Apolytikion for The Dormition of our Most Holy Lady the Theotokos and Ever Virgin Mary
In giving birth, you preserved your virginity; in your dormition, you did not forsake the world, O Theotokos. You were translated unto life, since you are the Mother of Life, and by your intercessions, you do redeem our souls from death.
Prokeimenon. Plagal Second Mode. Psalm 27.9,1.
O Lord, save your people and bless your inheritance.
Verse: To you, O Lord, I have cried, O my God.
The reading is from St. Paul's Letter to the Hebrews 4:14-16; 5:1-6.
BRETHREN, since we have a high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we have not a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. For every high priest chosen from among men is appointed to act on behalf of men in relation to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. He can deal gently with the ignorant and wayward, since he himself is beset with weakness. Because of this he is bound to offer sacrifice for his own sins as well as for those of the people. And one does not take the honor upon himself, but he is called by God, just as Aaron was. So also Christ did not exalt himself to be made a high priest, but was appointed by him who said to him, "Thou art my Son, today I have begotten thee"; as he says also in another place, "Thou art a priest for ever, after the order of Melchizedek."
Sunday of the Holy Cross
The Reading is from Mark 8:34-38; 9:1
The Lord said: "If anyone wishes to come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it; and whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel's will save it. For what does it profit a man, to gain the whole world and forfeit his life? For what can a man give in return for his life? For whoever is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of man also be ashamed, when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels." And he said to them, "Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God come with power."
With the help of God, we have almost reached the middle of the course of the Fast, where our strength has been worn down through abstinence, and the full difficulty of the labour set before us becomes apparent. Therefore our holy Mother, the Church of Christ, now brings to our help the all-holy Cross, the joy of the world, the strength of the faithful, the staff of the just, and the hope of sinners, so that by venerating it reverently, we might receive strength and grace to complete the divine struggle of the Fast.
Saint Basil strove in martyrdom during the short reign of Julian the Apostate, from 361-363. The Saint was denounced as a Christian to Saturninus, Governor of Ancyra, who, when Basil would not deny Christ, had him hanged from a post and scraped on his sides, then beaten, and cast into prison. A few days later, when Julian himself came through Ancyra, the Saint was brought before him and was asked to deny Christ, Whom he rather confessed the more. Julian then had strips cut in his flesh, so that they were left hanging from his body in front and in back. The valiant Martyr tore one of these strips off of his body and cast it into Julian's face. At this Julian commanded that iron spits be heated fiery hot; Saint Basil's belly, his back, and all his joints were pierced with them, and he received the crown of martyrdom.
Saint Nicon was from Neapolis (Naples) in Italy. His father was an idolater and his mother a Christian. At first he was a soldier, but later he went to the East, where he was baptized and in time became a bishop. After some years, he returned to the West and came to Sicily, where he and many of his disciples were put to death by beheading because they would not worship the idols.
Six months after John the Forerunner's conception, the Archangel Gabriel was sent by God to Nazareth, a town of Galilee, unto Mary the Virgin, who had come forth from the Temple a mature maiden (see Nov. 21). According to the tradition handed down by the Fathers, she had been betrothed to Joseph four months. On coming to Joseph's house, the Archangel declared: "Rejoice, thou Full of Grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women." After some consideration, and turmoil of soul, and fear because of this greeting, the Virgin, when she had finally obtained full assurance concerning God's unsearchable condescension and the ineffable dispensation that was to take place through her, and believing that all things are possible to the Most High, answered in humility: "Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word." And at this, the Holy Spirit came upon her, and the power of the Most High overshadowed her all-blameless womb, and the Son and Word of God, Who existed before the ages, was conceived past speech and understanding, and became flesh in her immaculate body (Luke 1:26-38).
Bearing in her womb the Uncontainable One, the blessed Virgin went with haste from Nazareth to the hill country of Judea, where Zacharias had his dwelling; for she desired to find Elizabeth her kinswoman and rejoice together with her, because, as she had learned from the Archangel, Elizabeth had conceived in her old age. Furthermore, she wished to tell her of the great things that the Mighty One had been well-pleased to bring to pass in her, and she greeted Elizabeth and drew nigh to her. When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, she felt her six-month-old babe, Saint John the Baptist, prophesied of the dawning of the spiritual Sun. Immediately, the aged Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and recognized her as the Mother of her Lord, and with a great voice blessed her and the Fruit that she held within herself. The Virgin also, moved by a supernatural rejoicing in the spirit, glorified her God and Savior, saying: "My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour," and the rest, as the divine Luke hath recorded (1:39-55)
This festive Synaxis is celebrated to the glory of the Archangel Gabriel, since he ministered to the marvelous mystery of God's incarnate dispensation.
This martyr was the servant of a certain Jewish woman named Pantilla, the wife of the Governor of Thessalonica. When Matrona refused to follow her mistress into the synagogue Pantilla beat her so severly that she died in a few days, and thus received the crown of her confession.
Saint Hilarion took up the monastic life from his youth and lived in seclusion. Later, as Abbot of the Monastery of Pelecete in Asia Minor (believed to be in Bithynia, not far from Triglia), he suffered much from the Iconoclasts, and reposed in the year 754.
March 22 Sunday of the Holy Cross
March 25 Annunciation Divine Liturgy 10AM
March 27 Salutations to the Theotokos 6:30PM
April 1 Pre Sanctified Liturgy 6:00PM followed by Orthodoxy 101
April 3 Akathyst Hymn
April 5 Godparent- Godchild Sunday
April 11 Saturday of Lazarus - Community Breakfast and Palm Making
April 12 Palm Sunday - Fish Luncheon
April 19 Holy Pascha
April 25 Paschalino Church Family Dance
May 9 Arrival of His All Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew
May 10 Patriarchal Divine Liturgy with His All Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew