St. Alexis of Wilkes-Barre Orthodox Church
Publish Date: 2022-11-27
Bulletin Contents
Allsaint
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St. Alexis of Wilkes-Barre Orthodox Church

General Information

  • Phone:
  • 860-664-9434
  • Street Address:

  • PO Box 134, 108 E Main St

  • Clinton, CT 06413-0134


Contact Information




Services Schedule

Please see our online calendar for dates and times of Feast Day services.


Past Bulletins


Welcome

Gospel1

Jesus Christ taught us to love and serve all people, regardless of their ethnicity or nationality. To understand that, we need to look no further than to the Parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37). Every time we celebrate the Divine Liturgy, it is offered "on behalf of all, and for all." As Orthodox Christians we stand against racism and bigotry. All human beings share one common identity as children of God. "There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus" (Galatian 3:28)

Members of our Parish Council are:
Joseph Barbera - Council Member at Large
Susan Davis- Council Member at Large
Carolyn Neiss - President
Marlene Melesko - Vice President
Susan Egan - Treasurer
Dn Timothy Skuby - Secretary

 

 

Pastoral Care - General Information

Emergency Sick Calls can be made at any time. Please call Fr Steven at (860) 866-5802, when a family member is admitted to the hospital.
Anointing in Sickness: The Sacrament of Unction is available in Church, the hospital, or your home, for anyone who is sick and suffering, however severe. 
Marriages and Baptisms require early planning, scheduling and selections of sponsors (crown bearers or godparents). See Father before booking dates and reception halls!
Funerals are celebrated for practicing Orthodox Christians. Please see Father for details. The Church opposes cremation; we cannot celebrate funerals for cremations.

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Announcements

Anne and I will be visiting Aaron from Tuesday, Nov 29th through Dec 5th. Should you have need for anything, please contact Dn Timothy for help.

Summary of Annual Parish Meeting
20 November 2022

By-Law Change

A motion to add verbiage regarding Catechumens to the By-Laws, which defines Catechumens as non-voting members of the parish community was approved.

Financial Report

Based on Year End projections, it appears that we are on target regarding our budget. In 2022, we passed a deficit budget of $6,800 and we expect the actual deficit to be approximately $6,771. This did not include the unexpected cost of replacing one of our Air Conditioner Units totaling $8,586 which was taken out of our savings.

2023 Proposed Budget

In the past when the budget was presented, we split the budgets into two budgets, the Church Operating Budget and the Red House Budget. However, we included the Red House income as part of the Church Operating Budget. This year we removed the Red House income from the Church Operating Budget and a bare bones budget was presented. Many items were removed from the budget with the expectation that the costs of those line items will be covered by donations from parish members. After much discussion, a deficit budget of $12,834 was passed. However, it was decided that the Red House income would not be used exclusively for the Red House.

Election of Officers

Marie Christine Fourteau and Greg Jankura were elected to replace Joe Barbera and Fr Deacon Timothy whose terms were up.

Sophia Brubaker was elected as the Diocese Assembly Delegate with Sarah Gaulin as the alternate.

New Business

A resolution was presented by Father Steven regarding the status of the Red House. After much discussion, the original resolution was amended and passed as follows:

Be it resolved that the Parish is to establish an ad hoc committee to investigate the disposition of the Red House property and that the ad hoc committee will present their findings directly to the Parish Council on or before the annual meeting in 2023.

Volunteers are need to be on the ad hoc Red House committee so that we can begin to explore the disposition of the Red House.

Liturgical Calendar Orders

Before we order the liturgical calendars for nexy year, we would like to know who would like to have one. A sign-up sheet will be available at the candle desk. Please put your name, and the number of calendars you would like to have. Please be advised that you may be asked to make a $5 donation for each calendar that you would like.

Fr John Parker, Dean of St Tikhon's Seminary

Five new priests and up to eight new deacons for the Orthodox Church in America over Christmas break! St Tikhon’s Seminary is undergoing a remarkable metamorphosis, and we ask and invite you to take part in all the good that God is doing here. Will you please help St Tikhon’s Seminary send laborers into the white-for-harvest fields of our dioceses and deaneries?

We need your help, please! Between now and St Nicholas Day, we hope to add 100 new monthly sustainers to our Seminary Family—those who give a regular, automated, monthly gift of any amount. Three minutes of your time will help bring a dozen or more clergy into the Church! If you have a priest—please consider a thanks-to-God gift to the Seminary to help those who don’t. If you don’t have a priest—please consider a please-Lord-help-gift that will help the seminary prepare those who may come to you! Here is the link: www.stots.edu/donate.

Thank you for your generosity! Please come and see!

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Prayers, Intercessions and Commemorations

Christ_forgiveness

Please continue to pray for our catecumens, David, James and Anthony (and his family).

  • Pray for: All those confined to hospitals, nursing homes, and their own homes due to illness; for all those who serve in the armed forces; widows, orphans, prisoners, victims of violence, and refugees;
  • All those suffering chronic illness, financial hardship, loneliness, addictions, abuse, abandonment and despair; those who are homeless, those who are institutionalize, those who have no one to pray for them;
  • All Orthodox seminarians & families; all Orthodox monks and nuns, and all those considering monastic life; all Orthodox missionaries and their families.
  • All those who have perished due to hatred, intolerance and pestilence; all those departed this life in the hope of the Resurrection.

Greatmartyr James the Persian (421). Ven. Palladius of Thessalonica (6th-7th c.). St. Jacob the Wonderworker, Bishop of Rostov (1392). Uncovering of the Relics of St. Vsévolod (Gabriel) of Pskov (1192). Seventeen Monastic Martyrs in India (4th c.). St. Romanus the Wonderworker (5th c.). Repose of Ven. Diodorus, Abbot of Yuriev Monastery (Solovétsky Monastery—1633).

 

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Parish Calendar

  • Schedule of Services and Events

    November 27 to December 5, 2022

    Sunday, November 27

    13th Sunday of Luke

    Page - A

    9:30AM Divine Liturgy

    Monday, November 28

    Stephen the New

    Daria Krawchuk - B

    Tuesday, November 29

    Paramonus, Philumenus, and their 370 Companion Martyrs in Bithynia

    Wednesday, November 30

    Andrew the First- Called Apostle

    St Sebastian Dabovich of San Francisco

    A Boyd - N

    Ezekiel Joseph Watson

    Thursday, December 1

    Nahum the Prophet

    Friday, December 2

    Habakkuk the Prophet

    8:30AM Akathist to St Prophyrious

    Saturday, December 3

    The Holy Prophet Sophonias (Zephaniah)

    5:30PM Great Vespers

    Sunday, December 4

    10th Sunday of Luke

    Glorification of St Alexander Hotovitzky

    Monday, December 5

    Sabbas the Sanctified

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Saints and Feasts

Allsaint
November 27

James the Great Martyr of Persia

This Saint was from the city of Bythlaba and was of noble birth; he was the closest and most honoured friend of Isdiger (or Yazdegerd) I, King of Persia (reigned 399-420). Though a Christian from his youth, James renounced Christ because he was allured by the King's friendship and flatteries. When his mother and his wife learned of this, they declared to him by letter that they would have nothing more to do with him, since he had preferred a glory that is temporal to the love of Christ. Wounded in soul by these words and coming to himself, the Saint wept over his error, and repudiated the worship of the idols. Therefore, becoming exceedingly wroth, the King - this was Bahram (or Varahran) V (reigned 421-438), Isdiger's son and successor - condemned him to a most bitter death, the likes of which not even a brute beast was ever condemned to: that is, his body was dismembered at every joint of his arms and legs. And so, when he had been cut asunder limb by limb to his very hips and shoulders, the courageous Martyr was finally beheaded, in the year 421.


Stephennew
November 28

Stephen the New

The righteous Stephen was born in Constantinople in 715 to pious parents named John and Anna. His mother had prayed often to the most holy Theotokos in her church at Blachernae to be granted a son, and one day received a revelation from our Lady that she would conceive the son she desired. When Anna had conceived, she asked the newly-elected Patriarch Germanus (see May 12) to bless the babe in her womb. He said, "May God bless him through the prayers of the holy First Martyr Stephen." At that moment Anna saw a flame of fire issue from the mouth of the holy Patriarch. When the child was born, she named him Stephen, according to the prophecy of Saint Germanus.

Stephen struggled in asceticism from his youth in Bithynia at the Monastery of Saint Auxentius, which was located at a lofty place called Mount Auxentius (see Feb. 14). Because of his extreme labours and great goodness, he was chosen by the hermits of Mount Auxentius to be their leader. The fame of his spiritual struggles reached the ears of all, and the fragrance of his virtue drew many to himself.

During the reign of Constantine V (741-775), Stephen showed his love of Orthodoxy in contending for the Faith. This Constantine was called Copronymus, that is, "namesake of dung," because while being baptized he had soiled the waters of regeneration, giving a fitting token of what manner of impiety he would later embrace. Besides being a fierce Iconoclast, Constantine raised up a ruthless persecution of monasticism. He held a council in 754 that anathematized the holy icons. Because Saint Stephen rejected this council, the Emperor framed false accusations against him and exiled him. But while in exile Saint Stephen performed healings with holy icons and turned many away from Iconoclasm. When he was brought before the Emperor again, he showed him a coin and asked whose image the coin bore. "Mine," said the tyrant. "If any man trample upon thine image, is he liable to punishment?" asked the Saint. When they that stood by answered yes, the Saint groaned because of their blindness, and said if they thought dishonouring the image of a corruptible king worthy of punishment, what torment would they receive who trampled upon the image of the Master Christ and of the Mother of God? Then he threw the coin to the ground and trampled on it. He was condemned to eleven months in bonds and imprisonment. Later, he was dragged over the earth and was stoned, like Stephen the First Martyr; wherefore he is called Stephen the New. Finally, he was struck with a wooden club on the temple and his head was shattered, and thus he gave up his spirit in the year 767.


Andrewap
November 30

Andrew the First- Called Apostle

This Saint was from Bethsaida of Galilee; he was the son of Jonas and the brother of Peter, the chief of the Apostles. He had first been a disciple of John the Baptist; afterwards, on hearing the Baptist's witness concerning Jesus, when he pointed Him out with his finger and said, "Behold the Lamb of God, Which taketh away the sin of the world" (John 1.29,36), he straightway followed Christ, and became His first disciple; wherefore he is called the First-called of the Apostles. After the Ascension of the Saviour, he preached in various lands; and having suffered many things for His Name's sake, he died in Patras of Achaia, where he was crucified on a cross in the shape of an "X," the first letter of "Christ" in Greek; this cross is also the symbol of Saint Andrew.


Allsaint
December 01

Nahum the Prophet

The Prophet Nahum had Elkesaeus (Elkosh) as his homeland, and was from the tribe of Symeon; he is seventh in order among the twelve Minor Prophets He prophesied during the time of Hezekias, after the destruction of Samaria (721 years before Christ), but before the ten tribes were taken into captivity; he prophesied against Nineveh, the capital of Assyria. His name means "comforter." His book of prophecy is divided into three chapters.


Habbakuk
December 02

Habakkuk the Prophet

This Prophet, whose name means "loving embrace," is eighth in order of the minor Prophets. His homeland and tribe are not recorded in the Divine Scriptures; according to some, he was of the tribe of Symeon. He prophesied in the years of Joachim, who is also called Jechonias, before the Babylonian captivity of the Jewish People, which took place 599 years before Christ. When Nabuchodonosor came to take the Israelites captive, Habakkuk fled to Ostrakine, and after Jerusalem was destroyed and the Chaldeans departed, Habakkuk returned and cultivated his field. Once he made some pottage and was about to take it to the reapers in the field. An Angel of the Lord appeared to him, and carried him with the pottage to Babylon to feed Daniel in the lions' den, then brought him back to Judea (Bel and the Dragon, 33-39): His book of prophecy is divided into three chapters; the third chapter is also used as the Fourth Ode of the Psalter. His holy relics were found in Palestine during the reign of Emperor Theodosius the Great, through a revelation to Zebennus, Bishop of Eleutheropolis (Sozomen, Eccl. Hist., Book VII, 29).


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Hymns of the Day

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Tone 7 Troparion (Resurrection)

By Your Cross You destroyed death.
To the thief You opened Paradise.
For the Myrrhbearers You changed weeping into joy.
And You commanded Your disciples, O Christ God,
to proclaim that You are risen,//
granting the world great mercy.

Tone 4 Troparion (St. James)

Long-suffering James, you astounded all
by enduring horrible tortures with great patience.
As the evil assembly performed the slaughter,
you uttered prayers of thanksgiving to the Lord.
Through your sufferings you received your crown,
and came to the throne of the heavenly King, Christ God.//
Entreat Him to save our souls!

Tone 7 Kontakion (Resurrection)

The dominion of death can no longer hold men captive,
for Christ descended, shattering and destroying its powers.
Hell is bound, while the Prophets rejoice and cry:
“The Savior has come to those in faith;//
enter, you faithful, into the Resurrection!”

Tone 2 Kontakion (St. James)

You listened to your faithful wife
and contemplated the judgment of God, holy James;
you despised the threats and commands of the Persians,
accepting the cutting of your body as though you were a vine.//
Therefore you were revealed as a martyr worthy of honor.

Communion Hymn

Praise the Lord from the heavens, praise Him in the highest! (Ps. 148:1)
Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!

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Gospel and Epistle Readings

Epistle Reading

Prokeimenon. 7th Tone. Psalm 28.11,1.
The Lord will give strength to his people.
Verse: Bring to the Lord, O sons of God, bring to the Lord honor and glory.

The reading is from St. Paul's Letter to the Ephesians 2:14-22.

Brethren, Christ is our peace, who has made us both one, and has broken down the dividing wall of hostility, by abolishing in his flesh the law of commandments and ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby bringing the hostility to an end. And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near; for through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord; in whom you also are built into it for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.


Gospel Reading

The Reading is from Luke 13:10-17

At that time, Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues on the sabbath. And there was a woman who had a spirit of infirmity for eighteen years; she was bent over and could not fully straighten herself. And when Jesus saw her, he called her and said to her, "Woman, you are freed from your infirmity." And he laid his hands upon her, and immediately she was made straight, and she praised God. But the ruler of the synagogue, indignant because Jesus had healed on the sabbath, said to the people, "There are six days on which work ought to be done; come on those days and be healed, and not on the sabbath day." Then the Lord answered him, "You hypocrites! Does not each of you on the sabbath untie his ox or his donkey from the manger, and lead it away to water it? And ought not this woman, a daughter of Abraham whom Satan bound for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the sabbath day?" As he said this, all his adversaries were put to shame; and all the people rejoiced at all the glorious things that were done by him.


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Wisdom of the Fathers

Spiritual delight is not enjoyment found in things that exists outside the soul.
St. Isaac of Syria
Unknown, 7th century

Love of money is the worship of idols, a daughter of unbelief, an excuse for infirmities, a foreboder of old age, a harbinger of drought, a herald of hunger.
St. John Climacus
The Ladder of Divine Ascent, Step 16:2,7 and Step 17:1, 6th Century

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Beyond the Sermon

Burnbush

Metropolitan Anthony of Sourozh
Christ's miracles
20 July 1980

In the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost.
We constantly read about Christ's miracles in the Holy Gospels, and we ask ourselves, "why is it that such things were possible in those days, and yet we see so few miracles in our own day?" I think there are three possible answers.
The first is that we do not see the miracles that surround us, we take everything for granted, as completely natural. We receive all the good things from the hand of God as though they were normal, and we no longer see that life is a wonderful, joyful miracle, that God wanted to create us, that He called us from non-being into being, laid open before us the whole miracle of existence. Nor did He confine Himself to this. He called us to be His friends for ever, everlastingly to live the eternal, divine life. He revealed Himself to us; we know that He is, we know Him in Christ as the God whose love did not falter even in the face of His own death which was to save those He loves. And what about those miracles that are even less obvious to us, like health, like peace, like friendship, like love? They are all pure miracles — you cannot buy them, you cannot force anyone to give you his heart; and yet all around us there are so many hearts open to each other, so much friendship, so much love. And our physical existence which we consider so natural — is not that a miracle?
That is the first point that I wanted to make: that the whole of life is a miracle. I know, of course, that there is much, very much pain and horror in it, but at the same time such a quiet yet unwavering light shines in the darkness: if only we could believe in the light, and so become children of light, as Christ says, the bearers of light?
There are two more remarks I should like to make. Today we read that the people were in need, that the apostles noticed this need and spoke to the Lord about it. And the Lord said: "It is up to you to relieve this need, to feed these hungry people". "How?" they said, "we have only two fishes and five loaves, can that possibly be enough for such a crowd?" And Christ blessed those fish and those loaves and it was enough for the crowd.
So what is expected of us in order that God can freely, by His sovereign power, perform heavenly miracles on earth? First, that we should notice someone else's need. So often we pass by it and do not open the door to God to allow Him to enter and do that which it is impossible for us to do. Let us open our eyes in order to see the needs of the people around us — material, psychological, spiritual; the loneliness and longing and countless other needs.
And another thing that the Lord urges upon His disciples is, "give everything that you have, and we shall be able to feed them all." The disciples did not leave aside some fish and some bread for themselves, they gave it all to the Lord. And because they gave everything, the Kingdom of God, the kingdom of love, the kingdom where God can act freely and untrammelled, was established and all were satisfied. This call is addressed to us also: when we see want, let us give all, and all will be well.
Now a final remark: when the paralytic about whom we read a few weeks ago was brought to Christ He saw the people's faith and cured the sick man. We can supply the faith that is lacking in those around us, we can carry them on our faith as on a stretcher. But faith is not enough; in the case of the paralytic there was not only the faith that the Lord could heal him, but there was caring love for the sick man. If only there were such love amongst us the beginning of the Kingdom of God would already be established in our midst, and God could act freely.
Let us consider this, for every one of God's miracles was introduced, and so to speak conditioned, by the participation of man. It depends on us that the Kingdom which we pray and long for should be established on earth, that Kingdom which we are called on to build together with God and in His name. Amen.

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The Faith We Hold

Chronicler

Holy Tradition
One of the distinctive characteristics of the Holy Orthodox Church is its changelessness, its loyalty to the past, its sense of living continuity with the ancient Church. This idea of living continuity may be summed up in one word: Tradition. As St. John of Damascus says, We do not change the everlasting boundaries which our fathers have set, but we keep the Tradition, just as we received it [On the Holy Icons, II, 12]. To an Orthodox Christian, Tradition means the Holy Bible; it means the Creed; it means the decrees of the Ecumenical Councils and the writings of the Fathers; it means the Canons, the Service Books, the Holy Icons, etc. In essence, it means the whole system of doctrine, ecclesiastical government, worship and art which Orthodoxy has articulated over the ages [Timothy Ware, The Orthodox Church, p.204].
We take special note that for the Orthodox, the Holy Bible forms apart of Holy Tradition, but does not lie outside of it. One would be in error to suppose that Scripture and Tradition are two separate and distinct sources of Christian Faith, as some do, since there is, in reality, only one source; and the Holy Bible exists and found its formulation within Tradition.
As Orthodox, however, while giving it due respect, we realize that not everything received from the past is of equal value. The Holy Scriptures, the Creed and the dogmatic and doctrinal definitions of the Ecumenical Councils hold the primary place in Holy Tradition and cannot be discarded or revised. The other parts of Holy Tradition are not placed on an equal level, nor do they possess the same authority as the above. The decrees of the Councils since the Seventh Ecumenical Council (787) obviously do not stand on the same level as the Nicene Creed, nor do the writings of, for example, the Byzantine theologians, hold equal rank with St. John's Gospel.
Here we must also distinguish between Tradition and traditions. At the Council of Carthage in 257, one of the Bishops remarked, The Lord said, I am Truth. He did not say, I am custom [The Opinions of the Bishops on the Baptizing of Heretics, 30]. Many traditions that have been handed down are merely cultural variations, theological or pious opinions, or simply plain mistakes. [One need only recall the whole problem of the reform of the Russian liturgical books under Patriarch Nikon and the ensuing Old Believer schism to see the truth of this.]
Orthodox loyalty to Tradition [the things of the past] is not something mechanical or lifeless, however. Tradition is a personal encounter with Christ in the Holy Spirit, as Bishop Kallistos affirms. Tradition is not only kept by the Church it lives in the Church, it is the life of the Holy Spirit in the Church [The Orthodox Church, p.206]. Thus Tradition must be seen and experienced from within. Tradition is a living experience of the Holy Spirit in the present. While inwardly unchanging (since God does not change), Tradition constantly assumes new forms, supplementing the old, but not superceding it.
Our Lord tells us that when the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth (John 16:13) and this promise forms the basis of Orthodox respect for Holy Tradition. Thus, as Fr. Georges Florovsky expresses this idea: Tradition is the witness of the Spirit; the Spirit's unceasing revelation and preaching of good things.... To accept and understand Tradition we must live within the Church, we must be conscious of the grace-giving presence of the Lord in it; we must feel the breath of the Holy [Spirit] in it.... Tradition is not only a protective, conservative principle; it is, primarily, the principle of growth and regeneration.... Tradition is the constant abiding of the Spirit and not only the memory of words [Sobornost: the Catholicity of the Church, in The Church of God, pp. 64-5].

Excerpt taken from "These Truths We Hold - The Holy Orthodox Church: Her Life and Teachings". Compiled and Edited by A Monk of St. Tikhon's Monastery. Copyright 1986 by the St. Tikhon's Seminary Press, South Canaan, Pennsylvania 18459.
To order a copy of "These Truths We Hold" visit the St. Tikhon's Orthodox Seminary Bookstore.

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The Back Page

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Useful Resources and References

  

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Parish Shared Folder (for all documents, bulletins etc) - http://bit.ly/St-Alexis

The QR Code here may be used as well.

Parish Web Site - http://www.stalexischurch.org ; calendar (https://bit.ly/StA-Calendar)

Facebook - @stalexisorthodox

Youtube Channelhttps://bit.ly/StA_Youtube


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Troparion to St Alexis

O righteous Father Alexis, / our heavenly intercessor and teacher, / divine adornment of the Church of Christ! / Entreat the Master of All / to strengthen the Orthodox Faith in America, / to grant peace to the world / and to our souls, great mercy!

Troparion to St Herman

O blessed Father Herman of Alaska, / north star of Christ’s holy Church, / the light of your holy life and great deeds / guides those who follow the Orthodox way. / Together we lift high the Holy Cross / you planted firmly in America. / Let all behold and glorify Jesus Christ, / singing his holy Resurrection.

Troparion to St Elizabeth

Emulating the Lord’s self-abasement on the earth, / you gave up royal mansions to serve the poor and disdained, / overflowing with compassion for the suffering. / And taking up a martyr’s cross, / in your meekness / you perfected the Saviour’s image within yourself, / therefore, with Barbara, entreat Him to save us all, O wise Elizabeth.

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