Christmas Fast begins on November 15th.

November 7, 2010
24th Sunday after Pentecost

  • Troparion of the Resurrection, Tone 7
  • Troparion of St. Lazarus,
  • Troparion of St. Michael, Tone 4
  • Kontakion of the Theotokos, Tone 4

Epistle: Eph. 2:14 to end
Gospel: Luke 8: 41-56

Synaxis of the Holy Archangels Michael
and Gabriel and the Bodiless Powers
(Commemorated on November 8th)

The name Gabriel means “mighty one of God”. Archangel Gabriel was mentioned as messenger of God’s providence, the attendant of miracles and divine Mysteries. He appeared to the parents of St. John the Baptist, Joachim and Anna, the righteous Joseph, and also to the Theotokos. We pray to Archangel Gabriel whenever we have been abandoned by others and there is no place to go. We pray that by his prayer the Lord would guide us and place our life upon the path of salvation.

The name Michael means or "Who is like God”. Archangel Michael was mentioned both in the Old and New Testaments:

1. In the book of Revelation, it was Michael and his army of angels who fought the dragon and his false companions during the fall of angels and before the fall of man. (Rev 12:7-9)

2. It was Michael who appeared as the Commander Chief of the Lord’s army after he stood by Joshua during his first encounter with his enemies in the land of Canaan. (Joshua 5:13-15)

3. It was Michael who was sent by God to stop His command that Abraham should sacrifice the life of his son (Isaac). (Gen 22:11-12)

4. It was Michael who battled the devil for the soul of Moses. When the devil claimed that Moses had killed an Egyptian, his soul was defended and saved by Archangel Michael. (Jude 1:9)

5. During the fall of Babylon kingdom, Michael appeared to the Prophet Daniel who received a prophecy of assistance that would be provided by Archangel Michael to the People of God. (Dan 12 V1)

The divine Scriptures call Archangel Michael "prince and leader of the Lord’s army". The Orthodox Church venerates Him as a guardian, a combatant against the devil and heresy, and an indestructible shield for the Holy Church and the Orthodox Faithful.

Our patron Saint of the Church is Archangel Michael whose memory we celebrate today (November 8th). Let us all sing the following Troparion:

"O Commanders of the heavenly hosts, we the unworthy beseech you, that through your entreaties you will fortify us, guarding us in the shelter of the wings of your ethereal glory, even as we fervently bow before You, crying: “Deliver us from all danger as commanders of the powers on high."

November 14, 2010
25th Sunday after Pentecost
Feast of St. Philip the Apostle

  • Troparion of the Resurrection, Tone 8
  • Troparion of the Apostle Philip, Tone 3
  • Troparion of St Michael, Tone 4
  • Kontakion of the Presentation of the Theotokos, Tone 4
Epistle: Acts. 8:26-39
Gospel: Luke 10:25-37

Division of Angels

The word angel means Messenger. The angels were created by God to serve Him and glorify Him, and also to serve human mankind. The number of angels is not defined in the Holy Scriptures but they are divided into three ranks:

1. The first rank is made up of the Seraphim, Cherubim and Thrones.
2. The second rank is made up of Dominions, Hosts and Powers.
3. The third rank is made up of Principalities, Archangels and Angels.

Among all the angels come the familiar seven Archangels which include Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, Uriel, Raguel, Sariel, and the fallen Lucifer.

The divine scripture tells us that loyal angels will continue in the service of God, while evilness angels will be thrown in the lake of fire. Faithful angels were not subject to evil anymore and their relationship with God became stronger.
Nature of Angels
The angels take different forms and they may appear as either male or female, but they are neither. So, they have their own specific external appearance and they have a light body. Compared to humans, they are bodiless, but compared to God, they have a body.

Before the fall of man, Adam and Eve were living in Heaven with the angels and they were sharing with them in giving glory and thanks to God. Now, the angels are higher than human so that is why we can’t see them on earth.

God had created all His angels to be equal and free. He also made them Holy and Spiritual. However, in possessing the power of free will, some of them began to move further away from God, and because they rebelled against Him, they were cast out of Heaven and wandered on earth. The Archangel Michael and his loyal angels resisted the devil with his false companions, and a war broke out of Heaven,
"Now war arose in Heaven, Michael and His angels fighting against the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, but they were defeated and there was no longer any place for them in Heaven. And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent that is called the Devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world -- he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him".

November 21, 2010
26th Sunday after Pentecost
Feast of the Presentation of the Holy Theotokos in the Temple

  • Troparion of the Resurrection, Tone 1
  • Troparion of the Presentation, Tone 4
  • Troparion of St Michael, Tone 4
  • Kontakion of the Presentation of the Theotokos, Tone 4

Epistle: Heb. 9: 1-7
Gospel: Luke 10:38 to end 11:27-28

The Feast of the Presentation
of the Theotokos into the Temple

Joachim and Anna were a very old couple who lived in the small town of Nazareth. They wanted a child very much, but Anna never became pregnant. Frequently, they prayed to God asking Him to give them a child. They also pledged to dedicate the child to His service. God sent an angel who appeared to both Joachim and Anna at the same time, even though they were not together. The angel told them God would answer their prayers. About nine months later, they had a baby girl and named her Mary.

As they had promised, Anna and Joachim brought Mary to the temple at three years of age where she was consecrated. First, she was presented to the High Priest (Zacharias) who brought her into the Holy of Holies—a place where only the High Priest was permitted to enter once a year. He placed her on the steps of the altar and the grace of the Lord descended upon her. The Virgin Mary danced joyfully and then she was raised in the temple where she studied and served in the temple until the age of 14. After that, she was betrothed to Joseph of Nazareth. It was there that an angel appeared to her and told her that she would be the mother of Jesus.

The Feast of Presentation of the Theotokos into the temple is commemorated on November 21st.

November 28, 2010
27th Sunday after Pentecost

  • Troparion of the Resurrection, Tone 2
  • Troparion of St. Stephen, Tone 4
  • Troparion of St Michael, Tone 4
  • Kontakion Preparatory for the Nativity, Tone 3
Epistle: Eph. 6:10-17
Gospel: Luke 18: 18-27

Did you know?

Christmas Fast begins on November 15th.

Fasting is the time for self-examination, prayer, repentance, and abstinence from certain types of food.

Keep the Spirit of Christmas in your heart and mind. Don’t let Christmas shops prevent you to forget about the Holy Day of Christmas. Remember: “Jesus is the reason for the season”.

Strong faith begins with teaching. Teach your children about our Orthodox faith and bring them to church every Sunday, so their faith will grow stronger. Faith doesn’t end every Sunday after Church but it continues each day in the heart, soul and body of each believer to their homes.

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