September 17 Bulletin

Upcoming

Wednesday  1 pm           Bible Study

Friday          11 am           Choir practice

9 -1               Iconography Class

Saturday     5 pm           Great Vespers

Sunday-September 17- Sunday After the Elevation of the Holy Cross

 Tone 1-Troparion of the Cross

O Lord, save Thy people and bless Thine inheritance! Grant victories to the Orthodox Christians over their adversaries; and by virtue of Thy Cross, preserve Thy habitation!

Tone 8-Troparion of Pentecost

Blessed art Thou, O Christ our God, Who hast revealed the fishermen as most wise by sending down upon them the Holy Spirit – through them Thou didst draw the world into Thy net. O Lover of all Mankind, glory to Thee!

 

Tone 4-Kontakion of the Cross

As Thou wast voluntarily raised upon the Cross for our sake, grant mercy to those who are called by Thy Name, O Christ God; make all Orthodox Christians glad by thy pow’r, granting them victories over their adversaries by bestowing on them the invincible trophy, Thy weapon of peace!

 Tone 1-Kontakion of Pentecost

When the Most High came down and confused the tongues, He divided all the nations, but when He distributed the tongues of fire, He called all mankind to unity. Therefore, with one voice we glorify the Holy Spirit.

Tone 2-Kontakion of Ordinary Sundays

On this day Thou didst rise from the tomb, O Merciful One, leading us from the

gates of death. On this day Adam exults as Eve rejoices; with the Prophets and

Patriarchs they unceasingly praise the divine majesty of Thy power.

The Reading from the Epistle of St. Paul to the Galatians. (2:16-20)

Brethren, you know that a man is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ.  Even we have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ, and not by works of the law, because by works of the law shall no one be justified.

But if, in our endeavor to be justified in Christ, we ourselves were found to be sinners, is Christ then an agent of sin?  Certainly not!  But if I build up again those things which I tore down, then I prove myself a transgressor.

For I through the Law died to the Law, that I might live to God.  I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ Who lives in me; and the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself for me.

The Reading from the Holy Gospel according to St. Mark. (8:34-9:1)

The Lord said, “If any man would come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me.  For whoever would save his life will lose it; and whoever loses his life for My sake and the Gospel’s will save it.

For what does it profit a man, to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?  For what can a man give in return for his soul?  For whoever is ashamed of Me and of My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of man also be ashamed, when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.”

And He said to them, “Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see the Kingdom of God come with power.”

Instead of “It is truly meet …,” we sing:

Magnify, O my soul, the most precious Cross of the Lord! Thou art a mystical Paradise, O Theotokos, who, though untilled, hast brought forth Christ; through Him the life-bearing wood of the Cross was planted on earth. Now at its Exaltation, as we bow in worship before it, we magnify thee.

And the remainder of the Divine Liturgy as usual.

Announcements

Spiritual Growth

The following is advice St. Paisios gave on spiritual growth after he was asked for his blessing by a visitor:

  1. You must take care of the purification of your soul on a daily basis.
  2. You must acquire divine justice and not logic, for only then the grace of our Christ will come to you.
  3. Before you do something, think if Christ wants you to; then, act accordingly.
  4. You must perfectly practice obedience, so you may later talk to others about the virtue of obedience.
  5. The “no” you say to people must be “no”, and the “yes” must be “yes”. Do not pretend, but say whatever you think, even if it hurts the other person; say it in a good manner, however, and also give some explanations.
  6. You must have and maintain this spiritual dignity; always pay attention to what pleases your fellow monks and not to what pleases yourself.
  7. Everyday you should read a section from the New Testament for the purification of your soul.
  8. Do not look at what other people do, or examine how, and why they do it. Your own goal is the purification of your soul and the perfect submission of your mind to divine grace. So everything for the sake of your goal; pray, study, say humbly the Jesus prayer, being aware that you absolutely need God’s mercy. In other words, pay attention to your spiritual work.

This is advice we can all benefit from.

Let us attend:

To the Clergy, Monastics and Faithful of the Orthodox Church in America,

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

Today is the Anniversary of the tragic attacks of September 11, 2001 on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and Flight 93 that came down in the fields of Shanksville, Pennsylvania.  At the same time that we remember those who lost their lives from these shameful acts of human terrorism, we are praying for the millions of people who have been affected by the on-going onslaught of natural disasters, particularly hurricanes and earthquakes on several continents, including our own.

Even in popular media these multiple events prompt apocalyptic thinking about the end of the world. It certainly seems that the extent of both natural disasters and human violence place us in a context much as our Lord Jesus Christ describes in the Gospel reading we hear on the Saturday following the Elevation of the Cross [Matthew 24:1-13]

While the tone of this passage seems frightening, it is important to recognize that this passage is heard while we are in the midst of the celebration of the Exaltation of the Cross.

“He who endures to the end shall be saved.” With our Lord’s final exhortation, we are given an overall message of hope and encouragement, which is precisely the message of the Cross: through the Cross, joy has come into all the world. Indeed, the very next verse says it is this gospel of the Kingdom—this joyful news of God’s presence in the midst of calamities—that is our message and witness to the world. “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, as a testimony to all nations; and then the end will come” [Matthew 24:14].

As we sing on the feast itself, the Cross is ultimately a source of hope for us and the means by which mercy and resurrection are offered to us and to the world.  “The Tree of true life was planted in the place of the skull, and upon it, eternal King, Thou hast wrought salvation in the midst of the earth! Exalted today, it sanctifies the ends of the world. Angels in heaven greatly rejoice and men and women upon earth make glad, crying aloud with David and saying: Exalt the Lord our God and worship at His footstool, for He is holy and grants the world great mercy!” [Litiya].

Suffering makes the world “the place of the skull.” Yet that is where God has chosen to plant His Cross as “the Tree of true life.” As we pray for those who lost their lives in the 9/11 terrorist attacks (and all the attacks that have subsequently afflicted so many parts of the world) and those who have perished or are suffering through the effects of Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Irma and the earthquake in Mexico, let us make the message of the Cross and Resurrection our focus and hope.

Yours in Christ,

  • Tikhon

Archbishop of Washington

Metropolitan of All America and Canada

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