Every Saturday we have Great Vespers (unless otherwise noted) at 6:00 p.m. Every Sunday - Orthros at 8:50 a.m., Divine Liturgy at 10:00 a.m. Weekday Services are as listed on the Calendar and Community News.
Every Sunday we have Orthros beginning at 8:50 a.m. and Divine Liturgy beginning at 10:00 a.m. Saturday evenings we have Great Vespers at 6:00 p.m., unless otherwise noted. Weekday services are listed below and begin at 9:00 a.m. with Orthros followed by Divine Liturgy. Unless otherwise stated service will be at St. George.
(Note: For the weekday feast - all services are at 9:00 a.m. and at St. George unless otherwise noted)
4th, Saturday - Sts. Barbara & John of Damascus
6th, Monday - St. Nicholas @ St. Elijah (Divine Liturgy only 9 a.m.)
9th, Thursday - Conception of the Theotokos by St. Anna @ St. Elijah (Divine Liturgy only 9 a.m.)
15th, Wednesday - St. Eleutherios
24th, Friday - 9 a.m. Royal Hours & Vesperal Liturgy of St. Basil
7 p.m. Orthros & Divine Liturgy for Christmas
27th, Monday - St. Stephan the Proto-Deacon & Martyr
The Liturgical Life and the Holy Mysteries
The Liturgical life is crucial in shaping an Orthodox mind, not simply by attendance but by active participation, through chanting, singing, following the divine services closely, and praying the prayers. The more frequently we engage in liturgical prayer, the sooner and more deeply we illuminate our minds and conform them to the mind of Christ. The Holy Mysteries (sacraments) of the Church also shape us, especially those of Communion and Confession. All the sacraments assist our efforts toward sanctification; however, nothing greater exists than to unite ourselves physically to the Body and Blood of Christ. If we wish to acquire the mind of Christ, we should certainly recognize the benefit of being united to Christ physically, spiritually, and sacramentally through the mystery of Holy Communion. (pg. 83)
The practices of Orthodox life-icons, prayers, fasts, services-are tools intended to shape a correct phronema, or mindset, not idols or ideals to be achieved as ends in themselves. Once we have become proud of our fasting, our prostrations, or our phronema itself, we have lost whatever we had hoped to gain. These practices are not virtues, but exercises designed to assist our spiritual healing. If we observe them in a fundamentalist manner-as an obligation, a goal, as proof of one’s Orthodoxy-whatever spiritual value they may have offered is lost.
Our goal is union with God, which comes through sanctification. The first step toward that goal is the denial of the self. This is not a false humility, pretentious posturing, or a playing-the-martyr mentality, but an honest recognition that we are far from God, that we are spiritually sick and require healing. The paradox is that the closer we come to God, the farther away He seems, as we become more acutely aware of our own sinfulness. And yet God is not far from us but within us, intimately connected to us, our very breath, and our very life. (pg. 99)
Excerpt from Thinking Orthodox: Understanding and Acquiring the Orthodox Christian Mind
By Eugenia Scarvelis Constantinou, Ph.D.
From: An Akathist in Praise of God's Creation
How great and how close art Thou in the powerful track of the storm! How mighty Thy right arm in the blinding flash of the lightning! How awesome Thy majesty! The voice of the Lord fills the fields, it speaks in the rustling of the trees. The voice of the Lord is in the thunder and the downpour. The voice of the Lord is heard above the waters. Praise be to Thee in the roar of mountains ablaze. Thou dost shake the earth like a garment; Thou dost pile up to the sky the waves of the sea. Praise be to Thee, bringing low the pride of man. Thou dost bring from his heart a cry of Penitence: Alleluia!
When the lightning flash has lit up the camp dining hall, how feeble seems the light from the lamp. Thus dost Thou, like the lightning, unexpectedly light up my heart with flashes of intense joy. After Thy blinding light, how drab, how colourless, how illusory all else seems. My souls clings to Thee.
Glory to Thee, the highest peak of men's dreaming
Glory to Thee for our unquenchable thirst for communion with God
Glory to Thee, making us dissatisfied with earthly things
Glory to Thee, turning on us Thine healing rays
Glory to Thee, subduing the power of the spirits of darkness
And dooming to death every evil
Glory to Thee for the signs of Thy presence
For the joy of hearing Thy voice and living in Thy love
Glory to Thee, O God, from age to age
No Sunday School on November 28th!
Sunday, November 28th - Memorial for George & Jennie Philip, and Diane Bishard.
Sunday, December 12th - Sophia Dantes 1-Year Memorial
Sunday, December 19th - Mary Rauluk Memorial
Choir Bake Sale - The Saint George Choir will be having a bake sale in an effort to raise money for new choir robes. The bake sale will be Sunday, December 19, during coffee hour. If you are interested in helping out with baked goods, please see Crystal Robertson.
Bookstore Now Accepting Credit Cards - The Saint George Bookstore now accepts credit/debit cards for payment! Stop by for some hassle free holiday shopping. And don't forget to also check out our clearance items and used book sale!
If making a purchase at B.C. Clark, please remember to ask for a church donation receipt. B.C. Clark has been generous to us, thanks to shoppers from our church making sure a percentage of their purchases go to us.
Thank You to all who attended the recent Philoptochos meeting! It was a wonderful turn out and so many great ideas were discussed and we'll work on implementing them moving forward. Please note the following information and help spread the word on the following:
Month of November: JOY FOR KIDS contribution box will be out all month with a list of needed items for foster kids ages birth-21 and will be delivered to the Citizens Caring for Children the beginning of December.
Sunday December 5th after church will be our next Philoptochos meeting to discuss putting ideas into action PLEASE PLAN TO ATTEND!
Saturday January 8th: Holiday Happiness Party. Yeota Theodoridis graciously offered to host again. Address: 11409 Quail Creek Road OKC, OK. Festivities to begin @6:00 pm. The party will include: Potluck with recipe included (*we'll use these to put together a recipe book); Dirty Santa gift if members wish to participate and Board election discussion.
We voted to help the church choir by paying for 5 new choir robes and are excited about their upcoming Bake Sale. Thank you Crystal Robertson for all you do!
We are having Fellowship Hour after Church and they are available for sponsorship.
4th, Saturday - Sts. Barbara & John - Litsa Angelidis
5th, Sunday - 10th Sunday of Luke - Elaine Bappert
12th, Sunday - 11th Sunday of Luke - Catherine Chrysant
15th, Wednesday - St. Eleutherios - Catherine Chrysant
19th, Sunday - Sunday before the Nativity - Elaine Bappert
24th, Friday - Chrsitmas Services - Margo Gianos
26th, Sunday - Sunday after the Nativity - Margo Gianos
27th, Monday - St. Stephan - Jennifer Economopoulos
St. Paul writes, "The Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, 'This is my body which is for you. Do this in rememberance of me.'" (1 Cor. 11:24).
We are in need of Prosfora bakers. Our ladies and gentlemen have diminished over the years. The greatest part of this is everyone qualifies! Anyone young and old can make Prosfora. We would only ask a few times per year to prepare bread for a Divine Liturgy. What better way for a family to give of themselves and their love for the Church.
Prosfora can be kneaded in a bread machine, with a mixer that has dough hooks, or by hand. It can easily bge an individual's or an offering made by the whole family. Children love to knead bread or be able to put the seal on and for the children it is a learning experience. It is a great offering of life and love to God.
Please call the Church office if you would like to offer this gift.
First Orthros Gospel
The Reading is from Matthew 28:16-20
At that time, the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw him they worshipped him; but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age. Amen."
Prokeimenon. Plagal Second Mode. Psalm 27.9,1.
O Lord, save your people and bless your inheritance.
Verse: To you, O Lord, I have cried, O my God.
The reading is from St. Paul's Letter to the Ephesians 2:4-10.
Brethren, God who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with him, and made us sit with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God: not because of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
13th Sunday of Luke
The Reading is from Luke 18:18-27
At that time, a ruler came to Jesus and asked him, "Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?" And Jesus said to him, "Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone. You know the commandments: 'Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honor your father and mother.' " And he said, "All these I have observed from my youth." And when Jesus heard it, he said to him, "One thing you still lack. Sell all that you have and distribute it to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me." But when he heard this he became sad, for he was very rich. Jesus looking at him said, "How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God! For it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God." Those who heard it said, "Then who can be saved?" But he said, "What is impossible with men is possible with God."
Reading is under copyright and is used with permission, all rights reserved by: Holy Transfiguration Monastery
Reading is under copyright and is used with permission, all rights reserved by: Holy Transfiguration Monastery
Reading is under copyright and is used with permission, all rights reserved by: Holy Transfiguration Monastery
Saint Irenarchos, who was from Sebastia, lived during the reign of Diocletian. In his youth he ministered to the holy Martyrs during the time of their punishment in prison. Once, on beholding seven women being tormented in behalf of Christ, and marvelling at their courage, and seeing how, although they were weak in body, they nonetheless became like men before the tyrant and put him to shame, the Saint was enlightened by divine grace and confessed Christ with boldness. Tried by fire and water, he was beheaded together with the holy women in the year 298.
The righteous Stephen was born in Constantinople in 715 to pious parents named John and Anna. His mother had prayed often to the most holy Theotokos in her church at Blachernae to be granted a son, and one day received a revelation from our Lady that she would conceive the son she desired. When Anna had conceived, she asked the newly-elected Patriarch Germanus (see May 12) to bless the babe in her womb. He said, "May God bless him through the prayers of the holy First Martyr Stephen." At that moment Anna saw a flame of fire issue from the mouth of the holy Patriarch. When the child was born, she named him Stephen, according to the prophecy of Saint Germanus.
Stephen struggled in asceticism from his youth in Bithynia at the Monastery of Saint Auxentius, which was located at a lofty place called Mount Auxentius (see Feb. 14). Because of his extreme labours and great goodness, he was chosen by the hermits of Mount Auxentius to be their leader. The fame of his spiritual struggles reached the ears of all, and the fragrance of his virtue drew many to himself.
During the reign of Constantine V (741-775), Stephen showed his love of Orthodoxy in contending for the Faith. This Constantine was called Copronymus, that is, "namesake of dung," because while being baptized he had soiled the waters of regeneration, giving a fitting token of what manner of impiety he would later embrace. Besides being a fierce Iconoclast, Constantine raised up a ruthless persecution of monasticism. He held a council in 754 that anathematized the holy icons. Because Saint Stephen rejected this council, the Emperor framed false accusations against him and exiled him. But while in exile Saint Stephen performed healings with holy icons and turned many away from Iconoclasm. When he was brought before the Emperor again, he showed him a coin and asked whose image the coin bore. "Mine," said the tyrant. "If any man trample upon thine image, is he liable to punishment?" asked the Saint. When they that stood by answered yes, the Saint groaned because of their blindness, and said if they thought dishonouring the image of a corruptible king worthy of punishment, what torment would they receive who trampled upon the image of the Master Christ and of the Mother of God? Then he threw the coin to the ground and trampled on it. He was condemned to eleven months in bonds and imprisonment. Later, he was dragged over the earth and was stoned, like Stephen the First Martyr; wherefore he is called Stephen the New. Finally, he was struck with a wooden club on the temple and his head was shattered, and thus he gave up his spirit in the year 767.
Saint Paramonus contested for piety's sake during the reign of Decius, in the year 250. A ruler named Aquilinus, seeking relief from a bodily malady, visited a certain therapeutic hot spring. He brought with him captive Christians from Nicomedia, and commanded them to offer sacrifice in the temple of Isis. When they refused, he had them all slaughtered, to the number of 370. Saint Paramonus, beholding their murder, boldly cried out against such an act of ungodliness. When Aquilinus heard this, he sent men to take the Saint. Some smote him with spears, others pierced his tongue and body with sharp reeds, until he died.
Saint Philumenus' contest in martyrdom took place during the reign of Aurelian, in the year 270. Coming from Lycaonia, he was conveying a load of wheat into Galatia when he was denounced as a Christian to Felix, Governor of Ancyra. Nails were driven into his hands, feet, and head, and he was commanded to run. While running in the road, he fell and gave up his holy soul into the hands of God.
This Saint was from Bethsaida of Galilee; he was the son of Jonas and the brother of Peter, the chief of the Apostles. He had first been a disciple of John the Baptist; afterwards, on hearing the Baptist's witness concerning Jesus, when he pointed Him out with his finger and said, "Behold the Lamb of God, Which taketh away the sin of the world" (John 1.29,36), he straightway followed Christ, and became His first disciple; wherefore he is called the First-called of the Apostles. After the Ascension of the Saviour, he preached in various lands; and having suffered many things for His Name's sake, he died in Patras of Achaia, where he was crucified on a cross in the shape of an "X," the first letter of "Christ" in Greek; this cross is also the symbol of Saint Andrew.
The Prophet Nahum had Elkesaeus (Elkosh) as his homeland, and was from the tribe of Symeon; he is seventh in order among the twelve Minor Prophets He prophesied during the time of Hezekias, after the destruction of Samaria (721 years before Christ), but before the ten tribes were taken into captivity; he prophesied against Nineveh, the capital of Assyria. His name means "comforter." His book of prophecy is divided into three chapters.
Saint Philaret a native of Paphlagonia in Asia Minor, was a virtuous Christian layman who lived in lawful wedlock and raised a family. He was most renowned for his generosity to all in need. With the permission of God, in a short space of time he lost the greater part of his possessions to theft and other misfortunes and was left with nothing but his family, his home, and a little livestock. Yet he continued to give generously to the poor despite the faint-heartedness of his family, who reproached him for giving alms when they were in need themselves; and God, seeing his faith, restored his prosperity to him many times over. He foresaw the day of his death, and reposed in an odour of sanctity in Constantinople in 789.
This Prophet, whose name means "loving embrace," is eighth in order of the minor Prophets. His homeland and tribe are not recorded in the Divine Scriptures; according to some, he was of the tribe of Symeon. He prophesied in the years of Joachim, who is also called Jechonias, before the Babylonian captivity of the Jewish People, which took place 599 years before Christ. When Nabuchodonosor came to take the Israelites captive, Habakkuk fled to Ostrakine, and after Jerusalem was destroyed and the Chaldeans departed, Habakkuk returned and cultivated his field. Once he made some pottage and was about to take it to the reapers in the field. An Angel of the Lord appeared to him, and carried him with the pottage to Babylon to feed Daniel in the lions' den, then brought him back to Judea (Bel and the Dragon, 33-39): His book of prophecy is divided into three chapters; the third chapter is also used as the Fourth Ode of the Psalter. His holy relics were found in Palestine during the reign of Emperor Theodosius the Great, through a revelation to Zebennus, Bishop of Eleutheropolis (Sozomen, Eccl. Hist., Book VII, 29).
Saint Porphyrios (Bairaktaris) was born in 1907 with the name Evangelos in Evoia, Greece, in the small village of Agios Ioannis (Saint John). As a child he tended to the sheep in the hills, and it is there that he first read the life of Saint John the Hut-Dweller (Commemorated January 15th) which planted the desire of monasticism in his heart. The spark lit by Saint John was fanned when at the age of seven he overheard a conversation about the divine beauty of the Holy Mountain. Eventually he stowed away on a boat to Thessalonica, hoping from there to reach Mount Athos.
On the evening after his arrival, a group of monks gathered at the harbor to take the boat to Mount Athos. One of them noticed the young Porphyrios and asked him where he was going. Porphyrios told the monk that he was going to the Holy Mountain, but lied about the reason as to why. The monk, seeing through this, told Porphyrios to tell any inquirers that he was his nephew and that his mother had passed away, for otherwise he would not be allowed on the mountain since he was still a child.
The monk, whose name was Panteleimon, became his spiritual father and brought him to Kavsokalyvia, a small skete where Panteleimon lived with his brother, the Priest Ioannikos, as fellow monastics. The young Porphyrios loved to carry out the virtue of obedience to his elders, at times being tested by them without even knowing it. When he was fourteen, his elder asked Porphyrios what he was planning to do with his life. The young man told him that he wished to stay on the Mountain. Two or three years later, Porphyrios was tonsured with the name Nikitas.
Once, being obedient to one of his elders against the wishes of the other, Porphyrios went out on a rainy day to collect snails. After hours of filling his sack, and burdened by the wind and cold, Porphyrios found himself suddenly caught in a rockslide and was buried up to his knees. Crying out to the Theotokos he was miraculously delivered, but having suffered badly he developed pleurisy and had to leave Mount Athos to seek medical treatment. The elder who told him to collect the snails profusely apologized, and personally saw Porphyrios off of Mount Athos, kissing him on the forehead in tears.
Porphyrios returned to the village of Agios Ioannis in Evoia where he reunited with his family. He stayed at the monastery of Saint Haralambos, which was near the village Avlonari, until he recovered. his good reputation as a faithful and obedient monk quickly spread and thus caught the attention of the Bishop Fostinis of Kymi. He began to visit Porphyrios frequently, and with the aid of Archbishop Porphyrios III of Sinai (from whom Porphyrios was given his final name), ordained the young monk a deacon and then a priest. Two years later he was made a confessor and would at times hear confessions for multiple days at a time without sleep or food.
His next major ministry was serving as the Chaplain at the Polyclinic Hospital in Athens for roughly 33 years (1940-1973). It was through the well-known Professor of Canon Law, Amilkas Alivizatos, that Porphyrios was assigned to the Church of Saint Gerasimos which was associated with the hospital. During this time he helped many patients spiritually by acting as their father confessor. In addition to his hospital duties, he helped to renew the Church of Saint Nicholas in Kallisia, often having recourse to it during the night to pray by himself or with family.
However, Porphyrios had still been unable to fulfill another dream he shared with his family: founding a monastery. After years of searching, he bought some land upon the top of a hill in Milesi where he later founded The Holy Monastery of the Transfiguration. He remained there for many years before returning to his old cell on Mount Athos where he spent his last years. He departed this life on December 2nd, 1991. Porphyrios was declared a saint by the Ecumenical Patriarchate on November 27th, 2013.
This Prophet, who is ninth in order among the minor Prophets, was the son of Chusi (Cushi), from the tribe of Levi, or according to some, the great-grandson of King Hezekias. He prophesied in the years of Josias, who reigned in the years 641-610 before Christ. His book of prophecy is divided into three chapters. His name means "Yah is darkness."
Saint Barbara was from Heliopolis of Phoenicia and lived during the reign of Maximian.
She was the daughter of a certain idolater named Dioscorus. When Barbara came of age, she was enlightened in her pure heart and secretly believed in the Holy Trinity. About this time Dioscorus began building a bath-house; before it was finished he was required to go away to attend to certain matters, and in his absence Barbara directed the workmen to build a third window in addition to the two her Father had commanded. She also inscribed the sign of the Cross with her finger upon the marble of the bath-house, leaving the saving sign cut as deeply into the marble as if it had been done with an iron tool. (When the Synaxarion of Saint Barbara was written, the marble of the bath-house and the cross inscribed by Saint Barbara were still preserved, and many healings were worked there.) When Dioscorus returned, he asked why the third window had been added; Barbara began to declare to him the mystery of the Trinity. Because she refused to renounce her faith, Dioscorus tortured Barbara inhumanely, and after subjecting her to many sufferings he beheaded her with his own hands, in the year 290.
Saint John was born in Damascus about the year 675, the son of wealthy and pious parents, of the family of Mansur. He was reared together with Saint Cosmas (see Oct. 14), who had been adopted by John's father Sergius, a man of high rank in the service of the Caliph of Damascus. Both of these young men were instructed by a certain monk, also named Cosmas, who had been taken captive in Italy by the Arabs and later ransomed by John's Father. Saint John became a great philosopher and enlightener of the age in which he lived, and was honoured by the Caliph with the dignity of counsellor.
When Emperor Leo the Isaurian (reigned 717-741) began his war on the holy icons, John wrote epistles defending their veneration. Since the Saint, being under the Caliph of Damascus, was beyond Leo's power, the Iconoclast Emperor had a letter forged in John's handwriting which invited Leo to attack Damascus, saying the city guard was then weak; Leo then sent this letter to the Caliph, who in his fury punished John's supposed treason with the severing of his right hand. The Saint obtained the Caliph's Permission to have his severed hand again, and that night prayed fervently to the most holy Theotokos before her icon. She appeared to him in a dream and healed his hand, which, when he awoke, he found to be healed in truth. This Miracle convinced the Caliph of his innocence, and he restored John to his office as counsellor. The Saint, however, with many pleadings obtained his permission to withdraw from the world to become a monk. He assumed the monastic habit in the Monastery of Saint Sabbas. Then he had as elder a very simple and austere monk who commanded him neither to write to anyone, nor to speak of the worldly knowledge he had acquired, and John faithfully obeyed. A monk grieving over his brother's death, however, after insisting vehemently, prevailed upon John to write a funeral hymn to console him for his brother's death. When John's elder learned of his transgression of the rule he had given him, he cast him out of his cell, and would only accept him back after John had humbly, with much self-condemnation and without murmuring consented to clean all the latrines in the lavra. After his elder had received him back, our Lady appeared to the elder and sternly charged him not to hinder John any longer from his writings and composition of hymns.
In his writings he fought courageously against the Iconoclasts Leo the Isaurian and his son Constantine Copronymus. He was also the first to write a refutation of Islam. The time he had spent as a counsellor in the courts of the Moslems of Damascus had given him opportunity to learn their teachings at first hand, and he wrote against their errors with a sound understanding of their essence. Saint John was surnamed Chrysorroas ("Golden-stream") because of the eloquence of his rhetorical style and the great abundance of his writings; this name - Chrysorroas was also the name of the river that flows by Damascus. In his writings he set forth the Orthodox Faith with exactness and order. In his old age, after his foster-brother Cosmas had been made Bishop of Maiuma, John also was ordained presbyter by the Patriarch of Jerusalem. Having lived eighty-four years, he reposed in peace in 760. In addition to his theological writings, he adorned the Church of Christ with metrical and prose hymns and composed many of the prosomia used as the models for the melodies of the Church's liturgical chant; he also composed many of the sacred hymns for the feasts of the Lord Saviour and the Theotokos. The life of Saint John of Damascus was written by John, Patriarch of Jerusalem. See also June 28.