Please Remember in Your Prayers

Schema-Archimandrite Joachim; Archpriest Vincent Saverino; Archpriest Michael Lepa; Archpriest Mark Leasure; Archdeacon Evgeniy & Mat. Klavdiya Burbelo; Deacon Michael Bishop; Nun Elizabeth; Nun Magdalena; Mat. Natalia Kosich; Mat. Diane Winsky; Mat. Catherine Kowalchik; Marie Vass; Charles Snipes; Arthur-Stephen Lisowsky; Yelena Radchenko; Lydia Zorina; Katherine Plaskowitz; Philip Plaskowitz, Michael Stanka; Bernadine Borawick; John Antoniak; Julia Aymold; Mary Johnson; Olga Chanat; Lilli Ann Hoffman; Lara Marinich; Oleg Marinich; Rachel, Vera, Christopher Pastor; Samantha; Ioann and Galina Zernetkin; Monika-Anastasia & Stephanie Handley; Elaine LaPasha; Blanche-Julia Stolkovich; Ekaterina Koroleva; Nina Lewis; Maryann Black; Matushka Marianne Lobalbo; Lyudmila, Anton & Aleksander Karnup; John Alexander Bylen; Katherine Garrett; Stephen Kaminitsky; Constantine; Maria; Nicander; John-Thomas Planinshek; Kenneth Pukita; Ann Ferkile; Maria and Alexander Lozada; Sergei Krektyshev; Irina Kononova; Petr Borodkin; Anthony and John Bakie; Svetlana & Aleksey; Nina; Mat. Galina, Alla; Anna; Alla; Raisa, Zinaida; Liubov and Maksim Krayushkin; Joseph Germano; Pavel, Vladimir, Valentina and Maria; Maria Pappas; Bonnie Duke; Joseph Lacomy; Diana Radchenko; Aleksey Potapov; Oleg and Andrei; Vitaliy, Tatiana, Olena & Nicholas Berchuk.

ru

Bulletin

Sunday of the Terrible Judgment

Tone 2

February 6/19, 2017

 

Meat-Fare Sunday

Last day for eating meat & meat products

 

Afterfeast of the Meeting of the Lord. Venerable Bucolus, Bishop of Smyrna (ca. 100); Venerable Barsanuphius the Great and John the Prophet, monks of Palestine (6th c.); Holy Hierarch Photius, Patriarch of Constantinople (891); Martyrs Dorothea, Christina and Callista, and Theophilus, at Caesarea in Cappadocia (288-300); Martyr Julian of Emesa (312); Martyr Fausta, and with her Martyrs Evilasius and Maximus, at Cyzicus (ca. 305-311); Martyrs Martha and Mary, and their brother Martyr Lycarion, in Egypt; Hieromartyrs Demetrius, Priest and Martyr Anatolius (1921); Hieromartyr Basil, Priest (1930); Hieromartyr Alexander, Priest (1938).

 

 

Today’s Scriptural Readings:      

1 Corinthians 8:8 – 9:2 /  Matthew 25: 31-46

Fr. John’s Sermons (Video): Click here  

 

 

We magnify Thee, O Life-Giving Christ, and we honor Thy most pure Mother 

for according to the Law Thou wast brought by Her into the Lord’s Temple

 

 

This  Week’s  Liturgical  Calendar

Maslenitsa / Cheese Week – Dairy & Eggs allowed all week: Feb. 20-26

Wednesday, February 22nd – 7:30 PM

Moleben/Akathist in Church

Holy Hierarch Luke, Archbishop of Simferopol and Crimea

Saturday, February 25th – 6:00 PM

Vigil Service in Church

Sunday, February 26th – 10:00 AM

Confessions at 9:15 – 10:00 AM

Divine Liturgy in Church 

Cheese-Fare Sunday

Sunday, February 26th – 6:00 PM

Great Vespers in Church

Rite of Forgiveness

 

Divine Services at Holy Trinity are now live-streamed at

https://www.youtube.com/user/HolyTrinitySermons

 

 

Please Join us for Coffee Hour – Today after Services

 

Coffee Hour Changes

Over the last few years, our coffee hours have grown from simple “coffee and cake” into a complete lunch week after week. Although we all enjoy the variety of menus, we recognize that it is difficult to maintain such a level of effort. And so, to ensure that more families can help sponsor coffee hours, the Sisterhood will reduce and simplify the menus for each week. Of course, when offering remembrance meals or personal celebrations, families may sponsor any menu size as they wish. For more info, contact Zumrat-Anna Shkurba. Thank you.

 

Centennial History Committee – February 19th

The History Committee for the Centennial will meet on Sunday, February 19th after coffee hour. This is an open call for members.

We will sort through some historical documents and establish a work plan for the next year.

 

Sunday School Project

Оur students started a new project. The goal of the project is to assemble brown bags with non-perishable food items for homeless individuals. During Sunday School classes the project was introduced, and the kids discussed and decided on what items to pack and how to decorate the bags. It is a great chance for our kids to get involved in helping others. Info: contact Katie Radchenko: kradchenko28@gmail.com

 

Restoration Committee – February 23rd

On Thursday, February 23rd at 6:30 PM the Restoration Committee will meet to discuss in greater detail the types of work that will be done in the church interior. A representative from Hayles and Howe will also attend in order to explain the work and answer our questions. Everyone is encouraged to attend this meeting. The Parish Council will conduct its meeting afterwards at about 7:30 PM. For more information contact Victor Marinich.

 

Fundraising Committee – March 9th

The Fundraising Committee will meet on Thursday, March 9th at 7:00 PM to discuss the many aspects of our social media outreach plan. We will introduce the following topics: re-design of parish logo, design of commemorative centennial pin, re-design of the parish website, Facebook and Go-Fund-Me pages, etc. For more information please contact Tania Masiuk 410-987-4850 tania_masiuk@yahoo.com  

 

Next Sunday – Blini Luncheon / Cheesefare Sunday – February 26

Next Sunday is Cheesefare Sunday – the last day for dairy products before the start of the Great Fast. So after Divine Services we will conduct a Blini Luncheon.

Freshly made blini will be served with a variety of toppings of your choice, salads and other desserts. Contact Anna Shkurba ZumratShkurba@yahoo.com.

 

Maslenitsa Dinner Thank you!

Friday evening we continued the preparatory time before Great Lent with a wonderful “Maslenitsa Dinner” Celebration. The hall was beautifully decorated and the food was exquisite. More than 60 people attended and had a really good time. The menu featured blini with toppings, fish dishes, piroshky, many salads and delicious desserts. After dinner many people danced to the music of our DJ Alexander Ogora. And several great prizes were raffled off. We offer our thanks to Natalie Burbelo and the Sisterhood, to Michael Mickel and the many volunteers of Samovar and to everyone who helped in any way. More than 20 people volunteered to make this dinner dance a success. Thank you very much!


Great Lent Begins on Monday, February 27, 2017

 



First Week of Great Lent – Divine Services Schedule

Feb. 26         Sunday         6:00 PM

Forgiveness Vespers

Church

Feb. 27         Monday        7:00 PM

Great Compline & Canon of St. Andrew of Crete

Church

Feb. 28         Tuesday        7:00 PM

Great Compline & Canon of St. Andrew of Crete

Church

March 1       Wednesday  7:00 PM

Great Compline & Canon of St. Andrew of Crete

Church

March 2       Thursday      7:00 PM

Great Compline & Canon of St. Andrew of Crete

Church

March 4       Saturday    10:00 AM

Divine Liturgy – St. Theodore of Tyre

Church

 

House Blessings

How to Prepare for the Blessing of your Home? A lighted candle, an icon or cross, and a bowl for holy water should be placed on a table covered with a clean tablecloth preferably white. All radios, TVs, computers, etc. should be turned off. All who are present in the house should come together and stand by the table where the service takes place. The first names of the members of the immediate family should be clearly printed on a sheet of paper for commemoration. To schedule your house blessing, please contact Fr. John at frjohnv@verizon.net or 443-527-7067.  

 

Lenten Discussion Group – Begins March 8th

During Great Lent after Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts each Wednesday evening, join us for a discussion on the book The Field: Cultivating Salvation a collection of works by Saint Ignatius (Brianchaninov). Just published this book instructs us in the cultivation of the field of our hearts, with the aim of producing a harvest of virtues both pleasing to God and of benefit to all humankind. The book is in our book store now. See Vlad Volkov. Our first discussion is March 8th. 

 

Birthday / Anniversary Celebrations:  February 19-25

We offer our best wishes and birthday congratulations to Alexander Soderstrom (2/21). May God bless him with

health, prosperity and many years. To include your birthday/anniversary in the bulletin call Fr. John.

 

Vigil Candles: On the Altar and near St. Barbara

February 19-25:  Candles offered by Valeriy for the health/salvation of the servant of God: Alexandra.

A $15 donation will keep all three candles lit for one week. Schedule your candle offering with Vadim Radchenko 410-465-6172. Thank you.

 

Moleben with Akathist

Before the start of Great Lent on Wednesdays, we will conduct a moleben (prayer service) with akathist to those saints whose relics we have in our church. Come to these services to pray for health, for your family, and for our parish. We have much to prepare for our parish centennial, and need God’s blessing.

 

February 22nd  – 7:30 PM

Holy Hierarch Luke, Archbishop of Simferopol and Crimea

 

 

Church School Camping Trip – May 19-21, 2017

The 17th Annual Church School Camping Trip at Camp Running Bear (formerly Camp Alkor) in Monkton, MD for children ages 6-12 will take place May 19-21. Our theme this year is “The Treasure of St. Paul” – a study of the life of St. Paul and his epistles. Registrations due by April 24th. Registration forms are on the bulletin table. For more information contact Dr. Pat Disharoon pdisharoon@aol.com  410-233-5337. Also, all adult chaperones MUST register with Dr. Pat by April 24th to expedite background checks.


Cleaning Groups – Group #3 /  Join a Group – Help your brothers and sisters

Group #3 will clean this week Feb. 20-25: Vadim (captain) and Yelena Radchenko, Vladyslav and Natalia Volkova,

Nadya Aleksandrovych This group needs more members. Any volunteers??

 

Submit your 2017 Pledge

The mission of our parish is to spread the Word of God, to grow, to expand, to improve and not just to preserve our traditions.  Our parish shouldn’t become stale, but pursue holiness.

 

We strive to fulfill the mission of our parish, through prayer, work and sacrifice. Prayer – because we are called to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thess. 5:17); work – because we are taught to increase the talents given to us (Matt. 25: 14-30); and sacrifice – because "everyone to whom much is given, from him will much be required" (Luke 12:48).

 

Please be generous as the Lord is generous to you. When completing your pledge for the new year, please consider raising your level of giving. Our church cannot operate without your financial contributions. Our parish will grow only through your prayers, work and generous sacrifice.

 

When you are generous, you are not bestowing a gift, but repaying a debt. Everything you possess materially comes from God, who created all things. And every spiritual and moral virtue you possess is through divine grace. Thus you owe everything to God. More than that, God has given you his Son, to show you how to live: how to use your material possessions, and how to grow in moral and spiritual virtue. St. John Chrysostom 

 

Please Remember in Your Prayers…

Schema-Archimandrite Joachim; Archpriest Vincent Saverino; Archpriest Michael Lepa; Archpriest Mark Leasure; Archdeacon Evgeniy & Mat. Klavdiya Burbelo; Deacon Michael Bishop; Nun Elizabeth; Nun Magdalena; Mat. Natalia Kosich; Mat. Diane Winsky; Mat. Catherine Kowalchik; Marie Vass; Charles Snipes; Arthur-Stephen Lisowsky; Yelena Radchenko; Lydia Zorina; Katherine Plaskowitz; Philip Plaskowitz, Michael Stanka; Bernadine Borawick; John Antoniak; Julia Aymold; Mary Johnson; Olga Chanat; Lilli Ann Hoffman; Lara Marinich; Oleg Marinich; Rachel, Vera, Christopher Pastor; Samantha; Ioann and Galina Zernetkin; Monika-Anastasia & Stephanie Handley; Elaine LaPasha; Blanche-Julia Stolkovich; Ekaterina Koroleva; Nina Lewis; Maryann Black; Matushka Marianne Lobalbo; Lyudmila, Anton & Aleksander Karnup; John Alexander Bylen; Katherine Garrett; Stephen Kaminitsky; Constantine; Maria; Nicander; John-Thomas Planinshek; Kenneth Pukita; Ann Ferkile; Maria and Alexander Lozada; Sergei Krektyshev; Irina Kononova; Petr Borodkin; Anthony and John Bakie; Svetlana & Aleksey; Nina; Mat. Galina, Alla; Anna; Alla; Raisa, Zinaida; Liubov and Maksim Krayushkin; Joseph Germano; Pavel, Vladimir, Valentina and Maria; Maria Pappas; Bonnie Duke; Joseph Lacomy; Diana Radchenko; Aleksey Potapov; Oleg and Andrei; Vitaliy, Tatiana, Olena & Nicholas Berchuk.

 

Next Council Meeting: Thursday, February 23rd – 7:30 PM in the Church Hall

 

Fr. John Vass, Pastor  410-997-0802

Fr. Deacon Michael Bishop:                       410-563-0472

Victor Marinich, Council President:          443-512-0985

Vadim Radchenko, Vice President:              410-465-6172

Andrei Burbelo,  Recording Secretary:    443-567-6031

Albert Blaszak, Treasurer:                             410-799-3226

Monika Handley, Stewardship Chair:      410-263-5758

Anna-Zumrat Shkurba, Member-At-Large: 443-857-8541

Natalie Burbelo, Sisterhood President:   443-567-6031

Michael Mickel, Cemetery Manager:             410-666-2870

 

 

St. Theophan the Recluse

Homily on the Meeting of the Lord

 

What a tender scene the Meeting of the Lord shows us! The venerable elder Simeon, holding the infant God in his hands, on either side of him are the righteous Joseph and the Most Holy Mother of God. Not far away is the Prophetess Anna, an eighty-year-old faster and woman of prayer. Their eyes are all directed toward the Savior. Their attention is absorbed by Him and they drink in spiritual sweetness from Him, which feeds their souls. You can judge for yourself how blessed was the state of these souls! 

 

However, brethren, we are called not only to think about this blessedness, but also to taste it in reality, for all are called to have and carry the Lord in themselves, and to disappear in Him with all the powers of their spirit. When we have reached that state, then our blessedness will be no lower than that of those who participated in the Meeting of the Lord. They were blessed who saw it; we shall be blessed who have not seen, but believed. Pay attention. I will show you briefly how to achieve this. Here is what you should do. 

 

1. First of all, repent. Remember that nothing must be done in spiritual life without repentance. No matter what anyone endeavors to seek, let the beginning of it be repentance. Just as a house cannot be built without a foundation, nor a field be sown or planted without first being cleared, so also without repentance we cannot begin our spiritual search; anything begun without repentance was begun in vain. Thus, first of all, repent—that is, weep over everything bad that you have done, and resolve to do only what is pleasing to God. This will be like turning your gaze and your whole body towards the path of meeting the Lord, and taking the initial step upon that path. 

 

2.  Next, keep this state of repentance constant; establish for yourself a manner of life and conduct that would make every step or movement something directing your attention to our Lord and Savior. Such an order of life will establish itself naturally, if: a) you do everything that you do for the Glory of the Lord and Savior, for Christ's sake. Here we mean not only great deeds, but all deeds. For, seeing and hearing, silence and speaking, food and drink, sitting and walking, work and rest can all be dedicated to the Lord and sanctified by His All-Holy Name. There isn't a minute when we are not doing something; so, by thus dedicating your activity, you will be meeting the Lord minute by minute, directing all of your activities to His glory. You can even more conveniently do this and reap fruits from it if you also: b) insert into the order of your daily activities the practice of prayer—both in church and at home; and in general make it your rule to be a strict fulfiller of all the rules and order of the Holy Church to the last iota, without vain elaboration and distorted commentary, and with simplicity of heart. As the content of all prayer is the Lord and our turning to Him, by doing it and participating in it you will be meeting the Lord through your heart's sympathy and delight. If after this: c) you fill all your interim time with reading the Scriptures about the Lord, listening to talks about Him, or with your own contemplation of Him and the great work of salvation that He wrought on earth, then you will see for yourself that nothing will remain within us or outside of us that does not bring remembrance of the Lord, bring Him to your attention, or carry your spirit to meet Him. 

 

3. Just the same, you should not forget that all of these labors and occupations are only preparation. You should not stop at them, but rather strive onward. Just as food taken in rough form later imbues refined elements needed for life, so must these occupations performed visibly and tangibly turn into a spirit of a very refined inclination or striving toward the Lord. Namely, the labor of consecrating all our activities to the Lord should have the quality of reaching with our whole soul's desire only for the Lord; when we do all our prayers or attend the Divine services, a feeling should form in our hearts of accord only with the Lord and what is His. Underlying our reading and hearing the Holy Scripture about the Lord should only be the eager directing of our mind's attention toward the Lord alone. These labors are that very working of the field, and these strivings are the growth of what has been sown. The first are the stem and branches, the latter are the flower and fruit. When these inclinations come up in us, it will mean that our spirit has gone out with all its consciousness and disposition to meet the Lord. Since the Lord is everywhere, and He Himself seeks to meet with our spirit, their mutual meeting will then come about by itself. From that moment on, our spirit will begin to taste the blessedness of Righteous Simeon; that is, it will begin to bear in the embrace of its powers a striving for the Lord, Who is its complete satiety and satisfaction. This is what is called tasting the Lord, rest in Him, mentally standing before the Lord, walking in the presence of the Lord, and ceaseless prayer—the object of all God's saints' labor, desire, and seeking. 

 

I wish that all of you who celebrate the Meeting of the Lord be vouchsafed this blessing. If anyone complains that he would like the fruit but the labor it takes to get it is too hard, the answer is: Good. There is an easier method, a method simpler than the one laid out. Here it is! Repent; then, with zeal for keeping all of God's commandments, walk unfailingly in the Lord's presence, striving for Him with all your mind's attention, all your heart's feelings, and all your will's desires. If you thus dispose yourself, you will soon meet the Lord. He will come down to you and abide in you, as in the embrace of Righteous Simeon. There is no other way to lighten the labor needed to seek a meeting with the Lord. The Jesus Prayer: Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, is powerful and strong to help in this work. Again, however, not by itself; but under the condition that all the strength of our spirit be directed toward the Lord! Be sober, be vigilant (1 Pet. 5:8). Seek those things which are above … and your life is hid with Christ in God (Col. 3:1, 3). Then, having become one in spirit with the Lord (cf. 1 Cor. 6:17), you will behold and embrace the Lord, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you (Jn 16:22), neither in this age, nor in the age to come. Amen.   Translated by Nun Cornelia (Rees)

            

Sunday of the Fearful Judgment

      

            When Thou shalt come, O righteous Judge, to execute just judgment, seated on Thy throne of glory, a river of fire will draw all men amazed before Thy judgment-seat; the powers of heaven will stand beside Thee, and in fear mankind will be judged according to the deeds that each has done. Then spare us, Christ, in Thy compassion, with faith we entreat Thee, and count us worthy of Thy blessings with those that are saved. (Vesperal Sticheron from the Triodion).

 

            O dread is that terrible day in which the just judgment of the Lord shall come. Quick shall be its coming, at a time unknown, and quick shall be its might. No ear shall be spared the trumpets' resounding call to the divine Tribunal, nor shall any earthly strength be fit to withstand it. 

 

            Behold there comes a day of the Lord almighty, and who shall endure the fear of His presence? For it is a day of wrath; the furnace shall burn, and the Judge shall sit and give to each the due return for his works. (Exapostilarion from Matins)

 

            Fear is an emotion oft mentioned in the services for this preparatory Sunday before the onset of the Great Fast: fear of the Last Judgment, fear of the divine justice of God, fear of the just punishment awaiting sinful man. One encounters here an emotion that many in the modern world are loathe to address or discuss, much less ponder, still less cherish. Yet it is this very emotion that pours forth in abundance from the hymns and prayers of the divine services celebrated on this great day, and one therefore that deserves our fair and full attention. In the seventh Canticle of the Matins Canon, we hear:  The Lord comes to judge: who can endure the sight of Him? Tremble thou, my wretched soul, tremble and prepare for thy departure.     

            

            Earlier, at the previous night's Vespers, we heard:  When the thrones are set up and the books are opened, and God sits in judgment, oh what fear there will be then! When the angels stand trembling in Thy presence and the river of fire flows before Thee, what shall we do then, who are guilty of many sins? When we hear Him call the blessed of His Father into the Kingdom, but send the sinners to their punishment, who shall endure His fearful condemnation? (From the Vesperal Troparion).

 

            Why this dwelling in, even exalting of an emotion that seems so foreign, so strange and bitter to the contemporary religious mind? In a world where the love and mercy of God are righteously and properly emphasized, but in which fear and dread are seen as negative psychological or social motivators, their emphasis in the holy rites of the Church can strike the contemporary hearer as strange, out of place, dated. 

 

            Yet it is perhaps this very distancing of the modern mind from a true and healthy understanding of fear that makes its emphasis in the Church of such importance. In the Sundays that precede the arrival of the Great Fast on the Sunday of Forgiveness, we are gradually--yet firmly--reminded of the human attitudes necessary for a proper relationship to God in Trinity. In the story of Zaccheus, shared in the Church on the last Sunday before the Triodion, we are exhorted to that same sense of longing and desire for union with Christ that drove small Zaccheus to his tree-top: reminded that lest a soul actively search after God, it will devise ways ever to grow further from Him. 

 

            On the Sunday of the Publican and Pharisee, first in the Triodion, we are exhorted to humility: both toward God to our fellow men, for as we do, as we behave to the least of these, so we do to Him (Mt 25.31-46). For our relationship with God to be pure and one that leads to real theosis, we must above all be humble. 

 

            We must also recognize our sinful state, and long for it to be other than it is. This is the message of the Sunday of the Prodigal Son, in which the familiar parable of the foolish son and loving Father (Lk 15.11-32) is set before us as a divine type and example of all humanity. Only when we, as the prodigal, recognize that we have squandered all our gifts and gone to dwell with 'swine' (that is, all our sinful passions and impulses), can that deep sense of exile come to fruition in our hearts--a sense that, combined with humility and longing, is necessary for us to grow closer to Christ. Fr Alexander Schmemann would theme this Sunday the 'return from Exile' (Great Lent, p. 21): this is the state of human life coming to true Life in Christ. We do not exist in perfection, but in exile of body and spirit, just as the Israelites in Babylon. And, like them, we too must come to that state of being in which our innermost essence cries out: 'By the waters of Babylon we sat down and wept, when we remembered Zion ... how shall we sing the Lord's song in a strange land?' (Ps. 136: 70). 

 

            And so the preparatory Sundays of the Triodion teach us of the human attitudes necessary in our life before Christ God: longing, humility, awareness of exile, hope in our Saviour. And then we arrive at the present day, the Sunday of the Last judgment, when the attitude brought clearly to mind is fear. From the Triodion, speaking of the Judgment Seat:  Fear and trembling beyond all description are there: for the Lord will come and try the work of every man. And who will not mourn for himself? (From the fifth Canticle of the Matins Canon).

 

            Time and again in the hymnography for the day, we are called to be fearful before the Lord; to remember with fear the appointed judgment; to acknowledge in fear the sinful state of our lives. Words and terms that bring discomfort abound in the texts: terror, judgment, fire, torment, pain, suffering, hell.

 

            I lament and weep when I think of the eternal fire, the outer darkness and the nether world, the dread worm and the gnashing of teeth, and the unceasing anguish that shall befall those who have sinned without measure, by their wickedness arousing Thee to anger, O Supreme in Love. And among them in misery I am first... (From the Vesperal Stichera).

            

            Why this seemingly morbid emphasis on fear, with its connected imagery of death and suffering? Perhaps the answer is best intimated in a passage from the seventh Canticle of the Canon:  Terror seizes me when I think of the unquenchable fire, of the bitter worm, the gnashing of teeth, and soul-destroying hell; yet I do not turn in true compunction. O Lord, Lord, before the end, strengthen Thy fear within me.

 

            Here we begin to see a framework within which these exhortations to fear take their proper appearance and place. Through the wisdom of the Church in her texts and hymns, we are called to embrace fear as a healthy and life-giving source of compunction and spur to true repentance. With our fallen and sin-stained perceptions, we often fall into the deadly trap of focusing upon God's love and compassion to the exclusion of His justice. Seeing first-hand the outstretched arms and inviting embrace of the Father, we blindly forget to work towards the amendment of our sinful ways, to passionately beg for forgiveness and mercy--to truly heed divine Paul's command that we work out our salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2.12). Even the prodigal feared his father, having prepared a great lament of sorrow and signs of his true repentance; and it was in this context, in this mindset that he approached the Father, and the Father gave him life. 

 

            Thus the fear to which we are so poignantly called on this holy day is a fear that leads to compunction and compunction to humility, and humility to repentance, and repentance to eternal life. We are not called to fear simply to be 'scared,' but to be prompted into action. As we sing at Vespers: When we hear Him call the blessed of His Father into the Kingdom, but send the sinners to their punishment, who shall endure His fearful condemnation? But Saviour who alone lovest mankind, before the end comes, turn me back through repentance and have mercy on me.

 

            Before the end comes--and the end will indeed come--let us be turned to true repentance. Let us call upon the great wisdom of God's holy Church, who through her hymns and prayers reminds us of the cosmic and ultimate realities associated with our spiritual state. And standing before these realities, let us with fear and trembling turn to God with repentant hearts, filled with His love, and actively engage in the battle for our salvationCourtesy of www.monachos.net

 

 

The Sunday of the Fearful Judgment: The two past Sundays spoke to us of God’s patience and limitless compassion, of His readiness to accept every sinner who returns to Him. On this third Sunday, we are powerfully reminded of a complementary truth: no one is so patient and so merciful as God, but even He does not forgive those who do not repent. The God of love is also a God of righteousness, and when Christ comes again in glory, He will come as our judge. ‘Behold the goodness and severity of God’ (Rom. 11:22). Such is the message of Lent to each of us: turn back while there is still time, repent before the End comes… This Sunday sets before us the ‘eschatological’ dimension of Lent: the Great Fast is a preparation for the Second Coming of the Savior, for the eternal Passover in the Age to Come. Nor is the judgment merely in the future. Here and now, each day and each hour, in hardening our hearts towards others and in failing to respond to the opportunities we are given of helping them, we are already passing judgment on ourselves.   

Metropolitan Kallistos Ware,  The Lenten Triodion.

 

 

Great Lent begins February 27th 

            If we truly desire to change for the better, how, when and where do we begin? Our change starts with prayer and fasting, throughout Great Lent and especially in the Church. We cannot bear any fruit during the Great Fast unless we also change our daily schedules, allowing more time for prayer and attendance of Divine Services in Church. During the first four days of Lent (Feb. 27 – March 2), we will serve Great Compline with the reading of the Great Canon of St. Andrew of Crete. And throughout the Fast we will celebrate the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts every Wednesday evening. Mark your calendars now…come to Church. Yes, our personal schedules are full. But let us resolve and act upon our decision to repent.

 

O Most Holy Trinity, Our God, Glory to Thee!