SUNDAY AFTER HOLY THEOPHANY
Martyrs Hermylus and Stratonicus of Belgrade
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 the martyrs, in Tone 4:
In their sufferings, O Lord, Thy martyrs received imperishable crowns from Thee, our God; for, possessed of Thy might, they set at nought the tyrants and crushed the feeble audacity of the demons. By their supplications save Thou our souls.
Troparion of the venerable martyrs, in the same tone:
O God of our fathers, deal with us ever according to Thy meekness. Take not Thy mercy away from us, but through the prayers of these saints direct our life in peace.
Kontakion of the venerable martyrs, in Tone 2:
Ye fled from the tumult of the world and have found rest in the calm haven, crowned With the blood of martyrdom and the labors of asceticism. Wherefore, ye have been shown to dwell together with the martyrs and the venerable.
Kontakion of the Feast, in Tone 4
Today Thou hast appeared to the universe, and Thy light, O Lord, has shone on us, who with understanding praise Thee: Thou has come and revealed Thyself, O Light Unapproachable!
Opportunities to give:
➢ Food donations to the Ashland Food Project
- Please sign up for coffee fellowship/kitchen cleanup. This is very important if we are to continue with our fellowship meals after Sunday Liturgy!
- Adult Education will resume on Wednesday, following Vespers.
- Ss. Peter and Paul Men’s Fellowship this Tuesday, 6.00 PM.
- Parish Council meeting following Liturgy NEXT Sunday.
- Please sign up for house blessings!
Service Schedule this Week:
Wednesday – 6.00 pm, Great Vespers (St. Anthony the Great)
Thursday – 6.40 am, Hours, Divine Liturgy (St. Anthony the Great)
Saturday – 6.00 pm, Great Vespers
Sunday – 8.40 am, Hours, Divine Liturgy
Confession after Vespers or by appointment!
Other Activities Next Week:
- Tuesday, 6.00 PM – Ss. Peter and Paul Men’s Fellowship
- Wednesday, following Vespers – Adult Education Class
- Saturday, 4.30 PM – Choir practice
It is part of life in the Church to have one’s home blessed with the Holy Water of Theophany, thereby “renewing” it as a place wherein God is welcomed and dwells amongst its inhabitants. When parishes were made up of persons and families all living in more or less proximity to the Church, this customary blessing was undertaken by the clergy immediately after the Blessing of Waters on the day of the Feast itself, and it continued until all the homes in the community were blessed.
In our day, when parishioners most often live some distance from the Church, such a system is not so practical. With that in mind, a signup sheet is placed at the candle-stand for you to indicate a day and approximate time you are available for a house blessing. You are encouraged to re-claim some of the communal festal nature of the event by coordinating your house blessing with others in your vicinity, processing (usually by car) to each home, and perhaps ending with a meal!
What does a House Blessing involve?
A short visit by the priest of perhaps 20 minutes: a prayer of blessing followed by the sprinkling of all the house with Holy Water, a dismissal, and “Many Years” sung to all members of the house.
What is assumed?
That one have an established place of prayer in one’s home – icon(s), candle, etc. (icon corner/shelf). It is from this “home altar” that the service begins. The priest will bring all else needed for the blessing.
It is also advisable to have the Troparion of the Feast available, and perhaps even to learn it by heart.
Troparion of Theophany – Tone 1
When Thou, O Lord, was baptized in the Jordan / the worship of the Trinity was made manifest. / For the voice of the Father bore witness to Thee, / and called Thee His Beloved Son! / And the Spirit, in the form of a Dove, / confirmed the truthfulness of His word. / O Christ, our God who hast revealed Thyself, // and hast enlightened the world, glory to Thee!
God, be merciful to me a sinner! Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me!
“Many pronounce these brief prayers with great haste, caring only to say the required number of them. By this manner of praying, they do not allow the prayers to penetrate the heart and produce their inherent effect, which is tender feeling. The holy Fathers justly note that whoever prays thus prays to the wind, and not to God. Why do we get bored in church? Because we have not felt the effect of prayer. Why do we rush to a lavish table? Because we know the meaning of material food from experience. Why do we not rush to church, but try to come a little later, when a significant portion of the Divine services are already over? Because we do not know from experience the meaning of prayer, which is food for the soul, and which imparts spiritual strength to the soul. We do not know from experience the meaning of prayer because we pray hastily, superficially, and without attention. The effect on the soul of long but inattentive prayer is like the effect of copious rain upon a metal roof, from which all the water runs off, no matter how much it pours, without having any effect at all upon the roof. In contrast, attentive prayer can be likened to a beneficial rain that waters a planted field, giving nourishment to the growth there, and preparing a rich harvest.
The disciples of prayer who lean upon its breast—the holy Fathers—correct a major mistake that deprives the praying ascetic of all the fruits of his ascetic labor. They instruct us to pronounce the words of short prayers and of all kinds of prayer without haste, observing scrupulous attention to the words of the prayers. When the prayers are read unhurriedly, it is possible to have such attention, while hurried reading leaves no place for attention. Prayer without attention is like a body which the soul has left: it has no fragrance of humility, it does not ascend to God. Stricken and deadened by dispersed thoughts, it crawls along the earth of corruption and foul smell, imparting this corruption to those who pray carelessly and coldly. Mental attention at prayer is reflected in the heart by blessed grief over sins, which is that very repentance that God commands us to have. When the heart is filled with a feeling of repentance, it in turn draws the mind to increased attention. Once there is attention and tender feeling, all the gifts of the Holy Spirit enter into the soul, making it a temple of God.
Let us provide our prayer with two qualities: attention and repentance. Let it fly up to the heavens with them as upon two wings, then appear before the face of God, and intercede for us to gain His mercy. The blessed publican’s prayer had these two qualities…”
– St. Ignatius Brianchanivov