Parish Bulletin – February 24, 2013

SUNDAY OF THE PUBLICAN AND THE PHARISEE

THE FIRST AND SECOND FINDINGS OF THE HONORABLE HEAD OF THE HOLY GLORIOUS PROPHET, FORERUNNER AND BAPTIST JOHN

TONE 5

2 Timothy 3:10-15, 2 Corinthians 4:6-15
Luke 18:10-14, Matthew 11:2-15

publican_pharisee


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 of St. John, in Tone IV:

The head of the Forerunner, which hath shone forth from the earth, doth shed rays of incorruption and healing upon the faithful. On High it assembleth a multitude of angels, and below it calleth upon the human race with one voice to send up glory to Christ God.

Kontakion of St. John, in Tone II:

O prophet of God and Forerunner of grace, having obtained thy head from the earth like a most sacred rose, we ever receive healings, for again, as of old, thou dost preach repentance in the world.

 


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.

Announcements:

  • Please sign up for coffee fellowship/kitchen cleanup. This is very important if we are to continue with our fellowship meals after Sunday Liturgy!
  • This week is a fast-free week.
  • Please sign up for house blessings, if you have not already done so.
  • This Wednesday will have a Readers Vespers, but there will be no Liturgy on Thursday morning, as Fr. Andreas will be at a Deanery Meeting in Portland.

 

Service Schedule this Week:

Wednesday – 6.00 pm, Readers Vespers

Saturday – 6.00 pm, Great Vespers

Sunday – 8.40 am, Hours, Divine Liturgy

 

Confession after Vespers or by appointment!

 

Other Activities Next Week:

  • Saturday, 4.30 PM – Choir practice

 


On Bearing the Burden of Sin

So often we ask ourselves and one another a very tormenting question: How can I deal with my sinful condition? What can I do? I cannot avoid committing sins, Christ alone is sinless. I cannot, for lack of determination, or courage, or ability truly repent when I do commit a sin, or in general, of my sinful condition.

What is left to me? I am tormented, I fight like one drowning, and I see no solution.

There is a word which was spoken once by a Russian staretz, one of the last elders of Optina. He said to a visitor of his: No one can live without sin, few know how to repent in such a way that their sins are washed as white as fleece. But there is one thing which we all can do: when we can neither avoid sin, nor repent truly, we can then bear the burden of sin, bear it patiently, bear it with pain, bear it without doing anything to avoid the pain and the agony of it, bear it as one would bear a cross, — not Christ’s cross, not the cross of true discipleship, but the cross of the thief who was crucified next to Him. Didn’t the thief say to his companion who was blaspheming the Lord: We are enduring because we have committed crimes; He endures sinlessly… And it is to him, because he had accepted the punishment, the pain, the agony, the consequences indeed of evil he had committed, of being the man he was, that Christ said, ‘Thou shalt be with Me today in Paradise…’

I remember the life of one of the saints, the story of one who had come to him and said that he had led all his life a life that was evil, impure, unworthy both of God and of himself; and then he had repented, he had rejected all evil he had done; and yet, he was in the power of the same evil. And the saint said to him: There was a time when you lapped up all this filth with delight; now you perceive it as filth and you feel that you are drowning in it with horror, with disgust. Take this to be your reward for your past, and endure… This is something which all of us can do: to endure the consequences, to endure the enslavement which is ours patiently, humbly, with a broken heart; not with indifference, not with a sense that as we are abandoned to it by God, then, why not sin? But taking it as a healing perception of what sin is, of what it does to us, of the horror of it. And if we patiently endure, a day will come when our inner rejection of sin will bear fruit, and when freedom will be given us.

So, if we can, in all the ways we can, let us avoid sin in all its forms, even those sins which seem to be so unimportant, because the slightest crack in a dam sooner or later leads to its bursting. If we can — let us truly repent, that is turn away from our past in a heroic, determined act; but if we can do neither of them — let us carry humbly and patiently all the pain and all the consequences. And this will also be accounted one day by the Lord Who in a folkloric life of Moses, in response to His angels saying, ‘How long shall you endure their sins’ — the sins of the Jews in the wilderness, answered: ‘I will reject them when the measure of their sins will exceed the measure of their suffering’.

Let us therefore accept the pain as a redeeming pain, even if we cannot offer it as pain pure of stain. Amen.

– Metropolitan Anthony Bloom

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