Feasts: Strict Fast
Constant communication with God is imperative as believers. I ask that we pray the following prayer.
O Lord, our God, please bless those who contribute to the enrichment of our Church, our Chanters, Choir, Staff, Stewards, Ushers, and Volunteers with a sacred desire to serve with gladness and dedicated hearts. Assign a Guardian Angel to walk before them so that they grow in faith and discernment. Multiply their efforts, sanctify their work and bless all of their endeavors. Grant them well-being and health. Grant them understanding, peace and happiness in this life to help them fulfill Your will. AMEN
Polychronios the Martyr
Julian the Presbyter & Caesarius the Deacon
John the Hermit of Crete
Jonah of Manchuria
Sergius & Bacchus the Great Martyrs of Syria
These holy Martyrs were Romans of high rank in the service of the Emperor Maximian, to whom it was reported that they did not take part in the festivals of the idols. When he called them into his presence, they confessed their Faith in the one God. He had them arrayed in women's clothes and paraded through the streets in mockery. They were afterwards scourged, from which Saint Bacchus died. This was about the year 296. Saint Sergius was then taken to Resapha in Syria, where he was tortured and beheaded. His tomb in Resapha became a very famous shrine, to which pilgrims came from as far away as Western Europe; Resapha was later renamed Sergiopolis in his honour.
Apolytikion of Martyrs Sergius and Bacchus in the Fourth Tone
Thy Martyrs, O Lord, in their courageous contest for Thee received as the prize the crowns of incorruption and life from Thee, our immortal God. For since they possessed Thy strength, they cast down the tyrants and wholly destroyed the demons' strengthless presumption. O Christ God, by their prayers, save our souls, since Thou art merciful.
Kontakion of Martyrs Sergius and Bacchus in the Third Tone
As we gather, let us crown with sacred hymns of laudation those two brethren in the Faith, the great and valorous martyrs: Sergius was the Triune Godhead's most steadfast warrior; and with him, wise Bacchus manfully suffered torments; and they both confessed Christ Saviour as God, the Maker and sacred Trainer of all.
St. Paul's Letter to the Ephesians 1:7-17
Exalt the Lord our God.
Verse: The Lord reigns; let the people tremble.
BRETHREN, we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace which he lavished upon us. For he has made known to us in all wisdom and insight the mystery of his will, according to his purpose which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fulness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. In him, according to the purpose of him who accomplishes all things according to the counsel of his will, we who first hoped in Christ have been destined and appointed to live for the praise of his glory, In him you also, who have heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and have believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, which is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory. For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him.
Friday of the 3rd Week
The Gospel according to Luke 7:31-35
The Lord said, "To what then shall I compare the men of this generation, and what are they like? They are like children sitting in the market place and calling to one another, 'We piped to you, and you did not dance; we wailed, and you did not weep.' For John the Baptist has come eating no bread and drinking no wine; and you say, 'He has a demon.' The Son of man has come eating and drinking; and you say, 'Behold, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!' Yet wisdom is justified by all her children."
Third Hour Prayers
Lord, Who sent down Your Holy Spirit in the third hour to Your Apostles; take not Your Spirit from us, but rather restore Your Spirit in us who pray to You, O Good One.
You are blessed, O Christ our God, Who made the fishermen wise by sending down Your Holy Spirit. Through them You have captured the world into their nets. Glory to You, O Lover of Mankind!
Prayer of St. Mardarios
O God the Master, Father All-Powerful, O Lord, the Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit; One Godhead, One Power, have mercy on me a sinner and save me, Your unworthy servant, as You are the knower of all judgments. For You are blessed now and always. Amen.
Fr Gary's New Year's Challenge:
Educate yourself in the Word of God. A weekday, Monday - Friday, reading guide has been prepared for the year. By sticking to this plan you will read the entire New Testament (The Gospel of Matthew through Revelation) by the end of the 2016. Milestones are easily set and marked so that you do not fall behind. Reading and knowing God’s Word is essential to Christian growth.