15TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST
THE CONCEPTION OF THE HONORABLE GLORIOUS PROPHET, FORERUNNER AND BAPTIST JOHN
2 Corinthians 6:1-10, Galatians 4:22-31
Luke 5:1-11, Luke 1:5-25
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 – Tone 4
Make merry, O barren woman, who before wast unable to bear a child! For, lo! thou hast manifestly conceived the lamp of the Sun, who will enlighten all the world, which suffereth from blindness. Dance thou, O Zechariah, crying out with boldness: He who will be born is the prophet of the Most High!
Kontakion – Tone 1
Rejoice with splendor, O great Zechariah and most glorious Elisabeth, his spouse, in conceiving John the Forerunner as is meet, whom the archangel announced, rejoicing. O ye men, let us right worthily honor him as the initiate of the mystery of grace.
Opportunities to give:
➢ Food donations to the Ashland Food Project
➢ Please consider giving a donation toward the legal process of Tatsiana seeking asylum as a refugee in the US. She is in need of our support and prayer.
- Please sign up for coffee fellowship/kitchen cleanup.
- Akathist to the Mother of God, Nurturer of Children next Sunday at 8.30 am (before Liturgy)
- No Adult Education Class this week or next week. Next class will be October 10th.
- If you use cups or glasses on Wednesday nights (at Adult Education classes), please make sure you wash them and put them in the drying rack before leaving.
- Choir practice on Saturday, 5.00 pm.
- Please stay for the Prayers of Thanksgiving following Liturgy.
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, 6th Hour, Divine Liturgy
Confession after Vespers or by appointment!
Other Activities Next Week:
- Saturday, 5.00 PM – Choir practice
Bulletin Insert (OCA Department of Education):
On September 24 the Church honors the Protomartyr Thekla (or Thecla), a young woman whose life was changed when she sat for three nights by her open window and heard Saint Paul preach.
Thekla gave up her planned marriage, and accompanied Saint Paul as he traveled and preached. In later years she retreated from travel and lived a life of solitary prayer, escaping jealous pursuers by taking refuge in the opening in a rock that God provided for her.
A young Orthodox woman wrote, a few years ago, about being part of a group that visited the cave in which Thecla lived. It is located in the desert village of Ma’aloula, Syria and is cared for by the nuns of the Monastery of Saint Thekla. Pilgrims constantly come to pray in the cave, and to drink from the spring that flows in it. It has been the site of numerous healings.
The young visitor describes her experience in this way:
“We had to climb up steps hewn into the mountain to get to the cave, which is somewhat like a large, three-sided room. In the deepest part, about twenty feet back from where the sunlight can reach, we saw a tree growing. Its branches hit the cave ceiling and ran towards the sunlight, all the way to the cave’s opening. This was the tree we had seen as we approached the village in the minibus. It looked as though a beautiful hanging garden had been cultivated inside the cave. Nearby was the spring of holy water that God had provided for Thekla. This spring is still running after all these centuries and has no source to replenish it other than the One who gave it. It is a sort of well now, and there is a metal cup so that people can drink from it. Like so many before us, we drank too… “
(Hilary Chala, in “Encountering Women of Faith” Volume 2, Holy Cross Orthodox Press, 2011.)
At the further end of the cave is the chapel and the saint’s tomb. Nearby is a stack of crutches and canes that pilgrims have discarded because they no longer needed them after receiving healing in this cave carved from the mountain.
Visitors can also go to the base of the mountain and walk into the opening that miraculously opened for Thekla, and make their way along a path, with water constantly flowing, inside the mountain. In places the path is wide enough for two to walk abreast; in others it is so narrow that a person is barely able to get through, face and body pressed against the stone. But the experience is an unforgettable one.
We can only pray that with the terrible carnage and upheaval that has Syria in its grip, Ma’aloula will be able to remain a place where visitors can come so close to the life of a saint.