Sunday Services: Orthros-8:45 a.m. Divine Liturgy-10:00 a.m. Sunday School after Distribution of Holy Communion. Holy Day Services As announced in weekly bulletins.
Please join us on Sundays for the celebration of the Orthros 9:00 am (for those who may feel uncomfortable in a "group setting" the hour between 9 and 10 may be a good time to come to church, light a candle, pray, or leave your offfering) and Divine Liturgy 10 am as we are now "open" following the guidelines of our Metropolis and of our State of Mississippi.See the guideline details below. If you cannot join us the Liturgy will be streamed "live and in color", (streaming at 10:00 am). If you cannot attend and still want to light a candle, or make an offering and watch. Please use any of the links below
Our Facebook pagr click on the link below:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/269685419794311/ or go to our church web page
www.holytrinitysaintjohnjackson.org and click on the link
We are grateful to those who have contributed their donations through the mail or by the two secure on-line options both of which can be found on our web page.
The light a candle say a prayer link below or the Donate Button on the bottom of the home page
Ushers: ALL available Parish Council Members are asked to be here to help
Epistle Reader: Costa Glennis
Prophoro: Father Andrew
Please Note - Our guidelines for "worshiping in person"
There will be limited access to the church proper - the door by the Church offices will be unlocked please use this one, please note that one or both of the double doors to the Church proper will remain open, so please enter quietly. We ask that when you enter or leave please wash your hands in the appropriate rest rooms or use the hand sanitizer provided by the door as you enter the Church proper. A limited number of disposable masks will be available.
Per the guidelines - all persons are asked to wear a mask or face covering in church.
The offering tray will be on the bench as you enter the nave - you may leave your offerings as you enter the Church proper.
You may proceed to the back of the church to light a candle - for now we ask that you refrain from kissing icons, priest's hand, etc. Bowing is another way to show our reverence to icons etc. etc.
Pews have been marked with a green cross so that the proper social distancing of 6 feet between people. Members of the same family may sit together.
Distribution of Holy Communion - row by row and stand six feet apart in line. You may remove your mask to receive Holy Communion - allow the servers to hold the Communion cloth under your chin. But please refrain from "touching the cloth" to your lips. Please understand that our Metropolis guidelines have insisted that all priests and their adult servers that help with the distribution of Holy Communion wear face masks while doing so.
Antidoron will not be offered after Holy Communion but will be available when you leave Church and will be offered in plastic zip lock baggies. As we leave the Church please follow the directions of the ushers so that we leave in an orderly fashion and still observe the six feet rule of social distancing.
Since we are asked to avoid "gatherings" of people we ask that you avoid, at least for the time being, "the temptation" to socialize as you enter or leave the Church proper and building.
We of course will continue to live stream We hope that this will unite us as we pray, will calm our souls and bring us closer to Christ. Stay well. Thoughts and prayers for all of you.
These are just a few of the guidelines we have been issued by our Metropolis. They may not be ideal but at least we can all worship together again.
Our July Birthday Celebrations:
John Polles-July 3rd
Gayland Cox-July 4th
Christo Burnham-July 5th
McKenna Fowler-July 7th
Presbytera Bonnie Koufopoulos-July 8th
Nickolas Fowler-July 12th
Stamati Polles-July 13th
William Moxey-July 15th
Stephanos Manganfakis-July 15th
Jerry Kountouris-July 21st
Malissa Zouboukos-July 26th
Gebre Menfes Kidus-July 26th
Janet Ingram Grillis-July 28th
Emma Papadimitriou-July 28th
Alexis Ann Kountouris-July 29th
Michael Fowler-July 30th
Our Holy Trinity-St. John the Theologian Prayer List:
"Remember Lord, those whom each of us calls prayerfully to mind" Chuck Odom, Nicholas & Dianna Psaris, William Abihider, John Botes, Christ Castanis, George V. Pinchuk, Chris Grillis, Lambryne Angelo, Callie McDole, Malissa and Pat Zouboukos have asked that we pray for their friend Bill Hardin, Paula Fowler, Victoria Lepsa (Cristina Nica's mother in Romania), Tatianna Koufopoulos Quick of Phoenix Arizona, Please keep Costa Glennis's daughter Wanda Parker in your prayers, Miles "Alex" Graham has asked us to pray for his friend Alena Nasianceno, Please remember to pray for our Doctors, Nurses, and all those on the fronlines during these times and for all those who may be suffering or in hardships from this pandemic.
Our righteous Father Sergius was born in Rostov, north of Moscow, about the year 1314. Named Bartholomew in Baptism, he was brought up in Radonezh, and at the death of his parents he withdrew to the wilderness to become a monk. It is notable that without having been trained in a monastery, he was of such a spiritual stature as to be able to take up the perilous eremitical life from the beginning, without falling into delusion or despondency. When he had endured with courage the deprivations of the solitary life, other monks began to come to him, for whom he was made abbot against his will. On the counsel of Philotheus, Patriarch of Constantinople, he organized his monks according to the cenobitic life, appointing duties to each. While Anthony and Theodosius of Kiev, and the other righteous Fathers before Sergius, had established their monasteries near to cities, Sergius was the leader and light of those who went far into the wilderness, and after his example the untrodden forests of northern Russia were settled with monks. When Grand Duke Demetrius Donskoy was about to go to battle against the invading Tartars, he first sought the blessing of Saint Sergius, through whose prayers he was triumphant. Saint Sergius was adorned with the highest virtues of Christ-like humility and burning love for God and neighbour, and received the gift of working wonders, of casting out demons, and of discretion for leading souls to salvation. When he served the Divine Liturgy, an Angel served with him visibly; he was also vouchsafed the visitation of the most holy Theotokos with the Apostles Peter and John. He was gathered to his Fathers on September 25, 1392. At the recovery of his holy relics on July 5, 1422, his body and garments were found fragrant and incorrupt. His life was written by the monks of Epiphanius, who knew him.
Saint Athanasius had Trebizond for his homeland. He first entered the monastic life on the mountain called Kymaeos or Kyminas, which is in Mysia of Bithynia, then he went to Mount Athos and founded a large monastery, which is known as the Great Lavra. He became so renowned for his virtue that from Rome, Calabria, Georgia, and elsewhere, rulers, men of wealth and nobility, abbots, and even bishops came to him and were subject to him. When the time for his departure was at hand, God revealed to him how it would take place, so that he was able to instruct his spiritual children not to be troubled when it should come to pass. A new church was being built for the sake of the many who came to him, and only the dome had not been finished. Together with six of the brethren, the Saint went to the top of the church to help the workmen. The dome collapsed, and they fell. Five were killed at once, and the Saint died three hours later. His holy body remained incorrupt and he worked many miracles after his death. He reposed about the end of the tenth century.
Grand Duchess Elizabeth, a grand-daughter of Queen Victoria of England and elder sister of Empress Alexandra of Russia (see July 4), was one of the most illustrious women of her day, known throughout Europe not only for her high birth and graceful beauty, but also for her modesty and goodness of heart. After marrying Grand Duke Sergius Alexandrovich, she converted to Orthodoxy, although this was not required of her by her position. After the assassination of her husband in 1905, Grand Duchess Elizabeth withdrew from public life, founding the convent of Saints Martha and Mary, of which she became the superior. There she dedicated herself to prayer, fasting, tending the sick, and caring for the poor. After the Bolsheviks seized power, she was exiled to the Urals, where she and those with her were martyred in 1918 when they were cast alive into an abandoned mine. The Novice Barbara followed Saint Elizabeth into exile. When she was separated from the Grand Duchess, Barbara asked to be allowed to join her again; to terrify her, the Bolsheviks told her that she would be allowed to do this, but only if she were prepared for unheard-of torments and a violent death. To their amazement, she consented, and was deemed worthy of martyrdom with the Grand Duchess. Their holy relics were recovered and taken through Russia to China, and came to rest in the Convent of Saint Mary Magdalene in Jerusalem. When their reliquaries were opened in 1981, their bodies were found to be partially incorrupt, and sweet with the odour of sanctity. With them are also commemorated their fellow Martyrs: Grand Duke Sergius Mikhailovich; Princes John, Constantine, and Igor, the brethren; Prince Vladimir Paley; and Theodore Remez.
This Saint, great and renowned among the ascetics of Egypt, lived in the fourth century in Scete of Nitria. After the death of Saint Anthony the Great, he left Scete to live in Saint Anthony's cave; he said of this, "Thus in the cave of a lion, a fox makes his dwelling." When Sisoës was at the end of his long life of labours, as the Fathers were gathered about him, his face began to shine, and he said, "Behold, Abba Anthony is come"; then, "Behold, the choir of the Prophets is come"; his face shone yet more bright, and he said, "Behold, the choir of the Apostles is come." The light of his countenance increased, and he seemed to be talking with someone. The Fathers asked him of this; in his humility, he said he was asking the Angels for time to repent. Finally his face became as bright as the sun, so that the Fathers were filled with fear. He said, "Behold, the Lord is come, and He says, 'Bring Me the vessel of the desert,'" and as he gave up his soul into the hands of God, there was as it were a flash of lightning, and the whole dwelling was filled with a sweet fragrance.
Saint Kyriake was the daughter of Christian parents, Dorotheus and Eusebia. She was given her name because she was born on Sunday, the day of the Lord (in Greek, Kyriake). She contested in Nicomedia during the reign of Diocletian, in the year 300. After many bitter torments she was condemned to suffer beheading, but being granted time to pray first, she made her prayer and gave up her holy soul in peace.
In Kazan, in 1579, the nine-year old Matrona, whose parents' home had burned down in a fire, had a dream in which she beheld an icon of the Theotokos and heard a voice commanding her to recover this icon from the ashes of the ruined house. The icon was found wrapped in an old piece of cloth under the stove, where it may have been hidden during the Tartar invasions. The icon was finally brought to the Cathedral of the Annunciation of the Theotokos, where it became renowned for the healings that the Mother of God wrought through it for the blind; hence the custom of praying before this holy icon for help in blindness and eye diseases. Tsar Ivan the Terrible had a convent built at the place of the icon's discovery; this, however, was destroyed by the Bolsheviks after the Revolution, and a factory was built in its stead. The feast was established in 1595. The icon of Kazan is one of the most beloved icons of the Mother of God in Russia.
Saint Anthony, who was born in the province of Chernigov, was tonsured in the Monastery of Esphigmenou on the Holy Mountain, Athos, from whence he was sent by his abbot to Kiev to plant the monastic life in 1013, two years before the death of Saint Vladimir, Great Prince of Kiev. Dwelling at first as a hermit, the Saint gradually drew to himself others wishing to emulate his way of life. When the number of the brethren grew, a wooden church in honour of the Dormition of the Theotokos was built, thus laying the foundation of what was to become the renowned Kiev Caves Lavra. Refusing the abbotship, Saint Anthony entrusted this to his disciples, first to the blessed Barlaam, then to Saint Theodosius (See May 3), and his whole life struggled as a cave-dwelling hermit. He reposed in peace in 1073 at the age of ninety.
In 451, during the reign of the Sovereigns Marcian and Pulcheria, the Fourth Ecumenical Council was convoked in Chalcedon against Eutyches and those of like mind with him. After much debate, the Fathers who were the defenders of Orthodoxy, being 630 in number, agreed among themselves and with those who were of contrary mind, to write their respective definitions of faith in separate books, and to ask God to confirm the truth in this matter. When they had prepared these texts, they placed the two tomes in the case that held Saint Euphemia's relics, sealed it, and departed. After three days of night-long supplications, they opened the reliquary in the presence of the Emperor, and found the tome of the heretics under the feet of the Martyr, and that of the Orthodox in her right hand. (For her life, see Sept. 16.)
Saint Olga, renowned for her wisdom and sobriety, in her youth became the wife of Igor, Great Prince of Kiev, who ruled during the tenth century. After her husband's death, she herself ruled capably, and was finally moved to accept the Faith of Christ. She traveled to Constantinople to receive Holy Baptism. The Emperor, seeing her outward beauty and inward greatness, asked her to marry him. She said she could not do this before she was baptized; she furthermore asked him to be her Godfather at the font, which he agreed to do. After she was baptized (receiving the name of Helen), the Emperor repeated his proposal of marriage. She answered that now he was her father, through holy Baptism, and that not even among the heathen was it heard of a man marrying his daughter. Gracefully accepting to be outwitted by her, he sent her back to her land with priests and sacred texts and holy icons. Although her son Svyatoslav remained a pagan, she planted the seed of faith in her grandson Vladimir (see July 15). She reposed in peace in 969.
Fourth Orthros Gospel
The Reading is from Luke 24:1-12
On the first day of the week, at early dawn, the women went to the tomb, taking the spices which they had prepared. And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in they did not find the body. While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel; and as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, "Why do you seek the living among the dead? Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of man must be delivered in to the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and on the third day rise." And they remembered his words, and returning from the tomb they told all this to the eleven and to all the rest. Now it was Mary Magdalene, and Joanna and Mary the mother of James and the other women with them who told this to the apostles; but these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them.
But Peter rose and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he saw the linen cloths by themselves; and he went home wondering at what had happened.
Prokeimenon. Grave Tone. Psalm 149.5,1.
The saints shall rejoice in glory.
Verse: Sing to the Lord a new song.
The reading is from St. Paul's Letter to the Galatians 5:22-26; 6:1-2.
Brethren, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. Let us have no self-conceit, no provoking of one another, no envy of one another. Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Look to yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
4th Sunday of Matthew
The Reading is from Matthew 8:5-13
At that time, as Jesus entered Capernaum, a centurion came forward to him, beseeching him and saying, "Lord, my servant is lying paralyzed at home, in terrible distress." And he said to him, "I will come and heal him." But the centurion answered him, "Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof; but only say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I am a man under authority, with soldiers under me; and I say to one, 'Go,' and he goes, and to another, 'Come,' and he comes, and to my slave, 'Do this,' and he does it." When Jesus heard him, he marveled, and said to those who followed him, "Truly, I say to you, not even in Israel have I found such faith. I tell you, many will come from east and west and sit at table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven, while the sons of the kingdom will be thrown into the outer darkness; there men will weep and gnash their teeth." And to the centurion Jesus said, "Go; be it done for you as you have believed." And the servant was healed at that very moment.
Today we read a most beautiful, inspiring and enlightening story in the life of Jesus. It is a story of a meeting between kindred spirits, an awakened soul and the One who awakens all. They meet and recognize each other. They share in a communion of Divine Love that only those who are enlightened know and what comes of it is healing and transformation – not only for the young man who is the Centurion’s beloved servant, but for the Centurion himself and for all the witnesses there who have ears to hear and eyes to see.
And who of us doesn’t? Even those who are blind and deaf have spiritual eyes and ears. Only those who are sleeping, who either refuse to see or are kept from seeing by fear and desire, have “no eyes and ears” with which to see and hear.
The Centurion loved this particular servant so deeply that he risked public humiliation by begging publicly for his life. He, a Roman soldier, in the streets of Judea, before a bunch of Jews who are more likely to hate him than anything, comes and begs to an itinerant rabbi. Only those who are empty of self attain such heights of humility.
Jesus is like this. That is why they connect so deeply. They are alike. The image of God shines brightly in the Centurion on this day. Jesus, being the perfect image of the Father, sees the soldier as if he were looking into a mirror. The Lord looks at this soldier and sees himself. The deep calls out to the deep.
What would be most wonderful is to be able to read meet this Centurion and ask him what he believed was important in life. Looks to me like he would have much to teach us. Was he a believer in God, an atheist, or somewhere in between? Did he call God Jupiter, or Mithra, or Adonai? Did he call God anything at all? How many people had he wounded, sent to prison, or killed? Centurions, after all, were soldiers. Did he have a loving family? Or was he orphaned and alone as a child? Was he raised in a comfortable home or in poverty?
We don’t know anything at all about him except that he was a Centurion and a man capable of deep and utterly selfless acts of love and compassion. We really don’t need to know anything else, but it would be interesting.
I believe that on that day, in this most amazing and intimate encounter, the Centurion and Jesus bonded in a way all of us in our heart of hearts hopes to do someday – with God, with one another.
The real message in this Gospel for me today is that if we want to draw near to God and want him to draw near to us, there is one sure way to make that happen. Become full of compassion. That is, become like God. One’s background, career, religion, and race, not one of the accidentals of life we think are so important really matter.
There is only one thing that matters "...the whole point of life is to create beauty, give love and to be at peace."