Sunday & Weekdays: 9:00 a.m.
Sunday: 10:00 a.m. Weekdays: 10:00 a.m.
SUNDAY, MAY 30, 2021 – SUNDAY OF THE SAMARITAN WOMAN
ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ ΑΝΕΣΤΗ! ΑΛΗΘΩΣ ΑΝΕΣΤΗ! Christ Is Risen! Truly He is Risen!
MEMORIAL DAY – May their memory be eternal!
SERVICES THIS WEEK:
We strongly encourage those who will not be attending church to participate in services through our website, at https://www.stcons.org/video-streaming
Sunday, May 30th - SUNDAY OF THE SAMARITAN WOMAN – Orthros 8:45 am, Divine Liturgy 10:00 am If you wish to follow along with the text, please use the link listed below:https://www.agesinitiatives.com/dcs/public/dcs/p/s/2021/05/30/li/gr-en/se.m08.d30.li.pdf
*There are no additional services this week.
LIGHT A CANDLE AND SAY A PRAYER: When you are not able to attend church, you can purchase a candle from our church website (home page or video-streaming page), which be lit before the following service or a service that you specify. Please give specific names, living or deceased, that you would like Father to remember in prayer. Father will light candles one hour before each service. For Sunday services, please place candle orders prior to 8:00 am Sunday morning.
PLEASE PRAY FOR: Paul, Zacharias, Connie, Vanessa (Vasiliki), Jake, Maegan, Rene, Irene, Michael, Barbara, Lisa, Pat, Christopher, Jonathan, Alexandra, Tracy, Dianna, Lazarus, Betty, Catherine, Susan, Evelyn, Gregg, Peter, Stella, Ann Marie, Vasilios, Carol, George, Demetri, Steve, Molly, Maria, Elizabeth, Carol, Evans, Katherine, Mike, Connie, Mary, Margaret, Angela, Connie, Bill, Carrie, Vito, Pete, Amalia, Stephanie, Lisa, Connie, Jacob, Anastasia, Rima, Kylie, Effie, Nicholas, and Maria.
Names may be added to the prayer list by request. If you would like to add someone to the prayer list, or if someone should be removed from the list, please contact the church office at email@example.com
Prokeimenon. Fourth Mode. Psalm 103.24,1.
O Lord, how manifold are your works. You have made all things in wisdom.
Verse: Bless the Lord, O my soul.
The reading is from Acts of the Apostles 11:19-30.
In those days, those apostles who were scattered because of the persecution that arose over Stephen traveled as far as Phoenicia and Cyprus and Antioch, speaking the word to none except Jews. But there were some of them, men of Cyprus and Cyrene, who on coming to Antioch spoke to the Greeks also, preaching the Lord Jesus. And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number that believed turned to the Lord. News of this came to the ears of the church in Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to Antioch. When he came and saw the grace of God, he was glad; and he exhorted them all to remain faithful to the Lord with steadfast purpose; for he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And a large company was added to the Lord. So Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul; and when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. For a whole year they met with the church, and taught a large company of people; and in Antioch the disciples were for the first time called Christians. Now in these days prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch. And one of them named Agabos stood up and foretold by the Spirit that there would be a great famine over all the world; and this took place in the days of Claudius. And the disciples determined, every one according to his ability, to send relief to the brethren who lived in Judea, and they did so, sending it to the elders by the hand of Barnabas and Saul.
Προκείμενον. Fourth Mode. ΨΑΛΜΟΙ 103.24,1.
Ὡς ἐμεγαλύνθη τὰ ἔργα σου Κύριε, πάντα ἐν σοφίᾳ ἐποίησας.
Στίχ. Εὐλόγει ἡ ψυχή μου τὸν Κύριον.
τὸ Ἀνάγνωσμα Πράξεις Ἀποστόλων 11:19-30.
Ἐν ταῖς ἡμεραῖς ἐκείναις, διασπαρέντες οἱ Ἀπόστολοι ἀπὸ τῆς θλίψεως τῆς γενομένης ἐπὶ Στεφάνῳ διῆλθον ἕως Φοινίκης καὶ Κύπρου καὶ Ἀντιοχείας, μηδενὶ λαλοῦντες τὸν λόγον εἰ μὴ μόνον Ἰουδαίοις. Ἦσαν δέ τινες ἐξ αὐτῶν ἄνδρες Κύπριοι καὶ Κυρηναῖοι, οἵτινες εἰσελθόντες εἰς Ἀντιόχειαν, ἐλάλουν πρὸς τοὺς Ἑλληνιστάς, εὐαγγελιζόμενοι τὸν κύριον Ἰησοῦν. Καὶ ἦν χεὶρ κυρίου μετʼ αὐτῶν· πολύς τε ἀριθμὸς πιστεύσας ἐπέστρεψεν ἐπὶ τὸν κύριον. Ἠκούσθη δὲ ὁ λόγος εἰς τὰ ὦτα τῆς ἐκκλησίας τῆς ἐν Ἱεροσολύμοις περὶ αὐτῶν· καὶ ἐξαπέστειλαν Βαρνάβαν διελθεῖν ἕως Ἀντιοχείας· ὃς παραγενόμενος καὶ ἰδὼν τὴν χάριν τοῦ θεοῦ ἐχάρη, καὶ παρεκάλει πάντας τῇ προθέσει τῆς καρδίας προσμένειν τῷ κυρίῳ· ὅτι ἦν ἀνὴρ ἀγαθὸς καὶ πλήρης πνεύματος ἁγίου καὶ πίστεως· καὶ προσετέθη ὄχλος ἱκανὸς τῷ κυρίῳ. Ἐξῆλθεν δὲ εἰς Ταρσὸν ὁ Βαρνάβας ἀναζητῆσαι Σαῦλον, καὶ εὑρὼν ἤγαγεν αὐτὸν εἰς Ἀντιόχειαν. Ἐγένετο δὲ αὐτοὺς ἐνιαυτὸν ὅλον συναχθῆναι τῇ ἐκκλησίᾳ καὶ διδάξαι ὄχλον ἱκανόν, χρηματίσαι τε πρώτον ἐν Ἀντιοχείᾳ τοὺς μαθητὰς Χριστιανούς. Ἐν ταύταις δὲ ταῖς ἡμέραις κατῆλθον ἀπὸ Ἱεροσολύμων προφῆται εἰς Ἀντιόχειαν. Ἀναστὰς δὲ εἷς ἐξ αὐτῶν ὀνόματι Ἄγαβος, ἐσήμανεν διὰ τοῦ πνεύματος λιμὸν μέγαν μέλλειν ἔσεσθαι ἐφʼ ὅλην τὴν οἰκουμένην· ὅστις καὶ ἐγένετο ἐπὶ Κλαυδίου Καίσαρος. Τῶν δὲ μαθητῶν καθὼς εὐπορεῖτό τις, ὥρισαν ἕκαστος αὐτῶν εἰς διακονίαν πέμψαι τοῖς κατοικοῦσιν ἐν τῇ Ἰουδαίᾳ ἀδελφοῖς· ὃ καὶ ἐποίησαν, ἀποστείλαντες πρὸς τοὺς πρεσβυτέρους διὰ χειρὸς Βαρνάβα καὶ Σαύλου.
Sunday of the Samaritan Woman
The Reading is from John 4:5-42
At that time, Jesus came to a city of Samaria, called Sychar, near the field that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. Jacob's well was there, and so Jesus, wearied as he was with his journey, sat down beside the well. It was about the sixth hour.
There came a woman of Samaria to draw water. Jesus said to her, "Give me a drink." For his disciples had gone away into the city to buy food. The Samaritan woman said to him, "How is it that you, a Jew, ask a drink of me, a woman of Samaria?" For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans. Jesus answered her, "If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, 'Give me a drink,' you would have asked him and he would have given you living water." The woman said to him, "Sir, you have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep; where do you get that living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well, and drank from it himself, and his sons, and his cattle?" Jesus said to her, "Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst; the water that I shall give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life." The woman said to him, "Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come here to draw."
Jesus said to her, "Go, call your husband, and come here." The woman answered him, "I have no husband." Jesus said to her, "You are right in saying, 'I have no husband'; for you have had five husbands, and he whom you now have is not your husband; this you said truly." The woman said to him, "Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped on this mountain; and you say that Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship." Jesus said to her, "Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for such the Father seeks to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth." The woman said to him, "I know that the Messiah is coming (he who is called Christ); when he comes, he will show us all things." Jesus said to her, "I who speak to you am he."
Just then his disciples came. They marveled that he was talking with a woman, but none said, "What do you wish?" or, "Why are you talking with her?" So the woman left her water jar, and went away into the city and said to the people, "Come, see a man who told me all that I ever did. Can this be the Christ?" They went out of the city and were coming to him.
Meanwhile the disciples besought him, saying "Rabbi, eat." But he said to them, "I have food to eat of which you do not know." So the disciples said to one another, "Has anyone brought him food?" Jesus said to them, "My food is to do the will of him who sent me, and to accomplish his work. Do you not say, 'There are yet four months, then comes the harvest'? I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see how the fields are already white for harvest. He who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for eternal life, so that sower and reaper may rejoice together. For here the saying holds true, 'One sows and another reaps.' I sent you to reap that for which you did not labor; others have labored, and you have entered into their labor."
Many Samaritans from that city believed in him because of the woman's testimony. "He told me all that I ever did." So when the Samaritans came to him, they asked him to stay with them; and he stayed there two days. And many more believed because of his word. They said to the woman, "It is no longer because of your words that we believe, for we have heard ourselves, and we know that this is indeed Christ the Savior of the world."
Sunday of the Samaritan Woman
Κατὰ Ἰωάννην 4:5-42
Τῷ καιρῷ ἐκείνῳ, ἔρχεται ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἰς πόλιν τῆς Σαμαρείας λεγομένην Συχάρ, πλησίον τοῦ χωρίου ὃ ἔδωκεν Ἰακὼβ Ἰωσὴφ τῷ υἱῷ αὐτοῦ· ἦν δὲ ἐκεῖ πηγὴ τοῦ Ἰακώβ. Ὁ οὖν Ἰησοῦς κεκοπιακὼς ἐκ τῆς ὁδοιπορίας ἐκαθέζετο οὕτως ἐπὶ τῇ πηγῇ· ὥρα ἦν ὡσεὶ ἕκτη.
Ἔρχεται γυνὴ ἐκ τῆς Σαμαρείας ἀντλῆσαι ὕδωρ. Λέγει αὐτῇ ὁ ᾿Ιησοῦς· δός μοι πιεῖν. Οἱ γὰρ μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ ἀπεληλύθεισαν εἰς τὴν πόλιν ἵνα τροφὰς ἀγοράσωσι. Λέγει οὖν αὐτῷ ἡ γυνὴ ἡ Σαμαρεῖτις· Πῶς σὺ Ἰουδαῖος ὢν παρ᾽ ἐμοῦ πιεῖν αἰτεῖς, οὔσης γυναικὸς Σαμαρείτιδος; Οὐ γὰρ συγχρῶνται Ἰουδαῖοι Σαμαρείταις. Ἀπεκρίθη Ἰησοῦς καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῇ· Εἰ ᾔδεις τὴν δωρεὰν τοῦ Θεοῦ, καὶ τίς ἐστιν ὁ λέγων σοι, δός μοι πιεῖν, σὺ ἂν ᾔτησας αὐτόν, καὶ ἔδωκεν ἄν σοι ὕδωρ ζῶν. Λέγει αὐτῷ ἡ γυνή· Κύριε, οὔτε ἄντλημα ἔχεις, καὶ τὸ φρέαρ ἐστὶ βαθύ· πόθεν οὖν ἔχεις τὸ ὕδωρ τὸ ζῶν; Μὴ σὺ μείζων εἶ τοῦ πατρὸς ἡμῶν Ἰακώβ, ὃς ἔδωκεν ἡμῖν τὸ φρέαρ, καὶ αὐτὸς ἐξ αὐτοῦ ἔπιε καὶ οἱ υἱοὶ αὐτοῦ καὶ τὰ θρέμματα αὐτοῦ; Ἀπεκρίθη Ἰησοῦς καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῇ· Πᾶς ὁ πίνων ἐκ τοῦ ὕδατος τούτου διψήσει πάλιν· ὃς δ᾽ ἂν πίῃ ἐκ τοῦ ὕδατος οὗ ἐγὼ δώσω αὐτῷ, οὐ μὴ διψήσῃ εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα, ἀλλὰ τὸ ὕδωρ ὃ δώσω αὐτῷ, γενήσεται ἐν αὐτῷ πηγὴ ὕδατος ἁλλομένου εἰς ζωὴν αἰώνιον. Λέγει πρὸς αὐτὸν ἡ γυνή· Κύριε, δός μοι τοῦτο τὸ ὕδωρ, ἵνα μὴ διψῶ μηδὲ ἔρχωμαι ἐνθάδε ἀντλεῖν.
Λέγει αὐτῇ ὁ Ἰησοῦς· Ὕπαγε φώνησον τὸν ἄνδρα σου καὶ ἐλθὲ ἐνθάδε. Ἀπεκρίθη ἡ γυνὴ καὶ εἶπεν· Οὐκ ἔχω ἄνδρα. Λέγει αὐτῇ ὁ Ἰησοῦς· Καλῶς εἶπας ὅτι ἄνδρα οὐκ ἔχω· πέντε γὰρ ἄνδρας ἔσχες, καὶ νῦν ὃν ἔχεις οὐκ ἔστι σου ἀνήρ· τοῦτο ἀληθὲς εἴρηκας. Λέγει αὐτῷ ἡ γυνή· Κύριε, θεωρῶ ὅτι προφήτης εἶ σύ. Οἱ πατέρες ἡμῶν ἐν τῷ ὄρει τούτῳ προσεκύνησαν· καὶ ὑμεῖς λέγετε ὅτι ἐν ῾Ιεροσολύμοις ἐστὶν ὁ τόπος ὅπου δεῖ προσκυνεῖν. Λέγει αὐτῇ ὁ Ἰησοῦς· Γύναι, πίστευσόν μοι ὅτι ἔρχεται ὥρα ὅτε οὔτε ἐν τῷ ὄρει τούτῳ οὔτε ἐν Ἰεροσολύμοις προσκυνήσετε τῷ πατρί. Ὑμεῖς προσκυνεῖτε ὃ οὐκ οἴδατε, ἡμεῖς προσκυνοῦμεν ὃ οἴδαμεν· ὅτι ἡ σωτηρία ἐκ τῶν Ἰουδαίων ἐστίν. Ἀλλ᾽ ἔρχεται ὥρα, καὶ νῦν ἐστιν, ὅτε οἱ ἀληθινοὶ προσκυνηταὶ προσκυνήσουσι τῷ πατρὶ ἐν πνεύματι καὶ ἀληθείᾳ· καὶ γὰρ ὁ πατὴρ τοιούτους ζητεῖ τοὺς προσκυνοῦντας αὐτόν. Πνεῦμα ὁ Θεός, καὶ τοὺς προσκυνοῦντας αὐτὸν ἐν πνεύματι καὶ ἀληθείᾳ δεῖ προσκυνεῖν. Λέγει αὐτῷ ἡ γυνή· Οἶδα ὅτι Μεσσίας ἔρχεται ὁ λεγόμενος Χριστός· ὅταν ἔλθῃ ἐκεῖνος, ἀναγγελεῖ ἡμῖν πάντα. λέγει αὐτῇ ὁ Ἰησοῦς· Ἐγώ εἰμι ὁ λαλῶν σοι. Καὶ ἐπὶ τούτῳ ἦλθον οἱ μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ, καὶ ἐθαύμασαν ὅτι μετὰ γυναικὸς ἐλάλει· οὐδεὶς μέντοι εἶπε, τί ζητεῖς ἢ τί λαλεῖς μετ᾽ αὐτῆς; Ἀφῆκεν οὖν τὴν ὑδρίαν αὐτῆς ἡ γυνὴ καὶ ἀπῆλθεν εἰς τὴν πόλιν, καὶ λέγει τοῖς ἀνθρώποις· Δεῦτε ἴδετε ἄνθρωπον ὃς εἶπέ μοι πάντα ὅσα ἐποίησα· μήτι οὗτός ἐστιν ὁ Χριστός; Ἐξῆλθον οὖν ἐκ τῆς πόλεως καὶ ἤρχοντο πρὸς αὐτόν.
Ἐν δὲ τῷ μεταξὺ ἠρώτων αὐτὸν οἱ μαθηταὶ λέγοντες· Ῥαββί, φάγε. Ὁ δὲ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς· Ἐγὼ βρῶσιν ἔχω φαγεῖν, ἣν ὑμεῖς οὐκ οἴδατε. Ἔλεγον οὖν οἱ μαθηταὶ πρὸς ἀλλήλους· Μή τις ἤνεγκεν αὐτῷ φαγεῖν; Λέγει αὐτοῖς ὁ Ἰησοῦς· Ἐμὸν βρῶμά ἐστιν ἵνα ποιῶ τὸ θέλημα τοῦ πέμψαντός με καὶ τελειώσω αὐτοῦ τὸ ἔργον. Οὐχ ὑμεῖς λέγετε ὅτι ἔτι τετράμηνός ἐστι καὶ ὁ θερισμὸς ἔρχεται; Ἰδοὺ λέγω ὑμῖν, ἐπάρατε τοὺς ὀφθαλμοὺς ὑμῶν καὶ θεάσασθε τὰς χώρας, ὅτι λευκαί εἰσι πρὸς θερισμὸν ἤδη. Καὶ ὁ θερίζων μισθὸν λαμβάνει καὶ συνάγει καρπὸν εἰς ζωὴν αἰώνιον, ἵνα καὶ ὁ σπείρων ὁμοῦ χαίρῃ καὶ ὁ θερίζων. Ἐν γὰρ τούτῳ ὁ λόγος ἐστὶν ὁ ἀληθινός, ὅτι ἄλλος ἐστὶν ὁ σπείρων καὶ ἄλλος ὁ θερίζων. Ἐγὼ ἀπέστειλα ὑμᾶς θερίζειν ὃ οὐχ ὑμεῖς κεκοπιάκατε· ἄλλοι κεκοπιάκασι, καὶ ὑμεῖς εἰς τὸν κόπον αὐτῶν εἰσεληλύθατε. ᾿Εκ δὲ τῆς πόλεως ἐκείνης πολλοὶ ἐπίστευσαν εἰς αὐτὸν τῶν Σαμαρειτῶν διὰ τὸν λόγον τῆς γυναικός, μαρτυρούσης ὅτι εἶπέ μοι πάντα ὅσα ἐποίησα. Ὡς οὖν ἦλθον πρὸς αὐτὸν οἱ Σαμαρεῖται, ἠρώτων αὐτὸν μεῖναι παρ᾽ αὐτοῖς· καὶ ἔμεινεν ἐκεῖ δύο ἡμέρας. Καὶ πολλῷ πλείους ἐπίστευσαν διὰ τὸν λόγον αὐτοῦ, τῇ τε γυναικὶ ἔλεγον ὅτι οὐκέτι διὰ τὴν σὴν λαλιὰν πιστεύομεν· αὐτοὶ γὰρ ἀκηκόαμεν, καὶ οἴδαμεν ὅτι οὗτός ἐστιν ἀληθῶς ὁ σωτὴρ τοῦ κόσμου ὁ Χριστός.
EVENTS AND ACTIVITIES
MEMORIAL DAY CEMETERY VISITS: Father Teodor will be offering cemetery visits TODAY, SUNDAY MAY 30th immediately following church service at Parkview Memorial Cemetery. On MONDAY, MAY 31st, he will be at Grandlawn cemetery from approximately 8:00 – 10:30, and then back to Parkview AT 11:00. Please contact Father or the church office to make arrangements for Glen Eden, Oakland Hills, or any other cemetery. Father expects to go to both cemeteries Monday afternoon by special appointment, as his schedule allows.
COFFEE HOUR IS BACK! According to the new Metropolis Directives, we are now able to have coffee hour after services! Please join us after church in Hall A for a cup of coffee, a donut, and some good fellowship. We are also again able to accept Coffee Hour Sponsors, for those having a memorial or other special day in church. Requested sponsorship donation is $150. If you would like to sponsor the coffee hour, please contact the church office to make arrangements.
CELEBRATING DADS AND GRADS! Plan to attend church with the family on Holy Pentecost, Sunday June 20th as we celebrate Father’s Day, and honor all of our graduates!
PARENTS! SAVE THE DATE: We are planning for Vacation Church School the week of August 2nd – 5th. This year we will focus on church breads (prosforo, arto, etc.) and each day will have a mix of cooking lessons, indoor and outdoor learning activities, and prayer.
NEWS AND NOTICES
NEW COVID 19 DIRECTIVES: YOUR SAFETY IS IMPORTANT TO US.
Due to the recent guidance offered by the CDC, the ensuing relaxation of restrictions in the states of the Metropolis of Detroit, and the recent guidelines from the Archdiocese (to the Direct Archdiocesan District), the Metropolis of Detroit will be following these new protocols beginning May 20th, 2021:
ADDITIONAL COVID 19 PARISH PROCEDURES AND DIRECTIVES ARE POSTED ON THE PARISH WEBSITE www.stcons.org
COLLEGE and HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATES: We are proud of our graduates! Please help us to honor them after the Divine Liturgy service on June 20th! Submit the following to the church office before the end of May: a photo (headshot) of your graduate, the name of school they are graduating from, the school they will attend (HS grads) or the degree they have achieved (College grads) and their course of study, and the parents’/grandparents’ names. Please forward as a digital file if possible to: firstname.lastname@example.org or drop off photo and information to the church office.
ICONOGRAPHY UPDATE: Eight of the Feast Day icons across the top of the Iconostasis were installed this week! We have received delivery on the 4 large Iconostatis icons (St. Nicholas, St. Anthony, St. Michael, St. Gabriel), and are expecting delivery on the 4 remaining small icons across the top in June. The icons of the Evangelist St. Matthew, St. Gregory of Nyssa and St. Cyril of Alexandria are still available for sponsorship, and we are still in need of general donations of any amount to complete our Phase One fundraising. Those interested in sponsoring an icon, please talk to Father Teodor or contact the church office for more information.
HELLENIC CULTURAL CENTER BOOKING: According to the new state of Michigan regulations, the HCC can now hold up to 50% capacity, and should be at full capacity by the end of the summer. Consider booking your next event at the Hellenic Cultural Center, and help the church get our HCC back into business! We are now booking events for 2021 and 2022. Although they are not yet keeping regular office hours, if you would like to discuss future bookings or other issues with the HCC staff, please contact Kathy at 734.525.3550 or 313.303.6350 or email@example.com
MOTOR SCOOTER DONATION: One of our parishioners has donated an electric motor scooter to be used by handicapped adults and a car hitch, in outstanding condition. Cost of these machines range from $900 - $1,800. In need of a battery ($85 - $100). Please contact the church office for more information if this donation would be a blessing for you or a family member.
MEMORIAL DAY REFLECTION - Fr. Teodor Petrutiu
Our way of life has been purchased at a high price. We say "thank you" on Memorial Day to all the men and women who have placed their lives in jeopardy for us. We honor those who are now serving in the armed forces of our country and we remember gratefully the veterans of the wars of yesterday who responded to their country's call in the hour of danger.
Our fathers, grandfathers, immigrants or not, were tough people living through tough times. They loved this country and were proud to be Americans even though many of them could not speak English very well; many fought for this country and some died for it. They had work ethics and no sense of entitlement. That is the heritage we are called to remember and to perpetuate.
Thus, Memorial Day has become a day when we remember not only our soldiers but also all our loved ones who are no longer with us. To many it is also a ‘Memorial Service Day’ when pilgrimages are made to cemeteries to place flowers on the graves of the departed and pray for the repose of their souls. Thus it leads us to think about death and about our relation to the dead.
Ordinarily we are reluctant to face the fact of death. These days, the subject is either carefully avoided or cleverly disguised. Through a conspiracy of silence, imminent death is concealed as long as possible from the one whom it most directly concerns. And when the inevitable event takes place, the evasion continues.
The Christian view of death has none of this evasion. In every case of death, life, as we now know it, comes to an end. If this were not so, resurrection, the creation of new life by the power of God, would have no meaning, for only the dead can be resurrected. The foundation of the Christian hope is the resurrection of Christ. It is the risen Lord who assures us, "Because I live, you will live also."
As we remember our dead we wonder: where are they now and what is their condition? The answer must be: the blessed and faithful dead are with God and they are closer to him than before. Heaven means nearness to God, and it starts here, in church. That is what it means to a Christian. "To depart and be with Christ," says Paul, is "far better" than life on earth. He says also: “For me, to live is Christ and to die is gain”. Death is real, but we, who believe rely on the word of his Lord, "He who believes in me, even though he dies, he shall live" (John 11:25). The life to which he comes is to be with Christ and to be "changed into his likeness from one degree of glory to another" (2 Corinthians 3:18).
As we remember our country's heroes, our founders and our own loved ones we offer our thanks to God and say with St. Apostle Paul in his Epistle to the Galatians: You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love.
Happy Memorial Day to all of you!
Non-Orthodox Visitors Please Note: Holy Communion is offered to Orthodox Christians who have properly prepared themselves. Visitors are welcome to receive the Antidoron (Blessed Bread), which is distributed at the end of the Divine Liturgy.