8:45 am Orthros
10:00 am Divine Liturgy
Christ is in our midst! He is and ever shall be!
◦ We are accepting donations for our Saint Catherine / AHEPA Chapter 18 Thanksgiving Ministry. Please label your donations “Thanksgiving Ministry” and send them to the Church office.
Many of our Divine Liturgies have been recorded and can be viewed at www.youtube.com. Subscribe to our YouTube channel: Saint.Catherine.Greek.Orthodox.Church
Join us on Saturday, November 17th, for our 65th Annual Saint Catherine Name Day Dinner-Dance
This week we celebrate the feast of the Entrance of the Theotokos into the Temple (November 21).
“St. Catherine’s Greek Orthodox Church, host of the annual Greek Festival in West Palm Beach, along with the Order of AHEPA Chapter 18, for the second consecutive year, are giving back to the West Palm Beach community by providing Thanksgiving meals to those in need this Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 22nd from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm.”
Our Saint Catherine parish welcomes His Eminence Metropolitan Alexios of Atlanta for our nameday celebration: Saturday, November 24 7:00 p.m. Great Vespers Sunday, November 25 9:00 a.m. Orthros 10:00 a.m. Hierarchial Divine Liturgy
All Things are Possible to the One Who Believes in Jesus Christ
Registration for HDF 2019 is underway! HDF will be held in Atlanta, GA on January 18-21 at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis.
Sunday School Presents the 2018 Candlelight Service, Nativity Progran and Dinner on Saturday, December 15th
Making education more accessible is just one way your gifts and prayers reach around the world.
Third Orthros Gospel
The Reading is from Mark 16:9-20
When Jesus rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, from whom he had cast seven demons. She went and told those who had been with him, as they mourned and wept. But when they heard that he was alive and had been seen by her, they would not believe it.
After this he appeared in another form to two of them, as they were walking into the country. And they went back and told the rest, but they did not believe them.
Afterward he appeared to the eleven themselves as they sat at table; and he upbraided them for their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they had not believed those who saw him after he had risen. And he said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover."
So then the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God. And they went forth and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the message by the signs that attended it. Amen.
Prokeimenon. Plagal Fourth Tone. Psalm 75.11,1.
Make your vows to the Lord our God and perform them.
Verse: God is known in Judah; his name is great in Israel.
The reading is from St. Paul's Letter to the Ephesians 4:1-7.
Brethren, I, a prisoner for the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all lowliness and meekness, with patience, forbearing one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of us all, who is above all and through all and in all. But grace was given to each of us according to the measure of Christ's gift.
9th Sunday of Luke
The Reading is from Luke 12:16-21
The Lord said this parable: "The land of a rich man brought forth plentifully; and he thought to himself, 'What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?' And he said, 'I will do this: I will pull down my barns, and build larger ones; and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, 'Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; take your ease, eat, drink, be merry.' But God said to him, 'Fool! This night your soul is required of you; and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?' So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God." As he said these things, he cried out: "He who has ears to hear, let him hear."
Saint Plato contested in martyrdom in 266, when Agrippinus was proconsul. He was from the city of Ancyra in the province of Galatia.
Saint Romanus, who was from Antioch, lived during the reign of Maximian. He presented himself before Asclepiades the Eparch, and rebuked him, saying, "The idols are not gods; even a little child could tell you that." Then the Saint asked that a child be brought in from the market, that he might be the judge of the matter at hand. Therefore, when the child was asked, "Which God must we worship?" he replied, "Christ." The child was beaten mercilessly and beheaded at the command of the tyrant. As for Saint Romanus, his tongue was cut out, and then he was cast into prison, where he was strangled in the year 305.
The Divine Scriptures do not tell us with any certainty when the Prophet Obadiah lived nor what was his homeland. Thus, some say that he is that Obadiah who was Ahab's steward, who, because of Jezebel's wrath, hid one hundred prophets in a cave and fed them with bread and water (III Kings 18:4), and that he later became a disciple of Elias the Prophet about 903 B.C. But others surmise from the words of the same prophetical book that he is somewhat later than Joel (celebrated on Oct. 19). He is also called Obdiu, or Abdiu, or Obadiah; his name means "servant of God." His book of prophecy, which consists of only one chapter, is ranked fourth among the minor Prophets.
Saint Barlaam, who was from a certain village near Antioch in Syria, was advanced in years and a husbandman by occupation. Because of his confession of Christ, he was brought before the judge, who had him scourged with whips and then scraped with iron claws. Since this could not break his constancy, he was forcibly haled to the idols' temple, and live coals with incense were placed in his right hand. The judge thought that he would cast them down because of the pain, thus seeming to have offered a sacrifice of incense to the idols. But Saint Barlaam stood unmoving until his hand was thoroughly burned by the coals; he fell to the ground, and so gave up his soul into the hands of the Lord. He contested in martyrdom during the reign of Diocletian (284-305). Saint Basil the Great and Saint John Chrysostom both gave homilies in his honour.
Saint Proclus lived during the reign of Saint Theodosius the Younger. A disciple and scribe of Saint John Chrysostom, he was ordained Bishop of Cyzicus about the year 426, but because the people there unlawfully elected another bishop before his arrival, he remained in Constantinople. In 429, Nestorius, who had been Archbishop of Constantinople for about a year, and had already begun his blasphemous teaching that it is wrong to call the holy Virgin "Theotokos," invited Bishop Proclus to give a sermon on one of the feasts of our Lady, which he did, openly defending in Nestorius' presence the name "Theotokos," that is, "Mother of God." Saint Proclus was elevated to the throne of Archbishop of Constantinople in 434. It was he who persuaded Emperor Theodosius the Younger and his holy sister Pulcheria to have the most sacred relics of his godly teacher Saint John Chrysostom brought back from Comana, and triumphantly received them upon their return to the imperial city (see Jan. 27 and Nov. 13). He reposed in peace in 447.
Saint Gregory who was from Irenopolis of the Decapolis of Asia Minor, was the son of Sergius and Mary. He became a monk as a young man, and after struggling for many years in virtue and prayer under obedience to a wise spiritual father, he was informed by revelation that it was the will of God for him to live, like the Patriarch Abraham, with no certain dwelling, moving from place to place. His journeyings took him to Ephesus, Constantinople, Corinth, Rome, Sicily, Thessalonica, and again to Constantinople, where, after many labours in defence of Orthodoxy against Iconoclasm, he reposed in peace in the first half of the ninth century. He had two disciples, one of whom was Saint Joseph the Hymnographer (see Apr. 3), who wrote the Menaion service for Saint Gregory, his father in Christ.
According to the tradition of the Church, the Theotokos was brought to the Temple at three years of age, where she was consecrated to God and spent her days until she was fourteen or fifteen years old; and then, as a mature maiden, by the common counsel of the priests (since her parents had reposed some three years before), she was betrothed to Joseph.
Philemon, who was from Colossae, a city of Phrygia, was a man both wealthy and noble; Apphia was his wife. Archippus became Bishop of the Church in Colossae. All three were disciples of the Apostle Paul. Onesimus, who was formerly an unbeliever and slave of Philemon, stole certain of his vessels and fled to Rome. However, on finding him there, the Apostle Paul guided him onto the path of virtue and the knowledge of the truth, and sent him back to his master Philemon, to whom he wrote an epistle (this is one of the fourteen epistles of Saint Paul). In this epistle, Paul commended Onesimus to his master and reconciled the two. Onesimus was later made a bishop; in Greece he is honoured as the patron Saint of the imprisoned. All these Saints received their end by martyrdom, when they were stoned to death by the idolaters. Saint Onesimus is also commemorated on February 15.
Saint Cecilia was of an illustrious Roman family. On being betrothed to Valerian, she drew him to the Faith of Christ, and he in turn drew his own brother Tiburtius to the same. They contested in martyrdom during the reign of Diocletian, in the year 288.
Saint Amphilochius, who was born in Cappadocia, shone forth in asceticism and divine knowledge even from his youth. He was consecrated Bishop of Iconium in 341, he struggled courageously against the blasphemies of Eunomius, Macedonius the enemy of the Holy Spirit, and the followers of Arius. He was present at the Second Ecumenical Council of the 150 Fathers, which took place in Constantinople, convoked during the reign of Theodosius the Great in the year 381. In 383 Amphilochius wished to persuade the Emperor Theodosius to forbid the Arians from gathering in Constantinople and to commit the churches to the Orthodox, but the Emperor was reluctant to do such a thing. The next time that Amphilochius entered the palace, he addressed Theodosius with proper honour, but slighted his young son Arcadius in his presence. Theodosius was indignant, and said the dishonour shown to his son was equally an insult to himself. To this Saint Amphilochius answered that as he would not suffer an insult to his son, so he ought to believe that God is wroth with those who blaspheme His Only-begotten. Saint Theodosius understood and admired Amphilochius' ingenious device, and he issued the desired edict in September of the same year. Saint Amphilochius, having reached deep old age, reposed in peace about the year 395. Saint Basil the Great wrote many letters to Saint Amphilochius, his friend and Fellow champion of the Faith, and at his request wrote his treatise On the Holy Spirit, which besides demonstrating the divinity of the Holy Spirit and His equality with the Father and the Son, defends the Church's unwritten ancient traditions, such as making the sign of the Cross, turning towards the East in prayer, no kneeling on Sunday, and so forth.
Saint Gregory, the son of pious parents named Chariton and Theodora, was born in Agrigentum, a city of Sicily, and was great in virtue from his childhood. He was baptized, brought up, and tonsured reader by Bishop Potamion during the reign of Justinian II, in the seventh century. At the age of eighteen he made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, where he was ordained deacon by Macarius, Bishop of Jerusalem. He traveled to Constantinople, and then to Rome where he was consecrated Bishop of his native Agrigentum. As Bishop of Agrigentum he worked many miracles and shone brilliantly in virtue, but also suffered many great temptation; from the priests Sabine and Crescentius, who so envied him that they slandered him to the Pope as a fornicator and had him cast into prison for two and a half years. In the end, however, he vindicated himself by casting the demon out of the woman who had falsely accused him of committing sin with her. Saint Gregory reposed in peace in deep old age.
Saint Peter illustriously occupied the throne of Alexandria for twelve years, and, as Eusebius says, "was a divine example of a bishop on account of the excellence of his life and his study of the sacred Scriptures" (see Eusebius, Eccl. Hist., Book VII, 3 2; Book VIII 11, 13; and Book IX, 6). He excommunicated Arius for his sympathy with the Meletian schism. When Arius learned that Saint Peter had been imprisoned, he sent many priests and deacons to him, asking that he receive him back into the communion of the Church before his martyrdom. When the ambassadors of Arius, who had not, like Saint Peter, perceived the ruin he would engender, were astonished at the vehemence with which Saint Peter refused to receive Arius again, he revealed to them a dread vision he had seen, in which the Master Christ had appeared to him as a child wearing a garment torn from head to foot. When Saint Peter asked the Lord who rent His garment, the Lord answered that it was Arius, and that he must not be received back into communion. The holy hieromartyr Peter was beheaded during the reign of Maximinus in the year 312; he is called the "Seal of the Martyrs," because he was the last Bishop of Alexandria to suffer martyrdom under the pagan Emperors. His successors to the throne of Alexandria, Saints Alexander and Athanasius the Great, brought to final victory the battle against Arius' heresy which Saint Peter had begun.
Saint Clement was instructed in the Faith of Christ by the Apostle Peter. He became Bishop of Rome in the year 91, the third after the death of the Apostles. He died as a martyr about the year 100 during the reign of Trajan.
Saint Catherine, who was from Alexandria, was the daughter of Constas (or Cestus). She was an exceedingly beautiful maiden, most chaste, and illustrious in wealth, lineage, and learning. By her steadfast understanding, she utterly vanquished the passionate and unbridled soul of Maximinus, the tyrant of Alexandria; and by her eloquence, she stopped the mouths of the so-called philosophers who had been gathered to dispute with her. She was crowned with the crown of martyrdom in the year 305. Her holy relics were taken by Angels to the holy mountain of Sinai, where they were discovered many years later; the famous monastery of Saint Catherine was originally dedicated to the Holy Transfiguration of the Lord and the Burning Bush, but later was dedicated to Saint Catherine. According to the ancient usage, Saints Catherine and Mercurius were celebrated on the 24th of this month, whereas the holy Hieromartyrs Clement of Rome and Peter of Alexandria were celebrated on the 25th. The dates of the feasts of these Saints were interchanged at the request of the Church and Monastery of Mount Sinai, so that the festival of Saint Catherine, their patron, might be celebrated more festively together with the Apodosis of the Feast of the Entry of the Theotokos. The Slavic Churches, however, commemorate these Saints on their original dates.
Message from Metropolitan Alexios
My Beloved Ones,
For us as Orthodox Christians, the act of fasting is a practice rich with meaning, as we follow our Lord’s example during His forty days in the desert. However, the true Orthodox Christian understands that it is not enough to practice fasting alone. The Church invites us to participate fully in its liturgical life during Fasts by also feeding our prayer life, and by giving charitably to those in need.
For this reason, during the forty-day period before Christmas—which began this Thursday, November 15th—there is a Tradition from the ancient Church of celebrating a Divine Liturgy every morning. Of course, today, where communities may one have one priest, this is a rare thing; but our Metropolis is blessed to be able have many clergymen—including the Chancellor, the Very Rev. Fr. George Tsahakis, the Dean and Priest of the Annunciation Cathedral, Fr. Paul Kaplanis and Fr. Christos Mars—who will be able to help us fulfill this important spiritual practice. When His Grace Bishop Sevastianos arrives on December 1st, He and I will also be blessed to liturgize during some of the Holy Feasts that fall during the Nativity Fast.
Daily liturgies however, require the presence of the faithful—whether they are with us physically, or only spiritually. We ask therefore, that you please contact Mrs. Ethel Gjerde, the Metropolis Executive Assistant (404-634-9345) submitting to her the names of your loved ones—whether they are in need, or if they have fallen asleep in the Lord—so that we can pray for them daily.
One of the Church Fathers, Ignatios Theoforos (“He Who Bears God on His Shoulders) instructs us concerning the Divine Liturgy, that, “Take heed, then, often to come together to give thanks to God, and show forth His praise. For when you assemble frequently in the same place, the powers of Satan are destroyed, and the destruction at which he aims is prevented by the unity of your faith. Nothing is more precious than peace, by which all war, both in heaven and earth, is brought to an end.” Having received this peace of mind and soul, we are better able to consider those acts such as fasting, prayer and charity.
We should not assume the power that comes from the Liturgy to be any kind of “magic.” We offer the bread and wine as gifts to our God, who, by the Grace of His Holy Spirit, allows them to become the Body and Blood of our Lord and Savior. The power of this Sacred Mystery is really the power of Love: connection with both our God, and with our fellow men— both the living, and those who have fallen asleep (whom we commemorate as we prepare the Gifts). Within the Liturgy, we are taught by our Lord to reflect upon our own weaknesses, and to then forgive our brothers and sisters for trespasses committed against us. We then depart, spiritually strengthened, able to carry out the loving mission of the Gospel.
During this Nativity Fast, let us pray for one another, let us help those who are in need—spiritually or physically; and let us forgive one another. May we be blessed to take advantage of these Liturgies: to purify our hearts, to ask for Strength from Above, as well as for good thoughts and good actions. In this way, we may be prepared to receive our Savior, who condescended to take on Flesh for the Salvation of our souls. God be with us all.
Metropolitan of Atlanta
Youth, Education & Hellenic Culture
The 44th Biennial Clergy Laity Congress unanimously passed the NEW Policies for the Safety of Youth and Children! There is a great article on page 12 of the July/August Orthodox Observer explaining the Next Steps in Youth Safety. Please take time to read the article and the new policies since they affect everyone involved in all youth programs.
The Strategic Plan
Want to learn the latest best practices on how to grow your parish?
How about learning to create a plan for the future of your parish?
How do I fund the essential ministries of my parish and become less dependent on fund raisers?
Have I covered all the significant risks to my parish and what risks go beyond insurance coverage?
Are my religious education programs covering all that they should and are they effective? Is leadership training important to my role in the parish?
If you and your fellow parishioners have ever discussed these topics and you want to learn more, then …
MARK YOUR CALENDARS FOR MARCH 9, 2019 FROM NOON TO 5PM AT ST. NEKTARIOS GREEK ORTHODOX CHURCH IN CHARLOTTE, NC
MORE DETAILS TO FOLLOW
Take a look at the online portal.
Vist www.atlstrategicplan.org/portal to view a list of the several goals completed in 2017.
Family Life Ministry
The Metropolis of Atlanta’s Family Life Ministry (www.familylifeministry.atlanta.goarch.org) strengthens individuals, families and church families through adaptable programs, blogs and educational materials as a means of fostering connection within our homes and our parishes.
Join Paula and Edna as they discuss the latest book from with FLM, “Woven: An Interactive Book for the Modern Teenage Girl on Orthodox Christianity” with Bobby Maddex from Ancient Faith Ministries.
For more information, or to order "Woven" please visit, woveninhislove.org
We also share with you helpful links from the OCN and the Family Life Ministry of the Metropolis of Atlanta.
Journey of Marriage (Pre-Marital Seminar)
All couples marrying in the Metropolis must attend a Metropolis-sponsored Journey of Marriage seminar prior to their wedding. The couple will present their certificate of completion to their parish priest after the seminar.
To see the full list of seminars in Florida and in our entire Metropolis as more seminars are scheduled please visit: http://www.familylifeministry.atlanta.goarch.org/upcoming-events-2/
Registration is online. Materials costs are included in the registration.
Shop with Amazon, donate to the DRC
Amazon Smile is a program that allows for 0.5% of your eligible Amazon purchase to be donated to the Diakonia Retreat Center (No Added Cost To You). To find our Amazon Smile page, visit https://smile.amazon.com/ch/91-2187047.