Sunday Morning Orthros/Matins 8:15am, Divine Liturgy 9:30am; Saturday Great Vespers 5:00pm (October thru May); Weekday Services (see Online Calendar, Sunday Bulletin & Monthly Newsletter); Confession (by appointment).
As the deliverer of captives, and the protector of the poor; a physician of the sick, the defender of kings; O Great Martyr St. George Victorious, intercede to Christ our God, to save our souls.
Saint Menas, who had Egypt as his fatherland, contested in Cotyaeion of Phrygia in 296 during the reign of Diocletian and Maximian. A soldier distinguished for his valour in war, he renounced his rank and withdrew to devote himself to ascetical struggles and prayer in the mountains. Filled with zeal and more than human courage, he presented himself in the midst of a pagan festival in Cotyaeion and declared himself to be a Christian. After terrible torments which he endured with astonishing courage, he was beheaded. His martyrium in Egypt became a place of universal pilgrimage; evidence of ancient journeys to his shrine have been found as far away as Ireland. The glory and refuge of the Christians of Egypt, he has been revealed to be a worker of great miracles and a swift defender for all who call on him with faith; besides all else, he is also invoked for help in finding lost objects.
Saints Victor and Stephanie contested in Damascus in 160, during the reign of Antoninus Pius. The pagans arrested Saint Victor as a Christian and cut off his fingers, put out his eyes, and beheaded him. As Saint Stephanie, the wife of a certain soldier, and a Christian, saw Victor's nobility in his sufferings, she loudly cried out to call him blessed and to say that she saw two crowns prepared, one for him, and one for herself. She also was taken, and was tied to two palm trees which had been bowed down; when they were released, she was torn asunder.
Saint Theodore the Studite was born in Constantinople in 759; his pious parents were named Photinus and Theoctiste. He assumed the monastic habit in his youth, at the monastery called Sakkoudion, and became abbot there in 794. About the year 784 he was ordained deacon, and later presbyter by the most holy Patriarch Tarasius. On joining the brotherhood of the Monastery of Studium (which was named after its founder Studius, a Roman consul), the Saint received the surname "Studite." He proved to be a fervent zealot for the traditions of the Fathers and contested even unto death for the sake of his reverence for the holy icons. He endured three exiles because of his pious zeal. During the third one, to which he was condemned by the Iconoclast autocrat, Leo the Armenian, he endured courageously - being beaten and bound and led from one dark dungeon to another - for seven whole years. Finally he was recalled from exile by Michael the Stutterer. Receiving thus a small respite from his labours of long endurance, he reposed in the Lord on November 11, 826, a Sunday, while his disciples, who stood round about him, chanted the 118th Psalm. Some say that after receiving the immaculate Mysteries, he himself began chanting this psalm. And on reaching the verse, ' I will never forget Thy statutes, for in them hast Thou quickened me" (Ps. 118:93), he gave up his spirit, having lived for sixty-seven years. In addition to his other sacred writings, he composed, with the collaboration of his brother Joseph, almost the whole of the compunctionate book of the Triodion (see also July 14).
Saint Vincent is the most illustrious of the Martyrs of Spain. Because of his virtue, he was ordained deacon by Valerius, Bishop of Saragossa, who, because of his advanced age and an impediment in his speech, commissioned Vincent to be preacher of the Gospel. In 303, the impious Emperors Diocletian and Maximian sent Dacian to Spain as governor, with an edict to persecute the clergy. Saint Vincent was brought with Bishop Valerius to Valencia; the bishop was sent into exile, but the holy deacon was tortured on a rack, and after suffering other cruel torments, gave up his soul into the hands of God on January 22 in the year 304.
Second Orthros Gospel
The Reading is from Mark 16:1-8
When the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, bought spices, so that they might go and anoint Jesus. And very early on the first day of the week they went to the tomb when the sun had risen. And they were saying to one another, "Who will roll away the stone for us from the door of the tomb?" And looking up, they saw that the stone was rolled back, for it was very large. And entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed in a white robe; and they were amazed. And he said to them, "Do not be amazed; you seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen, he is not here; see the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him, as he told you." And they went out and fled from the tomb; for trembling and astonishment had come upon them; and they said nothing to any one, for they were afraid.
Prokeimenon. 4th Mode. Psalm 67.35,26.
God is wonderful among his saints.
Verse: Bless God in the congregations.
The reading is from St. Paul's Second Letter to the Corinthians 4:6-15.
Brethren, it is the God who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.
But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, to show that the transcendent power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For while we live we are always being given up to death for Jesus' sake, so that the life of Jesus may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death is at work in us, but life in you.
Since we have the same spirit of faith as he had who wrote, "I believed, and so I spoke," we too believe, and so we speak, knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence. For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.
8th Sunday of Luke
The Reading is from Luke 10:25-37
At that time, a lawyer stood up to put Jesus to the test, saying, "Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?" He said to him, "What is written in the law? How do you read?" And he answered, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself." And he said to him, "You have answered right; do this, and you will live."
But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?" Jesus replied, "A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him, and departed, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a priest was going down that road; and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was; and when he saw him, he had compassion, and went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; then he set him on his own beast and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, 'Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.' Which of these three, do you think, proved neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?" He said, "The one who showed mercy on him." And Jesus said to him, "Go and do likewise."
In today’s Epistle reading from 23rd Sunday (Ephesians 2:4-10), the Apostle Paul says that, God has raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus (v.6). Last week we said, the way Orthodox remember the past is by summoning God into our present reality and at the same time, being mystically transported into the heavenly reality of the eternal Mystical Supper. In essence, this is the work of the Divine Liturgy.
We are the Ekklesia, a people called out to be separate and holy. We are working towards the Kingdom of God and our particular focus is the Eucharistic Mystical Supper of our Lord, God and Savior Jesus Christ. The holiness we strive for is found in the Divine Energies of God that we receive in Holy Communion—the Eucharist—which we receive into our very being. This face-to-face meeting with the Lord cannot be taken lightly. It requires preparation.
This preparation, let’s call it the “the Liturgy before the Liturgy.” It is the work we do before arriving here on Sunday morning. It lays the foundation for the fullest experience of God’s Divine Presence. The old adage, “You get out of something what you put into it,” is also true here. So, how exactly do we prepare?
Perhaps the first thing that comes to our minds is fasting. The canons clearly define that the only fasting required to prepare for Holy Communion is a complete fast upon waking on Sunday morning, so that we may be hungry, both physically and spiritually, for the Bread of God. The 64th Canon of the Holy Apostles forbids fasting on Saturday. The 69th Canon requires all Orthodox Christians to fast on Wednesday (remembering Judas’ betrayal) and Friday (remembering the Crucifixion) regardless of whether they will receive Holy Communion or not.
Fasting involves much more than just food. We are called to fast from sin. Lying, stealing, cheating, adultery, fornication, gossiping, swearing, etc. are all incompatible with becoming holy. If we are under slavery to sin, then we are not prepared to become a slave (doulos/doule) of God. Fasting from sin does not take the place of fasting from food and vice versa. They go together. They are not an end in themselves but a means to receive Jesus Christ.
About an hour and half before Liturgy starts, the priest begins several services. Kairos prayers. These remind him of the holy place in which he stands and the divine duty which he is about to begin. Right after comes the Vesting Prayers in which special scripture verses are read for each piece of garment that he puts on. These prayers remind him of the special grace of priesthood he received at ordination.
The second service is the Proskomide—the Service of Preparation of the gifts of bread and wine in which the birth, trial, and crucifixion of Jesus Christ are remembered. The bread on the paten/diskos is like Christ hanging on the Cross. The wine in the chalice is His blood poured out from His side. The third service is Orthros and it consists mostly of hymns. The word Orthros means ‘straight up’. It implies the rising of the person in the morning to stand before God in worshipful expectation. In the middle of Orthros, we read one of the eleven post-Resurrectional Gospels and the Holy Gospel book is brought out for veneration by the faithful. It represents the risen Christ greeting us as we enter the church.
Now some of us may not be able to attend these services before Divine Liturgy. However, most of us are able and should participate at least periodically. These three services are instructive. On Sunday morning we should rise early with joyfulness of heart to continue our preparation, or more accurately, to intensify it. We should fast from distractions such as television, radio and internet before Liturgy. We should take care to be patient and kind with our family. We should pray that Christ helps us to be prepared. The prayers before Holy Communion are actually to be read before Divine Liturgy, not during or immediately before the Eucharist. Reviewing the Scripture readings of the day before liturgy is very helpful so their words will penetrate further into our heart and mind when we hear them during the liturgy. This of course, assumes that we are on-time to be present for them. As we dress for church, we should think of the special grace of new life given to us in Baptism and Chrismation that is renewed each day through prayer and each week through worship. We should be inspired by Jesus’ sacrifice on the Cross to make the necessary sacrifices to prepare, attend and participate in liturgy, receiving Christ into our body, heart, mind and soul.
All these preparations on Sunday morning are affected by what we do on Saturday. What time do we go to bed? If late, it will be more difficult to be on-time, and peaceful. If our weekday and Saturday activities are not Christ-like, this too will impair our motivation and preparation. The reason we do not fast on Saturday is because it is the Sabbath—the day of rest. We should stop working enough to enjoy the blessings God has given us. Some of us do our regular career work on Saturdays, some of us exhaust ourselves with work around the house. Certainly, it’s better to do them on Saturday, rather than on Sunday. However, if we overextend ourselves on Saturday with paid work, house work, errands, chores or other activities then we can put at risk proper preparation and participation in Sunday Divine Liturgy.
Some of us may feel that we do not have a good handle on all these preparations or were not sure exactly where to start. Or we do not know how to overcome habitual sins in our life. God does not expect you to handle these things by yourself. He provides helpers to give you guidance and encouragement. The special person trained and ordained for this task is the priest. The relationship between spiritual father and spiritual child is very well-established and prominent in our Orthodox Christian Tradition. Each and every saint, the persons we elevate as examples of Christ-like living, had a mentor or a guide to help them learn how to live the life in Christ: denying themselves, taking up their cross and following Him.
The Sacrament/Mystery of Holy Confession is a beautiful gift given by Christ to the Apostles and handed down through the life of the Church, and presented to us so that we may repent and receive forgiveness for our sins. The priest is here to help us rise above the problems in our life. Priestly ministry is one of guidance and encouragement.
As we close today, let us remember today’s Gospel reading from the Fifth Sunday Luke (16:19-31). In the parable of the rich man and Lazaros, Jesus reveals two essential truths: 1) there is life after death--eternal life, and 2) how we live our life on earth, determines how we will live in heaven—either with God or apart from Him. Divine Liturgy is the place where we rediscover the true meaning and purpose of our life in God through Jesus Christ, by the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
ST. GEORGE GREEK ORTHODOX CHURCH
Rev. Fr. Richard Demetrius Andrews, Presbyter
1111 Summit Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55105, (651) 222-6220, www.stgeorgegoc.org
November 11, 2018 8TH SUNDAY OF LUKE
TODAY’S EVENTS: Parish Council budget mtg, 12pm; Philoptochos mtg, 12pm; baking for Bake Sale 1pm.
Memorial: John (15 yrs) & Georgia Haidos (7 yrs), & Phillip Dandos (5 yrs).
Epistle Reader: Stephen Kanavati Prosfora: Anastasia Mastrogiorgis
Fellowship: Mastrogiorgis Haidos family Head Greeters: Alexis Bighley,Joe Weiser
Tuesday 11-13 DIVINE LITURGY – ST. JOHN CHRYSOSTOM 9:00AM
Catechism Class “Sacraments III-Marriage & Monasticism” w/ Fr. Proctor 7:00PM
Strategic Planning committee meeting 6:30PM
Wednesday 11-14 Baking for Fall Bake Sale 9:00AM
Bible Study 1:30PM
Thursday 11-15 AHEPA meeting 7:00PM
Friday 11-16 Set up for Fall Bake Sale – volunteers needed 9:00AM
Saturday 11-17 Fall Bake Sale 10:30AM
GOYA Youth Group at Vertical Endeavors 12:00PM
Sunday 11-18 ORTHROS (8:15am) &DIVINE LITURGY – 9th SUNDAY OF LUKE 9:30AM
Fall Bake Sale 11:30AM
Greek Dance practice 4:30PM
Wednesday 11-21 Glad Tidings mailing – volunteers needed 10:00AM
Pan-Orthodox THANKSGIVING EVE LITURGY & reception 6:00PM
Parish Council Elections: nomination forms must be received today by the Board of Elections. Official notification of the Elections will be mailed by November 28, with a list of eligible candidates and of parish council members whose terms are ending. Elections will be held on Sunday, December 9, 2018. If you have any questions concerning the nomination process, please contact one of these Board of Election members: Bill Clemons, Dean Natto, Maria Paraschou, Tina Sageotis, Andrea Walkush.
Think About It: You do not know when the Lord will come to visit you; therefore be impartial, kind and hospitable to all people. St. John of Kronstadt (+1907)
Remember MCP on Give to the Max Day: on November 15, please support the Medical Crisis Program by making a donation at https://www.givemn.org/giving-events/gtmd18/home, and help change lives of those suffering financial hardships due to medical crisis.
Vespers Has Begun! Start off your Saturday evening on the right foot with Great Vespers service at 5pm. It has beautiful hymns about the Resurrection and the Saints of the day, petitions, prayers and readings but only takes 45 minutes to complete. It is an excellent preparation for Sunday Divine Liturgy.
Exterior Restoration- Brick, block and tuckpointing have been completed. The cost of the project is $118,647. All parish council members and many others have already pledged or given their financial support. A letter and brochure were mailed last week. Please join us in this important work. Thank you!
Correction: on page 7 of November Glad Tidings, the contributions and pledges totaling $43,125 to the restoration project was omitted from the parish council president's column. We apologize for the mistake.
Church Fathers Speak: Some understand freedom as the ability to do whatever one wants, but this is external and results in slavery to sins, passions and defilements. True freedom is internal and enables us to choose the better path in the light of God’s truth and live it with the help of His grace St. Philaret of Moscow (+1867)
Stelios Petrakis Trio: coming to The Cedar in Mpls today at 7:30pm. They perform Cretan music that blends cultural influences from Iran, Turkey, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Afghanistan, Spain, and France. https://www.thecedar.org/listing-2/2018/11/11/stelios-petrakis-trio-with-special-guest
Bible Study: is meeting on the second and fourth Wednesday of each month from 1:30-3pm in the conference room at church. RSVP or questions to Kathy Ryan 651-292-9948 or Kathy.email@example.com. All are welcome!
Missing Anything? Please check the Lost & Found area near the coat rack in the lower level for items that have been left at church. Anything not claimed by November 15 will be donated.
Patristic Wisdom: Do not be troubled if you don’t feel the love of God in yourself. Rather, think about the Lord, that He is merciful and guard yourself from sin. Then, the grace of God will teach you. St. Silouan the Athonite (+1938)
New Home for FOCUS MN: 550 Rice Street, in the historic Capitol District of St. Paul. As owner of the building, FOCUS will occupy the first/lower floors, and beginning in 2019, will resume its basic needs services from this location, including hot meals, a food shelf, distribution of clothing and household items, brown bag meals through low-income neighborhood schools and homeless youth support agencies, and more. For more information, please contact Executive Director Vera Proctor at vproctor@FocusNA.org or (651) 324-2705.
Pan-Orthodox Thanksgiving Eve Divine Liturgy: Following our decades long tradition, clergy and laity from Orthodox parishes in the Twin Cities and beyond will celebrate liturgy to give thanks to Christ our Lord on Wednesday, Nov 21 at 6pm for liturgy and a memorial service for departed clergy and spouses. Afterwards, we will share a lenten meal, hosted by Misael & Lisa Jordan and honor our retired clergy and widowed spouses.
Annual Philoptochos Advent Luncheon & Caroling: Saturday, December 1st at 11:30am at the Pool & Yacht Club. We extend a warm invitation to all community members to join us for our annual Advent Lunch & Caroling tradition. For more information please contact Vicky Paraschou at 763.785.8882.
Wisdom from the Fathers: A Christian must be courteous to all. His words and deeds should breath with the grace of the Holy Spirit. He who keeps watch and regulates his speech, does so also with his actions. St. Netarios of Aegina (+1920)
IOCC Homefront Workshop on Saturday December 8th, 9am-12pm, at St. Mary Greek Orthodox Church. To help educate leaders about parish emergency, disaster preparedness and response. RSVP by Dec.3rd to firstname.lastname@example.org. For more info, email@example.com or 612-308-5407.
2018 Parish Christmas Card: please fill out the enclosed form and return it with your donation ($20 minimum) to a Philoptochos member or the church office no later than Sunday, December 9. Thank you.
Pan-Orthodox Ethnic Dance Party- Saturday night, Feb. 2, 2019 at St. Mary’s Greek Orthodox Church in Minneapolis. All ages invited. The youth will provide the energy but hope their parents and grandparents will join them to celebrate life and their heritage with them. Everyone will receive instruction in at least one dance: Arab, Bulgarian, Greek, Romanian and Serbian. Let the fun begin. More details to come!
Welcome Visitors Thank you for joining with us in prayer and fellowship. The worship of the Orthodox Church is deeply rooted in and very similar to that of the early Christian Church. Unique sensory stimuli and mystery are elements that go back even to the liturgy of the Jewish temple. Everything in an Orthodox Christian church communicates the majestic presence of God the Holy Trinity with His Saints. It is literally heaven on earth. It is a sad consequence of the divisions in Christianity that we cannot extend a general invitation to receive Holy Communion. Visitors are invited to receive the blessed bread (antithoron) at the conclusion of the liturgy. We pray and work for the reconciliation and unity of all Christians. If you are interested in learning more about Orthodoxy, please contact Fr. Rick at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are proud of our Greek heritage, but one does not have to be of Greek descent, nor speak Greek to be a Greek Orthodox Christian.
Note to Orthodox about Holy Communion: Receiving the Body and Blood of Christ is one of the most Holy experiences for a Christian in order to be granted the forgiveness of sins and everlasting life. We are never worthy to partake of Divine Nature. Yet, it is essential that we prepare ourselves for this sacred Communion by constant prayer, reading the Scriptures, regular fasting and periodic Confession. At a minimum, we should fast all morning before Communion, arrive at the beginning of Liturgy, and come for Confession at least once a year. In addition, we should not have separated ourselves from the Church through serious sin. Otherwise, please refrain from Communion to avoid “judgment…not discerning the Lord’s body” (1Cor. 11:29). Contact Fr. Rick for pastoral guidance.