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: All services are at 9:00 a.m. and at St. George unless otherwise noted)
3rd, Monday - Paraklesis @ 7 p.m.
5th, Wednesday - Great Vespers @ 7 p.m.
6th, Thursday - Holy Tranfiguration @ 9 a.m.
7th, Friday - Paraklesis @ 7 p.m.
10th, Monday - Paraklesis @ 7 p.m.
12th, Wednesday - Paraklesis @ 7 p.m.
14th, Friday - Great Vespers @ 7 p.m.
15th, Saturday - Dormition of the Theotokos @ 9 a.m.
29th, Saturday - Beheading of St. John the Baptist @ 9 a.m.
1st, Tuesday - Ecclesiastical New Year
8th, Tuesday - Nativity of the Theotokos
14th, Monday - Exultation of the Precious & Life-Giving Cross
26th, Saturday - St. John the Theologian & Evangelist
The Church is now open to the public. We will continue to stream on YouTube. To view online go to our website www.saintgeorgeokc.org, FaceBook page and click on the link or click on the link below.
Taking Orthodoxy beyond the self-congratulatory
We must guard against noticing when another parishioner seems careless in the making of the sign of the cross, while we go about demonstrating for all around us, the proper way. Making sweeping signs of the cross that are done in such a way as to be almost a caricature, following up with profound bows, we can end up distracting fellow worshipers in the process. If we make a public display of our fasting, making sure our non-Orthodox family and friends know how strict we are, we miss the point of fasting. If we struggle to make our icon corner the largest and most complete of anyone in the parish, but never stand before it in prayer, we treat it as nothing more than nice art.
If we allow ourselves to become spiritual gluttons, and turn the traditions of Orthodoxy into occasions for sensual and prideful displays, we will not embrace the grace that can be ours through quiet and penitential struggle. If our public displays of piety become distractions for fellow worshipers, we can actually be diverting our attention from the all important confrontation of our personal sin. Externals, while important to Orthodox piety, and the deepening of our faith, must not be allowed to replace the mystery of faith that comes only with the acquisition of a humble and contrite heart.
We must guard against allowing external displays of Orthodoxy to become an end in themselves, and remember these traditions and pious practices were designed to serve as aids for deepening our faith by connecting our whole being, both body and soul, on this journey to God. We must take Orthodoxy beyond the self-congratulatory of being a part of a beautiful faith, with sublime worship practices, glorious temples, and beautiful vestments.
Without giving our full attention to the struggle for holiness, and deepening our prayer time, we will end with a weak form of Orthodoxy, that is beautiful on the outside , but hollow on the inside. Taking simple little steps under the guidance and direction from one’s priest or spiritual father, or by counsel with that pious little old lady, whose face radiates the light of Christ, we will be able to enter into the Kingdom of God, having gained the humility and joy that does not necessitate being extravagant with the externals.
With love in Christ,
We must build our endurance and confidence
“Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise (Hebrews 10:35-36)”
When we find ourselves caught up in what we want, or what we think we need, we become despondent that things are not going the way we’d hoped. Disappointed, we start to wonder why God has failed to give us that which we’ve so sought after, that thing, or situation, that became the dominate theme of our prayers. Caught up in trying to reach a goal, and failing, we forget that it may not have been God’s will for us from the very beginning. Relying on our own notion of what we need, we end up disappointed, or even disillusioned, and we blame God.
Much of what we think we need is born from our own immaturity, for as we’ve focused on what we think we need, we fail to quietly surrender to the will of God, and fail to trust in the knowledge that God knows what we really need. We fail during such times to trust God, and surrender to His will for us. We forget that God knows what we really need, and fail to consider the long term good.
When we quit struggling against the will of God, we find the grace sufficient to prayerfully enduring our trials, knowing that God gives us that which is salvific. Like a loving earthly father, our God allows us to endure that which will make us strong, and He will lead us to victory over our fallen nature. Prayerfully enduring trials will, in God’s time, make us stronger, and we will become more faithful children of the Most High.
This kind of faithful living leads us to know the truth of the words, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).” When we trust God, those moments of disappointment make sense, and the bigger picture is clearly set before us.
With love in Christ,
Those occasions when we mature into spiritual adulthood
There are those times in our lives when God seems distant, even absent from us. These are usually times when our faith seems weak and we struggle to believe God really cares for us, or perhaps we begin to question whether God even exists. In Western Christian tradition these moments are often referred to as the dark night of the soul. God seems as though He’s far removed from us and we struggle with our faith.
In such moments it is good to remember that God is closer to us than our own breath and we only feel He’s absent. God uses such periods in our life as a way to make us work at the relationship. As we struggle, we grow stronger. When God seems to withdraw Himself it is something like the parent who stands his toddler on his feet and moves a few feet away, encouraging the child to take his first steps, alone. The parent is prepared to reach out, should the child fall, but letting the child take that first step is necessary for the child’s development.
Each time we are forced to work at this relationship, God’s grace builds us up, making it possible for us to mature in the faith. Spiritual growth can not happen unless we feel the need for God, since the Lord will not force Himself on us. The awareness of God’s presence in our lives comes with struggle, and as long as we do our part, God’s grace flows abundantly.
Love in Christ,
In Our Prayers
On Sunday, August 23rd we will have a 6 month memorial service for Dimitrios Smirlis. May his memory be eternal.
We are saddened by the death of Alice Sarinopoulos on August 20th. May her memory be eternal.
Sunday School - Make the Connection
We are planning on having Sunday School for our chiildren this fall via Zoom. Please watch for updates.
Our BUZZED with BLESSINGS fundraiser continues in a time of social distancing. The Bees might be a nice alternative! $50, includes 30 Bees, occasion card & honey. Thank you! Take care & prayers for our community. Contact the Church office or a Philoptochos member to schedule any upcomming BUZZED with BLESSINGS date.
Until further notice, we will not be having Fellowship Hour.
2nd - Catherine Chrysant
6th - Catherine Chrysant (Holy Transfiguration)
9th - Vana Economopoulos
15th - Fofo Bargeliotis (Dormition of the Theotokos)
16th - Fofo Bargeliotis
23rd - Tasia Smirlis
29th - Litza Angelidis (Beheading of St. John the Baptist)
30th - Litza Angelidis
1st - Catherine Chrysant (Ecclesiastical New Year)
6th - Fofo Bargeliotis
8th - Fofo Bargeliotis (Nativity of the Theotokos)
13th - Catherine Chrysant
14th - Catherine Chrysant (Exultation of the Precious & Lifegiving Cross)
20th - OPEN
26th - OPEN (St. John the Evangelist & Theologian)
27th - OPEN
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.
Eleventh Orthros Gospel
The Reading is from John 21:14-25
At that time, Jesus revealed himself to his disciples after he was raised from the dead, and he said to Simon Peter, "Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?" He said to him "Yes, Lord; you know that I love you." He said to him, "Feed my lambs." A second time he said to him, "Simon, son of John, do you love me?" He said to him, "Yes, Lord; you know that I love you." He said to him, "Tend my sheep." He said to him the third time, "Simon, son of John, do you love me?" Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, "Do you love me?" And he said to him, "Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you." Jesus said to him, "Feed my sheep. Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young, you girded yourself and walked where you would; but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will gird you and carry you where you do not wish to go." (This he said to show by what death he was to glorify God.) And after this he said to him, "Follow me."
Peter turned and saw following them the disciple whom Jesus loved, who had lain close to his breast at the supper and had said, "Lord, who is it that is going to betray you?" When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, "Lord, what about this man?" Jesus said to him, "If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? Follow me!" So, the word went out among the brethren that this disciple would not die; but Jesus did not say to him that he would not die, but, "If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you?" This is the disciple who is bearing witness to these things, and who has written these things; and we know that his testimony is true. But there are also many other things which Jesus did; were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written. Amen.
Prokeimenon. Second Mode. Psalm 117.14,18.
The Lord is my strength and my song.
Verse: The Lord has chastened me sorely.
The reading is from St. Paul's First Letter to the Corinthians 9:2-12.
Brethren, you are the seal of my apostleship in the Lord. This is my defense to those who would examine me. Do we not have the right to our food and drink? Do we not have the right to be accompanied by a wife, as the other apostles and the brothers of the Lord and Cephas? Or is it only Barnabas and I who have no right to refrain from working for a living? Who serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard without eating any of its fruit? Who tends a flock without getting some of the milk? Do I say this on human authority? Does not the law say the same? For it is written in the law of Moses, "You shall not muzzle an ox when it is treading out the grain." Is it for oxen that God is concerned? Does he not speak entirely for our sake? It was written for our sake, because the plowman should plow in hope and the thresher thresh in hope of a share in the crop. If we have sown spiritual good among you, is it too much if we reap your material benefits? If others share this rightful claim upon you, do not we still more? Nevertheless, we have not made use of this right, but we endure anything rather than put an obstacle in the way of the gospel of Christ.
11th Sunday of Matthew
The Reading is from Matthew 18:23-35
The Lord said this parable: "The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his servants. When he began the reckoning, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents; and as he could not pay, his lord ordered him to be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and payment to be made. So the servant fell on his knees, imploring him, 'Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.' And out of pity for him the lord of that servant released him and forgave him the debt. But that same servant, as he went out, came upon one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii; and seizing him by the throat he said, 'Pay what you owe.' So his fellow servant fell down and besought him, 'Have patience with me, and I will pay you.' He refused and went and put him in prison till he should pay the debt. When his fellow servants saw what had taken place, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their lord all that had taken place. Then his lord summoned him and said to him, 'You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you besought me; and should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?' And in anger his lord delivered him to the torturers, till he should pay all his debt. So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart."
Concerning the Dormition of the Theotokos, this is what the Church has received from ancient times from the tradition of the Fathers. When the time drew nigh that our Savior was well-pleased to take His Mother to Himself, He declared unto her through an Angel that three days hence, He would translate her from this temporal life to eternity and bliss. On hearing this, she went up with haste to the Mount of Olives, where she prayed continuously. Giving thanks to God, she returned to her house and prepared whatever was necessary for her burial. While these things were taking place, clouds caught up the Apostles from the ends of the earth, where each one happened to be preaching, and brought them at once to the house of the Mother of God, who informed them of the cause of their sudden gathering. As a mother, she consoled them in their affliction as was meet, and then raised her hands to Heaven and prayed for the peace of the world. She blessed the Apostles, and, reclining upon her bed with seemliness, gave up her all-holy spirit into the hands of her Son and God.
With reverence and many lights, and chanting burial hymns, the Apostles took up that God-receiving body and brought it to the sepulchre, while the Angels from Heaven chanted with them, and sent forth her who is higher than the Cherubim. But one Jew, moved by malice, audaciously stretched forth his hand upon the bed and immediately received from divine judgment the wages of his audacity. Those daring hands were severed by an invisible blow. But when he repented and asked forgiveness, his hands were restored. When they had reached the place called Gethsemane, they buried there with honor the all-immaculate body of the Theotokos, which was the source of Life. But on the third day after the burial, when they were eating together, and raised up the artos (bread) in Jesus' Name, as was their custom, the Theotokos appeared in the air, saying "Rejoice" to them. From this they learned concerning the bodily translation of the Theotokos into the Heavens.
These things has the Church received from the traditions of the Fathers, who have composed many hymns out of reverence, to the glory of the Mother of our God (see Oct. 3 and 4).
The Holy Hieromartyr Irenaeus was born in Asia Minor about the year 120, and in his youth was a disciple of Saint Polycarp, Bishop of Smyrna. Saint Irenaeus was sent to Lyons in Gaul, to be a fellow labourer of Pothinus, Bishop of Lyons (celebrated June 2), who had also been a disciple Saint Polycarp. After the martyrdom of Saint Pothinus, Saint Irenaeus succeeded him as Bishop of Lyons. Besides the assaults of paganism, Irenaeus found himself compelled to do battle with many Gnostic heresies, against which he wrote his greatest work, A Refutation and Overthrow of Knowledge Falsely So Called . He was also a peace-maker within the Church. When Victor, Bishop of Rome, was prepared to excommunicate the Christians of Asia Minor for following a different tradition celebrating Pascha, Irenaeus persuaded him to moderate his zeal, and mediated peace. He made Lyons an illustrious bastion of Orthodoxy and a school of piety, and sealed his confession with martyrdom about the year 202, during the reign of Septimius Severus. He is not to be confused with Saint Irenaeus, Bishop of Sirmium, also celebrated today, who was beheaded and cast into a river in 304 under Diocletian.
The Holy Martyr Lupus was a devoted servant of the holy Great Martyr Demetrius, and was present at his martyrdom. Later, when his own labours in confession of the Faith became known to the rulers, Saint Lupus himself was arrested, given over to torture, and finally beheaded for Christ.
Saint Eutyches was a disciple of Saint John the Theologian and a fellow laborer of the holy Apostle Paul. He preached the Gospel in many places, pulled down the idols' temples, and suffered imprisonments and many torments at the hands of the idolaters. He finally reposed in peace in deep old age in his native city of Sebastia, near Tarsus.
Our holy Father Cosmas was from the town of Mega Dendron (Great Tree) of Aetolia. At the age of twenty, he went to study at the school of the Monastery of Vatopedi on the Holy Mountain. Later, he came to the Athonite Monastery of Philotheou where he was tonsured. With the blessing of his abbot, he departed for Constantinople where he learned the art of rhetoric, and thereafter, he began to preach throughout all the regions of northern Greece, the Ionian Islands, but especially in Albania, for the Christian people there were in great ignorance because of the oppression and cruelty of the Moslems. Finally, in 1776, after having greatly strengthened and enlightened the faithful, working many signs and wonders all the while, he was falsely accused by the leaders of the Jewish people and was executed by strangulation by the Moslem Turks in Albania.
When Saint Dionysios died in 1622 A.D., his last wish was that he be buried in the Church of Saint George on the Strofades Islands where he lived as a monk. Three years after his interment there his body was found to be incorrupt. In 1717 his body was transferred from the Strofades Islands back to his home island of Zakynthos where it resides to this day.
On this day we also commemorate the translation of the holy relics of Saint Peter, Metropolitan of Moscow, which took place in the year 1646.
Our holy and wonderworking Father Peter, Metropolitan of Moscow, was born in Volhynia, tonsured a monk at twelve years of age, and later ordained a priest. He lived in solitude for a time in a desert place north of Lvov and founded the Holy Transfiguration Monastery; afterwards he was sent to Constantinople, where the holy Patriarch Athanasius consecrated him Metropolitan of Kiev in 1308, and he returned to Vladimir, where the Metropolitans of Kiev had their residence at that time (see Saint Jonas on June 15). In 1325, he moved to Moscow, where he founded the Dormition Cathedral, and after his repose in December 21, 1326, was buried there. He was also an iconographer, and two of his icons, the Dormition and the Petrovskaya, are found in the Dormition Cathedral (see Oct. 5).
Concerning the Apostle Bartholomew, see June 11
Saint Titus was a Greek by race, and an idolater. But having believed in Christ through the Apostle Paul, he became Paul's disciple and follower and labored with him greatly in the preaching of the Gospel. When Paul ordained him Bishop of Crete, he later wrote to him the Epistle which bears his name. Having shepherded in an apostolic manner the flock that had been entrusted to him, and being full of days, he reposed in peace, some ninety-four years of age.
The holy Martyrs Adrian and Natalie confessed the Christian Faith during the reign of Maximian, in Nicomedia, in the year 298. Adrian was a pagan; witnessing the valor of the Martyrs, and the fervent faith with which they suffered their torments, he also declared himself a Christian and was imprisoned. When this was told to his wife Natalie, who was secretly a believer, she visited him in prison and encouraged him in his sufferings. Saint Adrian's hands and feet were placed on an anvil and broken off with a hammer; he died in his torments. His blessed wife recovered part of his holy relics and took it to Argyropolis near Byzantium, and reposed in peace soon after.
In all probability, the icon of the Mother of God of Vladimir was painted in Constantinople. In the twelfth century, Patriarch Luke Chrysoberges sent it to Kiev to Great Prince Yuri Dolgruky. The icon was kept in the convent at Vyshgorod, whence the holy Prince Andrew of Bogoliubovo brought it to Vladimir. The icon is one of the most venerated in Russia, having been carried by princes in military campaigns, prayed before by rulers for the welfare of the people, and flocked to by the faithful of all walks of life. At the election of the metropolitans and patriarchs, the names of the candidates were placed before this holy icon, and after prayer, the lot chosen; Patriarch Tikhon the Confessor was elected this way. The icon is celebrated also on June 23 and May 21, the last feast being established to commemorate the deliverance of Moscow in 1521 from the onslaught of the Tartar Khan Makhmet-Girei.
Saint Pimen was from Egypt and shone forth in the ascetical life in Scete in the fourth century; he was renowned for his discretion. Many of his sayings and deeds are preserved in the Paradise of the Fathers and the Sayings of the Fathers.
Little is known of the holy Martyr Phanurius, except that which is depicted concerning his martyrdom on his holy icon, which was discovered in the year 1500 among the ruins of an ancient church on Rhodes, when the Moslems ruled there. Thus he is called "the Newly Revealed." The faithful pray to Saint Phanurius especially to help them recover things that have been lost, and because he has answered their prayers so often, the custom has arisen of baking a Phaneropita ("Phanurius-Cake") as a thanks-offering.
Saint Moses, who is also called Moses the Black, was a slave, but because of his evil life, his master cast him out, and he became a ruthless thief, dissolute in all his ways. Later, however, coming to repentance, he converted, and took up the monastic life under Saint Isidore of Scete. He gave himself over to prayer and the mortification of the carnal mind with such diligence that he later became a priest of exemplary virtue. He was revered by all for his lofty ascetical life and for his great humility. Once the Fathers in Scete asked Moses to come to an assembly to judge the fault of a certain brother, but he refused. When they insisted, he took a basket which had a hole in it, filled it with sand, and carried it on his shoulders. When the Fathers saw him coming they asked him what the basket might mean. He answered, "My sins run out behind me, and I do not see them, and I am come this day to judge failings which are not mine." When a barbarian tribe was coming to Scete, Moses, conscious that he himself had slain other men when he was a thief, awaited them and was willingly slain by them with six other monks, at the end of the fourth century. He was a contemporary of Saint Arsenius the Great (see May 8).
Saint Job of Pochaev was born about 1551 in southwest Galicia of a pious Orthodox family. In his tenth year the Saint departed for the Ugornitsky Monastery of our Saviour in the Carpathian Mountains. Tonsured after two years, he was ordained hieromonk about 1580. Renowned for his meekness and humility, Job was invited by the great zealot for Holy Orthodoxy in the Carpatho-Russia, Prince Constantine Ostrozhky, to be Abbot of the Monastery of the Cross in Dubno. In his zeal for the preservation and propagation of the Orthodox Faith, and to counteract the propaganda of the Uniates, he printed and widely disseminated Orthodox spiritual and liturgical books. About 1600 he removed to the Mountain of Pochaev where at insistence of the brethren, he became Abbot of the Monastery of the Dormition of the Theotokos, which he enlarged and made to flourish. Through his labours, a large printing works was founded at Pochaev and greatly assisted in the nurture of the Orthodox faithful in that region. His monastery became the center of the Orthodox Church in western Ukraine. The Saint reposed, having taken the schema with the name of John, in 1651, at the advanced age of one hundred.
On this day, we celebrate the Synaxis of the Kiev Cave Fathers who were laid to rest in the Far Caves of Saint Theodosius in Kiev (see also Sept. 22-28).
The divine Baptist, the Prophet born of a Prophet, the seal of all the Prophets and beginning of the Apostles, the mediator between the Old and New Covenants, the voice of one crying in the wilderness, the God-sent Messenger of the incarnate Messiah, the forerunner of Christ's coming into the world (Esaias 40: 3; Mal. 3: 1); who by many miracles was both conceived and born; who was filled with the Holy Spirit while yet in his mother's womb; who came forth like another Elias the Zealot, whose life in the wilderness and divine zeal for God's Law he imitated: this divine Prophet, after he had preached the baptism of repentance according to God's command; had taught men of low rank and high how they must order their lives; had admonished those whom he baptized and had filled them with the fear of God, teaching them that no one is able to escape the wrath to come if he do not works worthy of repentance; had, through such preaching, prepared their hearts to receive the evangelical teachings of the Savior; and finally, after he had pointed out to the people the very Savior, and said, "Behold the Lamb of God, Which taketh away the sin of the world" (Luke 3:2-18; John 1: 29-36), after all this, John sealed with his own blood the truth of his words and was made a sacred victim for the divine Law at the hands of a transgressor.
This was Herod Antipas, the Tetrarch of Galilee, the son of Herod the Great. This man had a lawful wife, the daughter of Arethas (or Aretas), the King of Arabia (that is, Arabia Petraea, which had the famous Nabatean stone city of Petra as its capital. This is the Aretas mentioned by Saint Paul in II Cor. 11:32). Without any cause, and against every commandment of the Law, he put her away and took to himself Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip, to whom Herodias had borne a daughter, Salome. He would not desist from this unlawful union even when John, the preacher of repentance, the bold and austere accuser of the lawless, censured him and told him, "It is not lawful for thee to have thy brother's wife" (Mark 6: 18). Thus Herod, besides his other unholy acts, added yet this, that he apprehended John and shut him in prison; and perhaps he would have killed him straightway, had he not feared the people, who had extreme reverence for John. Certainly, in the beginning, he himself had great reverence for this just and holy man. But finally, being pierced with the sting of a mad lust for the woman Herodias, he laid his defiled hands on the teacher of purity on the very day he was celebrating his birthday. When Salome, Herodias' daughter, had danced in order to please him and those who were supping with him, he promised her -- with an oath more foolish than any foolishness -- that he would give her anything she asked, even unto the half of his kingdom. And she, consulting with her mother, straightway asked for the head of John the Baptist in a charger. Hence this transgressor of the Law, preferring his lawless oath above the precepts of the Law, fulfilled this godless promise and filled his loathsome banquet with the blood of the Prophet. So it was that that all-venerable head, revered by the Angels, was given as a prize for an abominable dance, and became the plaything of the dissolute daughter of a debauched mother. As for the body of the divine Baptist, it was taken up by his disciples and placed in a tomb (Mark 6: 21 - 29). Concerning the finding of his holy head, see February 24 and May 25.