Schedule for this week:
Wednesday, September 18, 5:30 p.m.: Small Compline, followed by Bible Study (led by Fr. Henry)
Saturday, September 21, 5:00 pm: Great Vespers
Sunday, September 22, 10:00 am: Divine Liturgy (preceded by the Third Hour, 9:45 am)
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Quote for the Week:
“…should we fall, we should not despair and so estrange ourselves from the Lord’s love. For if He so chooses, He can deal mercifully with our weakness. Only we should not cut ourselves off from Him or feel oppressed when constrained by His commandments, nor should we lose heart when we fall short of our goal…let us always be ready to make a new start. If you fall, rise up. If you fall again, rise up again. Only do not abandon your Physician, lest you be condemned as worse than a suicide because of your despair. Wait on Him, and He will be merciful, either reforming you, or sending you trials, or through some other provision of which you are ignorant.”
– From St. Peter of Damascus
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During the Sundays of the Church year, we each Sunday move through a repeating cycle of eight Tones, with different music and hymns for each tone, which celebrate the resurrection of Christ. This Sunday falls on Tone 4. Here is the Sunday troparion (hymn) of the Resurrection for this Sunday:
Having learned the joyful message of the Resurrection from the angel,
the women Disciples cast from them their parental condemnation,
and proudly broke the news to the Disciples, saying,
Death hath been spoiled. Christ God is risen,
granting the world Great Mercy.
Click here to hear this hymn sung, and here for sheet music.
On this day, we commemorate:
Hieromartyr Phocas of Sinope the wonder-worker; New-martyrs Isaac and Martin; Twenty-six Venerable-martyrs of Zographou monastery on Athos; Venerable Cosmas the Bulgarian of Zographou monastery on Athos *.
I Cor. 16:13-24 (13th Sunday after Pentecost)
O Lord, how magnificent are your works.
You have made all things in wisdom.
Bless the Lord, O my soul.
The Reading is from St. Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians
BRETHREN, be watchful, stand firm in your faith, be courageous, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love.
Now, brethren, you know that the household of Stephanas were the first converts in Achaia, and they have devoted themselves to the service of the saints; I urge you to be subject to such men and to every fellow worker and laborer. I rejoice at the coming of Stephanas and Fortunatus and Achaicos, because they have made up for your absence; for they refreshed my spirit as well as yours. Give recognition to such men.
The churches of Asia send greetings. Aquila and Prisca, together with the church in their house, send you hearty greetings in the Lord. All the brethren send greetings. Greet one another with a holy kiss.
I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand. If any one has no love for the Lord, let him be accursed. Our Lord, come!
The Reading of the Holy Gospel according to St. Luke
At that time: While the people pressed upon Jesus to hear the word of God, he was standing by the lake of Gennesaret. And he saw two boats by the lake; but the fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets. Getting into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, he asked him to put out a little from the land. And he sat down and taught the people from the boat. And when he had ceased speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” And Simon answered, “Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets.” And when they had done this, they enclosed a great shoal of fish; and as their nets were breaking, they beckoned to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink. But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.” For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the catch of fish which they had taken; and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; henceforth you will be catching men.” And when they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed him.
Hieromartyr Phocas the Bishop of Sinope
Hieromartyr Phocas was born in the city of Sinope. From youth he led a virtuous Christian life, and in his adult years he became Bishop of Sinope. St Phocas converted many pagans to faith in Christ. At the time of a persecution against Christians under the emperor Trajan (98-117), the governor demanded that the saint renounce Christ. After fierce torture they enclosed St Phocas in a hot bath, where he died a martyr’s death in the year 117.
In the year 404, the relics of the saint were transferred to Constantinople (July 22).
The Hieromartyr Phocas is especially venerated as a defender against fires, and also as a helper of the drowning.
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* Twenty-six Venerable Martyrs of the Zographou Monastery on Mount Athos. In the year 1274 at the Council of Lyons (in France), the Byzantine Emperor Michael VIII Paleologos decided to buttress his waning power by forming a union with Latin Rome. This step evoked universal discontent. In 1278, the emperor issued a decree to introduce the Union at Constantinople by forceful measures, if necessary.
Mount Athos stood in firm opposition to the false union. The Athonite Monks sent a letter to Michael pointing out that the primacy of the Pope, his commemoration in the churches, celebrating the eucharist with unleavened bread, the insertion of the “filioque” [“and from the Son”] into the Creed, could not be accepted by Orthodox, and they asked the Emperor to change his mind. “We clearly see,” the letter said, “that you are becoming a heretic, but we implore you to forsake all this and abide in the teachings that were handed down to you…. Reject the unholy and novel teachings of a false knowledge, speculations, and additions to the Faith.”
The Crusaders pushed out of Palestine and finding refuge in the Byzantine Empire, declared to the Emperor their readiness to affirm the power of the Pope by fire and sword, if necessary. In addition, Michael had hired mercenaries, both Turks and Tatars, to enforce his decree.
The Emperor despised the righteous and true confessing Monks of Mount Athos for their opposition. Since he did not want to provoke the Greeks, he decided to vent his spite upon the Athonite Slavs. By Michael’s order, the servants of the Pope descended upon the Bulgarian Zographou Monastery. When the demand to accept the false-union was presented before the Zographou Monks, they refused to listen. They adhered to the holy and blameless Faith of the Fathers, and fearlessly censured those who accepted the Latin errors. The majority of the Zographou monks left the Monastery, but the most steadfast, twenty-six in number, remained within the monastery tower. These were: Igumen Thomas, and the Monks Barsanuphios, Kyril, Michael, Simon, Hilarion, James, Job, Cyprian, Sava, Jacob, Martinian, Cosmas, Sergios, Menas, Joasaph, Joannicios, Paul, Anthony, Euthymios, Dometian, Parthenios, and four laymen.
The Holy Martyrs for their Orthodox Faith, were burned in the Monastery tower on October 10, 1284.
(From The Prologue of Ohrid by St. Nikolai of Zicha)