Saturday, October 1, 2016

Feasts: Fast Free


Prayer:
Constant communication with God is imperative as believers. I ask that we pray the following prayer.

O Lord, our God, please bless the parishioners of St. Demetrios and any one that might be sick, suffering, lonely or seeking to find God’s peace 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

Saints:

John Koukouzelis the Psalti

The Holy Protection of the Theotokos

Reading:


The Feast of the Protection commemorates the appearance of the most holy Theotokos in the Church of Blachernae in Constantinople in the early sixth century, as recorded in the life of Saint Andrew the Fool for Christ's sake. While the multitudes of the faithful were gathered in church, Epiphanius, the friend of Saint Andrew, through the Saint's prayers, beheld the Virgin Mary above the faithful and spreading out her veil over them, signifying her unceasing protection of all Christians. Because of this we keep a yearly feast of gratitude, imploring our Lady never to cease sheltering us in her mighty prayers.

In the Greek tradition, this feast is celebrated on October 28, while in the Slavic tradition, this feast is celebrated on October 1.

Apolytikion of Holy Protection of the Theotokos in the First Tone

O Virgin, we extol the great grace of thy Protection, which thou didst spread out like a bright cloud beyond all understanding; for thou dost invisibly protect thy people from the foe's every assault. Since we have thee as our shelter and certain help, we cry to thee with our whole soul: Glory to thy great deeds, O most pure Maid. Glory to thy shelter most divine. Glory to thy care and providence for us, O spotless one.

Kontakion of Holy Protection of the Theotokos in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone

Let us the faithful hasten to the Theotokos now and venerate her sacred veil, as we chant unto her, singing hymns to praise and honour her, as is fitting; for she shelt'reth with her shelter and all her faithful flock and preserveth them unharmed from all calamities, as they cry to her: Rejoice, Protection most radiant.

Ananias, Apostle of the 70

Reading:


Saint Ananias, whose name means "God is gracious," was from Damascus, where by divine revelation he was commanded to baptize the Apostle Paul (Acts 9: 10-17). He completed the course of martyrdom when he was stoned to death during the proconsulate of Lucian.

Apolytikion of Ananias of the 70 in the Third Tone

O Holy Apostle Ananias, intercede to our merciful God, that He may grant our souls forgiveness of sins.

Kontakion of Ananias of the 70 in the Second Tone

Our most fervent advocate in intercession who dost hearken most quickly to them that pray to thee, receive our supplication, O Ananias, and implore Christ, Who alone is glorified in the Saints, to have mercy on us.

Romanos the Melodist

Reading:


Saint Romanos flourished during the reign of Anastasius (491-518). He was from Emesa of Syria, and apparently was born of Jewish parents, for a hymn written in his honour in Greek says he was "of Hebrew stock," and it has furthermore been noted that he uses many Semitic idioms in his writings. He was baptized an Orthodox Christian, and at some time became a deacon in the Church of Beirut. He was the first composer of the kontakia, the foremost of which is that of the feast of Christ's Nativity, On this day the Virgin .... In composing many of his kontakia. Saint Romanos was inspired by the hymns of Saint Ephraim of Syria.

Apolytikion of Romanos the Melodist in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone

The image of God, was faithfully preserved in you, O Father. For you took up the Cross and followed Christ. By Your actions you taught us to look beyond the flesh for it passes, rather to be concerned about the soul which is immortal. Wherefore, O Holy Romanos, your soul rejoices with the angels.

Kontakion of Romanos the Melodist in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone

As a harmonious harp of lofty wisdom from on high and an expounder of things seen in God-inspired ascents, we extol thee, Father Romanos, and we hymn thee. As a trumpet of the gifts that pass the mind of man, do thou rouse us to divine and saving watchfulness, as we cry to thee: Rejoice, O Father elect of God.

Epistle Reading

Acts of the Apostles 9:10-19

 
Prokeimenon. Mode 4. 
Psalm 18.4,1

Their voice has gone out into all the earth.
Verse: The heavens declare the glory of God.

IN THOSE DAYS, there was a disciple at Damascus named Ananias. The Lord said to him in a vision, "Ananias." And he said, "Here I am, Lord." And the Lord said to him, "Rise and go to the street called Straight, and inquire in the house of Judas for a man of Tarsus named Saul; for behold, he is praying, and he has seen a man named Ananias come in and lay his hands on him so that he might regain his sight." But Ananias answered, "Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much evil he has done to thy saints at Jerusalem; and here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call upon thy name." But the Lord said to him, "Go, for he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the sons of Israel; for I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name." So Ananias departed and entered the house. And laying his hands on him he said, "Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus who appeared to you on the road by which you came, has sent me that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit." And immediately something like scales fell from his eyes and he regained his sight. Then he rose and was baptized, and took food and was strengthened.

Gospel Reading

Saturday of the 2nd Week

The Gospel according to Luke 5:17-26


At that time, as Jesus was teaching, there were Pharisees and teachers of the law sitting by, who had come from every village of Galilee and Judea and from Jerusalem; and the power of the Lord was with him to heal. And behold, men were bringing on a bed a man who was paralyzed, and they sought to bring him in and lay him before Jesus; but finding no way to bring him in, because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and let him down with his bed through the tiles into the midst before Jesus. And when he saw their faith he said, "Man, your sins are forgiven you." And the scribes and the Pharisees began to question, saying, "Who is this that speaks blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God only?" When Jesus perceived their questionings, he answered them, "Why do you question in your hearts? Which is easier, to say, 'Your sins are forgiven you,' or to say, 'Rise and walk'? But that you may know that the Son of man has authority on earth to forgive sins" -- he said to the man who was paralyzed -- "I say to you, rise, take up your bed and go home." And immediately he rose before them, and took up that on which he lay, and went home, glorifying God. And amazement seized them all, and they glorified God and were filled with awe, saying, "We have seen strange things today."

First Hour Prayers
In every moment direct me according to Your word, lest all lawlessness overpowers me. Rescue me from slanderous men, and guard me with Your commandments. Shine Your face upon Your servant and teach me Your statutes. Let my mouth be filled with Your praise O Lord so that I may sing of Your glory the whole day long, as is greatly fitting to do.

Christ the True Light, Who enlightens and sanctifies everyone who comes into the world, imprint the light of Your countenance upon us, in order that we may see Your unapproachable light. Direct us at every moment, to works in accordance with Your commandments. Through the prayers of Your all-pure Mother and all Your saints. 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.

Message from Fr Gary

Fr Gary

God’s Holy Word


A great benefit of spending time at summer camp is the opportunity to disconnect from technology. Not having a phone or internet connection gets you excited to receive mail. A great joy is receiving a (good old fashioned) letter from home. The delight in holding an envelope with the familiar handwriting of a loved one is a highlight for all the staff, counselors and campers. Everyone gets electrified when they get mail (real, handwritten, stamped envelope mail).

One afternoon at St. Sophia Camp, the Director handed me a small envelope sent to me from Christie. I took it, looked at it and put it in my pocket. “You gonna read it?” He asked. I nodded, smiled and walked to the chapel to prepare for evening vespers. I placed it on the altar and put my vestments on for the service.

Vespers ended and the kids were excited to go up the hill to mail call, anticipating their own letters and packages. Prior to their leaving the chapel I shared with them the unopened envelope from my wife. I asked, “What if I just set this letter from my wife on my night stand and never opened or read it?” The responses were touching and hilarious.

One little guy said, “I think you should read it, it will make you happy!” Another jokingly said, “You might end up sleeping on the couch if you don’t.” An older teen girl said, “That’s just coldhearted, what if...

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