Saturday 7pm - Great Vespers
Sunday 9am - Orthros
Sunday 10 am - Divine Liturgy
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.
Saint Macrina, the elder sister of Saints Basil the Great and Gregory of Nyssa, was sought after by many as a bride because of her beauty, wisdom, and illustrious birth, and in tender youth was espoused by her parents to a bridegroom of fitting nobility. When her betrothed died, Macrina refused any other suitors, and devoted herself to a life of virginity, asceticism, and prayer. When her brother Basil returned from a brilliant career in the best schools of Constantinople and Athens, puffed up with not a little youthful pride-for knowledge puffeth up-it was the ardent admonitions and holy example of his blessed sister that persuaded him to turn from seeking worldly glory to the service of God. Saint Macrina founded a convent, where she ended her earthly life in the year 379, and was buried by her brother Gregory, who wrote a moving account of her last days and his grief at seeing such a light pass out of the world.
Elias of great fame was from Thisbe or Thesbe, a town of Galaad (Gilead), beyond the Jordan. He was of priestly lineage, a man of a solitary and ascetical character, clothed in a mantle of sheep skin, and girded about his loins with a leathern belt. His name is interpreted as "Yah is my God." His zeal for the glory of God was compared to fire, and his speech for teaching and rebuke was likened unto a burning lamp. From this too he received the name Zealot. Therefore, set aflame with such zeal, he sternly reproved the impiety and lawlessness of Ahab and his wife Jezebel. He shut up heaven by means of prayer, and it did not rain for three years and six months. Ravens brought him food for his need when, at God's command, he was hiding by the torrent of Horrath. He multiplied the little flour and oil of the poor widow of Sarephtha of Sidon, who had given him hospitality in her home, and when her son died, he raised him up. He brought down fire from Heaven upon Mount Carmel, and it burned up the sacrifice offered to God before all the people of Israel, that they might know the truth. At the torrent of Kisson, he slew 450 false prophets and priests who worshipped idols and led the people astray. He received food wondrously at the hand of an Angel, and being strengthened by this food he walked for forty days and forty nights. He beheld God on Mount Horeb, as far as this is possible for human nature. He foretold the destruction of the house of Ahab, and the death of his son Ohozias; and as for the two captains of fifty that were sent by the king, he burned them for their punishment, bringing fire down from Heaven. He divided the flow of the Jordan, and he and his disciple Elisseus passed through as it were on dry land; and finally, while speaking with him, Elias was suddenly snatched away by a fiery chariot in the year 895 B.C., and he ascended as though into heaven, whither God most certainly translated him alive, as He did Enoch (Gen. 5:24; IV Kings 2: 11). But from thence also, after seven years, by means of an epistle he reproached Joram, the son of Josaphat, as it is written: "And there came a message in writing to him from Elias the Prophet, saying, Thus saith the Lord God of David thy father, Because thou hast not walked in the way," and so forth (II Chron. 21:12). According to the opinion of the majority of the interpreters, this came to pass either through his disciple Elisseus, or through another Prophet when Elias appeared to them, even as he appeared on Mount Tabor to the disciples of Christ (see Aug. 6).
Saint Maria Skobtsova of Paris lived a life devoted to serving the poor and the marginalized. She was born Elizaveta Pilenko in 1891 in Riga, Latvia to devout Russian Orthodox parents. Her father died when she was fourteen, and her grief led her to atheism. As a young teenager she became involved in the socialist and intellectual circles in St. Petersburg. By eighteen she was a published poet and married to a Bolshevik. Her desire to actively serve the needy - more than simply discuss social change - led her back to a faith in Christ. She then became the first woman accepted to study at the Theological Academy of the Alexander Nevsky Monastery in St. Petersburg.
After the Bolshevik Revolution, she was elected Mayor of Anapa but had to flee Russia for Paris in 1923. Elizaveta was inspired to devote her life completely to serving the poor after her daughter, Nastia, died of meningitis in 1926. After her second marriage ended in 1932, Metropolitan Evlogii of Paris tonsured her a nun with the name Maria and blessed her to live a "monasticism in the world" devoted to social service.
Initially devoted to the Russian emigres in Paris, she founded a sanatorium along with homes to serve single mothers, families, and single men. By 1937, 120 dinners were served each day. Much of the work she did herself: begging for food, cooking the soup, and even embroidering the icons for their chapel.
By 1942, Maria's work turned to assisting the Jewish population. She helped Father Dimitri Klepinin issue fake baptismal certificates for Jews that came to their aide. In a mass arrest in July of that year, 12,884 Jews were taken to a sports stadium before being transferred to Auschwitz. Maria spent three days visiting the prisoners, bringing them food, and even rescuing some of the children by smuggling them out in trash cans. She also aided Jews in escaping to Southern France which was unoccupied by the Nazis.
Maria was arrested in February, 1943, and was sent to Ravensbruck concentration camp in Germany. For two years, she raised the spirits of her fellow prisoners, helping them remember their human dignity. She led discussion groups on literature, history, and theology, despite her weakening health. On March 31, 1945, a short time before the camp was rescued, Saint Maria was taken to the gas chambers; some prisoners say she took the place of a fellow Jewish prisoner.
On January 18th, 2004, the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate recognized Mother Maria Skobtsova as a saint along with her three fellow workers who also died in German concentration camps: her son Yuri, Fr. Dimitri Klepinin, and Ilya Fondaminsky. They are all commemorated in the Orthodox Church on July 20th.
Saint Mary was from Magdala in Galilee on the Sea of Tiberias, and for this was named Magdalene. When the Lord Jesus cast out seven demons from her, from which she had been suffering, she became His faithful and inseparable disciple, following Him and ministering unto Him even to the time of His crucifixion and burial. Then, returning to Jerusalem together with the rest of the Myrrh-bearers, she prepared the fragrant spices for anointing the body of the Lord. And on the Lord's day they came very early to the tomb, even before the Angels appeared declaring the Resurrection of the Lord. When Mary Magdalene saw the stone taken away from the tomb, she ran and proclaimed it to Peter and John. And returning immediately to the tomb and weeping outside, she was deemed worthy to be the first of the Myrrh-bearers to behold the Lord arisen from the dead, and when she fell at His feet, she heard Him say, "Touch Me not." After the Lord's Ascension, nothing certain is known concerning her. Some accounts say that she went to Rome and later returned to Jerusalem, and from there proceeded to Ephesus, where she ended her life, preaching Christ. Although it is sometimes said that Saint Mary Magdalene was the "sinful woman" of the Gospel, this is nowhere stated in the tradition of the Church, in the sacred hymnology, or in the Holy Gospels themselves, which say only that our Lord cast seven demons out of her, not that she was a fallen woman. "Madeleine" is a form of Magdalene.
Prokeimenon. Plagal Second Mode. Psalm 31.11,1.
Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, O righteous.
Verse: Blessed are they whose transgressions have been forgiven.
The reading is from St. Paul's Letter to Titus 3:8-15.
Titus, my son, the saying is sure. I desire you to insist on these things, so that those who have believed in God may be careful to apply themselves to good deeds; these are excellent and profitable to men. But avoid stupid controversies, genealogies, dissensions, and quarrels over the law, for they are unprofitable and futile. As for a man who is factious, after admonishing him once or twice, have nothing more to do with him, knowing that such a person is perverted and sinful; he is self-condemned.
When I send Artemas or Tychicos to you, do your best to come to me at Nicopolis, for I have decided to spend the winter there. Do your best to speed Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their way; see that they lack nothing. And let our people learn to apply themselves to good deeds, so as to help cases of urgent need, and not to be unfruitful.
All who are with me send greeting to you. Greet those who love us in the faith. Grace be with you all. Amen.
Προκείμενον. Plagal Second Mode. ΨΑΛΜΟΙ 31.11,1.
Εὐφράνθητι ἐπὶ Κύριον, καὶ ἀγαλλιᾶσθε δίκαιοι.
Στίχ. Μακάριοι, ὧν ἀφέθησαν αἱ ἀνομίαι.
τὸ Ἀνάγνωσμα Πρὸς Τίτον 3:8-15.
Τέκνον Τίτε, πιστὸς ὁ λόγος, καὶ περὶ τούτων βούλομαί σε διαβεβαιοῦσθαι, ἵνα φροντίζωσιν καλῶν ἔργων προΐστασθαι οἱ πεπιστευκότες θεῷ. ταῦτά ἐστιν καλὰ καὶ ὠφέλιμα τοῖς ἀνθρώποις · μωρὰς δὲ ζητήσεις καὶ γενεαλογίας καὶ ἔριν καὶ μάχας νομικὰς περιΐστασο, εἰσὶν γὰρ ἀνωφελεῖς καὶ μάταιοι. αιῥετικὸν ἄνθρωπον μετὰ μίαν καὶ δευτέραν νουθεσίαν παραιτοῦ, εἰδὼς ὅτι ἐξέστραπται ὁ τοιοῦτος καὶ ἁμαρτάνει, ὢν αὐτοκατάκριτος. Ὅταν πέμψω Ἀρτεμᾶν πρὸς σὲ ἢ Τυχικόν, σπούδασον ἐλθεῖν πρός με εἰς Νικόπολιν, ἐκεῖ γὰρ κέκρικα παραχειμάσαι. Ζηνᾶν τὸν νομικὸν καὶ Ἀπολλῶν σπουδαίως πρόπεμψον, ἵνα μηδὲν αὐτοῖς λείπῃ. μανθανέτωσαν δὲ καὶ οἱ ἡμέτεροι καλῶν ἔργων προΐστασθαι εἰς τὰς ἀναγκαίας χρείας, ἵνα μὴ ὦσιν ἄκαρποι. Ἀσπάζονταί σε οἱ μετ ᾽ἐμοῦ πάντες. Ἄσπασαι τοὺς φιλοῦντας ἡμᾶς ἐν πίστει. ἡ χάρις μετὰ πάντων ὑμῶν.
Sunday of the Holy Fathers of the 4th Ecumenical Council
The Reading is from Matthew 5:14-19
The Lord said to his disciples, "You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hid. Nor do men light a lamp and put it under a bushel, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. Think not that I have come to abolish the law and the prophets; I have come not to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the law until all is accomplished. Whoever then relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but he who does them and teaches them shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven."
Sunday of the Holy Fathers of the 4th Ecumenical Council
Κατὰ Ματθαῖον 5:14-19
Εἶπεν ὁ Κὐριος τοῖς ἑαυτοῦ μαθηταῖς· ῾Υμεῖς ἐστε τὸ φῶς τοῦ κόσμου. οὐ δύναται πόλις κρυβῆναι ἐπάνω ὄρους κειμένη· οὐδὲ καίουσι λύχνον καὶ τιθέασι αὐτὸν ὑπὸ τὸν μόδιον, ἀλλ᾿ ἐπὶ τὴν λυχνίαν, καὶ λάμπει πᾶσι τοῖς ἐν τῇ οἰκίᾳ. οὕτω λαμψάτω τὸ φῶς ὑμῶν ἔμπροσθεν τῶν ἀνθρώπων, ὅπως ἴδωσιν ὑμῶν τὰ καλὰ ἔργα καὶ δοξάσωσι τὸν πατέρα ὑμῶν τὸν ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς. Μὴ νομίσητε ὅτι ἦλθον καταλῦσαι τὸν νόμον ἢ τοὺς προφήτας· οὐκ ἦλθον καταλῦσαι, ἀλλὰ πληρῶσαι. ἀμὴν γὰρ λέγω ὑμῖν, ἕως ἂν παρέλθῃ ὁ οὐρανὸς καὶ ἡ γῆ, ἰῶτα ἓν ἢ μία κεραία οὐ μὴ παρέλθῃ ἀπὸ τοῦ νόμου ἕως ἂν πάντα γένηται. ὃς ἐὰν οὖν λύσῃ μίαν τῶν ἐντολῶν τούτων τῶν ἐλαχίστων καὶ διδάξῃ οὕτω τοὺς ἀνθρώπους, ἐλάχιστος κληθήσεται ἐν τῇ βασιλείᾳ τῶν οὐρανῶν· ὃς δ᾿ ἂν ποιήσῃ καὶ διδάξῃ, οὗτος μέγας κληθήσεται ἐν τῇ βασιλείᾳ τῶν οὐρανῶν.
Today we will offer a Memorial for the departed loved ones of the Damian and Paris Families, as well as for all those Orthodox Christians who lost their lives in the Turkish invasion of Cyprus 48 years ago. May their memory be eternal!
We still have an entire pallet full of high quality BBQ charcoal that is available to purchase at a discount. We no longer use charcoal for cooking the souvlaki meat for Festival and do not want it to go to waste. Please see Don Varlamos during Coffee Hour if you would like to grab a bag or two to take home!
On Thursday, July 28th, Fr Timothy Pavlatos will be with us for a Parenting Q&A at the home of the Parker Family. We will have a potluck dinner together at 5:30pm followed by an informal discussion on parenting and any other issues pertaining to the life of our children. All are invited to come - we are working on childcare!
On Friday evening, July 22nd, Margaret and Lajarle are sponsoring a Summer Dance Party in the parish hall starting at 6:30pm to celebrate summer and to spend time with Delaney & Otis before they leave for Pennsylvania at the end of summer. They cordially invite everyone to come by and enjoy some food, drink and hours of dancing! The party will go until there are no more dancers! Bring a dish to share and your beverage of choice. This is most definitely a ‘kid friendly’ event, so bring the whole family for a night of music and dancing and lots of fun!
For the first time ever, Alaska will host a major golf tournament, with the US Senior Women's Amatuer Championship coming to the Anchorage Golf Course on O'Malley in late July. We have given the tournament organizers permission to utilize our parking lot for overflow parking from July 28th- August 4th. For the most part, this will not impact our parish that much, but by the time the Divine Liturgy begins on July 31st the parking lot may be full - something to keep in mind!