTANCE IS A RADICAL CHANGE OF BODY AND FROM THE DEAD, PROCLAIMING HIS ETERNAL KINGDOM as SOUL a complete transformation of attitude, belief, if it had already happened! motivation, deeds - of being a genuine Life IN Christ! The term: Galilee of the Gentiles indicates that many This is the only and most essential most vital - first step non-Hebrews lived in the region. Having a mixed on the Path or Way of the Lord, which after Holy population, Galilee was not considered to be a Baptism and Chrismation is accompanied by genuinely Jewish land, even though many Gentile REGULAR CONFESSION OF SINS, THE PARTAKING OF HOLY residents had converted to Judaism during the EUCHARIST (COMMUNION), REGULAR PARTICIPATION AND Maccabean period. ATTENDANCE AT ALL HOLY SERVICES, AND THE Because many of the Hebrews there had been influenced COMMITMENT TO FASTING EVERY WEDNESDAY AND FRIDAY by the Greek or Hellenistic culture and customs, they AS WELL AS WHENEVER PRESCRIBED BY THE HOLY were generally regarded as being second class CHURCH. citizens by the Judean Hebrews. OUR LIFE IN CHRIST IS FULFILLED AND CLEARLY EVIDENT BY The reference to darkness means a state of ungodliness THE RESULTS OF OUR SPIRITUAL TRANSFORMATION by i.e. being in a state of Spiritual Death or Darkness the Spiritual Harvest of Fruits of our Labours of Love where the Divine Light of God has been rejected. throughout this life. In this context, it represents the Gentiles unawareness of In other words, WHATEVER WE DO MUST BEAR GOOD RESULTS the One True Living and Almighty God and those FOR EVERYONE CONCERNED AND ESPECIALLY FOR THE Hebrews who remained in the shadows of the Old GLORY, HONOUR AND WORSHIP OF GOD. Covenant with God instead of accepting the Divine V EVERY WORD, THOUGHT AND DEED HAS AN ETERNAL Light and Truth of the New Covenant with God through CONSEQUENCE! the Guidance, Enlightenment and Teaching of Christ Although we might like to think that we can get away with our Lord and Saviour Who is in reality the actual our secret sins, we must never forget that NOTHING IS Incarnate Son of God. HIDDEN FROM GOD OR THE CLOUD OF WITNESSES WHO For anyone to sit in darkness means to be overcome or WATCH OVER US CONSTANTLY! enslaved by a Spiritual Ignorance or Rebellion against V WE ARE HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR EVERYTHING WE THINK, God. EVERYTHING WE SAY AND EVERYTHING WE DO EXCEPT The Great Light is the Holy Gospel or Good News of our FOR THOSE SINS THAT WE REPENT AND CONFESS Lord Jesus Christ the long-awaited Messiah of God. BEFORE GOD AND HIS HOLY PRIESTHOOD!! THE FIRST DIVINE MESSAGE OF CHRIST TO THE WORLD like that of His Forerunner and Baptist, St John, WAS REPENT! MATTHEW 3: 1 3 : the Preparation for our Saviours Divine Ministry begins with St John the Baptists call to Repentance, which accompanies Faith and which is a TOTAL REFORMATION OF OUR EARTHLY HABITS AND LIFESTYLE.

12.

32ND SUNDAY AP AFTER THEOPHANY REPENTANCE & HEAV

ENLY

KINGDOM 13 JANUARY 2013

Sunday After Theophany


Brethren: It is important to remember the very last words of the Gospel when the Saviour begins to preach saying: Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand. People did not understand that so well in those days, and it is doubtful that we will ever understand it very well - even after more than 2,000 years. When Christ first said it, people were certainly anticipating the establishment of the Promised Kingdom, and the righting of all injustice and immorality. They were looking for a Messiah Who would be their King, so they believed that was what our Saviour referred to and they wanted to believe that this Kingdom would soon be established, according to what they understood the Prophecies meant. They were all certainly expecting an earthly Kingdom ruled by mighty King. So obviously, when they heard our Lord proclaim that ...the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand! the Hebrews were quite sure that this meant that the long awaited Messiah and His Kingdom were about to expel their Roman oppressors and that the Greek language spoken by everyone would be replaced by their own Hebrew language instead. They thought they would have a nice earthly, Theocratic Kingdom as they erroneously believed they had been promised by God. However, they did not understand (and even now, most people do not understand) that the Kingdom of which Christ spoke, was a reference to Himself but not just Himself as some sort of conquering King. Our Lord was declaring that the Kingdom of Heaven is in Him, for He is the Way, He is the Truth and He is the Life. (cf. John 14:6). Our Lord Jesus Christ is Himself the long-awaited and Divinely Promised Kingdom of Heaven! This Glorious, Eternal Kingdom in which we are already participating is the Body of Christ, of which we are all members i.e. the Holy Church of Christ the Head of which is our Lord while we are Its members). All this became possible due to our Lord Jesus Christs Perfect, Absolute Obedience to the Divine Will of God the Father. This Perfect Obedience is not accomplished because God the Father said to God the Son: Do this because I said so, or else! It is accomplished because God the Son lovingly and voluntarily offered His Eternal Obedience to the Divine Will of His Father due to the Divine Nature of His Love. We still have not learnt the full meaning of Obedience. We continue behaving as if Obedience means that we have to do are forced to do - something someone else says because its the Law - like the rules of stop signs or a speed limit signs that we always choose to ignore or apply only when it suits us to do so. We should obey the Law whether or God or mankind - because it keeps everything in the right order and is for the general good of everyone but that is not what real Obedience is about. REAL OBEDIENCE IN CHRISTIAN LIFE, AND IN WORLDLY LIFE IS VOLUNTARILY OFFERING OUR OBEDIENCE OUT OF LOVE. When we love someone, we want to be obedient to and co-operative with them. But this type of obedience is not merely because he/she says so or demands us to do so even though at times it could be like that. Obedience is more emulation: we love and admire someone, therefore, we want to be like that person. OBEDIENCE IN A MONASTERY OR IN PARISH LIFE IS WILLINGLY AND HUMBLY OFFERED TO SOMEONE a Spiritual Father, Teacher or Guide - WHO
OBVIOUSLY LIVES A CHRIST.

LIFE IN CHRIST - A LIFE OF LOVE IN

When our Lord proclaimed: Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand! He was actually exhorting us to turn our entire lives body and soul about to turn away from the wrong direction in which we are all heading and to correct the course of our Life so that we begin our Life in His Eternal Kingdom of Love. Few people fully understand the meaning of Repentance and most seem to think that it means that we are supposed to have some sort of an emotional, tearful reaction a sense or sadness, sorrow or regret for something we have said or done. Nevertheless, True Repentance is not necessarily about tearful sorrow or regret (although that does have its place). REPENTANCE MEANS TURNING AWAY FROM TOTALLY REJECTING - THE DARKNESS OF SIN AND REACHING TOWARDS THE LIGHT OF GOD AND ALL HIS GOODNESS. Repentance means turning away from selfishness and striving for Selflessness - turning away from Spiritual Death regaining Spiritual Life. Repentance is a complete about turn a complete change of heart, attitude and behaviour and when this truly occurs, we are filled with Great Joy. There might be a certain amount of sadness and regret concerning our sins but that should compel all the more to strive harder for Spiritual Life in Christ, rather than the darkness and bitterness of Spiritual Death! WHEN WE TURN TOWARDS OUR LORD, HE BLESSES US WITH SPIRITUAL LIFE, LIGHT, JOY AND PEACE THE HOLY FRUITS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT. Our life is vastly changed for it is filled with Spiritual Joy and Peace and Love - full of vigour, full of power all positive attributes. And that is exactly what our Lord Jesus was referring to when He exhorted us to Repent! Centuries after He said those words, we begin to understand that True, fulfilled Life is really found in Him. He is the Way, the Truth, the Life! He is the Living Kingdom of Heaven! It is at His Great Banquet, that we are gathered today. Standing together here in this Holy Temple we are gathered around the Lords Table - waiting for Him to feed us with His own Most Precious Body and Blood and by means of His own Hand, even though we receive Holy Communion from the hands of His Ordained Bishops and Priests. It is our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, Himself Who Feeds us as mentioned in one of the Prayers that is recited just before Holy Communion. We are ask our Lord to feed us all with His own Hand. And He does. Let us ask Him, as He is feeding us, to Renew our Love for Him to Renew our sense of direction for He is indeed the Way. And we beseech God to make us ready to be with our Lord Whom we Love, Worship and Adore with all our mind, with all our heart, with all our strength and with all our soul. May we all, by Divine Grace, be ready to be with Him Whom we Love, Who is the whole Purpose of our being. Let us ask Him to Renew and Strength this simple, straightforward Love and Joy so that we can Glorify Him in every part of our lives - all together - supporting each other in His Heavenly Kingdom - standing as we are: Glorifying the AllHoly Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, now, and ever, and unto the Ages of ages. Amen.
ADAPTED & EDITED BY MP: SUNDAY AFTER THEOPHANY SERMON BY HIS EMINENCE, ARCHBSHOP SERAPHIM OF OTTAWA & CANADA (2012) ARCHDIOCESE OF CANADA, OCA HTTP://WWW.PRAVMIR.COM/SUNDAY-AFTER-THEOPHANY/

32ND SUNDAY AP AFTER THEOPHANY REPENTANCE & HEAVENLY KINGDOM 13 JANUARY 2013

13.

St Barsanuphrios of Optina Monastery On the New Year


Brethren: I greet you with the New Year and I congratulate you with the Joys that I hope the Lord will send you in this New Year. I congratulate you also for the sorrows that will inevitably visit you this year: perhaps today, perhaps tomorrow, or in the near future. Incidentally, do not be confused by sorrows or fear them for sorrows and Joy are closely bound up with each other. This may seem strange to you, but remember the words of our Saviour: A woman, when she is in travail (maternity labour) has sorrow, because her hour has come. But as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembers no more the anguish, for Joy that a man (an infant) is born into the world. [John 16:21] Day turns to night, and night turns to day; bad weather turns to good; so also does sorrow turn into Joy, and Joy into sorrow. The Apostle St Paul pronounced threatening words against those who do not endure any suffering that is allowed by God for if you are left without any suffering, you are illegitimate Children. Do not be depressed. Let those be depressed who do not believe in God, for them, of course, sorrow is onerous because they know only worldly pleasures. However, those who believe in God should never be despondent because through their sorrows they receive the Rights of sons [i.e. heirs], without which one cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven. At the Nativity of Christ we sing the Irmos that refers to the unwavering Faith of the three Holy Youths who lived in a time of intense Spiritual Darkness and lack of Faith in or Obedience to God: Scorning the impious decree, the Children brought up together in Godliness, feared not the threat of fire, but, standing in the midst of the flames, they sang: O God of our Fathers: Blessed art Thou! Sorrows are that very threat of fire or trial, but we must never fear them. Rather we must be like the Three Holy Children of ancient times, and sing to God in our sorrow, firmly believing that they are permitted by God for our Salvation. May the Lord our God Save you all, and lead you to His Kingdom of Unwaning Light! Amen
ADAPTED & EDITED BY MP: SPIRITUAL INHERITANCE HOMILIES OF ST BARSANUPHIOS OF OPTINA 1 JANUARY 1913 http://www.pravoslavie.ru/english/44079.htm

Orthodox Teaching on Personal Salvation Part 1


INTRODUCTION: OBJECTIVE & SUBJECTIVE SALVATION The Dogma of Salvation in Christ is the central THE TERM ANCESTRAL SIN IS USED IN ORTHODOX THEOLOGY. THE Dogma of Christianity the heart of our EASTERN HOLY FATHERS ALSO USED THE TERM ORIGINAL Christian Faith. [PROTOPRESBYTER MICHAEL POMAZANSKY. ORTHODOX DAMAGE, AS OPPOSED TO ORIGINAL SIN (WHICH IS,
DOGMATIC THEOLOGY: A CONCISE EXPOSITION]

We

call Christ Himself our Saviour and in our Symbol of Faith, WE CONFESS OUR BELIEF in ...one Lord Jesus Christ... Who for us men and for our Salvation came down from Heaven and was Incarnate of the Holy Spirit and of the Virgin Mary, and became Man, and was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate, and suffered, and was buried... By these words the Orthodox Church teaches that THE SALVATION OF THE HUMAN RACE IS ACHIEVED BY THE SON OF GOD OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST Who said about Himself: ... the Son of Man came not to be ministered unto but to minister, and to give His Life as a Ransom for many. [MATTHEW 20:28 & MARK 10:45] Why do we call Christ our Saviour? Likewise, we can also ask: WHAT IS SALVATION? Salvation from what? If we are talking about Salvation, someone must be in danger. The answers that the Orthodox Church gives to these questions are tied to the Orthodox Teaching concerning ANCESTRAL SIN AND ITS CONSEQUENCES. The Doctrine of Original [ ANCESTRAL ] Sin has great significance in the Christian world view because upon it rests a whole series of other Dogmas.
[PROTOPRESBYTER MICHAEL POMAZANSKY]

ACTUALLY, A MUCH LATER WESTERN EXPRESSION.)

From the beginning, the Churchs Teaching has been that THE NATURE OF MANKIND WAS PROFOUNDLY CORRUPTED AS A RESULT OF THE FALL. Adam and Eve sinned by violating Gods Order and BREAKING THEIR CONNECTION WITH GOD WHO ALONE IS LIFE. The breaking of this Communion with God can be consummated only in death, because nothing created can continue indefinitely to exist of itself. Thus, by the transgression of the First Man, the principle of ... sin (the devil) entered into the world and through sin death, and so death passed upon all mankind... [CF ROMANS 5:12 & JOHN S
ROMANIDES ORIGINAL SIN ACCORDING TO ST PAUL]

... with the transgression of the Commandment, the principle of sin immediately entered into man the law of sin struck the very nature of mankind and quickly took root in us and developed. The sinful inclinations in mankind have taken the reigning position; man has become the servant of sin. [CF ROMANS 6:7] Both the mind and the feelings have become darkened in us and therefore our moral freedom often does not incline towards the good, but towards evil. [PROTOPRESBYTER MICHAEL POMAZANSKY] This damage ... was transmitted to [ADAMS] descendants and weighs upon them. WE ARE NOT GUILTY OF ADAMS SIN (as Western Soteriology puts it) BUT STILL HAVE TO DEAL WITH ITS CONSEQUENCES, as it affected the whole of mankind. This understanding of Adams sin as DAMAGE has deep implications for our understanding of what Christ has done for us, because otherwise we could ask: Why could not a Loving God just forgive the sin of Adam? Why did Christ need to come? The Patristic answer is that the ORIGINAL DAMAGE CANNOT BE FORGIVEN IT CAN ONLY BE CURED! Adam and Eve Repented. However, ... Repentance does not recall mankind from what is according to [our] nature; all that it does is to make them cease from sinning. [ST ATHANASIOS THE GREAT: ON THE
INCARNATION.]

CHRIST DID NOT MAKE US SINLESS, as there is still sin in the world, even after His Resurrection. HE DELIVERED US FROM THE POWER OF SIN FROM THE
PREDISPOSITION TO SIN THAT WE OURSELVES ARE UNABLE TO REVERSE. CHRIST ASSUMED THE PERFECT NATURE (of Adam before his Fall) but WITH ALL THE DEFICIENCIES (AFFLICTIONS)

OUR

Our wholesome essence got split into three parts: MIND, HEART AND BODY which BECAME CONFLICTED WITH EACH OTHER. WE INHERIT that damaged nature, with its PREDISPOSITION TO SIN. Original Sin is understood by Orthodox Theology as a sinful inclination, which has entered into mankind and has become our Spiritual Disease.
[PROTOPRESBYTER MICHAEL POMAZANSKY]

[HUMAN] NATURE WAS COMPLETELY DISLOCATED.

DAMAGED

AND

BECAME

caused by the Fall. The Divine Essence, as fleshless, does not partake in suffering. But since it was His Body that was subjected to all these Sufferings, ... the Word suffered for us because He Who is without passion was in a suffering Body. (ST CYRIL OF
ALEXANDRIA)

To be continued...
http://www.pravoslavie.ru/english/46463.htm#_ftn9

14.

32ND SUNDAY AP AFTER THEOPHANY REPENTANCE & HEAVENLY KINGDOM 13 JANUARY 2013

Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria & All Africa


All Gl ory, Honour and W orship to the Father, and to the Son, a nd to the Holy Spi rit, now and forever, and unto the Ages of ages. Amen. Rememberi ng also our Mos t Holy, Mos t Pure, Most Blessed and Glorious Lad y, Maria, Theotokos, yet Ever Virgin, together with all the Saints. And let us commit ourselves and one another and our whole Life to Christ our God. Amen.

16 January 2013 Veneration of St Peters Chains


Feast of St Maximos, Fool for Chirst of Totma, Vologda St Speusippos, St Eleusippos, St Meleusippos, St Leonilla (their grandmother) of Cappadocia, together with St NNeon, St Turbo & St Jonilla of Gaul St Danax the Reader of Macedonia St Honoratos of Arles & Founder of Lerins Monastery, Gaul (France) - St Damascene of Hilandar of Gabtovo & Mount Athos St Romilos the Hesychast, Disciple of St Gregory of Sinai
FESTAL APOLYTI
KION OF THE

VENERATI

ON

OF

ST PETER

CH

AINS

TONE 4

Tin Romin mi lipon, pros imas epedimisas, di on eforesas Without leaving Rome, Thou came to us, through the
imion Aliseon, ton Apostolon Protothrone. As en Pisti Prokinountes deometha. Tes pros Theon presvies Sou, dorise imin to Mega Eleos. Precious Chains that Thou wore, O Leader of the Apostles. As we venerate them in Faith, we pray to Thee: by Thine Intercessions with God, grant to us the Great Mercy.

My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Saviour For He has regarded the low estate of His Handmaiden
The Acts of the Apostles According to St Luke
THE LIBERATION
OF

Prokeimenon

12 : 1 11

ST PETER

BY THE

ANGEL

OF

GOD

About that time Herod the King stretched out his hand to harass some from the Church. Then he killed James, the brother of John, with the sword. And because he saw that it pleased the Hebrews, he proceeded further to seize Peter also. Now it was during the Days of Unleavened Bread. So when he had arrested Peter, Herod imprisoned him and delivered him to four squads of soldiers to keep him, intending to present him before the people after Passover. Peter was therefore kept in prison, but constant Prayer was offered to God for him by the Church. And when Herod was about to take him out, that night Peter was sleeping, bound with two chains between two soldiers; and the guards before the door were guarding the prison. Then, behold, an Angel of the Lord stood by him and a Light shone in the prison; and he struck Peter on the side and raised him up, saying: Arise, quickly! And his chains fell off his hands. Then the Angel said to him: Gird yourself and tie on your sandals. And so he did. And he said to him: Put on your garment and follow me. So Peter went out and followed him, and did not know that what was done by the Angel was real, but thought he was seeing a Vision. When they were past the first and the second guard posts, they arrived at the iron gate that led to the city, which opened to them of its own accord; and they went out and went down one street, and immediately the Angel departed from him. And when Peter had come to himself, he said: Now I know for certain that the Lord has sent His Angel, and has delivered me from the hand of Herod and from all the expectation of the Hebrew people. V The tremendous power of Intercessory Prayer by the prison demonstrate that G OD S D IVINE W ORKS ARE Holy Church of Christ on behalf of its Leaders is NOT ALWAYS CLEAR TO US WHILE THEY ARE evident from St Peters Miraculous Release from a UNFOLDING , BUT IN HINDSIGHT H IS D IVINE guarded prison by the Angel of God. P URPOSE OFTEN BECOMES QUITE CLEAR TO US . V St Peters initial confusion and subsequent understanding concerning his sudden release from

The Holy Gospel According to St John 21 : 14 - 25


OUR LORD JESUS RESTORES AND COMMISSIONS ST PETER

The third time our Resurrected Lord Jesus revealed Himself to His Disciples after He had Risen from the dead, when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter: Simon, son of Jonah, do you Love Me more than these? He said to Him: Yes, Lord, Thou know that I love Thee. He said to him: Feed My Lambs. He said to him again a second time: Simon, son of Jonah, do you Love Me? He said to Him:, Yes Lord; Thou know that I love Thee. He said to him: Tend My Sheep. He said to him the third time: Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me? Peter was grieved because He asked him a third time: Do you love Me? And he said to Him, Lord, Thou know all things; Thou know that I love Thee. Jesus said to him:, Feed My Sheep. Truly, truly, I say to you: when you were younger, you girded yourself and walked where you wished; but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will gird you and carry you where you do not wish to go. This He spoke, signifying by what death (Peter) would Glorify God. And when He had spoken this, He said to him: Follow Me! Then Peter, turning around, saw the Disciple whom Jesus Loved following, (who also had leaned against His Breast at the Supper and asked: Lord, who is the one who betrays Thee?) Seeing him, Peter said to Jesus: Lord, what about this man? Jesus said to him: If I Will that he remain until I come, WHAT IS THAT TO YOU? YOU FOLLOW ME! Then this saying went out among the Brethren that this Disciple would not die. Yet Jesus did not say to him that he would not die, but: If I Will that he remain until I come, what is that to you?

VENERATION

OF THE

CHAINS

OF

ST PETER

THE

APOSTLE

OF

CHRIST

16 JANUARY

2013

15.

This is the Disciple who testifies to these things, and who wrote these things; and we know that his Testimony is True. And there are also many other things that Jesus did, which if they were written one by one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written. Amen The fact that our Lord singled out St (Simon) Peter has a Christs admonition to St Peter concerning St John twofold significance: WHAT IS IT TO YOU? YOU FOLLOW ME! - APPLIES TO St Peter, being the most impulsive, was the leader and EACH OF US as well because it is most important that spokesman among Christs Disciples and therefore WE ARE NOT TO CONCERN OURSELVES WITH WHAT THE had to be the first to confess his Love for our Risen LORD HAS IN STORE FOR OTHERS. Lord. Our purpose in life is to follow Jesus Christ faithfully and ST PETERS LEADERSHIP WAS NOT SUPERIOR TO THE OTHER obediently, pursuing the Mission He has entrusted to HOLY APOSTLES for just as the Patriarch is the leader each of us. of the Holy Synod of the Church, HE IS STILL EQUAL In other words: we are to focus our attention exclusively AMONGST EQUALS i.e. he is not superior to the other on our Relationship to God and others WATCHING AND Bishops of the Holy Synod. CORRECTING OUR OWN ERRORS BY FOLLOWING AND V ONLY CHRIST OUR LORD IS THE HEAD OF THE IMITATING CHRIST TO THE BEST OF OUR LIMITED CHURCH AND THUS SUPERIOR TO ALL HUMAN ABILITIES! BEINGS. This is the True Testimony of St John the Beloved Apostle Because St Peter had denied our Lord three times, Christ Theologian and Evangelist because a certain faithful asked St Peter three to times to Confess his Love for Scribe named Prochoros carefully recorded St Johns Him, thus restoring him to leadership of the early words and Teachings by writing them on parchment, Church to continue the Ministry of Shepherding as dictated to him and then he and his assistants Christs Flock. confirmed them as we see from the words ... We It is important to note that the first two times our Lord know... Jesus asked St Peter: ...do you Love me...? he used The final verse is a conscious exaggeration to make a the words ...AGAPAS ME? point: THE GOSPEL OF ST JOHN (AS WELL AS THE OTHER The word Agape, denotes THE HIGHEST FORM OF HOLY GOSPELS OF THE NEW COVENANT) CONTAINS ONLY A SACRIFICIAL, UNCONDITIONAL AND SELF-EMPTYING LOVE SMALL PART OF THE WORKS OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST. THE KIND OF LOVE GOD HAS FOR US and that we are able Many more are reported in the Gospels of St Matthew, St to develop only by maturing in Divine Grace. Mark and St Luke, yet EVEN THESE RECORDS DO NOT Each time St Peter answered Christ, he said: ...FILO SE CONTAIN ALL THE LORDS TEACHINGS AND MIRACLES. which is a lesser form of love akin to BROTHERLY HOLY SCRIPTURE IS ONLY A VERY SMALL PORTION OF THE NEW LOVE. COVENANT TESTAMENT since MUCH OF CHRISTS And so, when our Lord asks St Peter for the third time: TEACHINGS AND INSTRUCTIONS TO HIS HOLY APOSTLES do you love Me He changed His words to FILIS FORM THE VERBAL TRADITION OR TEACHINGS OF CHRIST ME? - using the derivative of philo and thus that were carefully preserved and passed down condescending to St Peters human weakness and through the ages. accepting whatever love St Peter is able to offer Him. Eventually, the INNUMERABLE VERBAL TEACHINGS OF CHRIST Nevertheless, OUR LORD JESUS KNEW THAT ST PETER WOULD WERE METICULOUSLY RECORDED IN THE DIVINELY GUIDED SOON DEVELOP SINCERE AGAPE FOR HIM, RESULTING IN AND INSPIRED SACRED WRITINGS OF OUR HOLY CHURCH HIS VOLUNTARY MARTYRDOM LATER. FATHERS who also explained the deeper meanings to But St Peter was grieved (OFFENDED) that our Lord had to us ACCORDING TO GODS TRUTH rather than our weak condescend to his weak level of love and that it was a and flawed concept of truth. clear although gentle reference to his three denials Consequently, when the Protestants rejected anything that of Christ before His Crucifixion and Resurrection. was not contained in the Holy Scriptures, they also More than these is a reference to the other Disciples. discarded and abandoned the larger portion of Before the Passion of Christ, St Peter had expressed priceless Spiritual Treasure of our Divine Inheritance absolute loyalty to Him, even if the others were to be including many Holy Mysteries (Sacraments) that were scattered so our Risen Lord asked St Peter whether he instituted by Christ Himself and His Holy Apostles (who really meant what he had said and if so, to concentrate fulfilled His Divine Will)! his efforts on serving the Flock of Jesus Christ. Things that were common knowledge are mentioned in These words imply that St Peter would thereafter be a these Sacred Writings and in our Inspired Hymns Faithful Disciple of Christ, even though Faithful which we chant throughout the year. Discipleship would cost the Apostle his life. In order to get the full picture and benefit from the whole This is Christs second Prophecy of the Martyrdom of St Divine Truth of God, we must study all the Holy Peter. Writings and Compositions of our ancient Church Circa 64 - 68 Nero Caesar had St Peter put to death by Fathers (and Mothers). upside down crucifixion - so as not to be confused Furthermore, the Orthodox (True Teaching) Spiritual with his Beloved Lord and Saviour. Instruction of our modern Church Fathers guides and The Disciple whom Jesus Loved was the Apostle John assists us as we Journey together towards Eternity. aka the Theologian and the Divine because of his This is how we OBEY CHRIST WHO COMMANDS EACH OF HIS Divinely Inspired Knowledge, who lived a long life, FAITHFUL DISCIPLES: YOU FOLLOW ME! dying at an age of approximately 100 years circa 95 So it is entirely up to us to make every effort to gain this 100. Early Christians marvelled at his longevity and amazing Divine Knowledge of God and thereby remembered the words of Christ recorded here and develop that Most Pure Agape that Divine, some believed that St John would not die before the Unconditional and Humble Love which Christ our Glorious Second Coming of Christ. Saviour mentioned earlier! However, that opinion is corrected here with the Only then can we truly and sincerely confess to Christ: i statement: ...yet Jesus did not say to him that he truly Love Thee, O Lord! would not die.

Veneration of St Peters Chains


Circa 42, Herod Agrippa had St Peter imprisoned for preaching about Christ and the night before his trial, an Angel of the Lord removed his chains and led him safely and undetected out of the prison. Christians preserved them as precious keepsakes for three centuries in Jerusalem, where many sufferers received healing. Patriarch Juvenal presented the chains to Empress Eudokia, wife of Theodosius the Younger, who took them to Constantinople and sent one to Rome to her daughter, Eudoxia, who build a church dedicated to St Peter. Other chains of St Peter were later added and kept in the church where many Miracles have been ascribed to them throughout the centuries. St Nikodemos of Mount Athos devoted a large section of his Neon Eklogion to those Divine Miracles, which healed both physical and Spiritual Ailments.

16.

VENERATION

OF THE

CHAINS

OF

ST PETER

THE

APOSTLE

OF

CHRIST

16 JANUARY 2013

Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria & All Africa


All Glory, Honour and Worship to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spiri t, now a nd forever, and unto the Ages of ages. Amen. Rememberi ng also our Mos t Holy, M os t Pure, Mos t Blessed and Glori ous Lad y, Maria, Theotokos, ye t Ever Virgin, together with all the Saints. And let us commi t ourselves and one another and our whole Life to Chris t our God. Amen.

17 J a n u a r y 2 0 1 3 St Anthony the Great Father of Monasticism


Feast of St Anthony of Verias St George the New Martyr of Janninas - St Anthony of Dymsk, Novgorod St Anthony of Black Lake, Chernoezero St Anthony of Krasny Kholm St Theodosios the Great & Holy Emperor St Achilles the Confessor
FESTAL APOLYTKION OF ST ANTHONY THE GREAT

Ton

zilotin Ilian tis tropis mimoumenos, to Vaptisti evthies tes trivois epomenos, Pater Antonie, tis erimou gegonas ikistis, ke tin ikoumenin estirixas evhes sou. Dio presveve Hristo to Theo, sothine tas psihas imon.

Imitating

the manner of Elijah the Zealot, and following the straight paths of John the Baptist, O Father Anthony, thou colonised the desert, and thou supported the Empire by thy Prayers. Therefore intercede with Christ our God to Save our souls! retreated from the tumult of daily life and led thy life in stillness, imitating John the Baptist in every way. We honour thee and him together, O Most Holy Father of Fathers: St Anthony! Birth Sanctified a Virgins Womb and properly Blessed the hands of Symeon. Having now come and Saved us O Christ, our God, grant Peace to Thy Commonwealth in troubled times and strengthen those in authority, whom Thou Love, as the Only Lover of mankind.

FESTAL KONTAKION OF ST ANTHONY THE GREAT

Tous

viotikous thorivous aposamenos, isihastikos ton vion exetelesas, ton Vaptistin mimoumenos, kata panta tropon Osiotate, sin afto oun se gereromen, Pateron Pater Antonie!

Thou

FESTAL KONTAKION - THE PRESENTATION OF CHRIST

TONE 1

O Mitran Parthenikin Agiasas to Toko Sou, ke hiras tou


Symeon Evlogisas os eprepe, profthasas ke nin esosas imas Hriste O Theos. All irinefson en polemis to politevma, ke krateoson Vasilis ous igapisas, O Monos Filanthropos

Thy

Matins Gospel Matthew 11 :


RESTING
IN

27 30

CHRIST

At that time our Lord Jesus said: All Things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father. Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son Wills to reveal Him. Come to Me, all you who labour and who are heavily laden, and I will grant you rest. Take My Yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I Am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My Yoke is easy and My Burden is light. WORKS IN EACH PERSON, MAKING THE HUMANLY Our Lord Jesus Christ tells us in no uncertain manner that
AS THE INCARNATE SON AND WORD OF GOD THE FATHER, HE HAS DIVINE AUTHORITY AND THAT ONLY THROUGH HIM IF HE SO WILLS IT MAY WE OBTAIN KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING OF GOD AND ALL HIS HOLY MYSTERIES IMPOSSIBLE THINGS POSSIBLE FOR US BY THE GRACE OF GOD. Furthermore, THE ULTIMATE REWARD OF SUCH STRUGGLES IS INFINITELY GREATER THAN THOSE OF ANY MERE HUMAN ENDEAVOURS (REFER 3 KINGS 12 : 1 11 - JEREMIAH 34 : 1 11 - WISDOM
OF SIRACH 40:1)

that are beyond our normal human understanding or perception. Christ also reassures us that WE CAN REST IN HIM BY
LEANING OR DEPENDING ON HIM TO GRANT US WHATEVER IS NEEDED TO COMPLETE AND TO FULFIL THIS DIFFICULT JOURNEY OF LIFE TOWARDS ETERNITY. WHEN OUR LIVES BECOME TOO DIFFICULT, THROUGH OUR PRAYERS AND PETITIONS, OUR MERCIFUL SAVIOUR LIFTS US UP AND CARRIES US THROUGH THE WORST OF IT SO THAT WE ARE NEITHER HARMED NOR TRAUMATISED by the

The term gentle is literally meek.


MEEKNESS IS AN ATTITUDE OF BEING CONTENT WITH BOTH HONOUR AND DISHONOUR.

It is AN IMITATION OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST Who instructed us to Learn from Me, for I Am gentle (meek) and lowly in heart.
THOSE WHO ARE TRULY MEEK ARE GOD-CONTROLLED AND HAVE MASTERY OVER THEIR PASSIONS, ESPECIALLY THAT OF ANGER. MEEKNESS IS NOT PASSIVE WEAKNESS BUT SPIRITUAL STRENGTH THAT IS DIRECTED AND CONTROLLED.

stumbling blocks along the rocky pathway.


THE YOKE OF CHRIST IS OUR WILLING SUBMISSION TO THE KINGDOM OF GOD and although a yoke may be

regarded by some as being a sign of hardship, burdens and responsibilities, IN CHRIST JESUS SUCH A
YOKE IS EASY FOR THE DIVINE POWER OF ALMIGHTY GOD

The earth that the Meek (Humble) will inherit is not the power or possession of this fallen, temporary world, but that of the new, Everlasting Kingdom of God.
IN

The Epistle of Paul to the Hebrews 13 : 17 21


A
SUMMARY OF

HOLY LIFE

CHRIST

Brethren: obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with Joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you. Pray for us, for we are confident that we have a good conscience in all things desiring to live honourably. But I especially urge you to do this, so that I may be restored to you sooner. Now may the God of Peace Who raised up our Lord Jesus from the dead that Great Shepherd of the Sheep through the Blood of the Everlasting Covenant, make you complete in every Good Work to do His Will, working in you what is well pleasing in His Sight, through Jesus Christ, to Whom be Glory forever and ever. Amen. ALL OUR ORDAINED PRIESTS AND SPIRITUAL LEADERS THE They will have to give an account of their Holy Ministry at HOLY PRIESTHOOD OF CHRIST MUST BE RESPECTED AND the Final Judgement which will be far more strict OBEYED FOR THEY ARE OUR SPIRITUAL FATHERS OF than those of us whom they lead, guide and teach. CHRISTS HOLY CHURCH.

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ST ANTHONY THE GREAT OF ALEXANDRIA

17 JANUARY 2013

17.

ST PAUL,

being one of these Holy Spiritual Fathers of Christs Church, ASKED THE EARLY CHRISTIANS TO PRAY

FOR HIM SO THAT HE COULD LEAD AN EXEMPLARY LIFE, WORTHILY AND CORRECTLY FULFILLING ALL HIS SACRED TASKS IN HIS HOLY MISSION.
THOSE WHO RULE OVER US

offered to God for them as well as ourselves and our loved ones. Furthermore, BY RESPECTING THE HOLY PRIESTHOOD SUPPORTING THEM AND APPLYING THEIR ORTHODOX TEACHINGS TO OUR DAILY LIFE, THEY WILL BE ENCOURAGED AND REJOICE IN THEIR SACRED LABOURS AND THEY WILL BE INSPIRED TO GREATER EFFORTS AND LESS TEMPTATIONS. With regard to St Pauls concluding Blessings: THE SUFFICIENCY OF THE DIVINE BLOOD OF CHRIST IS REALISED IN HIS RESURRECTION AS OUR LORD OFFERS HIS PRECIOUS, LIFE-GIVING BLOOD IN THE ETERNAL SANCTUARY, thereby

are especially our Bishops and Priests who perform all the essential Holy Mysteries and they MOST CERTAINLY NEED OUR PRAYERS SO THAT

THEY MAY LIVE EACH DAY WORTHILY IN ORDER FOR US TO IMITATE AND FOLLOW THEM AS GOOD MODELS OF CHRISTIAN LIFE AS WELL. THE FAITH OF OUR HOLY FATHERS IS THE SAME FAITH THAT THEY SHOULD BOTH BE TEACHING AND LIVING.

Because of the important role and function of our Spiritual Fathers, they are subjected to worse temptations than any other sinners, so our concerted Prayers must be
CHRISTS SERMON
ON THE

inaugurating a New, Everlasting Covenant, which makes us complete as we cooperate with God in all things a Holy Synergy that promotes our Spiritual Progress towards Holy Sainthood.
THE

The Holy Gospel According to St Luke 6 : 17 23


PLAIN BEATITUDES
AND THE

WOES

At that time, our Lord Jesus went down the mountain with His Apostles and stood on a level place with a crowd of His Disciples and a great multitude of people from all Judea and Jerusalem, and from the coast of Tyre and Sidon, who went to hear Him and be healed of their diseases, as well as those who were tormented with unclean spirits. And they were healed. And the whole multitude sought to touch Him, for Power went out from Him and healed them all. Then He lifted up His Eyes towards His Disciples and said: Blessed are you poor, for yours is the Kingdom of God. Blessed are you who hunger now, for you shall be filled. Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall rejoice. Blessed are you when others hate you, and when they exclude you, and revile you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of Mans sake. Rejoice in that day and leap for Joy! For indeed your Reward is great in Heaven, for in like manner, their fathers did to the Prophets. OUR SPIRITUAL HUNGER AND THIRST WILL BE MORE THAN After having prayed all night on a high mountain, our Lord SATISFIED WITH HEAVENLY BLISS AND THE TRUE JOY OF Jesus summoned His Disciples to Him and then GODS LOVE AND PEACE WILL FILL US BEYOND BELIEF! named His Chosen Twelve Apostles, after which He Christ also reassures us that no matter how badly our addressed those who had gathered to His Divine worst enemies may treat us because of our Faith in Wisdom. God, WE HAVE WONDERFUL DIVINE THINGS TO LOOK This Sermon on the Plain or level place is slightly similar FORWARD TO IN ETERNITY. to His great Sermon on the Mount, which is more THE MORE WE ENDURE FOR OUR LOVE OF GOD, THE GREATER detailed. WILL BE OUR SPIRITUAL REWARDS IN GODS HEAVENLY
HIS REFERENCE TO THOSE WHO HUNGERED (AND THIRSTED FOR DIVINE RIGHTEOUSNESS) WERE THOSE WHO KNEW THAT THE PRESENCE OF GOD AND HIS DIVINE KINGDOM WERE THE MOST IMPORTANT ASPECT OF OUR LIVES and such KINGDOM.

Furthermore, THE CLOSER WE GROW TO CHRIST OUR SAVIOUR


INDEED TO THE HOLY TRINITY THE LESS OUR WORLDLY WOES AFFECT US AND THE GREATER OUR ETERNAL JOY AND PEACE IN THE PRESENCE OF ALMIGHTY GOD WILL BE!

souls have a deep compulsion and craving for whatever is right in the Sight of God, compared to a starving persons need for food.
THE KINGDOM OF GOD CALLS US TO BE FREE FROM ALL ANXIETY CONCERNING EARTHLY MATTERS and our Lord Jesus directs us to REMAIN FOCUSED ON HEAVEN WHILE BEING SECURE IN THE FAITH THAT GOD ALWAYS PROVIDES US WITH ALL NECESSARY EARTHLY BLESSINGS.

We can take much courage and joy from knowing that

THE MORE WE STRIVE TO FOLLOW OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, THE

So

Nothing in this world compares with the priceless Eternal Treasures of Salvation and Spiritual Life WE SHALL BE
RICHER BEYOND ALL EARTHLY MEASURE!

GREATER THE TEMPTATIONS AND EVIL SCHEMES AGAINST US ARE INCREASED BY THE EVIL ONE AND HIS DEMONS BOTH SPIRITUAL AND HUMAN! THANK GOD FOR ALL THINGS EVEN OUR DIFFICULTIES, WHICH DRAW US ALL THE MORE CLOSER AND CLOSER TO OUR LOVING AND MERCIFUL LORD and which make us

all the more stronger and determined to progress towards our ultimate Destination He was spoken of everywhere, and was admired by everyone, and was sought even by those who had not seen him, which is evidence of his Virtue and of a soul dear to God." The following Works of St Anthony have come down to us: Twenty Sermons on the Virtues, primarily Monastic (probably spurious). Seven Letters to various Egyptian Monasteries concerning Moral Perfection, and the Monastic Life as a Spiritual Struggle. A Rule for Monastics (not regarded as an authentic work of St Anthony). In the year 544 the Holy Relics of St Anthony the Great were transferred to Alexandria, and after the conquest of Egypt by the Saracens in the seventh century, they were transferred to Constantinople. After the destruction of Constantinople by the 4th Crusade mob, St Anthonys Holy Relics were later transferred from Constantinople in the 10th 11th centuries to a Diocese outside Vienna. In the 15th century they were taken to Arles (in France), to the Church of St Julian.

St Anthony the Great Ascetic of Egypt


The Life of the famed Ascetic St Anthony the Great was written by St Athanasios of Alexandria, which was the first biography of a Saint who was not a Holy Martyr, and which is considered to be one of the finest of St Athanasios' writings. St John Chrysostom recommended that this Life be read by every Christian.
THE FULL TRANSLATION OF THE LIFE OF ST. ANTHONY THE GREAT, WRITTEN BY ST. ATHANASIOS THE GREAT,

http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/basis/VITA-ANTONY.html]

"These things are insignificant compared with Anthony's Virtues," writes St Athanasios, "but judge from them what the man of God, Anthony, was like. From his youth until his old age, he kept his zeal for Asceticism - he did not give in to the desire for costly foods because of his age, nor did he alter his clothing because of the infirmity of his body. He did not even wash his feet with water. He remained very healthy, and he could see well because his eyes were sound and undimmed. Not one of his teeth fell out, but near the gums they had become worn due to his advanced age. He remained strong in his hands and feet....

St Anthony the Great, Intercede for us! Through the Prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have Mercy on us and Save us! Amen!

18.

(DONATIONS ARE GRATEFULLY ACCEPTED)

ST ANTHONY THE GREAT OF ALEXANDRIA

17 JANUARY 2013

Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria & All Africa


A LL G LOR Y , H ONOU R A ND W OR SH I P TO THE F A TH E R , A ND TO THE S ON , AND TO TH E H OLY S PI R I T , NOW A ND F OR E VE R , A ND U NTO TH E A GE S OF A GE S . A ME N . R E ME MBE R I NG A LSO OUR M OST H OLY , M OS T P U R E , M OST B LE SSE D A ND G LOR I OU S L ADY , M A R IA , T H E OTOKOS , YE T E VE R V I R GI N , TOGE TH E R WI TH A LL TH E S A I NTS . A ND LE T U S COMMI T OU R SE LVE S AND ONE A NOTHE R A ND OU R WH OLE L I F E TO C HR I ST OU R G OD . A MEN .

18 J a n u a r y 2 0 1 3 St Cyril & St Athanasios of Alexandria


Feast of St Athanasios of Syandemsk, Vologda St Athanasios of Novolotsk St Marcian of Cyrrhus, Syria St Cyril the Schemamonk & St Maria the Schemanun, venerable parents of St Sergios of Radonezh St Joachim I of Trnovo & Bulgaria St Maximos of Serbia St Maximos the New, son of King Stephen of Serbia St Ephraim the Lesser of Georgia - St Alexei, Hieromonk of Teklati

APOLYTIKION OF ST ATHANASIOS & ST CYRIL OF ALEXANDRIA: Tone 3

Ergis

lampsantes, Orthdoxias, pasan svesantes, kakodoxian, nikite tropeofori gegonate; ti efsevia ta panta ploutisantes, tin Ekklisian megalos kosmisantes, axios evrate, Hriston ton Theon imon, doroumenon pasi to Mega Eleos. Megisti tis evsevias, ke gennei promahi, tis Ekklisias tou Hristou, pan tas frourite tous melpontas: Soson Iktirmon, tous Pisti timonats se.
OF

You shone in words of Orthodoxy; You extinguished all


false believing, and conquering Victors You became, by enriching all things with Your Piety and adorning the Church so greatly, deservedly You found Christ our God Who grants to all the Great Mercy.

KONTAKION OF ST ATHANASIOS & ST CYRIL OF ALEXANDRIA

Ierarhe

O Great Hierachs of Piety and Brave Champions of the


Church of Christ: You watch over all who sing: Save us O Compassionate Ones who in Faith honour You,.

KONTAKION

CHRISTS PRESENTATION TONE 1 FROM 14 JANUARY 9 FEBRUARY

Mitran Parthenikin Agiasas to Toko Sou, ke hiras tou Symeon Evlogisas os eprepe, profthasas ke nin esosas imas, Hriste O Theos. Allirinefson en polemis to politevma, ke krateoson vasilis ous igapisas, O Monos Filanthropos

Thou Who Sanctified by Thy Birth a Virgin Womb, and Blessed the hands of Symeon as seemed most appropriate, Thou came, indeed, O Christ our God, and Saved us all. But bring Peace to the commonwealth in time of war, and secure in strength, the Rulers Thou hast truly Love, as the Only One Who Loves mankind.

Matins Gospel According to St John 10 : 9 16


OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST
IS THE

GOOD SHEPHERD & THE DOOR

At that time our Lord Jesus said: ...I Am the Door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be Saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief does not come, except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come so that they may have Life, and that they may have it more abundantly. I Am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd gives His Life for the Sheep. But a hireling he who is not the Shepherd, who does not the Sheep sees the wolf coming and leaves the Sheep, and flees; and the wolf catches the Sheep and scatters them. The hireling flees because he is a hireling and does not care about the Sheep. I Am the Good Shepherd; and I know My Sheep, and Am known by My own. As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My Life for the Sheep. And other Sheep I have, which are not of this Fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My Voice; and there will be One Flock and One Shepherd...

St Pauls Epistle to the Hebrews


LOYALTY
TO

13 : 7 16

ORTHODOX DOCTRINE & WORSHIP

B rethren: remember those who rule over you, who have spoken the Word of God to you, whose Faith you must follow, considering the outcome of their conduct. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever! Do not be carried away with various and strange doctrines. For it is good that the heart be established by Grace not with foods that have not profited those who have been occupied with them. We have an Altar from which those who serve the Tabernacle have no right to eat. For the bodies of those animals, whose blood is brought into the Sanctuary by the High Priest for sin, are burnt outside the camp. Therefore Jesus also so that He might Sanctify the people with His own Blood suffered outside the gate. So let us go forth to Him outside the camp bearing His Reproach. For here we have no continuing city, but we seek the one to come. Thus by Him, let us continually offer the Sacrifice of Praise to God that is: the Fruit of our lips giving Thanks to His Name. But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.

The Holy Gospel According to St Matthew 5 : 14 19


Faithful Disciples of Christ are the Light of the World

At that time, our Lord Jesus said to His Disciples: You are the Light of the world. A city that is set upon a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your Light so shine before mankind, that they may see your Good Works and Glorify your Father in Heaven.

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ST CYRIL & ST ATHANASIOS

OF

ALEXANDRIA

18 JANUARY 2013

19.

Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfil, for assuredly, I say to you: until Heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the Law until all is fulfilled. Whoever, therefore, breaks one of the least of these Commandments, and teaches others to do so, shall be called least in the Kingdom of Heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, shall be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven.

St Cyril & St Athanasios of Alexandria


Athanasios and St Cyril were Archbishops (Patriarchs) of Alexandria. These wise Teachers of Truth and Defenders of Christ's Church share a joint Feast in recognition of their Dogmatic Writings that affirm the Truth of the Orthodox Faith, correctly interpret the Holy Scripture, and censure the delusions of heretics. ST ATHANASIOS took part in the First Ecumenical Council when he was still a young Deacon. He surpassed everyone there in his zeal to uphold the Teaching that Christ is Consubstantial (Omoousios) with the Father, and not merely a creature [ a created being like mankind and the Angels], as the Arians proclaimed. This radiant Beacon of Orthodoxy spent most of his life in exile from his See, because of the plotting of his enemies. He returned to his Flock as he was approaching the end of his life. St Like an Evening Star, he Illumined the Orthodox Faithful with his words for a little while, then reposed in Christ in 373. St Athanasios is also commemorated on 2 May the translation of his Holy Relics. ST CYRIL was the nephew of Patriarch Theophilos of Alexandria, who educated him from his youth. St Cyril eventually succeeded to his uncle's position in 412, but was deposed through the intrigues of the Nestorian heretics. He later resumed his See, however. St Cyril presided at the Third Ecumenical Council in 441, which censured the Nestorian blasphemy against the Most Holy Theotokos. His wise words demonstrated the error of their false doctrine. St Cyril departed in Peace to the Lord on 9 June 444, and he is Commemorated annually on that date.

Writings of St Cyril & St Athanasios of Alexandria St Athanasios On the Resurrection of Christ


"Brethren, how fine a thing it is to move from Festival to Festival, from Prayer to Prayer, from Holy Day to Holy Day. The time is now at hand when we enter on a New Beginning: the Proclamation of the Blessed Passover, in which the Lord was Sacrificed. We feed on the Food of Life - we constantly refresh our souls with His Precious Blood, as from a Fountain. Yet we are always Thirsting - burning to be satisfied. But He Himself is present for those who Thirst and in His Goodness invites them to the Feast Day as our Saviour said: 'If anyone Thirsts, let him come to Me and drink.' He quenched the Thirst - not only of those who came to Him then. Whenever anyone seeks Him he is freely admitted to the Presence of the Saviour. The Grace of the Feast is not restricted to one occasion. Its Rays of Glory never set. It is always at hand to Enlighten the mind of those who desire it. Its Power is always there for those whose minds have been Enlightened and who meditate day and night on the Holy Scriptures, like the one who is called Blessed in the Holy Psalm: 'Blessed is the man who has not followed the counsel of the wicked, or stood where sinners stand, or sat in the seat of the scornful, but whose Delight is in the Law of the Lord, and who meditates on His Law day and night.' Moreover, my Friends:, the God Who first established this Feast for us allows us to celebrate it each year. He Who gave up His Son to Death for our Salvation, from the same Motive gives us this Feast, which is Commemorated every year. This Feast guides us through the trials that meet us in this world. God now grants us the Joy of Salvation that shines out from this Feast, as He brings us together to form one Assembly, Uniting us all in spirit in every place - allowing us to pray together and to offer Common Thanksgiving, as is our Duty on the Feast. Such is the Wonder of His Love: He gathers to this Feast those who are far apart, and brings together in Unity of Faith those who may be physically separated from each other...

St Cyrils Commentary on the Song of Songs


"By night on my bed I sought Him Whom my soul Loves: I sought Him, but I found Him not. I will rise now, and go about the city in the streets, and in the broad ways I will seek Him Whom my soul Loves: I sought Him, but I found Him not. The Watchmen that go about the city found me: to whom I said, Did you see Him Whom my soul Loves? It was but a little that I passed from them, but I found Him Whom my soul Loves: I held Him, and would not let Him go, until I had brought Him into my Mother's House, and into the chamber of Her who conceived me."
SONG OF SOLOMON 3:1-4

"'In my chamber by night I sought Him..." refers to the Women who went at the beginning of the morning on the Sabbath to the Tomb of our Lord Jesus and did not find Him. He is in the chamber, therefore, or away from the chamber. Or perhaps they call their chamber the Lord's Tomb because we are buried together with Him. And when they did not find Him, they heard at once: 'He is not here, for He has been Raised.' And they discovered Guardian Angels, whom they asked, 'Where have you laid the Lord?'

Then, when they had left the Angels whom they were questioning, the Lord met them and said: 'Rejoice!' For this reason, it says: 'When I had passed by them for a little while, I found Him Whom I will not let go.' She grasped His Feet and heard: 'Don't hold me.' Finally, our Lord called the gathering of the Apostles the House of the Mother, to whom He announced the Resurrection of Christ.

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ST CYRIL & ST ATHANASIOS

OF

ALEXANDRIA

18 JANUARY 2013

Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria & All Africa


A LL G LOR Y , H ONOU R A ND W OR SH I P TO T H E F A TH E R , A ND TO TH E S ON , A ND TO THE H OLY S PI R I T , NOW A ND F OR E VE R , A ND U NTO TH E A GE S OF A GE S . A ME N . R E ME MBE R I NG A LSO OU R M OST H OLY , M OST P U R E , M OST B LE SSE D A ND G LOR I OU S L A DY , M A R I A , T H E OTOKOS , YE T E VE R V I R GI N , TOGE TH E R WI TH A LL TH E S A I NTS . A ND LE T U S COMMI T OU R SE LVE S A ND ONE A NOTH E R A ND OU R WH OLE L I F E TO C H R I ST OU R G OD . A MEN .

31st Sunday After Pentecost

Tone (8) Plagal 4

2 0 J an u ar y 2 0 1 3

12th Sunday of St Luke The Ten Lepers


Also the Feast of St Euthymios the Great St Euthymios the Schemamonk St Laurence the Recluse of the Kiev Far Caves St Euthymios of Vologda St Inna, St Pina & St Rimma, Disciples of St Andrew the Apost of Scythia St Bassos, St Eusebios, St Evtychios & St Basilides of Nicomedia St Eutymios of Trnovo & Bulgaria St Zachariah the New Martyr of Peloponnesos - St Euthymios the Confessor of Georgia

RESURRECTION/FESTAL APOLYTIKION T O N E

(8) PLAGAL 4

Ex

Ipsous katilthes O Efsplaghnos, tafin katedexo triimeron, ina imas eleftherosis ton pathon. I Zoi ke i Anastasis imon, Kyrie, Doxa Si!
THE

Thou descended from on High, O Tender-hearted One;


Thou endured the three-days burial, so that Thou might free us from our passions, O our Life and Resurrection: Glory to Thee!

FESTAL KONTAKION ST EUTHYMIOS

GREAT TONE (8) PLAGAL 4

En ti septi gennisi sou, haran i ktisis evrato.

Ke en ti Thia Mnimi sou Osie, tin Euthymian elave ton pollon sou Thavmaton, ex on parashou plousios tes psihes imon, ke apokatharon amartimaton kilidas, opos psallomen. Allilouia!
OF OUR

Creation found delight and joy in thine august nativity


and the good cheer of thy numberless Miracles on thy Divine Memorial. Now bestow thereof richly on our souls and wash clean the stains of our every sin, Euthymios Most Righteous, that we may chant: Alleluia!

FESTAL KONTAKION THE MEETING

LORD

Mitran Parthenikin Agias to Toko Sou, ke hiras tou Symeon Evlogisas, os eprepe, profthasas ke nin, esosas imas, Hriste O Theos. All irinefson en polemis to plitevma, ke krateoson Vasilis, ous igapisas, O Monos Filanthropos.

Thou who has Sanctified

by Thy Birth a virgin womb and fittingly Blessed the hands of Symeon, Thou art come, O Christ our God, and on this day has Saved us. Grant Peace to Thy commonwealth in time of battle and strengthen the Orthodox people whom Thou has Loved, O Thou Who alone Loves mankind.

Resurrection Gospel 11 John 21 : 14 - 25


OUR LORD JESUS RESTORES AND COMMISSIONS ST PETER

Prokeimenon

The Saints shall rejoice in Glory! Sing unto the Lord a New Song!
St Pauls Second Epistle to the Corinthians 4 : 6 15
REMAINING FAITHFUL
TO THE

GOSPEL

OF

CHRIST

Brethren: It is the God Who commanded Light to shine out of darkness, Who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of Knowledge of the Glory of God in the Face of Jesus Christ. However, we have this Treasure in earthen vessels so that the excellence of the Power may be of God and not of us. We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed always carrying about in the body the dying of our Lord Jesus, so that the Life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus sake so that the Life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So then death is working in us, but Life in you. And since we have the same spirit of Faith, according to what is written: I believed and therefore I spoke... we also believe and therefore speak, knowing that He Who Raised up the Lord Jesus will also Raise us up with Jesus, and will present us with you. For all things are for your sakes, so that Grace, having spread through the many, may cause Thanksgiving to abound to the Glory of God.

The Holy Gospel According to St Luke 17 : 12 19


OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST HEALS TEN LEPERS ONLY ONE GIVE THANKS
TO

GOD!

At that time, our Lord Jesus entered a certain village where He was met by ten lepers who stood afar off. They lifted up their voices, and said: Master Jesus! Have Mercy on us! And when He saw them, He said to them: Go. Show yourselves to the Priests. And so it was that as they went, they were Cleansed! And one of them when he saw that he was Healed, returned, and with a loud voice he Glorified God, and fell down on his face at His Feet, giving Him Thanks and he was a Samaritan. And Jesus answered him: Were there not ten Cleansed? Where are the other nine? Were there not any found who returned to give Glory to God except this foreigner? And Jesus said to him: Arise. Go your way. Your Faith has made you well. THE LEPERS stood afar off because they WERE NOT Leprosy was regarded as a punishment from God for PERMITTED TO APPROACH ANYONE OR TO ENTER THE unrepented sins and everyone feared leprosy for VILLAGES. various (usually unfounded) reasons. THEY WERE UTTERLY OSTRACISED AND ISOLATED from People have always been terrified of being infected so society and sometimes they even wore or rang little they not only shunned the poor sufferers but often bells so that people knew they were nearby and chased them away with sticks and stones. could avoid them.

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21.

ONLY A DESPISED SAMARITAN WHOM THE HEBREWS REGARDED AS A HERETIC SET THE EXAMPLE OF SINCERE AND HEARTFELT GRATITUDE TO GOD FOR HIS MIRACULOUS HEALING.

OR SMALL IS FREELY AND MOST GRACIOUSLY BESTOWED UPON US THROUGH THE GREAT MERCY AND LOVE OF GOD.

Whenever any Miraculous or natural healing occurred, the former sufferers had to immediately consult the Temple Priests who would then examine them and confirm or deny their re-acceptance into society. Those who were healed had a variety of Purifications Rites to fulfil before normal life and worship was allowed to continue. NINE OF THE HEALED LEPERS rushed off to have their Miraculous Healing authenticated by the Temple Priests. They WERE TOTALLY SELF-ABSORBED JUST
LIKE MOST OF US! ONLY ONE OF THE LEPERS a despised sinner and heretic! IMMEDIATELY ACKNOWLEDGED THE ENORMITY OF GODS GRACIOUS MERCY AND FELL DOWN AT THE FEET OF OUR SAVIOUR WITH SINCERE THANKSGIVING AND GLORIFICATION. THE ONE GRATEFUL LEPER SHOWED HIS GENUINE, HUMBLE LOVE FOR AND APPRECIATION OF GODS UNEXPECTED AND BOUNTIFUL BLESSINGS, while the nine ungrateful

Let us learn to be aware and always acknowledge with appreciation and Thanksgiving the abundant Blessings our Loving Lord God grants us so freely and so generously. After partaking of His Greatest, Glorious Banquet His Mysterious, Eternal Supper the Divine Eucharist/Holy Communion which bestows Gods Divine Love, Forgiveness and Eternal Life upon us,
WE MUST BOW DOWN BEFORE HIS HOLY ALTAR, MAKE THE SIGN OF THE CROSS AND EXPRESS OUR THANKSGIVING:

Glory to Thee, O God! Glory to Thee!


EACH SIGN OF THE CROSS IS OUR SACRED DECLARATION OF WORSHIP: I worship Thee, O God, with all my

mind, with all my heart, with all my strength and with all my soul! BE ALERT AND AWARE OF ALL GODS BLESSINGS that make our difficult Journey towards Eternity so much easier to bear for WITHOUT HIS DIVINE LOVE, GUIDANCE AND
ASSISTANCE, WE CAN ACHIEVE NOTHING WORTHWHILE AND SPIRITUALLY PROFITABLE!

lepers hurried away, without any thought of the enormity of their Miraculous Healing their only desire being to get back to normal living.
SADLY, MOST OF US ARE LIKE THE NINE UNGRATEFUL LEPERS

Unprofitable or without merit does not mean without intrinsic value but instead it means that EVERYTHING
WE HAVE IS BESTOWED UPON US BY GOD AN INSURMOUNTABLE DEBT THAT WE OWE HIM BUT WHICH WE CAN NEVER REPAY, (because everything we have

who all too easily take for granted or even ignore or forget Almighty Gods Great Blessings because we are too involved with our own Spiritually Unprofitable preoccupations and distractions that lead us astray and into Spiritual Death exile and alienation from God and all His Goodness. All too often we totally ignore the fact that EVERY
BLESSING WE HAVE BEEN GRANTED WHETHER GREAT

already belongs to Him!)


OUR LORD AND SAVIOUR, JESUS CHRIST CAME TO EARTH TO TEACH US HIS DIVINE TRUTH AND TO HEAL ALL FALLEN HUMANITY, YET ONLY A VERY SMALL PORTION RECEIVES HIM IN FAITH AND THANKSGIVING.

For that very reason, our Lord cautioned us: Many are Called but few are Chosen! (MATTHEW 20:16)

One Grateful Leper


Dearly Beloved: One of the greatest paradoxes of today's society is the fact that people are looking for instant gratification for everything they do, yet
IT IS VERY SELDOM THAT THEY ARE GIVING THE PROPER GRATITUDE FOR THE MANY BLESSINGS THEY RECEIVE IN LIFE.

It is customary and socially polite to send cards expressing our gratitude those who give us gifts or who have been kind or generous in some manner, and much care is usually taken to write the notes by hand. And we do this for a trivial things that we can easily spare without any existential problem. How many of us, however, express our gratitude for the things in our lives that we take for granted: such as good health, a safe neighbourhood, a bank account, a soft bed and so on. We take all these things for granted but others are forced to live daily without them. Ask a cancer patient about his health, ask a kid from the slums of Sao Paolo about his neighbourhood, ask a recent Mexican immigrant about his bank account or a homeless person about his soft bed. They would definitely appreciate them. We see in today's Sacred Gospel Lesson ten lepers who suffered an incurable disease at that time, but more than this, it was a disease that would exclude them from the community - condemning them to a life of isolation - far away from the life of the city or village and far away from family and friends. Leprosy may very well be a manifestation of the Spiritual Disease which in Theological terms is called sin - a terrible, destructive disease that marks our very existence and eats away at our flesh while isolating us from the Communion with the City of God His Holy Church. Through the devastating disease of sin we lose our Communion with God and only eventually do we begin to realise exactly what we have lost what
WE HAVE CHOSEN TO REJECT THROUGH OUR WILFUL DISOBEDIENCE HIS LOVE, HIS ATTENTION, HIS PROVIDENTIAL CARE.

When we sin we are alone - far from the mainstream of Christian Love (Agape) - far from the Teachings

of our Lord Jesus Christ, far from being on the Way of the Cross that He opened for us. The only way a leper could be cured in those times was through an Act of Grace - a Divine Miracle. This is why they implored Christ - a well-known Healer of the time - to grant them restoration to good health. However, His response was rather puzzling because instead of curing them - He sent them to the Priests. Why? Old Covenant Law prescribed that only the Hebrew Priests could certify Healing from leprosy and were the only ones who could permit them to be reinstate into the Community. Although the Priests were unable to cure them they would examine them thoroughly before testifying to their Healing, after which a whole series of Sacred Rituals had to be fulfilled. If leprosy was caused by sin the limitations are obvious of the Old Covenant Priesthood, which had many Sacred Rituals and symbolism but which was unable to grant Salvation. CHRIST OUR SAVIOUR BROUGHT US A NEW TYPE OF ETERNAL PRIESTHOOD, THAT HAS THE POWER OF TRUE HEALING AND THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS the only Power that can cure disease - not merely alleviate the pain and suffering: "... of whomsoever sins you remit, they are remitted to them. Of whomsoever sins you retain, they are retained." (JOHN 20:23) This is THE HOLY MYSTERY (SACRAMENT) OF CONFESSION that GRANTS REMISSION OF SINS - and more than this - ALLOWS THE PENITENT TO RE-ENTER INTO HOLY COMMUNION WITH THE CHURCH. Many times Confession is mistaken for a senseless enumeration of trivial sins, but is actually more than this. SIN CUTS OUR LINKS AND HOLY UNITY WITH THE CHURCH OF CHRIST and makes us miss the ultimate Target of Eternal Salvation. CONFESSION BRINGS US BACK ON THE RIGHT PATH, REINTEGRATES US as full Members of the Church worthy passengers of the Ark of Salvation. This is why CONFESSION IS CALLED THE SECOND BAPTISM, because it gives us A SECOND CHANCE TO START ANEW, WITH A CLEAN SLATE.

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31ST SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST 12TH ST LUKE - 10 LEPERS

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ONE CONDITION THOUGH IS ESSENTIAL: WE MUST MAKE EVERY EFFORT NOT TO REPEAT THE SINS, otherwise we repeat the careless attitude of the nine ungrateful lepers who - after being Healed - turned their backs to their Benefactor and left Him without even a simple Thank You! The nine ungrateful lepers behaved so rudely due to their personal pride and arrogance, for pride is the grandmother of ingratitude. Proud, arrogant people will never have received enough because they always believe that they deserve everything even to be cured! Furthermore the Divine Miracle itself made them forget about expressing their gratitude to God, for more often than not, when most people turn to God in their times of necessity, they may pray sincerely for Divine Assistance until they receive our Lords abundant Blessings. Then, when their lives are going well, they immediately forget their Prayers to God and His Great Mercy and Love for them. They quickly turn their backs to God and prefer to enjoy themselves, ignoring the Truth that without God they would not have anything worthwhile at all!! They forget to write their Thank You notes to God they no longer bother with Prayers or Worship, for after all, they think that they deserve every Blessing, justifying their lack of respect for God and His Great Mercy, saying to themselves: I am a Christian. I have lived a good life. God has to give me whatever I ask! However, as St Peter of Damaskos cautioned us all: ...he who has received a Gift from God, and is ungrateful for it, is already on the way to losing it..." This was the attitude of the nine ungrateful lepers who had been so Graciously Healed, but who remained ungrateful and thereby leaving the Blessed and Holy Communion with our Divine Physician of our soul and body by immediately

hastening away toward the mundane, temporary but unfulfilling pleasures of life in the earthly city - already forgetting the Miracle above all nature that just happened to them. And in doing so, they lost their way - they got lost in the jungle of the secular world - certainly to be consumed by the beast that devours souls. We should learn an important lesson from this: NEVER TAKE ANYTHING FOR GRANTED IN LIFE! DIVINE MIRACLES - EVEN THE DAILY ONES - HAPPEN FOR A REASON: TO HELP US FIND THE WAY TO GOD - to be a Testimony to the continuous Presence of God in His Creation - for His Providence that governs the world toward a better finish. However, IT IS UP TO US TO RECOGNIZE AND EMBRACE THE VITAL MESSAGE BEHIND THE FACTs. IF WE FOLLOW THE PATH OF THE TENTH GRATEFIL LEPER, OUR LEPROSY OF SIN WILL BE CURED BY OUR LORD FOREVER. God has granted us ALL THE NECESSARY TOOLS THE MEANS TO ACHIEVE ETERNAL LIFE THE HOLY MYSTERIES OF HOLY CONFESSION, HOLY UNCTION AND ABOVE ALL, HOLY COMMUNION. It is our Spiritual Commitment to God to MAKE FULL USE OF THEM FOR THE ETERNAL BENEFIT OF OUR SOUL. It is of no benefit to us or anyone else to store such useful tools for future use - we need to USE THEM NOW TO BUILD SOMETHING ESSENTIAL. We might be hesitant at the beginning, for it is sometimes a difficult learning curve, but if we SERIOUSLY COMMIT TO MAKING EVERY EFFORT POSSIBLE, we will quickly learn to use them most skilfully to build the most important thing in the entire world: our ETERNAL SALVATION - granted to us through the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, Whom, we worship together with the Father and the Holy Spirit, now and forever and unto the ages of ages. Amen.
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Orthodox Teaching on Personal Salvation Part 2


INTRODUCTION: OBJECTIVE & SUBJECTIVE SALVATION Christ restored our human essence in Himself. Jesus Christ, by Uniting mankind and God in His own Person, reopened for us humans the Path to Union with God. In His Own Person Christ showed what the True Likeness to God is, and through His Redeeming and Victorious Sacrifice He set that Likeness once again within our reach. [TIMOTHY WARE: THE
ORTHODOX CHURCH]

Faithful, and the fact that this latter Salvation depends on each of us ourselves. You are Saved through Faith, and not of yourselves: It is the Gift of God... (ST PAUL - EPHESIANS 2:8) However, St Paul also taught us to ... work out your own Salvation with fear and trembling... [PHILIPPIANS
2: 12]

This is how the Church has always understood Salvation being delivered to us by Jesus Christ. However, the word Salvation is used in Scripture with two different meanings. In the preaching of the Apostles, especially worthy of attention is the fact that they precisely teach us to distinguish between the Truth of the Salvation of mankind as a whole, which has already been accomplished, and another Truth the necessity for a personal reception and assimilation of the Gift of Salvation on the part of each of the CHAPTER 1:
1.1 P
ERSONAL

Elder Cleopa of Romania believed: Our objective Salvation is realised only in the Sacrifice of Jesus Christ, whereas our personal or subjective Salvation, which, in the language of the New Testament, is called Righteousness, Holiness, or Salvation (in the narrow sense), is realised as a continuance of this objective Salvation, with our personal energy or activity acting in cooperation with Divine Energy or Grace. [THE TRUTH
OF OUR FAITH] [PROTOPRESBYTER MICHAEL POMAZANSKY]

It is the Orthodox Teaching of personal or subjective Salvation that we intend to outline in this work.

THE ORTHODOX TEACHING ON PERSONAL SALVATION


IS THE

SALVATION

RESTORATI

ON

OF

OUR

ORIGINAL

COMM

UNION

WITH

GOD:

The Orthodox Teaching on personal Salvation is based on the Teaching on the Purpose of Gods Creation of mankind and the damage suffered by human nature as a result of ancestral sin. God created mankind ... in His Image and His Likeness i.e. God intended mankind to be gods by Grace. [ GENESIS 1: 26 ] The loss of the Kingdom of God was the most severe consequence of the Fall. Adam and Eve lost Blessedness that they had already tasted in Paradise...

After his first fall, man himself departed in soul from God and became unreceptive to the Grace of God, which was opened to him - he ceased to listen to the Divine Voice addressed to him, and this led to the further deepening of sin in him.
[PROTOPRESBYTER MICHAEL POMAZANSKY]

Salvation is the Restoration of the wholeness of Gods Image in us of the possibility of our Union with God. It is the Restoration of our original essence. Holy Tradition teaches that ... we will be Saved when we become like Christ...

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23.

Because of our Faith in Him and our desire to become Godlike, we are not so much Saved all at
1.2 EVERYONE
IS

once as slowly changed into the creatures we were created to be. [FRANK SCHAEFFER: DANCING ALONE]
CALLED
TO

SAL

VATION
[2

Salvation is not for the Elect or Chosen People. God ... will have ALL MANKIND to be Saved and to come to the Knowledge of Truth. [1 TIMOTHY 2:4] Furthermore, ... in EVERY NATION those who fear (God), and who work Righteousness, are accepted by Him. [ACTS 10:35] Christ said: I ... will draw ALL men to Me. [JOHN 12:32] He ... died for all, that those who live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto Him
1.3 PERSONAL SAL

Who died for them, and Who rose again...


CORINTHIANS 5:15]

From Christ the Apostles ... have received Grace and Apostleship, for Obedience to the Faith among ALL NATIONS... [ROMANS 1:5] With the Apostles ... we trust in the Living God Who is the Saviour of ALL MANKIND, especially those who believe. [1 TIMOTHY 4 : 10]

VATION

IS

ROCESS

There is a multitude of references in Holy Scripture testifying to the fact that Salvation is not a single act but extended in time such as: He who endures to the end SHALL BE Saved. [MATTHEW
10:22]

To us who are BEING Saved... [1 CORINTHIANS 1 : 18] Christ Himself indicates that Salvation is a life-long Journey: If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. [MATTHEW 16:24] St Paul exhorted the Philippians to ... work out your Salvation with fear and trembling... [PHILIPPIANS 2 :12] We can get closer to or further from our Salvation: Now is our Salvation nearer than when we believed.
[ROMANS 13:11]

Striving to become Righteous, we can progress through various degrees: Except (I.E. UNLESS) your Righteousness shall exceed the Righteousness of the Scribes and Pharisees, you shall in no case enter into the Kingdom of Heaven... [MATTHEW 5 :20] Christ linked entering the Kingdom of Heaven i.e. Eternal Salvation to the level of Righteousness that we are able to acquire. ...our Church, however, teaches that our personal Salvation is neither a Gift, nor a simple Work, but rather a process and an undertaking that matures or develops gradually and is realised in the cooperation of two persons: God and mankind. [ELDER CLEOPA]
VATION IS

THE ESSENCE

AND

THE

GOAL

OF

PERS

ONAL

SAL

DEIFICATI

ON

(THEOSIS)

This process of the Restoration of our original Communion with God is our personal Salvation. As Christians, we seek not simply Blessings from God, but God Himself and our Salvation is the experiential Knowledge of God. And this is Life Eternal, that they might know Thee, the Only True God, and Jesus Christ, Whom Thou hast sent. [JOHN 17 : 3] ... the Knowledge of God and Eternal Salvation ... are inseparable from each other. [ST CLEMENT OF ALEXANDRIA:
THE STROMATA]

men by means of the Spirit, and, on the other hand, attaching man to God by His own Incarnation, and bestowing upon us at His coming Immortality durably and truly, by means of Communion with God (ST. IRENAEUS OF LYONS, AGAINST
HERESIES, BOOK 5, 1:1)

Growing in the Knowledge of God, in Communion with God, we become more and more Deified ...in the sense that the Holy Spirit dwells within Christian Believers and transforms them into the Image of God in Christ, eventually endowing them in the Resurrection with Immortality and Gods Perfect moral Character. [ARCHIMANDRITE GEORGE: THEOSIS
THE TRUE PURPOSE OF HUMAN LIFE]

(Christ) will have with us such a Unity by Grace as He Himself (does) with the Father by Nature That Glory that the Father gave to the Son, the Son gives to us as well by Grace Having once become our relative by Flesh and having made us partakers of His Divinity, He (by that) made us His Relatives We have such a Unity with Christ that a husband has with his wife and wife with the husband. (ST.
SYMEON THE NEW THEOLOGIAN)

Compared to the multitude of terms that the New Testament uses as synonyms for Salvation Redemption, Reconciliation, Adoption, Justification, etc. a later Patristic term Theosis seems to best encompass the most important aspects of it. There is an abundance of Scriptural and Patristic evidence showing that the Church has always believed in the possibility of our Theosis and has seen it as the means of our Salvation. When Christ said, Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand! it was a Call to a Life of Theosis. (MATTHEW 4:17), [ARCHIMANDRITE GEORGE: THEOSIS THE
TRUE PURPOSE OF HUMAN LIFE]

Do you not know that you are the Temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? [1
CORINTHIANS 3:16, 6:19].

He, indeed, assumed humanity that we may become god. [ST. ATHANASIUS OF ALEXANDRIA, ON THE INCARNATION] Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious Promises: that by these you might be Partakers of the Divine Nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. [2
PETER 1:4].

Since the Lord thus has Redeemed us through His own Blood, giving His Soul for our souls, and His Flesh for our flesh, and has also poured out the Spirit of the Father for the Union and Communion of God and mankind, imparting indeed God to

St Maximos the Confessor said: Strong and sure basis of the hope for Deification of mans essence is Gods becoming Man, which makes man god in the same measure as when God Himself became Man. For it is clear that He Who became Man without sin, can Deify the (human) essence without it turning into Divinity - having lifted it up to Himself in the same measure, in which He humbled Himself for mankind. St Maximos referred to God as ...desiring Salvation and hungering for Deification of mankind. By His Immeasurable Love for mankind, Christ ascended Golgotha and suffered death on the Cross, which Reconciled and United mankind to God. [METROPOLITAN HILARION ALFEYEV] It is important to emphasize that, according to the Patristic Teaching on Theosis, the human person does not become absorbed, or swallowed, by Divinity. In His High Priests Prayer, Jesus Christ prayed to God the Father about His Faithful Disciples that ...they all may be One; as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be One in Us. (JOHN 17:21). Just as three Persons of the Holy Trinity dwell in each other without losing Their individual Character or Identity, we are also called to dwell in God without losing our identity. TO BE CONTINUED...
http://www.pravoslavie.ru/english/46463.htm#_ftn18

24.

(DONATIONS GRATEFULLY ACCEPTED)

31ST SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST 12TH ST LUKE - 10 LEPERS

20 JANUARY 2013

Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria & All Africa


All Glory, Honour a nd Worship to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now a nd forever, and unto the Ages of ages. Amen. Rememberi ng also our M ost Holy, M os t Pure, Mos t Blessed and Glori ous Lady, Mary - Theotok os, yet Ever Virgi n, together with all the Saints. A nd let us commi t ourselves and one another and our whole Li fe to Christ our God. Amen.

25 January 2013 St Gregory of the Theologian


Also the Feast of St Moses the Archbishop of Novgorod St Felicitas of Rome & her seven sons: St Januarios, St Felix, St Philip, St Silvanos, St Alexander, St Vitalios and St Marcial of Rome St Publios the Ascetic of Syria St Mares the Singer & Ascetic of Syria - St Axentios of Constantinople St Valdimir of Kiev & Gallich Translation to Moscow of the Holy Icon of our Ever Blessed Lady Theotokos, Assuage My Sorrow - The Holy Icon of our Lady Theotokos, The Unexpected Joy St Anatole 1 of Optina Monastery St Dositheos of Tbilisi, Georgia St Gabriel of Imereti

FESTAL APOLYTIKION OF ST GREGORY THE THEOLOGIAN - TONE 1

FESTAL KONTAKION OF ST GREGORY THE THEOLOGIAN TONE 3

Pimenikos ailos tis Theologias Sou, tas ton ritoron enikise salpingas: os gar ta vathi tou Pnevmatos ekzitisanti, ke ta kalli tou fthegmatos prosetethi Si. Alla presveve Hristo to Theo, Pater Grigorie, sothine tas psihas imon.

The

pastoral flute of Thy Theology conquered the trumpets of orators. For it called upon the depths of the Spirit and Thou were enriched with the beauty of words. Intercede to Christ our God, O Father Gregory, that our souls may be Saved.

Theologo glotti Sou, tas simplokoas ton ritoron, dialisas O


endoxe, orthodoxias hitona, anothen exifanthenta tin Ekklisian, estolisas: on ke forousa, sin imin krazi, tis sis teknis: Heris Pater, Theologias O nous O akrotatos.
FESTAL KONTAKION - THE PRESENTATION OF CHRIST
-

Glorious One, Thou dispelled the complexities of orators with the words of Thy Theology. Thou has adorned the Church with the Vesture of Orthodoxy woven from on High. Clothed in this, the Church now cries out with us to Thy children: "Hail Father, the Consummate Theological Mind." Birth Sanctified a Virgins Womb and properly Blessed the hands of Symeon. Having now come and Saved us O Christ, our God, grant Peace to Thy Commonwealth in troubled times and strengthen those in authority, whom Thou Love, as the Only Lover of mankind.

TONE 1

O Mitran Parthenikin Agiasas to Toko Sou, ke hiras tou


Symeon Evlogisas os eprepe, profthasas ke nin esosas imas Hriste O Theos. All irinefson en polemis to politevma, ke krateoson Vasilis ous igapisas, O Monos Filanthropos

Thy

The Epistle of St Paul to the Hebrews 7 : 26 8 : 2


THE RULES
OF

PRIESTLY ORDERS

Brethren, such a High Priest was fitting for us, Who is Holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and Who is Higher than the Heavens; Who does not need daily like those High Priests to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the peoples sins, for this He did once for all when He offered Himself up. For the Law appoints as High Priests men who have weaknesses but the Word of the Oath, which came after the Law, appoints the Son Who has been Perfected forever. Now this is the main point of the things we are saying: We have such a High Priest Who is seated at the Right Hand of the Throne of the Majesty in the Heaven, a Minister of the Sanctuary and of the True Tabernacle which the Lord erected, and not man. St Paul tried to explain to the Hebrews that not ONLY IS O UR L ORD J ESUS C HRIST IS THE ONLY H EAD OR THE F OUNDER OF THE N EW C OVENANT L EADER OF OUR H OLY C HURCH AND ONLY H E I S P RIESTHOOD SUPERIOR TO THAT OF THE O LD S INLESS AND P ERFECT I . E . ONLY C HRIST IS C OVENANT , BUT IN ADDITION , THE R ULES OF THE I NFALLIBLE . All those who serve Him the Holy Priesthood the N EW C OVENANT S P RIESTLY O RDER ARE ALSO Bishops and the Priests are equal among equals i.e. SUPERIOR . N ONE IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE NEXT IN THE Holy Priesthood is so intertwined with the Divine S IGHT OF G OD . Covenant that should the Holy Priesthood Ordained by God be changed, so too would His Holy However, various Ranks of Priesthood are necessary in order to efficiently perform the Sacred Duties and take Covenant with us be changed. on the heavy responsibilities of caring for the Holy The term Majesty is a Biblical title for God the Father. Flock of Christs Church. A H IGH P RIEST W HO IS SEATED AT THE RIGHT HAND As the Holy Priesthood is Instituted and Sanctified by God, OF M AJESTY WOULD HAVE TO BE BOTH H UMAN we must always have respect for it and be Obedient to AND D IVINE . our Holy Church Fathers who guide us faithfully Furthermore, to be seated at the right hand of God towards Eternity. means that the greatest honour is bestowed on T HE H OLY P RIESTHOOD IS E TERNALLY H OLY AND WILL such a Person for two reasons: NEVER BE DESTROYED . b N O ONE BUT AN EQUAL COULD BE SEATED IN THE We must not confuse this Holy Priesthood with our human P RESENCE OF A M IGHTY R ULER and even frailties and no matter what type of character any man more so in the Divine Presence of God the is, the Holy Priesthood is above and beyond him. Father. And our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ V Finally, BECAUSE C HRIST FULFILLED ALL Who is the Only Begotten Son of God and equal REQUIREMENTS OF THE O LD C OVENANT , IT IS NO in all Divine Attributes with God the Father, LONGER NECESSARY FOR US TO DO SO AND AS most definitely has the right to be seated next to Him. C HRISTIANS WE MUST BE COMMITTED SOLELY T O b T HE GREATEST P OSITION OF H ONOUR IS AT THE THE N EW C OVENANT WITH G OD , WHICH IS A RIGHT HAND SIDE OF SOMEONE IMPORTANT B LOODLESS C OVENANT . AND THERE IS NO O NE MORE IMPORTANT IN No blood sacrifices are necessary because Christ willingly offered Himself as the ultimate, Perfect Sacrifice as the EXISTENCE THAN OUR H EAVENLY F ATHER .

(DONATIONS GRATEFULLY ACCEPTED)

ST GREGORY THE THEOLOGIAN

25 JANUARY 2013

25. .

Priceless Ransom for our Immortal Souls and Eternal Life. Since His Harrowing of Hades when He smashed open the imprisoning gates and set the Righteous souls free to repose in Paradise until His Reappearance on Judgement Day, ONLY THE UNREPENTANT

SINNERS WILL SUFFER THE E TERNA L C ONSEQUENCES OF THEIR SINS . Every Sunday, which is Holy Pascha the Resurrection of Christ and AT EVERY D IVINE L ITURGY , WE OFFER THE B LOODLESS S ACRIFICE TO G OD FOR THE R EMISSION OF OUR SINS AND E TERNAL L IFE .

The Holy Gospel According to St


OUR LORD & SAVIOUR, JESUS CHRIST,
IS THE

John 10: 9 - 16
GOOD SHEPHERD

Our Lord Jesus said: I Am the Door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be Saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come so that they may have Life and that they may have it more abundantly. I Am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd gives His Life for the Sheep. But a hireling he who is not the Shepherd, one who does not own the sheep sees the wolf coming and leaves the Sheep and flees; and the wolf catches the Sheep and scatters them. The hireling flees because he is a hireling and does not care about the Sheep. I Am the Good Shepherd; and I know My Sheep, and Am known by My Sheep. As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My Life for the Sheep. And other Sheep I have which are not of this Fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My Voice; and there will be One Flock and One Shepherd. This passage of the Holy Gospel is read on days The worst thief is Satan who spreads his deadly lies and commemorating our Holy Hierarchs and it is a heresies - luring away both leaders and people. continuation of the conversation our Lord Jesus Christ T HE TERM L IFE MEANS L IVING IN D IVINE G RACE ON had with the Pharisees at the conclusion of the Feast EARTH , WHILE THE M ORE A BUNDANT L IFE of Tabernacles. INDICATES THE E TERNAL K INGDOM TO COME . Our Lord Jesus contrasted His Spiritual and Eternal Christ revealed Himself as the Good Shepherd Who enters Leadership with their own. by the Door He is our Compassionate Protector and They had failed as Gods appointed Shepherds for His Divine Guide Who fulfils all Holy Scripture concerning Holy Flock, the Hebrew nation because their Himself the Messiah and our Saviour. leadership had been polluted by personal deceit and C HRIST OUR S AVIOUR IS OBVIOUSLY KNOWN TO OUR pride. H EAVENLY F ATHER AND IN TURN , H E KNOWS EVERY Furthermore, it lacked the essential Compassion, HUMAN BEING PERSONALLY THERE IS NOTHING guidance and encouragement for fallen sinners. HIDDEN FROM H IM AND H E IS ALSO INTIMATELY C HRIST , ON THE CONTRARY , FULFILLED ALL V IRTUE : KNOWN BY H IS F AITHFUL F LOCK THOSE WH O H E HAD INFINITE C OMPASSION AND WISELY G UIDED ENJOY A CLOSE R ELATIONSHIP WITH G OD . AND E NCOURAGED EVERYONE , UNCONDITIONALLY . Furthermore, our Good Shepherd offered Himself as the According to St John Chrysostom, THE D OOR TO WHICH definitive Sacrifice for the sake of our Salvation, which C HRIST REFERRED IS G OD S D IVINE W ORD was a direct prophecy of His approaching Passion. MEANING BOTH THE H OLY S CRIPTURE AND OUR C HRIST S REFERENCE TO H IS OTHER S HEEP WAS A L ORD J ESUS H IMSELF , SINCE H OLY S CRIPTURE REFERENCE TO THE G ENTILES THE P AGANS AN D CLEARLY REVEALS G OD THE W ORD TO US . THE N ON -H EBREW N ATIONS WHO WOULD BE Those who try to lead Gods Flock in a manner that is BROUGHT INTO O NE H OLY F LOCK UNDER OUR O NE neither IN CHRIST nor ACCORDING TO THE AND O NLY G OOD S HEP HERD OUR L ORD AND TEACHING of Holy Scripture i.e. the Divine and True S AVIOUR , J ESUS C HRIST . Teachings of God that were Inspired by God the Holy Therefore, His Holy Church transcends ethnic and racial Spirit are condemned by God as thieves and line. robbers. It has been Orthodox Teaching since the beginning of the Rather than using the Holy Door so that all can see Gods Holy Church of Christ that there be one Bishop serving Works openly, THESE FALSE SHEP HERDS USE a city, a principle affirmed in every generation. DEVIOUS MEANS TO CONTROL , ROB AND MANIPULATE Writing in the early second century to a Church that WICKED PEOPLE FOR THEIR OWN SELFISH , celebrated separate Divine Liturgies for Jewish and PURPOSES ULTIMATELY DESTROYING THEIR SOULS Gentile Christians, St Ignatios warned us: Be careful AND CONDEMNING THEM TO ETERNAL DEATH AND to observe a single Eucharist, for there is One ETERNAL BANISHMENT . Flesh of our Lord Jesus Christ, and One Cup of ALL F AITHFUL AND O BEDIENT P RIESTS WHO LEAD AND His Blood that makes us One, and One Altar, just GUIDE G OD S H OLY F LOCK ACCORDING TO as there One Bishop... This is in line with Gods Will. C HRIST S T EACHINGS AND C OMMANDMENTS , WILL ENJOY E TERNAL L IFE .

St Gregory the Theologian


St Gregory the Theologian was also known as St Gregory of Nazianzos (although that name more appropriately refers to his Father who was Bishop of Nazianzos) and St Gregory the Younger. He was one of the greatest of the Cappadocian Holy Church Fathers and a True and Faithful Teacher of Orthodox Christianity. He is commemorated on 25 January and 19 January, which is the Translation of his Holy Relics. Together with St Basil the Great and St John Chrysostom, St Gregory the Theologian is one of our greatest Three Holy Hierarchs who are communally commemorated on 30 January. St Gregory the Theologian remained a life-long brotherly friend of St Basil the Great since their early years of study in Athens. A fellow student of theirs had been Julian, the son of the Emperor, who would later be infamously known as Julian the Apostate. Even before Julian had discarded his mask of piety, St Gregory noticed his unsettled mind, and he commented: What an evil the Roman State is nourishing! After their studies in Athens, St Gregory and St Basil lived as Ascetic Monks in the Hermitages of Pontus until St Gregory was summoned home by his Father who Ordained him Presbyter. Later St Basil Consecrated him Bishop of Sasima, which caused a misunderstanding between the two friends and great sorrow to St Gregory - but St Gregorys Love and respect for St Basil remained constant, which was obvious from his Funeral Oration on St Basil. May his memory be Eternal!

26.

(DONATIONS GRATEFULLY ACCEPTED)

ST GREGORY THE THEOLOGIAN

25 JANUARY 2013

Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria & All Africa


All Glory, Honour and W orship to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spiri t, now and forever, and unto the Ages of ages. Amen. Rememberi ng also our Mos t Holy, Mos t Pure, Most Blessed and Glori ous Lady, Maria, Theotok os, yet Ever Virgin, together wi th all the Saints. A nd let us commi t ourselves and one a nother and our whole Life to Christ our God. Amen.

34th Sunday After Pentecost

Tone 1

2 7 Ja n u ar y 2 0 1 3

13th Sunday of St Luke Zacchaeus Sunday


Also the Feast of ST JOHN CHRYSOSTOM of Constantinople (Translation of Holy Relics) St Marciana the Queen St Peter the Righteous of Egypt St Demetrios the New Martyr of Constantinople St Titos of the Caves Monastery, Kiev
RESURRECTION APOLYTIKION TONE 1

Tou

lithou sfragisthentos ipo ton Ioudeon ke stratioton filassonton to ahranton Sou Soma, Anestis trimeros, Sotir, Doroumenos to kosmo tin Zoin. Dia touto e Dinamis ton Ouranon evoon si Zoodota. Doxa ti Anastasi Sou, Hriste! Doxa ti Vasilia Sou! Doxa ti Ikonomia Sou, mone Filanthrope!

While the stone was sealed by the Judeans, and soldiers


stood on guard over Thine Undefiled Body, Thou rose on the Third Day, O Saviour Who gives Life to the world. For which cause the Heavenly Powers cried aloud to Thee: O Giver of Life: Glory to Thy Resurrection, O Christ! Glory to Thy Kingdom! Glory to Thy Providence, O Thou Who alone Loves mankind!

FESTAL APOLYTIKION

OF

ST JOHN CHRYSOSTOM TONE (8) PLAGAL 4

I tou stomatos Sou kathaper Pirsos, eklampsasa Haris.

Tin ikoumenin efotisen, afilargirias to kosmo thisavrous enapetheto. To ipsos imin tis tapinofrosinis ipedixen. Alla sis logis pedevon, Pater Ioanni Hristostome, Presveve to Logo Hristo to Theo, Sothine tas psihas imon.
OF THE

The

Grace of Thy Words Illuminated the Universe like a shining Beacon. It amassed Treasures of munificence in the world. It demonstrated the greatness of Humility, teaching us by Thine own words; therefore, O Father John Chrysostom, Intercede to Christ the Logos for the Salvation of our souls.

FESTAL KONTAKION

PRESENTATION

OF

CHRIST TONE 1 From 14 January 9 February

Mitran Parthenikin Agiasas to Toko Sou, ke hiras tou Symeon Evlogisas os eprepe, profthasas ke nin esosas imas, Hriste O Theos. Allirinefson en polemis to politevma, ke krateoson vasilis ous igapisas, O Monos Filanthropos

O Thou Who Sanctified by Thy Birth a Virgin Womb, and


Blessed the hands of Symeon as seemed most appropriate, Thou came, indeed, O Christ our God, and Saved us all. But bring Peace to the commonwealth in time of war, and secure in strength, the Rulers Thou has truly Loved, as the Only One Who Loves mankind.
OF

Resurrection Gospel 1: Matthew 28 : 16 - 20


THE GREAT COMMISSION CHRIST

Prokeimenon
My mouth shall speak Wisdom: and the Meditation of my heart shall be of Understanding. Hear this, O all you people!

St Pauls Epistle to the Hebrews


OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST
IS OUR

7 : 26 8 : 2
ETERNAL HIGH PRIEST

MOST PERFECT

AND

Brethren; Such a High Priest is fitting for us, Who is Holy, Harmless, Undefiled, separate from sinners, and Who is higher than the Heavens, Who does not need daily as those High Priests to offer up sacrifices first for His own sins and then for those of the people for this He did once for all when He offered up Himself. For the Law appoints as High Priests men who have weakness, but the Word of the Oath, which came after the Law, appoints the Son Who has been Perfected Forever. Now this is the main point of the things we are saying: we have such a High Priest, Who is seated at the right Hand of the Majesty in Heaven a Minister of the Sanctuary, and of the True Tabernacle, which the Lord erected, and not man.

The Holy Gospel According to St Luke

19 : 1 10

Zacchaeus the Chief Tax Collector is Restored to Divine Grace

At that time, our Lord Jesus entered and passed through Jericho. Then, behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus who was a Chief Tax Collector, and he was rich. And he sought to see Who Jesus was, but could not because of the crowd, for he was short of stature. So he ran ahead and climbed up into a Sycamore tree to see Him, for He was going to pass that way. And when Jesus got there, He looked up and saw him, and said to him: Zacchaeus, make haste and come down, for today I must stay at your house. So he made haste and went down and received Him joyfully. But when they saw it, they all complained, saying: He has gone to be a guest of a man who is a sinner! Then Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord: Behold, Lord: I will give half of my goods to the poor; and if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I will restore it fourfold. And Jesus said to him: Today Salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham; for the Son of Man has come to seek and to Save that which was lost. Jericho was notorious as a city of wickedness and was When the Disciples asked our Lord Jesus Christ who then commonly associated with corruption and immorality. would be able to be Saved under such conditions, He (REFER LUKE 10:30) had assured them that ...the things which are The comment he was rich is a reference to the earlier impossible for men are possible with God! Teaching of Christ Who had told the Rich Young Man Now this encounter between Christ and Zacchaeus that the only way he could gain Eternal Life was to sell demonstrates clearly that D IVINE G RACE CAN all his goods, distribute the money to the poor and then ACCOMPLISH ANYTHING AT ALL ESPECIALLY THOSE follow Christ. THINGS THAT ARE IMPOSSIBLE FOR US TO DO . This specific advice to the Rich Young Man was followed by There are many Spiritual Interpretations expressing the the quotation: It is easier for a camel to pass Universal significance of this particular encounter: through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to Our Holy Church Father, St Theophylact regarded enter the Kingdom of God. THE CROWD THAT FOLLOWED C HRIST OUT OF CURIOSITY AS SYMBOLISING SINS : ...crowded
34TH SUNDAY AP 13TH
OF

ST LUKE -

ST ZACCHAEUS

THE

PUB

LICAN

27 JANUARY 2013

27.

in by a multitude of passions and worldly affairs, Zacchaeus was not able to see our Lord Jesus. St Ambrose saw several parallels: the fact that ... 1. Zacchaeus was a rather short man was indicative of his being SHORT IN FAITH AND VIRTUE AS WELL 2. Zacchaeus had to climb a tree shows that NO ONE
OUR ATTACHED TO EARTHLY MATTERS IS ABLE TO SEE SAVIOUR CLEARLY (UNLESS WE MAKE A DETERMINED

EFFORT!)

3. our Lord intentionally passed that way reveals that CHRIST APPROACHES ANYONE WHO IS WILLING TO REPENT AND TO BELIEVE HE WILL GO OUT OF HIS
WAY TO MEET REPENTANT SINNERS AND SPEND TIME WITH THEM. (BUT GOD NEVER FORCES HIMSELF ON US.) St Zacchaeus had used the term give for his free and generous offering to the poor and restore for what he owed to those whom he had cheated (and robbed) as it was not a gift but rather required by Mosaic Law. EXODUS 22:1 If a thief is found breaking in at night and is killed, there shall be no guilt for his blood. But if the sun rises on the thief, there shall be guilt if his blood is shed. However, he should make full restitution; but if he has nothing, then he shall be sold for his theft. If

the thing stolen from a donkey to a sheep, is found alive in his possession, he shall restore double... By giving generously to the poor and restoring what he owed and more to those whom he had robbed, St Zacchaeus not only fulfilled the requirements of the Law but demonstrated his Love of God and His Holy Gospel. The title son of Abraham indicates that Zacchaeus had become like this particular Patriarch of Israel for he was counted as being RIGHTEOUS BY HIS SINCERE FAITH, he became generous and compassionate towards the poor and destitute, and he was UNITED TO THE PEOPLE OF GOD. ZACCHAEUS, THE SINFUL CHIEF TAX COLLECTOR BECAME SAINT ZACCHAEUS - a Faithful Disciple of Christ and was later elected as Bishop of His Holy Church, serving God devoutly until his repose in Christ Jesus. The immense significance of this repentant sinner is evident from the fact that St Zacchaeus has not only been commemorated every year throughout the ages, but the last Sunday before the beginning of the Triodion period is in honour of him, and reminds us and encourages us that NO MATTER HOW SINFUL ANYONE IS, THROUGH SINCERE AND DETERMINED REPENTANCE, WE TOO CAN BECOME HEIRS OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD AND ENJOY ETERNAL LIFE. in the fact that they were "Abraham's seed, and were never in bondage to any man." (JOHN. 8:33). And now, as a result of well-known historical circumstances, they found themselves under submission - subjects to a proud, coarse, "iron" race of pagan Romans. And the yoke of this submission was being pulled tighter and tighter and was beginning to be felt more and more. The most tangible and obvious sign of the submission and subjugation of the Hebrew Nation to the Romans was the payment of every imaginable tax and tribute to their conquerors. For the Hebrews - as for all ancient people - paying tribute to their conquerors, was mainly a symbol of subjugation. And the Romans totally shameless and merciless towards their subjects roughly and decisively demanded both customary and additional taxes. The Hebrews were forced to pay but they did so with much hatred and disgust, not only for the Romans but also for those who served them. Not in vain but desiring to compromise our Lord in the eyes of His people - the Sadducees had asked Christ: "Is it lawful to give tribute to Caesar?" (MATTHEW 22:17). They knew that if Christ said that one should not give tribute to Caesar, it would have been easy to accuse Him before the Roman authorities, and if He said that tribute should be paid, He would have hopelessly compromised Himself in the eyes of the people... Turning to the Spiritual Dimensions of today's Commemoration, here is AN EXCERPT FROM A HOMILY ON ZACCHAEUS SUNDAY, WRITTEN BY THE LATE METROPOLITAN ANTHONY (BLOOM) OF SOUROZH: Vanity is that condition of our soul - that miserable condition of our soul - in which we are afraid of human judgement, in which we derive our sense of worth from the judgement of those who surround us. And indeed it is vanity, because the things for which we are praised are vain, empty, unworthy of the greatness of mankind. And also, for praise we do not turn to those people capable of a sound - and at times - severe judgement - we turn to those who are ready to offer us the praises that we desire. This makes such praise doubly vain - its substance is worthless, and the people from whom we receive it are also insignificant in our own eyes - until they speak well of us! St John Klimakos taught us that vanity is the attitude of one who is afraid of people and who is arrogant before the Sight of God - one who thinks that God's Divine Judgement matters little - provided that one has the approval of those who surround one. Is that not a true description of the way in which we stand in life - in the way in which we are prepared to
THE

Sunday of St Zacchaeus the Publican (Tax Collector)


Today is the Sunday of Zacchaeus, the first Sunday of preparation for the beginning of the Great Fast. The Lenten Triodion itself (the Liturgical book from which the Lenten Services are drawn) begins to be used only next week, with the Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee. This Sunday, nonetheless, is the first landmark on the path to Great Lent. ST JOHN (MAXIMOVICH) OF SHANGHAI AND SAN F R A N C I S C O has left us an exceptionally helpful Sermon on the Gospel Reading for this Sunday that helps put it into historical context. Here are a few paragraphs: Who was Zacchaeus? He was a leader of the Publicans "the chief among Publicans." The customary comparison between the humble Publican and the proud Pharisee often blocks the true meaning of these two images in our minds. However, to understand the Gospel correctly, one must picture them clearly. The Pharisees were truly Righteous men. If on our lips the name "Pharisee" sounds as Condemnation, in the days of Christ and during the first decades of Christianity, this was not so. On the contrary, the Apostle, St Paul, triumphantly confessed before the Hebrews: "I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee." (ACTS 23:6). And Then, To Christians - To His Spiritual children, he wrote: "I am of the stock of Israel, of the Tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews, as touching the Law, a Pharisee." (PHILIPPIANS 3:5). And besides the Holy St Paul, many Pharisees became Christians: St Joseph of Arimathea, St Nicodemos, and the great Teacher, Gamaliel. Pharisees (IN ANCIENT HEBREW "PERUSIM," IN ARAMAIC, "FERISIM," WHICH MEANS "OTHER" -- THE SEPARATED, THE DIFFERENT) were zealots of the Law of God. They "rested upon the Law" - in other words: they contemplated the Mosaic Law of God constantly, loved it, strove to keep it exactly, preached and interpreted it. And the reason for the Lord's accusation against the Pharisees is due to the fact that our Lord had severely warned them that their entire Labour - their truly Virtuous endeavours - were made worthless in the Sight of God - turned into nothing and obtained Condemnation instead of Blessings from the Lord, despite their social superiority and the Righteous Deeds they performed, because of their proud, arrogant self-exaltation - and above all, their judgement of their neighbours, of which the Pharisee of the Parable gives a clear example, saying: "Lord, I thank Thee, that I am not as other men..." (LUKE 18:11) On the other hand, the Publicans were truly sinners, who broke the fundamental Commandments of the Lord. Publicans collected taxes from the Hebrews for the Romans and we must remember that the Hebrews well conscious of their being Divinely Chosen - gloried 28.
34TH SUNDAY AP 13TH
OF

ST LUKE -

ST ZACCHAEUS

PUBLICAN

27 JANUARY 2013

forget the Judgment of God provided we feel supported by the judgement and empty praises of others? And what is the way then? Zacchaeus showed us one way: care nothing for the judgement of others because the Judgement of God the Presence of God - or perhaps the Judgement of One Who will not praise us but Who is a Person of Integrity and of Truth matters far more! Zacchaeus did not know Whom Christ was - that He was the Son of God Who became the Son of Man - but he certainly knew that Christ was a Man of Integrity and Truth - and he wanted to see Him and to meet Him face to Face. But then there are also two other ways of shaking off the fear of others - our dependence upon the human (flawed) judgement of others at the cost of our own personal wholeness. St John Klimakos taught us that the means of getting rid of vanity is to obtain the Great Virtue of Humility. St Isaac of Syria, strangely, said the way is also to have pride - and both are true - only that the one will give us Life and the other will give us Death. If we choose the way of pride we will assert ourselves arrogantly - not only in the sight of mankind, but also in the Sight of God. As our own judgement shall be the only thing that shall concern us, we will ultimately only find Death at the end of the road. On the contrary, the way of Humility is that of bowing before the Divine Judgement of God and as we are incapable of soaring Godwards, we must lie down before Him like the parched earth in the sight of the sky - abandoned, helpless, thirsty, hungry, longing and desperate being unable to achieve what we wish to achieve. This is the beginning of True humility.

However, even that may be too much for us - even that may be too difficult for us because we are not used to letting go - to abandoning or offering ourselves to an Act of God. Then we can begin to overcome vanity by Gratitude. Whenever we discover within us a moment of vanity, let us ask ourselves: why? Very often, it is because we have - inadvertently quite often - said the right thing, or inadvertently done the right thing. We must immediately turn to God and thank Him for granting us such an opportunity thank Him for granting us the ability to see the need, or the ears to hear the cry and a mind to understand, a heart to respond and good will to compel us into action - and the means to do the right thing. There are innumerable reasons for us to express our Gratitude to God. We all know from personal experience that it is never the need that inevitably compels the right response from us. For all too often we are confronted by the needs of others but our heart is parched, and cold, and indifferent. How often has the perfect opportunity arisen to do something really worthwhile something that will change our entire life and possibly affect other people for the good as well? How often have others sought our help, advice, compassion or kindness, but we choose to do nothing. How often has our heart has been stirred and our mind begun to understand, yet we remain unresponsive or decide to do something about it later... - only to quickly forget and move on or our willingness to act wavers until it is too late...
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Orthodox Teaching on Personal Salvation Part 3


1.4THE ESSENCE
AND THE

GOAL

OF

PERSONAL SAL

VATION

IS

DEIFICATI

ON

( T H E O S I S ) [Continued]

THROUGH THEOSIS we, of course, do not become God by essence WE BECOME GOD BY GRACE. OUR COMMUNION IS WITH THE DIVINE ENERGIES that is, the manifestations of God in this world NOT THE (DIVINE) ESSENCE OF GOD. Finally, it should be noted that, SINCE CHRIST SAVED THE WHOLE PERSON, OUR PERSONAL SALVATION INVOLVES BOTH SOUL AND BODY. Present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God. (ROMANS 12:1) Holiness is not just a moral Perfection.
1.5 PERSONAL
SALVATION IS

Many Orthodox Saints have physically demonstrated the Fruits of Theosis. From the Lives of the Holy Fathers of the early Church we know many examples of visible, bodily signs accompanying Theosis like Uncreated Light (the Light of Tabor) surrounding the living Saints. The bodies of some Saints have been miraculously preserved from corruption. In Mark 17 Christ lists the outward Signs that will accompany those who will have achieved Theosis.
BOTH IN THE FUTURE AND NOW

In accordance with the Teaching on SALVATION AS THEOSIS, the Church has always understood Salvation as something that STARTS AND CAN BE ALREADY EXPERIENCED IN OUR EARTHLY LIFE. Christ Himself referred to Salvation in the present tense: Behold, the Kingdom of God is within you and He assured us that ...there are some of those who stand here, who shall not taste death, until they have seen the Kingdom of God come with Power. (LUKE 17:21) (MARK
9:1).

One can say that ...WE ARE GRADUALLY SAVED AS WE ARE DEIFIED, BY DOING CHRISTS TEACHING AND HIS COMMANDMENTS. (FRANK SCHAEFFER, DANCING ALONE: THE QUEST FOR
ORTHODOX FAITH IN THE AGE OF FALSE RELIGION)

The writings of Apostle St John the Theologian are especially full of references to Eternal Life as something already present: He who believes in the Son has Everlasting Life. (JOHN 3:36) Whosoever eats My Flesh, and drinks My Blood, has Eternal Life (JOHN 6:54). We know that we have passed from Death unto Life... (1 JOHN 3:14). And you know that no murderer has Eternal Life abiding in him (1 JOHN 3:15). etc. Since ETERNAL LIFE IS COMMUNION WITH GOD - THE PRESENCE OF GOD IN US, ...it does not have in its essence anything that would prevent its Revelation here on Earth. In other words, Eternal Life as a state of a human soul does not depend on the conditions of space and time does not belong only to the world beyond the grave 34TH SUNDAY AP 13TH
OF

but depends exclusively on ones moral development, and thus, for the elect, can begin in this life. We are not labouring for some future Reward, since ...for (those) longing for Truth and Life, that very Truth and that very Life are the Reward; because it was for them that (they were) labouring. There is a complete Patristic consensus on understanding of OUR SPIRITUAL LIFE AS A DEVELOPMENT THAT STARTS HERE ON EARTH AND CONTINUES IN THE AFTERLIFE. Eternal Salvation is not something qualitatively new but A FULL REVELATION OF WHAT WAS SOWN BY US IN OUR EARTHLY SPIRITUAL STRUGGLE. A great Ascetic of the 4th century, St. Makarios the Great, who had tasted Communion with God in his earthly Life, was so permeated with that Experience, that he almost could not imagine what else could be given to his soul beyond the grave. And St Makarios believed that ON THE DAY OF RESURRECTION it will be JUST THE BODY that ...WILL BE COVERED AND GLORIFIED WITH THE LIGHT OF GOD that is in the human soul NOW so that the body could reign with THE SOUL, WHICH IS EVEN NOW PARTAKING IN THE KINGDOM OF CHRIST, Consoled and Enlightened by the Eternal Light. (ST. MACARIUS THE GREAT, DISCOURSE 2, ON THE
KINGDOM OF DARKNESS) [ARCHIMANDRITE (LATER PATRIARCH) SERGII (STRAGORODSKII), THE ORTHODOX TEACHING ON SALVATION]

It is in the nature of the Holy Church in general to be simultaneously THE PREPARATION FOR THE FUTURE (ETERNAL LIFE) AND ALREADY THE FULFILMENT - THE FORETASTE OF ETERNAL LIFE: On the one hand, the
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Holy Church Herself is our Preparation She Prepares us for Life Eternal. Thus Her Function is to Transform our whole life into Preparation. By Her Preaching, Doctrine and Prayer She constantly reveals to us that the ultimate Value, which gives meaning and direction to our lives, is at the End - is to come, is to be hoped for, expected and anticipated... Yet, on the other hand, the Holy Church is also - and essentially - Fulfilment. The Events that gave Her birth and which constitute the very Source of Her Faith and Life have taken place.
1.6 FAITH
IS A STARTING POINT OF

Christ has come. In Him mankind was Deified and has Ascended to Heaven. The Holy Spirit has come and His Coming has inaugurated the Kingdom of God. Divine Grace has been granted to us and the Holy Church of Christ truly is Heaven on earth - for in Her we have access to Christs Table in His Eternal, Heavenly Kingdom. We have received the Holy Spirit and can partake here and now - of the New Life and be in Communion with God. [ALEXANDER SCHMEMANN. OF WATER AND THE
SPIRIT: A LITURGICAL STUDY OF BAPTISM]

ONE

PERSONAL

SALVATION

How do we embark on THE JOURNEY OF THEOSIS? First, WE NEED OUR WILL TO BE AWAKENED WITH THE COMPELLING DESIRE TO BE WITH GOD. Faith awakes it. FAITH IS A DRIVING FORCE AND THE HEART OF OUR SPIRITUAL LIFE. How do we obtain Faith? GOD GRANTS FAITH TO THOSE WHO SEEK HIM. We have to be SEEKERS OF TRUTH, ATTENTIVE TO OUR CONSCIENCE and CONSTANTLY CHECKING it against the Law known to us. Seeing that spark of seeking, GOD IS ALWAYS READY TO HELP us grow and develop spiritually and physically. WITHOUT FAITH IN CHRIST, WE CANNOT BE SAVED because we will not know that GOD IS INDEED ALL-FORGIVING LOVE. Knowing ourselves to be sinners who deserve punishment, we will merely regard God as an AllPowerful, hostile, and unmerciful Ruler of the Universe. In such a state of ignorance and being terrified of such a fearful God - and expecting punishment for our sins we cannot spontaneously Love Him without which there is no Salvation. How then shall they call on Him in Whom they have not believed? (ROMANS 10:14). [ARCHIMANDRITE (LATER PATRIARCH) SERGII
(STRAGORODSKII)

shall not be ashamed For whosoever shall call upon the Name of the Lord shall be Saved. (ROMANS
10:9-13).

The time is fulfilled, and the Kingdom of God is at hand: Repent! and believe the Gospel. (MARK 1:15). And so we, having been Called through His Will in Christ Jesus, are not Justified through ourselves or through our own wisdom or understanding or piety or works, which we wrought in Holiness of heart, but through Faith, whereby the Almighty God Justified all (those who) have been from the beginning [ST.
CLEMENT OF ROME, FIRST EPISTLE TO CORINTHIANS, 32:4]

Reading the above quotes, we may wonder: is Faith all that is needed for Salvation? V It is important to note that THERE ARE TWO PARALLEL NARRATIVES BOTH IN THE HOLY SCRIPTURE, AND IN THE PATRISTIC WORKS: one gives an impression of Salvation through Saving Faith, and the other preaches the importance of works in addition to Faith. In every case we have to CAREFULLY TRY TO UNDERSTAND
WHAT EACH WRITER WAS REFERRING TO AND WHOM HE WAS ADDRESSING. the early Church, FAITH MEANT THE ENTIRE LIFESTYLE OF A BELIEVER as opposed to remaining a pagan or a Hebrew and GOOD DEEDS WERE TAKEN AS AN INTEGRAL PART of such Faith.

In

We cannot know that GOD IS A MERCIFUL, LOVING FATHER because ...no man has seen God at any time. (JOHN
1:18).

WE CAN ONLY LEARN that GOD IS LOVE because ...the Only Begotten Son, Who is in the Bosom of the Father... has declared Him. (JOHN 1:18). THROUGH FAITH IN CHRIST WE ARE ABLE TO OBTAIN (Spiritual) ...boldness and Access [to God] with confidence.
(EPHESIANS 3:12).

And, WHEN WE REALISE THAT GOD IS TRULY A LOVING FATHER, WE BEGIN TO LONG FOR HIM AND LOVE HIM IN RETURN. ONLY THROUGH FAITH CAN WE ADDRESS THE LORD OUR GOD AS MY GOD that is, only through Faith can we freely associate ourselves with God. Thus THROUGH FAITH A CLOSE PERSONAL UNION IS ESTABLISHED BETWEEN BELIEVERS [FAITHFUL DISCIPLES OF CHRIST] AND GOD: Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwells in him, and he in God. (1 JOHN
4:15).

Holy Scripture and our early Holy Church Fathers are absolutely clear on the importance of Faith as an outset [A BEGINNING] of our Journey towards Salvation: He who believes and is Baptized shall be Saved; but he who does not believe shall be damned. [CONDEMNED]
(MARK 16:16).

On the other hand, when talking specifically about Faith and Works, an Apostle or a Holy Father most often stressed that cold faith that is, BEING A CHRISTIAN IN NAME ONLY, FOR SOCIAL, FAMILIAL OR OTHER REASONS - CANNOT SAVE US! We all have to actually ...work out (our) Salvation with Fear and trembling. (PHILIPPIANS 2:12). Thus both narratives Faith and Faith and Works are consistent with each other. In addition to a subjective Spiritual Experience, Faith is understood by the Church also as ...A DOCTRINE TO BE FOLLOWED - that is, THE ENTIRE CONTENT OF CHRISTS INSTRUCTION TO THE APOSTLES...the Faith once delivered to the Saints... and the Teachings of the Church. TO BELIEVE IN CHRIST AS SAVIOUR AND GOD IS TO ALSO BELIEVE ALL THAT H E TAUGHT. In other words, Orthodox Christians believe that FAITH IS NOT MERELY THAT WE BELIEVE BUT WHAT WE BELIEVE
(MATTHEW 28:20 - JUDE 3) CONSTANTINE PLATIS, DANCE, O ISAIAH: QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS ON SOME OF THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN EASTERN ORTHODOX CHRISTIANITY AND OTHER FAITHS]

But as many as received Him, He granted them Power to become sons of God - even to those who believe in His Name: who are born - not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man - but of God.
(JOHN 1:12-13).

Without Faith it is impossible to please Him: for those who come to God must believe that He Is - and that He Is a Rewarder of them who diligently seek Him.
(HEBREWS 11:6).

If thou shall confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shall believe in thine heart that God has raised Him from the dead, thou shall be Saved. For with the heart mankind believes unto Righteousness; and with the mouth Confession is made for Salvation. For Scripture states: Whosoever believes in Him

SIMPLY CONFESSING CHRIST AS LORD DOES NOT EARN US SALVATION: Not everyone who says to Me: Lord! Lord! shall enter into the Kingdom of Heaven; but (those who) do the Will of my Father, Who is in Heaven. (MATTHEW 7:21). Demons are not Saved, even though they have Faith too: The devils also believe, and tremble and even Confess Christ: A certain slave girl possessed with a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much profit by fortune telling... followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to us the Way of Salvation (JAMES 2:19) (ACTS 16:16-17). TO BE CONTINUED...

Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria & All Africa


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All Gl ory, Honour and Worshi p to the Father, and to the Son, a nd to the Hol y Spiri t, now and forever, and unto the Ages of ages. Amen. Rememberi ng also our Most Holy, Most Pure, Most Blessed and Glorious Lady, Mary, Theotokos, yet Ever Virgin, together with all the Saints. And let us commit ourselves and one anoth er and our whole Life to Christ our God. Amen.

30 January 2013 Synaxis of the Three Holy Hierarchs: St Basil the Great, St Gregory the Theologian & St John Chrysostom
Also the Feast of St Hippolytos, Hieromartyr of Rome, together with St Censorinos, St Sabinos & St Chryse, Virgin Martyr of Rome St Felix, St Maximus, St Herculianos, St Venerios, St Stirakios, St Menas, St Commodos, St Hermes, St Mauros, St Eusebios, St Rustikos, St Monagrios, St Amandinos, St Nymphodora, St Kyros, St Theodore the Tribune, St Maximos the Presbyter, St Archelaus the Deacon & St Kyriakos Hieromartyr, all beheaded Holy Martyrs of Ostia St Zeno the Faster of Kiev Caves St Zeno the Hermit of Antioch & Disciple of St Basil the Great St Theophilos the New of Cyprus St Peter, King of Bulgaria the Discovery of the Holy Icon of the Ever Blessed Theotokos of Tinos St Demetrios the New Martyr of Sliven St Theodore the New Martyr of Mytilene

FESTAL APOLYTIKION OF THE THREE HOLY HIERARCHS TONE 1

Tous Tris Megistous Fostiras, tis Trisiliou Theotitos, tous tin The
ikoumenin aktisi, dogmaton thion pirsevsantas. Thous melirritous potamous tis sofias, tous tin ktisin pasan theognosias namasi katardevsants. Basilion ton megan, ke ton Thologon Grigorion, sin to klino Ioanni, to tin Glottan Hrisorrimoni. Pantes i ton Logon afton eraste, sinelthontes imnis timisomen. Afti gar ti Triadi, iper imon ai presvevousin.

Three Most Great Luminaries of the Three-Sun Divinity have Illumined all the world with the Rays of Doctrines Divine and True. They are the sweetly flowing Rivers of Wisdom, who with Godly Knowledge have watered all Creation in clear and mighty Streams; the Great and Sacred Basil, and the Theologian, Wise Gregory, together with the renowned John, the famed Chrysostom of Golden Speech. Let us all who Love their Divinely Wise Words come together, honouring them with Hymns; for ceaselessly they offer Entreaty for us to the Trinity.

FESTAL KONTAKION

OF THE

PRESENTATION

OF

CHRIST TONE 1 FROM 14 JANUARY 9 FEBRUARY

Mitran Parthenikin Agiasas to Toko Sou, ke hiras tou Symeon Evlogisas os eprepe, profthasas ke nin esosas imas, Hriste O Theos. Allirinefson en polemis to politevma, ke krateoson vasilis ous igapisas, O Monos Filanthropos

O Thou Who Sanctified by Thy Birth a Virgin Womb, and


Blessed the hands of Symeon as seemed most appropriate, Thou came, indeed, O Christ our God, and Saved us all. But bring Peace to the commonwealth in time of war, and secure in strength, the Rulers Thou has truly Loved, as the Only One Who Loves mankind.

FESTAL KONTAKION OF THE THREE HOLY HIERARCHS - TONE 2

Tous

Irous ke Theofthongous Kirikas, tin Korifin ton Didaskalon Kyrie, proselavou is apolavsin ton Agathon Sou ke anapavsin. Tous ponous gar ekinon ke ton kamaton, edexo iper pasan olokarposin, O monos Doxazon tous Agious Sou.

Thou hast taken to Thyself, O Lord, the Sacred and Godproclaiming Heralds, the Crown of Thy Teachers, for the enjoyment of Thy Blessing and for repose; for Thou hast accepted their suffering and Labours above all sacrifice, O Thou Who alone Glorifies Thy Saints.

Prokeimenon

Their voice has gone out into all the earth. The Heavens declare the Glory of God.
The Epistle of St Paul to the Hebrews 13 : 7 - 16
REMEMBER & RESPECT OUR HOLY CHURCH FATHERS & WE MUST REMAIN LOYAL & OBEDIENT TO ORTHODOX DOCTRINE & WORSHIP

Brethren: remember those who rule over you, who have spoken the Word of God to you, whose Faith you follow, considering the outcome of their conduct. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. Do not be carried away with various and strange doctrines, for it is good that the heart be established by Grace not with foods that have not profited those who have been occupied with them. We have an Altar from which those who serve the Tabernacle have no right to eat. For the bodies of those animals, whose blood is taken into the Sanctuary by the High Priest for sins are burnt outside the camp. Therefore, Jesus also so that He might Sanctify the people with His own Blood suffered outside the gate. Therefore, let us go forth to Him, outside the camp, bearing His reproach. For here we have no continuing city, but we seek the one to come. So by Him let us continually offer the Sacrifice of Praise to God that is: the Fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His Name. But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such Sacrifices God is well pleased. BEHALF, THEY ARE TO BE RESPECTED, SUPPORTED AND St Pauls expression ... those who rule over you... is a ENCOURAGED AS MODELS OF CHRISTIAN LIFE because the reference in particular to OUR SPIRITUAL LEADERS THE Faith of these Divinely Ordained Spiritual Fathers is HOLY PRIESTHOOD CONSISTING OF OUR BISHOPS AND PRIESTS WHO ARE AUTHORISED BY GOD TO PERFORM THE that True Faith which they teach us and by which they HOLY MYSTERIES (SACRAMENTS) FOR THE BENEFIT OF OUR strive to live. IMMORTAL SOULS FOR OUR SALVATION AND ETERNAL LIFE As struggling, committed Christians, we all, likewise, IN GODS HEAVENLY KINGDOM. should EAGERLY EMBRACE OUR LIFE IN CHRIST. As our Spiritual Fathers, the Holy Priesthood is responsible for guiding, teaching and advising us so that we are able to correct our faults and re-direct ourselves along the Righteous Path set out for us by our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
DUE TO THE IRREVOCABLE SANCTITY OF THE HOLY PRIESTHOOD, WE ARE OBLIGATED TO HUMBLY OBEY OUR SPIRITUAL FATHERS WHO FAITHFULLY AND TRUTHFULLY REPRESENT OUR LORD AND SAVIOUR. THESE CHRISTIAN LEADERS OUR HOLY CHURCH FATHERS ARE NOT ONLY TO BE PRAYED FOR DUE TO THE ENORMOUS SPIRITUAL ACCOUNTABILITY THEY HAVE ACCEPTED ON OUR SUCH WELL-FOUNDED AND TRUE FAITH NEVER DISAPPOINTS OR FAILS US BECAUSE OUR SAVIOUR, JESUS CHRIST, IS GOD ETERNAL, UNCHANGING, INFINITE AND ABSOLUTE TRUTH!

Thus, if Christians in the past attained Eternal Life through Faith, so can we with the proven fact that THE HOLY,
ORTHODOX AND UNIVERSAL CHURCH OF CHRIST HAS ALWAYS KEPT HER HOLY DOCTRINE PURE AND WITHOUT CHANGE GODS DIVINE AND ABSOLUTE TRUTH HAS BEEN STRICTLY AND CAREFULLY PRESERVED AND MAINTAINED THROUGHOUT THE AGES BY DIVINE GRACE AND THROUGH THE INSPIRATION AND ACTIVITY OF THE ALL GOOD AND LIFE-GIVING HOLY SPIRIT.

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31. .

As faithful Christians who have accepted and committed ourselves to Gods New Covenant, WE CANNOT RETURN
TO THE OLD COVENANT OR TO PAGAN PRACTISES FOR THAT WOULD BE A DENIAL OF CHRISTS TEACHING AND COMMANDMENTS and we would thereby commit the sin

of apostasy the rejection of Gods Truth!


WE HAVE PUT ON CHRIST AND HAVE COMMITTED OURSELVES TO A LIFE IN CHRIST, WHICH MEANS STRIVING TO HUMBLY OBEY AND ACCOMPLISH HIS DIVINE TEACHINGS AND COMMANDMENTS.

The Old Covenant had only one day of the year when the Holy of Holies could be entered by the High Priest carrying the blood offering for his own sins and that of the people. The carcasses of the sacrificial animals were not allowed to be eaten at all and had to be completely burnt outside the camp (during their sojourn in the Wilderness) and then later, outside the gates of Jerusalem.
CHRIST IDENTIFIED WITH THE SUPREME SACRIFICES OF THE OLD COVENANT AS HE SUFFERED AND DIED OUTSIDE THE GATES OF THE CITY. His Precious Blood was not carried into the Temple by anyone else for HE CARRIED HIS OWN BLOOD INTO THE HEAVENLY MOST HOLY PLACE IN THE ETERNAL PRESENT (TODAY) This Great Entrance of Christ shows THE DIVINE LITURGY IS ETERNAL AND FOR ALL FAITHFUL WHO ARE UNDER THE NEW COVENANT and being members of our High Priest,

Strange doctrines are teachings or beliefs that do not arise from the One, Holy, Universal and Apostolic Church of Christ. St Paul referred to the Jewish and legalistic teachings with which the Hebrews were familiar. KOSHER LAWS
DEALING WITH FOOD HAVE NO SPIRITUAL BENEFIT IF DIVINE GRACE IS ABSENT AND THEY SERVE ONLY THE TEMPORARY PHYSICAL ASPECTS OF LIFE. CORRECT FASTING CONSISTS OF BOTH A PHYSICAL AND SPIRITUAL ASPECT AND TEACHES US SELF-DISCIPLINE AND SELF-DENIAL. Fasting from food is far easier than Fasting from or resisting our grievous sins. IF WE DO NOT PRACTISE BOTH SIMULTANEOUSLY, NO AMOUNT OF FASTING MERELY FROM SPECIFIC FOOD WILL BENEFIT OUR IMMORTAL SOULS.

Jesus Christ, we may always enter the Holy Sanctuary.


THE EARLY CHRISTIAN CHURCH RETAINED ITS JEWISH CUSTOMS AND TRADITIONS BUT IT WAS UNDER THE NEW COVENANT,

According to the Old Covenant, the Priests and their families were permitted to eat certain parts of food that had been sacrificed at the Temple but the laity were forbidden from eating it.
THE NEW COVENANT PERMITS US TO EAT THE FOOD OF THE HOLY ALTAR THE HOLY EUCHARIST AS OFTEN AS POSSIBLE.

which angered the Old Covenant Hebrews. Likewise every Christian must be prepared to bear the scorn of the world as we are exiles in this earthly life. The Heavenly City that we seek is the Heavenly Kingdom of God to which we have already come through our Life in Christ.
WE EXPERIENCE THE HEAVENLY MOST HOLY PLACE WHEN WE SACRIFICE OUR WHOLE BEING BODY AND SOUL IN THE DIVINE LITURGY, which is a Divine Mystery in which our

part is that of praise consistent with True Doctrine/Teaching and Good Works and Life in Community must be united with worship.

The Holy Gospel According to St Matthew 5 : 14 19


THE SIGNIFICANCE OF DISCIPLES OF CHRIST IN THE WORLD

Our Lord Jesus Christ said: You are the Light of the world. A city set upon a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, so it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your Light so shine before men so that they may see your Good Works and Glorify your Father in Heaven. Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfil. For truly, I say to you: until Heaven and earth pass away, not one jot or one tittle will by any means pass from the Law until all is fulfilled. Whoever, therefore, breaks one of the least of these Commandments, and teaches other to do so, shall be called least in the Kingdom of Heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven. He delivered to them and granted Righteousness the OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST USED THE TERMS SALT AND Divine Purpose of the Law to us. (MATTHEW 3:15; JOHN 8:46; LIGHT TO ILLUSTRATE THE IMPORTANCE AND NECESSITY 14:30; ROMANS 3:31;8:3-4; 10:4) OF HIS FAITHFUL DISCIPLES in society as these are two Furthermore, CHRIST FULFILLED THE HOLY PROPHETS by elements that make our existence more bearable. being and carrying out everything they had foretold GOD IS THE TRUE AND UNCREATED LIGHT and in the Old concerning Him. Covenant LIGHT SYMBOLISED GOD, HIS DIVINE LAW The term Truly... Assuredly... Confirmed... or ... So be AND HIS CHOSEN PEOPLE, ISRAEL in contrast to other it was often used by our Lord as SOLEMN AFFIRMATIONS Nations. (ISAIAH 60:1-3; PSALM 118:105; JOHN 1:4-9; 8:12; 1 JOHN 1:5) OF ABSOLUTE TRUTH DIVINE TRUTH, WHICH WAS ALSO A Light is essential for clear vision and for life itself. FORM OF SOLEMN OATH. His use of these words at the FAITH RELIES ON THE DIVINE LIGHT OF GOD AND FAITHFUL beginning of specific Proclamations rather than at BELIEVERS BECOME SONS OF LIGHT who shine in a the end of them is unique and authoritative: HE perverse, fallen world. (JOHN 12:36; 1 THESSALONIANS 5:5; PHILIPPIANS DECLARED HIS WORDS AS BEING AFFIRMED BEFORE THEY 2:15) ARE EVEN UTTERED. In many Parishes, OUR HOLY PASCHA (EASTER) LITURGY A jot iota is the smallest letter in the Greek alphabet BEGINS WITH A LIT CANDLE BEING PRESENTED and the and a tittle is the smallest stroke in certain Hebrew invitation offered to the Congregation to ... Come, letters. Thus, THE WHOLE LAW IN ITS ENTIRETY IS receive the Light that is never overtaken by AFFIRMED AS THE SOLID FOUNDATION OF CHRISTS NEW night! TEACHING. Christian Virtues serve essential, personal and public The expression: ... All is fulfilled... is a reference to the functions because such VIRTUE CAN CAUSE OTHERS TO Passion and Resurrection of our Lord and Saviour, DRAW CLOSER TO AND TO GLORIFY ALMIGHTY GOD THE Jesus Christ. HOLY TRINITY. RIGHTEOUSNESS ACCORDING TO THE LAW IS A UNIFIED WHOLE OUR LORD JESUS FULFILLED THE MOSAIC LAW IN HIMSELF, and as a consequence, the observance of all the least THROUGH HIS WORDS, AND BY HIS ACTIONS AS HE Commandments means to observe the entire Law, CONSISTENTLY PERFORMED GODS WILL IN ALL ITS while THE VIOLATION OF THE LEAST COMMANDMENT IS FULLNESS, transgressed none of the precepts of the CONSIDERED A VIOLATION OF THE WHOLE LAW. Law, declared the Perfect Fulfilment of the Law, which T h e T h r e e H o l y H i e r a r c h s : S t Ba s i l t h e G r e a t , S t J o h n C h r y s o s t o m & S t G r e g o r y t h e T h e o l o g i a n Golden mouths, mouths of honey! Hymn one, all three hear, All Labourers of one Work; Glorify one, all three rejoice. Three separately - three Angels, Three men, one whole; The three together as God is One, Three hierarchs, one deed; No one is the main one, no one is secondary. Three names, one glory; In Eternity, they all agree, To all three of them, Christ is the Head. Invoke one, all three help,

32.

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SYNAXIS

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30 JANUARY 2013