October 2 Bulletin

Upcoming

Tuesday      9 am  Matins         1 pm  Adult Study Group

Thursday    9 am  Divine Liturgy-St. Innocent, Apostle Thomas

7 pm  Balkan Dancers at St. Sava in North Port

Friday         9 am  Iconography Class

                       1 pm  Choir Practice

Saturday     No Vespers-Bishop Alexander in Miami

15th Sunday after Pentecost-Hieromartyr Cyprian

Tone 6-Troparion of the Resurrection

The Angelic Powers were at Thy tomb; the guards became as dead men. Mary stood by Thy grave, seeking Thy most pure body. Thou didst capture hell not being tempted by it. Thou didst come to the Virgin, granting life. O Lord, Who didst rise from the dead, glory to Thee.

Tone 8-Troparion of Pentecost

Blessed art Thou, O Christ our God, Who has 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 6-Kontakion of the Resurrection

When Christ God the Giver of Life, raised all of the dead from the valleys of misery with His mighty hand, He bestowed resurrection on the human race. He is the Savior of all, the Resurrection, the Life, and the God of all.

Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,

Tone 8-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.

Now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.

Kontakion of Ordinary Sundays

Steadfast protectress of Christians, constant advocate before the creator, despise not the entreating cry of us sinners; but in your goodness come speedily to help us who call on you in faith: hasten to hear our petition and to intercede for us, O Theotokos, for you always protect those who honor you.

 The Reading from the Second Epistle of St. Paul to the Corinthians.

Brethren, it is the God Who said, “Let light shine out of darkness” Who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, to show that the transcendent power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies.

For while we live we are always being given up to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus may be manifested in our mortal flesh.  So death is at work in us, but life in you. Since we have the same spirit of faith as he had who wrote, “I believed, and so I spoke,” we too believe, and so we speak, knowing that He Who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into His presence.  For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.

The Reading from the Holy Gospel according to St. Luke. (6:31-36)

The Lord said: “As you wish that men would do to you, do so to them.  If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you?  For even sinners love those who love them.  And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you?  For even sinners do the same.  And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive, what credit is that to you?  Even sinners lend to sinners, to receive as much again.

But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He is kind to the ungrateful and the selfish.  Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.”

Announcements

Adult Study Group

Join our study group on Tuesday. All are welcome. Get in the habit of bringing a Bible, preferably, the whole Bible. Especially, The Orthodox Study Bible. We will be in the Old Testament as well as the New.

Learning more about our Faith is a foundation building exercise that strengthens our Life in Christ. You can always learn more, then put it into practice.

Special Event in October!

This Saturday, October 8, you have an opportunity to meet our bishop, His Grace, the Right Reverend Alexander; and to hear him speak as well.

This day we will not be having Vespers, as I will be going to hear His Grace speak. Here is the notice from the Cathedral.

Join us at the Orthodox Cathedral in Miami Lakes for our Autumn Retreat led by His Grace, Alexander, Bishop of the South (OCA), and former Professor of Theology at Marquette University. He will lecture on “The Theological Relevance of the Old Testament,” unpacking themes in the Bible often overlooked by other scholars. The Autumn Retreat will begin with a short prayer service, and end with Vespers. A complimentary lunch will be provided for all participants.

Ride share with those going. Meet here at the church at 6:45 am.

Another opportunity to learn and meet other Orthodox Christians. It will be an all-day trip.

http://www.orthodoxmiami.org for more info.

The address for the Cathedral is:

16601 NW 77th Ct, Hialeah, FL 33016, be there by 10:30 am.

Fr. Stephen will not be going on Saturday, he will be going on Friday for a Deanery clergy meeting with the bishop.

Do You Want a Funeral?

One of the most disheartening things I hear among friends, family and parishioners is something like this- “Oh, I don’t want a funeral. Nobody needs to make a fuss over me! Just stick me in the ground and move on.” An alternative second sentence would end with, “That’s why I want to be cremated.” I even had a Greek Orthodox lady tell me she didn’t want to be buried because she was claustrophobic. I asked her, “So, do you know how cremation works? You realize there is still a box involved?”

This attitude is even found with life-long Orthodox sometimes. I must confess, I find this to be quite self-centered. Here is a tip–the funeral is not about you!

People are uncomfortable with death and therefore say the strangest things. Let’s work at getting over this. Death is un-natural (it was not created by God) but it is a huge part of life, let’s not let fear make us un-Orthodox.

We don’t do something called a Celebration of Life. We do a funeral. We celebrate that Death has been overthrown, that sins can be forgiven, we rejoice in the Resurrection, despite our sins. We recognize that we need prayer, mercy. We want to be a sheep, not a goat. (Matthew 25:32) Why should you want a funeral? What are people missing?

People are missing a proper view of The Church–Our culture has become increasingly individualistic, it’s all me about me! But the Church is an eternal, living and life-giving body in the Holy Trinity, a fellowship of those in Christ. The entire body of Christ responds to a person entering or leaving the earthly expression of this body; holy baptism and the Orthodox Funeral Services are two significant avenues of recognizing the reality of life in Christ on earth.

Let me be blunt:

Just as there should be no “private” baptisms, no one in the Church should be deprived of attending your funeral. Nor should you deprive yourself of the prayers of The Church. Do you reject your fellow believers prayers for you? Do you think the prayers are not needed or of no effect? Are you are so confident in the life you lived that have you don’t need The Church to pray- Lord, have mercy? Grant rest eternal?

We, the living, need a funeral. You, the departed, need the prayers of the Church, living and departed. Why reject this? We like to make a fuss.

Believers have been having funerals for thousands of years; literally. Monks, bishops, priests, prophets, kings, soldiers, murderers, nuns, poor, rich, saintly, unsaintly. But you “don’t want to make a fuss?” Adopt a more Orthodox approach.

What is our Tradition? Why should I want that?

It’s a long story. (as usual)

Begin by studying the Holy Scriptures-the word translated “buried” is used over 100 times in the Holy Scriptures. Here are a few to look up. Gen. 15:15; 23:19, 25:10, 35:29, 48:7, Joshua 24:32, 1 Samuel 31:13. The body is sacred, even after the spirit departs.

Look at the Services of The Church for Death, Dying and Funerals-examine what is being prayed, sung, done. Prayerfully read and think about the wisdom of The Church that is reflected in the Services. With all the references to burial in the O.T., do you not think that there was a funeral? A ceremony, that people mourned? That “a fuss was made?”

Reflect on the ages old way of showing love to the dying and the departed. Why should it change? What makes the ways of our culture appealing to you, as opposed to what has always been done by those who faithfully follow God?

If you are planning on cremation-do some research into the whole process, what really happens in cremation?

How do the Orthodox regard the body of a departed Orthodox Christian? What is a relic? What does it mean to desecrate a body? Why have Orthodox always prohibited cremation?

Attend an Orthodox Funeral and observe what happens.

The Funeral and the way that Orthodox go through death, dying and burial is much healthier and therapeutic than we realize.

I was at the bedside of a Russian Orthodox woman who was on a ventilator, at the end of her life. Her husband would not stay with me to say the prayers, did not say good-bye, there was no service. She was cremated, not a memorial, nothing. The old pagans knew better than this. It was so sad to me. And it stirred something within me. Anger at what The Evil One is doing to The Church. This must be addressed and stopped.

At Holy Spirit Orthodox Church we are committed to helping you retain what we received from our Holy Fathers. A funeral need not be a huge expense. We can help with this. We have less expensive plans, low cost coffins, an Orthodox Cemetery.

Examine our webpage, click on the link “End of Life Issues” and read more.

 

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