Category Archives: General

Pentecost

Introduction

The Feast of Holy Pentecost is celebrated each year on the fiftieth day after the Great and Holy Feast of Pascha (Easter) and ten days after the Feast of the Ascension of Christ. The Feast is always celebrated on a Sunday. The Feast commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles on the day of Pentecost, a feast of the Jewish tradition. It also celebrates the establishment of the Church through the preaching of the Apostles and the baptism of the thousands who on that day believed in the Gospel message of salvation through Jesus Christ. The Feast is also seen as the culmination of the revelation of the Holy Trinity. Pentecost Biblical Story The story of Pentecost is found in the book of The Acts of the Apostles. In Chapter two we are told that the Apostles of our Lord were gathered together in one place. Suddenly, a sound came from heaven like a rushing wind, filling the entire house where they were sitting. Then, tongues of fire appeared, and one sat upon each one of Apostles. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages as directed by the Spirit (Acts 2:1-4). This miraculous event occurred on the Jewish Feast of Pentecost, celebrated by the Jews on the fiftieth day after the Passover as the culmination of the Feast of Weeks (Exodus 34:22; Deuteronomy 16:10). The Feast of Weeks began on the third day after the Passover with the presentation of the first harvest sheaves to God, and it concluded on Pentecost with the offering of two loaves of unleavened bread, representing the first products of the harvest (Leviticus 23:17-20; Deuteronomy 16:9-10). Since the Jewish Feast of Pentecost was a great pilgrimage feast, many people from throughout the Roman Empire were gathered in Jerusalem on this day. When the people in Jerusalem heard the sound, they came together and heard their own languages being spoken by the Apostles (Acts 2:5-6). The people were amazed, knowing that some of those speaking were Galileans, and not men who would normally speak many different languages. They wondered what this meant, and some even thought the Apostles were drunk (Acts 2:7-13). Peter, hearing these remarks, stood up and addressed the crowd. He preached to the people regarding the Old Testament prophecies about the coming of the Holy Spirit. He spoke about Jesus Christ and His death and glorious Resurrection. Great conviction fell upon the people, and they asked the Apostles, "What shall we do?" Peter said to them, "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit" (Acts 2:38-39). The Bible records that on that day about three thousand were baptized. Following, the book of Acts states that the newly baptized continued daily to hear the teaching of the Apostles, as the early Christians met together for fellowship, the breaking of bread, and for prayer. Many wonderful signs and miracles were done through the Apostles, and the Lord added to the Church daily those who were being saved (Acts 2:42-47).

Orthodox Christian Celebration of the Feast of Pentecost

This great Feast of the Church is celebrated with the Divine Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom on the Sunday that is the fiftieth day after the celebration of Pascha. The Liturgy is conducted on the day of the Feast, and is preceded the evening before by a Great Vespers service and on the morning of the Feast by the Matins service. On the day of the Feast a Vespers service is conducted that includes the kneeling prayers. These prayers mark the beginning of the practice of kneeling during the Liturgy at the time when the holy gifts of bread and wine are consecrated as the body and blood of Christ. The practice of kneeling has been suspended during the Paschal season. On the Monday following the Feast, the Divine Liturgy is conducted in commemoration of the All-holy and Life-creating and All-powerful Spirit, Who is God, and One of the Trinity, and of one honor and one essence and one glory with the Father and the Son (From the Synaxarion of the Feast). http://www.goarch.org/special/listen_learn_share/pentecost/index_html  

Schedule of services and events for June 12 – June 19

Monday, June 13 6 PM – Prayer Group 7 pm- Spirituality Class Tuesday, June 14 8:30 AM – Hours Wednesday, June 15 7 PM – Catechism Class Thursday, June 16 8:30 AM –Akathist 7 PM – St. Nectarios Service Saturday, June 18 2 PM – Thompson-Mihaly wedding Sunday, June 19 10 AM – Divine Liturgy – Feast of Pentecost Readers Schedule 6/12 – Paul Toaso 6/19- Susan Paltauf 6/26 – Susan Sulich Coffee Hour 6/12 – Faubel 6/19 – Father’s Day 6/26 - OPEN

Holy Ascension

Ascension174[1] The Lord Jesus passed forty days on earth after His Resurrection from the dead, appearing continually in various places to His disciples, with whom He also spoke, ate, and drank, thereby further demonstrating His Resurrection. On this Thursday, the fortieth day after Pascha, He appeared again in Jerusalem. After He had first spoken to the disciples about many things, He gave them His last commandment, that is, that they go forth and proclaim His Name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. But He also commanded them that for the present, they were not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait there together until they receive power from on high, when the Holy Spirit would come upon them. Saying these things, He led them to the Mount of Olives, and raising His hands, He blessed them; and saying again the words of the Father's blessing, He was parted from them and taken up. Immediately a cloud of light, a proof of His majesty, received Him. Sitting thereon as though on a royal chariot, He was taken up into Heaven, and after a short time was concealed from the sight of the disciples, who remained where they were with their eyes fixed on Him. At this point, two Angels in the form of men in white raiment appeared to them and said, "Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into Heaven? This same Jesus, Who is taken up from you into Heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into Heaven" (Acts 1:11). These words, in a complete and concise manner, declare what is taught in the Symbol of Faith concerning the Son and Word of God. Therefore, having so fulfilled all His dispensation for us, our Lord Jesus Christ ascended in glory into Heaven, and sat at the right hand of God the Father. As for His sacred disciples, they returned from the Mount of Olives to Jerusalem, rejoicing because Christ had promised to send them the Holy Spirit. It should be noted that the Mount of Olives is a Sabbath's day journey from Jerusalem, that is , the distance a Jew was permitted to walk on the day of the Sabbath. Ecumenius writes, "A Sabbath day's journey is one mile in length, as Clement says in his fifth Stromatis; it is two thousand cubits, as the Interpretation of the Acts states." They draw this conclusion from the fact that, while they were in the wilderness, the Israelites of old kept within this distance from the Holy Tabernacle, whither they walked on the Sabbath day to worship God. http://www.goarch.org/chapel/saints_view?contentid=943&type=saints&date=6/9/2016&D=TH

Schedule of events and services for the week of June 5 to June 12

Monday, June 6 6 PM – Prayer Group 7 PM - Spirituality Class Tuesday, June 7 8:30 AM – Hours Wednesday, June 8 4 PM – Vespers for Ascension Thursday, June 9 9 AM –Liturgy for Ascension Friday, June 10 9:30 AM – Old Testament Class Saturday, June 11 9 AM – Cemetery clean-up day 5 PM – Vespers Sunday, June 12 9:30 AM – Chrismation of Eric Evans 10 AM – Divine Liturgy 12 noon – Parish Council meeting Readers Schedule 6/5 – Bob Faubel 6/12 – Paul Toaso 6/19 - Susan Paltauf 6/26 – Susan Sulich Coffee Hour 6/5 – Parish Picnic 6/12 – OPEN 6/19 – Father’s Day 6/26 - OPEN

Schedule of Events and Services for May 29 – June 5

Tuesday, May 31 8:30 AM - Hours Wednesday, June 1 7 PM – Catechism Class Thursday, June 2 8:30 AM –Akathist Service Friday, June 3 9:30 AM – Old Testament Class Saturday, June 4 3 PM – Vespers Sunday, June 5 10 AM – Divine Liturgy 11:30 AM – Graduate Sunday 12 noon – Parish Picnic Readers Schedule  6/5 – Bob Faubel 6/12 – Paul Toaso 6/19 - Susan Paltauf 6/26 – Susan Sulich Coffee Hour 6/5 – Parish Picnic 6/12 – OPEN 6/19 – Father’s Day 6/26 - OPEN

Sunday of the Samaritan Woman

Samaritan.Woman.PhotineOne of the most ancient cities of the Promised Land was Shechem, also called Sikima, located at the foot of Mount Gerazim. There the Israelites had heard the blessings in the days of Moses and Jesus of Navi. Near to this town, Jacob, who had come from Mesopotamia in the nineteenth century before Christ, bought a piece of land where there was a well. This well, preserved even until the time of Christ, was known as Jacob's Well. Later, before he died in Egypt, he left that piece of land as a special inheritance to his son Joseph (Gen. 49:22). This town, before it was taken into possession by Samaria, was also the leading city of the kingdom of the ten tribes. In the time of the Romans it was called Neapolis, and at present Nablus. It was the first city in Canaan visited by the Patriarch Abraham. Here also, Jesus of Navi (Joshua) addressed the tribes of Israel for the last time. Almost three hundred years later, all Israel assembled there to make Roboam (Rehoboam) king. When our Lord Jesus Christ, then, came at midday to this city, which is also called Sychar (John 4:5), He was wearied from the journey and the heat. He sat down at this well. After a little while the Samaritan woman mentioned in today's Gospel passage came to draw water. As she conversed at some length with the Lord and heard from Him secret things concerning herself, she believed in Him; through her many other Samaritans also believed. Concerning the Samaritans we know the following: In the year 721 before Christ, Salmanasar (Shalmaneser), King of the Assyrians, took the ten tribes of the kingdom of Israel into captivity, and relocated all these people to Babylon and the land of the Medes. From there he gathered various nations and sent them to Samaria. These nations had been idolaters from before. Although they were later instructed in the Jewish faith and believed in the one God, they worshipped the idols also. Furthermore, they accepted only the Pentateuch of Moses, and rejected the other books of Holy Scripture. Nonetheless, they thought themselves to be descendants of Abraham and Jacob. Therefore, the pious Jews named these Judaizing and idolatrous peoples Samaritans, since they lived in Samaria, the former leading city of the Israelites, as well as in the other towns thereabout. The Jews rejected them as heathen and foreigners, and had no communion with them at all, as the Samaritan woman observed, "the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans" (John 4:9). Therefore, the name Samaritan is used derisively many times in the Gospel narrations. After the Ascension of the Lord, and the descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, the woman of Samaria was baptized by the holy Apostles and became a great preacher and Martyr of Christ; she was called Photine, and her feast is kept on February 26. - See more at: http://lent.goarch.org/sunday_of_the_samaritan_woman/learn/#sthash.WhMVV6J2.dpuf

Schedule of Events and Services for the week of May 22 – May 29

Monday, May 23 6 PM - Prayer Group 7 PM – OCMC presentation by Kenny Kidde, Development Director Tuesday, May 24 8:30 AM - Hours Wednesday, May 25 7 PM – Catechism Class Thursday, May 26 8:30 AM –Akathist Service Friday, May 27 9:30 AM – Old Testament Class Saturday, May 28 4 PM – Wedding of Nicholas Fong and Jenny Bostic Sunday, May 29 10 AM – Divine Liturgy Readers Schedule 5/22 – Harry Fong 5/29 – Paul Sulich Coffee Hour 5/29 – Chow Family 6/5 – Parish Picnic 6/12 – OPEN 6/19 – Father’s Day 6/26 - OPEN

Schedule of Services and Events for the Week of May 15 – May 22

Monday, May 16 7 PM – Spirituality Class Wednesday, May 18 7 PM – Catechism Class Thursday, May 19 7 PM – Monthly St. Nectarios Service Friday, May 20 9:30 AM – Old Testament Class 7 PM to 10 PM – Teen SOYO dance at St. George’s for ages 13-18 Saturday, May 21 8 AM – ASP Work Day in Danbury 5 PM – Vespers Sunday, May 22 9 AM – Church school 10 AM – Divine Liturgy Monday, May 23 7 PM – OCMC presentation by Kenny Kidde, Development Director Readers Schedule 5/22 – Harry Fong 5/29 – Paul Sulich Coffee Hour 5/22 – Chow Family 5/29 – OPEN 6/5 – Parish Picnic 6/12 – OPEN 6/19 – Father’s Day 6/26 - OPEN

Schedule of Services and Events for the week of May 8 – May 15

Saturday, May 14 5 PM – Vespers Sunday, May 15 10 AM - Divine Liturgy 12:30 PM - Rectory/office committee Meeting 2 PM – Parish Council Meeting Fr. Luke will be out of town this week for an OCMC Board meeting and a Diocesan Clergy Convocation. Please call the rectory if there are any emergencies. Readers Schedule 5/8 – Suzanne Molineaux 5/15 – Susan Paltauf 5/22 – Harry Fong 5/29 – Paul Sulich Coffee Hour 5/8 – Mother’s Day - see Harry Fong and Paul Sulich 5/15 – Young 5/22 – Chow Family 5/29 – OPEN 6/5 – Parish Picnic 6/12 – OPEN 6/19 – Father’s Day/Bishop Gregory’s Visit 6/26 - OPEN

Antipascha: St Thomas Sunday

thomassunday[1]Some icons depicting this event are inscribed “The Doubting Thomas.” This is incorrect. In Greek, the inscription reads, “The Touching of Thomas.” The Slavonic inscription is, “The Belief of Thomas.” When St Thomas touched the Life-giving side of the Lord, he no longer had any doubts. This day is also known as “Antipascha.” This does not mean “opposed to Pascha,” but “in place of Pascha.” Beginning with this first Sunday after Pascha, the Church dedicates every Sunday of the year to the Lord’s Resurrection. Sunday is called “Resurrection” in Russian, and “the Lord’s Day” in Greek. http://oca.org/saints/lives/2016/05/08/34-antipascha-st-thomas-sunday