December 11 Bulletin


Tuesday      9 am           Divine Liturgy-St. Herman

                    10 am          Parish Council Meeting

Thursday    9 am           Matins

Friday         9 am           Matins

                     12-2            Street Sale

                     1 pm            Choir Practice

Saturday     9 am           Icon Class

                     5 pm           Great Vespers

25th Sunday after Pentecost/ Sunday of the Forefathers

Tone 8Troparion of the Resurrection

Thou didst descend from on high, O Merciful One! Thou didst accept the three day burial to free us from our sufferings!//O Lord, our Life and Resurrection, 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 2-Troparion of the Holy Forefathers

Through faith Thou didst justify the Forefathers, betrothing through them the Church of the gentiles. These saints exult in glory, for from their seed came forth a glorious fruit: she who bore Thee without seed.//So by their prayers, O Christ God, have mercy on us!

Tone 8-Kontakion of the Resurrection

The dominion of death can no longer hold men captive, for Christ descended, shattering and destroying its powers. Hell is bound, while the Prophets rejoice and cry: “The Savior has come to those in faith;//enter, you faithful, into the Resurrection!”

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

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.

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 Epistle of St. Paul to the Colossians. (3:4-11)

 Brethren, when Christ, Who is our life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.  Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: fornication, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.  On account of these, the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience.  In these you once walked, when you lived in them.  But now put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and foul talk from your mouth.

Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old nature with its practices and have put on the new nature, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its Creator.  Here there cannot be Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free man, but Christ is all, and in all.

The Reading from the Holy Gospel according to St. Luke. (14:16-24)

The Lord spoke this parable: “A man once gave a great banquet, and invited many; and at the time for the banquet he sent his servant to say to those who had been invited, ‘Come; for all is now ready.’

But, one by one, they all began to make excuses.  The first said to him, ‘I have bought a field, and I must go out and see it; I pray you, have me excused.’  And another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to examine them; I pray you, have me excused.’  And another said, ‘I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.’  So the servant came and reported this to his master.

Then the householder in anger said to his servant, ‘Go out quickly to the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in the poor and maimed and blind and lame.’  And the servant said, ‘Sir, what you commanded has been done, and still there is room.’

And the master said to the servant, ‘Go out to the highways and hedges, and compel people to come in, that my house may be filled.  For I tell you, none of those men who were invited shall taste my banquet.’  For many are called, but few are chosen.”


Divine Liturgy

There will be a Divine Liturgy on Tuesday, December 13 for St. Herman, at 9 am, please join us. Fish, wine and oil allowed.

Concerning Communion and Confession at HSOC

This is the United Nations Parish. People are from all over. With different traditions, and different understandings of how to practice the Orthodox Faith. This is good. This is healthy. This is normal. We should be thankful for the diversity we have, especially at a pot luck dinner! At the same time-some things are more important than other things.

For instance, what kind to food you have to celebrate Christmas is usually something you hold to, not because it is in an Orthodox book, but because that is how you grew up. Other things are more universal and all Orthodox do the same thing. Like the Creed, or making the cross, or icons.

Some practices developed historically, due to political, social and economic situations and are unique to that time and place. For instance, Greeks under Turkish rule were greatly persecuted and there often was no priest. This also occurred in Romania, Serbia and other places during W.W. 2 and other times.

During those unusual times in those places, practices developed out of necessity. As an example, priests who were un-educated were sometimes ordained only to sing the Divine Liturgy, they could not hear confession. There was no seminary to train them. This caused unusual practices to develop out of necessity, not out of our Tradition. This was for the survival of the Faith.

Here we see the difference between “T” tradition and “t” tradition. The universal things are capital “T” Tradition. Other more local things are called small “t” tradition. In the small t tradition, variation is wonderful. Not in capital T Tradition. Got the difference?

How can we determine the difference between tradition and Tradition? Holy Tradition includes what has been always believed by all Orthodox, everywhere. It is the Creeds, canons, Councils, dogmas, prayers, worship services, and especially the Holy Scripture. Even how we make the sign of the cross is a dogma. It is not optional. Nor is the Ever-Virginity of Mary.

What about the Sacrament of Repentance and Confession, is that optional? NO. Does Confession have anything to do with Communion? Yes and No. Yes, because according to the decrees of the Holy Fathers, each Orthodox Christian has a minimal obligation to come to the Sacrament of Confession at least once a year. That is not a lot. Perhaps sure some have not gone in years, some not for decades? Why? Because in those difficult times in eras of oppression, this was taught and necessary. We are not in those times now. It is up to us to adjust, to adopt the ancient Tradition.

No, because going to Confession does not make you worthy of Communion, it is not magic. Confession is a normal part of a Christian life, as is fasting and prayer. It is part of living a life of repentance. Coming to Communion should not be an extraordinary effort twice a year. Neither should Confession.

Please take time to read 1 Corinthians 11: 17-32, especially verse 29.

To come to confession is to admit before God that you are a sinner, that you need healing and help. If you cannot do that, you are not a Christian. Coming to church does not make you a Christian. Does standing in your garage make you a car?

A Christian has a broken and contrite heart. Read Psalm 50 (51) “A broken and contrite heart God will not despise.” The Lord offers us a banquet of spiritual healing and nourishment, let us not neglect it. Prayerfully consider these things and ask Fr. Stephen questions if you have any.


Fr. Stephen has accepted an invitation to be on the Board of Directors of The Southeastern Institute on Chemical Dependency, a group in Venice who seek to promote education and assistance to clergy and professionals in the area of prevention and treatment of chemical dependency in all its forms.

Church Dome Restoration Project

The Parish Council has been investigating how to best restore the dome on the church building to its original condition. They have come to the conclusion that the best way to proceed is with a company called Real Gold.  They are experts at this. They have a man who does this full time all over the world. They will come and prepare the dome, install the 22k gold and seal it. It is guaranteed for 15 years. The cost is about $10,000 and some has already been pledged. If you would like to donate to this fund please let us know. After the dome has been restored, lighting will be added to illuminate it after dark, not included in the cost.

Our Bishop Alexander to be in Miami

Bishop Alexander (Golitzin) of Dallas, retired Professor of Theology (Marquette U.) will speaking on “The Theological Relevance of the Old Testament.” This lecture was postponed until January due to Hurricane Matthew. Lecture and lunch are complimentary (donations are encouraged). It is on Saturday, January 21 at the OCA Cathedral in Miami Lakes. We will car pool.

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