Parish Bulletin – December 30, 2012

SUNDAY AFTER NATIVITY 

Holy Righteous Ones: Joseph the Betrothed, David the King, and James the Brother of the Lord

TONE 4

Colossians 3:12-16, Galatians 1:11-19
Luke 18:18-27, Matthew 2:13-23

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Choir Director: Veronika


 

Welcome

We welcome you to the Orthodox Church. Please feel at ease and free to participate in the singing. As a visitor you are welcome to come forward at the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy and venerate the Cross offered by the priest. Additionally you may receive the blessed bread (Antidoron) that is offered at that time. If you have questions or would like further information, the priest or one of the members of the parish will be pleased to help.

A word to our visitors on Holy Communion

The Orthodox Church does not practice open Communion. Therefore, only members of Canonical Orthodox Churches exercising jurisdiction in America may approach the Chalice for Holy Communion. The Orthodox do not regard Holy Communion solely as an act of personal piety, but also as an expression of union with the Orthodox Church’s faith, doctrine, and discipline. Orthodox visitors wishing to receive Holy Communion should make their intention known to the priest in advance — ask any member of the parish for help in relaying your intention to the priest. Orthodox Christians should prepare themselves to receive the Sacrament of Holy Communion through recent Confession, prayers of preparation for Holy Communion, and fasting (at minimum, from midnight before receiving).

“Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in a an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord.” – I Corinthians 11:27

 


TROPARIA AND KONTAKIA

Troparion to the Saints – Tone 2

O Joseph, proclaim thou the glad tidings to David, the ancestor of God, for thou hast seen a Virgin give birth; with the shepherds didst thou give glory; with the Magi didst thou worship; by an angel wast thou instructed. Entreat Christ God, that He save our souls!

Kontakion to the Saints – Tone 3

Today the divine David is filled with gladness, and Joseph doth offer praise with James. They rejoice, receiving a crown through their kinship with Christ;and they laud Him that hath ineffably been born on earth, and cry aloud: O Compassionate One, save them that honor Thee!

Kontakion of the Feast – Tone 6

Today the virgin gives birth to the transcendent one, And the earth offers a cave to the unapproachable one! Angels, with shepherds, glorify Him! The wise men journey with the star, since for our sake the Eternal God was born as a little child!

 


Opportunities to give:

➢ Food donations to the Ashland Food Project

Announcements:

  • Please sign up for coffee fellowship/kitchen cleanup.
  • No Vespers on Wednesday, and Divine Liturgy on Thursday morning this week!
  • No more Adult Education classes for the year. We will resume classes January 16th.
  • Mary and Martha Women’s Fellowship on Thursday, 7.00 PM.
  • Archbishop BENJAMIN is planning to visit us the weekend after Theophany (January 12-13). Please plan to be there in order to greet our beloved Hierarch!

 

Service Schedule this Week:

Monday: 6.00 pm, Great Vespers (for Circumcision, St. Basil)

Tuesday: 7.40 am, Hours, Divine Liturgy (followed by Vasilopita)

Friday: 7.00 am, Royal Hours and Typika (for Theophany)

Saturday: 8.00 am, Divine Liturgy (with Great Blessing of Waters) 

6.00 pm, Vigil for Holy Theophany

Sunday: 8.40 am, Hours, Divine Liturgy

Approximately 1.30 pm, Great Blessing of Waters at Upper Lithia (at “the Fairy Ponds”)

 

Confession after Vespers or by appointment!

 

Other Activities Next Week:

  • Thursday, 7.00 PM – Mary and Martha Women’s Fellowship
  • Saturday, 3.00 PM – Choir practice at the Bloms’

 


On Prayer – Part 3 (St. Theophan the Recluse)

“In order to facilitate the development of true prayer, take these steps: 1) keep a prayer rule according to the blessing of your spiritual father – not more than you can read unhurriedly on a normal day; 2) before you pray, in your free time become familiar with the prayer in your rule, fully take in each word and feel it, so that you would know in advance what should be in your soul as you read. It will be even better if you learn the prayers by heart. When you do this, then all of your prayers will be easy for you to remember and feel. There is only one final difficulty: your thoughts will always stray to other subjects, therefore: 3) you must struggle to keep your attention focused on the words of your prayer, knowing in advance that your mind will wander.

When your mind does wander during prayer, bring it back. When it wanders again, bring it back again. Each and every time that you read a prayer while your thoughts are wandering (and consequently you read it without attention and feeling,) then do not fail to read it again. Even if your mind wanders several times in the same place, read it again and again until you read it all the way through with understanding and feeling. In this way, you will overcome this difficulty so that the next time, perhaps, it will not come up again, or if it does return, it will be weaker. This is how one must act when the mind wanders. On the other hand it may happen that a particular word or phrase might act so strongly on the soul, that the soul no longer wants to continue with the prayer, and even though the lips continue praying, the mind keeps wandering back to that place which first acted on it. In this case: 4) stop, do not read further, but stand with attention and feeling in that place, and use the prayer in that place and the feelings engendered by it to feed your soul. Do not hurry to get yourself out of this state. If time cannot wait, it is better to leave your rule unfinished than to disturb this prayerful state. Maybe this feeling will stay with you all day like your guardian Angel! This sort of grace-filled action on the soul during prayer means that the spirit of prayer is becoming internalized, and consequently, maintaining this state is the most hopeful means of raising up and strengthening a spirit of prayer in your heart.

theophanFinally, when you finish your prayers, do not immediately go off to any sort of work, but remain and think at least a little about what you have just finished and what now lies before you. If some feeling was given to you during prayer, keep it after you pray. If you completed your prayer rule in the true spirit of prayer, then you will not wish to quickly go about other work; this is a property of prayer. Thus our ancestors said when they returned from Constantinople: “he who has tasted sweet things does not desire bitter things”. So it is with each person who has prayed well during his prayers. One should recognize that tasting this sweetness of prayer is the very goal of praying, and if praying leads to a prayerful spirit, then it is exactly through such a tasting.

If you will follow these few rules, then you will quickly see the fruit of prayerful labor. And he who fulfills them already without this instruction, of course, is already tasting this fruit. All praying leaves prayer in the soul – continual prayer in this manner gives it root, and patience in this work establishes a prayerful spirit. May God grant this to you by the prayers of our All-pure Mistress, the Theotokos!”

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