Father John’s Article
St. Andrew Greek Orthodox Church
5649 N. Sheridan Rd., Chicago, IL 60660
Rev. John N. Kalomas, Proistamenos
Rev. John G. Kutulas, Proistamenos Emeritus
Deacon Vasilios Smith
My Beloved Parishioners and Friends of St. Andrew:
Having the opportunity to be able to surf the internet grants
us the moments where we are able to find interesting articles.
I came across one that was written by a Pastoral Associate
from a Catholic parish that tried to show the justifications of
their lack of attendance to Mass. As much as it is Catholic
oriented with the title of Mass and that Mass is given on
Saturdays, I can say that it can also be interchangeable with
our Eastern Orthodox Faith.
Interesting that even more now is the time that the church
gives us the opportunity to be able to distinguish something
that is not pure in our lives and that it asks of us to reconcile
it with God. There are 365 days throughout the year and out
of those 365, except for Sundays which is one day a week, the
church asks us to take 47 days out of those 365 to reconcile
our life with God. It is a moment for us to bring humility in
our lives and to try to heal the wounds of sin as well as the
wounds of our lives that the world has set upon us. This is why
we must use our faith especially at this time of year for if we
don’t then we risk the chance to lose it.
Losing it doesn’t mean that we will be shunned out from the
church, or that the doors will be closed. No—losing it means
that when the storms of life come crashing upon us we will
struggle through it but at the end we risk the greater chance
that we may not overcome it and become bitter. It means that
we will have difficulty to deal with struggles of work, family
issues, illnesses, and loss of a loved one. Also losing it means
that we can take it for granted for look how free we are to
pray without any thoughts of persecution where the Christians
of the middle East are being enslaved, brutalized, be-headed,
crucified, exiled; all the same of the ancient Roman Empire
and its persecutions, along with Ottoman Empire and its
I therefore, want to allow you the moment to read the below
in what a Catholic Pastoral Associate found in justifying of not
participating as often or never in their Mass. As you read
through it take the word Mass and change it to Liturgy. Take
the word Catholic and make it Orthodox. Like I said except for
the one on Sunday where Catholics also have Mass on
Saturdays, all the rest seems to fall in place.
As a Pastoral Associate in a Catholic Parish, I have heard it all.
People find ways to justify their lack of Mass attendance and
believe (momentarily) that their justification will convince the
pastoral staff of their correctness. Here are my refutations of
these excuses—meant not to isolate further or hurt the
feelings of those who don’t go to Mass, but as a playful
invitation to reconsider and come back to the family that
1: I Work 24 Hours A Day, 7 Days A Week
First of all, I’m pretty sure that’s illegal—there are labor laws.
Do you want me to help find you a lawyer? Also, that’s not
what your Facebook page says. Americans are super busy—we
fill our time with all sorts of things. It does feel like we’re
working all the time—believe me, I’m right there with you. My
job takes me out week days, evenings and Sundays. Plus, my
email, text and Facebook are on my phone, so I’m frequently
doing “business” in my free time, too. That’s not good. We all
need to take a break. But, God should be part of that break,
not what we’re taking a break from. Worshipping with a
community, receiving Christ—these things rejuvenate, not
deplete. Take time out for yourself that is going to fill you up.
2: I Have Small Children
Oh, they’re the worst. Noisy little things... I have them, too.
You know, the first thing they do when they exit the womb is
scream? And it doesn’t stop there—if you bring them to
Church they will choose the quietest time of Mass to scream
like you’re murdering them—the homily, the Consecration—
they know how to pick it. When my kids were little, I used to
get ready for Mass and wonder what fresh hell I was in for this
week. There were Sundays when my husband would take one
of my screaming, writhing kids out of Church and I’d wonder if
I would ever see either of them again (not enough to follow
them, mind you, just enough to quietly ponder). So, why did
we put ourselves through it? Because now they come with us
cheerfully—not perfectly—but cheerfully enough. I still have to
sit between them and give them the hairy eyeball once in a
while, but dang if they aren’t listening. Church is what we do
on Sunday. It’s the main event and the rest of our day and the
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& Pascha 2015
Evangeline Mistaras Samia Sami
Thank you all for your continued help and support
More and more everyday less fortunate people
are asking churches for food. In these difficult
times St. Andrew would like to help them, but
in order to do so we need your help.
Please help us restock our food pantry with items such
as: cereal, oatmeal, rice, pasta, pasta sauce. Also,
canned items of tuna, tomato sauce, soup, vegetables,
fruit or any other non-perishable items.
It is helpful if
the canned goods have a flip-top lid. Monetary dona-
tions will also be accepted.
In an effort initiated by our dear departed
Kotsovos, members of the greater Chicago
Orthodox community have had the privi-
lege of serving lunch to approximately 100 less fortu-
nate fellow human beings on the first Saturday of the
month for more than 15 years. The soup kitchen, lo-
cated at the First Presbyterian Church in Evanston, is
just one part of that church's strong community out-
reach program. St. Andrews Philoptochos and other
volunteers have consistently and continuously served
the Saturday soup kitchen, longer than any other single
contributing group. Please contact Fofo Egan for more
information and if you would like to join this mission.
ST. ANDREW GREEK ORT
His Eminence Metropolitan Iakovos
Rev. John N. Kalomas, Proistamenos
Deacon Vasilios Smith
Contact Fr. John at 773-334-4515
1st Vice President/Facilities
2nd Vice President/Stewardship
3rd Vice President/Finance
Vivian L. Davros
Nicholas Christacos &
William Alexopoulos, Leo Manta,
Matthew Bezanes, James Chrones,
Michael Davros, Solon Tsaoussis
Greek School Principal:
Father John Kutulas
Mommy and Me Advisor:
Tia Manolakas, &
Anastasia Papas, & Eleni Papas
Our Spring General Assembly Meeting is
immediately after the Divine Liturgy in the
S.J. Gregory Auditorium.
Please make every effort to attend the meeting. Every
steward of St. Andrew’s in good standing, as of thirty
days prior to the meeting, will be required to check and
sign-in so as to register before this meeting.
rest of our week is better for it.
Sometimes it is. I know. I’ve been to Churches where the
preaching was less than stellar (not my parish, of course), and the
music was more like a dirge (not my parish; we have the best
music ministry anywhere), and the community might have been
comprised of un-dead. I was told when I was a kid, that it’s not
what Mass brings to you, but what you bring to Mass—your
attitude, your attention to the readings and prayers, the quality
time you are spending with God, etc. That’s certainly one way to
look at it. But, what Mass brings to us is unbelievable, and
transcends bad music and boring preaching—it’s the True Presence
of God in the Eucharist and a loving community.
4: Church Is Full Of Hypocrites
Yes, it is, and as our Protestant brothers and sisters say, “There’s
always room for one more!” A family is only as good as its best
member, and is as bad as its worst member. A parish family is no
different. Are we not up to snuff? Not quality people enough for
you? Come! Make us better! That’s a huge part of belonging to
the body of Christ—we are a group of broken, messed-up people
who God makes better, and who make each other better. We
could use your help.
5: Sunday Is The Only Day I Can Sleep In
Most parishes have Mass times conducive to sleeping in. At my
parish we have three: Saturday 5:00 p.m., Sunday 10:30 a.m.,
and if you really want to sleep, 12:30 p.m. You know as well as I
do that if there’s something you really want to do—like go fishing,
golfing, spend a day in the City, whatever—you’re going to drag
your sorry, tired bottom out of bed on a Sunday to do it. (Here
comes the Catholic, Italian, Mother guilt!) You can’t spare a little
time for God who gives you everything, but you can get up for
your soccer league? You can’t give God 45 minutes of the time
that God gave you in the first place to say “Thanks”? Sure you
can. And parishes make it easy with our copious Mass times.
6: Mass/Church Is Unrelatable To My Life
Yeah. No it’s not. Real Housewives Of New Jersey is unrelatable
to your life. Gossip magazines and Candy Crush are unrelatable to
your life. Mass is about who we actually are. We are reminded
that we are children of God, brothers and sisters, and how we
should be in relationship with one another. It’s belonging to a
community that cares for one another, who share values. Mass—
the prayers we pray together, the readings from Scripture, the
quiet time with Jesus—puts us more in touch with who we are
meant to be. We fail, we make mistakes, but Mass is where we are
unconditionally loved by God, and invited into a deeper union
with Him so that we can live more in a more fulfilled, loving way
7: I Can Pray At Home/ I Am Spiritual
We are all “spiritual.” It’s how God made us. You sure can pray
at home! And you should! But, if you are a Christian, that is not
enough. Jesus set his followers up to pray together, to be in
community together, to go out to preach the Gospel together. He
said, “Wherever two or three are gathered in my name, there I am
in the midst of them.” (Mt 18: 20) This means that God (who, as
a Trinity is Community) is more fully present to us when we
worship with other people. And, Jesus gave us, with his own
example, what that prayer should be. The Catholic Church has
been doing Mass the same way since the 1st Century. Jesus
taught the Apostles how, and we continue it.
8: Having To Go To Church Is A Man-Made Rule
I’m not sure where this idea came from. I’m guessing from people
who have never read the Bible. The second chapter of the first
book of the Bible says that we are supposed to keep the Sabbath
because God modeled it for us—not because He needed it, but
because He knows that we do. In Exodus and Deuteronomy we
have the Ten Commandments listed for us, which, number three is
“keep holy the Sabbath.” Then, we have Jesus at the Last Supper
saying, “Do this in memory of me” (Lk 22: 19) and every time he
meets someone after the Resurrection, they recognize him in “the
breaking of the bread.” The Apostles, from the first days of the
Resurrection set Sunday aside for Eucharist. It never wasn’t a part
of who we are. Do you know that some groups Atheists are now
having weekly meetings for community and some sort of ritual?
It’s innate!!! We are hard-wired for community, prayer and God;
and Mass is how Catholics do.
9: I’m Excommunicated
No you aren’t. I’m pretty sure you’re not. Did a Bishop tell you,
you are? Okay, you’re not. If you were married in the Catholic
Church and divorced, you are not excommunicated. If you are
those things and got re-married without an annulment (or in your
first marriage but not married in the Church), you are not in full
communion, but you are not excommunicated. Or maybe you’ve
been away or have some other problem—you are probably not in
full communion. Not in full communion means that you are more
than welcome to be part of our community, you can come to Mass
and pray with us, you can be a part of things. But, you can’t
receive Communion. Sometimes it’s just a matter of going to
Confession. If you want to get some info on how to get back into
full communion, call your local parish to find out what needs to
be done. Trust me--they’d LOVE to help you!!!!
10: If I Walk Into A Church The Roof Will Fall Down On My
No it won’t. That has never happened, and far worse people than
long you’ve been away from Church. God wants you back. We
want you back. Come home. There really is nothing that should
prevent you from feeling welcome and loved here. Come home.
Bonus Reason: I’m Not Catholic
So what? That’s an easy one! Call your local parish and they’ll
help you fix that.
The last line is the best especially for all of us who are of the
Orthodox faith and are confused, not sure, or struggling. Why not
then call your parish priest and through God’s grace he will help
you fix that. The priest is there for you, to help you with the
struggles. Don’t be afraid that you are bothering him, it’s ok;
bother him. That is what he is there for.
My Beloved parishioners. The above was just a taste of what we
are truly losing in our lives and not by the will of others, but by
our own will. The easiest part of what is in our lives to ignore or
maybe I should say place on a back burner our faith. Whether it is
work, whether it is sports for our children, yes even home work,
we will sacrifice our church and faith attendance for all else.
How often have I heard that
“Father if he doesn’t go to this
practice others are waiting to take his place”
, or even “
can’t come because my child has studies and that evening we
(Continued on page 4)
have to go to a dinner so he has to study first so we can go to the
dinner that night”.
Do we place our children’s sports or dinners
higher than the church? Of course not, or I should say we don’t
really mean to but look at the end of everything, we feel if we say
no to our children that church is more important than we feel we
will turn them off to church. Did our own parents have that fear?
We know if we didn’t go to church on a Sunday it had to be
because of an illness that kept one in bed. But look at today; if
our children are influenced by our examples by not making the
church an active part of our lives when they are young, teenagers
or even young adults they in turn will imitate our actions when
they get to be our age.
Yes I even said young adults, when your influence as a parent
maybe strong but not as strong as it was when they were toddlers.
But even as young adults if they see their parent’s active in going
to church, something will be planted in their hearts that
prayerfully, with the correct cultivation, will eventually become a
reality when they get to be their parent’s age.
Parents, you really do not fully understand the power that you
posses in keeping the faith and the church in your child’s life by
your actions of going to church and showing the faith in your own
life. A wise person once said that
a child sees God as the Father
when he sees God in his father.
My friends! Very soon we will be standing in a dark church with
black yet with many people in the church, in the pews, in the
aisles, in the narthex and the hall ways. All waiting and
anticipating the great event that change not only our lives but the
world. But why only then? Why only on this great event? Is this
enough? It would be if this event remained lit throughout the
entire year, but for the majority as soon as their candle is lit and
the words of Christ is Risen are shouted, immediately after the
candle is extinguished and left unlit until next year.
Anastasis was such an awesome event growing up. I remember in
our small wooden church that only held about 150 people yet it
was so jam packed that if the fire marshal came, he would have
closed it down. I couldn’t see the altar because the iconostasis
was wooden and the altar door had a curtain in front of it. Still
though as pitch dark as it was I would see a glow start emulating
from behind the altar. The light reaching up the walls and
illuminating the outline of the iconostasis. The curtain would
suddenly open and Fr. Nikiforos would be holding the candles 33
secured together that he brought back from Jerusalem in which
the flame was about 6 inches high. It instilled such a thrill in me
as a young child seeing this from the back of the church, but it
also placed a fear in me because of what the awesomeness of the
event we were celebrating that took place so many thousands of
years ago. My mother and father made sure that this candle
remained lit not only in my life, but also in our family’s life all
year round because church was something that had to be done
every Sunday and there was no discussion about it.
We have it my beloved. The above writing from the Catholic
pastoral associate specifically states it for their church, but it also
speaks directly for us. Yes just going to church does not make
you a better person, but by going it places us on the road to
become better and by our children seeing the importance of it in
our lives plants the seeds that somewhere in their lives they will
be watered, maybe by us as parents, maybe by a priest that they
really get to know and feel comfortable, or maybe by a stranger in
which a good deed is done to them or they in turn to a stranger.
This seed being watered will eventually flourish into a beautiful
tree and prayerfully that as children when they become adults will
emulate still the importance of God’s house in their lives and
their children’s lives.
If it is hard for to make it every Sunday, and I am not giving you
excuses, I then encourage you to begin with baby steps. Make a
commitment that one Sunday a month which ever you choose
either as an individual, a couple or as a family that we will go to
church, and not at 10:45 when communion is given, but at the
beginning when we call
“Blessed Is The Kingdom Of The Father
And Of The Son And Of The Holy Spirit, Now And Forever And
Unto The Ages Of All Ages. Amen”
. Starting slow allows us not
to fail but to grow strong. Remember our Lord started with only
12 and now look where it has grown to.
I therefore ask you don’t allow hesitance, questioning, scandals,
your faith; for here in this country your faith is free and we are
not persecuted to make a choice for a life or death situation
about our faith as the Christians are in the middle east. We are
left because of us being free to make a life or death situation for
our faith and our souls. At the end of it, it is our own choice, our
own free will. Yes the church has sinners yet are not sins an
illness and by going to the physicians house illnesses are to be
I leave you therefore with the story that has always lifted me up
when I am feeling discouraged about something. It is the story of
the two wolves.
“An elderly Cherokee Native American was teaching his
grandchildren about life .
He said to them, "A fight is going on inside me, it is a terrible
fight and it is between two wolves. One wolf is evil---he is fear,
anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt,
resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, competition, superiority,
and ego. The other is good ---he is joy, peace, love, hope,
sharing, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, friendship,
empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith. This same fight
is going on inside you, and inside every other person, too."
They thought about it for a minute, and then one child asked his
grandfather, "Which wolf will win, Grandfather?"
The Elder simply replied, "The one you feed."
With the approach of the celebration of our Lords Resurrection
our Lord’s love to all of us. Feed it by allowing Him to grow in
your life, your family’s life, and the life that you live in God’s
house as well as all those you come in contact with. Do not allow
any justification or excuses to separate you from His love, from
His house, for if we do that and separate ourselves from His
house, His Love, we are no longer under the
shelter of His wing. Live every day as a gift from
our Lord, for everyday is a gift and therefore
being a gift allows us to call it the present.
May the anticipation of our Lord’s Resurrection
shine in your hearts and your life and may His
home become a reality that it is our home to that
we can come in and celebrate as a community the
love that He has for all of humanity.
A Blessed and Bright Pascha,
Fr. John N Kalomas
WED. March 18
SAT. April 4
SATURDAY OF LAZARUS. Orthros at 8:30am. Divine Liturgy at 10am.
ΣΑΒ. ΑΠΡ 4
ΣΑΒΒΑΤΟΝ ΤΟΥ ΛΑΖΑΡΟΥ. ΅Ορθρος: 8:00πμ, Λειτουργία 9:30πμ
SUN. April 5
PALM SUNDAY. Orthros at 8am, Liturgy at 9:30am. Service of the Bridegroom at 7pm
ΚΥΡ. ΑΠΡ 5
ΚΥΡΙΑΚΗ ΤΩΝ ΒΑ Ι ΩΝ. ΅Ορθρος: 8:00πμ, Λειτουργία 9:30πμ.
Ακολουθία του ΝΥΜΦΙΟΥ 7:00 μ.μ.
HOLY MONDAY, April 6
Service of the Bridegroom at 7pm
ΜΕΓΑΛΗ ΔΕΥΤΕΡΑ, ΑΠΡ 6
Ακολουθία του ΝΥΜΦΙΟΥ 7:00 μ.μ.
HOLY TUESDAY, April 7
Service of the Bridegroom at 7pm
ΜΕΓΑΛΗ ΤΡΙΤΗ., ΑΠΡ 7
Ακολουθία του ΝΥΜΦΙΟΥ 7:00 μ.μ.
HOLY WEDNESDAY, April 8
Sacrament of Holy Unction at 2:45pm
Service of the Mystical Supper and Holy Oil at 7pm
ΜΕΓΑΛΗ ΤΕΤΑΡΤΗ, ΑΠΡ 8
Μυστήριον του ΕΥΧΕΛΑΙΟΥ 2:45 μ.μ .
Ακολουθία του ΜΥΣΤΙΚΟΥ ΔΕΙΠΝΟΥ καί Ευχέλαιον 7:00 μ.μ.
HOLY THURSDAY, April 9
Vesperal Liturgy of St. Basil at 9am. Reading of the Twelve Gospels &
Procession of the Crucified Christ at 6:45pm
ΜΕΓΑΛΗ ΠΕΜΠΤΗ, ΑΠΡ 9
Εσπερινός & Θεία Λειτουργία του Μ. Βασιλείου 9:00 π.μ.
Τά Δώδεκα Ευαγγέλια 6:45 μ.μ.
GOOD FRIDAY, April 10
Service of the Great Hours at 9am Service of the Apokathelosis at 3pm. Service of the
Lamentations, Procession of the Epitaphio outside & around the Church at 7pm
ΜΕΓΑΛΗ ΠΑΡΑΣΚΕΥΗ. ΑΠΡ 10 Ακολουθία των Μεγάλων Ωρών 9:00 π.μ., Ακολουθία Αποκαθηλώσεως 3:00 μ.μ ,
Ο Επιτάφιος Θρήνος 7:00 μ.μ.
HOLY SATURDAY, April 11
΄Προκαταρτική Ακολουθία 11:00 μ.μ.
SUNDAY OF THE RESURRECTION/PASCHA, April 12: Resurrection Service, Orthros, Divine Liturgy at 12midnight
Great Vespers of AGAPE (Reading of the Gospel in many Languages) at 11:30am
ΚΥΡΙΑΚΗ ΤΟΥ ΠΑΣΧΑ
Η Ακολουθία της Αναστάσεως, `Ορθρος καί Θεία Λειτουργία 12:00 π.μ Μεσονύκτικον
Ο ΕΣΠΕΡΙΝΟΣ ΤΗΣ ΑΓΑΠΗΣ 11:30 π.μ
On this Saturday we remember
how our Lord Jesus Christ raised His friend Lazarus from
the dead. He knew
was grievously ill, but He
waited till he died before He answered Martha and
Mary’s call for Him. Jesus knew that His own death on
the Cross was near. He knew how terrified and
bewildered His disciples would be, how they might
doubt that He was indeed the Christ. Only after four
days did He bring Lazarus back to life, so that His
disciples would see that He had power over life and death and was
indeed ‘the Resurrection and the Life.’ It was this miracle that prepared
Christ’s triumphant entry into Jerusalem and gave us the certain
assurance of the physical resurrection of all the dead.
This day celebrates Christ’s triumphal entry into the
holy city of Jerusalem. When the people heard of His coming, great
crowds rushed to the city gates to meet Him. They spread their cloaks
on the road and strewed palm leaves in His
path. Children waved green boughs and all sang,
‘Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is He that
cometh in the Name of the Lord! Hosanna in the
highest!’ At Palm Sunday Matins, after the Gospel
lection about the entry into Jerusalem, the priest
blesses palm leaves or other appropriate branches,
which the people hold during the canon. Palm
Sunday is one of the twelve great feasts of the
This evening's service calls to mind the
beginning of Jesus' suffering. The Gospel describes the plotting of the
priests and elders to trap Jesus into convicting Himself as a religious
heretic. Through parables, Jesus tells us of His coming betrayal, trial,
conviction, and execution by crucifixion. The hymns of this service
commemorate two things: The first, the prophetic figure of Joseph, who
while virtuous, nonetheless suffered unjustly at the hands of his brothers
before being greatly rewarded. The second, the parable of the fig tree,
which in failing to bear fruit, became a symbol of fallen creation, and of
our own lives, in which we also have failed to bear spiritual fruit.
HOLY MONDAY EVENING:
This evening's theme is the need for
watchfulness and preparation, lest we be called unprepared before the
awesome judgment seat of Christ to render an account of ourselves.
The Gospel reading contrasts the efforts of the Pharisees
to trick and discredit Jesus, with the forceful resistance
which Christ mounts against their evil. The hymns
remind us of the parable of the Ten Young Women--
five wise and five foolish--in which the faithful Christian
is exhorted to vigilance.
The need for true
repentance is the concern of Tuesday evening's service.
This transformation from the life of sin to a life of faith
and obedience is exemplified for us in the person of the sinful woman
who received the gift of forgiveness when she anointed Jesus with myrrh
and washed His feet. The highlight of the service is the hymn written in
honor of this woman by Saint Kassiani. The Gospel meditation foretells
of the coming suffering of Christ and recalls His inner struggles and
The primary theme of Holy Wednesday
is our human need for the healing and forgiveness that comes into our
lives when we establish a relationship with God through Jesus Christ.
We are reminded that the way to this relationship is to be found above
all else, through the life of prayer. In the Sacrament of Holy Unction
the faithful are anointed and thus healed both physically and spiritually.
They are also reconciled to God and one another so that they might
receive the gift of the Holy Eucharist instituted by Christ at the Last
On Holy Thursday morning we ascend
Mount Zion with Christ and the Twelve, and enter into the upper room.
Once there, we witness the awesome moment when, at the Last Supper,
Christ abolishes the ritual practice of the Old Covenant, and establishes
the ritual of the New Covenant, prophesied by Jeremiah, through the
Sacrament of Holy Communion. The faithful receive Holy Communion
at that Holiest of Liturgies.
In this service, we commemorate the
undeserved suffering of Jesus Christ, endured for our sake, so that we
might be reconciled anew to God our Father. The
Gospel readings witness for us the betrayal and arrest
of Jesus, His trial and conviction, and finally His
torture, crucifixion, and death at the hands of a sinful
humanity. This evening's service also includes the
procession representing Christ carrying His own cross
along the streets of Jerusalem to Golgotha, and ends
when we see before us the King of Glory crucified.
HOLY FRIDAY AFTERNOON:
In this service, we are once again
passion and death. What is remembered in a special way, through
liturgical commemoration and procession is the faithfulness and love of
Joseph of Arimathea who tenderly removed Christ's Body from the cross,
wrapped it in clean linen, and carried it to his own unused tomb for
On Good Friday evening the theme is
Christ's descent into Hades during which the Gospel of repentance and
reconciliation with God is shared with those who died before Christ's
saving dispensation in the flesh. The service begins with lamentations
sung as we stand before the tomb of Christ commemorating His unjust
punishment and the shedding of His innocent blood. But the service
ends on a note of joy and hope, with the reading of the Prophet Ezekiel
in which he describes his vision of our resurrection yet to come; in the
midst of despair, we are told there is hope, for not even death can
separate us from the unfailing love and power of God. Death is about
to be conquered, and faithfulness rewarded.
On Holy Saturday morning we
celebrate the theme of faithfulness receiving its reward. The crucifixion
is over, Christ is buried, the twelve Apostles and other disciples are
scattered and defeated, and yet, three myrrh-bearing women come in
faithfulness to perform the last act of love--to anoint Jesus according to
the Jewish burial custom. Their unwavering devotion is rewarded--they
are the first to share in Christ's triumph over evil and death. They are
the first witnesses to the Resurrection. This joy is commemorated
through the scattering of flower petals by the priest.
The Lamentations of the previous night
are repeated and the church is plunged into darkness to symbolize the
despair and defeat experienced before the dawn of Christ's victory over
the Enemy of our salvation. Precisely at midnight, a single light emerges
from the altar representing the victory of Christ over death, the defeat
of the Prince of Darkness by Jesus, the Light of the World. As the light
is passed from person to person, it pushes back the darkness of the
church and defeats it completely. The Resurrection is proclaimed in
song and triumphant procession. After the Liturgy, its light is carried
into our homes, that they too might be filled with its light and warmth
Christ's Resurrection and victory is affirmed in this
morning's theme. The Gospel is read in several
languages to illustrate the universality of the Good
News of the Resurrection and its proclamation to the
very ends of the earth. Love, forgiveness,
reconciliation, triumph, and joy--these are the gifts
which we receive because Christ lived and died and
triumphed for our sake.
Ή Εκκλησία μας υπενθυμίζει ότι αρχίζει η Μεγάλη Εβδομάδα. Η
Εβδομάδα των Παθών και της Αναστάσεως του Κυρίου μας. Μια
εβδομάδα αλλιώτικη. Γεμάτη από μηνύματα. Η Εκκλησία απευθύνει
πρόσκληση σε όλους τους πιστούς. Μας καλεί στις κατανυκτικές
ακολουθίες των ιερών ημερών και μας προτρέπει να συμμετάσχωμε
και να εννοήσωμε τα τελούμενα. Να ζήσουμε και να βιώσωμε το
Πάθος και την Ανάσταση. Για μας τους Ορθοδόξους η Μεγάλη
Εβδομάδα και το Πάσχα είναι σταθμός στη ζωή μας. Είναι απαρχή
νέας ζωής. Είναι το κέντρο της πίστης μας και γι΄αυτό ανάλογη
πρέπει να είναι και η συμμετοχή μας στις ακολουθίες της Μεγάλης
αναφέρει ο Χριστός στους μαθητές Του και με καθυστέρηση δύο
ημερών φτάνει στην Βηθανία. Τον προϋπαντούν οι αδελφές του
Λαζάρου με θρήνους και η Μάρθα λέει με παράπονο :"..Κύριε αν
τεσσάρων ημερών. Η ανάσταση του Λαζάρου είναι προεικόνιση της
Αναστάσεως του Χριστού και της δικής μας αναστάσεως. Καί γι’
αυτό η υμνολογία της ημέρας έχει αναστάσιμο και πασχαλινό
Τη θριαμβευτική είσοδο του
Κυρίου στα Ιεροσόλυμα εορτάζομε σήμερα. Υποδεχόμαστε τον "επί
πώλου όνου " με τα βάϊα που είναι σύμβολα των αρετών καί των
θείων έργων. Υποδεχόμαστε το Χρίστο που είναι η "προσδοκία των
προπαρασκευή, όπως "κεκαθαρμένοι τας ψυχάς, ίδωμεν την
(ΟΡΘΡΟΣ ΤΗΣ Μ. ΔΕΥΤΕΡΑΣ) Την Αγία και Μεγάλη
Δευτέρα μνήμη του μακαρίου Ιωσήφ του Παγκάλου και της από τον
Κύριο "καταρασθείσης και ξερανθήσης συκής'. Στην αρχή της
Μεγάλης Εβδομάδας παρουσιάζεται σε μας εις τύπον Χριστού ο
Ιωσήφ. "...ΕΙκών δε ούτος Χριστού, ότι και ο Χριστός παρά των
των Εβραίων η οποία " άμοιρος πνευματικών καρπών, αρά
(ΟΡΘΡΟΣ ΤΗΣ ΜΕΓ. ΤΡΙΤΗΣ) Την
Αγία καί Μεγάλη Τρίτη τελούμε την ανάμνηση της
παραβολής των δέκα παρθένων όπως αναφέρει το
Ιερό Ευαγγέλιο. Επειδή ".....άδηλος η ημέρα και Ώρα
του τέλους, η παραβολή των δέκα παρθένων
παρά των Θεοφόρων Πατέρων ετάχθη,
παιδεύουσα ημάς αεί έγρηγορέναι, και έτοιμους
είναι προς την υπάντησιν του αληθινού Νυμφίου, δια των
αγαθών πράξεων καί μάλλον της ελεημοσύνης....".
(ΟΡΘΡΟΣ Μ. ΤΕΤΑΡΤΗΣ) Κατά την Αγία και Μεγάλη Τετάρτη οι
πόρνη γυναίκα, η οποία άλειψε τον Κύριο με αρώματα, διότι λίγο
πριν από το πάθος, αυτό έγινε καί ίνα δ ι ' έργων
πληροφορηθώμεν πόσα ισχύει η μετάνοια". Στην αγανάκτηση των
μαθητών “εις τί η απώλεια αύτη” ό Κύριος λέγει "έργον καλόν
γυναίκα αυτη "και μισθός εδόθη" αφού παντού έγινε γνωστή η
πράξη της "καί άφεσις αμαρτημάτων δωρείται". Σήμερα ψάλλεται
και το υπέροχο τροπάριο της Κασσιανής: "Κύριε η εν πολλαίς
Οι τα πάντα καλώς διαταξάμενοι
Θείοι Πατέρες μας παρέδωσαν να εορτάζομε σήμερα τέσσερα
γεγονότα: Τον Ιερό Νιπτήρα (δηλ. το πλύσιμο των ποδιών των
μαθητών από τον Κύριο), το Μυστικό Δείπνο (δηλ. την παράδοση
των Ιερών Μυστηρίων
της Θείας Ευχαριστίας), την ύπερθαύμαστη
(του Ιούδα). " Δια τούτο και ημείς εορτάζομεν, μνείαν των φοβερών
Τελείται επίσης σήμερα και το Ιερό Εύχέλαιο.
Τελείται ο Εσπερινός και η Θεία Λειτουργία του Μεγάλου Βασιλείου
Κατά την Αγία και Μεγάλη
Παρασκευή επιτελούμε την ανάμνηση των Αγίων καί σωτηρίων και
φρικτών Παθών του Κυρίου και Θεού και Σωτήρος ημών Ιησού
Χριστού, ενθυμούμαστε τους εμπτυσμούς, τα χτυπήματα στο
πρόσωπο και τον αυχένα, τις βρισιές, τους γέλωτες, την κόκκινη
χλαμύδα, τον κάλαμο, το σπόγγο, το όξος, τα καρφιά, τη λόγχη, και
πάνω απ' όλα τον Σταυρο και τον θάνατο, τα οποία δέχτηκε με την
θέληση Του να υποστεί για χάρη μας· καί ενθυμούμαστε επίσης το
ληστή που σταυρώθηκε μαζί Του καί τη σωτήρια ομολογία του. Ο
Σταυρός τοποθετείται στο μέσο του ναού μετά την ανάγνωση του Ε'
Ευαγγελίου, και παραμένει για προσκύνηση μέχρι τη Μεγάλη
Παρασκευή το βράδυ.
Μεγάλες Ωρες (οί Βασιλικές) και εν συνεχεία τελείται η
Το Άγιο και Μέγα Σάββατο
εορτάζομε τον ενταφιασμό του μετά της Θεότητας αχωρίστου
Σώματος του Κυρίου και Θεού και Σωτήρος Ιησού Χριστού και
επίσης την Κάθοδο του Κυρίου στον Άδη για τη σωτηρία των
νεκρών. Ο Χριστός έπαθε πάνω στο Σταυρό και πέθανε
πραγματικά αλλά "η θεότης απαθής δ ι έ μ ε ι ν ε . " Υπέροχος ο
στίχος από το υπόμνημα του Τριωδίου: "μάτην φυλάττεις τον τάφον
όλα αλλάζουν. Τα καλύμματα και τα άμφια είναι λευκά. Τελείται ο
Εσπερινός με την Θεία Λειτουργία του Μεγ. Βασιλείου.
Αναγιγνώσκεται η προφητεία του Ιωνα, του οποίου η τριήμερος
παραμονή στην κοιλιά του κήτους προεικονίζει την τριήμερο ταφή
και Ανάσταση του Κυρίου. Ψάλλεται το " Ανάστα ο Θεός..". Το
Ευαγγέλιο αναστάσιμο. Η Θεία Λειτουργία
χαρμόσυνη. Αναστάσιμη. Ο Χριστός, Κύριος
ζώντων και νεκρών.
Κατά τ η ν Αγια και
ζωοποιό Ανάσταση του Κυρίου καί Θεού και
Σωτήρος ημών Ιησού Χριστού. "Δεύτε λάβετε
φως...." καί αμέσως μετά το "Χριστός Ανέστη." δίνει ελπίδα και
νέα ζωή στον άνθρωπο. Η αναστάσιμη Θεία Λειτουργία και ο
υπέροχος Κατηχητικός Λόγος του Αγίου Ιωάννου του
Χρυσοστόμου, στο τέλος, συμπληρώνουν τη χαρά και την
πανήγυρη. Ο Χριστός αναστήθηκε "εσφραγισμένου του
μνήματος..." και δώρησε σε όλο τον κόσμο την αθανασία. ΄Ετσι
ιστορείται η ορθόδοξη εικόνα της Αναστάσεως σε δύο τύπους. Η
μία με το Χριστό στον Άδη νικητή να τραβάει τον Αδάμ (το γενάρχη
της ανθρωπότητας) από τη φθορά και η άλλη παρουσιάζει τον
άγγελο να δείχνει στις γυναίκες τον άδειο τάφο και να λέει
"ηγέρθη ουκ έστν ώδε' Ίδε ο τόπος όπου έθηκαν αυτόν."
help and be a donor for anything in memory of any individuals or a sum of the below mentioned items,
please call the church and either speak to Fr. John or Vivian. Thank you for your constant love and support.
Κατωτέρω θά εύρετε τί χρειαζόμεθα γιά τήν Μεγάλης Τεσσαρακοστή καί το Πάσχα. Αν έχετε τήν
τελεφωνήστε στό γραφείο της Εκκλησίας μας, νά επικοινωνήσετε μέ τον Πατέρα Ιωάννη ή την Βίβιαν.
Σάς ευχαριστούμε γιά την αγάπη καί την υποστήριξίν σας.