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St. George Greek Orthodox Church
Publish Date: 2019-04-21
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St. George Greek Orthodox Church

General Information

  • Phone:
  • (562) 862-6461
  • Fax:
  • (562) 862-2672
  • Street Address:

  • 10830 Downey Avenue

  • Downey, CA 90241
  • Mailing Address:

  • 10830 Downey Avenue

  • Downey, CA 90241


Services Schedule

SUNDAYS Orthros at 9:00 AM; Divine Liturgy 10:00 AM

WEEKDAY LITURGIES Orthros at 9:00 AM; Divine Liturgy 9:30 AM

 

Mission Statement

The Mission of Saint George Greek Orthodox Church is to proclaim and teach the Mystery of Salvation and the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ; to enhance the spiritual life of our communicants through participation in the fullness of Orthodox worship, through loving and dedicated service to God and to mankind.

Vision Statement

Saint George will provide a welcoming, loving, and caring environment for our parishioners and visitors where our God - given talents will be allowed to flourish and grow in faith, through worship, service, witness and fellowship. The programs offered by Saint George will serve the religious, educational, cultural, philanthropic and social activities of the community of all ages.


Past Bulletins


Holy Week and Pascha Schedule 2019

HOLY WEEK SERVICES 2019

APRIL 20, SATURDAY OF LAZARUS- ΤΟΥ ΛΑΖΑΡΟΥ
9:00 AM Orthros 10:00 AM Divine Liturgy
Activities for the Children and Family- Palm Cross Making 11:15 AM

APRIL 21, PALM SUNDAY- ΤΩΝ ΒΑΪΩΝ
9:00 AM Orthros 10:00 AM Divine Liturgy
7:00 PM Service of the Bridegroom

APRIL 22, HOLY MONDAY- ΜΕΓΑΛΗ ΔΕΥΤΕΡΑ
7:00 PM Service of the Bridegroom Του Νυμφίου

APRIL 23, HOLY TUESDAY- ΜΕΓΑΛΗ ΤΡΙΤΗ
7:00 PM Service of the Bridegroom Του Νυμφίου

APRIL 24, HOLY WEDNESDAY- ΜΕΓΑΛΗ ΤΕΤΑΡΤΗ
2:30 PM Service of Holy Unction-Ευχέλαιον
7:00 PM Service of the Bridegroom- Anointing with Holy Unction

APRIL 25, HOLY THURSDAY- ΜΕΓΑΛΗ ΠΕΜΠΤΗ
7:30 AM Vesperal Liturgy commemorating the Last Supper
6:30 PM Service of the 12 Gospels- Passion and Crucifixion
Τα 12 Ευαγγέλια-Αγία Πάθη

APRIL 26, HOLY FRIDAY- ΜΕΓΑΛΗ ΠΑΡΑΣΕΥΗ
8:30 AM to 2:00 PM Decoration of the Epitaphios
2:00 PM Royal Hours- Βασιλικαι Ωραι
3:00 PM Vespers of the Descent from the Cross- Αποκαθήλωσις
7:00 PM Lamentations- Επιτάφιος Θρήνος

APRIL 27, HOLY SATURDAY
9:00 AM Vesperal Liturgy of St Basil- Μικρή Ανάστασις

PASCHAL VIGIL
11:00 PM Canon of the Resurrection Κανών της Αναστάσεως
11:45 PM Come Receive the Light Δεύτε Λάβετε Φως
Followed by Orthros and Paschal Liturgy
1:30 AM Magiritsa in Church Hall

APRIL 28, HOLY AND GREAT PASCHA
11:00 AM Great Vespers of Agape

FEAST OF ST GEORGE THE TROPHY-BEARER AND GREAT MARTYR
BRIGHT MONDAY
MONDAY, APRIL 29- 9:15 AM Orthros- 10:00 AM Divine Liturgy

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Parish News and Events

Family Activity

Join us for an afternoon of Fun and Fellowship

The children and parents are invited to participate in the Saturday of Lazarus Activities scheduled for April 20th from 11:30-3:00 p.m. A light luncheon will be provided for everyone after church services before the activities commence.

This year the children and adults will learn about the tradition of the “Lazarakia”. They will be making and baking them to take home. Activities include Egg Canvas, candle decorating, painting and the making of Easter cards.

The children will also learn about the prosforo and will be decorating the icon of the Nymphios to be used during the Sunday evening Bridegroom service.

For the adults, Father John, Assad Megally and Themy Sparangis will lead the making of the palm crosses and Mrs. Eleni Gatsios will show the teenagers and adults how to decorate eggs using the wax method.

Everyone is welcome to participate. We want to make sure we have enough supplies for everyone that will be in attendance. For this reason, please reserve your space by calling the church office at 562/862-6461 or by visiting the table in the hall to sign up.


Philoptochos News

Bake Sale - Sunday - April 21, 2019

The Philoptochos Society is having their annual Pascha Bake Sale 

Please call and place your order for the traditional Tsourekia & Koulourakia before Sunday, April 14, 2019 with Lina Ifantis  562-862-6461

All orders must be picked up on Friday, April 19, 2019.

The proceeds of this Bake Sale will go towards the St. George Philoptochos Philanthropic Charities

 


PALM SUNDAY LUNCHEON

Palm Sunday Luncheon and Egg Hunt

Luncheon sponsored by St George Parish Council

Due to Limited space Reservations are required.
Please Contact:
George Covell- 818-523-8396
Katerina Galvez- 562-544-8853

 


MYROFORES- HOLY WEEK

To All Parents,
We are starting to take names of young girls who would like to be mirofores for Holy Week 2019.

All young ladies of our parish, ages 8 and above are welcome to participate in the evening services during Holy Week.

We look forward to having all younf eligible ladies in our parish participate.

 Email: office@stgeorgedowney.org

 


Folk Dance

 TUESDAY, MAY 7th
5:30p.m.-7:00p.m.
St. George Church Hall

Guest Instructor from Greece
AGIS TSAKALAKOS
will be teaching  dances from the region of Messinia
ALL DANCERS ARE WELCOME!!!!!

Saint George Folkdance and Cultural Program welcomes Mr. Agis Tsakalakos to our parish on May 7th-May 10th.

Agis was born in 1973 in Kalamata, Messinia and has been a dance instructor for the Lykeion Ton Ellinidon Kalamatas since 1994. He was a member of the dance troupe at the age of 13.

He heads the dance troupe of Finnikounda, Messinia. As part of the dance troupe, he has performed in Cyprus, Constantinople, Italy, Morocco, Egypt, Germany, Sweden, Portugal, Hungary, Austria among other countries. He performed in the closing ceremonies of the Olympic Games in Athens in 2004 as well as for the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.

On May 7th, Agis will be working with our youngest dancers and directors teaching them dances from his hometown as well as other regions. On Thursday, May 9th, we will be hosting a FREE Greek Dance workshop for everyone that wishes to attend. Agis will be teaching dances from the regions of Messinia, Kithira and Megara. Because space is limited, we ask that everyone reserve their space. On Friday evening, May 10th, he will be presenting dances from the Sarakatson region at Kypseli located in the Tango room 4346 Woodman Avenue Sherman Oaks, CA 91423.

We invite everyone to attend these workshops to explore and learn the dances of the regions. If you have any questions or need additional information, please contact Georgia Covell at 818/523-8396 or gacovel60@gmail.com


ADULT GREEK DANCE CLASS

Join us for an evening of Fun, Laughter and Dance!
ADULT GREEK DANCE CLASS
Mondays from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM

Cost $10
St George Multi-purpose Room


Parishioner Services

Parishioner Services Chairperson: Sasha Vithoulkas

Cell—(562) 714-5324          Home—(562) 869-3533

 Memorial Services must be booked by calling the office and scheduling the date with Father John.  After Father John approves the date, then arrangements for the event may be made through the Parishioners Services Chairperson  Sasha Vithoulkas. Makaries, Altar- flowers, and koliva please contact Sasha Vithoulkas directly.  

Ladies who wish to make prosfora please contact Soula Katsenes (562) 372-7776.

Use of the hall FOR WHATEVER REASON must be coordinated through the Church Office.


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Saints and Feasts

Palmsunday
April 21

Palm Sunday

On Sunday, five days before the Passover of the Law, the Lord came from Bethany to Jerusalem. Sending two of His disciples to bring Him a foal of an ass, He sat thereon and entered into the city. When the multitude there heard that Jesus was coming, they straightway took up the branches of palm trees in their hands, and went forth to meet Him. Others spread their garments on the ground, and yet others cut branches from the trees and strewed them in the way that Jesus was to pass; and all of them together, especially the children, went before and after Him, crying out: "Hosanna: Blessed is He that cometh in the Name of the Lord, the King of Israel" (John 12:13). This is the radiant and glorious festival of our Lord's entry into Jerusalem that we celebrate today.

The branches of the palm trees symbolize Christ's victory over the devil and death. The word Hosanna means "Save, I pray," or "Save, now." The foal of an ass, and Jesus' sitting thereon, and the fact that this animal was untamed and considered unclean according to the Law, signified the former uncleanness and wildness of the nations, and their subjection thereafter to the holy Law of the Gospel.


Jcbrdgrm
April 22

Holy Monday

The holy Passion of our Saviour begins today, presenting Joseph the all-comely as a prefiguring of Christ. He was the eleventh son of Jacob, and his first son by Rachel; because he was so beloved of his father, his own brethren came to envy him and cast him into a pit. Later they sold him to foreigners for thirty pieces of silver, who later sold him again in Egypt. Because of his virtue, his master gave him much authority in governing his house; because he was fair of countenance, his master's wife sought to draw him into sin with her; because of his chastity, he refused her, and through her slanders was cast into prison. Finally, he was led forth again with great glory and was honoured as a king. He became lord over all Egypt and a provider of wheat for all the people. Through all this, he typifies in himself the betrayal, Passion, death, and glorification of our Lord Jesus Christ (see Gen., chapters 37, 39 41).

To the commemoration of Patriarch Joseph is added also the narration concerning the fig tree, which on this day was cursed and subsequently dried up because of its unfruitfulness. It portrayed the Jewish synagogue, which had not produced the fruit demanded of it, that is, obedience to God and faith in Him and which was stripped of all spiritual grace by means of the curse (Matt. 21:18-20).


Nymphios
April 23

Holy Tuesday

Today we bring to mind the parable of the ten virgins, which our Saviour related as He was coming to His Passion. This parable teaches us that the accomplishment of the great work of virginity should not make us careless in other matters, especially in almsgiving, wherewith the lamp of virginity is made radiant. Furthermore, it teaches us that we should not be remiss about the end of our life, but should be prepared for it at every moment, like the wise virgins, so that we may meet the Bridegroom, lest He come suddenly and the doors of the heavenly bridechamber be shut, and we also, like the foolish virgins, hear that dread sentence: "Amen, I say unto you, I know you not" (Matt. 25:1-13).


23_george4
April 23

George the Great Martyr and Triumphant

George, this truly great and glorious Martyr of Christ, was born of a father from Cappadocia and a mother from Palestine. Being a military tribune, or chiliarch (that is, a commander of a thousand troops), he was illustrious in battle and highly honoured for his courage. When he learned that the Emperor Diocletian was preparing a persecution of the Christians, Saint George presented himself publicly before the Emperor and denounced him. When threats and promises could not move him from his steadfast confession, he was put to unheard-of tortures, which he endured with great bravery, overcoming them by his faith and love towards Christ. By the wondrous signs that took place in his contest, he guided many to the knowledge of the truth, including Queen Alexandra, wife of Diocletian, and was finally beheaded in 296 in Nicomedia.

His sacred remains were taken by his servant from Nicomedia to Palestine, to a town called Lydda, the homeland of his mother, and then were finally transferred to the church which was raised up in his name. (The translation of the Saint's holy relics to the church in Lydda is commemorated on November 3; Saint Alexandra the Queen, on April 21.)

If April 23 falls on or before Great and Holy Pascha, the Feast of St. George is translated to Bright Monday.


Xcannointing
April 24

Holy Wednesday

Two women - say the more discerning interpreters of the Gospel - anointed the Lord with myrrh; the one, a long time before His Passion; the other, a few days before. One was a harlot and sinner; the other, chaste and virtuous. The Church commemorates this reverent act today. While mentioning herein the person of the harlot, it also mentions Judas' betrayal; for, according to the account in Matthew, both of these deeds took place two days before the Passover, on Wednesday.

That woman, then, anointed Jesus' head and feet with very precious myrrh, and wiped them with the tresses of her hair. The disciples, especially the avaricious Judas, were scandalized, supposedly because of the waste of the myrrh, which could be sold for a great price and given to the poor. The Lord Jesus reproved them and told them not to trouble the woman. Indignant, Judas went to the high priests, who were gathered in the court of Caiaphas and were already taking counsel against Jesus. On agreeing with them to betray his Teacher for thirty pieces of silver, Judas sought from that time opportunity to betray Him (Matt. 26:14-16). Because the betrayal took place on Wednesday, we have received the tradition from Apostolic times to fast on Wednesday throughout the year.


Supper
April 25

Holy Thursday

On the evening of this day, which was the eve of the feast of unleavened bread (that is, the Passover), our Redeemer supped with His twelve disciples in the city. He blessed the bread and the wine, and gave us the Mystery of the Divine Eucharist. He washed the feet of the disciples as an example of humility. He said openly that one of them was about to betray Him, and He pointed out the betrayer by revealing that it was he "that dippeth his hand with Me in the dish." And after Judas had straightway gone forth, Jesus gave the disciples His final and sublime instructions, which are contained in the first Gospel Reading of the Holy Passion (John 13:31-18:1 known as the Gospel of the Testament). After this the God-man went forth to the Mount of Olives, and there He began to be sorrowful and in anguish. He went off alone, and bending the knees He prayed fervently. From His great anguish, His sweat became as it were great drops of blood falling to the ground. As soon as He had completed that anguished prayer, lo, Judas came with a multitude of soldiers and a great crowd; on greeting the Teacher guile fully with a kiss, he betrayed Him.

The Lord Jesus was then apprehended and taken prisoner to the high priests Annas and Caiaphas. The disciples were scattered, but Peter, who was more fervent than the others, followed Him even into the court of the high priest, but in the end denied thrice that he was His disciple.

Then our divine Teacher was brought before the lawless Sanhedrin and was interrogated concerning His disciples and His teaching. The high priest adjured Him before God that He tell them whether He was truly the Christ. And having spoken the truth, He was judged guilty of death, supposedly as one who had blasphemed. Then they spat in His face, beat Him, smote Him with the palms of their hands, and mocked Him in every way, throughout the whole night until the morning.


25_mark2
April 25

Mark the Apostle and Evangelist

Mark was an idolater from Cyrene of Pentapolis, which is near Libya. Having come to the Faith of Christ through the Apostle Peter, he followed him to Rome. While there, at the prompting of Peter himself and at the request of the Christians living there, he wrote his Gospel in Greek, and it is second in order after Matthew's. Afterwards, travelling to Egypt, he preached the Gospel there and was the first to establish the Church in Alexandria. The idolaters, unable to bear his preaching, seized him, bound him with ropes, and dragged him through the streets until he, cut to pieces on rocks, gave up his soul. It is said that he completed his life in martyrdom about the year 68. He is depicted in holy icons with a lion next to him, one of the living creatures mentioned by Ezekiel (1:10), and a symbol of Christ's royal office, as Saint Irenaeus of Lyons writes.

If April 25 falls on or before Great and Holy Pascha, the Feast of St. Mark is translated to Bright Tuesday.


Burial
April 26

Holy Friday

When Friday dawned, Christ was sent bound from Caiaphas to Pontius Pilate, who was then Governor of Judea. Pilate interrogated Him in many ways, and once and again acknowledged that He was innocent, but to please the Jews, he later passed the sentence of death against Him. After scourging the Lord of all as though He were a runaway slave, he surrendered Him to be crucified.

Thus the Lord Jesus was handed over to the soldiers, was stripped of His garments, was clothed in a purple robe, was crowned with a wreath of thorns, had a reed placed in His hand as though it were a sceptre, was bowed before in mockery, was spat upon, and was buffeted in the face and on the head. Then they again clothed Him in His own garments, and bearing the cross, He came to Golgotha, a place of condemnation, and there, about the third hour, He was crucified between two thieves. Although both blasphemed Him at the first, the thief at His right hand repented, and said: "Remember me, O Lord, when Thou comest in Thy Kingdom," to which our Saviour answered, "Today shalt thou be with Me in Paradise." As He hung upon the Cross, He was blasphemed by those who were passing by, was mocked by the high priests, and by the soldiers was given vinegar to drink mixed with gall. About the ninth hour, He cried out with a loud voice, saying, "It is finished." And the Lamb of God "Which taketh away the sin of the world" (John 1:29) expired on the day when the moon was full, and at the hour when, according to the Law, was slain the Passover lamb, which was established as a type of Him in the time of Moses.

Even lifeless creation mourned the death of the Master, and it trembled and was altered out of fear. Yet, even though the Maker of creation was already dead, they pierced Him in His immaculate side, and forthwith came there out Blood and Water. Finally, at about the setting of the sun, Joseph of Arimathea came with Nicodemus (both of them had been secret disciples of Jesus), and they took down the all-holy Body of the Teacher from the Cross and anointed it with aromatic spices, and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth. When they had buried Him in a new tomb, they rolled a great stone over its entrance.

Such are the dread and saving sufferings of our Lord Jesus Christ commemorated today, and in remembrance of them, we have received the Apostolic commandment that a fast be observed every Friday.


Holysaturday
April 27

Holy Saturday

On Saturday, the high priests and Pharisees gathered together before Pilate and asked him to have Jesus' tomb sealed until the third day; because, as those enemies of God said, "We suspect that His disciples will come and steal His buried body by night, and then proclaim to the people that His resurrection is true, as that deceiver Himself foretold while He was yet alive; and then the last deception shall be worse than the first." After they had said these things to Pilate and received his permission, they went and sealed the tomb, and assigned a watch for security, that is, guards from among the soldiers under the supervision of the high priests (Matt. 27:62-66). While commemorating the entombment of the holy Body of our Lord today, we also celebrate His dread descent with His soul, whereby He destroyed the gates and bars of Hades, and made His light to shine where only darkness had reigned (Job 3 8 : 17; Esaias 49:9; 1 Peter 3:18-20); death was put to death, Hades was stripped of all its captives, our first parents and all the righteous who died from the beginning of time ran to Him Whom they had awaited, and the holy angelic orders glorified God for the restoration of our fallen race.


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Downey Greek Festival 2019

Downey 35th Annual Greek Festival
JUNE 1 and 2, 2019

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + +

NEXT FESTIVAL MEETING ON April 30, 2019 
+++++++++++++++

Our Ladies have been busy this week preparing the food for our festival.

Please join us on the following dates... no experience necessary. 

(April 16 and 7 9:00 AM Koulourakia and Tsoureki for Easter Bake Sale)

May 2-3 9:00 AM Galaktoboureko
May 6, 9:00 AM Kourabiedes
May 27, 9:00 AM Diples
May 30, 9:00 AM Prep Gigathes and Fasolakia

* * * * * * * * * * *

Below is a list of needs for the Festival. Please call the Church office 562-862-6461 and let us know what you would like to donate! 

PRODUCT NEEDED FOR FESTIVAL PREPARATION

DATE   ITEM                 QUANTITY       COST

4/7    Grated Parmesan Cheese       30 Bags             $200.00 

4/7    Fila Sheet Sweets                 5 cases               $275.00         

4/14   Semolina For Galactobureko 24 packages           $75.00                 

4/14   Olive Oil                                                        $250.00      

 WEEK OF FESTIVAL

 5/27   Flour / Diples                        55#                   $70.00        

5/27    Byblos Lebni                         40#                  $450.00             

5/28    English Cucumbers              6 cases                                           

5/29    Walnuts for Loukoumades      75#                  $250.00          

5/28    Honey for Diples and Sweets  200#                 $400.00    

5/29    Mazola Oil / 2.5 Gal          25 Containers          $600.00            Loukoumades)

5/29    Italian Salad Dressing         10 Gallons             $150.00          

5/29    Honey / Loukoumades           200#                  $400.00        

5/29    Kalamata Olives                  5 containers          $375.00         

5/29    Gigandes                             6 cases                $350.00   

5/29    Uncle Ben’s Rice / 50# bags    200#                 $250.00       

5/29    Frappe                                    20 cans            $250.00       

5/29    Greek Beer / 24 each case       30 cases           $950.00        

5/29    Pita Bread                              30 cases           $750.00    

5/29    Charcoal  / 40 # Bags            130 Bags           $900.00       

5/29    Charcoal for Souvlakia            50 Bags             $700.00                 

5/29    Greek Coffee                        12 pkgs               $125.00           

5/29    American Coffee                    5 cans                  $60.00       

5/29    Feta Cheese 24#                18 pails               $1,000.00       

5/29    Clear Frying Oil  (French Fries)25 cont.             $475.00              

5/30   Chickens     (3.5 Lbs each)      300                  $1,400.00        

5/30   Ice    (20# bags)                   200 bags              $750.00               

5/31  Tuvunu                                  20 Cases              $550.00                  

5/29  French Fries     5/16”            125 Cases              

5/31  Tomatoes                               38 cases        

5/31   Lemons                                  7 cases      

5/31   Green Peppers                         4 cases          

5/31   Cucumbers                              7 cases                           

6/1    Sliced Yellow Onions For Gyro       300#                                

6/1    Red Onion Sliced For Greek Salad      50#                                                      

 

 

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Words of Wisdom

"Wounded by Love:  The Life and the Wisdom of Saint Porphyrios" (1906-1991) ON DIVINE EROS*

 Love for Christ is insatiable

(pages 100-102)

Christ is the summit of desire; there is nothing higher. All sensible things lead to satiety, but with God there is no satiation. He is everything. God is the summit of desire. No other joy, no other beauty, nothing else can rival Him. What is higher than the highest?

     Love for Christ is something else. It is without end, without satiety. It gives life; it gives strength; it gives health; it gives, gives, and gives. And the more it gives, the more the person wishes to fall in love. Human love and passion, by contrast, may be destructive and even drive a person mad. When we love Christ, all other loves abate. Other loves have a point of satiety. The love of Christ has no point of satiety. Fleshly love has a point of satiety. Thereafter jealousy and disgruntlement may set in, and may even lead to murder. Love in Christ knows no alteration. Worldly love remains for a time, and is gradually extinguished, whereas divine love continually grows and deepens. Every other kind of love can lead a person to despair. Divine eros,* however, raises us up into the sphere of God; it bestows on us serenity, joy and fullness. Other pleasures enervate us, but of this pleasure we can never have enough. It is an insatiable pleasure, which you never tire of. It is the highest good.

    At one point only does satiety cease:  when a person is united with Christ.  He loves, loves and loves, and the more he loves the more he sees that he wants to love even more intensely.  He sees that he has not achieved union, that he hasn't abandoned himself to the love of God.  Constantly he has the inclination and joyous longing to reach Christ, the summit of desire.  He fasts, makes prostrations and prays ever more intensely, and yet he is never satisfied.  He fails to realize that he is already in possession of this love.  He does not feel that what he desires has filled him, that he has received it, that he experiences it, that he lives it.  All ascetics yearn for this divine eros*, this divine love.  They are intoxicated with divine inebriation.  With this divine intoxication the body may grow old and pass away, but the spirit becomes youthful and blossoms.

     The hymns of our Church are filled with divine eros*.  Listen to the Canon of the Holy Apostle Timothy:

Burning for the highest of desires
And therewith through love co-mingled,
You led a life concordant with this craving,
O man possessed by God,
Your eyes transfixed forever on your love,
And with His aspect sated.1

How marvellous are the words of this hymn!  'Co-mingled" (συγκραθείς) means at one, united with your loved, and 'sated' (πιμπλάμενος) means filled full, glutted.  You should make a collection of such words denoting divine love and divine madness.  You cannot have enough of them.  Yes, love towards Christ is never enough.  The more you love Him, the more you believe that you don't love Him and the more you desire to love Him.  At the same time, however, your soul is flooded by His presence and your joy in the Lord is inalienable.  You don't want then to desire anything.  Abba Isaac the Syrian writes similarly:

     'The joy that is in God is stronger than this present life.  And he who finds this joy, not only will he not pay attention to the passions, but he will not even give a thought to his own life, nor will he have awareness of anything else, if his experience of this joy is true.  Love is sweeter than life. And the concord with God from which love is born is sweeter than honey and the honey comb. It does not seem grievous to Love to undergo a bitter death for the sake of her beloved… And to the heart which has received this joy every sweetness of this world seems superfluous. For there is nothing which can be likened to the sweetness of the knowledge of God.'2

     And in the Soliloquies of Saint Augustine we read:

   'I love You, Lord my God, and I desire to love You ever more intensely.  For You are truly sweeter than any honey, more wholesome than any milk and brighter than any light; for me You are infinitely more precious than gold or silver or precious stones. . .  O love that is ever boiling over and never cooled! Consume me with your heat! I shall love You, Lord, because You first loved me. And where shall I find words sufficient to describe all the signs of Your greatest love for me? . . .  You flooded me with the light of Your countenance and set Your glory as a sign above the door of my heart. . .'3 

The following excerpt is from "Divine Eros According to Saint John Chrysostom" by His Eminence Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos and Agiou Vlasiou:  "Love for God has great importance in the Christian life.  Whoever loves God loves whatever God loves.  The Holy Fathers call this love 'eros', and to distinguish it from every false eros, they speak of 'divine eros'. . . . Divine eros is not human in origin, but divine, which is why Saint John Chrysostom speaks of a wound of man from God:  'I am wounded with longing for God. . .'.  Therefore, divine eros is not of psychological origin, nor is it to be mixed up with physical eros, but it is an energy of the grace of God, . . . ." 

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Gospel and Epistle Readings

Matins Gospel Reading

Palm Sunday
The Reading is from Matthew 21:1-11; 15-17

At that time, when Jesus drew near to Jerusalem and came to Bethphage, to the Mount of Olives, he sent two disciples, saying to them, "Go into the village opposite you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her; untie them and bring them to me. If any one says anything to you, you shall say, 'The Lord has need of them,' and he will send them immediately." This took place to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet, saying,

"Tell the daughter of Zion,
Behold, your king is coming to you,
humble and mounted on a donkey,
and on a colt, the foal of a donkey."

The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them; they brought the donkey and the colt, and put their garments on them, and he sat thereon. Most of the crowd spread their garments on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. And the crowds that went before him and that followed him shouted, "Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!" And when he entered Jerusalem, all the city was stirred, saying, "Who is this?" And the crowds said, "This is the prophet Jesus from Nazareth of Galilee." But when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying out in the temple, "Hosanna to the Son of David!" they were indignant; and they said to him, "Do you hear what they are saying?" And Jesus said to them, "Yes; have you never read,

'Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings,
you have brought perfect praise'?"

And leaving them, he went out of the city to Bethany and lodged there.

Palm Sunday
Κατὰ Ματθαῖον 21:1-11, 15-17

Τῷ καιρῷ ἐκείνῳ, ὅτε ἤγγισαν εἰς ῾Ιεροσόλυμα καὶ ἦλθον εἰς Βηθσφαγῆ πρὸς τὸ ὄρος τῶν ἐλαιῶν, τότε ὁ ᾿Ιησοῦς ἀπέστειλε δύο μαθητὰςλέγων αὐτοῖς· πορεύθητε εἰς τὴν κώμην τὴν ἀπέναντι ὑμῶν, καὶ εὐθέως εὑρήσετε ὄνον δεδεμένην καὶ πῶλον μετ᾿ αὐτῆς· λύσαντες ἀγάγετέ μοι. καὶ ἐάν τις ὑμῖν εἴπῃ τι, ἐρεῖτε ὅτι ὁ Κύριος αὐτῶν χρείαν ἔχει· εὐθέως δὲ ἀποστέλλει αὐτούς. τοῦτο δὲ ὅλον γέγονεν ἵνα πληρωθῇ τὸ ῥηθὲν διὰ τοῦ προφήτου λέγοντος· εἴπατε τῇ θυγατρὶ Σιών, ἰδοὺ ὁ βασιλεύς σου ἔρχεταί σοιπραῢς καὶ ἐπιβεβηκὼς ἐπὶ ὄνονκαὶ πῶλον υἱὸν ὑποζυγίου. πορευθέντες δὲ οἱ μαθηταὶ καὶ ποιήσαντες καθὼς προσέταξεν αὐτοῖς ὁ ᾿Ιησοῦς, ἤγαγον τὴν ὄνον καὶ τὸν πῶλον, καὶ ἐπέθηκαν ἐπάνω αὐτῶν τὰ ἱμάτια αὐτῶν, καὶ ἐπεκάθισεν ἐπάνω αὐτῶν. ὁ δὲ πλεῖστος ὄχλος ἔστρωσαν ἑαυτῶν τὰ ἱμάτια ἐν τῇ ὁδῷ, ἄλλοι δὲ ἔκοπτον κλάδους ἀπὸ τῶν δένδρων καὶ ἐστρώννυον ἐν τῇ ὁδῷ. οἱ δὲ ὄχλοι οἱ προάγοντες καὶ οἱ ἀκολουθοῦντες ἔκραζον λέγοντες· ὡσαννὰ τῷ υἱῷ Δαυΐδ· εὐλογημένος ὁ ἐρχόμενος ἐν ὀνόματι Κυρίου· ὡσαννὰ ἐν τοῖς ὑψίστοις. καὶ εἰσελθόντος αὐτοῦ εἰς ῾Ιεροσόλυμα ἐσείσθη πᾶσα ἡ πόλις λέγουσα· τίς ἐστιν οὗτος; οἱ δὲ ὄχλοι ἔλεγον· οὗτός ἔστιν ᾿Ιησοῦς ὁ προφήτης ὁ ἀπὸ Ναζαρὲτ τῆς Γαλιλαίας. ἰδόντες δὲ οἱ ἀρχιερεῖς καὶ οἱ γραμματεῖς τὰ θαυμάσια ἃ ἐποίησε καὶ τοὺς παῖδας κράζοντας ἐν τῷ ἱερῷ καὶ λέγοντας, ὡσαννὰ τῷ υἱῷ Δαυΐδ, ἠγανάκτησανκαὶ εἶπον αὐτῷ· ἀκούεις τί οὗτοι λέγουσιν; ὁ δὲ ᾿Ιησοῦς λέγει αὐτοῖς· ναί· οὐδέποτε ἀνέγνωτε ὅτι ἐκ στόματος νηπίων καὶ θηλαζόντων κατηρτίσω αἶνον; καὶ καταλιπὼν αὐτοὺς ἐξῆλθεν ἔξω τῆς πόλεως εἰς Βηθανίαν καὶ ηὐλίσθη ἐκεῖ.


Epistle Reading

Prokeimenon. Fourth Mode. Psalm 117.26,1.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
Verse: Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. His mercy endures forever.

The reading is from St. Paul's Letter to the Philippians 4:4-9.

BRETHREN, rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let all men know your forbearance. The Lord is at hand. Have no anxiety about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, do; and the God of peace will be with you.

Προκείμενον. Fourth Mode. ΨΑΛΜΟΙ 117.26,1.
Εὐλογημένος ὁ ἐρχόμενος ἐν ὀνόματι Κυρίου.
Στίχ. Στίχ. Ἐξομολογεῖσθε τῷ Κυρίῳ ὅτι ἀγαθὸς, ὅτι εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα τὸ ἔλεος αὐτοῦ.

τὸ Ἀνάγνωσμα Πρὸς Φιλιππησίους 4:4-9.

Ἀδελφοί, χαίρετε ἐν κυρίῳ πάντοτε· πάλιν ἐρῶ, χαίρετε. Τὸ ἐπιεικὲς ὑμῶν γνωσθήτω πᾶσιν ἀνθρώποις. Ὁ κύριος ἐγγύς. Μηδὲν μεριμνᾶτε, ἀλλʼ ἐν παντὶ τῇ προσευχῇ καὶ τῇ δεήσει μετὰ εὐχαριστίας τὰ αἰτήματα ὑμῶν γνωριζέσθω πρὸς τὸν θεόν. Καὶ ἡ εἰρήνη τοῦ θεοῦ ἡ ὑπερέχουσα πάντα νοῦν, φρουρήσει τὰς καρδίας ὑμῶν καὶ τὰ νοήματα ὑμῶν ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ. Τὸ λοιπόν, ἀδελφοί, ὅσα ἐστὶν ἀληθῆ, ὅσα σεμνά, ὅσα δίκαια, ὅσα ἁγνά, ὅσα προσφιλῆ, ὅσα εὔφημα, εἴ τις ἀρετὴ καὶ εἴ τις ἔπαινος, ταῦτα λογίζεσθε. Ἃ καὶ ἐμάθετε καὶ παρελάβετε καὶ ἠκούσατε καὶ εἴδετε ἐν ἐμοί, ταῦτα πράσσετε· καὶ ὁ θεὸς τῆς εἰρήνης ἔσται μεθʼ ὑμῶν.


Gospel Reading

Palm Sunday
The Reading is from John 12:1-18

Six days before Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazaros was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. There they made him a supper; Martha served, and Lazaros was one of those at table with him. Mary took a pound of costly ointment of pure nard and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped his feet with her hair; and the house was filled with the fragrance of the ointment. But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (he who was to betray him), said "Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?" This he said, not that he cared for the poor but because he was a thief, and as he had the money box he used to take what was put into it. Jesus said, "Let her alone, let her keep it for the day of my burial. The poor you always have with you, but you do not always have me."

When the great crowd of the Jews learned that he was there, they came, not only on account of Jesus but also to see Lazaros, whom he had raised from the dead. So the chief priests planned to put Lazaros also to death, because on account of him many of the Jews were going away and believing in Jesus.

The next day a great crowd who had come to the feast heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, crying, "Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!" And Jesus found a young donkey and sat upon it; as it is written, "Fear not, daughter of Zion; behold, your king is coming, sitting on a donkey's colt!" His disciples did not understand this at first; but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that this had been written of him and had been done to him. The crowd that had been with him when he called Lazaros out of the tomb and raised him from the dead bore witness. The reason why the crowd went to meet him was that they heard he had done this sign.

Palm Sunday
Κατὰ Ἰωάννην 12:1-18

Πρὸ ἓξ ἡμερῶν τοῦ πάσχα ἦλθεν Ὁ ᾿Ιησοῦς εἰς Βηθανίαν, ὅπου ἦν Λάζαρος ὁ τεθνηκώς, ὃν ἤγειρεν ἐκ νεκρῶν. ἐποίησαν οὖν αὐτῷ δεῖπνον ἐκεῖ, καὶ ἡ Μάρθα διηκόνει· ὁ δὲ Λάζαρος εἷς ἦν τῶν ἀνακειμένων σὺν αὐτῷ. ἡ οὖν Μαρία, λαβοῦσα λίτραν μύρου νάρδου πιστικῆς πολυτίμου, ἤλειψε τοὺς πόδας τοῦ ᾿Ιησοῦ καὶ ἐξέμαξε ταῖς θριξὶν αὐτῆς τοὺς πόδας αὐτοῦ· ἡ δὲ οἰκία ἐπληρώθη ἐκ τῆς ὀσμῆς τοῦ μύρου. λέγει οὖν εἷς ἐκ τῶν μαθητῶν αὐτοῦ, ᾿Ιούδας Σίμωνος ᾿Ισκαριώτης, ὁ μέλλων αὐτὸν παραδιδόναι· διατί τοῦτο τὸ μύρον οὐκ ἐπράθη τριακοσίων δηναρίων καὶ ἐδόθη πτωχοῖς; εἶπε δὲ τοῦτο οὐχ ὅτι περὶ τῶν πτωχῶν ἔμελεν αὐτῷ, ἀλλ᾽ ὅτι κλέπτης ἦν, καὶ τὸ γλωσσόκομον εἶχε καὶ τὰ βαλλόμενα ἐβάσταζεν. εἶπεν οὖν ὁ ᾿Ιησοῦς· ἄφες αὐτήν, εἰς τὴν ἡμέραν τοῦ ἐνταφιασμοῦ μου τετήρηκεν αὐτό. τοὺς πτωχοὺς γὰρ πάντοτε ἔχετε μεθ᾽ ἑαυτῶν, ἐμὲ δὲ οὐ πάντοτε ἔχετε.

῎Εγνω οὖν ὄχλος πολὺς ἐκ τῶν ᾿Ιουδαίων ὅτι ἐκεῖ ἐστι, καὶ ἦλθον οὐ διὰ τὸν ᾿Ιησοῦν μόνον, ἀλλ᾽ ἵνα καὶ τὸν Λάζαρον ἴδωσιν ὃν ἤγειρεν ἐκ νεκρῶν. ἐβουλεύσαντο δὲ οἱ ἀρχιερεῖς ἵνα καὶ τὸν Λάζαρον ἀποκτείνωσιν, ὅτι πολλοὶ δι᾽ αὐτὸν ὑπῆγον τῶν ᾿Ιουδαίων καὶ ἐπίστευον εἰς τὸν ᾿Ιησοῦν.

Τῇ ἐπαύριον ὄχλος πολὺς ὁ ἐλθὼν εἰς τὴν ἑορτήν, ἀκούσαντες ὅτι ἔρχεται ᾿Ιησοῦς εἰς ῾Ιεροσόλυμα, ἔλαβον τὰ βαΐα τῶν φοινίκων καὶ ἐξῆλθον εἰς ὑπάντησιν αὐτῷ, καὶ ἔκραζον· ὡσαννά, εὐλογημένος ὁ ἐρχόμενος ἐν ὀνόματι Κυρίου, ὁ βασιλεὺς τοῦ ᾿Ισραήλ. εὑρὼν δὲ ὁ ᾿Ιησοῦς ὀνάριον ἐκάθισεν ἐπ᾽ αὐτό, καθώς ἐστι γεγραμμένον· μὴ φοβοῦ, θύγατερ Σιών· ἰδοὺ ὁ βασιλεύς σου ἔρχεται καθήμενος ἐπὶ πῶλον ὄνου.

Ταῦτα δὲ οὐκ ἔγνωσαν οἱ μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ τὸ πρῶτον, ἀλλ᾽ ὅτε ἐδοξάσθη ὁ ᾿Ιησοῦς, τότε ἐμνήσθησαν ὅτι ταῦτα ἦν ἐπ᾽ αὐτῷ γεγραμμένα, καὶ ταῦτα ἐποίησαν αὐτῷ. ᾿Εμαρτύρει οὖν ὁ ὄχλος ὁ ὢν μετ᾽ αὐτοῦ ὅτε τὸν Λάζαρον ἐφώνησεν ἐκ τοῦ μνημείου καὶ ἤγειρεν αὐτὸν ἐκ νεκρῶν. διὰ τοῦτο καὶ ὑπήντησεν αὐτῷ ὁ ὄχλος, ὅτι ἤκουσαν τοῦτο αὐτὸν πεποιηκέναι τὸ σημεῖον.


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