St. Alexis of Wilkes-Barre Orthodox Church
Publish Date: 2021-05-09
Bulletin Contents
Thomsund
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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
Dori Kuziak - Council Secretary
Carolyn Neiss - Vice President
Marlene Melesko - Council Member at Large
Kyle Hollis - President
Roderick Seurattan - Treasurer

 

 

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

Take a moment to reflect on the following passage...

Romans 8:31-39

What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?
32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?
33 Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies.
34 Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.
35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
36 As it is written:
“For Your sake we are killed all day long;
We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.”
37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.
38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come,
39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

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Prayers, Intercessions and Commemorations

Christ_forgiveness

Archpriest Dennis, Archpriest Michael, Deacon Timothy, Evelyn, Katheryn, Anne, Aaron, Veronica, Richard, Nancy, Susanne, Carol, Alexander, Gail, Vincent, Nina, Ellen, Maureen, Elizabeth, Christopher, Joshua, Jennifer, Petra, Olivia, Jessica, Sean, Sarah, Justin, Arnold, Carol-Anne, Anthony, Natasha, Gene, John, John, Michael, Kelley, Krisha, Alix, Natalie, Edward, Nathan, Caila, Julianna, Paul, John, Jacob, Lynn, Anna, Richard, Robert, Dorothy, Elaina

Many years to Luba Martins, Katerina Hoehnebart on the occasion of their birthdays.

___

  • 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.

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ANTIPASCHA. 2nd SUNDAY OF PASCHA — St. Thomas Sunday. Prophet Isaiah (8th c. B.C.). Martyr Christopher of Lycia, and with him Martyrs Callinika and Aquilina (ca. 250). Translation of the Relics of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker from Myra to Bari (1087). Ven. Shio of Georgia (6th c.). 

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Parish Calendar

  • Parish Calendar

    May 9 to May 24, 2021

    SUN
    MON
    TUE
    WED
    THU
    FRI
    SAT
    9
    Thomas Sunday
    9:15AM Divine Liturgy
    10
    Simon the Zealot & Apostle
    11
    2nd Tuesday after Pascha
    6:30PM Parish Council Meeting
    12
    Luba Martins
    Elisha Liam Watson
    2nd Wednesday after Pascha
    13
    2nd Thursday after Pascha
    14
    Katerina Hoehnebart
    2nd Friday after Pascha
    15
    2nd Saturday after Pascha
    5:30PM Great Vespers
    16
    Alan Hayes
    Sunday of the Myrrh-Bearing Women
    9:30AM Divine Liturgy
    17
    3rd Monday after Pascha
    18
    3rd Tuesday after Pascha
    19
    3rd Wednesday after Pascha
    20
    Evelyn Leake
    3rd Thursday after Pascha
    21
    Constantine and Helen, Equal-to-the Apostles
    22
    3rd Saturday after Pascha
    5:30PM Great Vespers
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Saints and Feasts

Thomsund
May 09

Thomas Sunday

Though the doors were shut at the dwelling where the disciples were gathered for fear of the Jews on the evening of the Sunday after the Passover, our Saviour wondrously entered and stood in their midst, and greeted them with His customary words, "Peace be unto you." Then He showed unto them His hands and feet and side; furthermore, in their presence, He took some fish and a honeycomb and ate before them, and thus assured them of His bodily Resurrection. But Thomas, who was not then present with the others, did not believe their testimony concerning Christ's Resurrection, but said in a decisive manner, "Except I shall see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into His side, I will not believe." Wherefore after eight days, that is, on this day, when the disciples were again gathered together and Thomas was with them, the Lord Jesus came while the doors were shut, as He did formerly. Standing in their midst, He said, "Peace be unto you"; then He said to Thomas, "Bring hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and bring hither thy hand, and thrust it into My side: and be not unbelieving, but believing."

And Thomas, beholding and examining carefully the hands and side of the Master, cried out with faith, "My Lord and my God." Thus he clearly proclaimed the two natures - human and divine - of the God-man (Luke 24:36-49; John 20:19-29).

This day is called Antipascha (meaning "in the stead of Pascha," not "in opposition to Pascha") because with this day, the first Sunday after Pascha, the Church consecrates every Sunday of the year to the commemoration of Pascha, that is, the Resurrection.


Isaiah
May 09

The Holy Prophet Esaias (Isaiah)

The Prophet Esaias, the son of Amos, was descended from a royal tribe. He prophesied in the days of Ozias (who is also called Azarias), Joatham, Ahaz, and Hezekias, Kings of Judah. About 681 B.C, in the reign of Manasses, the son and successor of the most pious Hezekias, when this Prophet was censuring Manasses' impiety and lawlessness, he was sawn asunder with a wooden saw, and thus received a martyr's end.

Of all the Prophets, he is called the most eloquent because of the beauty and loftiness of his words. His book of prophecy, divided into sixty-six chapters, is ranked first among the greater Prophets. The Fifth Ode of the Psalter, "Out of the night my spirit waketh at dawn unto Thee, O God . . ." is taken from his book. It was this holy Prophet who foretold that a Virgin would conceive in the womb (7:14); that not an ambassador, nor an angel, but the Lord Himself would save fallen man (63:9); that the Messiah would suffer, bearing our sins (ch. 53). His name means "Yah is helper."


Simonzealot
May 10

Simon the Zealot & Apostle

This Apostle was one of the Twelve, and was called Simon the Cananite by Matthew, but Simon the Zealot by Luke (Matt. 10:4; Luke 6:15). The word "Cananite" used by Matthew is believed to be derived from kana, which in the Palestinian dialect of Aramaic means "zealot" or 'zealous"; Luke therefore translates the meaning of "Cananite." Later accounts say that he was the bridegroom at the wedding in Cana of Galilee, where the Lord Jesus changed the water into wine, making this the first of His miracles (John 2:1-11); according to some, he is called Cananite because he was from Cana (according to others, from the Land of Canaan). Simon means "one who hears."


Cyrilmethodios
May 11

Methodius & Cyril, Equal-to-the Apostles Illuminators of the Slavs

Born in Thessalonica, Saint Methodius was a military man before becoming a monk on Mount Olympus. His brother Constantine, known as the Philosopher because of his erudition, was Librarian at the Church of the Holy Wisdom in Constantinople; he later became a monk with the name of Cyril. The Emperor Michael sent him with his brother Methodius to the Khazars in response to their petition for teachers to expound to them the Christian Faith. On their way, they stayed in Cherson, where they recovered from the Black Sea the relics of Saint Clement of Rome. Later, they were called by Prince Rostislav of Moravia to instruct his people in the Orthodox Faith (Saint Rostislav died a martyr's death and is celebrated Oct. 15). The Saints devised an alphabet for the Slavs, and used it to translate the Greek books into the language of the people. In their apostolic labours throughout the Balkans, the holy brothers were slandered by certain Germanic bishops who opposed the use of the vernacular in the church services. Summoned to court at Rome in 867, they presented their Slavonic translations to Pope Adrian II, who received them with love and full approval. Two years later, Saint Cyril reposed in Rome on February 14 and was buried in the Church of Saint Clement. Saint Methodius was made Bishop of Moravia, but at the intrigues of certain Latin clergy, was cast into prison by the "Holy Roman Emperor" (the Germanic Emperor of the West), where he was cruelly tormented for some three years. In 874, through the defence of Pope John VIII, he was freed and made Archbishop of Moravia. Because he reproved the lax morals of the German priests in Moravia, he was soon accused of heresy by them, and was forbidden to celebrate the Liturgy in Slavonic. Summoned to Rome again in 879, he was completely exonerated and allowed once again to use the Slavonic tongue for the divine services. He reposed on April 6, 885.


Epiphanius
May 12

Epiphanius, Bishop of Cyprus

Saint Epiphanius was born about 310 in Besanduc, a village of Palestine, of Jewish parents who were poor and tillers of the soil. In his youth he came to faith in Christ and was baptized with his sister, after which he distributed all he had to the poor and became a monk, being a younger contemporary of Saint Hilarion the Great (see Oct. 21), whom he knew. He also visited the renowned monks of Egypt to learn their ways. Because the fame of his virtue had spread, many in Egypt desired to make him a bishop; when he learned of this, he fled, returning to Palestine. But after a time he learned that the bishops there also intended to consecrate him to a widowed bishopric, and he fled to Cyprus. In Paphos he met Saint Hilarion, who told him to go to Constantia, a city of Cyprus also called Salamis. Epiphanius answered that he preferred to take ship for Gaza, which, despite Saint Hilarion's admonitions, he did. But a contrary wind brought the ship to Constantia where, by the providence of God, Epiphanius fell into the hands of bishops who had come together to elect a successor to the newly-departed Bishop of Constantia, and the venerable Epiphanius was at last constrained to be consecrated, about the year 367. He was fluent in Hebrew, Egyptian, Syriac, Greek, and Latin, and because of this he was called "Five-tongued." He had the gift of working miracles, and was held in such reverence by all, that although he was a known enemy of heresy, he was well nigh the only eminent bishop that the Arians did not dare to drive into exile when the Emperor Valens persecuted the Orthodox about the year 371. Having tended his flock in a manner pleasing to God, and guarded it undefiled from every heresy, he reposed about the year 403, having lived for ninety-three years. Among his sacred writings, the one that is held in special esteem is the Panarion (from the Latin Panarium, that is, "Bread-box,") containing the proofs of the truth of the Faith, and an examination of eighty heresies.


Glykeria
May 13

The Holy Martyr Glyceria

This Martyr contested in 141 in Trajanopolis of Thrace, during the reign of the Emperor Antoninus Pius. At a heathen festival, when Sabine the Governor of Trajanopolis was offering sacrifice, Saint Glyceria entered the temple and declared herself to be a handmaid of Christ. Sabine commanded her to sacrifice. She went to the statue of Zeus and overturned it, dashing it to pieces. She was subjected to many horrible tortures, and finally was cast to wild beasts; bitten once by one of them, she gave up her soul into the hands of God.


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Hymns of the Day

Angel_design

To begin the Divine Liturgy...

Priest: “Blessed is the Kingdom…”
Choir: “Amen.”
Priest: “Christ is risen… “ (2 ½ times)
Choir: “and upon those in the tombs bestowing life!”


(The Divine Liturgy is begun in this manner until the Leavetaking of Pascha.)

Tone 7 Troparion (Pentecostarion)

From the sealed tomb, You shone forth, O Life!
Through closed doors You came to Your Disciples, O Christ God.
Renew in us, through them, an upright spirit,//
by the greatness of Your mercy, O Resurrection of all!

Tone 8 Kontakion (Pentecostarion)

Thomas touched Your life-giving side with an eager hand, O Christ God,
when You came to Your Apostles through closed doors.//
He cried out with all: “You are my Lord and my God!”

(The Trisagion is sung)

(Instead of “It is truly meet…,” we sing:)

The Angel cried to the Lady, full of grace:
“Rejoice, O pure Virgin! Again, I say: Rejoice,
your Son is risen from His three days in the tomb!
With Himself He has raised all the dead.”
Rejoice, O ye people!

Shine, shine, O new Jerusalem!
The glory of the Lord has shone on you.
Exult now, and be glad, O Zion!
Be radiant, O pure Theotokos,
in the Resurrection of your Son!

Communion Hymn

Praise the Lord, O Jerusalem! Praise your God, O Zion! (Ps. 147:1)
Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!

Priest: “In the fear of God…”
Choir: “Blessed is He that comes in the Name of the Lord… “
Priest: “O God, save Your people… “
Choir: “Christ is risen from the dead… “ (sung once, instead of “We have seen the True Light…)
Priest: “Always, now and ever…”
Choir: “Let our mouths be filled…”

At the Dismissal, the Priest says: “Glory to You, O Christ…” and the choir sings “Christ is risen from the dead…” (thrice).

And unto us He has given eternal life.
Let us worship His Resurrection on the third day!

 

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Gospel and Epistle Readings

Epistle Reading

Prokeimenon. 4th Tone. Psalm 146.5;134.3.
Great is our Lord, and great is his power.
Verse: Praise the Lord, for the Lord is good.

The reading is from Acts of the Apostles 5:12-20.

In those days, many signs and wonders were done among the people by the hands of the apostles. And they were all together in Solomon's Portico. None of the rest dared join them, but the people held them in high honor. And more than ever believers were added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women, so that they even carried out the sick into the streets, and laid them on beds and pallets, that as Peter came by at least his shadow might fall on some of them. The people also gathered from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing the sick and those afflicted with unclean spirits, and they were all healed. But the high priest rose up and all who were with him, that is, the party of the Sadducees, and filled with jealousy they arrested the apostles and put them in the common prison. But at night an angel of the Lord opened the prison doors and brought them out and said, "Go and stand in the temple and speak to the people all the words of this Life."


Gospel Reading

Thomas Sunday
The Reading is from John 20:19-31

On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being shut where the disciples were 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."

Now Thomas, one of the twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him: "We have seen the Lord." But he said to them: "Unless I see in his hands the print of the nails, and place my finger in the mark of the nails, and place my hand in his side, I will not believe."

Eight days later, his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. The doors were shut, but Jesus came and stood among them, and said: "Peace be with you." Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side; do not be faithless, but believing." Thomas answered him, "My Lord and my God!" Jesus said to him, "Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe."

Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in his name.


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Wisdom of the Fathers

For great is the dignity of the priests. ... And hold them very exceedingly in honor; for you indeed care about your own affairs, and if you order them well, you give no account for others; ...
St. John Chrysostom
Homily 86, 4th Century

... but the priest even if he rightly order his own life, if he have not an anxious care for yours and that of all those around him, will depart with the wicked into hell; and often when not betrayed by his own conduct, he perishes by yours, if he have not rightly performed all his part.
St. John Chrysostom
Homily 86, 4th Century

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Beyond the Sermon

Burnbush

Pandemic Ponderings Pascha—One Year Later
by Mother Christophora [Matychak]

During the pandemic, I have often heard people refer to this as “a crazy time.” Or they say that we are living in “a crazy world” now. Others refer to the pandemic in general as “all this craziness.”

I have never felt comfortable with that word or description. I wanted to say that this is not a crazy time. The world God created is lovely and beautiful—not crazy. Maybe we are crazy. Maybe our society was already crazy before the pandemic. But I don’t think that any perceived craziness will simply go away when the pandemic becomes history.

I did a search of the Bible for the word “crazy,” and it does not appear, not even once. Then I thought: Perhaps the word “mad” is used in Scripture. So I searched that word and found it only seven times in the whole Bible.

Almost always, the word “mad” referred to a person, not to the world or society. One interesting exception can be found during the destruction of Babylon in Jeremiah 51:6¬¬–7, which reads:

“Flee from the midst of Babylon;
let every one save his life!
Be not cut off in her punishment,
for this is the time of the LORD’s vengeance,
the repayment he is rendering her.
Babylon was a golden cup in the LORD’s hand,
making all the earth drunken;
the nations drank of her wine;
therefore the nations went mad.”

If people see our time, this pandemic time, as a crazy time, what do they actually mean?

Is it because we can’t just go here and there,
Anytime,
Any place,
Anywhere?

Is it because we feel that
“They” have taken away “Our human rights”
(If we even ever had them),
Because we can’t gather in groups,
Or because we are required to wear masks?

Is it because plans have been curtailed,
Dreams shattered,
And events canceled?

Is it a crazy time because our financial resources
Have weakened,
Or dried up,
And “secure” jobs have been lost?

Is it because people died
Without saying goodbye,
Without loved ones being near,
Without proper funerals and burials?

Is it because even strong and healthy ones
Got sick,
Weakened by this unseen enemy?

Is it because we can’t visit family and friends,
Hug our grandkids,
Gather for graduations, celebrations, and marriages?

Is it crazy because schools were closed,
Bands practiced on split-screen,
Clubs met online,
And doctors diagnosed over video chat?

Is it crazy because churches were shuttered,
Services were canceled or streamed,
Communion became virtual, rather than physical,
And monasteries locked their gates?

Indeed, we have much to grieve,
Much to regret,
Much to heal.
And much to fulfill, and refill.

Yet, we discovered the Lord was not in the wind.
He was not in the earthquake.
He was not in the fire.
But He came, a still small voice.
He came to each one of us,
In our own quiet solitude,
In our social isolation,
In the inner chamber of our hearts,
In our rooms, once we had shut the door.

Last year it was there,
Where we were forced to flee,
Where we met Christ,
When we followed Him in our own painful isolation,
And the abandonment of Holy Friday;
Where we came to search for Him
In the oh, so very empty tomb,
Of our own hearts that Pascha night of the Pandemic.

But never were we separated from Christ;
No matter how lonely we were,
No matter how empty the tomb of our hearts,
And the nave of our churches.

Yes, in the long, endless, isolated hours of Holy Week,
And behind those locked doors of Pascha night,
It was Christ Who came to us!
It was Christ with Whom we broke bread that night.
And it was Christ Who said, “Peace be with you.
As the Father has sent me, even so I send you!”

And eight days later,
When Thomas demanded the physical proofs—
To touch with his hands, to see with his eyes—
Jesus asked, “Have you believed
Because you have seen me?
Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe!”

As others walked and discussed
All that had happened in those days,
He, Jesus, walked with them.
He listened to their grief.
He felt their trauma.
It was He Who broke the bread and opened their eyes,
So that their hearts burned!

A crazy world?
No. Not with the Lord.

He asks us, “Have you anything to eat?”
Yes, we have seen, and we have tasted,
How good the Lord is!

We are not alone.
We have not been alone!
He has opened our eyes to see His face.
He is among us, in us, and with us.

Yes, indeed, Christ is among us!
He is and ever shall be!

And let us follow Him again this year,
On whatever road He leads,
And whatever path He demands.
As in each year that has already passed,
Let us follow Him,
To His Passion, and to
His Holy Third-day Resurrection!

“And unto us He has given eternal life.
Let us worship His Resurrection on the third day!”

 

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Bulletin Inserts

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