Dormition of the Mother of God Orthodox Church
Publish Date: 2019-02-17
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Dormition of the Mother of God Orthodox Church

General Information

  • Phone:
  • (570) 640-2517
  • Street Address:

  • 187 Justin Lane

  • Bluefield, WV 24701

Contact Information

Services Schedule

Saturday Vespers: 6 pm

Feast Day Vespers: 6pm

Sunday Divine Liturgy: 10 am

Feast Day Divine Liturgy: 9 am

Orthodox Catechism Class: Wednesdays at 6:30 pm


Past Bulletins

Welcome to Saint Mary's Orthodox Church

Welcome to The Dormition of the Mother of God Orthodox Christian Church (Saint Mary's) which is a parish of the American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Church of the USA whose presiding Bishop is His Eminence, Metropolitan Gregory of Nyssa. The American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese is an Autonomous Diocese under the spiritual protection of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople of which His All-Holiness, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew is the ruling Patriarch.

We are thankfully to Almighty God that you are here in God's House to Worship with us Today!

If you are new to the Orthodox Church you will find that our worship is abit different than what you maybe used to, or it maybe entirely new all together! It's okay!!! All of us were new to the Faith at one time or another, but we encourage you to participate as you feel comfortable. The Blue Book in your pew has the whole Service of what we call the Divine Liturgy in it so you can follow along.

Please, if you have any questions about what you see or hear today at the Divine Liturgy, we have a Coffee Hour in the Church Hall after service that you are invited to attend! Come and join us for fellowship to have something to eat and have all your questions answered either by Our Pastor Father Vincent or a friendly member of the Church.  

If you have been on a long or short spiritual journey looking for the True Church you have found it here in the Orthodox Church!

We pray that what you find and experience here is none other than the peace of Christ Jesus Our Risen Lord and the Kingdom of Heaven!

If you are ready or interested in becoming an Orthodox Christian please see Father Vincent at Coffee Hour or contact him at (570) 640-2517 or email him at




Liturgical/Class Schedule

Saturday February 16th Choir/Music Practice 4:00PM - Topic: The 5th Tone and parts of Vespers and Matins. Everyone is welcome to attend!

Saturday February 16th Great Vespers 6:00PM - Great Martyr Theodore Tyro, Venerable Roman of Ternovo, The Relics of Menas Alexandria 

Sunday February 17th Divine Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom 10AM - Lenten Triodion Begins - Sunday of The Publican and Pharisee/Great Martyr Theodore Tyro, Venerable Roman of Ternovo, The Relics of Menas Alexandria 

This Whole Week of The Publican and Pharisee is Fast Free!!! To remind us not to be proud of our exterior religious observances like the Pharisee was in the Gospel of Saint Luke!

Wednesday February 20th Orthodox Catechism Class 6:30PM - Topic: Continuing The First Section of the Public Part of the Divine Liturgy  

Thursday February 21st "Baking with Father Vincent" 5:30PM - Topic: The Holy Tradition of Prosphora and Artoklasia Baking. Everyone is Welcome to attend both bakers and spectators!

Saturday February 23rd Choir/Music Practice 4:00PM - Topic: The 6th Tone and Parts of Vespers and Matins. Everyone is welcome to attend!!

Saturday February 23rd Vespers 6:00PM- 1st & 2nd Discovery of the Head of John The Baptist and Saint Erasmus

Sunday February 24th Divine Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom 10:00AM - Second Pre-Fast Sunday - The Sunday of The Prodigal Son/1st & 2nd Discovery of the Head of John The Baptist and Saint Erasmus


The first Sunday that Orthros will be celebrated is March 17th starting at 8:30am followed by Divine Liturgy. This is also The Sunday of Orthodoxy, which is a very special day for me because that was the day that I became an Orthodox Christian!! Remember to bring your favorite Icon that day for our Icon procession!


Please make every effort to come to Church early on Sunday Mornings to attend both Orthros and Divine Liturgy!




Hymns of the Day

Resurrectional Apolytikion in the Fifth Tone

We the faithful proclaim and worship the Word,* eternal with the Father and the Spirit.* He was born of the Virgin for our salvation.* He willingly ascended the Cross in the flesh and suffered death.* He raised the dead by His glorious resurrection.

Apolytikion of Great Martyr Theodore the Tyro in the Second Tone

Great are the achievements of faith! In the fountain of flame, as by the water of rest, the holy Martyr Theodore rejoiced; for having been made a whole-burnt offering in the fire, he was offered as sweet bread unto the Trinity. By his prayers, O Christ God, save our souls.

Troparion of the Dormition of The Theotokos in the First Tone

O Birthgiver of God, in giving birth you retained virginity; and in your falling asleep you did not forsake the world. You are the Mother of Life and have passed into life, and by your prayers have delivered our souls from death.  

Resurrectional Kontakion in the Fifth Tone

Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. O My Savior, You descended into the realm of death. You crushed its power, for You are the Almighty. As Creator, You raised the dead with Yourself. Adam, who had been condemned, was redeemed. O Lover of mankind, we call to You, saying: "O Lord, save us!"

Kontakion of Great Martyr Theodore the Tyro in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone

Having received the Faith of Christ in thy heart as a breastplate, thou didst trample upon the enemy hosts, O much-suffering champion; and thou hast been crowned eternally with a heavenly crown, since thou art invincible.

Seasonal Kontakion in the Fourth Tone

As the Publican, let us bring cries of sorrow to the Lord, * and let us fall before him as sinners at the Master's feet. * For He desires the salvation of all men: * He grants forgiveness unto all that repent * and He has for our sake taken flesh, * though He is God co-eternal with the Father.

Resurrectional Theotokion in the Fifth Tone

Now and ever and unto the ages of ages. Amen! Hail! Gate of the Lord no one can enter! Hail! Defense and protection of those who come to you! Hail! Peaceful haven who has never known man, and yet has given birth to your Maker and God! Never cease to intercede for those who sing the praise of the One born of you, of those who worship Him.

Gospel and Epistle Readings

Matins Gospel Reading

Fifth Orthros Gospel
The Reading is from Luke 24:13-35

At that time, two of them were going to a village named Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, and talking with each other about all these things that had happened. While they were talking and discussing together, Jesus himself drew near and went with them. But their eyes were kept from recognizing him. And he said to them, "What is this conversation which you are holding with each other as you walk?" And they stood still looking sad. Then one of them, named Cleopas, answered him, "Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?" And he said to them, "What things?" And they said to him, "Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, and how our chief priests and rulers delivered him up to be condemned to death, and crucified him. But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since this happened. Moreover, some women of our company amazed us. They were at the tomb early in the morning and did not find his body; and they came back saying that they had even seen a vision of angels, who said that he was alive. Some of those who were with us went to the tomb, and found it just as the women had said; but him they did not see." And he said to them, "O foolish men, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?" And beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.

So they drew near to the village to which they were going. He appeared to be going further, but they constrained him, saying, "Stay with us, for it is toward evening and the day is now far spent." So he went in to stay with them. When he was at table with them, he took the bread and blessed, and broke it, and gave it to them. And their eyes were opened and they recognized him; and he vanished out of their sight. They said to each other, "Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the scriptures?" And they rose that same hour and returned to Jerusalem; and they found the eleven gathered together and those who were with them, who said, "The Lord has risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!" Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he was known to them in the breaking of the bread.

Epistle Reading

Prokeimenon. Fifth Tone. Psalm 11.7,1.
You, O Lord, shall keep us and preserve us.
Verse: Save me, O Lord, for the godly man has failed.

The reading is from St. Paul's Second Letter to Timothy 3:10-15.

TIMOTHY, my son, you have observed my teaching, my conduct, my aim in life, my faith, my patience, my love, my steadfastness, my persecutions, my sufferings, what befell me at Antioch, at lconion, and at Lystra, what persecutions I endured; yet from them all the Lord rescued me. Indeed all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil men and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceivers and deceived. But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings which are able to instruct you for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.

Gospel Reading

Sunday of the Publican and Pharisee: Triodion Begins Today
The Reading is from Luke 18:10-14

The Lord said this parable, "Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, 'God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week, I give tithes of all that I get.' But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, 'God, be merciful to me a sinner!' I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted."


From Father Vincent's Desk

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Glory be to Jesus Christ! Glory be Forever!

   Today, in the Holy Gospel according Saint Luke, we recieve a very powerful lesson from Our Lord on how we are to Pray! We have heard the Parable of the Publican who is a tax-collector like that of Zacchaeus; and the Pharisee who is a highly praised Jewish Rabbi and teacher of the Law of Mose. Jesus displays for us the incorrect way to pray and the correct way to pray. The Self-absorbed and Pride filled Pharisee displays for us the incorrect method of prayer and the humble and contrite Publican displays the correct method of prayer.

   We must remember that when we speak of Prayer we are speaking about Communing with Holy God, one in The Holy Trinity, in other words, we as human beings are sharing in The Divine Life of Holy God through His Divine Energies while we are praying!!! This type of Communion can only happen if we appoach Prayer with a humble and contrite spirit, fully acknowledging that our poor soul is sick with the illness of Sin and we must beg Holy God for His Great and Abundant Mercy and Forgiveness!!! This is exactly what the sinful Publican does in the Gospel of Saint Luke!

   The Publican realizes the sickness of his own soul and does not even raise his eyes to heaven!! He takes the position that we all need to take before Almighty God which is the road of repentance, asking and imploring Holy God for His Forgiveness and Mercy saying; "O God have Mercy on me a sinner!" This is the first and hardest step in the Spiritual Life, we must come to the realisation that we are not perfect in anyway whatsoever and that our souls are filled with sinful wounds that are foul and infected!!

   We need this type of true heartfelt repentance in order for The Holy Spirit to come and dwell in our soul and body. This is our first step in our path to Deification (becoming gods by grace) which equals Salvation in the Kingdom of God, we enter into Repentance and Purification from the sickness of sin like the Publican did in today's Gospel and Holy God will forgive us our sins!!! The Publican is a true model for us in our Orthodox Christian Life!

   On the other hand, the Pharisee is the exact opposite of a true Orthodox Christian! We must ask ourselves this question; "How often do we gossip about and condemn our fellow brothers and sisters as if we are perfect and sinless???" 

   This Pharisee is so full of Pride that he condemns his brother the Publican in the Holy Temple of God, saying; "God, I thank you that I am not as the rest of men, rapacious, unjust, adulterers, or even as this one, the tax collector."  

    Another question to ask oursleves; "Are we so perfect like this Pharisee in the sense that we are proud of all the good religious exterior things that we do, like fasting, and saying our prayers, that when someone dishonors us or hurts our feelings we publicly condemn them, even in God's Holy Church at coffee Hour????

   I finish with the words of a Sermon written on this Gospel by Saint John of Kranstadt; "We must not exalt ourselves before others, but we should rather humble ourselves. And how many reasons to humble ourselves do each of us have! Man possesses nothing of his own; all that he has he received from God: his soul, his body, everything that he has, except for sin. Every good deed also comes from God. What can man boast of?? 'And what do you have that you did not receive? Now if you did indeed receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?' (1Cor4:7) If he boasts of his virtues, then he blasphemes, ascribing to himself that glory that belongs to God alone. Futhermore, every person is more or less in a weak spiritual state. At the very least, very many people find themselves in a state of sinful insensitivity. This sickly, false confidence they have in themselves is so unbearable, and yet they feel completely healthy and feel no need of a physician. What more motive then do we have to not think highly of our good deeds than the fact that they are, perhaps, a delusion of our soul?"

   Brothers and Sisters, let us begin on this path of repentance together as the Publican shows us in today's Gospel; that we might be exalted by God for our repentance and humility and inherit the Kingdom of Heaven through our hard work of working out our Salvation in fear and trembling. Amen!!






Saints and Feasts

February 17

Sunday of the Publican and Pharisee: Triodion Begins Today

The Pharisees were an ancient and outstanding sect among the Jews known for their diligent observance of the outward matters of the Law. Although, according to the word of our Lord, they "did all their works to be seen of men" (Matt. 23:5), and were hypocrites (ibid. 23: 13, 14, 15, etc.), because of the apparent holiness of their lives they were thought by all to be righteous, and separate from others, which is what the name Pharisee means. On the other hand, Publicans, collectors of the royal taxes, committed many injustices and extortions for filthy lucre's sake, and all held them to be sinners and unjust. It was therefore according to common opinion that the Lord Jesus in His parable signified a virtuous person by a Pharisee, and a sinner by a Publican, to teach His disciples the harm of pride and the profit of humble-mindedness.

Since the chief weapon for virtue is humility, and the greatest hindrance to it is pride, the divine Fathers have set these three weeks before the Forty-day Fast as a preparation for the spiritual struggles of virtue. This present week they have called Harbinger, since it declares that the Fast is approaching; and they set humility as the foundation for all our spiritual labors by appointing that the parable of the Publican and the Pharisee be read today, even before the Fast begins, to teach, through the vaunting of the Pharisee, that the foul smoke of self-esteem and the stench of boasting drives away the grace of the Spirit, strips man of all his virtue, and casts him into the pits of Hades; and, through the repentance and contrite prayer of the Publican, that humility confers upon the sinner forgiveness of all his wicked deeds and raises him up to the greatest heights.

All foods are allowed the week that follows this Sunday.

February 17

Theodore the Tyro, Great Martyr

Saint Theodore who was from Amasia of Pontus, contested during the reign of Maximian (286-305). He was called Tyro, from the Latin Tiro, because he was a newly enlisted recruit. When it was reported that he was a Christian, he boldly confessed Christ; the ruler, hoping that he would repent, gave him time to consider the matter more completely and then give answer. Theodore gave answer by setting fire to the temple of Cybele, the "mother of the gods," and for this he suffered a martyr's death by fire. See also the First Saturday of the Fast.

February 19

The Holy Apostles of the Seventy Philemon, Apphia, Archippus, and Onesimus

Philemon, who was from Colossae, a city of Phrygia, was a man both wealthy and noble; Apphia was his wife. Archippus became Bishop of the Church in Colossae. All three were disciples of the Apostle Paul. Onesimus, who was formerly an unbeliever and slave of Philemon, stole certain of his vessels and fled to Rome. However, on finding him there, the Apostle Paul guided him onto the path of virtue and the knowledge of the truth, and sent him back to his master Philemon, to whom he wrote an epistle (this is one of the fourteen epistles of Saint Paul). In this epistle, Paul commended Onesimus to his master and reconciled the two. Onesimus was later made a bishop; in Greece he is honoured as the patron Saint of the imprisoned. All these Saints received their end by martyrdom, when they were stoned to death by the idolaters. Saint Onesimus is also commemorated on February 15.

February 23

Polycarp the Holy Martyr & Bishop of Smyrna

This apostolic and prophetic man, and model of faith and truth, was a disciple of John the Evangelist, successor of Bucolus (Feb. 6), and teacher of Irenaeus (Aug. 23). He was an old man and full of days when the fifth persecution was raised against the Christians under Marcus Aurelius. When his pursuers, sent by the ruler, found Polycarp, he commanded that they be given something to eat and drink, then asked them to give him an hour to pray; he stood and prayed, full of grace, for two hours, so that his captors repented that they had come against so venerable a man. He was brought by the Proconsul of Smyrna into the stadium and was commanded, "Swear by the fortune of Caesar; repent, and say, 'Away with the atheists.'" By atheists, the Proconsul meant the Christians. But Polycarp, gazing at the heathen in the stadium, waved his hand towards them and said, "Away with the atheists." When the Proconsul urged him to blaspheme against Christ, he said: "I have been serving Christ for eighty-six years, and He has wronged me in nothing; how can I blaspheme my King Who has saved me?" But the tyrant became enraged at these words and commanded that he be cast into the fire, and thus he gloriously expired about the year 163. As Eusebius says, "Polycarp everywhere taught what he had also learned from the Apostles, which also the Church has handed down; and this alone is true" (Eccl. Hist., Book IV, ch. 14,15).


Wisdom of the Fathers

It is possible for those who have come back again after repentance to shine with much lustre, and oftentimes more than those who have never fallen at all, I have demonstrated from the divine writings. Thus at least both the publicans and the harlots inherit the kingdom of Heaven, thus many of the last are placed before the first.
St. John Chrysostom

When lately we made mention of the Pharisee and the publican, and hypothetically yoked two chariots out of virtue and vice; we pointed out each truth, how great is the gain of humbleness of mind, and how great the damage of pride.
St. John Chrysostom

But all the same since he made his soul contrite, and called himself a sinner; which indeed he was; he surpassed the Pharisee, who had both fastings to tell of and tithes; and was removed from any vice. ... Because even if he was removed from greed of gain and robbery, he had rooted over his soul the mother of all evils -- vain-glory and pride.
St. John Chrysostom

If there is a moral quality almost completely disregarded and even denied today, it is indeed humility. The culture in which we live constantly instills in us the sense of pride, of self-glorification, and of self-righteousness ... Even our churches - are they not imbued with that same spirit of the Pharisee? Do we not want our every contribution, every 'good deed,' all the we do 'for the Church' to be acknowledged, praised, publicized? ... How does one become humble? The answer, for a Christian, is simple: by contemplating Christ..."
Fr. Alexander Schmemann
Great Lent, pp. 19-20., 20th Century


Saint Mary's News

 Parish Council/General Parish Meetings

A Short Parish Council Meeting Today Sunday February 17th after Divine Liturgy! The topic is Media Communications/Youtube live stream channel!

The General Parish wide Meeting will be held on Sunday March 3rd after Divine Liturgy!

Everyone is encouraged to attend the Parish Wide Meeting to discuss the different affairs of Our Church, particularly to discuss the celebrations of the upcoming Lenten Season and Pascha.

Saint Mary's Cook Book Project

We need volunteers to oversee the creation of our New Saint Mary's Cook Book! All who are interested in this project please see a member of the Lady's Altar Society. We also are in need of new recipes to be included in the cook book. If anyone would like to contribute to the contents of the cook book please give your recipes to a member of the Lady's Altar Society. We would like this New Cook Book to become a reality by the Annual Food Festival, so please respond ASAP! Thank you in advance for your help!

Parish Snow Tubing Event Date Set for Sunday February 24th

A transcribed email from Doris about our Parish Snow Tubing Event! Please let Doris know ASAP if you are attending!!! Ok, date has been set on Feb. 24th. Please let Doris know if you plant to attend. See below, everyone is welcome to go if you have a friend or family member also let them know.

Here are the details. Group rate will be $32.50 for 1:00 to 5:00 pm and $38.00 for those brave enough to do 1:00 to 10:00 pm!! By writing one check from the church will allow us to not pay sales tax. Bib rate is still $11.00. Height requirement is 44 inches. There is a child’s park for those under 44 inches for $5.00. You can pay St Mary’s up to the 24th of Feb. Then I will write the one check that day. 

 I need a head count by the 17th of Feb. to make reservations.

 Sounds like it will be a fun time for fellowship!!!

Saint Mary's Book Store News

The New Saint Mary's Book Store is under construction and will be relocated from the Narthex Hallway to it's new location in the old business office in the Narthex. There are new item's for sale in the Book Store which include a new Book by Metropolitan Hierotheos Vlahos; "Entering the Orthodox Church" which is a catechism and instruction on Baptism for adults, the price is $15.00. Another new item is the "Blue" Prayer Book's printed by Holy Transfiguration Monastery in Boston Massachusetts; "A Prayer Book for Orthodox Christians," the price is $18.00. Coming soon items include "Great Lent" by Fr. Alexander Schmemann, a wonder meditation book on the 40 days of Lent, a spiritual companion that would be useful to all of us as we journey through Great Lent together. Also, another coming soon item is "Lenten Spring" by Fr. Thomas Hopko which is another meditation book for the season of Great Lent. There are many new icons that are available in the Book Store as well, please visit the Book Store to check out these new items! Please see Ginny or Michael for assistance with Book Store purchases.  

 Diocesan Assessments

Diocesan Assessments are past due! They were to be sent to our Chancery in Johnstown on January 1st. The assentment dues per parish member is $75 dollars. Please if you have not paid or are unable to pay the whole amount please see Michael Peters or Father Vincent. To paid your assentment please drop it into the offering basket on Sunday Morning and if paying by check please make out the check to Saint Mary's Orthodox Church. Thank you for your support of our Diocese!






Anicent Faith Writing and Podcasting Conference

I received this email on Thursday of this past week in regards to The Anicent Faith Writing and Podcasting Conference at Antiochian Village in Bolivar PA. I was asked by Melinda the coordinator of the event to share this information with all of you, so here it is, enjoy!!
Dear Fr. Vince,
Christ is in our midst!
I'm writing to ask your kind assistance in spreading the word about our upcoming Ancient Faith Writing and Podcasting Conference. The Conference will take place at Antiochian Village in Bolivar, PA, on June 13-15 of this year - just less than 4 months from today.  It's purpose is to provide professional development, networking, and spiritual renewal for people interested in creating Orthodox media (books, podcasts, blogs, and the like). Beginners are welcome! No need to be already published or already podcasting. Interest is enough. We are constantly encouraged by the people who contribute their work to our platform. Ancient Faith Radio and Ancient Faith Publishing would not be possible without the efforts of Orthodox priests and lay people who devote hours of thought and preparation to the content we are so proud to offer the world. As we look ahead for our growing ministry, we know that we need to invite an ever-widening circle of people to work with us. We want to find the authors and podcasters for the coming year, and the year after, and the decade after. We are actively looking for our future. The Ancient Faith Writing and Podcasting Conference is an event we set up to make it possible for people to meet our staff in person, to learn from Orthodox experts in the field, and to get to know each other and seek collaboration. Would you be willing to share information about this Conference with your parishioners? It's just possible that you have the next great Orthodox writer or podcaster, unconsciously drinking coffee in your fellowship hall! Here is an article that lists all of the speakers and topics for this year.
I'll close by noting that we always have a good contingent of priests at this conference, and we are deeply grateful for their pastoral and creative presence. So if you are free on June 13-15, come along!
In Christ,

Camp Nazareth News