All Morning Services 9 AM • All Evening Services 6 PM
Wednesdays 6 PM Bible Study (Year-Round) & Church School (September - May)
Fridays 6 PM Choir Practice for All (September - May)
Announcements for 1/31/2021
Our love and condolences go out to the Tefas family, on the passing of Steve Jr.'s father, Colonel Steven Tefas, Sr., USAF, ret. Yesterday, we held funeral services for Col. Tefas. He was a longtime parishioner here, and his presence will be sorely missed. Please keep all the Tefas family in your prayers.
We also offer our love and condolences to the Crusberg family, on the passing of Jared's father, Dr. Clinton Crusberg, DVM. Dr. Crusberg resided with his wife, Lisa, in Delta Junction, Alaska, where he had been in veterinary practice for many years. Please keep all the Crusberg family in your prayers.
Even though we mourn, we do so with hope in the Resurrection, and thus we have a "bright sadness." We do not mourn in the way that unbelievers do, but rather with faith and hope in the life of the age to come, as we say in our creed.
Our prayer to God is the same as that of the thief on the cross, who was crucified alongside Christ. Recognizing the divine nature of Jesus, the dying thief called out to Him, "Lord, remember me in Your kingdom!" This is why we say about the departed, "May their memory be eternal." It is in God's eternal kingdom, Heaven, that we want to be remembered.
There will be a 9th-day trisagion for Col. Tefas, and an initial trisagion for Dr. Crusberg, at the end of today's Divine Liturgy. May their memory be eternal!
Special Occasions This Week
Saints for the Week: We have many saints with interesting write-ups in this week's bulletin. Be sure to check out the rest of this bulletin, online on the church's website, OrthodoxSanAngelo.org.
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."
15th Sunday of Luke
The Reading is from St. Paul's First Letter to Timothy 4:9-15
Timothy, my son, the saying is sure and worthy of full acceptance. For to this end we toil and suffer reproach, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe. Command and teach these things. Let no one despise your youth, but set the believers an example in speech and conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. Till I come, attend to the public reading of scripture, to preaching, to teaching. Do not neglect the gift you have, which was given you by prophetic utterance when the council of elders laid their hands upon you. Practice these duties, devote yourself to them, so that all may see your progress.
15th Sunday of Luke
The Reading is from Luke 19:1-10
At that time, Jesus was passing through Jericho. And there was a man named Zacchaios; he was a chief collector, and rich. And he sought to see who Jesus was, but could not, on account of the crowd, because he was small of stature. So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him, for he was to pass that way. And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, "Zacchaios, make haste and come down; for I must stay at your house today." So he made haste and came down, and received him joyfully. And when they saw it they all murmured, "He has gone in to be the guest of a man who is a sinner." And Zacchaios stood and said to the Lord, "Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have defrauded any one of anything, I restore it fourfold." And Jesus said to him, "Today salvation has come to this house, since he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of man came to seek and to save the lost."
In giving birth you remained a virgin.
And in your dormition, you did not forsake the world,
For as the Mother of Life, you have yourself passed into life.
And by your prayers, you deliver our souls from death.
These Saints lived during the years of Diocletian. Saint Cyrus was from Alexandria, and Saint John was from Edessa of Mesopotamia. Because of the persecution of that time, Cyrus fled to the Gulf of Arabia, where there was a small community of monks. John, who was a soldier, heard of Cyrus' fame and came to join him. Henceforth, they passed their life working every virtue, and healing every illness and disease freely by the grace of Christ; hence their title of "Unmercenaries." They heard that a certain woman, named Athanasia, had been apprehended together with her three daughters, Theodora, Theoctiste, and Eudoxia, and taken to the tribunal for their confession of the Faith. Fearing lest the tender young maidens be terrified by the torments and renounce Christ, they went to strengthen them in their contest in martyrdom; therefore they too were seized. After Cyrus and John and those sacred women had been greatly tormented, all were beheaded in the year 292. Their tomb became a renowned shrine in Egypt, and a place of universal pilgrimage. It was found in the area of the modern day resort near Alexandria named Abu Kyr.
The Holy Martyr Trypho was from Lampsacus in Phrygia, and as a young man he tended geese. Being filled with the gifts of the Holy Spirit, he also healed sufferings and cast out demons. During the reign of the Emperor Decius, about the year 250, he was betrayed as a Christian and taken to Nicaea, where he was beaten, bound to horses and dragged over rough ground, then dragged naked over nails; his sides were burned with torches; finally he was sentenced to beheading, but gave up his holy soul in his torments before the stroke of the sword. Saint Trypho is one of the Holy Unmercenaries, and is also invoked for the protection of gardens from insects and pests.
When Ireland was newly converted to the Christian Faith, the Holy Abbess Bridget devoted herself to the establishment of the monastic life among the women of her country, and founded the renowned convent of Kildare-Kil "Cell (or Church)" Dara "of the Oak." She was especially renowned for her great mercifulness, manifested in her lavish almsgiving and in miracles wrought for those in need. The Book of Armaugh, an ancient Irish chronicle, calls Saint Patrick and Saint Bridget "the pillars of the Irish" and says that through them both, "Christ performed many miracles." She reposed in peace about the year 525.
When the most pure Mother and Ever-Virgin Mary's forty days of purification had been fulfilled, she took her first-born Son to Jerusalem on this, the fortieth day after His birth, that she might present Him in the temple according to the Law of Moses, which teaches that every first-born male child be dedicated to God, and also that she might offer the sacrifice of a pair of turtle-doves or two young pigeons, as required by the Law (Luke 2:22-24; Exod. 13:2; Lev. 12:6-8). On this same day, a just and devout man, the greatly aged Symeon, was also present in the temple, being guided by the Holy Spirit. For a long time, this man had been awaiting the salvation of God, and he had been informed by divine revelation that he would not die until he beheld the Lord's Christ. Thus, when he beheld Him at that time and took Him up into his aged arms, he gave glory to God, singing: "Now lettest Thou Thy servant depart in peace, O Master. . ." And he confessed that he would close his eyes joyfully, since he had seen the Light of revelation for the nations and the Glory of Israel (Luke 2:25-32). From ancient times, the Holy Church has retained this tradition of the churching of the mother and new-born child on the fortieth day and of the reading of prayers of purification.
The Apodosis of the Feast of the Meeting in the Temple is usually on the 9th of February. This, however, may vary if the Feast falls within the period of the Triodion. Should this occur, the Typicon should be consulted for specific information concerning the Apodosis of the Feast.
Yesterday we celebrated the Meeting of our Lord in the Temple; today we honor the righteous Elder Symeon and Prophetess Anna, who prophesied concerning Him by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and were the first in Jerusalem to receive Him as the Messiah.
This Saint was from Alexandria and was a disciple of Saint John Chrysostom. He struggled in asceticism in a monastery at Mount Pelusium, and became abbot of the monks struggling in that monastery. He wrote a great many epistles replete with divine grace, wisdom, and much profit. Over 2,000 of them are preserved in Volume 78 of Migne's Patrologia Graeca (PG 78:177-1646); according to some, he wrote over 3,000 epistles, according to others, 10,000. He reposed on February 4, 440.
This Martyr, who was from Panormus (that is, Palermo) or perhaps Catania of Sicily, was a most comely and chaste virgin. After many exceedingly harsh torments, she gave up her spirit in prison at Catania in 251, because she did not consent to the seductions of Quintian, the Governor of Sicily. At her burial, an Angel placed a stone tablet on her grave inscribed with the words, "A righteous mind, self-determining, honor from God, the deliverance of her father-land." The following year this was fulfilled when Mount Etna erupted, spewing forth violent fire from which Catania was manifestly saved by Saint Agatha's prayers. The holy Martyr Agatha, the protectress and chief patroness of Sicily, is, with perhaps the exception of Saint Agnes of Rome, the most highly venerated Virgin Martyr of the West. Saint Damasus, Pope of Rome, and Saint Ambrose of Milan both wrote in praise of her.
As for the thrice-blessed Photius, the great and most resplendent Father and teacher of the Church, the Confessor of the Faith and Equal to the Apostles, he lived during the years of the emperors Michael (the son of Theophilus), Basil the Macedonian, and Leo his son. He was the son of pious parents, Sergius and Irene, who suffered for the Faith under the Iconoclast Emperor Theophilus; he was also a nephew of Saint Tarasius, Patriarch of Constantinople (see Feb. 25). He was born in Constantinople, where he excelled in the foremost imperial ministries, while ever practicing a virtuous and godly life. An upright and honorable man of singular learning and erudition, he was raised to the apostolic, ecumenical, and patriarchal throne of Constantinople in the year 857.
The many struggles that this thrice-blessed one undertook for the Orthodox Faith against the Manichaeans, the Iconoclasts, and other heretics, and the attacks and assaults that he endured from Nicholas I, the haughty and ambitious Pope of Rome, and the great persecutions and distresses he suffered, are beyond number. Contending against the Latin error of the filioque, that is, the doctrine that the Holy Spirit proceeds from both the Father and the Son, he demonstrated clearly with his Mystagogy on the Holy Spirit how the filioque destroys the unity and equality of the Trinity. He has left us many theological writings, panegyric homilies, and epistles, including one to Boris, the Sovereign of Bulgaria, in which he set forth for him the history and teachings of the Seven Ecumenical Councils. Having tended the Church of Christ in holiness and in an evangelical manner, and with fervent zeal having rooted out all the tares of every alien teaching, he departed to the Lord in the Monastery of the Armenians on February 6, 891.
Saint Bucolus was ordained by John the Evangelist; having made many pagans to be sons of the day through holy Baptism, he left Polycarp as his successor to the bishopric of Smyrna, and reposed in peace.
Saint Barsanuphius the Great, who was from Egypt, and his disciple, Saint John the Prophet, struggled in very strict reclusion during the sixth century at the monastery of Abba Seridus at Gaza of Palestine, and were endowed with amazing gifts of prophecy and spiritual discernment. They are mentioned by Saint Dorotheus of Gaza, their disciple, in his writings. Many of the counsels they sent to Christians who wrote to them are preserved in the book which bears their names. Once certain of the Fathers besought Saint Barsanuphius to pray that God stay His wrath and spare the world. Saint Barsanuphius wrote back that there were "three men perfect before God," whose prayers met at the throne of God and protected the whole world; to them it had been revealed that the wrath of God would not last long. These three, he said, were "John of Rome, Elias of Corinth, and another in the diocese of Jerusalem," concealing the name of the last, since it was himself.