Please Remember in Your Prayers
Schema-Archimandrite Joachim; Archpriest Paul White; Archpriest Alexander Atty; Deacon Michael Bishop; Nun Elizabeth; Nun Magdalena; Mat. Natalia Kosich; Reader Joseph Lochte; Vladimir Yurovsky; Melanie & Benedict Cardell; Katherine Plaskowitz; Michael Stanka; David & Selina-Sophia Eichelberger; Bernadine Borawick; George Materewicz; Julia Aymold; Dominic Pezza; Mary Johnson; Olga & Michael Chanat; Lilli Ann Hoffman; Andrew Lucas; Mimi-Veronica and Angela-Tatiana Arisumi; Sandra-Ann Wanner; Richard Wanner; Mary; Anthony Joseph Crivello; Monika-Anastasia & Stephanie Handley; Elaine LaPasha; Blanche-Julia Stolkovich; Rosalia Dribnak; Glen-Gregory Lewis, Ksenia McKenzie; Dionysius; Phyllis Wroblewski; Fesehazion Asghedom; Michael; Pavel; Keith-Phillip Johnson; Raisa; Yuri; Alla; Marianne Lobalbo; Lyudmila and Anton Karnup; John Alexander Bylen; Katherine Garrett; Stephen Kaminitsky; Olga; Constantine; Maria; Nicander; Trofim; John-Thomas Planinshek; Brock John & Alma Canfield; Martha Elliott; Kenneth Pukita; Sergei Krektyshev; Irina Kononova; Ksenia and Arthur; Sally-Ann Mickel; Bishop Family – Elizabeth and Robert. Khalimovskiy/Bosaya Family: Nina, Elena, Valentina, Vladimir, Pavel and Maria.
24th Sunday after Pentecost
Nov. 25 / December 8, 2013
Apodosis (Leave-taking) of the Entry of the Most Holy Theotokos into the Temple. Hieromartyr Clement, Pope of Rome (101); Hieromartyr Peter, Archbishop of Alexandria (311). Venerable Peter the Silent, of Galata, Syria (429); Venerable-martyr Magdalina (1931); Hieromartyrs Seraphim Archbishop of Smolensk, Gregory, John, Basil, Cosmas, John, Simeon, Hilarion, Iaroslav, Yaroslavl, Alexander, John, Victor, Andrew, Varlaam - priests and Martyr Paul (1937); Martyr Nicholas (1938).
We magnify Thee, O most Holy Virgin, Maiden chosen by the Lord,
and do homage to Thy Presentation in the Temple of the Lord
Please Join us for the Soup Luncheon – Today after Services
Sponsored by the Sunday School
2nd Collection for Christmas Flowers – December 8th
Today, Sunday, we will conduct a special second collection. Please use the Christmas Flowers envelope to make your donation
to cover the costs of poinsettias which will adorn the church leading up to the Nativity Celebration. Thank you for your generosity. May God bless you.
TODAY, Sunday – Annual Parish Meeting – December 8, 2013
This is an official announcement that our annual parish meeting will take place after Divine Liturgy on Sunday, December 8, 2013. Suggestions for New Business items may be given to Victor Marinich.
Let’s always remember…at the Annual Parish Meeting, we as members of Christ’s Holy Church, humbly seek out God’s will for our parish. And so, it is unthinkable and unacceptable for anyone to attend the meeting without coming to Divine Liturgy. We are a parish family first and foremost through God’s Grace.
The Nomination Committee is working to present a slate of candidates to run for the offices on the parish council for the year 2014. Anyone interested to run for office may contact the Nomination Committee members: Victor Marinich 443-512-0985; Charles Snipes 301-963-2294; Lilli Hoffman 410-931-1246; Albert Blaszak 410-799-3226; Vadim Radchenko 410-465-6172; or Andrei Burbelo 443-567-6031.
Sunday, December 8th – Soup Luncheon
Sunday, December 8th, the Sunday School Parents and Teachers will conduct an All-you-can-eat Soup Luncheon, featuring a wide variety of homemade lenten soups – mushroom, bean, lentil, cabbage, just to name a few. Salads and other items will round out the menu for a tasty lunch. Cost: $6/person (child under 12 free). All the proceeds benefit the Sunday School. For more info or if you’d like to donate a crock pot of homemade soup or something else call Ann Marie Havrilko 410-796-7617 Havrilko@comcast.net.
Only “members in good standing” vote at an annual meeting.
According to the By-Laws of Holy Trinity Russian Orthodox Church, adopted on December 21, 2003, the following defines a “Member in Good Standing of Holy Trinity Parish” (abridged):
Member in Good Standing is anyone, 18 years or older, that meets all of the following:
a) Any person who was baptized and chrismated according to the rites of the Orthodox Church or who has been canonically received into the Orthodox Church;
b) Any person who partakes of the Mysteries of Holy Confession and Holy Communion as frequently as possible, but no less than once a year;
c) Any person who pledges to support the parish through the application of their personal time and effort and a pledge of financial support;
d) Any person who meets his/her stewardship obligation;
e) Any person who demonstrates his/her loyalty to the Orthodox Church and to this parish by laboring to the best of their abilities for its progress;
f) Any pledging member who abides by the parish by-laws.
Just as breath is needed for the body and without breath man cannot live, so too, the soul cannot live true life without the breath of the Holy Spirit. What air is to the body, God’s Spirit is to the soul. Air somewhat resembles God’s Spirit. The Spirit breathes where it wishes… (John 3:8). St. John of Kronstadt
Cleaning Groups – Group #4 / Join a Group – Help your brothers and sisters
Group #4 will clean the week of December 9-14: Anna-Zumrat (captain) and Dmitriy Shkurba, and Margarita Vinogradova. This group needs more members. Any volunteers…?
Vigil Candles: On the Altar and near St. Barbara
December 8-14: Candles offered by Tatyana Kalish for the health/salvation of the servant of God Arkadiy Kalish.
A $15 donation will keep all three candles lit for one week. Schedule your candle offering with Vadim Radchenko 410-465-6172.
Air Conditioning Pledges are to be fulfilled by December 31
Your special donations are needed to pay for half of the air conditioning installation. And, half of the costs are covered by our savings. Please offer a donation to help us pay for this important upgrade to our church building. All A/C pledges must be fulfilled by the end of this calendar year. For general questions, contact Victor Marinich: 443-512-0985 or VicMarinich@comcast.net. To obtain a special A/C Project Pledge Form, contact Monika Handley at 410-263-5758. Thank you.
Russian Folk Music Concert
On Friday, December 13th at 4:00 PM, the St. Petersburg State Orchestra of Russian Folk Instruments – Metelitsa – will offer a performance of Russian folk music in the Monteabaro Recital Hall on the campus of Howard Community College in Columbia. Admission is free. For information contact Prof. Vladimir Marinich 443-472-7366 firstname.lastname@example.org
St. Herman Youth Conference (Ages 16 and older)
Registration is open for the annual St. Herman Youth Conference to be held December 22-26 in Sea Cliff, NY.
For information and to register visit: http://www.sthermanconference.com/
Birthday / Anniversary Celebrations: December 8-14
We offer our best wishes and Angel Day congratulations to Andrei Burbelo (12/13) and birthday congratulations to Jennie-Ksenia Lindqvist (12/15).
May God bless them with health, prosperity and many years. To include your birthdays and anniversaries in the bulletin please contact Fr. John.
New Christmas Cards and Books are now available in our bookstore. Hurry, limited supplies.
We have a wide assortment of Christmas gift items. Your gift purchases help our parish. Thank you.
Consider Joining a 2014 OCMC Orthodox Mission Team
Consider joining an OCMC Orthodox Mission Team in 2014. Mission Teams serve our Holy Orthodox Church’s unending mission effort that all people may come to know the saving love of our Lord. Be a living witness on a Healthcare team to Tanzania or Uganda, work with youth in Albania or Moldova, or offer your talents on other OCMC Teams in 2014. Team applications and details are available online at www.ocmc.org or call the OCMC at 1.877.463.6787 (ext 142) for more information.
Please keep in mind…
Every Sunday, Confessions are heard from 9:20 – 9:55 AM. If you are unable to make your confession during this time period, come to Confession before the next divine service. We must start Divine Liturgy on time at 10:00 AM. Thank you for your cooperation.
Submit your 2014 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 every-thing 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
Next Council Meeting: January, 2014 (To be announced)
Metropolitan Anthony of Sourozh (+2003)
Miracles of Christ on the Sabbath Day
In the name, of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
Time and again we read in the Gospel of the anger which the Lord Jesus Christ provoked by performing an act of mercy, a miracle of healing on a Sabbath day. And we cannot help asking ourselves a question: Why did He do it so constantly, so persistently, with such insistence? Could it be to challenge those who surrounded Him? Could it be to provoke them? Could it be simply a pedagogical action?
I believe that there is a great deal more in His action. The Lord created the world in six days; on the seventh day He rested of His toils and labors. But what happened to the world then? The seventh day was the day when the world came into the hands of man to be brought to its fulfillment and to its completeness; the seventh day, the Sabbath of the Lord is the day of man. The whole of human history falls in that day. But God did not leave man to work alone as the Lord Jesus Christ says in the Gospel, as reported by Saint John, “My Father still works, He shows His work to His Son for Him to fulfill them.” And in another passage He teaches us, He tells us that His judgment is true because it is not His judgment; He hears the words of the Father and that is the judgment He pronounces.
And so, history is the day of man, but man is called to be guided by the wisdom, by the love of God. It is because we are so often seeking for our own ways, it is because we do not ask ourselves what is God's way in one situation or the other that the world has become so ugly, and so frightening, and so tragic. There is a Hebrew poem that describes the misery of this world into which man does not bring the love of God; it says, “Man has ceased to believe in God and love has departed this world. Men have hanged themselves in forests, have drowned themselves in lakes, in rivers. Heaven is no longer mirrored in the lakes, in the woods; the bird does no longer sing songs of paradise, and the Prophet himself on his pedestal has become a mere statue.”
Is this not what we have become? Not statues but so much alike the wife of Lot who turned back and who became a statue of salt. We have remained salt and yet we are petrified, immobile, we do not fulfill on earth this function of ours. And Christ shows us, by working His miracles, His acts of love and of compassion on Sabbath day, time and again, He Who is the only true man, the only man who is in total, ultimate oneness with God, what our part should be: take on the history of mankind, take every situation in which we or others find themselves, and carry them on our shoulders in an act of mercy and of love. A Western writer has said that a Christian is the one to whom God has committed the care of His world and of other people. Are we discharging this basic central commission of ours, do we care? We may care with tenderness, we may care sternly, but we must care. And then, this seventh day when God in His mercy and love has committed this world to our care, still can become the day of the Lord. And the City of man which is been built without God, which so often is like the Tower of Babel, may still unfold and attain the greatness and the holiness of the City of God in which the Lord Jesus Christ, true God but also true Man, is called to be a citizen, the heart of it, but also one of us.
Is not this call great enough? Is not God's faith in us sufficiently inspiring? Are we going to defeat His hope, to reject His love for ourselves or for others? Or are we going to learn from the ways in which Christ fulfils His human vocation in the day of the Lord, shall we not learn from Him and together with Him build the world which God has dreamed, has willed and is still loving in his distress and so often in our betrayal of Him!
Let us learn to love one another actively, bear one another's burdens, listen to the Living God when He speaks, listen with all our energy, look into His ways and be those who fulfill His will and bring the world to the perfect beauty He has willed for it! Amen. Metropolitan Anthony Library
The world tells us to feast when the Church instructs us to fast…
Then the world encourages us to diet, when the Church calls us to feast…
On the Nativity Fast
The Preparation of the Soul
The Fast of the Nativity is the Church's wise solace and aid to human infirmity. We are a forgetful people, but our forgetfulness is not unknown to God; and our hearts with all their misconceptions and weakened understandings are not unfamiliar to the Holy Spirit who guides and sustains this Church. We, who fall far from God through the magnitude of our sin, are called nonetheless to be close to Him. We who run afar off are called to return. Through the fast that precedes the great Feast of the Incarnation -- which itself is the heart and substance of our calling -- the Church helps draw us into the full mystery of what that call entails.
Like Great Lent, the fast of the Nativity is a journey. 'Come, O ye faithful, and let us behold where Christ is born. Let us join the Magi, kings from the east, and follow the guiding star' (Sessional Hymn of the Nativity Matins). Let us 'join the Magi', let us 'follow' and 'behold'. On the fifteenth of November, the Church joins together in a journey toward that salvation first promised to Adam in God's curse laid upon the serpent (Gen 3.14-15). The One who will crush the head of the serpent, of sin and the devil and all that is counter to the life God offers, is Him to whom the star leads us. The fast of the Nativity is our journey into the new and marvelous life of the Holy Trinity, which is offered by God but which we must approach of our own volition. In this act, we are joined to the story of our fathers. The gift of a new land and great blessings was freely given by God to Abraham, but in order to obtain it, 'Abram went, as the Lord had told him' (Gen 12.4).
A journey is, by its nature, naturally ascetic. Unless my life is already very humble, I cannot take the whole of my possessions on a journey. I cannot transport social and political ties along a journey's path. I can never be too reliant on the plans I have made for my journey: a control lying beyond the self must be admitted and accepted. This is the spirit to which the fast calls us.
A journey is, by its nature, an act of movement, of transportation, of growth. What is old is left behind, newness is perceived and embraced, and growth of understanding takes place. And even if the journey comes to a close in the same physical location from which it began, that place is transformed for us by the journey through which we have re-approached it. The aid shelter on a street corner in London is no different after a journey to the Middle East; but after witnessing there first-hand the struggles and torments of poverty, of suffering, of sorrow, the meaning and importance of that small shelter is indeed different for me.
Here the importance of the fast. As the Nativity approaches, that great feast of cosmic significance and eternal, abounding joy for which heaven and earth together rejoice, the fast calls me to consider: do I rejoice? Why do I rejoice? The hymnography of the Church makes it clear that this is a feast for all the world, for all creation; and the fast calls me to take my place in that creation, to realize that, despite all my infinite unworthiness, Christmas is a miracle for my soul too.
Make ready, O Bethlehem: let the manger be prepared, let the cave show its welcome. The truth has come, the shadow has passed away; born of a Virgin, God has appeared to men, formed as we are and making godlike the garment He has put on. Therefore Adam is renewed with Eve, and they call out: 'Thy good pleasure has appeared on earth to save our kind'.
Adam and Eve, all of humankind, are renewed and made alive in the Incarnation of God in Christ, who 'appeared on earth to save our kind'. Fallen flesh, so long bound to death, so long yearning in for growth and maturation into the fullness of life, is sewn into the garment of Christ and at last made fully alive. There is a pleasing old saying, with perhaps more than a touch of truth to it, that humankind drew its first full breath at the infant Christ's first cry.
We are called, then, to approach this great mystery as God's condescension into our own lives, personally and collectively. The Canon of Matins for the Nativity lays it out clearly: 'He establishes a path for us, whereby we may mount up to heaven' (Irmos of Canticle Two, from the Iambic (second) Canon of the Nativity Matins). The Nativity is not only about God's coming down to us, but about our rising up to Him, just as sinful humanity was lifted up into the person of Christ in the Incarnation itself.
We are called to arise, then, during the fast that is the journey into this Feast. 'O blessed Lord who seest all, raise us up far above sin, and establish Thy singers firm and unshaken upon the foundation of the faith'. The faithful take up this call through the abandonment of those things which bind, rather than free, in order that a focus on God as 'all in all' might become ever more real and central to daily life.
Meals are lessened and regimented, that a constant, lingering hunger may remind us of the great need we each have for spiritual food that goes beyond our daily bread. The number of Church services is gradually increased, that we might know whence comes that true food. Sweets and drink are set aside, that we might never feel content with the trivial and temporal joys of this world. Parties and social engagements are reduced, that we might realize that all is not so well with us as we often take it to be. Anything which holds the slightest power over us, whether cigarettes or television, travel or recreation, is minimized or -- better -- cast wholly aside, that we might bring ourselves to be possessed and governed only by God.
The fast is an ascetic time, designed by the Church to strip away common stumbling blocks into sin, to provide us with the means of self-perception that we lack in our typical indulgence, and to begin to grow the seeds of virtue. All these are necessary if we are ever to know even partially, or appreciate even menially, the 'depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God'. We must take up the task of our own purification, gifted by God and achieved only through His grace, that we might approach Him on Christmas Day as did the Magi and the shepherds in Bethlehem:
Come, O ye faithful, inspired by God let us arise and behold the divine condescension from on high that is made manifest to us in Bethlehem. Cleansing our minds, let us offer through our lives virtues instead of myrrh, preparing with faith our entry into the feast of the Nativity, storing up treasure in our souls and crying: Glory in the highest to God in Trinity, whose good pleasure is now revealed to men, that in His love for mankind He may set Adam free from the ancestral curse. (Sticheron of the Sixth Hour, Christmas Eve) http://www.monachos.net/content/liturgics/liturgical-reflections/97#footnotes_97
The Holy Apostle Andrew the First-Called
(Friday, November 30/December 13)
The Holy Apostle Andrew the First-Called was the first of the Apostles to follow Christ, and he afterwards brought to Christ his own brother the holy Apostle Peter (Jn. 1: 35-42). The future apostle was from Bethsaida, and from the time of his youth he turned with all his soul to God. He did not enter into marriage, and together with his brother he worked as a fisherman. When upon Israel thundered the voice of the holy Prophet, Forerunner and Baptist of the Lord John, Saint Andrew became his closest disciple. Saint John the Baptist himself sent off to Christ his own two disciples, the future Apostles Andrew and John the Theologian, declaring Christ to be the Lamb of God.
After the Descent of the Holy Spirit upon the apostles, Saint Andrew set off preaching the Word of God to the Eastern lands. He went through Asia Minor, Thrace, Macedonia, he reached along the River Dunaj (Danube), went along the coast of the Black Sea, through Crimea, the Black Sea Region and along the River Dniepr he climbed to the place, where now stands the city of Kiev. He stopped overnight on the hills of Kiev. Rising in the morning, he said to those disciples that were with him: "See ye these hills? Upon these hills will shine forth the beneficence of God, and there wilt be here a great city, and God shalt raise up many churches". The apostle went up around the hills, blessed them and set up a cross. Having prayed, he went up even further along the Dniepr and reached a settlement of the Slavs, where Novgorod was built. From here the apostle went through the land of the Varangians towards Rome for preaching, and again he returned to Thrace, where in the small village of Byzantium – the future mighty Constantinople, he founded the Church of Christ. The name of the holy Apostle Andrew connects the mother – the Church of Constantinople, together with the daughter – the Russian Church.
On his journeys the First-Called Apostle endured many sufferings and torments from pagans: they cast him out from their cities and they beat him. In Sinope they pelted him with stones, but remaining unharmed, the persevering disciple of Christ continued to preaching about the Saviour to people. Through the prayers of the apostle, the Lord worked miracles. From the labours of the holy Apostle Andrew there emerged Christian Churches, for which he established bishops and clergy. The final city to which the First-Called Apostle came, and where it was allotted him to accept a martyr's end, was the city of Patra.
The Lord manifested many a miracle through His disciple in Patra. The infirm were made whole, and the blind received their sight. Through the prayers of the apostle, the illustrious citizen Sosios recovered from serious illness; by the placing on of apostolic hands was healed Maximilla, wife of the governor of Patra, and his brother Stratokles. The miracles accomplished by the apostle and his fiery speech enlightened with the true faith almost all the citizens of the city of Patra. Few pagans that remained at Patra, but among them was the governor of the city, Aegeatos. The Apostle Andrew repeatedly turned to him with the words of Good-News [meaning of Euangelium, or Gospel]. But even the miracles of the apostle did not convince Aegeatos. The holy apostle with love and humility appealed to his soul, striving to reveal to him the Christian mystery of life eternal, through the wonderworking power of the Holy Cross of the Lord. The angry Aegeatos gave orders to crucify the apostle. The pagan thought to undo the preaching of Saint Andrew, if he were to give him over to death on the cross, which however the apostle glorified. Saint Andrew the First-Called accepted the decision of the governor with joy and with prayer to the Lord he himself went willingly to the place of execution. In order to prolong the suffering of the saint, Aegeatos gave orders not to nail down the hands and feet of the saint, but to tie them to the cross. From up on the cross for two days the apostle taught the citizens who gathered about. The people, in listening to him, with all their souls pitied him and tried to take the holy apostle down from the cross. Fearing a riot of the people, Aegeatos gave orders to stop the execution. But the holy apostle began to pray that the Lord would grant him death on the cross. Just as the soldiers tried to take hold of the Apostle Andrew, they lost control of their hands. The crucified apostle, having given glory to God, uttered: "Lord Jesus Christ, receive Thou my spirit". Then a blazing ray of Divine light illumined the cross and the martyr crucified upon it. When the shining ceased, the holy Apostle Andrew the First-Called had already given up his holy soul to the Lord (+ 62). Maximilla, wife of the governor, had the body of the Apostle taken down from the cross, and buried him with honor.
A few centuries later, under the emperor Constantine the Great, the relics of the holy Apostle Andrew were solemnly transferred to Constantinople and placed in the church of the Holy Apostles alongside the relics of the holy Evangelist Luke and Apostle Paul's disciple – the Disciple Timothy. © 1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.
O Most Holy Trinity, Our God, Glory to Thee!