GREATMARTYR THEODORE THE RECRUIT
1 Timothy 4:9-15
Choir Director: Veronika
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 of St. Theodore, in Tone II:
Great are the achievements of faith! In the fountain of flame, as in refreshing water, the holy martyr Theodore rejoiced; for, wholly consumed by the fire, he was offered as sweet bread unto the Trinity. By his prayers, O Christ God, save Thou our souls!
Kontakion of St. Theodore, in Tone VIII:
Having received the faith of Christ within thy heart as a shield, thou didst trample down hosts of the adversary, O longsuffering one; and with a heavenly crown hast thou been crowned everlastingly, O Theodore, as thou art invincible
Opportunities to give:
➢ Food donations to the Ashland Food Project
➢ We are planning on buying a new processional Cross for Pascha this year. If you would like to contribute towards it, please specify so on your donation. We are over halfway there!
- Please sign up for coffee fellowship/kitchen cleanup. This is very important if we are to continue with our fellowship meals after Sunday Liturgy!
- You can now donate and tithe electronically on our website! A small fee applies, but is a convenient and secure alternative.
- Parish Council meeting following Liturgy today.
- Akathist to the Mother of God, “Nurturer of Children” next Sunday before Liturgy.
- Please sign up for house blessings, if you have not already done so.
Service Schedule this Week:
Wednesday – 6.00 pm, Vespers
Thursday – 6.40 am, Hours, Divine Liturgy
Saturday – 6.00 pm, Great Vespers
Sunday – 8.30 am, Akathist, Hours, Divine Liturgy
Confession after Vespers or by appointment!
Other Activities Next Week:
- Tuesday, 6.00 PM – Ss. Peter and Paul Men’s Fellowship (Read chapter 7!)
- Saturday, 4.30 PM – Choir practice
A Prelude to the Great Fast
The Paschal season of the Church is preceded by the season of Great Lent, which is also preceded by its own liturgical preparation. The first sign of the approach of Great Lent comes five Sundays before its beginning. On this Sunday the Gospel reading is about Zacchaeus the tax-collector. It tells how Christ brought salvation to the sinful man, and how his life was changed simply because he “sought to see who Jesus was” (Luke 19:3). The desire and effort to see Jesus begins the entire movement through Lent towards Pascha. It is the first movement of salvation.
Our Lenten journey begins with a recognition of our own sinfulness, just as Zacchaeus recognized his. He promised to make restitution by giving half of his wealth to the poor, and by paying to those he had falsely accused four times as much as they had lost. In this, he went beyond the requirements of the Law (Ex. 22:3-12). Later on, Zacchaeus followed the Apostle Peter who appointed him bishop of Caesarea in Palestine where he faithfully served the Gospel and died peacefully.
The example of Zacchaeus teaches us that we should turn away from our sins, and atone for them. The real proof of our sorrow and repentance is not just a verbal apology, but when we correct ourselves and try to make amends for the consequences of our evil actions. We are assured of God’s mercy and compassion by Christ’s words to Zacchaeus, “Today salvation is come to this house” (Luke 19:9).
Zacchaeus was short, so he climbed a tree in order to see the Lord. All of us have sinned and come short of the glory of God (Rom. 3:23). We are also short in our “spiritual stature,” and must therefore climb the ladder of the virtues. In other words, we must prepare for spiritual effort and growth.
The Holy Fathers, knowing the weakness of human nature in our attempts to change from sinful, self-centered life to one of humility and repentance, placed this Gospel lesson before us today to instill in us a desire to repent just as Zacchaeus possessed a desire to behold Christ. Having his example before us, let us now prepare ourselves for the approaching struggles of the Great Lent as we set out on our journey to behold Christ’s Life-giving Resurrection.
“We can go wherever we want and do whatever we want, but that is not freedom. Freedom belongs to God. When a person is free from the tyranny of thoughts, that is freedom. When he lives in peace, that is freedom. He is always in prayer, he is always expecting help from the Lord – he listens to his conscience and does his best. We must pray with our whole being, work with our whole being, do everything with our whole being. We must also not be a war with anyone and never take any offense to heart. Let it be. Today we are offended by one person – who knows who will offend us tomorrow? We are constantly thinking about these insults, but we should just let them be in peace. We should never take them to heart. When we do the adversary will try to do it again, but if we just let the insult bounce off us, and remain peaceful, then people will give up trying to offend us. And people will ask you, “How come you are always at peace? Everyone else is nervous and easily offended, while you don’t seem to be interested in this life at all. How did you become like that? How can you stay so calm? Well, that is how the Lord keeps us from harm.”
– Elder Thaddeus