Christmas Fast begins on November 15th.

October 2, 2011

16th Sunday after Pentecost

  • Troparion of the Resurrection, Tone 7
  • Troparion of St. Cyprian, Tone 4
  • Troparion of St .Michael, Tone 4 
  • Kontakion of the Theotokos, Tone 4
Epistle: Corinthians 6:1-10
Gospel: Luke 6: 31-36

Proshora and Antidoron
     It is customary that someone in the Orthodox congregation brings homemade bread for the Eucharistic ceremony. This bread is called Prosphora.

     Prosphora is a Greek word which means an offering to God and it also represents Jesus Who is the Bread of life. The middle part of the bread is stamped with the abbreviations IC XC and NI KA which means Jesus Christ Conquers. During the Divine Liturgy, this square part is cut out in special way, which will be changed into the Body of Christ and it is called the Lamb of God. After partaking Holy Communion and at the end of the Liturgy, The left over of the bread (Antidoron) is distributed among the faithful who have not taken Communion.

The Holy bread is not Holy Communion
1. The Holy bread (Antidoron) is not Holy Communion and it is blessed.
2. We should treat the Holy bread with respect (It should be eaten carefully so the crumbs do not fall.)
3. Anyone can receive the Holy bread (Antidoron) at the end of the Liturgy.
4. Only Orthodox faithful who have prepared themselves through fasting, confession and prayer can receive Holy Communion.

October 9, 2011
17th Sunday after Pentecost

  • Troparion of the Resurrection, Tone 8
  • Troparion of the Apostle James, Tone 3                         
  • Troparion of St. Michael, Tone 4
  • Kontakion os the Theotokos, Tone 4
Epistle: II Cor. 6:16 to 7:1
Gospel: Luke 7:11-16

Why is incense burned in the Orthodox Church?

Incense is the sap of the frankincense tree, dried and burned in church as an offering to God.

 It reminds us that our prayers should go up to heaven as the smoke of incense and it also enhances all our senses (smell) during the Divine Liturgy.

The offering of incense has been related to the worship of God since God commanded Moses to burn incense to Him in the tabernacle.

When the priests incense the Church at any time, the faithful should be standing.

October 16, 2011

17th Sunday after Pentecost
Sunday of the Holy Fathers of 7th Ecumenical Council

  • Troparion of the Resurrection, Tone 1
  • Troparion of the Holy Fathers, Tone 8
  • Troparion of St. Michael, Tone 4
  • Kontakion of the Theotokos, Tone 4 
Epistle: Titus 3:8-15
Gospel: Luke8: 5-15

Did you know?
The service of the Holy Fathers is always on Sunday.

1.       The First service is commemorated on the 7th Sunday after Pascha in memory of the Holy Fathers of the First Ecumenical Council.

2.     The second service is commemorated on the Sunday closest to July 16th in memory of the Holy Fathers of the First Six Ecumenical Councils.

3.     The Third service is commemorated on the Sunday closest to October eleventh in memory of the Holy Fathers of the 7th Ecumenical Council.

During the Divine Liturgy we sing the following Troparion:

 “Thou, O Christ , art our God of exceeding praise 
who didst establish our Holy Fathers as luminous stars upon earth, 
and through them didst guide us unto the true faith, 
O most merciful one, glory be to Thee”.


October 23, 2011

19th Sunday after Pentecost
Apostle James brother of the Lord
  • Troparion of the Resurrection, Tone 2
  • Troparion of St. James, Tone 4
  • Troparion of St. Michael, Tone 4
  • Kontakion of the Theotokos, Tone 4

Epistle: Gal. 1: 11-19
Gospel: Luke 8: 26-39

Holy Glorious Demetrius
(Commemorated on October 26th)

St Demetrius was born in the city of Salonica or Thessalonica. He was a most pious son of noble and devout parents who kept their faith secret because Christians were persecuted and killed during the first three centuries. Demetrius was in the military service and when the Emperor Maximian first came to Salonica in 290, he raised Demetrius to a high rank (Proconsul) and he ordered him to put to death anyone who calls on the name of Christ, but Demetrius used his post to proclaim the Gospel. When the Emperor found out that he was Christian, he arrested him immediately.

The gladiatorial game was on in the city of Salonica and it seems that one of the favorites of the arena, admired by the Emperor, was a giant man named Lyaios who no one could defeat.  A young Christian named Nestor decided to take on the challenge and fight Lyaios. He first visited his friend Demetrius in prison and when he received his blessings; he sealed himself with the sign of the Cross and went to battle. He engaged Lyaios in combat shouting: “God of Demetrius, help me!” and then he smote him with a mortal blow. The Emperor was furious and had the young Christian put to death then he ordered the death of Demetrius who was executed without delay. Christians secretly took Demetrius body and buried him. Healing myrrh flowed from his grave by which many of the sick were healed. A Church was built over his grave.

October 30, 2011

20th Sunday after Pentecost

  • Troparion of the Resurrection, Tone 3
  • Troparion of the Martyrs, Tone 4  
  • Troparion of St. Michael, Tone 4
  • Troparion of the Theotokos, Tone 4

Epistle: Gal 1:11-19
Gospel: Luke 16:19-31

Jesus said: "Lift up your Cross
and follow me."

Over four thousands Christians in the city of Nijran were slain in many ways in 523. They were thrown in pits, burned to death, and beheaded. Even though, our Holy martyrs never tried to renounce Christ; they wanted to die for the sake of Him.

 Jesus said to His disciples, "If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life shall lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake shall find it. For what will a man be profited, if he gains the whole world, and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels; and will then recompense every man according to his deeds." Matthew 16:24-27

[Our Holy Martyrs believed that Jesus is God the word; He came into the world to save the world and to save sinners so they will have eternal life into the Kingdom of God for those who believe in Him; He was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary; He sacrificed, died for us ,and on the third day he was resurrected. Also, they believed that the Son of God will come again in His glory of His Father to recompense them].  Neither threatening nor death could terrify them or make them give up the Orthodox Christian faith.] We, as Orthodox Christians, believe this to be true and are a part of our Holy Creed, “The Proclamation of our faith”.


Sunday school Questions of the month
1. For what soul did St. Michael battle against the devil?
2. When does the Christmas fast begin?

 November 6, 2011

21th Sunday after Pentecost
  • Troparion of the Resurrection, Tone 4
  • Troparion of St. Paul, Tone 3
  • Troparion of St. Michael, Tone 4
  • Kontakion of the Theotokos, Tone 4

Epistle: Titus 3: 8-15
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 13, 2011

22nd Sunday after Pentecost
Feast of St. John Chrysostom

  • Troparion of the Resurrection, Tone 5
  • Troparion of , Tone 8 St. John, Tone 8
  • Troparion of St Michael, Tone 4 
  • Kontakion of the Presentation of the Theotokos, Tone 4

Epistle: Heb. 7:26-28; 8:1-2
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 20, 2011
23rd Sunday after Pentecost
  • Troparion of the Resurrection, Tone 6
  • Troparion of the Presentation, Tone 4
  • Troparion of St Michael, Tone 4
  • Kontakion of the Presentation of the Theotokos, Tone 4
Epistle: Ephesians 2: 4-10
Gospel: Luke 12:16-21

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 27, 2011

24th Sunday after Pentecost

  • Troparion of the Resurrection, Tone 7
  • Troparion of St. James
  • Troparion of St Michael, Tone 4
  • Kontakion Preparatory for the Nativity, Tone 3

Epistle: Eph. 2:14 to end
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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