St. Stephen Orthodox Church
Publish Date: 2019-07-07
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St. Stephen Orthodox Church

General Information

  • Phone:
  • (707)235-0316
  • Street Address:

  • 11055 Hirschfeld Way

  • Rancho Cordova, CA 95670

Contact Information

Services Schedule



Vespers: 4:00pm


Matins: 8:45am

Liturgy: 10:00am

Past Bulletins

Saints and Feasts

July 05

Eusebius, Bishop of Samosata

After the expulsion of Eudoxius from the see of Antioch, the Arians of Antioch, believing that Meletius of Armenia would uphold their doctrines, petitioned the Emperor Constantius to appoint Meletius Bishop of Antioch, while signing a document jointly with the Orthodox of Antioch, unanimously agreeing to Meletius' appointment (see Feb. 12); this document was entrusted to Eusebius, Bishop of Samosata. Meletius, however, after his Orthodoxy became apparent, was banished, and the Arians persuaded Constantius to demand the document back from Eusebius, as it convicted their perfidy. Imperial officers were sent; Eusebius refused to surrender the document without the consent of all who had signed it; the officers returned to the Emperor, who furiously sent them back to Eusebius with threats. But so great a zealot for the true Faith, so staunch an enemy of the Arians, so fearless a man of valor was Saint Eusebius, that when Constantius' officers arrived, threatening to cut off his right hand unless he surrendered the document, Eusebius held out both hands. When Constantius learned of it, he was struck with astonishment and admiration.

This took place in 361, the last year of the reign of Constantius; he was succeeded by Julian the Apostate, who was slain in Persia in 363; Jovian succeeded Julian, and Valentinian succeeded Jovian in 364, making his brother Valens Emperor of the East. Valens, who supported the Arians, exiled Eusebius to Thrace in 374. The bearer of the edict of Eusebius' banishment arrived in the evening; Eusebius bade him keep silence, or else the people, learning why he had come, would drown him: and Eusebius, though an old man, left his house alone on foot by night. After Valens was slain at Adrianopole in 378 (see Saint Isaacius, Aug. 3), the holy Eusebius returned from exile under the Emperor Gratian, and he ordained for the churches of Syria men known for their virtue and Orthodoxy. About the year 380, as he was entering a certain village to enthrone its bishop, whom he had consecrated, an Arian woman threw a clay tile from the roof, and it crushed his head; as he was dying, he bound the bystanders with oaths that they not take the least vengeance. Saint Gregory the Theologian addressed several letters to him (PG 37:87, 91, 126-130); he had such reverence for him, that in one letter to him, commending himself to Saint Eusebius' prayers, he said, "That such a man should deign to be my patron also in his prayers will gain for me, I am persuaded, as much strength as I should have gained through one of the holy martyrs.

July 06

Agrippina the Martyr of Rome

This Martyr was from Rome and lived in virginity, having Christ alone as her Bridegroom. Of her own accord she courageously presented herself to the pagans as a Christian, and was tortured to death, according to some, in the reign of Valerian (253-260). Her holy relics were then taken to Sicily, where they immediately became a source of great miracles.

July 07

Nativity of the Forerunner John the Baptist

He that was greater than all who are born of women, the Prophet who received God's testimony that he surpassed all the Prophets, was born of the aged and barren Elizabeth (Luke 1: 7) and filled all his kinsmen, and those that lived round about, with gladness and wonder. But even more wondrous was that which followed on the eighth day when he was circumcised, that is, the day on which a male child receives his name. Those present called him Zacharias, the name of his father. But the mother said, "Not so, but he shall be called John." Since the child's father was unable to speak, he was asked, by means of a sign, to indicate the child's name. He then asked for a tablet and wrote, "His name is John." And immediately Zacharias' mouth was opened, his tongue was loosed from its silence of nine months, and filled with the Holy Spirit, he blessed the God of Israel, Who had fulfilled the promises made to their fathers, and had visited them that were sitting in darkness and the shadow of death, and had sent to them the light of salvation. Zacharias prophesied concerning the child also, saying that he would be a Prophet of the Most High and Forerunner of Jesus Christ. And the child John, who was filled with grace, grew and waxed strong in the Spirit; and he was in the wilderness until the day of his showing to Israel (Luke 1:57-80). His name is a variation of the Hebrew "Johanan," which means "Yah is gracious."


Gospel and Epistle Readings

Matins Gospel Reading

Third Orthros Gospel
The Reading is from Mark 16:9-20

When Jesus rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, from whom he had cast seven demons. She went and told those who had been with him, as they mourned and wept. But when they heard that he was alive and had been seen by her, they would not believe it.

After this he appeared in another form to two of them, as they were walking into the country. And they went back and told the rest, but they did not believe them.

Afterward he appeared to the eleven themselves as they sat at table; and he upbraided them for their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they had not believed those who saw him after he had risen. And he said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover."

So then the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God. And they went forth and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the message by the signs that attended it. Amen.

Third Orthros Gospel
مرقس 16: 9-20

9 في ذلك الزمان بَعْدَمَا قَامَ يسوع بَاكِراً فِي أَوَّلِ الأُسْبُوعِ ظَهَرَ أَوَّلاً لِمَرْيَمَ الْمَجْدَلِيَّةِ، الَّتِي كَانَ قَدْ أَخْرَجَ مِنْهَا سَبْعَةَ شَيَاطِينَ. 10فَذَهَبَتْ هَذِهِ وَأَخْبَرَتِ الَّذِينَ كَانُوا مَعَهُ وَهُمْ يَنُوحُونَ وَيَبْكُونَ. 11فَلَمَّا سَمِعَ أُولَئِكَ أَنَّهُ حَيٌّ، وَقَدْ نَظَرَتْهُ، لَمْ يُصَدِّقُوا. 12وَبَعْدَ ذَلِكَ ظَهَرَ بِهَيْئَةٍ أُخْرَى لاِثْنَيْنِ مِنْهُمْ وَهُمَا يَمْشِيَانِ مُنْطَلِقَيْنِ إِلَى الْبَرِّيَّةِ. 13وَذَهَبَ هَذَانِ وَأَخْبَرَا الْبَاقِينَ فَلَمْ يُصَدِّقُوا وَلاَ هَذَيْنِ. 14أَخِيراً ظَهَرَ لِلأَحَدَ عَشَرَ وَهُمْ مُتَّكِئُونَ، وَوَبَّخَ عَدَمَ إِيمَانِهِمْ وَقَسَاوَةَ قُلُوبِهِمْ، لأَنَّهُمْ لَمْ يُصَدِّقُوا الَّذِينَ نَظَرُوهُ قَدْ قَامَ. 15وَقَالَ لَهُمُ: ((اذْهَبُوا إِلَى الْعَالَمِ أَجْمَعَ وَاكْرِزُوا بِالإِنْجِيلِ لِلْخَلِيقَةِ كُلِّهَا. 16مَنْ آمَنَ وَاعْتَمَدَ خَلَصَ، وَمَنْ لَمْ يُؤْمِنْ يُدَنْ. 17وَهَذِهِ الآيَاتُ تَتْبَعُ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ: يُخْرِجُونَ الشَّيَاطِينَ بِاسْمِي وَيَتَكَلَّمُونَ بِأَلْسِنَةٍ جَدِيدَةٍ. 18يَحْمِلُونَ حَيَّاتٍ، وَإِنْ شَرِبُوا شَيْئاً مُمِيتاً لاَ يَضُرُّهُمْ، وَيَضَعُونَ أَيْدِيَهُمْ عَلَى الْمَرْضَى فَيَبْرَأُونَ)). 19ثُمَّ إِنَّ الرَّبَّ بَعْدَمَا كَلَّمَهُمُ ارْتَفَعَ إِلَى السَّمَاءِ، وَجَلَسَ عَنْ يَمِينِ اللَّهِ. 20وَأَمَّا هُمْ فَخَرَجُوا وَكَرَزُوا فِي كُلِّ مَكَانٍ، وَالرَّبُّ يَعْمَلُ مَعَهُمْ وَيُثَبِّتُ الْكَلاَمَ بِالآيَاتِ التَّابِعَةِ. آمِينَ. 



Gospel Reading

3rd Sunday of Matthew
The Reading is from Matthew 6:22-33

The Lord said, "The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is sound, your whole body will be full of light; but if your eye is not sound, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness! No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon. Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you shall eat or what you shall drink, nor about your body, what you shall put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add one cubit to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin; yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O men of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear? For the Gentiles seek all these things; and your heavenly Father knows you need them all. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well."

3rd Sunday of Matthew
متى 6: 22-33

22 قال الرب سِرَاجُ الْجَسَدِ هُوَ الْعَيْنُ ،فَإِنْ كَانَتْ عَيْنُكَ بَسِيطَةً فَجَسَدُكَ كُلُّهُ يَكُونُ نَيِّراً ، 23وَإِنْ كَانَتْ عَيْنُكَ شِرِّيرَةً فَجَسَدُكَ كُلُّهُ يَكُونُ مُظْلِماً  فَإِنْ كَانَ النُّورُ الَّذِي فِيكَ ظَلاَماً فَالظَّلاَمُ كَمْ يَكُونُ!24لاَ يَقْدِرُ أَحَدٌ أَنْ يَخْدِمَ سَيِّدَيْنِ ، لأَنَّهُ إِمَّا أَنْ يُبْغِضَ الْوَاحِدَ وَيُحِبَّ الآخَرَ ، أَوْ يُلاَزِمَ الْوَاحِدَ وَيَحْتَقِرَ الآخَرَ. لاَ تَقْدِرُونَ أَنْ تَخْدِمُوا اللَّهَ وَالْمَالَ. 25لِذَلِكَ أَقُولُ لَكُمْ: لاَ تَهْتَمُّوا لِحَيَاتِكُمْ بِمَا تَأْكُلُونَ وَبِمَا تَشْرَبُونَ ، وَلاَ لأَجْسَادِكُمْ بِمَا تَلْبَسُونَ. أَلَيْسَتِ الْحَيَاةُ أَفْضَلَ مِنَ الطَّعَامِ ، وَالْجَسَدُ أَفْضَلَ مِنَ اللِّبَاسِ؟ 26 اُنْظُرُوا إِلَى طُيُورِ السَّمَاءِ: إِنَّهَا لاَ تَزْرَعُ وَلاَ تَحْصُدُ وَلاَ تَجْمَعُ إِلَى مَخَازِنَ،وَأَبُوكُمُ السَّمَاوِيُّ يَقُوتُهَا. أَلَسْتُمْ أَنْتُمْ بِالْحَرِيِّ أَفْضَلَ مِنْهَا؟27وَمَنْ مِنْكُمْ إِذَا اهْتَمَّ يَقْدِرُ أَنْ يَزِيدَ عَلَى قَامَتِهِ ذِرَاعاً وَاحِدَةً؟ 28وَلِمَاذَا تَهْتَمُّونَ بِاللِّبَاسِ؟ تَأَمَّلُوا زَنَابِقَ الْحَقْلِ كَيْفَ تَنْمُو! لاَ تَتْعَبُ وَلاَ تَغْزِلُ. 29وَلَكِنْ أَقُولُ لَكُمْ : إِنَّهُ وَلاَ سُلَيْمَانُ فِي كُلِّ مَجْدِهِ كَانَ يَلْبَسُ كَوَاحِدَةٍ مِنْهَا. 30فَإِنْ كَانَ عُشْبُ الْحَقْلِ الَّذِي يُوجَدُ الْيَوْمَ وَيُطْرَحُ غَداً فِي التَّنُّورِ،يُلْبِسُهُ اللَّهُ هَكَذَا ، أَفَلَيْسَ بِالْحَرِيِّ جِدّاً يُلْبِسُكُمْ أَنْتُمْ يَا قَلِيلِي الإِيمَانِ؟ 31فَلاَ تَهْتَمُّوا قَائِلِينَ: مَاذَا نَأْكُلُ ؟ أَوْ مَاذَا نَشْرَبُ ؟ أَوْ مَاذَا نَلْبَسُ؟ 32فَإِنَّ هَذِهِ كُلَّهَا تَطْلُبُهَا الأُمَمُ. لأَنَّ أَبَاكُمُ السَّمَاوِيَّ يَعْلَمُ أَنَّكُمْ تَحْتَاجُونَ إِلَى هَذِهِ كُلِّهَا. 33لَكِنِ اطْلُبُوا أَوَّلاً مَلَكُوتَ اللَّهِ وَبِرَّهُ ، وَهَذِهِ كُلُّهَا تُزَادُ لَكُمْ.




Hymns of the Day

Apolytikion of St Stephen in the 1st Tone

For the struggles you endured for Christ God, a royal diadem crowns your head, O First Champion of Martyrs. For you refuted the folly of the Jews and beheld your Savior on the right of the Father. Ever beseech Him, therefore, for our souls.

Kontakion of Nativity of John the Forerunner in the Third Tone

She that once was barren doth today bring forth Christ's Forerunner, John, the culmination and the crown of all the Prophets. For when he, in River Jordan, laid his hand on Him Whom the Prophets preached aforetime, he was revealed as God the Word's fore-chosen Prophet, His mighty preacher, and His Forerunner in grace.

Wisdom of the Fathers

For God, He said, gave us understanding, that we might chase away all ignorance, and have the right judgment of things, and that using this as a kind of weapon and light against all that is grievous or hurtful, we might remain in safety. But we betray the gift for the sake of things superfluous and useless.
St. John Chrysostom
Homily 20 and 21 on Matthew 6, 4th Century

A brother, more thrifty than covetous, ... left behind him at his death a hundred pieces of money which he had earned by weaving linen. ... a council was held as to what should be done [with the money] ... However, Macarius, Pambo, Isidore and the rest of those called fathers, speaking by the Spirit, decided that they should be interred with their owner, with the words: "Thy money perish with thee."
St. Jerome
Letter 22 to Eustochium


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