Orthros at 8:45 am & Divine Liturgy at 10am
Weekday Orthros and Liturgies begin at 8am
8am +Orthros and Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom
Trisagion Service at Cemeteries after Liturgy see more information
Remember your loved ones by not only submitting their +Names, but by following the Live Stream holy services From the Church's Facebook Page From the Church's Website From the Church's YouTube channel and offer your own prayers for their eternal rest. (see more under "News..)
8:45am +Orthros and Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom
8am +Orthros and Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom
4pm +Paraklesis Service:
Please submit Names for Health and Salvation (living) at email@example.com
8am +Orthros and Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom
Father John will pray for the Living and the Reposed during Liturgy. Just email him at firstname.lastname@example.org PLEASE indicate Living or +Reposed
We know we can't physically be at church, but if you're following the live video stream of the services and would like to continue to light a candle as you "enter" the church or would like to "drop some money in the basket" please consider a donation by lighting a "virtual candle".
Just go to the church's Facebook page and select "posts". You can light your virtual candle via the Facebook donate button which you should be able to see.
If you don't have Facebook, you can always go to the Saint Andrew Website and select either PayPal or WeShare from the home page.
Thank you for continuing to support your church during this time.
If you don't have Facebook, the Live Stream of the Liturgy is now available on the Saint Andrew Website at: https://standrewgonj.org/livestream
Services usually start streaming at 8 am (ish) on weekdays and 8:45 am (ish) on Sunday
Prayers for each service can be found at: http://www.agesinitiatives.com/dcs/public/dcs/dcs.html
Since we can't be at church in person, Father John is happy to receive names via email in order to pray for the living or the reposed during Liturgy. If you'd like to submit a name(s), simply email Father at email@example.com which we have set up only for this. PLEASE indicate if the person(s) is living or reposed at firstname.lastname@example.org
NOTE:You may also drop off names in an envelope at the church mailbox, prior to the service
We have continued to produce our monthly magazine. An electronic PDF version of our Saint Andrew Family News can be viewed on our web site https://www.standrewgonj.org/. You will also be able to access previous archived issues.
Are you an official member of Saint Andrew Church? If you have already turned in your 2020 Pledge, we thank you.
If you have not already made your commitment to Saint Andrew church, we ask that you prayerfully consider your blessings and submit your2020 pledge today. please find Pledge form 2020 under News -Flyers-Registrations...
Online Giving System – WeShare click on link and follow instructions https://standrewgonj.churchgiving.com/ our website/ or call the office
A Hero For Orthodox Missions: Regardless of your age or profession, you can be someone's hero when you participate on an Orthodox Mission Team. Team Members serve, inspire, teach, and share our Faith. Today YOU can be a HERO: apply for an OCMC Team (www.ocmc.org) and spread the Word about Orthodox missions. Sign up for the OCMC Electronic News Bulletins for articles and upcoming events, and to share the Good News on your social media
The Very Reverend and Reverend Clergy
Esteemed Members of the Metropolitan Council, Esteemed Members of the Parish Councils, Philoptochos Sisterhood, Faculty and Students of the Catechetical and Greek Afternoon Schools, Directors and Participants of all Youth Organizations, and all devout Orthodox Christians of the Communities of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of New Jersey
“When the Most High God came down and confused the tongues, He divided the nations. When He distributed the tongues of fire, He called all to unity. And with one voice we glorify the all-Holy Spirit.”
My Beloved in the Lord,
Having recently celebrated the conclusion of the Paschal feast as well as the feast of the Ascension in which our Lord promises to send us a Comforter, we find ourselves at the great feast of Pentecost. Fifty days after our Lord’s Resurrection, God manifests His love for us and for all people by sending down upon us the gift of the Holy Spirit. Today, we bear witness to the revelation of the Church in time and it is with the gift of the Holy Spirit that we are enabled to continue Christ’s earthly ministry as the One and undivided Body of Christ. We are given the commandment to “Go forth, therefore, and to make disciples of all nations” (Matt. 28:19) as an indication that the gift of salvation, which has already been extended to us, is to be shared with all people regardless of their race, age, background, nationality, or socio-economic status.
The command to “Go forth” is all the more precious to us this year as we continue to contend with the devastation of the Coronavirus Pandemic. By the Grace of God, some of our Ecclesiastical Communities have been able to open their doors to their parishioners. Like the Apostles 2,000 years ago who were “together in one place” (Acts 2:1), some devout faithful now have the opportunity to gather in one place as they prepare for the Holy Spirit to descend upon them.
Still, many other Communities have not yet been able to gather together within their Parish Communities. Yet, even in these circumstances, we are not separated from the Holy Spirit since the Holy Spirit is “everywhere present and fills all things.” Neither are we separated from one another since through our common prayer we are spiritually united. Through our common goal as Orthodox Christians to fulfill the calling of our Lord when He commanded us to go forth and make disciples of all nations, we bridge the chasm of division and the Holy Spirit forges within our hearts, mind, and souls the spirit of unity. It is this spiritual unity created by the Holy Spirit amongst the members of the Body of Christ that has enabled the devout faithful to continue our Lord’s ministry throughout the centuries. For it was the Holy Spirit that enabled the disciples to go forth and begin their apostolic mission. It is the Holy Spirit that guided the Fathers of the Church in ensuring the orthodoxy of our doctrine. It is the Holy Spirit that directed the saints over the centuries to pour down upon us their knowledge through their actions, their writings, and their lives so that we may partake of their wisdom. It is the Holy Spirit which accompanies each of us in our baptism as we shed the old self and we put on Christ. It is the Holy Spirit that at every Divine Liturgy consecrates our offering of bread and wine so that it may become the Body and Blood of Christ.
It is with these thoughts, my beloved in the Lord, that I implore you to go forth to all the nations by living a Christ-like life and being a witness to our Orthodox faith. Thus, we will be able to make disciples of all nations and the Holy Spirit will allow us to transcend the bounds of divided nations, transforming us into a united community of devout faithful in Christ. Praying that the Holy Spirit guides you to the ineffable glory of our Lord, I remain
With Paternal Love and Blessings,
† E V A N G E L O S
Metropolitan of NJ
we will be live-streaming the services on the church’s Facebook page
SATURDAY June 6 Saturday of Souls submit +Names for prayers
SUNDAY June 7 - Holy Pentecost
TUESDAY June 9 @ 4:30pm Paraklesis Service
TUESDAY June 9 @7pm + What the Church Fathers say about.. Salvation (Chapter 15)
THURSDAY JUNE 11 + Bartholomew the Holy Apostle; Barnabas the Holy Apostle; +Revelation of the Hymn Axion Estin to a monk on Mt. Athos by the Archangel Gabriel
SATURDAY & SUNDAY June 13 & 14 from 12-3pm Food Drive / drop off in church parking lot
SUNDAY June 14 The Sunday of All Saints
will be steamed SR. GRADUATION – AWARDS SCHOLARSHIPS
@ 2pm Metropolis virtual Graduation for Greek school students (grade 6)
MONDAY JUNE 15 Fast of the Holy Apostles + begins on 6/15 ends 6/28
TUESDAY June 16 @ 4:30pm Paraklesis Service
SUNDAY June 21 + 2nd Sunday of Matthew | Father’s Day
JUNE 6, 2020 Orthros starts at 8.00 am, followed by the Divine Liturgy around 9.00 am | TRISAGION SERVICE: TO PRAY FOR YOUR +LOVE ONE(S) BY THEIR GRAVESIDE
Archdiocese Announces COVID-19 Relief Program: Those facing an economic or financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 Pandemic
Father John will be holding a live, 3 part Webex interactive video session on Tuesdays @ 7 PM on topics from the book: What the Church Fathers say about...... Please reserve your place by replying back to email@example.com by Monday 11:30 PM.
His Eminence, Metropolitan Evangelos of New Jersey announcing the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of New Jersey Virtual Graduation Ceremony for graduating high school seniors within the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of New Jersey.
Three Phase Reopening Strategy, ... to assist our parishes in welcoming the faithful as safely as possible, while adhering to all Metropolis, Federal, State, Local and CDC requirements. The dates for the reopening of the parishes will be set by region and will be communicated once the Stay-at-Home orders have officially been relaxed.
Please join our Parish Council by donating to a special “Festival Fund” to make up for our major loss of revenue. The goal is to have 200 families donate $1,000 extra above their annual Stewardship commitment between now and June 30.
TUESDAY, June 23 at 7:30pm | THIS MEETING WILL BE HELD ONLINE. ADVANCE REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED. SIGN UP INFORMATION WILL BE COMMUNICATED TO YOU. YOU MUST SIGN UP BY MONDAY, JUNE 22 TO ATTEND. SIGN-IN INSTRUCTIONS WILL BE SENT TO ALL WHO REGISTER.
in GREEK| Three Phase Reopening Strategy, ... to assist our parishes in welcoming the faithful as safely as possible, while adhering to all Metropolis, Federal, State, Local and CDC requirements...reopening of the parishes will be set by region and will be communicated once the Stay-at-Home orders have officially been relaxed
If you would like us to remember you or your loved one in our prayers, please contact the office. 973-584-0388 or send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Names will be kept on this list for approximately 3 months. Please resubmit Names if needed. Fr. John will pray for the Names above during the Proskomide “Offering of gifts” during the first part of the Divine Liturgy when our priest prepares the mystical gifts of bread and wine. Please keep these names in your prayers as well.
Athena, Christina, Athanasios, Anna, John, Rick, Christine, John, Freda, Estelle, Christina, Fotios, Julie, Joanna, Efthymios, Evangelos, John, Joanna, Lisa, Rich, Magdalini, Irini, Christos, Fr. Christos, Nancy, Brian, Thomas, Vasilios, Evanthia, Ramon, Athanasios, Angeliki, Christian, Olga, Demitra, Antonia, Aikaterini, John, Stavroula, Anna Christina, Manny, Mary, George, Susan, Dimitrios, Peter, Michael, Ryan, Ioannis, Monica, Katerina, Tasia, Christina, Andrew, Andrew, Margaret, Eleni, Paraskevi, Panagotis, Maria, Caroline, Demetrios, Konstantinos, Susan, Afrodite, Cassandra, Aristea, Konstantinos, George, Mary, Holly, Gary, Roye, Cristos, Panagiota, Anna, Panagiotis, John, Nicos, Hannah, Christos, Theoseva, George, Genevieve, Christine, Anna, Louis, Marilyn, Suriana, Antonios, John, Maria, Dimitry Elias, Evangelia, George, Kyriaki, John, Evmorfia, Fr. Konstantine, Fr. Demetri, Prz Spyridoula, Eugenia, Constantinos, Eftychia, Kyzoula, Lukas, Spyridoula, Maria, Eugenia, Alexa, Eleni, Vasiliki, Rosemary, Corinne, Sophia, Anastasia, Pamela, Brian, Brandon, Irene, Eleutherios, Panayioti, William, Kyriaki
Heavenly Father, physician of our souls and bodies, who have sent Your only-begotten Son and our Lord Jesus Christ to heal every sickness and infirmity, visit and heal (me) Your servant from all physical and spiritual ailments through the grace of Your Christ. Grant (me) patience in this sickness, strength of body and spirit, and recovery of health. Lord, You have taught us through Your word to pray for each other that we may be healed. I pray that You heal (me) as Your servant and grant (me) the gift of complete health. For You are the source of healing and to You I give glory, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen
The Reading is from John 20:19-23
On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being shut where the disciples were gathered, 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."
Κατὰ Ἰωάννην 20:19-23
Οὔσης οὖν ὀψίας τῇ ἡμέρᾳ ἐκείνῃ τῇ μιᾷ τῶν σαββάτων, καὶ τῶν θυρῶν κεκλεισμένων ὅπου ἦσαν οἱ μαθηταὶ συνηγμένοι διὰ τὸν φόβον τῶν ᾿Ιουδαίων, ἦλθεν ὁ ᾿Ιησοῦς καὶ ἔστη εἰς τὸ μέσον, καὶ λέγει αὐτοῖς· εἰρήνη ὑμῖν. καὶ τοῦτο εἰπὼν ἔδειξεν αὐτοῖς τὰς χεῖρας καὶ τὴν πλευρὰν αὐτοῦ. ἐχάρησαν οὖν οἱ μαθηταὶ ἰδόντες τὸν Κύριον. εἶπεν οὖν αὐτοῖς ὁ ᾿Ιησοῦς πάλιν· εἰρήνη ὑμῖν. καθὼς ἀπέσταλκέ με ὁ πατήρ, κἀγὼ πέμπω ὑμᾶς. καὶ τοῦτο εἰπὼν ἐνεφύσησε καὶ λέγει αὐτοῖς· λάβετε Πνεῦμα ῞Αγιον· ἄν τινων ἀφῆτε τὰς ἁμαρτίας, ἀφίενται αὐτοῖς, ἄν τινων κρατῆτε, κεκράτηνται.
Prokeimenon. Plagal Fourth Mode. Psalm 18.4,1.
Their voice has gone out into all the earth.
Verse: The heavens declare the glory of God.
The reading is from Acts of the Apostles 2:1-11.
WHEN THE DAY of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly a sound came from heaven like the rush of a mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire, distributed and resting on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven. And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in his own language. And they were amazed and wondered, saying, "Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us in his own native language? Parthians and Medes and Elamites and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontos and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabians, we hear them telling in our own tongues the mighty works of God."
Προκείμενον. Plagal Fourth Mode. ΨΑΛΜΟΙ 18.4,1.
Εἰς πᾶσαν τὴν γῆν ἐξῆλθεν ὁ φθόγγος αὐτῶν.
Στίχ. Οἱ οὐρανοὶ διηγοῦνται δόξαν Θεοῦ.
τὸ Ἀνάγνωσμα Πράξεις Ἀποστόλων 2:1-11.
Ἐν τῷ συμπληροῦσθαι τὴν ἡμέραν τῆς Πεντηκοστῆς, ἦσαν ἅπαντεςN ὁμοθυμαδὸν ἐπὶ τὸ αὐτό. Καὶ ἐγένετο ἄφνω ἐκ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ ἦχος ὥσπερ φερομένης πνοῆς βιαίας, καὶ ἐπλήρωσεν ὅλον τὸν οἶκον οὗ ἦσαν καθήμενοι. Καὶ ὤφθησαν αὐτοῖς διαμεριζόμεναι γλῶσσαι ὡσεὶ πυρός, ἐκάθισέν τε ἐφʼ ἕνα ἕκαστον αὐτῶν. Καὶ ἐπλήσθησαν ἅπαντες πνεύματος ἁγίου, καὶ ἤρξαντο λαλεῖν ἑτέραις γλώσσαις, καθὼς τὸ πνεῦμα ἐδίδου αὐτοῖς ἀποφθέγγεσθαι. Ἦσαν δὲ ἐν Ἱερουσαλὴμ κατοικοῦντες Ἰουδαῖοι, ἄνδρες εὐλαβεῖς, ἀπὸ παντὸς ἔθνους τῶν ὑπὸ τὸν οὐρανόν. Γενομένης δὲ τῆς φωνῆς ταύτης, συνῆλθεν τὸ πλῆθος καὶ συνεχύθη, ὅτι ἤκουον εἷς ἕκαστος τῇ ἰδίᾳ διαλέκτῳ λαλούντων αὐτῶν. Ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ ἐθαύμαζον, λέγοντες πρὸς ἀλλήλους, Οὐκ ἰδοὺ πάντες οὗτοί εἰσιν οἱ λαλοῦντες Γαλιλαῖοι; Καὶ πῶς ἡμεῖς ἀκούομεν ἕκαστος τῇ ἰδίᾳ διαλέκτῳ ἡμῶν ἐν ᾗ ἐγεννήθημεν; Πάρθοι καὶ Μῆδοι καὶ Ἐλαμῖται, καὶ οἱ κατοικοῦντες τὴν Μεσοποταμίαν, Ἰουδαίαν τε καὶ Καππαδοκίαν, Πόντον καὶ τὴν Ἀσίαν, Φρυγίαν τε καὶ Παμφυλίαν, Αἴγυπτον καὶ τὰ μέρη τῆς Λιβύης τῆς κατὰ Κυρήνην, καὶ οἱ ἐπιδημοῦντες Ῥωμαῖοι, Ἰουδαῖοί τε καὶ προσήλυτοι, Κρῆτες καὶ Ἄραβες, ἀκούομεν λαλούντων αὐτῶν ταῖς ἡμετέραις γλώσσαις τὰ μεγαλεῖα τοῦ θεοῦ.
The Reading is from John 7:37-52; 8:12
On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and proclaimed, "If any one thirst, let him come to me and drink. He who believes in me, as the scripture has said, 'Out of his heart shall flow rivers of living water.'" Now this he said about the Spirit, which those who believed in him were to receive; for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.
When they heard these words, some of the people said, "This is really the prophet." Others said, "This is the Christ." But some said, "Is the Christ to come from Galilee? Has not the scripture said that the Christ is descended from David, and comes from Bethlehem, the village where David was?" So there was a division among the people over him. Some of them wanted to arrest him, but no one laid hands on him.
The officers then went back to the chief priests and Pharisees, who said to them, "Why did you not bring him?" The officers answered, "No man ever spoke like this man!" The Pharisees answered them, "Are you led astray, you also? Have any of the authorities or of the Pharisees believed in him? But this crowd, who do not know the law, are accursed." Nikodemos, who had gone to him before, and who was one of them, said to them, "Does our law judge a man without first giving him a hearing and learning what he does?" They replied, "Are you from Galilee too? Search and you will see that no prophet is to rise from Galilee." Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, "I am the light of the world; he who follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."
Κατὰ Ἰωάννην 7:37-52, 8:12
᾿Εν δὲ τῇ ἐσχάτῃ ἡμέρᾳ τῇ μεγάλῃ τῆς ἑορτῆς εἱστήκει ὁ ᾿Ιησοῦς καὶ ἔκραξε λέγων· ἐάν τις διψᾷ, ἐρχέσθω πρός με καὶ πινέτω. ὁ πιστεύων εἰς ἐμέ, καθὼς εἶπεν ἡ γραφή, ποταμοὶ ἐκ τῆς κοιλίας αὐτοῦ ῥεύσουσιν ὕδατος ζῶντος. τοῦτο δὲ εἶπε περὶ τοῦ Πνεύματος οὗ ἔμελλον λαμβάνειν οἱ πιστεύοντες εἰς αὐτόν· οὔπω γὰρ ἦν Πνεῦμα ῞Αγιον, ὅτι ᾿Ιησοῦς οὐδέπω ἐδοξάσθη. Πολλοὶ οὖν ἐκ τοῦ ὄχλου ἀκούσαντες τὸν λόγον ἔλεγον· οὗτός ἐστιν ἀληθῶς ὁ προφήτης· ἄλλοι ἔλεγον· οὗτός ἐστιν ὁ Χριστός· ἄλλοι ἔλεγον· μὴ γὰρ ἐκ τῆς Γαλιλαίας ὁ Χριστὸς ἔρχεται; οὐχὶ ἡ γραφὴ εἶπεν ὅτι ἐκ τοῦ σπέρματος Δαυῒδ καὶ ἀπὸ Βηθλεὲμ τῆς κώμης, ὅπου ἦν Δαυΐδ, ὁ Χριστὸς ἔρχεται; σχίσμα οὖν ἐν τῷ ὄχλῳ ἐγένετο δι᾽ αὐτόν. τινὲς δὲ ἤθελον ἐξ αὐτῶν πιάσαι αὐτόν, ἀλλ᾽ οὐδεὶς ἐπέβαλεν ἐπ᾽ αὐτὸν τὰς χεῖρας. ῏Ηλθον οὖν οἱ ὑπηρέται πρὸς τοὺς ἀρχιερεῖς καὶ Φαρισαίους, καὶ εἶπον αὐτοῖς ἐκεῖνοι· διατί οὐκ ἠγάγετε αὐτόν; ἀπεκρίθησαν οἱ ὑπηρέται· οὐδέποτε οὕτως ἐλάλησεν ἄνθρωπος, ὡς οὗτος ὁ ἄνθρωπος. ἀπεκρίθησαν οὖν αὐτοῖς οἱ Φαρισαῖοι· μὴ καὶ ὑμεῖς πεπλάνησθε; μή τις ἐκ τῶν ἀρχόντων ἐπίστευσεν εἰς αὐτὸν ἢ ἐκ τῶν Φαρισαίων; ἀλλ᾽ ὁ ὄχλος οὗτος ὁ μὴ γινώσκων τὸν νόμον ἐπικατάρατοί εἰσι! λέγει Νικόδημος πρὸς αὐτούς, ὁ ἐλθὼν νυκτὸς πρὸς αὐτόν, εἷς ὢν ἐξ αὐτῶν· μὴ ὁ νόμος ἡμῶν κρίνει τὸν ἄνθρωπον, ἐὰν μὴ ἀκούσῃ παρ᾽ αὐτοῦ πρότερον καὶ γνῷ τί ποιεῖ; ἀπεκρίθησαν καὶ εἶπον αὐτῷ· μὴ καὶ σὺ ἐκ τῆς Γαλιλαίας εἶ; ἐρεύνησον καὶ ἴδε ὅτι προφήτης ἐκ τῆς Γαλιλαίας οὐκ ἐγήγερται. Πάλιν οὖν αὐτοῖς ὁ ᾿Ιησοῦς ἐλάλησε λέγων· ἐγώ εἰμι τὸ φῶς τοῦ κόσμου· ὁ ἀκολουθῶν ἐμοὶ οὐ μὴ περιπατήσῃ ἐν τῇ σκοτίᾳ, ἀλλ᾽ ἕξει τὸ φῶς τῆς ζωῆς.
After the Saviour's Ascension into the Heavens, the eleven Apostles and the rest of His disciples, the God-loving women who followed after Him from the beginning, His Mother, the most holy Virgin Mary, and His brethren-all together about 120 souls returned from the Mount of Olives to Jerusalem. Entering into the house where they gathered, they went into the upper room, and there they persevered in prayer and supplication, awaiting the coming of the Holy Spirit, as their Divine Teacher had promised them. In the meanwhile, they chose Matthias, who was elected to take the place of Judas among the Apostles.
Thus, on this day, the seventh Sunday of Pascha, the tenth day after the Ascension and the fiftieth day after Pascha, at the third hour of the day from the rising of the sun, there suddenly came a sound from Heaven, as when a mighty wind blows, and it filled the whole house where the Apostles and the rest with them were gathered. Immediately after the sound, there appeared tongues of fire that divided and rested upon the head of each one. Filled with the Spirit, all those present began speaking not in their native tongue, but in other tongues and dialects, as the Holy Spirit instructed them.
The multitudes that had come together from various places for the feast, most of whom were Jews by race and religion, were called Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and so forth, according to the places where they dwelt. Though they spoke many different tongues, they were present in Jerusalem by divine dispensation. When they heard that sound that came down from Heaven to the place where the disciples of Christ were gathered, all ran together to learn what had taken place. But they were confounded when they came and heard the Apostles speaking in their own tongues. Marvelling at this, they said one to another, "Behold, are not all these which speak Galileans? And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?" But others, because of their foolishness and excess of evil, mocked the wonder and said that the Apostles were drunken.
Then Peter stood up with the eleven, and raising his voice, spoke to all the people, proving that that which had taken place was not drunkenness, but the fulfilment of God's promise that had been spoken by the Prophet Joel: "And it shall come to pass in the last days, that I shall pour out of My Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and daughters shall prophesy" (Joel 2:28), and he preached Jesus of Nazareth unto them, proving in many ways that He is Christ the Lord, Whom the Jews crucified but God raised from the dead. On hearing Peter's teaching, many were smitten with compunction and received the word. Thus, they were baptized, and on that day about three thousand souls were added to the Faith of Christ.
Such, therefore, are the reasons for today's feast: the coming of the All-holy Spirit into the world, the completion of the Lord Jesus Christ's promise, and the fulfilment of the hope of the sacred disciples, which we celebrate today. This is the final feast of the great mystery and dispensation of God's incarnation. On this last, and great, and saving day of Pentecost, the Apostles of the Saviour, who were unlearned fishermen, made wise now of a sudden by the Holy Spirit, clearly and with divine authority spoke the heavenly doctrines. They became heralds of the truth and teachers of the whole world. On this day they were ordained and began their apostleship, of which the salvation of those three thousand souls in one day was the comely and marvellous first fruit.
Some erroneously hold that Pentecost is the "birthday of the Church." But this is not true, for the teaching of the holy Fathers is that the Church existed before all other things. In the second vision of The Shepherd of Hermas we read: "Now brethren, a revelation was made unto me in my sleep by a youth of exceeding fair form, who said to me, 'Whom thinkest thou the aged woman, from whom thou receivedst the book, to be?' I say, 'The Sibyl.' 'Thou art wrong,' saith he, 'she is not.' 'Who then is she?' I say. 'The Church,' saith he. I said unto him, 'Wherefore then is she aged?' 'Because,' saith he, 'she was created before all things; therefore is she aged, and for her sake the world was framed."' Saint Gregory the Theologian also speaks of "the Church of Christ ... both before Christ and after Christ" (PG 35:1108-9). Saint Epiphanius of Cyprus writes, "The Catholic Church, which exists from the ages, is revealed most clearly in the incarnate advent of Christ" (PG 42:640). Saint John Damascene observes, "The Holy Catholic Church of God, therefore, is the assembly of the holy Fathers, Patriarchs, Prophets, Apostles, Evangelists, and Martyrs who have been from the very beginning, to whom were added all the nations who believed with one accord" (PG 96, 1357c). According to Saint Gregory the Theologian, "The Prophets established the Church, the Apostles conjoined it, and the Evangelists set it in order" (PG 35, 589 A). The Church existed from the creation of the Angels, for the Angels came into existence before the creation of the world, and they have always been members of the Church. Saint Clement, Bishop of Rome, says in his second epistle to the Corinthians, the Church "was created before the sun and moon"; and a little further on, "The Church existeth not now for the first time, but hath been from the beginning" (II Cor. 14).
That which came to pass at Pentecost, then, was the ordination of the Apostles, the commencement of the apostolic preaching to the nations, and the inauguration of the priesthood of the new Israel. Saint Cyril of Alexandria says that "Our Lord Jesus Christ herein ordained the instructors and teachers of the world and the stewards of His divine Mysteries ... showing together with the dignity of Apostleship, the incomparable glory of the authority given them ... Revealing them to be splendid with the great dignity of the Apostleship and showing them forth as both stewards and priests of the divine altars . . . they became fit to initiate others through the enlightening guidance of the Holy Spirit" (PG 74, 708-712). Saint Gregory Palamas says, "Now, therefore ... the Holy Spirit descended ... showing the Disciples to be supernal luminaries ... and the distributed grace of the Divine Spirit came through the ordination of the Apostles upon their successors" (Homily 24, 10). And Saint Sophronius, Bishop of Jerusalem, writes, "After the visitation of the Comforter, the Apostles became high priests" (PG 87, 3981B). Therefore, together with the baptism of the Holy Spirit which came upon them who were present in the upper chamber, which the Lord had foretold as recorded in the Acts, "ye shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days hence" (Acts 1:5), the Apostles were also appointed and raised to the high priestly rank, according to Saint John Chrysostom (PG 60, 21). On this day commenced the celebration of the Holy Eucharist by which we become "partakers of the Divine Nature" (II Peter 1:4). For before Pentecost, it is said of the Apostles and disciples only that they abode in "prayer and supplication" (Acts 1:14); it is only after the coming of the Holy Spirit that they persevered in the "breaking of bread,"that is, the communion of the Holy Mysteries-"and in prayer" (Acts 2:42).
The feast of holy Pentecost, therefore, determined the beginning of the priesthood of grace, not the beginning of the Church. Henceforth, the Apostles proclaimed the good tidings "in country and town," preaching and baptizing and appointing shepherds, imparting the priesthood to them whom they judged were worthy to minister, as Saint Clement writes in his first Epistle to the Corinthians (I Cor. 42).
All foods allowed during the week following Pentecost.
This Martyr contested in Ancyra during the reign of Diocletian (284-305), when Theotecnus was Proconsul. After the martyrdom of the virgin Tecusa and her seven companions (the virgins Alexandria, Claudia, Phaeina, Euphrasia, Matrona, Julia, and Theodota; they are celebrated on May 18), Saint Theodotus recovered their holy relics and buried them. For this, he was seized by Theotecnus, tormented, and beheaded.
Saint Bartholomew was one of the Twelve Apostles, and had Galilee as his homeland; this is all that is known of him for certain according to the history of the Gospels. Concerning his apostolic work, certain say that he preached in Arabia and Persia, and especially in India, bringing to them the Gospel written by Saint Matthew, which had been written originally in Hebrew, and which was found there one hundred years later by Pantaenus, formerly a stoic philosopher and later an illustrious teacher of the Christian school in Alexandria (see Eusebius, Eccl. Hist., 5: 10). Other accounts say that he went to Armenia. According to some, he ended his life by being crucified, or by being flayed alive, in Albanopolis (Urbanopolis) of Armenia. This also confirms an ancient tradition preserved by the Armenians. According to some, Bartholomew and Nathanael are the same person, because the Evangelists who mention Bartholomew do not mention Nathanael; and John, who alone mentions Nathanael as one of the Twelve, says nothing of Bartholomew. Indeed, Bartholomew is a patronymic, "son of Talmai," which means "bold, spirited" (see also Jesus of Navi 15:14; II Kings 3:3), and Nathanael could have had this as a surname. According to the Synaxarion of the Menaion on April 22, however, it is Simon the Zealot and Nathanael who are the same; the Evangelists who mention Simon the Zealot (or "the Canaanite") do not mention Nathanael.
The Synaxis of the Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos is celebrated today for the following reason: In 980, during the reign of Emperor Basil II, when Nicholas Chrysoberges was Ecumenical Patriarch, the holy Archangel Gabriel appeared in the guise of a monk to the disciple of a certain elder living in a hermitage belonging to the Monastery of Pantocrator on the Holy Mountain. During Matins, after the monk had chanted the customary hymn, "More honorable than the Cherubim...," composed by Saint Cosmas the Hymnographer, the Angel chanted the same hymn, but with the following prelude: "It is truly meet to call thee blest, the Theotokos, the ever-blessed and all-immaculate and Mother of our God." Marveling at the hymn's beauty, the monk asked his visitor - who appeared also to be a monk - to record this new text in writing, which the Angel did by miraculously inscribing the words on a piece of slate, using only his finger, and straightway he vanished from sight. This slate was brought to the Church of the Protaton, and from thence to Constantinople, to the imperial court and the Ecumenical Patriarchate, as evidence of the miracle. Henceforth, this version of the hymn to the Most Holy Theotokos began to be chanted in the Divine Liturgy in all the churches. The place where the miracle took place is now called Adein, from the Greek word which means "to sing." The icon itself, before which this hymn was first chanted, is called "the icon of the Axion estin" ("It is truly meet") and it is kept in the sanctuary of the Church of the Protaton on the Holy Mountain.
Honouring the friends of God with much reverence, the Prophet-King David says, "But to me, exceedingly honourable are Thy friends, O Lord" (Ps. 138:16). And the divine Apostle, recounting the achievements of the Saints, and setting forth their memorial as an example that we might turn away from earthly things and from sin, and emulate their patience and courage in the struggles for virtue, says, "Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every burden, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us" (Heb. 12:1).
This commemoration began as the Sunday (Synaxis) of All Martyrs; to them were added all the ranks of Saints who bore witness (the meaning of "Martyr" in Greek) to Christ in manifold ways, even if occasion did not require the shedding of their blood.
Therefore, guided by the teaching of the Divine Scriptures and Apostolic Tradition, we the pious honour all the Saints, the friends of God, for they are keepers of God's commandments, shining examples of virtue, and benefactors of mankind. Of course, we honour the known Saints especially on their own day of the year, as is evident in the Menologion. But since many Saints are unknown, and their number has increased with time, and will continue to increase until the end of time, the Church has appointed that once a year a common commemoration be made of all the Saints. This is the feast that we celebrate today. It is the harvest of the coming of the Holy Spirit into the world; it is the "much fruit" brought forth by that "Grain of wheat that fell into the earth and died" (John 12:24); it is the glorification of the Saints as "the foundation of the Church, the perfection of the Gospel, they who fulfilled in deed the sayings of the Saviour" (Sunday of All Saints, Doxasticon of Vespers).
In this celebration, then, we reverently honour and call blessed all the Righteous, the Prophets, Apostles, Martyrs, Confessors, Shepherds, Teachers, and Holy Monastics, both men and women alike, known and unknown, who have been added to the choirs of the Saints and shall be added, from the time of Adam until the end of the world, who have been perfected in piety and have glorified God by their holy lives. All these, as well as the orders of the Angels, and especially our most holy Lady and Queen, the Ever-virgin Theotokos Mary, do we honour today, setting their life before us as an example of virtue, and entreating them to intercede in our behalf with God, Whose grace and boundless mercy be with us all. Amen.
Reading is under copyright and is used with permission, all rights reserved by: Holy Transfiguration Monastery
Reading is under copyright and is used with permission, all rights reserved by: Greek Standard Text
Reading is under copyright and is used with permission, all rights reserved by: Holy Transfiguration Monastery
Reading is under copyright and is used with permission, all rights reserved by: Greek Standard Text