Sunday Morning Orthros/Matins 8:15am, Divine Liturgy 9:30am; Saturday Great Vespers 5:00pm (October thru May); Weekday Services (see Online Calendar, Sunday Bulletin & Monthly Newsletter); Confession (by appointment).
After the Saviour's Ascension into the Heavens, the eleven Apostles and the rest of His disciples, the God-loving women who followed after Him from the beginning, His Mother, the most holy Virgin Mary, and His brethren-all together about 120 souls returned from the Mount of Olives to Jerusalem. Entering into the house where they gathered, they went into the upper room, and there they persevered in prayer and supplication, awaiting the coming of the Holy Spirit, as their Divine Teacher had promised them. In the meanwhile, they chose Matthias, who was elected to take the place of Judas among the Apostles.
Thus, on this day, the seventh Sunday of Pascha, the tenth day after the Ascension and the fiftieth day after Pascha, at the third hour of the day from the rising of the sun, there suddenly came a sound from Heaven, as when a mighty wind blows, and it filled the whole house where the Apostles and the rest with them were gathered. Immediately after the sound, there appeared tongues of fire that divided and rested upon the head of each one. Filled with the Spirit, all those present began speaking not in their native tongue, but in other tongues and dialects, as the Holy Spirit instructed them.
The multitudes that had come together from various places for the feast, most of whom were Jews by race and religion, were called Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and so forth, according to the places where they dwelt. Though they spoke many different tongues, they were present in Jerusalem by divine dispensation. When they heard that sound that came down from Heaven to the place where the disciples of Christ were gathered, all ran together to learn what had taken place. But they were confounded when they came and heard the Apostles speaking in their own tongues. Marvelling at this, they said one to another, "Behold, are not all these which speak Galileans? And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?" But others, because of their foolishness and excess of evil, mocked the wonder and said that the Apostles were drunken.
Then Peter stood up with the eleven, and raising his voice, spoke to all the people, proving that that which had taken place was not drunkenness, but the fulfilment of God's promise that had been spoken by the Prophet Joel: "And it shall come to pass in the last days, that I shall pour out of My Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and daughters shall prophesy" (Joel 2:28), and he preached Jesus of Nazareth unto them, proving in many ways that He is Christ the Lord, Whom the Jews crucified but God raised from the dead. On hearing Peter's teaching, many were smitten with compunction and received the word. Thus, they were baptized, and on that day about three thousand souls were added to the Faith of Christ.
Such, therefore, are the reasons for today's feast: the coming of the All-holy Spirit into the world, the completion of the Lord Jesus Christ's promise, and the fulfilment of the hope of the sacred disciples, which we celebrate today. This is the final feast of the great mystery and dispensation of God's incarnation. On this last, and great, and saving day of Pentecost, the Apostles of the Saviour, who were unlearned fishermen, made wise now of a sudden by the Holy Spirit, clearly and with divine authority spoke the heavenly doctrines. They became heralds of the truth and teachers of the whole world. On this day they were ordained and began their apostleship, of which the salvation of those three thousand souls in one day was the comely and marvellous first fruit.
Some erroneously hold that Pentecost is the "birthday of the Church." But this is not true, for the teaching of the holy Fathers is that the Church existed before all other things. In the second vision of The Shepherd of Hermas we read: "Now brethren, a revelation was made unto me in my sleep by a youth of exceeding fair form, who said to me, 'Whom thinkest thou the aged woman, from whom thou receivedst the book, to be?' I say, 'The Sibyl.' 'Thou art wrong,' saith he, 'she is not.' 'Who then is she?' I say. 'The Church,' saith he. I said unto him, 'Wherefore then is she aged?' 'Because,' saith he, 'she was created before all things; therefore is she aged, and for her sake the world was framed."' Saint Gregory the Theologian also speaks of "the Church of Christ ... both before Christ and after Christ" (PG 35:1108-9). Saint Epiphanius of Cyprus writes, "The Catholic Church, which exists from the ages, is revealed most clearly in the incarnate advent of Christ" (PG 42:640). Saint John Damascene observes, "The Holy Catholic Church of God, therefore, is the assembly of the holy Fathers, Patriarchs, Prophets, Apostles, Evangelists, and Martyrs who have been from the very beginning, to whom were added all the nations who believed with one accord" (PG 96, 1357c). According to Saint Gregory the Theologian, "The Prophets established the Church, the Apostles conjoined it, and the Evangelists set it in order" (PG 35, 589 A). The Church existed from the creation of the Angels, for the Angels came into existence before the creation of the world, and they have always been members of the Church. Saint Clement, Bishop of Rome, says in his second epistle to the Corinthians, the Church "was created before the sun and moon"; and a little further on, "The Church existeth not now for the first time, but hath been from the beginning" (II Cor. 14).
That which came to pass at Pentecost, then, was the ordination of the Apostles, the commencement of the apostolic preaching to the nations, and the inauguration of the priesthood of the new Israel. Saint Cyril of Alexandria says that "Our Lord Jesus Christ herein ordained the instructors and teachers of the world and the stewards of His divine Mysteries ... showing together with the dignity of Apostleship, the incomparable glory of the authority given them ... Revealing them to be splendid with the great dignity of the Apostleship and showing them forth as both stewards and priests of the divine altars . . . they became fit to initiate others through the enlightening guidance of the Holy Spirit" (PG 74, 708-712). Saint Gregory Palamas says, "Now, therefore ... the Holy Spirit descended ... showing the Disciples to be supernal luminaries ... and the distributed grace of the Divine Spirit came through the ordination of the Apostles upon their successors" (Homily 24, 10). And Saint Sophronius, Bishop of Jerusalem, writes, "After the visitation of the Comforter, the Apostles became high priests" (PG 87, 3981B). Therefore, together with the baptism of the Holy Spirit which came upon them who were present in the upper chamber, which the Lord had foretold as recorded in the Acts, "ye shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days hence" (Acts 1:5), the Apostles were also appointed and raised to the high priestly rank, according to Saint John Chrysostom (PG 60, 21). On this day commenced the celebration of the Holy Eucharist by which we become "partakers of the Divine Nature" (II Peter 1:4). For before Pentecost, it is said of the Apostles and disciples only that they abode in "prayer and supplication" (Acts 1:14); it is only after the coming of the Holy Spirit that they persevered in the "breaking of bread,"that is, the communion of the Holy Mysteries-"and in prayer" (Acts 2:42).
The feast of holy Pentecost, therefore, determined the beginning of the priesthood of grace, not the beginning of the Church. Henceforth, the Apostles proclaimed the good tidings "in country and town," preaching and baptizing and appointing shepherds, imparting the priesthood to them whom they judged were worthy to minister, as Saint Clement writes in his first Epistle to the Corinthians (I Cor. 42).
All foods allowed during the week following Pentecost.
Saint Metrophanes was born of pagan parents, but believed in Christ at a young age, and came to Byzantium. He lived at the end of the persecution of the Roman Emperors, and became the Bishop of Byzantium from about 315 to 325, during which time Saint Constantine the Great made it the capital of the Roman Empire, calling it New Rome. Saint Metrophanes sent his delegate, the priest Alexander, to the First Ecumenical Council in 325, since he could not attend because of old age. He reposed the same year and was buried by Saint James of Nisibis (celebrated Jan. 13), one of the Fathers present at the First Ecumenical Council. The Canons to the Trinity of the Octoechos are not the work of this Metrophanes but another, who was Bishop of Smyrna about the middle of the ninth century, during the life of Saint Photius the Great.
The Holy Myrrh-bearers Mary and Martha, together with their brother Lazarus, were especially devoted to our Savior, as we see from the accounts given in the tenth chapter of Saint Luke, and in the eleventh and twelfth chapters of Saint John. They reposed in Cyprus, where their brother became the first Bishop of Kition after his resurrection from the dead. See also the accounts on Lazarus Saturday and the Sunday of the Myrrh-bearing Women.
The Reading is from John 20:19-23
On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being shut where the disciples were gathered, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, "Peace be with you." When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you." And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained."
Prokeimenon. 4th Mode. Psalm 18.4,1.
Their voice has gone out into all the earth.
Verse: The heavens declare the glory of God.
The reading is from Acts of the Apostles 2:1-11.
WHEN THE DAY of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly a sound came from heaven like the rush of a mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire, distributed and resting on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven. And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in his own language. And they were amazed and wondered, saying, "Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us in his own native language? Parthians and Medes and Elamites and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontos and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabians, we hear them telling in our own tongues the mighty works of God."
The Reading is from John 7:37-52; 8:12
On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and proclaimed, "If any one thirst, let him come to me and drink. He who believes in me, as the scripture has said, 'Out of his heart shall flow rivers of living water.'" Now this he said about the Spirit, which those who believed in him were to receive; for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.
When they heard these words, some of the people said, "This is really the prophet." Others said, "This is the Christ." But some said, "Is the Christ to come from Galilee? Has not the scripture said that the Christ is descended from David, and comes from Bethlehem, the village where David was?" So there was a division among the people over him. Some of them wanted to arrest him, but no one laid hands on him.
The officers then went back to the chief priest and Pharisees, who said to them, "Why did you not bring him?" The officers answered, "No man ever spoke like this man!" The Pharisees answered them, "Are you led astray, you also? Have any of the authorities or of the Pharisees believed in him? But this crowd, who do not know the law, are accursed." Nikodemos, who had gone to him before, and who was one of them, said to them, "Does our law judge a man without first giving him a hearing and learning what he does?" They replied, "Are you from Galilee too? Search and you will see that no prophet is to rise from Galilee." Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, "I am the light of the world; he who follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."
A Wealthy Inheritance (5-28-2017)
If you received a $1 million, $5M, or $10M inheritance, what would you do with it? Would you spend it or invest it? Would you put in a will or trust for your own children? Think for a moment about wealthy parents who gave most of their estate to their children? Perhaps you know some of these kids. What did they do with their new-found wealth? What did this inheritance do to them? How did they turn out? Often times, their inherited wealth ruined them. How many industrialists started from nothing, slowly built their fortune through hard work and ingenuity. And when they reached the twilight of their life, gave it to their children only to see them become lazy, spoiled and self-indulgent or worse. You see it’s not honorable to bestow material wealth unless one is also going to bestow character, good morals and generosity along with it.
The same is true for our Orthodox Christian Faith. Today on the Seventh Sunday of Pascha we celebrate the Holy Fathers of the First Ecumenical Council who gathered in Nicaea in the year 325AD to discuss and decided the false teachings of the priest Arius. These Church Fathers included saints like Athanasios the Great, Bishop Nicholas of Myra, and Bishop Spyridon of Trimythous. They formulated the Nicene Creed, one of the first formal statements about the faith and belief of Christians. We owe a great debt to them and those who came after them. Where would be without the liturgies of St. John Chyrsostom and St. Basil the Great; the beautiful hymnography of St. Romanos the Melodist; the precise definitions of Orthodoxy by St. John of Damascus; the glorious Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed from the Second Ecumenical Council (Constantinople 381AD); the prayers of our monastic fathers and mothers; the Jesus Prayer; the creedal statements and canonical regulations of the other Ecumenical Councils; the sublime icons?
As Fr. Anthony Coniaris once wrote, (Sunday of the Fathers in Sermons on the Major Holy Days, p.84-90), “We honor the Fathers because they are witnesses of the true faith, the truth of Christ. This is the faith the apostles received from Christ and passed on to us (1Cor.11:23) 23For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread;
The have given us a very rich inheritance of Faith. The word “Orthodoxy” means “true faith.” And if anyone has done a little reading and studying about our Church and its beliefs, you know it is an endless treasure, much more than you can learn in a lifetime.
Fr. Coniaris warns however, there is a danger to having the truth as a treasure. We might end up worshiping it like an idol while failing to apply it to our own life and understand that truth points to God Himself. Gibbon criticized the Greek scholars of the 10th century, “They held in their lifeless hands the riches of their fathers without inheriting the spirit which had created and imparted the sacred testimony.” Another danger is that the truth can become a theology of repetition. We cannot merely repeat what we hear like a mindless parrot. We must learn how and why the Church Fathers taught as they did. Our goal is to acquire their ‘phronema’ or mind set so that we may apply it to our current challenges.
We are not just guided by the past. We are also pulled by the future. There must be a balance between the two. The allure of the past can be so strong that it neutralizes the pull of the future. We must be open to the old without being closed to the new. The present is more than just clinging to the past.
Professor von Campenhausen wrote, “The Church trusted in the unchanging and indestructible continuity with the apostles and Fathers of the past whose achievements it admired so much that it failed to observe the changing nature of the problems which faced theology. It preserved their intellectual inheritance without doing anything to renew it.” In other words, our ancestors amassed the capital. And boasting about how much they had in the bank, they lived on the interest without adding to the capital. We must keep adding to the capital.
There is a two-part lesson for our own parish community. First, a financial one as we sit on nearly $500,000 in our bank accounts with virtually no plan on how to use it to grow our church. Second, there is a pastoral lesson in that we have a rich treasure of our Orthodox Faith in Christ that we sit on here in our sanctuary with very little plans and activities to share it with others.
There are two kinds of inheritance: 1) things we inherit, and 2) things we achieve. A rich inheritance can often make us complacent and prevent us from achieving.
St. Symeon the New Theologian regarded as the most dangerous heresy the notion that the Church no longer possesses the same fullness of the charismata (graces/gifts) as it did in ancient times. We Orthodox have a great past, a great tradition. We are proud of this. But we must not live in the past. Where are the John Chrysostoms, the Basil the Greats, the Gregory the Theologians of today? God is always more interested in producing originals than carbon copies
The Orthodox Church is not a museum of the first thousand years of Christianity. We must not succumb to the temptation that the Fathers have said everything there is to say, and that all we have to do is repeat them verbatim. Father Florovsky reminds us that the term ‘father’ is not limited to the period called “Patristic.” I remember Fr. Chris Metropulos, the founder of the Orthodox Christian Network (OCN) and now president of Hellenic College and Holy Cross in Boston, relating the story of attending a conference on evangelism run by the Rev. Robert Schuller of the Crystal Cathedral in Oakland. Rev. Schuller saw Fr. Chris wearing a priestly collar and pulled him aside asking him who he was and where Fr. Chris was from. When he told Rev. Schuller that he was a Greek Orthodox priest, Rev. Schuller said to Fr. Chris, “You Greek Orthodox have the fullness of the Christian Faith but you don’t share it with anyone!” Quite a statement coming from one of the original and most famous televangelist in America.
Krister Stendahl, a well-known Swedish Lutheran bishop of Stockholm and professor at Harvard University (b.1921 –d.2008) made a direct challenge to Orthodox Christians saying: “The word ‘gifts’ come easily to mind when I think about the Greek Orthodox Church…great gifts indeed are yours…[but] I must remind you of the manna in the wilderness [Exodus 16:1-36; Numbers 11:1-9]…we know it could not be stored, not even from day to day. Israel had to trust that the gift would be renewed as needed, and those who worked to keep this lavish gift, preserving it for future use, found that it spoiled overnight. That is a word of warning, I think, for anyone who thinks that the gifts of the past, the gift of traditions, can save the Church and feed its people…I see not valid reason why we should not—by the help of the Spirit—expect your Orthodox theologians to become again the pioneers of theology. To be guardians of the faith is not enough…You can do it, and we others are eager for your gift.”
As we close today, we need to ask ourselves a few questions. First, am I even aware of the rich inheritance that has been bestowed to me by the Fathers of our Orthodox Faith? And if I am aware, do I really have a good working grasp of it, knowing the basic doctrinal teachings and moral precepts? And if I have that knowledge, am I actively seeking ways to share it with others outside the Orthodox Church? Do talk about my Orthodox Faith in Christ and His Church when I meet with friends and acquaintances for coffee or dinner? Do I invite the same people to join me in the Divine Liturgy on Sundays? Do I invite others to join me at a lecture, a retreat or a class? Have I become spoiled and self-indulgent with my Orthodox inheritance? Or am trying as best I can to use the unique tools of the Orthodox Church to develop my character in Christ and to acquire the virtues He taught. And finally, am I generous in sharing this inheritance with others, for St. Paul relates in today’s Epistle that Jesus said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35). And it’s especially important to give the full inheritance or our Orthodoxy to those who have become impoverished by being raised in no faith tradition or an incomplete or false tradition. According to our Gospel reading today (John 17:1-13) that fullness is to know God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ, which bestows eternal life (v.3). Think about it! Christ has Ascended! Amen!
ST. GEORGE GREEK ORTHODOX CHURCH
REV. FR. RICHARD DEMETRIUS ANDREWS, PRESBYTER
June 4, 2017 HOLY PENTECOST
TODAY’S EVENTS: Kneeling Prayers of Pentecost 11am; Grand Old Day youth parking 12pm; Serve-a-Meal at FOCUS MN 4pm; Pan-Orthodox Vespers of Pentecost at St. Mary’s GOC, 4pm; Greek Dance Practice 6:30pm.
Epistle Reader: Stephen Kanavati Prosfora: anonymous
Fellowship: Tina & Jeff Bovis-Fuller Family Head Usher: Alexis Bighley
Monday 06-05 Loaves & Fishes at St. Matthews Catholic Church 4:30PM
Tuesday 06-06 Young at Heart Lunch and Tour at Como Park 12:00PM
Wednesday 06-07 Investment Committee Meeting 5:00PM
Sunday 06-11 ORTHROS (8:15am) &DIVINELITURGY- ALL SAINTS 9:30AM
Acolyte Training 12:00PM
Serve-a-Meal at FOCUS MN 4:00PM
Greek Dance Practice 6:30PM
Monday 06-12 Vacation Church School (through Thursday, June 15) 9:00AM
Grand Old Day Parking Today: Children may come assist after church in the selling of parking spots until late afternoon. Food will be provided. See Nathaniel for details.
Pentecost Vespers: today at St. Mary Greek Orthodox Church, 4pm with Bishop Paul (OCA). Dinner to follow, compliments of MEOCCA, from "Its Greek to Me" We, the priest and deacons of MEOCCA want to say our "thanks" to the choir, the altar servers, the kitchen crews and all those whose labors made the Lenten
Youth Events: Vacation Church School Registration is available for June 12-15. The program will run Monday through Thursday from 9am-noon.
Think About It: Distress reminds the wise of God, but crushes those who forget Him. St. Mark the Ascetic 5thc.
IOCC Summer Internship: for student or graduate in social sciences; based in Twin Cities with periodic travel throughout US managing home builds; coordinating Youth ServExtreme and grant writing. For more info, www.iocc.org/take-action/internship-program or contact Dan Christopulos email@example.com
Young at Heart: seniors group will gather at noon, Tuesday, June 6, Como Park Pavilion Restaurant, 1360 Lexington Ave, St. Paul, 55103. Lunch (includes half sandwich, salad, beverage, gratuity and tax) $ 20/person. Private “behind the scenes” tour of the conservatory (1+ hour) led by docent begins at 2:30pm, $15/person. Attend either or both; RSVP today to Alexis Bighley or Lily Zahariades.
Free Greek Cookbooks: various vintage hardcover editions in Greek are available in the bookstore.
Stewardship 2017: Our theme is You are the Voice of Christ in a Changing World: As the Father Has Sent Me, So I Send You (John 20:21). We have received 106 pledge cards for 2017 with a total of $166,290 and an average of $1,569. Be sure to increase your pledge, even if only a few dollars. This reflects spiritual growth and overcomes stagnation. We encourage everyone to give a minimum of 2% pledge of gross yearly income to become a self-sustaining community. This is far less than the biblical ideal of tithing, giving 10%.
Greek Festival: August 19-20. 2017; save the dates! Advance Sale tickets will be sold in the social hall on Sundays beginning June 4th, $12 value for $10. Yard signs will be available in the social hall beginning June 11. If you are interested in serving on the Clean-up Committee or any other, please contact Jon Kennedy, Phyllis Kapetanakis or Alexis Bighley.
Pictorial Directory 2015: is now available for $5 per copy. They can be purchased either from Julie in the office or in the bookstore (limit, one per family).
Patristic Wisdom: Our duty and concern must be how to please God and our neighbor. We should not be preoccupied with our needs as God will take care of them. There is a silent spiritual agreement between God and man. He will look after us, while we will concentrate on how to live our lives according to His will. St. Paisios the Athonite (+1994)
Scholarship: The Metropolis of Chicago Department of Religious Education is sponsoring The Reverend William S. Chiganos Scholarship for Greek Orthodox Youth. $500 is offered to graduating high school seniors. Applications (available in social hall or at the following link) must be received by mail, postmarked no later than June 30, 2017. goreligiousedchicago.org/uploads/7/5/7/3/75737597/religioused_scholarshipapplication.pdf
Roselawn Cemetery Lots: are still available for parishioners at a 15% discount off list prices. 2017 discounted prices are: Monument Lot (2 graves) $5,865.00; Flat Lot A (2 graves) $3,485.00; Flat Lot B (1 grave-limited availability) $2,040.00. If interested in learning more or to purchase a lot, please contact the church office.
Wisdom from the Church Fathers: Your few works offered with repentance and self-reproach will be received by God more favorably than great feats and labors performed with arrogance and a high opinion of yourself. St. Macarius of Optina (+1860)
Need Counseling? Fr. Rick is always available by appointment for pastoral counseling. He will soon become a Licensed Associate in Marriage & Family Therapy (LAMFT). To complete his doctoral internship, Father needs a certain number of hours counseling individuals, couples and families. His program allows pastoral counseling to count towards those hours. Fr. Rick has nearly 22 years of parish priest experience as well as doctoral training in MFT. Help him to help you. All counseling is strictly confidential. Fr. Rick is also a certified Seminar Director for the Prepare-Enrich program (www.prepare-enrich.com), the premier pre-marital and marital counseling assessment tool in the world. This enables him to train others to become facilitators, certified to use Prepare-Enrich as a tool in counseling with couples.
Church Fathers Speak: If you want Christ to bless you, give to him who is poor or her who is hungry when you meet them. If you already know who is poor, or a widow or an orphan, do not wait for them to ask you for help. Give with pleasure. Do not be afraid to become indigent. Have faith that Christ will invisibly bless your few possessions, and that you shall never starve, nor will you be in want. St. Arsenios of Paros (+1877)
Recycle Icons- please do not throw icons, including printed Sunday Bulletins, in the trash. They are holy and sacred images of the saints. Please return them to the church office or social hall to be given to those in need.
Giving Options w/ Tax Advantage: There are some simple ways to make stewardship contributions with significant tax savings. One is to transfer appreciated stock to the church claiming full value of donation and avoiding capital gains tax. 2016 has been a very good year in the market and this may be a simple, easy way to fulfill your stewardship pledge early in the year. Transfer forms are available by request. We recommend that everyone consult an accounting and/or tax professional for the best personal advice. Thank you!
Welcome Visitors Thank you for joining with us in prayer and fellowship. The worship of the Orthodox Church is deeply rooted in and very similar to that of the early Christian Church. Unique sensory stimuli and mystery are elements that go back even to the liturgy of the Jewish temple. Everything in an Orthodox Christian church communicates the majestic presence of God the Holy Trinity with His Saints. It is literally heaven on earth. It is a sad consequence of the divisions in Christianity that we cannot extend a general invitation to receive Holy Communion. Visitors are invited to receive the blessed bread (antithoron) at the conclusion of the liturgy. We pray and work for the reconciliation and unity of all Christians. If you are interested in learning more about Orthodoxy, please contact Fr. Rick at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are proud of our Greek heritage but one does not have to be of Greek descent, nor speak Greek to be a Greek Orthodox Christian.
Note to Orthodox about Holy Communion: Receiving the Body and Blood of Christ is one of the most Holy experiences for a Christian in order to be granted the forgiveness of sins and everlasting life. We are never worthy to partake of Divine Nature. Yet, it is essential that we prepare ourselves for this sacred Communion by constant prayer, reading the Scriptures, regular fasting and periodic Confession. At a minimum, we should fast all morning before Communion, arrive at the beginning of Liturgy, and come for Confession at least once a year. In addition, we should not have separated ourselves from the Church through serious sin. Otherwise, please refrain from Communion to avoid “judgment…not discerning the Lord’s body” (1Cor. 11:29). Contact Fr. Rick for pastoral guidance.