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Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria & All Africa

Archdiocese of Good Hope


All Glory, Honour and Worship to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and forever,
and unto the Ages of ages. Amen. Remembering also our Most Holy, Most Pure, Most Blessed and
Glorious Lady, Maria, Theotokos, yet Ever Virgin, together with all the Saints. And let us commit
ourselves and one another and our whole Life to Christ our God. Amen.

Tone (7) Varys/Grave

4 December 2016

th

24 Sunday After Pentecost


10 Sunday of St Luke - The Bowed Woman
th

Also the Feast of ST BARBARA, GREAT HOLY MARTYR OF HELIOPOLIS, SYRIA & St Juliana of Heliopolis,
Syria ST JOHN OF DAMASCUS St John of Phrygia St Alexander Hotovitsky, New Martyr of Russia
St Gennadios, Archbishop of Novgorod St Seraphim, Bishop & Hieromonk of the Phanar

RESURRECTION APOLYTIKION TONE (7) VARYS-GRAVE

Katelisas to Stavro Sou ton Thanaton.

Ineoxas to listi ton


Paradison. Ton Miroforon ton thrinon metevales ke tis
sis Apostolis kirittin epetaxas, oti
Anestis, Hriste O
Theos, parehon to kosmo to Mega Eleos.

FESTAL APOLYTIKION ST BARBARA

Varvaran tin Agian timisomen.

Ehthrou gar tas pagodas


sinetripse, ke os strouthion erristhi ex afton, voithia ke
oplo tou Stavrou i Pansemnos.

FESTAL APOLYTIKION ST JOHN

OF

By

OF

Thy Cross Thou destroyed Death;


Thou opened
Paradise to the Thief; Thou changed the funeral wail of
the Myrrh-bearing Women, and Commanded them to
announce to Thine Apostles that Thou had Risen from
the dead, O Christ our God, Who bestows upon the
world Great Mercy.

HELIOPOLIS

TONE (8) PLAGAL 4

Barbara the Saint, let us Honour, for she broke the snares
of the enemy, and escaped from them like a bird, with
the Cross as her help and shield.

DAMASCUS TONE (8) PLAGAL 4

Orthodoxias

Odige, Efsevias Didaskale ke Senotitos, tis


ikoumenis O Fostir, ton Monaston to Theopnefston
egkllopisma, Ioanni Sofe, tes didahes Sou pantas
Efotisas, lira tou Pnevmatos. Presveve risto to Theo,
Sothine tas psihas imon.

Guide

of Orthodoxy and a Sacred Teacher of Piety and


Dignity, Luminary of the world, and God-Inspired Jewel
of Monastics, O Wise John, the Spirits instrument: by
Thy Teachings, Thou Enlightened all. Intercede with
Christ our God for the Salvation of our soul.

SEASONAL KONTAKION FOREFEAST

OF THE

NATIVITY- TONE 3

I Parthenos simeron, ton proeonion Logon, en Spileo ethete Today the Virgin comes to the Cave to give Birth Ineffably
apotekin aporritos. Horeve, i ikoumeni, akoutisthisa;
doxason meta Angelon ke ton Pimenon, voilithenta
apofthine, pedion neon, ton pro eonon Theon.

to the Word Pre-Eternal. Hearing this, be of good


cheer, O Earth and its people: glorify Him with the
Angels and the Shepherds, Whose Will was to be made
manifest as a young Child the Pre-Eternal God.

RESURRECTION PROKEIMENON PSALM 67/68 TONE 4

God is Wondrous in His Saints.


In the Congregation, Bless God, our Lord of
THE EPISTLE

OF

ST PAUL

TO THE

the Spring of Israel.

GALATIANS 3 : 23 4 : 5

OUR ADOPTION AS CO-HEIRS WITH CHRIST THROUGH OUR FAITH AND HOLY BAPTISM

Brethren: before Faith came, we were kept under guard by the Law kept for the Faith that would afterward be
revealed. Therefore, the Law was our Tutor - to bring us to Christ, so that we might be Justified by Faith.
After Faith has come, we are no longer under a Tutor. You are all sons of God through Faith in Christ Jesus. For as
many of you as were Baptised into Christ have put on Christ.
There is neither Jew nor Greek; there is neither slave nor free; there is neither male nor female. You are all one in
Christ Jesus. If you are Christs then you are Abrahams seed, and Heirs according to the Promise.
I say that the heir as long as he is a child does not differ at all from a slave, although he is master of all, but is under
Guardians and Stewards until the time appointed by the Father. Even so, we when we were children were in
bondage under the elements of the world.
When the fullness of time had come, God sent forth His Son Born of a Woman, Born under the Law - to Redeem those
who were under the Law, that we might receive the Adoption as sons.
Faith IN Christ is also Faith OF Christ because TWO FAITHS
body. (St Abraham also saw the Holy Trinity as three identical
Men Angels, Whom he addressed as Lord as one
ARE COOPERATING together:
first and foremost, the
Being.)
faith of Christ, and secondarily, the Faith in Christ of
THE PURPOSE OF OUR LIFE ON EARTH HAS ALWAYS BEEN A VITAL
those who believe.
PREPARATORY PERIOD FOR ETERNITY.
Although THE PEOPLE OF THE OLD COVENANT with God had
Because Gods Love of us is infinite and absolute, He
complete Faith in God, they COULD NOT PARTICIPATE IN
provided mankind with a set of TEN COMMANDMENTS
THE FAITH OF CHRIST FOR OUR SAVIOUR HAD NOT YET
OR LAWS that GUIDE US TOWARDS ETERNAL LIFE AND
APPEARED TO THEM.
PROTECT US FROM FALLING INTO A STATE OF PERMANENT
THE HOLY TRINITY IS OMNIPRESENT - ever-present there
SPIRITUAL DEATH.
has never been a time or place when God the
THE TEN COMMANDMENTS OR MOSAIC LAW prepared the
Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit was not present!
Hebrew Nation for the Coming of God. They STILL
The only time WE COULD ACTUALLY SEE GOD WAS WHEN CHRIST
APPLY TO US, THE NEW ISRAEL THE ADOPTED CHILDREN OF
the Word and Son of God became Man BECAME
GOD.
INCARNATE took on physical matter a human
24TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST 10TH

OF

ST LUKE THE BOWED WOMAN ST BARBARA

4 DECEMBER 2016

1.

our Sacred Mission TO BECOME CHRIST-LIKE TO IMITATE


CHRIST Himself and thereby REGAIN OUR LOST LIKENESS
TO GOD
According to our New Covenant with Almighty God,
THERE IS NO DISTINCTION BETWEEN SOCIAL STATUS,
ETHNICITY OR GENDER because WE ARE ALL EQUAL IN THE
SIGHT OF GOD!
SAVING FAITH AND BEING BAPTISED ARE INTERWOVEN we
cannot claim to have one without the other!
For as many of you as were Baptised into Christ have
put on Christ, is our ancient Baptism Hymn that is
chanted during the Procession of the Newly
Regenerated into the assembly the Holy Church of
Christ.
WE SHARE ONE HUMAN NATURE IN CHRIST.
Therefore, assessing people according to our own
opinion, attitude, value, gender or ethnicity is
forbidden in Christs Holy Church,
If we are genuinely trying to imitate Christ we must do
so without fail: He never discriminated against
anyone so how dare we do so!
ANY DISCRIMINATION, BIGOTRY, INTOLERANCE OR PREJUDICE
WILL CAUSE US SERIOUS SPIRITUAL CONDEMNATION, which unless we quickly correct ourselves with sincere
Repentance - will affect our Eternity!
We are all one in nature and equal in dignity.

WITH GODS NEW COVENANT, CHRIST REVEALED THE TRUE


NATURE OF OUR MOST MERCIFUL, LOVING AND BENEVOLENT
GOD TO US AND TAUGHT US THE WAY TO ETERNAL LIFE,
which the ancient people of God only understood
instinctively at first and then through the Teachings
of the Holy Prophets of God.
AT THE HARROWING OF HADES AFTER HIS DEATH ON THE CROSS
IN HIS HUMAN NATURE, CHRIST - IN HIS DIVINE, ALMIGHTY
NATURE - SMASHED OPEN THE IMPRISONING DOORS OF
HADES, AND FREED ALL HUMANITY FROM THE ENSLAVING
POWER OF EVIL HAVING ALREADY RE-OPENED PARADISE to
THE FAITHFUL where they could REPOSE IN PEACE UNTIL
THE GENERAL RESURRECTION AND OUR FINAL JUDGEMENT.
(The Repentant Thief, St Demas, was the first to enter Paradise
since the banishment of Adam and Eve.)
THOSE WHO STUBBORNLY REJECTED HIM, REMAIN IN HADES
where they suffer the hideous Foretaste of the
vileness and torment of Eternal Alienation from God,
OUR FAITH IN CHRIST IS ONE OF PERSONAL COMMITMENT
AND ALLEGIANCE to Him and through our Holy
Baptism WE HAVE BECOME ADOPTED HEIRS OF GOD
CO-HEIRS WITH CHRIST TO THE ETERNAL HEAVENLY
KINGDOM OF GOD.
Not only have WE BEEN BAPTISED into Christianity into the
Christian Faith, but WE HAVE VESTED OURSELVES WITH
CHRIST WE HAVE PUT ON CHRIST we have taken on
THE HOLY GOSPEL ACCORDING
OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST HEALS

THE

TO

ST LUKE 13 : 10 - 17

BOWED WOMAN

ON THE

SABBATH

At that time, our Lord was teaching in one of the Synagogues on the Sabbath. And behold: there was a woman who
had a spirit of infirmity for eighteen years, and was bent over and could in no way raise herself.
Seeing her, Jesus called her to Him, and said to Her: Woman: you are loosed from your infirmity. And He laid His
Hands on her. And immediately she was made straight, and she Glorified God.
Indignantly, the Ruler of the Synagogue responded, for Jesus had Healed on the Sabbath. He said to the crowd: There
are six days on which to work. On them come and be Healed, and not on the Sabbath Day!
Answering him, the Lord said: Hypocrite! Does not each one of you on the Sabbath loose his ox or donkey from the
stall, and lead it away to water it? So ought not this woman being a daughter of Abraham - whom Satan has
bound think of it: for eighteen years be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath?
And when He said these things, all His adversaries were put to shame; and all the multitude rejoiced for all the Glorious
Things that were done by Him.
According to certain traditions that the Pharisees and the
that position in order to understand the suffering that
she had so patiently endured.
Scribes had built up around the Mosaic Law, Healing
was considered to be work.
Furthermore, our Holy Church Fathers regard this Divine
Commandment ... think of it!... as directing our
Therefore, even Healing was not permissible on the
Sabbath Day.
attention to a profound Spiritual Meaning of the ...
These self-righteous Pharisees and Scribes believed that
eighteen years.
The Greek expression is literally ten and eight years.
they served God by zealously keeping and enforcing
St Ambrose and St Theophylact understood this as
these peripheral traditions.
However, such legalism actually made them insensitive
representing the Ten Commandments and the Eighth
Day, which is the beginning of Eternity and the
to Gods Great Mercy.
When our Compassionate Lord Jesus Christ told the
General Resurrection of all mankind by Divine Grace.
Consequently, all mankind is uplifted by Faith in Christ
people especially those who criticised Him for
Who fulfils both the entire Mosaic Law and Divine
Healing the Bowed Woman on the Sabbath to ...
Grace.
think of it! He was commanding them to consider
how it felt to suffer for so long to put themselves in
24TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST 10TH

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the


Holy Spirit...
Dearly Beloved Brethren in Christ:
A woman who for eighteen years could not lift herself up
was Healed by the Divine Power of our Lord Saviour.
This Event, narrated by the Evangelist, St Luke, reminds us
of the Miraculous Healing that occurs with every
person who Encounters Christ on our lifes Path.
THE LIFESTYLE OF MANY OF US GRADUALLY CAUSES US TO BECOME
BOWED DOWN UNDER THE TREMENDOUS WEIGHT OF THE
BURDENS THAT ARE LAID UPON US all our worldly

concerns, experiences, and intractable problems.


THOSE HEAVY BURDENS MAY BE OUR PERSONAL CROSSES that we
carry on our shoulders, such as illnesses, or trials and
tribulations that overwhelm us.
OR THEY CAN BE DUE TO UNREPENTED SINS our own or that of
others - with which we do not have the strength or
ability to cope - so we become bowed down under
their oppressive weight that makes us miserable.
Sometimes it may seem that, apart from the difficult
situation in which we become enmeshed, nothing
else matters!
Until our All Merciful Lord Healed her, the Bowed Woman,
could only see the small area beneath her feet.

2. 2 4 T H S U N D A Y A F T E R P E N T E C O S T 1 0 T H

OF

OF

ST LUKE THE BOWED WOMAN

In just the same way, WE ARE OFTEN INCAPABLE OF SEEING


ANYTHING THAT IS ABOVE US, OR EVEN THAT WHICH IS ON THE
SAME LEVEL AS US - SEEING ONLY THAT WHICH IS BENEATH US.
Being bowed down under the heavy burden of our
worldly cares, WE CANNOT SEE ANYTHING THAT IS HEAVENLY!
Being immersed in worldly affairs and concerns, we
forget that - apart from the small portion of our
inheritance - there also exists something infinitely
greater and far more beautiful!
There is an entire world with great expanses of land and
sea, with an immense variety of beautiful wonders to
behold, as well as the endless sky with its own
amazing and heavenly magnificence!
Furthermore, THERE IS THE HEAVENLY KINGDOM OF DIVINE LOVE
TO WHICH WE ARE ALL CALLED BY OUR CREATOR - to become
worthy citizens of that prepared Eternal Kingdom of
God.
By gathering together as a Christian Community at
Church, in common worship of our Triune God, we
are granted the opportunity to come into contact with
this Higher, other Reality in our own living Experience.
THE HOLY CHURCH OF CHRIST ENABLES US TO BECOME SPIRITUALLY
STRENGTHENED, to forget about our unbeneficial and
temporary worldly concerns, and to turn our attention
and focus upon Heaven - turning away from
everything that is transitory and material, and joining

ST LUKE THE BOWED WOMAN ST BARBARA

4 DECEMBER 2016

ourselves to the Spiritual, Heavenly World that we


shall enter at the end of our lifespan Eternity.
By Healing the Bowed Woman, our Lord Jesus Christ
shows us that He awaits each one of us to stand
before Him at our full height with straight, healthy
and strong backs, so that we may continuously grow,
...unto the measure of the stature of the Fullness of
Christ. (EPHESIANS 4:13)
Our Lord God wants us all to straighten up, stretch out
our wings, and breathe deeply.
He wants us all to remember our Heavenly Calling and
to LIVE EVERY MOMENT OF THE DAY AS THE SANCTIFIED
CHILDREN OF GOD, and thereby, to BECOME WORTHY
the Heavenly
INHABITANTS OF HIS HEAVENLY CITY Jerusalem (City of Peace.)
SOMETIMES BELIEVERS MAY BECOME BOWED DOWN UNDER THE
WEIGHT OF THEIR OWN SINS - UNDER THE WEIGHT OF THEIR
REPENTANCE FOR THE SINS THEY HAD COMMITTED.
Their Experience of Repentance for what they have done
does not grant them STRENGTH TOWARDS CORRECTION,
does not Inspire them towards the ASCETIC LABOURS OF
MORAL SELF-PERFECTION, towards the FULFILMENT OF THE
DIVINE COMMANDMENTS, and to ACTIVE VIRTUE, but
instead plunges them into even greater despondency
than that which they had experienced before they
acknowledged, Repented and Confessed their sins.
THAT TYPE OF REPENTANCE IS PROFOUNDLY FLAWED BY SPIRITUAL
ERROR OR DECEPTION!
OUR COMPASSIONATE LORD DOES NOT WANT US TO BECOME BOWED
DOWN UNDER THE WEIGHT OF OUR OWN UNWORTHINESS.
AS WE APPROACH THE HOLY CHALICE WE SINCERELY CONFESS
OUR FAITH that our Lord came ...to Save sinners, of
whom I am the worst!
If we do not have such a heartfelt belief, we cannot
worthily receive Holy Communion!
Or if we regard anyone else as being a worse sinner
than ourselves, it means that we are not yet Spiritually
Ready for an Encounter with Christ our Lord and
Saviour.
However, by truly acknowledging ourselves as the worst
of sinners, by seeing the whole Abyss of evil in which
we find ourselves, WE SHOULD NOT FALL INTO DESPONDENCY
OR DESPAIR.
As St Isaac the Syrian has taught and encouraged us,
we should always remember that NO HUMAN SIN EVEN
THE MOST SEVERE CAN OVERPOWER THE INFINITE MERCY OF
GOD.

Furthermore, all OUR SINS TAKEN TOGETHER, ARE LIKE A HANDFUL


OF SAND TOSSED INTO THE ENDLESS OCEAN OF GODS GREAT
MERCY, WHERE IT DISAPPEARS WITHOUT A TRACE.
Gods Holy Church grants us the possibility of focusing on
our Lord and all His Love and Goodness, and not on
ourselves - by directing our attention away from
ourselves and our own circumstances, to the Blessings
and Joy of the Heavenly Kingdom, with which we can
commune.
In spite of our innumerable, continuous sins and our
inability to rise to the level at which a Faithful Disciple
of Christ should live, despite being able to fulfil
Christs Divine Teachings and Commandments that,
seem to exceed our limited human abilities, WE ARE
INDEED ABLE TO BE SPIRITUALLY RENEWED, ENLIGHTENED,
EMPOWERED AND STRENGTHENED WITHIN HIS HOLY CHURCH,
BY MEANS OF HER HOLY MYSTERIES AND THROUGH CONSTANT
PRAYER, AND BY PARTICIPATING FULLY AND REGULARLY IN ALL
THE NECESSARY DIVINE SERVICES.
The Holy Church of Christ grants us Spiritual Strength that
nurtures and enables us to become Spiritual Beings
who ascend from ...strength to strength... as we
become Healed and straightened - thereby
becoming less worldly and concentrating more on
our Eternal Life.
The closer we are to God, the more we conscious we are
of our own sinfulness.
Nevertheless, as we draw closer to our Lord, and our Love
of God increases, our continuous Repentance will
become more fulfilling, and we will feel as well as
when we have recovered from serious illness.
We will feel relief and extreme gratitude to God for
Healing us of our debilitating ailments, after so many
miserable years of being bowed down and limited by
the heavy burden of our sins.
Let us all Journey together, being led by our Lord and
Saviour, Jesus Christ, as we Struggle along the Narrow
Path to Eternity without pause, nor hesitation, nor
doubt!
Let us joyfully Ascend to the Habitations of the Heavenly
Kingdom, which are prepared for us, as we
ceaselessly strive to be worthy in the Sight of God.
Amen
METROPOLITAN HILARION (ALFEYEV) (7 DECEMBER 2014) - TRANSLATED FROM
RUSSIAN - http://www.pravmir.com

ORTHODOX SPIRITUALITY - ILLUMINATION: PURE PRAYER FATHER DIMITRU STANILOE

St Gregory Palamas believed: ... The Virtue of Prayer


brings about the Mystery of our Union with God,
because Prayer is the tie of rational creatures with
the Creator.
Pure Prayer is the means of our Holy Union with God and
for us to participate in His Divine Light.
Pure Prayer enables us to cross the great Abyss when we
realize that God is beyond all our limited human
mental concepts and requires a higher Knowledge.
Pure Prayer is a step that is beyond Apophaticism or
Negative Theology.
Father Dimitru Staniloae commented: ... Pure Prayer is
an ecstasy of interior Quietness, a total cessation of
thought in the presence of Divine Mystery, before the
Divine Light descends to the mind is thus stopped by
our astonishment...
Consequently, Pure Prayer is only granted to us once we
have mastered our passions:
...Pure Prayer is possible only after our mind has been
raised from the contemplation of visible nature and
from the world of concepts, when our mind does not
have any image or form or concept...
Such Prayer is Pure because it does not have any object
nor involves any words, which is also referred to by
our Holy Church Fathers as the Prayer of the mind,
or Noetic Prayer, where our mind is free and we are
face to face with God.
Father Dimitru mentioned a few conditions for reaching
this level of Prayer:
1. Our mind must withdraw from everything outside us,
and FOCUS ON WHAT IS WITHIN THE HEART - the centre of
our soul, our very being, where we find God.
2. We must use only a few words addressed to our Lord
Jesus Christ to assure a remembrance of Him and to
24TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST 10TH

OF

focus our mind on our Goal: "...even the most Pure


Prayer must hold the thought of the Presence of our
Lord Jesus." The common Prayer of this nature is the
Jesus Prayer O Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have
mercy on me, a sinner."
With our mind focused on the heart, we will find that our
mind no longer looks for - nor is distracted by external things. By focussing on the Name of our Lord
Jesus, our mind is guarded against sinful thoughts,
although there is always a Spiritual Struggle against
evil forces that perpetually try to distract us from the
Blessed Presence of God.
...Our mind must Struggle determinedly against the
thoughts around it, in order to make its way toward
the heart, and to open it... Our mind, with difficulty,
regains the habit of looking toward God... Then it
lives His Presence directly, or feels itself in His
Presence...
This state of Prayer involves THE OPENING OF THE HEART,
WHEREBY WE WILL FEEL THE PLEASURE OF CONSTANTLY
REMEMBERING HIS NAME AND BEING WITHIN WITH HIS LOVE.

St Diadochos taught us: ...Grace itself then thinks


together with the soul and cries or together with it:
"Lord Jesus Christ." [Because immediately]... we
need His Help to Unite and Gladden all our thoughts
with His ineffable Sweetness, that we might be
moved with all our heart to the Remembrance and
Love of our God and Father.

HTTP://ORTHODOXWAYOFLIFE.BLOGSPOT.CO.ZA/2010

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3.

OUR LORDS PRAYER ARCHIMANDRITE GEORGE KAPSANIS, HOLY MONASTERY

Our Holy Orthodox Faith is not one of the ideologies or


philosophies or even one of the religions of this world.
The God of Eastern Orthodox Christians is not the god of
Philosophers, that is to say, an idea or a highest,
impersonal principle or a religious value, to which we
are elevated beginning from the lowest values.
WE, ORTHODOX CHRISTIANS, BELIEVE IN A PERSONAL GOD - THE
FATHER, THE SON AND THE HOLY SPIRIT.
OUR TRINITARIAN GOD REVEALS HIMSELF TO US THROUGH HIS
SECOND PERSON, THAT OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, THE
ETERNAL, ONLY BEGOTTEN WORD AND SON OF GOD.
The Son of God became Man - our Lord and Saviour,
Jesus Christ - Who preached His Holy Gospel,
performed Divine Miracles, was crucified, Resurrected
from the dead, and Ascended into Heaven, HAVING
SENT US HIS DIVINE COMFORTER AND ADVOCATE, GOD THE
HOLY SPIRIT WHO PROCEEDS FROM GOD THE FATHER.
ll this, in order to Unite us with God the Father, to Restore
our disturbed Relationship with Him, and to bring us
to a personal Meeting, Communion and Union with
God.
Since our God is personal, we cannot meet Him except
through our Loving and Obedient Relationship with
Him, which Prayer cultivates.
If God was merely an idea, we could meet Him through
logical evidence.
We can tell those who are searching for God to Pray and
Love God in order to know Him.
Through Prayer, our Unapproachable God become
Approachable to us the Unknown God become
known to us, and the Strange God become familiar
and a Beloved Friend to us!
This is the Path that the Theanthrope the God Man
our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ shows us.
Our Lord Jesus prayed very often, thereby leaving behind
an example that we should follow as His Faithful
Disciples.
He taught us many things, but especially, He taught us
how to pray with Humility, with forgiveness, and with
Patience.
He gave a the Perfect Model of His exemplary Prayer that
is familiar to all Christians our Lords Prayer, which
is absolutely essential to our Life in Christ.
THE INSPIRED, ETERNAL WISDOM
ELDER ANTHONY

OF

We must not be confused because dark thoughts often


trouble us, for dark thoughts, like autumn clouds,
come one after another and darken everything.
But then they pass, and the sky remains clear and
pleasant.
And so our thoughts wander - they wander around the
wide world - but our mind remains planted in its
place, and then it is quiet, and our soul becomes
joyful.
But our mind, from wandering here and there,
becomes accustomed to the brief but often
repeated Prayer of Jesus, which may God grant us
the habit of saying, and then our days will be
bright.
ON PRAYER :

We must use a Prayer Rope and we must pray fervently


to our Lord God so that our cold heart will be
warmed by His Sweetest Name, for our God is Fire!
Our cries to God for His Great Mercy destroys impure
dreams and warms our heart towards all His
Commandments.
For this reason, our prayerful calling upon His Sweetest
Name must be the breath of our soul - must be
more frequent than the beating of our heart.
LEARNING AND THE ASCETIC LIFE :

We must Purify our heart and we will learn everything.


THE

ST GREGORY

OF OUR

HOLY CHURCH FATHERS

OPTINA

ON THOUGHTS :

ST MARK

OF

1. Our Lords Prayers is a Prayer given to us by God


Himself.
2. Our Most Holy Lady, Theotokos, His Holy Apostles, His
Saints, His Holy Martyrs, all our Holy Church
Fathers and Mothers, and all pious Christians of
all ages throughout the centuries, have prayed
our Lords Prayer, and have been Sanctified by it.
3. Our Lords Prayer summarises His entire Holy Gospel
and all the Divine Doctrines (Teachings) of our
Orthodox Faith.
St Maximos explained: ... Our Lords Prayer contains a
Petition for all things that the Word of God caused with
the Emptying of Himself during His Incarnation, and It
instructs us to seek just those Things that only God the
Father, through the Natural Intercession of God the
Son, truly grants us by God the Holy Spirit.
These marvellous Divine Gifts are:
1. Theology
2. Adoption through the Grace of God (The Holy Mystery
of Baptism)
3. Equality with the Angels (who are Intellectual Beings like
us.)
4. Partaking in the Eternal Life
5. Restoration of our nature that impassively turns to
itself
6. Abolition of the law of sn
7. Abolition of the tyranny of the evil one who reigned
over (and enslaved) us with his deception.
Our Lords Prayer is the pre-eminent Prayer of the Holy
Church of Christ.
In the daily Eastern Orthodox Church Services, our Lords
Prayer is recited sixteen times and during Great Lent,
it is recited twenty-two times.
Furthermore, our Lords Prayer is a summary of the Divine
Liturgy.
For this reason, and with our Holy Church Fathers as my
Guides, I have considered it useful to invite you to
examine It thoroughly, and to take pleasure in Its
Divine and Saving meanings, so that we may recite
our Lords Prayer with even greater zeal and
consciousness.
(...to be continued...)
http://www.orthodoxpath.org/

ASCETIC

HELP FOR INJUSTICE


Those who receive unfairness and injustice from others,
are released from many sins and receive Help from
God analogous (similar or according) to their distress
and sorrow.
4. 2 4 T H S U N D A Y A F T E R P E N T E C O S T 1 0 T H

OF

INJUSTICE IN SECRET
The worst of those who treat us unfairly and unjustly,
are those who do so in secret, because they commit a
far more appalling sin.
PRAYING FOR THOSE WHO TREAT US UNJUSTLY
If we pray for those who treat us unjustly, we
vehemently knock down the demons, but if we argue
with those who treat us badly, we are wounded by
the demons!
ELDER AMPHILOCHIOS

OF

PATMOS

When the Flame of Love exists, it consumes whatever


evil approaches.
Those who Love True Spiritually, feel prayerful, that
they can be found within God and their Brethren.
They are saddened when their Brethren are not
advancing well and they pray for their Spiritual
Progress. Whoever has Christian Love never
changes.
When we hear ourselves being criticized, we must act
as if we did not hear, for this is Paradise, this is
Perfection.
Our True Faith slays the passions, not the body.
Where there is Fear of God Wisdom is granted.
We must be calm so that we can meet, for when we are
tired the wireless does not work.
Christians are true human beings, for they are
courteous and polite, and never want to sadden
others.
Innocence is greater than genius.
Those who suffer from egotism attract no-one. And if
they do not attract others, they will soon go away.
When we come across a childlike spirit - innocence
and holiness - the Bond becomes unbreakable.

ST LUKE THE BOWED WOMAN ST BARBARA

4 DECEMBER 2016

Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria & All Africa


Archdiocese of Good Hope
All Glory, Honour and Worship to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and forever,
and unto the Ages of ages. Amen. Remembering also our Most Holy, Most Pure, Most Blessed and
Glorious Lady, Maria, Theotokos, yet Ever Virgin, together with all the Saints. And let us commit
ourselves and one another and our whole Life to Christ our God. Amen.

5 December 2016
St Savva the Sanctified
Also the Feast of St Gurias, Archbishop of Kazan St Anastasio the Fuller of Salona,
Dalmatia St Karion/Cyrion & St Zacharia of Sketis, Egypt St Nektarios of Bitolya & Mount
Athos St Philotheos the Holy Ascetic of Karyes, Mount Athos All Martyred Monks of
Karyes, Mount Athos St Crispina of Tagora, Africa

FESTAL APOLYTIKION ST SAVVA

THE

Tes ton dakrion Sou roes, tis erimou to agonon egeorgisas;

SANCTIFIED

the rivers of Thy tears, Thou changed the barren


desert into fertile land; and with the sighs from Thy
depths, Thou made Thy Labours produce a
hundredfold; and Thou became a Bright Star, shining
on the earth with Thy Miracles. O Savvas our Father
Righteous: Intercede with Christ our God, for our
souls to be Saved!

ke tis ek vathous stenagmis, is ekaton tous ponous


ekarpoforisas;
ke gagonas Fostir, tis ikoumenis,
lambon tis thavmasi, Savva Patir imon Osie. Presveve
Hristo to Theo, Sothine tas psihas imon.

FESTAL KONTAKION - ST SAVVAS

THE

Os

apo vrefous to Theo thisia amomos, prosevehthis di


aretis, Savva Makarie, to Se prin gennithine
epistameno, ehrimatisas Osion egkallopisma, polistis te
tis erimou exietpenos. Dio krazo Si. Heris Pater aidime.

TONE (8) PLAGAL 4

With

SANCTIFIED - TONE (8) PLAGAL 4

Blessed Savvas, Thou was offered from Thine infancy


through Thy Great Virtue as a Pure and Spotless
Sacrifice to God, Who before Thy Birth, verily foreknew
Thee; wherefore Thou was an Adornment of the
Righteous Saints, an All-praised Founder of cities in the
wilderness. Hence, I cry to Thee: Rejoice, O Father of
Great Renown!

SEASONAL KONTAKION - NATIVITY OF CHRIST

I Parthenos simeron, ton Iperousion tikti, ke i gi to spyleon Today

the Virgin gives Birth to Him Who is above all


being, and the earth offers a cave to Him Whom no
man can approach. Angels with Shepherds give glory,
and Magi journey with a Star. For unto us is Born a
young Child: the Pre-Eternal God.

to aprito prosagi. Angeli meta Pimenon doxologousi,


Magi de meta asteros odiporousi, di imas gar egenniti,
Pedion neon, O Pro Aionon Theos.

PROKEIMENON PSALM 149 TONE (7) VARYS-GRAVE

The Saints shall rejoice in Glory, and they shalt greatly Rejoice on their beds.
Sing unto the Lord a New Song His Praise in the Assembly of His Holy
THE EPISTLE

OF

BATTLE

ST PAUL

TO THE

AGAINST THE FLESH

GALATIANS 5 : 22 6 : 2

& DO GOOD

TO EVERYONE

Brethren: the Fruit of the Spirit is Love, Joy, Peace, Longsuffering, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, Selfcontrol. Against such there is no Law.
Those who are Christs have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in
the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.
Brethren: if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are Spiritual, must restore such a one in a spirit of Gentleness,
considering yourself lest you also be tempted.
Bear one anothers burdens, and so fulfil the Law of Christ.
This Sacred Lesson commemorates all Holy Monks and IT
Without HUMILITY AND OBEDIENCE two inseparable Virtues
REMINDS US, AS STRUGGLING DISCIPLES OF CHRIST, WHOM WE
we cannot expect to make even the slightest Progress,
STRIVE TO IMITATE AND FAITHFULLY FOLLOW I.E. OUR LORD AND
for ONLY BY WORKING IN HARMONY AND UNITY WITH GOD AND
SAVIOUR, JESUS CHRIST WHO IS THE SON OF GOD.
WITH ONE ANOTHER, CAN WE ACHIEVE THEOSIS Spiritual
WE ARE GUIDED AND ENABLED BY GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT our
Perfection and Eternal Life.
BEING ENLIGHTENED BY CHRIST AND THE HOLY SPIRIT, WE SHOULD
Divine Comforter, Advocate and Helper - WHO GRANTS US
HIS DIVINE GIFTS OF VIRTUE such as Love, Joy, Peace,
ENCOURAGE AND ASSIST ONE ANOTHER, especially when any
Longsuffering, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness,
of us stumbles or falls along the Way.
Gentleness and Self-Control.
However, WHEN CORRECTING OUR FALLEN OR STUMBLING
As developing, maturing and Faithful Christians we are
BRETHREN, WE MUST ALWAYS DO SO WITH HUMBLE AGAPE OR
reminded that THROUGH OUR HOLY BAPTISM WE HAVE
LOVE ... A spirit of Gentleness... and never with a
ABANDONED OUR FORMER SELVES the old man (i.e. our
sense of criticism or condemnation because the next
former, corrupted human nature).
time we, ourselves, may fall even harder than any of
Having been REGENERATED IN CHRIST, our only desire is to
our fellow sinners: Today my Brother, tomorrow me!
(ST JOHN OF KRONSTADT)
BECOME LIKE HIM THROUGH HUMILITY AND WILLING OBEDIENCE
TO BE ABLE TO ADMINISTER CORRECTION WITH GENTLENESS IS A
TO GOD IN ALL ASPECTS OF LIFE instead of being ruled and
SPIRITUAL GIFT OF GOD.
dominated by our passions or vices and selfish desires.
St Paul admonished us to BEAR ONE ANOTHERS BURDENS AND TO
To walk in the (Holy) Spirit is to LIVE EVERY MOMENT in the
BEAR OUR OWN BURDENS AS WELL because WE ARE CALLED TO
(Holy) Spirit, being CONSTANTLY AWARE OF OUR HOLY
INITIATE TRUE CARE-GIVING in our Holy Church and NEVER
MISSION during this preparatory period of life on Earth
TO BE NEEDLESS BURDENS TO OTHERS!
and MAKING EVERY EFFORT TO FULFIL GODS DIVINE WILL
instead of indulging our own flawed and destructive
desires and whims that do not benefit us at all.
ST SAVVA THE SANCTIFIED

5 DECEMBER 2016

5.

THE HOLY GOSPEL ACCORDING


FAITHFUL DISCIPLES

OF

TO

ST MATTHEW 11 : 27 30

CHRIST REST ASSURED & CONFIDENT

IN

HIM

At that time, our Lord Jesus said: ... All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows the Son
except the Father. Nor does anyone know the Father, except the Son, and the one to whom the Son Wills to
reveal Him.
Come to Me, all who labour and who are heavily laden, and I will grant you rest. Take My Yoke upon you, and
learn from Me, for I Am Gentle and Lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My Yoke is easy and
My Burden is light.
St Theophylact explained to us that GOD HAS HIDDEN HIS
THE YOKE OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST IS OUR FREE AND WILLING
DIVINE MYSTERIES FROM THE WISE AND ERUDITE PEOPLE OF THE
SUBMISSION TO THE KINGDOM OF GOD AND EVERYTHING THAT
WORLD not out of any malice towards His creatures
IS REQUIRED OF US AS WORTHY FUTURE CITIZENS.
but rather BECAUSE OF THEIR UNWORTHINESS, for they
A Yoke could be seen as a sign of hardship, burdens, and
chose to trust their own fallen, warped and limited
responsibilities, but IN CHRIST OUR SAVIOUR, HIS YOKE IS
wisdom and judgement instead of Gods Perfect and
EASY, BECAUSE DIVINE POWER WORKS IN EACH OF US. (2 KINGS 12: 1
11; JEREMIAH 34: 1-11; WISDOM OF SIRACH 40:1)
Absolute Wisdom and Knowledge.
Furthermore,
THE ULTIMATE REWARD IS INFINITELY GREATER
Furthermore, it is DUE TO HIS LOVE FOR MANKIND THAT GOD
THAN ANY EFFORT MANKIND PUTS FORTH.
WITHHOLDS DIVINE REVELATION FROM THOSE WHO WOULD
The term Gentle is literally translated Meek.
SCORN IT IN ORDER THAT THEY DO NOT RECEIVE EVEN WORSE
ETERNAL CONDEMNATION AT THEIR FINAL JUDGEMENT.
ST SAVVA

THE

St Savva was born in the village of Mutalaska, in a


Province of Cappadocia, and when he was only eight
years old, he was tonsured a Monk in the Monastery
of St Flavian.
Ten years later St Savva visited various Monasteries
throughout Palestine, until he reached the Monastery
of St Euthymios the Great and St Theoktistos.
When St Euthymios met St Savva, he prophesied that the
young Monk would become a renowned Teacher of
Monks and would establish a Lavra greater than all
the others of that time.
St Savva remained with St Euthymios until the Holy Elder
Reposed in Christ. Then he withdrew into the desert
for five years, living as an Ascetic Hermit in a cave
revealed to him by an Angel of God.
By Divine Providence, many others began to seek the
Spiritual Guidance and Wisdom of St Savva,
whereupon it became necessary to build a church
and innumerable cells for the growing numbers of
Monks.
After his father, John, had Reposed, his mother, Sophia,
went to him and was tonsured into the Holy Monastic
Life as a Nun, living as an Ascetic Hermit in a cell that
THE AFFECT

OF

ASCETIC LIFE

ON THE WORLD

SANCTIFIED

was located at a distance from his growing


Monastery, until her Repose in Christ.
St Savva endured many difficulties and assaults yet he
triumphed over them all by kindness and
indulgence to those who were close to him, by his
unwavering Confession of Orthodoxy to heretics and
by the Sign of the Cross and by calling upon God for
help against the evil one and his demons.
St Savva established seven Monasteries over the years
and he and his beloved neighbour, St Theodosios the
Great, were the greatest Luminaries and Pillars of
Orthodoxy for they corrected Emperors and Patriarchs
in matters of our Faith, while to everyone else they
served as the Perfect Models of Saintly Humility and
Obedience to God.
After great, fruitful Spiritual and physical Labours, St
Savva finally Reposed in Peace and Love at the age
of ninety-four in 532.
Among his many Wondrous Good Works, he was the first
to compile the Order of Services that are used in
Monasteries, known as The Jerusalem Typikon.
May the memory of St Savva the Sanctified be Eternal,
and may he ceaselessly Intercede with Christ our Lord
for the Salvation of our soul.

ARCHIMANDRITE ISAAC

The Monk Purifies himself, but he also Purifies his


surroundings, for when the Divine Grace of God
enters and settles in us - when it fills our heart with
the Love of Christ, this Pure, Divine Love brims over
and onto others.
With this Holy Ascesis, an Ascetic changes his
surroundings and builds around himself a whole
world with Love.
And with the Sanctification that he acquires through this
Ascesis, he spreads It over the whole world!
That is what is utterly necessary in todays world, and
always, so that the whole world will not fall into sin

OF

MOUNT ATHOS (DISCIPLE

OF

ST PAISIOS)

and idolatry - that is, worship of their passions, and of


material things in general, - particularly concerning
all corruption and the obsession with the flesh our
physical demands and desires!
There is an immediate and urgent Spiritual Need for the
world to worship our True and Living God Who brings
the Holy Gospel to the sin-darkened world, just as He
brought the Gospel to His Holy Prophets, St Elijah and
St John the Baptist and Forerunner.
This is the only means of mankinds Sanctification!

ARCHIMANDRITE SYMEON KRAGIOPOULOS

Only God knows what every one of us should go


through. And not only should we be prepared for it
but also look forward to it with joy, for this is our glory.
The Cross is Glory for Christ.
Similarly, for the Faithful of God any suffering, any
injustice, any pain for the Love of God, is Glory, too.
When we are treated unfairly, we suffer.
We may not be beaten up, but at the time when we are
harmed, our soul is in pain.
If we are beaten physically, the pain we suffer may be a
lot less than the heartache, the Spiritual Pain.
Nevertheless, we must accept such injustices against us
with Joy and Thanksgiving to God because this is the
Way our soul is Glorified.
Brethren, some of us may always have a but within us,
which is not good.
We may suffer the worst of circumstances no matter
whether it is hereditary or due to various other causes.
In the long run, it is to our benefit, if we accept
everything with the correct attitude.

6.

ST SAVVA THE SANCTIFIED

If complaints and tantrums are avoided and if we do not


try to blame everything else for our unhappiness or
failures, we will acquire Humility, Obedience and
Salvation.
The reason why we try to lay the blame for our
circumstances on anything or everything else, is
because we want to preserve our ego.
Some people have been so utterly devastated that they
believe they have no pride at all.
However, it is precisely our stubbornness, our state of nonrepentance, our bitter complaints, and the insistence
that all fault lies with others rather than anything we
may have caused, which hurts us and damages our
relationships with God and our fellow mankind.
This arrogant, unbending, unrepentant attitude actually
reveals a fierce, stubborn ego an enormous Spiritual
Stumbling Block!
As soon as we become humble, as soon as we get rid of
whatever grudges enslave and imprison us - as soon
as we Repent we receive Joyful Spiritual Freedom
and Salvation!

5 DECEMBER 2016

Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria & All Africa


Archdiocese of Good Hope
All Glory, Honour and Worship to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and forever,
and unto the Ages of ages. Amen. Remembering also our Most Holy, Most Pure, Most Blessed and
Glorious Lady, Maria, Theotokos, yet Ever Virgin, together with all the Saints. And let us commit
ourselves and one another and our whole Life to Christ our God. Amen.

6 December 2016
St Nicholas the Wonderwork & Archbishop of Myra, Lycia
Also the Feast of St Maximos, Metropolitan of Kiev

FIRST FESTAL ANTIPHON FOREFEAST


STIHOS 1

Evlogi i psihi mou ton Kyrion, ke panta ta entos

NATIVITY TONE 2

Bless the Lord,

O my soul, and all that is within


me, Bless His Holy Name.

mou to Onoma to Agion Aftou

Tes Presvies tis Theotokou, Soter, Soson imas.

OF THE

VERSE1

Through

the Intercessions
Saviour, Save us.

Evlogi i psihi mou ton Kyrion, ke mi epilavthanou


pasias tas Antapodosis Aftou

VERSE 2

Kyrios en to Ourano itimase ton Thronon Aftou,


ke i Vasilia Aftou panton despozi.

VERSE 3

STIHOS 2

STIHOS 3

Eni i psihi mou ton Kyrion. Eneso Kyrion en ti zoi


mou. Psalo to Theo mou, eos iparho!

OF THE

Vasilefsi Kyrios is ton eona, O Theos sou, Sion, is


genean ke genean

VERSE

Blessed are those whose Helper is the God of Jacob;


whose Hope is the Lord their God.

The Lord will be King forever; thy God, O Zion, will


reign from generation to generation.

FESTAL SMALL ENTRY HYMNS FOREFEAST

Pisteos ke Ikona praotitos, egkratias Didaskalon,


anedixe Se ti Pimni Sou, i ton Pragmaton Alithia. Dia
touto ektiso ti tapinosi ta ipsila, ti ptohia ta plousia,
Pater Ierarha Nikolae. Presveve Hristo to Theo, Sothine
tas psihas imon.

OF THE

NATIVITY TONE 2

Come,

let us worship and bow down before Christ. O


Son of God, W H O A R T E X T O L L E D B Y T H E S A I N T S :
Save us who sing unto Thee: Alleluia!

FESTAL APOLYTIKION ST NICHOLAS

Kanona

TONE 2

Son of God, W H O ART E XT OLLED BY T H Y S AINTS , Save us


who sing to Thee: Alleluia!

VERSE

proskinisomen, ke prospesomen Hristo. Soson


imas, Iie Theou, O E N A G I I S T H A V M A S T O S , psallontas
Si. Allilouia!

NATIVITY

Praise the Lord, O my soul; while I live I will praise


the Lord; while I have any being, I will praise my God!

Makarios, ou O Theos, Iakob voithos aftou, i elpis


aftou epi Kyrion ton Theon Aftou.

Defte

VERSE

Si: Allilouia!

STIHOS

Theotokos,

The Lord has prepared His Throne in Heaven, and


His Kingdom rules over all.

Soson imas, Iie Theou, O E N A GIIS T HAVM ASTOS , psallontas O


STIHOS

the

Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget none of His


Benefits

SECOND FESTAL ANTIPHON FOREFEAST


STIHOS

of

OF

MYRA TONE 4

The actual Facts of Thy Life manifested Thee to Thy Flock

SEASONAL KONTAKION FOREFEAST

as a Rule of Faith, and an Icon of Gentleness, and a


Teacher of Self-control. By Humility, therefore, Thou
acquired the Things on High, and Riches through
poverty. O Father, Holy Hierarch, Nicholas: Intercede
with Christ our God, Entreating Him to Save our soul.
OF THE

NATIVITY TONE 3

I Parthenos simeron, ton proeonion Logon, en Spileo erhete, On this day, the Virgin went to the Grotto to give Birth to
apotekin aporritos. Horeve i ikoumeni akoutisthisa,
doxason meta Angelon ke ton Pimenon, voiithenta
epofthine, Pedion Neon, to Pro Eonon Theon.

the Pre-Eternal Word in an ineffable manner. Dance for


Joy, all the inhabited Earth, on hearing. Glorify along
with Angels and with the Shepherds Him Who Willed
His Appearance as a New Born Child the Pre-Eternal
God.

FESTAL PROKEIMENON PSALM 115/116 -

TONE (7) VARYS/GRAVE

Precious in the Sight of the Lord is the Death of His Holy One.
What shall I give back to the Lord for all He rendered to me?
THE EPISTLE

OF

ST PAUL

TO THE

HEBREWS 13 : 17 21

Brethren: obey your Leaders and submit to them; for they are keeping watch over your soul, as men who will have to
give account. Let them do so Joyfully, and not sadly, for that would be of no advantage to you. Pray for us, for we
are sure that we have a clear conscience, desiring to act honourably in all things. I urge you the more earnestly to
do this in order that I may be restored to you the sooner.
Now, may the God of Peace Who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the Great Shepherd of the Sheep, by the
Blood of the Eternal Covenant, equip you with everything Good, that you may do His Will, working in you that which
is pleasing in His Sight, through Jesus Christ, to Whom be Glory for ever and ever.
Amen.
We must ALWAYS OBEY AND RESPECT OUR HOLY CHURCH FATHERS
ACCOUNTABLE FOR THEIR EARTHLY MINISTRY AT THE GREAT
who are consecrated and Sanctified members of the
JUDGEMENT OF OUR LORD.
Holy Priesthood of Christ our Lord.
St Paul, as one of our Holy Church Fathers, asked all
OUR HOLY CHURCH FATHERS ARE PART OF THE ETERNAL SPIRITUAL
Christians for their Prayers so that he might live an
FATHERHOOD OF CHRISTS HOLY CHURCH WHO WILL BE HELD
exemplary life according to Gods Will and not be
ST NICHOLAS, WONDERWORKING ARCHBISHOP

OF

MYRA

6 DECEMBER 2016

7.

inaugurates a New, ... Everlasting (Eternal)


Covenant, which makes us Complete in every Good
Work to do His Will... as WE CO-OPERATE WITH GOD IN ALL
THINGS and so are able to progress towards Holy
Sainthood Holy Perfection or Theosis i.e. the
Regeneration of our original created state.

tempted by the evil one into committing any sins or


worse leading others into wickedness or blasphemy.
His concluding Blessing noted THE SUFFICIENCY OF THE DIVINE
AND MOST SACRED BLOOD OF CHRIST WHICH IS REALISED IN HIS
GLORIOUS RESURRECTION AS CHRIST OFFERS HIS MOST
PRECIOUS BLOOD IN THE ETERNAL SANCTUARY and thereby
THE HOLY GOSPEL ACCORDING

TO

ST LUKE 6 : 17 - 23

At that time, our Lord Jesus stood on a level place, with a great crowd of His Disciples and a great multitude of people
from all Judea and Jerusalem and the coast of Tyre and Sidon, who came to hear Him, and to be Healed of their
diseases. And those who were troubled with unclean spirits were Cured. And all the crowd sought to touch Him, for
Power went forth from Him and Healed them all.
And He lifted up His Eyes to His Disciples, and said: Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the Kingdom of God.
Blessed are you who hunger now, for you shall be satisfied. Blessed are you who weep, for you shall be glad.
Blessed are you when men hate you, and when they exclude you and revile you, and cast out your name as evil,
on account of the Son of Man!
Rejoice in that day, and leap for Joy, for behold, your Reward is Great in Heaven!
In the age of the Old Covenant a select few were chosen
HOLY SORROW IS PART OF OUR REPENTANCE, CONVERSION AND
to hear God directly. (REFER EXODUS 19: 3 13)
VIRTUOUS ACTION.
IN THE AGE OF THE NEW COVENANT GOD INCARNATE SPEAKS
HOLY SORROW OR JOYFUL MOURNING IS THE FIRST-FRUIT THE
DIRECTLY TO HIS FAITHFUL DISCIPLES AND ALL THOSE WHO SEEK
INITIAL RESULT OF INFINITE OR ETERNAL BLISS/JOY, which is
DIVINE TRUTH.
completely different from ungodly sorrow an
Our Lord Jesus Christ speaks to us with His own Divine
inconsolable sadness that leads to despair utter
Authority and WE, AS HIS DISCIPLES, DO NOT DISCUSS OR
hopelessness. (REFER TO 2 CORINTHIANS 7 : 10 )
DEBATE BUT LISTEN CAREFULLY TO WHAT HE REVEALS AND
THE GREATEST ACHIEVEMENT OF ALL IS WHEN WE COMMIT OUR
TEACHES US CONCERNING GODS TRUTH READY AND EAGER TO
LIVES ENTIRELY TO CHRIST WHEN WE LIVE IN CHRIST AND
FULFIL WHATEVER IS REQUIRED FROM US. THIS IS OUR HOLY
NEVER COMPROMISE OUR FAITH no matter what the
MISSION AND PURPOSE ON EARTH DURING THIS PREPARATORY
circumstances or threats against us.
PERIOD BEFORE ETERNITY.
This Sermon on the Plain is similar but not as extensive
The term Blessed indicates HEAVENLY, SPIRITUAL
as Christs profound Sermon on the Mount. (MATTHEW 5 7)
EXALTATION RATHER THAN EARTHLY HAPPINESS OR PROSPERITY.
OUR LORD JESUS REPEATED MANY OF HIS DIVINE TEACHINGS OVER
In Hebrew, poor means both THE MATERIALLY POOR AND
THE PERIOD OF THREE YEARS HIS PUBLIC MINISTRY TO THE
GODS FAITHFUL PEOPLE.
HEBREWS AND GENTILES, WHICH WERE LATER SPREAD
The poor in spirit, are THOSE WHO HAVE THE HEART OF THE
THROUGHOUT THE WORLD BY HIS DIVINELY INSPIRED APOSTLES
POOR, THE SAME ATTITUDE AS THE POOR, AND WHO ARE TOTALLY
AND FAITHFUL DISCIPLES.
DEPENDENT ON GOD.
St John the Divine Apostle, Evangelist and Theologian
Those who hunger ... and thirst for Righteousness REGARD
wrote of three Passover Feasts that occurred between
THE PRESENCE OF GOD AND HIS ETERNAL KINGDOM AS THE
Theophany the Revelation of the Holy Trinity at the
MOST IMPORTANT PRIORITIES OF LIFE.
THEY HAVE A
Baptism of our Lord in the River Jordan by St John the
TREMENDOUS CRAVING AND YEARNING FOR WHAT IS RIGHT AND
Baptist and His Passion the New Covenant Pascha
GOOD A SPIRITUAL HUNGER THAT IS FAR MORE COMPELLING
which shows us that our Lords earthly Divine Mission
THAN A DESIRE FOR FOOD.
the direct Teaching by God Incarnate Himself lasted
only three short years!
Those who weep... refers to THOSE WHO ARE DISTRESSED BY
This short section of the Holy Gospel according to St Luke
THE SUFFERINGS OF THIS LIFE, ESPECIALLY BY THE MISERY OF SO
is read on Feast Days commemorating our Holy
MANY OTHERS, THE STATE OF THE FALLEN WORLD, AND THEIR
Hierarchs, Hieromartyrs and Monks.
OWN PERSONAL SINS. (REFER JOHN 11:35... LUKE 19:41 & LUKE 7 : 36 38)
ALL THESE ARE COMFORTED BY THE POWER OF GOD BOTH IN THIS
WORLD AND IN THE AGE TO COME.
ST NICHOLAS, WONDERWORKING ARCHBISHOP

Beloved Brethren in Christ: today the Holy Church


celebrates one of the Most Beloved and respected
Saints - St Nicholas the Wonderworker and great God
pleaser, who was ... a Ruler of Faith and Image of
Humility.
By his actions, St Nicholas demonstrated immeasurable
restraint, Divine Meekness and Humility; as well as
Steadfast Commitment to our Faith, which he
relentlessly defended in the way of the ancient
Prophet of God, St Elijah (Elias) the Tishbite.
St Nicholas was born in Patara, Lycia to pious and
wealthy parents, John and Theophilia, and Divine
Grace was evident in him even as an infant when he
stood, unassisted for three hours in his Baptismal Font
in honour of the Holy Trinity, Whom he served his
entire life with absolute devotion.
From his infancy, St Nicholas was a "Teacher of
Abstinence", being a strict faster by partaking of his
mothers milk only once a day on Wednesdays and
Fridays - and then only in the evening - the beginning
of his Sacred Commitment to these essential Fasts to
which he adhered all the days of his life.
St Nicholas was truly "...an Image of Humility... for by his
personal example of sincere Humility he led many
sinners along the Path to Salvation.
He never sought earthly wealth, and happily gave away
everything he had to the poor and needy, for his Joy
was in benevolence and generosity to others.
His Blessed Life in Christ his loving attitude and actions
- attracted the Faithful and unbelievers alike, and
brought Peace and Good to everyone even while
being utterly oblivious to his Sanctity and Love that
affected all those who came into contact with him, for
he really considered himself as being an unworthy

8.

OF

MYRA

sinner, who required ceaseless Repentance, and


Divine Forgiveness.
Soon by the Will of God, St Nicholas was elected to the
Episcopal Throne in Myra, Lycia, and he dedicated
himself to the Sacred Tasks as a Defender of the Faith.
Consequently, he suffered much for Christ due to the
ungodly enemies of God and His Divine Truth who
deprived him of basic essentials, imprisoned him and
threatened him with death.
At the First Ecumenical Council, he defended the Holy
Trinity against the heretic Arius, and in doing so, he
even struck the heretic on the face, for which he was
suspended from his position as Bishop.
However, in a Holy Vision visited upon many of his fellow
Bishops and Priests, St Nicholas was defended and
justified by Christ Himself, as well as our Ever Blessed
Lady, the All Holy Theotokos. They beheld our Lord
Jesus Christ bestowing the Holy Gospels upon St
Nicholas and our Lady Theotokos placing upon him
the Episcopal Stole, thereby clearly showing that he
had pleased God by his actions.
They immediately restored St Nicholas to his Episcopacy
as his fervent and zealous defence of Divine Truth
against the heretic was not sinful,
Furthermore, as Faithful Christians, Love of the Divine
Truth and the Defence of our Faith should be foremost
in our heart and soul as well!
St Nicholas, the epitome of Christian Love, continues to
manifest this through his Miracles, and he urges us to
accompany him on the Path of Salvation as Children
of Divine Truth and Love. Amen

ST NICHOLAS, WONDERWORKING ARCHBISHOP

+ARCHBISHOP VLADIMIR - MONTREAL CANADA 2013


HTTP://WWW.ROCA-SOBOR.ORG/

OF

MYRA

6 DECEMBER 2016

Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria & All Africa


Archdiocese of Good Hope
All Glory, Honour and Worship to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and forever, and
unto the Ages of ages. Amen. Remembering also our Most Holy, Most Pure, Most Blessed and Glorious
Lady, Maria, Theotokos, yet Ever Virgin, together with all the Saints. And let us commit ourselves and one
another and our whole Life to Christ our God. Amen.

9 December 2016

St Joachim & St Anna Conception - Ever Blessed Virgin Mary


Also the Feast of St Hannah, Righteous Mother of St Samuel the Holy Prophet of God St
Sophronios, Archbishop & Wonderworker of Cyprus - St Stephen the New Light of Constantinople
St Anthimos, Hieromonk & Fool for Christ of Mount Athos
FESTAL APOLYTIKION ST ANNA & ST JOACHIMS CONCEPTION

TONE 2

Simeron tis ateknias desma dialionte; tou Ioakim gar ke tis Today

the bonds of barrenness are loosened; for God hearing the Prayers of Joachim and Anna - clearly
promised them that they would bear - against all hope
- the God-Bearer from whom was born the Omnipotent
Himself, as a mortal Man, Who ordered the Angel to
cry out unto Her: Hail, O Full of Grace, the Lord is with
Thee!

Annis, i sakouson O Theos, par Elpida tekin aftous,


safos ipiskhnite Theopeda, ex is aftos etehthi, O
aperigraptos vrotos gegonos, di Angelou kelefsas voise
afti: Here Keharitomeni, O Kyrios meta Sou!

FESTAL KONTAKION ST ANNA & ST JOACHIMS CONCEPTION TONE 2

Eortazi

simeron, i ikoumeni, tin tis Annis sillipsin,


gegenimenin en Theo; ke gar afti apekiise, tin iper
Logon, ton Logon kiisasan.

Today

the world rejoices in the conception of Anna,


wrought by God. For she bore the One who beyond
comprehension Conceived the Logos.

PROKEIMENON PSALM 149 TONE (7) VARYS-GRAVE

The Saints shall rejoice in Glory!


Sing into the Lord a New Song!
THE EPISTLE

OF

ST PAUL

SLAVERY

TO SIN

GALATIANS 4 : 22 27

TO THE

& SONSHIP

TO

ALMIGHTY GOD

Brethren: It is written that Abraham had two sons: the one by a bondwoman, the other by a free woman. But he who
was of the bond woman was born according to the flesh, and he of the free woman, through Promise - which things
are symbolic.
These are the two Covenants: the one from Mount Sinai, which gives birth to bondage, which is Hagar for this Hagar
is Mount Sinai in Arabia, and corresponds to Jerusalem, which now is - and is in bondage with her children.
The Jerusalem Above is free, which is the Mother of us all. For it is written: Rejoice, O Barren you who do not bear!
Break forth and shout, you who are not in labour! For the desolate has many more children than she who has a
husband!
By saying that Abrahams two sons (Ishmael & Isaac) and
As St John Chrysostom explained, St Isaac ... was the
related Events are symbolic Allegoreo, St Paul did
issue of bodies that were dead, and of a womb that
was dead. His conception was not by the flesh, nor
not imply that they are not historical.
his birth by the seed, for the womb was dead both
Rather he asserted that OLD COVENANT HISTORY ANNOUNCED
through age and infertility. But the Word of God
SOMETHING FAR GREATER THAN ITSELF it announced THE
fashioned him...
INCARNATION OF THE SON AND WORD OF GOD, OUR LORD
JESUS CHRIST, AND THE RESULTANT ETERNAL SALVATION OF ALL
He Who was not according to the flesh (St Isaac) was
more honourable than he who was born after the
MANKIND.
flesh (Ishmael).
Hagar and Mount Sinai symbolise THE EARTHLY JERUSALEM
ST ISAAC WAS THE LEGITIMATE CHILD OF ABRAHAM AND SARAH,
AND THE HEBREW NATION WHO WERE UNDER THE DIVINE LAW
AND THEIR HOLY STATE OF MARRIAGE, ACCORDING TO THE
OF GOD, WHICH PREPARED THEM THROUGH SELF-DISCIPLINE
AND OBEDIENCE TO GOD FOR THE COMING OF THE MESSIAH.
WILL AND DIVINE PROMISE OF GOD, while ISHMAEL ALTHOUGH THE FIRST BORN SON OF ABRAHAM -WAS THE
St Sarah, the wife of the ancient Patriarch, St Abraham,
ILLEGITIMATE CHILD OF ABRAHAM AND THE SLAVE, HAGAR,
was the free woman, who symbolised THE HEAVENLY
BEING BORN OUT OF LEGAL AND HOLY WEDLOCK ACCORDING
JERUSALEM THE ETERNAL CITY OF GOD TO WHICH WE SHOULD
TO THE DEMANDS OF THE FLESH AND AGAINST THE WILL OF GOD
ALL ASPIRE i.e. HIS HOLY CHURCH THROUGH WHICH WE ENTER
GODS ETERNAL, HEAVENLY KINGDOM.
IN A STATE OF SINFUL DISOBEDIENCE TO THE WILL OF GOD.
Consequently, HAGAR AND ISHMAEL WERE BANISHED from the
The desolate refers to MEMBERS OF HIS HOLY BODY HIS HOLY
household and sent off to fend for themselves
CHURCH ESPECIALLY THE NON-HEBREWS, THE GENTILES AND
elsewhere.
ALL CONVERTS.
Therefore, let it not disturb you (Baptised Christians) that
She who has no husband, refers to THE NATION OF ISRAEL
before, THE OLD COVENANT ISRAEL THE HEBREWS - and
you were not born after the flesh. For from THE VERY
REASON THAT YOU ARE NOT SO BORN, ARE YOU MOST OF ALL
now, THE NEW COVENANT ISRAEL THE CHRISTIANS WHO
ABRAHAMS KINDRED.
ARE CO-HEIRS WITH CHRIST OUR LORD TO GODS ETERNAL
DURING HOLY BAPTISM CHRISTIANS BECOME THE ADOPTED
KINGDOM.
CHILDREN OF DIVINE LIGHT OF GOD AND THUS CO-HEIRS
Furthermore, St Sarah was a type of - similar to - our Ever
Blessed Lady Theotokos because HER SON WAS ALSO BORN
WITH CHRIST RIGHTFUL HEIRS TO GODS ETERNAL KINGDOM
OF LOVE, PEACE AND BLISS ACCORDING TO THE DIVINE
THROUGH A DIVINE PROMISE - ACCORDING TO THE WILL OF
PROMISE AND WILL OF GOD, but only if we personally
GOD THE FATHER.
choose to accept it for ourselves.
THE HOLY GOSPEL ACCORDING
OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST CAUTIONS

TO

ST LUKE 8 : 16 - 21

US TO TAKE GREAT CARE HOW WE HEAR!

At that time, our Lord Jesus said: ... No one having lit a lamp covers it with a basket, or puts it under a bed, but
sets it on a lampstand, so that those who enter may see the light. For nothing is secret that will not be revealed,
nor anything hidden that will not be known and come to light.
CONCEPTION

OF THE

EVER BLESSED ALL HOLY VIRGIN MARY

BY

ST JOACHIM & ST ANNA

9 DECEMBER 2016

9.

Watch how you hear! Whoever has, to him more will be granted, and whoever does not have, even what he seems
to have will be taken from him.
His Mother and His Brethren went to Him, and could not approach Him due to the crowd. And they told Him: Thy
Mother and Thy Brethren are standing outside, wishing to see Thee. Answering, He said to them: My Mother and
My Brethren are those who hear the Word of God and fulfil It.
MOST PEOPLE including our Lord Jesus Christs maternal
Family of His Eternal Kingdom ... is not by
family members such as His cousins, uncles and aunts
(earthly/worldly/human) nature but by Virtue, as St
- our Lords Brethren or Brothers and Sisters - HAD
John Chrysostom explained.
NOT YET FULLY COMPREHENDED OUR SAVIOURS DIVINE
This incident was similar to when a woman from the
midst of the crowd shouted praises to His Mother who
IDENTITY AND UNIVERSAL MISSION.
had brought Him to life and thus Blessed our world: HE
OUR LORD BY NO MEANS EVER DENIED HIS FAMILY CONNECTIONS
NOR DID HE EVER INSULT OR EMBARRASS THEM.
CORRECTED HER NOT BY DENOUNCING OR INSULTING HIS EVER
BLESSED, ALL HOLY MOTHER BUT BY EMPHASISING HER UTTER
Rather, such as in this instance, HE POINTED HIS DISCIPLES
AND FAITHFUL FOLLOWERS TO OUR ETERNAL SPIRITUAL FAMILY,
HUMILITY AND OBEDIENCE TO GOD WHICH WAS OF EVEN
which is based on our Humility and Obedience to the
GREATER SPIRITUAL VALUE AND WORTH THAN HER EVER VIRGIN
Will of God the Father.
MOTHERHOOD. (LUKE 11: 27-28)
Subsequently, ALL THIS IS FULFILLED THROUGH OUR SPIRITUAL
The degree to which we are especially Blessed by God
depends on THE DEGREE OF OUR HEARING THE WORD THE
ENLIGHTENMENT, KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING THAT WE
RECEIVE FROM CHRIST, which we are able to apply to our
DIVINE TRUTH OF GOD AND KEEPING IT APPLYING IT IN ALL
ITS ASPECTS TO OUR OWN PERSONAL LIFE WORDS, THOUGHTS
words, thoughts and deeds, by BEING ACTIVATED AND
ENABLED BY GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT.
AND DEEDS.
Furthermore, CHRIST CORRECTED AND GUIDED THEM ALL ... TO
THE RIGHT IDEA CONCERNING HIMSELF... that the Holy
THE CONCEPTION

OF THE

EVER VIRGIN MARY

BY

ST ANNA

AND

Saint Anna ( Hannah = Favour or Grace) of the Royal


lineage of King David was the Righteous Mother of
the Ever Blessed All Pure Virgin Mary, and thus the
Grandmother of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ,
according to His Incarnation and
Christian
Holy Tradition, even though she is not named in
the Canonical Gospels.
According to the Holy Gospel of St James, a New
Testament apocryphal document known as the ProtoEvangelion St Anna and her husband, St Joachim,
after years of childlessness, were Visited by an Angel
of God who announced the Good Tidings to them
that they would conceive a child, whereupon St Anna
promised to dedicate the child to Gods Service, as
they had always planned to do if so Blessed by God.
As soon as their beloved daughter was weaned,
according to the Hebrew custom, St Joachim and St
Anna presented the Ever Blessed Mary at the Second
Temple of Jerusalem (which was being restored and
refurbished) at the tender age of three years!
Their story bears a superficial similarity to that of the birth
of the Holy Prophet of God, St Samuel, whose Mother,
St Hannah, had also been infertile until God granted
her a son who would always be Faithful to God.
In the Eastern Orthodox Faith, St Anna is ascribed the
title Forbear of God, and both the Birth of the Ever
Blessed Virgin Mary and Her Entry into the Temple are
celebrated as two of the Twelve Great Feasts.
St Anna is often depicted in her Holy Icon vested in a
red robe and green mantle, holding a book or the Her
Child who in turn holds the Infant Christ
St Joachim was the husband of St Anna, and their
daughter, our Lady Theotokos, St Mary Cleopas and St
THE ETERNAL, INSPIRED WISDOM

OF OUR

ST JOACHIM METROPOLITAN PANTELEIMON

Wealth to perform Acts of Charity/Love (Agape);


Poverty to endure everything with Patience and
Gratitude;
Authority to exercise Righteous Judgment and
acquire Virtue;
Obedience & Service to more readily attain
Salvation of soul;
Health to assist those in need and to undertake
Works that are worthy of and pleasing to God,
Sickness - to earn the Crown of Patience;
Spiritual Knowledge & Strength - to acquire Virtues;

10. C O N C E P T I O N

OF THE

ANTINOES

ORTHODOX NEWSLETTER OF ST THEODORE, LANHAM


BY HIS EMINENCE METROPOLITAN PANTELEIMON OF ANTINOES
HTTP://WWW.ORTHODOXPATH.ORG/

HOLY CHURCH FATHER, ST PETER

We must always to give thanks to God for both the


universal and the particular Gifts of soul and body
that He bestows on us.
The universal Gifts consist of the four elements and all
that comes into being through them, as well as all
the Marvellous Works of God mentioned in the
Divine Scriptures, and the particular Gifts consist of
all that God grant to each individual soul:

OF

Mary Salome were first cousins. Sobe, the mother of St


Elizabeth and Salome who had married St Joseph the
Betrothed, were sisters of St Anna.
St Joachim and St Anna conceived the Blessed Virgin
Mary in the normal fashion, but that She was
Miraculously Cleansed from ancestral sin at the
moment of Her Annunciation, in order to make her fit
to bear the Incarnated, Eternal Son and Word of God.
The Holy Icon depicting St Joachim and St Anna meeting
at the Golden Gate was a regular component of
artistic cycles of the Life of the Ever Blessed Holy
Virgin.
The Righteous couple met at the Golden Gate
of Jerusalem and embraced, joyfully aware of St
Annas pregnancy, of which they had been
separately informed by an Archangel of God
probably St Gabriel the Bearer of Good Tidings.
Although St Anna is usually and expectedly depicted in
Holy Iconography relating to the Nativity of our Lady
Theotokos and Her Entry into the Temple, she was no
longer alive when her daughter was Betrothed to St
Joseph, her elderly, widowed brother in law, and
when the Nativity of Christ occurred.
St Joachim and St Anna are Patron Saints of childless
couples and for unborn infants.
St Anna is also the Patron Saint of housewives,
grandmothers, cabinet makers, unmarried women,
women in labour and miners.

EVER BLESSED ALL HOLY VIRGIN MARY

OF

DAMASCUS

Weakness & ignorance so that, by renouncing


worldly things, we may become Obedient in
Stillness and Humility;
Unsought loss of goods and possessions so that we
deliberately seek to be Saved and may be
Helped when incapable of shedding all our
possessions or even giving alms;
Ease & prosperity to voluntarily Struggle and
suffer in order to attain Virtue, to become
dispassionate and fit to save other souls,
Trials and hardship so that those who cannot
eradicate their own will may be Saved in spite
of themselves, and those capable of Joyful
Endurance may attain Perfection.

All these things, even if they are opposed to each


other, are nevertheless good when used correctly;
but when misused, they are not good, but are
harmful for both soul and body.

BY

ST JOACHIM & ST ANNA

9 DECEMBER 2016

Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria & All Africa


Archdiocese of Good Hope
All Glory, Honour and Worship to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and
forever, and unto the Ages of ages. Amen. Remembering also our Most Holy, Most Pure, Most
Blessed and Glorious Lady, Maria, Theotokos, yet Ever Virgin, together with all the Saints. And
let us commit ourselves and one another and our whole Life to Christ our God. Amen.

Tone (8) Plagal 4


11 December 2016
th
25 Sunday After Pentecost
2nd Sunday Before the Nativity of Christ
Sunday of the Holy Forefathers
The Feast of the Holy Forefathers: St Aaron, St Benjamin, St Deborah, St Exra, St Isaac, St
Jacob, St Judith, St Miriam, St Nathan the Holy Prophet of God, St Nehemiah, Holy
Prophet of God, St Noah, St Rebecca, St Sarah, St Solomon, King and Holy Prophet of God
& St Susanna - St Daniel the Stylite of Constantinople St Nikon the Dry of Kiev Near Caves Monastery St Mirax of Tanis,
Egypt, St Akepsimas & St Aithalas the Persians, Holy Martyrs of Egypt St Luke the New Stylite of Chalcedon Synaxis of All
Saints of Georgia
FIRST FESTAL ANTIPHON FOREFEAST
STIHOS 1

Evlogi i psihi mou ton Kyrion, ke panta ta entos

NATIVITY TONE 2

Bless the Lord,

O my soul, and all that is within


me, Bless His Holy Name.

mou to Onoma to Agion Aftou

Tes Presvies tis Theotokou, Soter, Soson imas.

OF THE

VERSE1

Through

the Intercessions
Saviour, Save us.

Evlogi i psihi mou ton Kyrion, ke mi epilavthanou


pasias tas Antapodosis Aftou

VERSE 2

Kyrios en to Ourano itimase ton Thronon Aftou,


ke i Vasilia Aftou panton despozi.

VERSE 3

STIHOS 2

STIHOS 3

Soson

OF THE

NATIVITY

TONE 2

Son of God, W HO A ROSE FROM THE DEAD , Save us who


sing to Thee: Alleluia!

Makarios, ou O Theos, Iakob voithos aftou, i elpis


aftou epi Kyrion ton Theon Aftou.

VERSE

Vasilefsi Kyrios is ton eona, O Theos sou, Sion, is


genean ke genean

VERSE

STIHOS

Praise the Lord, O my soul; while I live I will praise


the Lord; while I have any being, I will praise my God!

VERSE

STIHOS

Theotokos,

The Lord has prepared His Throne in Heaven, and


His Kingdom rules over all.

STIHOS

imas, Iie Theou, O A NASTAS EK NEKRON , psallontas


Si: Allilouia!

the

Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget none of His


Benefits

SECOND FESTAL ANTIPHON FOREFEAST

Eni i psihi mou ton Kyrion. Eneso Kyrion en ti zoi


mou. Psalo to Theo mou, eos iparho!

of

Blessed are those whose Helper is the God of Jacob;


whose Hope is the Lord their God.

The Lord will be King forever; thy God, O Zion, will


reign from generation to generation.

RESURRECTION APOLYTIKION

TONE

(8) PLAGAL 4

Ex ipsous katilthes O Efsplaghnos, tafin katedexo triimeron, Thou

descended from on High, O Tender-hearted One;


Thou endured the three-days burial, so that Thou
might free us from our passions, O our Life and
Resurrection: Glory to Thee

ina imas elevtherosis ton Pathon. I Zoi ke i Anastasis


imon, Kyrie, Doxa Si!

FESTAL APOLYTIKION HOLY FORE-FATHERS TONE 2

En

Pisti tous Propatoras edikeosas, tin ex Ethnon di afton


promnistefsamenos Ekklisian. Kauhonte en Doxi i Agii, i
ek spermatos afton iparhi karpos evkleis, i asporos
tekousa Se. Tes afton ikesies, Hriste O Theos, Soson tas
psihas imon.

By

SEASONAL KONTAKION FOREFEAST

Faith Thou Justified the Forefathers, having through


them betrothed to Thyself the Church that came out
of the Nations. The Saints boast in Glory for the
Glorious Fruit the Virgin Who without seed gave
Birth to Thee, is of their progeny. At their Entreaties,
O Christ our God, Save our soul.

OF THE

NATIVITY TONE 3

I Parthenos simeron, ton proeonion Logon, en Spileo erhete, On this day, the Virgin went to the Grotto to give Birth to
apotekin aporritos. Horeve i ikoumeni akoutisthisa,
doxason meta Angelon ke ton Pimenon, voiithenta
epofthine, Pedion Neon, to Pro Eonon Theon.

RESURRECTION PROKEIMENON PRAYER

the Pre-Eternal Word in an ineffable manner. Dance for


Joy, all the inhabited Earth, on hearing. Glorify along
with Angels and with the Shepherds Him Who Willed
His Appearance as a New Born Child the Pre-Eternal
God.
OF

AZARIAH TONE (8) PLAGAL 4

Blessed art Thou, O Lord God of our Fathers, for Thou art Praiseworthy and exalted beyond measure unto the Ages!
For Thou art Righteous in all Thou hast done for us, all Thou hast brought upon us and on Jerusalem, the Holy city of our
Fathers!

25TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST2ND SUNDAY BEFORE NATIVITY- HOLY FOREFATHERS 11 DECEMBER

2016

11.

THE EPISTLE

OF

ST PAUL

SPIRITUALITY

TO THE

IN THE

COLOSSIANS 3 : 4 11

HOLY CHURCH

OF

CHRIST

Brethren: when Christ, Who is our Life, appears, then you also will appear with Him in Glory.
Put to death your members that are on Earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is
idolatry. Because of these sins, the Wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience, in which you yourselves
once walked when you lived in them! Now you are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy
language out of your mouth.
Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the Old Man with his deeds, and have put on the New Man who is
Renewed in Knowledge according to the Image of Him Who created him, where there is neither Greek nor Judean,
circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythians, slave nor free, but all and in all is Christ.
1. True Mysticism in Christs Holy Church:
and without fear of Eternal Condemnation and
As Christians Struggling Disciples of Christ we have
Spiritual Exile from God through unrepented sins and
received our Lord Jesus Exalted Resurrection Life
a tragic lack of Agape True, Unconditional and
through Holy Baptism.
Divine Love!
Consequently, we need to seek the ultimate and
2. True Asceticism in Christs Holy Church:
Spiritual Glories of the Age to come i.e. Eternity
As Baptised Christians, we are becoming in practice
or - our ultimate Goal - Eternal Life in Gods
what we are already in spirit.
Heavenly Kingdom, for which we need to
Our Salvation b e g i n s with Holy Baptism and is
prepare ourselves during this short lifespan on
c o n t i n u e d t h r o u g h o u t o u r l i f e s p a n by
Earth!
means of a Faithful and proper Life in Christ.
We must forever remember our Holy Baptism and
As we died with Christ through our Holy Baptism, so
everything that it actually means!!
now too, we must Struggle every moment of the
We must never forget all the effort we made while
day to root out and destroy all our old sinful and
disintegrating passions that cause us to fall into
preparing ourselves for Holy Baptism (i.e. those
who have converted from Protestantism)
temporary Spiritual Death.
Always be aware of everything that we have been
Our subsequent determined efforts of Repentance Save
taught by our Lord Jesus Christ and His Holy
us and return us to Spiritual Life in Christ.
Church Fathers and our Spiritual Teachers
Due to our weak human nature and self-indulgent habits,
concerning our daily Life in Christ Jesus.
we regularly fall into a state of Spiritual Death.
The easy part of Orthodox (True Teaching) Christianity is
Each time we surrender ourselves to the enemies
our Preparation for Holy Baptism.
temptations and distractions we turn away from God.
However, the degree and seriousness of our
However, our Ever Loving and Gracious Lord has
granted us the means to return again and again to
personal Commitment and Sacred (unbreakable)
Spiritual Life in Christ through immediate and
Allegiance to Christ is clearly and significantly
revealed by how much effort we make to attend
ceaseless Repentance-Confession.
Holy Services, regularly partake of the essential
Furthermore, the closer our Relationship to God
Holy Mysteries and to what degree if at all - we
becomes through our Spiritual Struggles, the more
apply the Teachings and Divine Commandments
ferociously the enemy will attack us.
of Almighty God, which is Life in Christ, to all
Nevertheless, we need never despair, for through
aspects of our personal life.
Humility and Obedience, we grow ever stronger due
to the Great Mercy of God Who enables us to
As genuine Orthodox Christians, every facet of our being
word, thought and deed is freely and eagerly
achieve even the most impossible things!
Thus, we should unfailingly Glorify God and offer our
done with sincere Humility and Obedience to the
Will of God!
Prayers of Thanksgiving for all our experiences
Our willingness to follow Christ should always be
good or bad because every little obstacle makes
compelled by a profound Love of God and our
us Spiritually Stronger and draws us closer to God.
fellow Pilgrims with whom we Struggle side by side as
As we were raised with Christ, so we must choose the
we all proceed towards Eternity.
Virtuous, Unifying desires of the New Man the
As Faithful Disciples of Christ, we ceaselessly and
New Redeemed human being that we are
consciously strive to imitate our Lord by applying
becoming in the Holy Body of Christ through
His Divine Teachings and Commandments to every
our voluntary Obedience to His Holy Church and
word, thought and deed, so that we may slowly and
everything She requires of us!
surely regain our lost Likeness to God and become
To try to do anything else according to our own flawed concepts will
worthy Citizens of His Eternal Kingdom.
most certainly not have the same final Spiritual Results and
We must live according to Christs Glorious
Eternal Achievements.
Resurrection for we shall all be likewise
The New Man - our Renewed Being - steadily grows
Resurrected on the Eighth Day - His Great,
from one stage of Perfection to another, as we
Impartial and Final Judgement Day and the
slowly but surely regain our lost Divine Likeness beginning of Eternity - and have to give an
truly becoming the Image of our Lord Jesus
account for every word, thought and deed from
Christ until, having achieved Theosis, we will
our first breath of life to our last!
remain Eternally as the Holy Image of God Who
Everything we accomplish during this short Preparatory
created us as His own Perfect Image and
Period of Earthly Life, should be achieved through
Likeness.
True Life in Christ so that we are able to face our
Final Judgement in Peace and with Confidence THE HOLY GOSPEL ACCORDING

TO

ST LUKE 14 : 16 24 & ST MATTHEW 22: 14

GODS GREAT, MYSTICAL BANQUET &

THE

EXCUSES

THAT

EXILE & ALIENATE

US

At that time, our Lord Jesus told this Parable: A certain Man gave a Great Dinner, and invited many, and sent His
Servant at the Hour of the Dinner to say to those who had been invited: Come, for now all things are ready. And
with one accord, they all made excuses!
The first said to Him: I have bought a piece of land, and I must go to inspect it. I ask Thee to have me excused.
And another said: I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to test them. I ask Thee to have me
excused. And another said: I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot attend.
And that Servant returned and reported these things to His Master.
Being angry the Master of the House, said to His Servant: Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and
bring the poor and the maimed and the lame and the blind. And the Servant said: Lord, it is done as Thou
commanded, and still there is place.
And the Master said to His Servant: Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, so that My
House may be filled. For I say to Thee - none of those who were invited shall taste My Dinner...
...many are Called - few are Chosen!

12. 2 5 T H S U N D A Y A F T E R P E N T E C O S T 2 N D S U N D A Y B E F O R E N A T I V I T Y - H O L Y F O R E F A T H E R S 1 1 D E C E M B E R

2016

This Parable of our Lord Jesus Christ consists of TWO


ASPECTS, ILLUSTRATING BOTH THE FIRST AND SECOND COMING
OF CHRIST, Who is the Servant sent by God the Father
TO GATHER MANY TO PARTAKE OF HIS HOLY EUCHARIST, WHICH
GRANTS US SALVATION THROUGH THE REPENTANCE AND THE
FORGIVENESS OR REMISSION OF SIN AND THUS ETERNAL LIFE.
The term Supper indicates an evening meal OUR
ESSENTIAL NOURISHMENT BEFORE RESTING OR SLEEPING.
In other words: WE ALL NEED TO PARTAKE OF HOLY
COMMUNION/EUCHARIST AS OFTEN AS POSSIBLE SO THAT WE
ARE PROPERLY SPIRITUALLY NOURISHED AND PREPARED FOR
ETERNAL LIFE IN GODS DIVINE KINGDOM before we
repose in Peace in Christ and while we await His Final
Judgement.
THE FIRST PEOPLE WHO WERE INVITED by Almighty God to
partake of the Great Mercy of His Divine Eucharist
WERE THE HEBREWS.
AFTERWARDS HIS DIVINE INVITATION WAS OFFERED TO EVERYONE
ELSE TO ALL HUMAN BEINGS THROUGHOUT THE WORLD AND
THROUGHOUT THE AGES.
Now AS CHRISTIANS WE MUST EAGERLY PARTAKE OF HOLY
COMMUNION EVERY TIME WE ATTEND THE DIVINE LITURGY
WITHOUT MAKING EXCUSES to reject Gods Divine Banquet
of Thanksgiving, Salvation and Eternal Life.
Our Holy Church Fathers regard THE THREE EXCUSES that
Christ mentioned as NOT ONLY HAVING A LITERAL MEANING
BUT ALSO A PROFOUND SPIRITUAL MEANING!
Far too many of us are so attached to and obsessed with
our worldly cares and favourite past times that WE
HAVE NO TIME NOR INCLINATION TO ACCEPT GODS DIVINE
INVITATION for our Salvation and Eternal Life in His
Heavenly Kingdom.
FAR TOO MANY OF US USE EVERY SELF-JUSTIFYING
EXCUSE TO
REJECT HIS GREAT AND WONDERFUL INVITATION TO HIS
HEAVENLY BANQUET AT EACH DIVINE LITURGY!

Too many of us think that we can ignore God and all our
Sacred Commitments to Him until a later stage of life
when it might suit us better!
Alas! EACH OF US HAS ONLY A SPECIFIC MEASURE OF LIFESPAN
IN WHICH TO PREPARE OURSELVES FOR ETERNITY .
IF WE DO NOT BECOME WORTHY CITIZENS FOR HIS ETERNAL
KINGDOM OF LOVE, PEACE AND JOY N O W - WE CANNOT
EXPECT TO RECEIVE HIS GREAT MERCY AND ABUNDANT
BLESSINGS FOREVER!
ST AMBROSE SAW THE THREE EXCUSES THAT REJECTED GODS DIVINE
INVITATION AS REPRESENTING THE GENTILE, THE PAGAN, THE
OLD COVENANT HEBREW AND THE HERETIC.
These are all DEVOTED TO THEIR EARTHLY WEALTH the
...piece of ground...
The five yoke of oxen represent A PREFERENCE AND
ENSLAVEMENT TO MANS INTERPRETATION OF THE FIVE OLD
COVENANT BOOKS OF LAW IN ORDER TO REJECT GODS NEW
COVENANT OF SALVATION.
The excuse of having married a wife, is the
HERETICAL ESPOUSAL OF ERROR BY THOSE WHO REJECT THE
WILL AND LOVE OF GOD IN FAVOUR OF THEIR OWN
EARTHLY, SELFISH DESIRES.
ST THEOPHYLACT MORE GENERALLY ASSOCIATED THE EXCUSES WITH
THOSE WHO ARE DEVOTED TO ALL EARTHLY MATTERS
ESPECIALLY PERTAINING TO OUR FIVE SENSES TO ALL FLESHLY
PLEASURES I.E PHYSICAL INDULGENCE.

The reference to those in the streets and lanes indicate


the GENTILES AND PAGANS WHO ACCEPTED CHRIST AFTER THE
FAITHLESS HEBREWS REJECTED HIM, AND THOSE WHO ARE
PRESENTLY OUTSIDE THE CHURCH WHO OFTEN REPLACE THOSE
FROM WITHIN HIS HOLY CHURCH WHO HAVE REJECTED THEIR
HOLY BAPTISM AND VOWS OF ALLEGIANCE TO CHRIST.
GOD HAS CALLED ALL MANKIND TO HIS HOLY SERVICE BUT VERY
FEW RESPOND SINCERELY AND FAITHFULLY, BECAUSE MOST
PEOPLE USE ALL THE EXCUSES THAT SATAN CAN INVENT, TO
AVOID AND ALIENATE THEMSELVES FROM GOD.

25TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST 2ND SUNDAY BEFORE NATIVITY THE HOLY FOREFATHERS

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy


Spirit...
Dearly Beloved in Christ: A lot has been written about the
Holy Church of Christ our Lord and Her history.
Wars and Apologetic arguments have been wages in
carefully and correctly preserving the Divine Truth of
Orthodox Christianity, and a whole League of Saints
and Holy Martyrs has formed over the centuries.
However, it seems that the world and modern society has
slid into a deep Abyss of Spiritual Darkness and Death
further and further from our Triune God, the Divine
Truth of the Holy Commandments and Christs
Teachings, His Holy Church, and our daily Life in
Christ.
Every year Christmas the Great Feast of the Nativity of
our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ is celebrated with
colourful, pretty decorations and adornments
everywhere and the great temptations of greed and
selfishness are encouraged by all the commercial
aspects that use our Sacred Feasts to enrich
themselves while impoverishing our immortal soul!
Our attention should be focussed upon the humble
cavern in Bethlehem with its manger that was used as
a crib for the newly Incarnated Infant Jesus Christ,
Who is the Eternal Word and, Only Begotten Son of
God the Father,
and we should be preparing
ourselves for the Joyful Divine Mystery of His Nativity
and everything that led up to it.
Since 15 November, we should have been Fasting, while
contemplating the Advent of this Great Holy Feast, so
we leave the contemporary world, and transport our
thoughts to the millennia before Christ beginning in
Paradise the Garden of Eden - as we recall all the
Holy Forefathers, such as Adam and Eve, Noah,
Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, King David the great
Psalmist... and then St Joseph the Betrothed who was
the elderly Holy Guardian and Protector of the Ever
Virgin Mary and Christ our Lord, and St John the
Baptist and Forerunner to Christ, who was the last and
greatest of all Gods Holy Prophets.
In addition, there were numerous other Righteous people,
Saints and Holy Prophets who prophesied the Virgin
Birth of our Lord and Saviour.
Today is the Second Sunday Before the Nativity of our
Lord Jesus Christ, so we Commemorate all the Holy

Forefathers those Righteous people of the Old


Covenant whose Faith in God is truly amazing for it
was firmly implanted in their heart and soul
humble, Obedient and God-pleasing models for us to
imitate.
They did not live to see or hear of the Nativity of our
Saviour but they certainly sought Eternal Salvation in
their Faith that God would Personify, Who would be
Born of the All Pure, Ever Virgin Mary, Who would
Sacrifice Himself for us by suffering unjust public
humiliation and execution by crucifixion, but Who
would Gloriously Resurrect on the Third Day, thereby
granting us all mankind Resurrection and
Salvation.
We must keep in mind that the Faithful of the Old
Covenant did not have access to the variety of
informative media that we enjoy these days, yet their
Faith was absolute and steadfast.
We do have access to all these means of knowledge,
history, literature etc from which we are able to
obtain so much useful information and Spiritual
Enlightenment concerning our Orthodox Faith and
history.
Nevertheless, how many of us actually use these
marvellous sources of Spiritual Enlightenment to
increase our Knowledge of God and our Orthodox
Christian Faith?
There is no longer any justifiable excuse for us not to
attend the Holy Services nor to Live in Christ , which is
necessary for us as True, Struggling Disciples of Christ!
Those ancient Righteous Faithful did not have the
exquisite Divine Liturgy that is served on Feast Days
and on Sundays the Divine Liturgy during which our
Lord Jesus Christ is Mysteriously Present and of Whom
we partake in the Holy Mystery of Eucharist that
grants us Forgiveness of sins and thus Eternal Life.
As Orthodox Christians Disciples of Christ we have a
deep and Sacred Commitment to God.
The Holy Forefathers and their Faithful contemporaries of
the Old Covenant Saved themselves through their
unwavering, determined Faith in God and in the
long-awaited Messiah while having only the
prophecies and exhortations of the Holy Prophets of
God, the Holy Prototypes and the predictions of the
Messiah and His Divine Salvation.

25TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST2ND SUNDAY BEFORE NATIVITY- HOLY FOREFATHERS 11 DECEMBER

2016

13.

Commandments, and put into practise everything He


We are so Blessed to have all the facts and information
has taught us, including those exhortations,
concerning the Life of our Lord Jesus Christ for whom
encouragements and guidelines of His Holy Apostles
so many hungered and yearned for so long.
and their successors, our Bishops and Priests.
We know that our Saviour the Great Divine Messiah
As Faithful Disciples of Christ, we can hear every Word He
has indeed been Born and has lived amongst us,
speaks to us some of which are recorded carefully
teaching and revealing to us His Divine Truth - His
by His Holy Evangelists and Apostles in the Divinely
Teachings and Revelations, Healing us both
Inspired Books of the New Covenant.
spiritually and physically, guiding, encouraging,
The Gates of the Heavenly Kingdom are open to us!
exhorting us towards His Eternal, Heavenly Kingdom
All we have to do, is to regularly Repent and correct our
of Love and Blessing us by granting us His Holy
faults and falls as they occur, and strive to fulfil all
Church with all Her Healing, Guiding and Teaching
Gods Divine Commandments and Teachings thereby
Holy Mysteries, Ministry and Services.
slowly regaining our former, created Likeness to God
His Divine Truth has taught us that our Lord God is a
Theosis, Spiritual Perfection or Deification.
Loving, Compassionate and Merciful Triune God of
Even though we might think all these objectives are
Three Persons, Who work together in Perfect Harmony
beyond our ability, we may rest assured that by our
and Love so that we are able to regain our Likeness to
ceaseless and fervent Prayers, our Loving and
God by the Will of the Father, through the Son, by the
Benevolent Lord God will always assist and enable us
Power and Energy of the Holy Spirit.
It is with that same unwavering, heartfelt Faith in God,
to do so.
Beloved Brethren: let us make every effort to prepare
which the Holy Forefathers had possessed, that the
ourselves Spiritually in these final day of the Nativity
Holy Church of Christ is nurtured and correctly
Lent so as to be worthy of celebrating the Salvific,
preserved until the Ages of ages until and into
Eternity!
Joyous Feast of the Nativity of our Lord and Saviour,
Jesus Christ celebrating the Divine Appearance into
The Holy Gospel of Christ is the means whereby we are
our world of the Infant God Incarnate in Bethlehem.
able to Live in Christ every moment of the day as
Amen
Faithful, Humble and Obedient Disciples of God while
we steadily move closer and closer to Eternity.
Orthodox Christianity is not difficult to follow as long as
http://stalexandernevskycathedral.org
we listen carefully to our Lords Teachings and
/
OUR LORDS PRAYER PART 1
OUR FATHER WHO ART IN HEAVEN...
Our Lords Prayer begins with the words: Our Father Who
Because the Only Begotten Son is the Name of God the
art in Heaven... as our Lord Jesus Christ has taught
Father with Substantial Hypostasis, and the Holy
us to address God as our Heavenly Father.
Spirit with Substantial Hypostasis is the Kingdom of
He is our Heavenly Father because He Willed our
God the Father...
Creation and is thus, together with God the Son and
The Infinite Love of God and His Great Mercy allow and
God the Holy Spirit, the Creator of our being and of
impel us to address Him as our Heavenly Father.
our Life.
St Gregory of Nyssa wrote in amazement: ... Who will
He is our Heavenly Father because He provides us with
grant me wings like the doves, according to the
everything necessary for our well being.
Psalm, so that I am able to Ascend over all things
During the Holy Mystery of Baptism and Chrismation, our
perceptible by our senses? Over those that are
Lord God, by His Divine Grace, adopts us as His
changed and altered? To ascend over to the
Children Children of Light His Divine Light who
Unchangeable and Unalterable, and with an
become Co-Heirs with and Brethren of His Eternal,
unmoved and unwavering state of soul, to dwell in
Only Begotten Son and our Lord Jesus Christ, Who is
Him, first with my will, and afterwards to invoke Him,
the First Born Son.
with the very familiar Invocation, and say: Father!
He is our Heavenly Father because He grants us His
What soul must He have Who has spoken to God? What
Divine Life in Christ. (Having put on Christ at our Holy
Boldness! What Conscience! (AT PRAYER)
Baptism, we now strive to always Live in Christ every
Great and Priceless is the Gift! As many times as we want,
moment of our existence.)
we can address God, and call Him our Father!
St John Chrysostom explained: ... those who call God
When we Christians are rendered worthy and perceptibly
Father, Confess through this sole appellation,
receive the Grace of the Holy Spirit, then we will feel in
Deliverance from sins, and retraction of Hell, and
our heart the Paternity of God and of our own Holy
Righteousness, and Sanctification, and Redemption,
Sonship.
and Adoption, and Heritage, and Brotherhood to the
We will experience Filial and Tender Love for God our
Only Begotten Son, as well as to the Granting of the
Father, and we will feel like affectionate Children of a
Holy Spirit...
Loving Father!
By addressing our All Holy God and Almighty Creator of
God the Holy Spirit cries out in our hearth: Abba! Father!
everything as Father, we Confess what He has done
and creates this Tender Love for God within us: ...
for us who are His unworthy Children, and mostly
because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of His Son to
what He has done for us through our Lord Jesus
our heart, shouting: Abba! Father!
Christ in the Holy Spirit.
According to the Image of our Heavenly Father, we
Thus the Invocation of Heavenly Father, brings us closer
human beings can also become True Spiritual Father
to the Trinitarian God.
or Father of the flesh.
St Maximos the Confessor wrote: ... Justly our Lord
St Gregory Palamas taught us that we do not address God
teaches those who pray to promptly start from
our Heavenly Father according to how we address
our earthly Fathers, but we do address men as
Theology.
Father, in accordance to the Image of God our
He also introduces us to the Mysterious Way of the
Heavenly Father: ... after Whom, according to the
Cause Who created all beings He Who is actually
great St Paul, all Fathers in Heaven and on Earth are
the Cause of all beings.
named... (Discourse II Against Grigoras)
Because the words of our Lords Prayer contain the
(...to be continued...)
Revelation of the Father, of His Name, and of His
http://www.orthodoxpath.org/
Kingdom, we learn from the very start to Respect
and to Worship the Trinity in One.
ST MAKARIOS

We must willingly cultivate the field of our heart but we


also require the rain of Divine Grace.
Humility and Obedience never fail. If we are truly
humble, we can never fall, because we have not
put ourselves above all others, considering
ourselves worse than all other sinners.

OF

EGYPT

If we Fast, Repent and Confess, receive Holy


Communion, read Holy Books and fulfil all Sacred
Duties but do not have Love, it will not Benefit us, for
God is Love!

14. 2 5 T H S U N D A Y A F T E R P E N T E C O S T 2 N D S U N D A Y B E F O R E N A T I V I T Y - H O L Y F O R E F A T H E R S 1 1 D E C E M B E R

2016

Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria & All Africa


Archdiocese of Good Hope
All Glory, Honour and Worship to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and
forever, and unto the Ages of ages. Amen. Remembering also our Most Holy, Most Pure, Most
Blessed and Glorious Lady, Maria, Theotokos, yet Ever Virgin, together with all the Saints. And let
us commit ourselves and one another and our whole Life to Christ our God. Amen.

12 December 2016
Forefeast of the Nativity of Christ our Lord & Saviour

St Spyridon of Trimythous
Also the Feast of St John of Zichnon - St Therapon the Abbot of Monza Monastery St
Alexander the Hieromartyr of Jerusalem St Synetos of Rome St John the Abbot of
Zedazeni Monastery, Georgia
FIRST FESTAL ANTIPHON FOREFEAST
STIHOS 1

Evlogi i psihi mou ton Kyrion, ke panta ta entos

NATIVITY TONE 2

Bless the Lord,

O my soul, and all that is within


me, Bless His Holy Name.

mou to Onoma to Agion Aftou

Tes Presvies tis Theotokou, Soter, Soson imas.

OF THE

VERSE1

Through

the Intercessions
Saviour, Save us.

Evlogi i psihi mou ton Kyrion, ke mi epilavthanou


pasias tas Antapodosis Aftou

VERSE 2

Kyrios en to Ourano itimase ton Thronon Aftou,


ke i Vasilia Aftou panton despozi.

VERSE 3

STIHOS 2

STIHOS 3

Eni i psihi mou ton Kyrion. Eneso Kyrion en ti zoi


mou. Psalo to Theo mou, eos iparho!

Vasilefsi Kyrios is ton eona, O Theos sou, Sion, is


genean ke genean

STIHOS

OF THE

proskinisomen, ke prospesomen Hristo. Soson


imas, Iie Theou, O E N A G I I S T H A V M A S T O S , psallontas Si.
Allilouia!

NATIVITY

TONE 2

Praise the Lord, O my soul; while I live I will praise


the Lord; while I have any being, I will praise my God!

VERSE

Son of God, W H O ART E XT OLLED BY T H Y S AINTS , Save us


who sing to Thee: Alleluia!

Blessed are those whose Helper is the God of Jacob;


whose Hope is the Lord their God.

VERSE

The Lord will be King forever; thy God, O Zion, will


reign from generation to generation.

VERSE

FESTAL SMALL ENTRY HYMNS FOREFEAST

Defte

Theotokos,

The Lord has prepared His Throne in Heaven, and


His Kingdom rules over all.

Soson imas, Iie Theou, O E N A GIIS T HAVM ASTOS , psallontas O


Si: Allilouia!
S T I H O S Makarios, ou O Theos, Iakob voithos aftou, i elpis
aftou epi Kyrion ton Theon Aftou.

the

Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget none of His


Benefits

SECOND FESTAL ANTIPHON FOREFEAST


STIHOS

of

OF THE

NATIVITY TONE 2

Come,

let us worship and bow down before Christ. O


Son of God, W H O A R T E X T O L L E D B Y T H Y S A I N T S : Save us
who sing unto Thee: Alleluia!

FESTAL APOLYTIKION ST SPYRIDON TONE 1

Tis

Synodou tis protis anedihthis Ipermahos, ke


Thavmatourgos Theofore, Spyridon Patir imon; dio
nekra Si en tafo prosfonis, ke ofin is hrisoun metevales;
ke en to melpin tas Agias Sou ehas, Angelous eskhes
sillitougountas Si Ierotate. Doxa to Se Doxasanti Hristo!
Doxa to Se Stefanosanti! Doxa to Energounti dia Sou,
pasin Iamata!

At

the first of the Synods, Thou emerged as the


Champion, and Wonder-worker, our God-bearing
Father Spyridon. Wherefore, Thou addressed Thy dead
daughter in the grave, and a serpent Thou changed
into gold. And while chanting in Service Thy Sacred
Prayers, Thou had Angels celebrating, O Most Holy
One. Glory to Christ Who Glorified Thee! Glory to Him
Who Crowned Thee! Glory to the One Who works
through Thee, Healings for everyone!

FESTAL KONTAKION ST SPYRIDON TONE 2

To potho Hristou, trothis Ierotate, ton noun Pterothis, ti egli Wounded by Thy Love for Christ, O Holy One, Thy mind
tou Pnevmatos, Praktiki Theoria, tin Praxin efres
Theolipte, Thisiastirion Thion Genomenos, etoumenos
pasi Thian Ellampsin.

is granted Wings by the Radiance of the Spirit, Thou


put the practice of Theory into Deeds, becoming a
Sacred Altar, O Chosen by God, and praying for the
Divine Illumination of all.

SEASONAL KONTAKION FOREFEAST

OF THE

NATIVITY TONE 3

I Parthenos simeron, ton Proeonion Logon, en Spileo ethete Today the Virgin comes to the Cave to give Birth Ineffably
apotekin aporritos. Horeve, i ikoumeni, akoutisthisa;
Doxason meta Angelon ke ton Pimenon, voilithenta
apofthine, Pedion Neon, ton Pro Eonon Theon.

to the Word Pre-Eternal. Hearing this, be of good


cheer, O Earth and its people: glorify Him with the
Angels and the Shepherds, Whose Will was to be made
manifest as a young Child the Pre-Eternal God.

PROKEIMENON PSALM 149 TONE (7) VARYS-GRAVE

The Saints shalt Boast in Glory, and shalt greatly Rejoice on their beds.
Sing unto the Lord a New Song! His Praise in the Assembly of His Holy
THE EPISTLE
WE

OF

MUST LIVE IN THE

ST PAUL

TO THE

EPHESIANS

DIVINE LIGHT & TRUTH

OF OUR

5 : 8 19

LORD JESUS CHRIST

Brethren: ...walk as Children of Light for the Fruit of the Spirit is in all Goodness, Righteousness and Truth, finding out
what is acceptable to our Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of Darkness, but rather expose
them. Those things that are done by them in secret are shameful even to speak.
All things that are exposed are made manifest by the Light. Whatever makes manifest is Light.Therefore He says:
Awake, you who sleep! Arise from the Dead and Christ Will give you Light!
See then that you walk circumspectly - not as fools but as Wise - Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
ST SPYRIDON

THE WONDER

WORKER

OF

TRIMYTHOUS

12 DECEMBER 2016

15.

Therefore, do not be unwise, but understand what the Will of our Lord is. And do not be drunk with wine, in which is
dissipation. But be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in Psalms and Hymns and Spiritual Odes, sing and
making melody in your heart to the Lord.
Everything that is regarded as reasonable or acceptable
So we must never forget that THIS SHORT, PREPARATORY
by this fallen world, WE, AS DISCIPLES OF CHRIST MUST
LIFESPAN IS MEANT FOR OUR CEASELESS SPIRITUAL BATTLE
JUDGE ACCORDING TO WHAT THE LORD OUR GOD SAYS IS TRUE
AGAINST THE EVIL ONE working every day for our
I.E. JUDGE ALL THINGS BY MEANS OF DIVINE TRUTH THE
Spiritual Welfare and Progress towards a Blessed
TEACHINGS AND COMMANDMENTS OF CHRIST.
Eternal Life in Gods Kingdom of Agape.
BESIDES SEPARATING OURSELVES FROM SPIRITUAL DARKNESS, WE
OUR SACRED GOAL IS not to abandon this world, but TO KEEP
ARE ALSO TO EXPOSE IT TO THE DIVINE LIGHT OF GODS TRUTH.
OURSELVES IN CHRIST, salvaging as much as we can
However, WE, OURSELVES, MUST FIRST COME OUT OF HIDING IN
from our habitually sinful state.
SPIRITUAL DARKNESS AND IGNORANCE IN ORDER TO BE EXPOSED
Faithful Christians renounce the wickedness of this world
AND ILLUMINATED BY DIVINE LIGHT AND TRUTH.
not the beautiful, perfect Creation of God.
REPENTANCE GRANTS US A WONDERFUL SURGE OF TRUE LIFE AND
We must SEEK, ROOT OUT AND CONFESS OUR SINS AND SINCERELY
REPENt.
JOY. A distinctive spirit a kind of Spiritual Elation
WE NEED TO SELF-EXAMINE OURSELVES AT THE END OF EVERY DAY
energises both Spiritual Darkness and Light.
AND ESPECIALLY BEFORE PARTAKING OF THE HOLY MYSTERIES
For those in Spiritual Darkness, this spirit is similar to
OF UNCTION, CONFESSION AND EUCHARIST, which we
drunkenness artificial and temporary.
require on a regular basis in order to keep making
FOR THOSE IN SPIRITUAL LIGHT AND LIFE, THIS SPIRITUAL ELATION
GOOD, HEALTHY SPIRITUAL PROGRESS.
IS THE VERY PRESENCE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT AND OUR JOY IS THE
Verse 14 : Awake, you who sleep... is AN ANCIENT, VERY
NEW COVENANT WORSHIP OF THE HOLY TRINITY, THE HOLY
EARLY BAPTISM HYMN.
EUCHARIST THANKSGIVING TO GOD THE FATHER, THROUGH
THE HOLY MYSTERY OF BAPTISM ILLUMINATES OUR NEWLY
GOD THE SON, BY THE POWER AND ENERGY OF GOD THE HOLY
REGENERATED, RENEWED AND REBORN (CLEANSED) IMMORTAL
SPIRIT.
SOUL.
Those who become drunk with alcohol totter and sway,
Consequently, we are urged to ... walk in the Light of
but THOSE WHO ARE INEBRIATED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT ARE
our Holy Baptism.
ROOTED JOYFULLY, PEACEFULLY AND LOVINGLY IN CHRIST
THROUGHOUT OUR LIFE IN CHRIST WE ARE ENCOURAGED TO ALWAYS
JESUS AND MOST GLORIOUSLY SOBER!
KEEP IN MIND OUR HOLY BAPTISM everything that it has
Quoting Holy Scripture and singing Hymns or chanting
granted us and everything that it means for our
Psalms has NO SPIRITUAL BENEFIT NOR VALUE IF THERE IS NO
Eternal Salvation and to REMEMBER ALWAYS OUR
TRUE HUMILITY AND OBEDIENCE TO GOD if there is no
INEVITABLE DEATH, AFTER WHICH WE CANNOT CHANGE OR
humble, willing and eager submission and the Holy
CORRECT ANYTHING AT ALL, AND THUS THE SPIRITUAL STATE IN
Fear of God.
WHICH WE REPOSE, WE SHALL SPEND ALL ETERNITY.
THE HOLY GOSPEL ACCORDING
CHRIST

IS THE

DOOR &

TO

THE

ST JOHN 10: 9 16

GOOD SHEPHERD

At that time, our Lord said: I Am the Door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be Saved, and will go in and will go out,
and will find Pasture. The Thief does not come, except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.
I have come that they may have Life -and more abundantly. I Am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd gives
His Life for the Sheep. The Hireling - who is not the Shepherd, who does not own the Sheep - sees the Wolf
coming, and leaves the Sheep, and flees. And the Wolf catches, and scatters the Sheep. The Hireling flees, for
he is a hireling, and does not care about the Sheep.
I Am the Good Shepherd, and I know Mine, and Am known by Mine. As the Father knows Me, even so I know the
Father. And My Life I lay down for the Sheep. And other Sheep I have, which are not of this Fold - them also I
must bring. And they will hear My Voice.
And there will be one Flock - one Shepherd.
THE ULTIMATE THIEF IS SATAN, who always spreads lies and
Passion and FULFILLED ALL THAT WAS REQUIRED BY GOD
encourages heresies and blasphemy among the
FOR THE REDEMPTION AND RECONCILIATION OF ALL HUMANITY.
THE OTHER SHEEP OF OUR LORD WERE THE GENTILES the
People of God both the Old Israel and the New Israel
pagans and non Judaic Tribes who would be BROUGHT
- luring away the deceived, ignorant leaders and
TOGETHER INTO ONE HOLY FLOCK WITH THE JUDEANS, UNDER
people.
Life means that WE LIVE BY DIVINE GRACE on Earth during
ONE HOLY SHEPHERD.
this short, preparatory period before we enter Eternity.
Consequently, THE HOLY CHURCH OF CHRIST TRANSCENDS ALL
The more abundant Life refers to ETERNAL LIFE IN GODS
ETHNIC OR RACIAL LINES.
HEAVENLY KINGDOM OF LOVE AGAPE.
It has been the Orthodox Christian Teaching since the
Our Lord Jesus Christ reveals Himself as our Good
beginning that there be one Bishop serving a city, a
Shepherd, for WE ARE HIS REASON-ENDOWED SHEEP HIS
principle that was affirmed in every generation.
HOLY FLOCK.
(Canon 8 of 1 Nicaea)
He is the Divine Door THE DIVINE ENTRANCE INTO HIS
St Ignatios wrote a cautionary Epistle to a second century
HEAVENLY KINGDOM OF ETERNAL LOVE.
Church that held separate Divine Liturgies for the
CHRIST IS THE FULFILMENT OF ALL HOLY SCRIPTURE all Divinely
Hebrew and the Gentile Christians, saying: Be careful
Inspired Holy Prophecy concerning our Divine
to observe a single Eucharist for there is ONE Flesh
Saviour.
of our Lord Jesus Christ, and ONE Cup of His Blood
that makes us one, and ONE Altar, just as there is
Our Lord is THE ETERNAL, ONLY BEGOTTEN WORD AND SON OF
GOD, WHO OBVIOUSLY KNOWS GOD THE FATHER and His
ONE Bishop... this is in line with Gods Will!
Heavenly Father knows His Eternal Son Who became
Our Lord Jesus stated clearly: I lay down My Life...
Incarnate for the sake of our Salvation.
which obviously meant that HE VOLUNTARILY LAID
AS OUR CREATOR, OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST KNOWS EVERY HUMAN
DOWN HIS LIFE FOR US i.e. HE OFFERED HIMSELF AS THE
BEING, and THOSE OF US WHO HAVE PUT ON CHRIST ALSO
ULTIMATE, MOST PERFECT AND FULFILLING SACRIFICE FOR ALL
KNOW AND RECOGNISE HIM AS OUR LORD AND SAVIOUR.
SINS OF ALL HUMANITY FOR ALL TIME!
Furthermore, WE KNOW HIS BEAUTIFUL VOICE BECAUSE WE KNOW
OUR LORD NEVER SETS ANYTHING APART FROM THE DIVINE WILL
HIS WORD HIS DIVINE TRUTH His Teachings and
OF GOD THE FAther everything is and must be done
Commandments. Thus we should not be misguided
ACCORDING TO THE WILL OF GOD THE FATHER, THROUGH GOD
nor deceived by the evil ones lies and deceptions.
THE SON, BY THE POWER AND ENERGY OF GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT.
Our Lord Jesus Christ offered His Life for the sake of our
Just as our Lord Jesus Christ laid down His Life for us, so,
Eternal Salvation.
too, MUST WE LAY OUR LIVES DOWN FOR HIM AND FOR OUR
He was THE OFFERER AND THE OFFERING OF THE ULTIMATE, MOST
FELLOW HUMAN BEINGS.
PERFECT AND FULFILLING BLOOD SACRIFICE OF ALL TIME,
BY THE END OF THE AGES, THERE WILL ONLY BE ONE SHEPHERD
which makes it no longer necessary for blood
OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST AND ONE HOLY FLOCK HIS HOLY
sacrifices for the forgiveness of sins.
CHURCH.
However, WE STILL NEED TO CONSTANTLY PLUCK OUT AND REPENT
He pointed out that HE HAS OTHER HOLY FLOCKS AS WELL,
OUR SINS, which are continuous and habitual, which is
WHICH ARE THOSE WHO WOULD EVENTUALLY ACCEPT HIS DIVINE
why our Salvation is a continuous Spiritual Process
TRUTH His True Teachings and Commandments
until we draw our final breath.
and strive to fulfil them to the best of their ability.
Our Lord Jesus Christ gave His Life for the sake of His
Beloved Flock, which fulfilled the Prophecy of His
16.

ST SPYRIDON

THE WONDER

WORKER

OF

TRIMYTHOUS

12 DECEMBER 2016

Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria & All Africa


Archdiocese of Good Hope
All Glory, Honour and Worship to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and forever, and
unto the Ages of ages. Amen. Remembering also our Most Holy, Most Pure, Most Blessed and Glorious
Lady, Maria, Theotokos, yet Ever Virgin, together with all the Saints. And let us commit ourselves and one
another and our whole Life to Christ our God. Amen.

15 December 2016
Forefeast of the Nativity of Christ our Lord and Saviour
St Eleftherios , Bishop & Hieromartyr of Illyria
Also the Feast of St Anthia, his mother, & St Caribos the Eparch of Illyria St Paul of Latros St
Stephen the Confessor & Archbishop of Surrentium (Sourozh) St Tryphon the Abbot & St
Jonah, his Disciple, of Pechenga (Kolsk) St Pardos the Hermit of Palestine St Hilarion, Archbishop of Vereiya St
Nektarios of Bitel
FESTAL APOLYTIKION ST ELEFTHERIOS

Ieron

SEASONAL KONTAKION

OF

ILLYRIA

TONE (5) PLAGAL 1

Being

podiri katakosmoumenos, ke ematon tis rithris


epistazomenos, to Despoti Sou Hristo Makar anedrames,
Eleftherie Sofe, kathereta tou Satan. Dio mi pafsi
Presvevon iper ton Pisti Timonton, tin Makarian Sou
Athisin.

adorned with a Priests gown that reached the


ground, and immersed in the streams of Martyrs
Blood, Thou hastened to Christ Thy Lord, O Eleftherios,
the Blessed and Wise One, Destroyer of Satan. Hence,
do not cease Interceding for those who honour in Faith
Thy Blessed Martyrdom.

OF THE

EVER BLESSED THEOTOKOS

I Parthenos simeron, ton Proeonion Logon, en Spileo ethete Today the Virgin comes to the Cave to give Birth Ineffably
apotekin aporritos. Horeve, i ikoumeni, akoutisthisa;
Doxason meta Angelon ke ton Pimenon, voilithenta
apofthine, Pedion Neon, ton Pro Eonon Theon.

to the Word Pre-Eternal. Hearing this, be of good


cheer, O Earth and its people: Glorify Him with the
Angels and the Shepherds, Whose Will it was to be
made manifest as a young Child the Pre-Eternal God.

PROKEIMENON PSALM 115 TONE (7) VARYS-GRAVE

Precious in the Sight of the Lord is the Death of His Saints.


What shall we render unto the Lord for all His Benefits toward us?
THE SECOND EPISTLE

OF

ST PAUL TO ST TIMOTHY 1 : 8 18

ST TIMOTHYS GIFT

IS THE

POWER

OF

GOD

Timothy, my Son: ... do not be ashamed of the Testimony of our Lord, or of me, His prisoner. But share in the sufferings
for the Gospel according to the Power of God, Who has Saved us and Called us with a Holy Calling not according
to our works, but according to His own Purpose and Grace, which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began
and now been revealed by the Appearing of our Saviour, Jesus Christ, Who has abolished Death, and brought Life
and Immortality to Light through the Gospel to which I was appointed as a Preacher, and Apostle and a Teacher of
the Gentiles. For this reason, I also suffer these things. Nevertheless, I am not ashamed.
I know Whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.
Hold fast the pattern of sound words you have heard from me in Faith and Love, which are in Christ Jesus. That good
thing that was committed to you, keep by the Holy Spirit Who dwells in us.
This you know, that all those in Asia have turned away from me, among whom are Phygellos and Hermogenes. The
Lord grant Mercy to the household of Onesiphoros, for he often refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chains.
But when he arrived in Rome, he sought me out very zealously and found me. The Lord grant to him that he may
find Mercy from the Lord in that Day. And how many ways he ministered to me at Ephesos, you know very well.
OUR SALVATION AND CALLING ARE BASED ON THE GRACE OF GOD
This stands in clear contrast to the elitism of the major
and not on anything that we have done to merit Gods
religions of the first century Roman world, including
Divine Favour.
Gnoticism and the various mystery religions.
St Barnabas taught us that our Lord Jesus Christ ...
Oral and Written Holy Tradition is rooted in our Lord and
submitted to suffering in order to break the power of
Saviour, Jesus Christ and preserved as Divine Truth by
Death and to demonstrate Resurrection from the
God the Holy Spirit Who dwells in us (when we are
dead. Thus it was necessary for Him to be Manifested
Repentant and enjoy Spiritual Life in Christ.)
in Flesh. Also He submitted so that He might fulfil the
It is possible that Onesiphoros has Reposed in Christ, for
Promise to the Fathers and, while He was preparing
the Holy Church of Christ has never failed nor
His New People for Himself, and while He was still on
hesitated to pray for Her Faithful, departed souls so
Earth, to prove that after He has brought about the
that they might received Gods Great Mercy on the
Resurrection, He will Judge...
Day of the Lord the Eighth Day, the Beginning of
...The pattern of sound words... refers to Oral Apostolic
Eternity or our Final Judgement.
Tradition that is most essential and as important as
The Lord grant to him that he may find Mercy from the
the Written Apostolic Tradition.
Lord in that Day the first Lord refers to our Lord
St Paul established a clear chain of witnesses to Oral
Jesus Christ, while the second Lord refers to God our
Tradition.
Heavenly Father.
CHRISTIAN ORAL AND WRITTEN TRADITION IS FOR ALL TRUE
St Paul had been imprisoned in Rome for some time when
BELIEVERS Faithful Disciples of Christ for IT IS
he wrote this final Epistle, knowing that his Martyrdom
CATHOLIC I.E. UNIVERSAL BELONGING TO THE ENTIRE HOLY
was fast approaching and looking forward to being
with our Lord.
CHURCH OF CHRIST, AND NEEDS TO BE PASSED DOWN TO OTHERS
Being a citizen of Rome, St Paul was Perfected by sword in
UNHINDERED, UNCHANGED AND MOST CAREFULLY PRESERVED AS
DIVINE TRUTH (I.E. NOT ACCORDING TO MANKINDS FLAWED
67, during the reign of the infamous Emperor Nero.
AND LIMITED OPINIONS.)

ST ELEUTHERIOS, BISHOP & HIEROMARTYR

& ST ANTHIA OF ILLYRIA

15 DECEMBER 2016

17.

THE HOLY GOSPEL ACCORDING


OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST TRANSCENDS

THE

TO

ST MARK 2 : 23 3 : 5

SABBATH DAY & HEALS

WITHERED

ARM

At that time, our Lord Jesus Christ went through the grain fields on the Sabbath; and, as they went, His Disciples began
to pluck the heads of grain. And the Pharisees said to Him: Look! Why do they - on the Sabbath - do what is
unlawful? And He said to them: Have you never read what David did when he was in need and hungry? he
and those who were with him how he went into the House of God in the days of Abiathar the High Priest, and
ate the Showbread, which is not lawful to eat except for the Priests and also gave some to those who were with
him?
And He said to them: The Sabbath was made for mankind, not mankind for the Sabbath! Therefore, the Lord is the
Son of Man and also of the Sabbath.
And He entered the Synagogue again. And there was a man who had a withered hand. And they watched Him
closely if He would Heal him on the Sabbath - so that they might accuse Him.
And He said to the man with the withered hand: Step forward. And He said to them: Is it Lawful on the Sabbath to
do good, or evil ? to save life or to kill? They were silent. And when He had looked around at them - being
grieved by the hardness of their hearts - He said to the man: Stretch out your hand. And he stretched it out - and
his hand was restored - as whole as the other.
According to the Holy Gospel of St Luke, our Lord Jesus
However, SUCH LEGALISM CAUSED THEM TO BE INSENSITIVE TO
Christ led His Apostles through the grain fields on the
GODS GREAT MERCY AND LOVE, which is why our Lord
second Sabbath after the first... a term that was used
Jesus Christ pointed out: The Sabbath was made for
when a Jewish Feast immediately followed a normal
mankind... A DAY OF REST FROM OUR LABOURS WHICH
Sabbath, for the Feast days were also referred to as
SHOULD BE DEDICATED TO WORSHIP, THANKSGIVING AND
Sabbath Days.
CONTEMPLATION OF ALMIGHTY GOD.
According to St Ambrose the term second Sabbath
Our Lord Jesus was ...grieved by the hardness of their
serves as AN IMAGE OF THE NEW COVENANT AND OUR
heart... refers to His Righteous Anger that was A
ETERNAL RESURRECTION.
NATURAL HUMAN EMOTION EXPERIENCED WHEN CONFRONTED
THE FIRST SABBATH INDICATED THE OLD COVENANT LAW, WHILE
BY SIN.
THE SECOND SABBATH INDICATES THE HOLY GOSPEL OF CHRIST
While anger is certainly sinful, RIGHTEOUS ANGER OR BEING
OUR LORD AND SAVIOUR WHO FOLLOWED AND FULFILLED IT.
... GRIEVED... BEING SORROWFUL OR SADDENED BY SIN IS
UNDER THE NEW COVENANT THE FOOD THAT HAD PREVIOUSLY BEEN
PROPER TO OUR HUMANITY.
UNLAWFUL FOR ANYONE BUT PRIESTS TO EAT, IS NOW FREELY
 Psalm 4: 5 : ...Be angry and do not sin...
GRANTED TO EVERYONE by ...the Lord of the Sabbath...
Our Saviours grieving anger was IN RESPONSE TO THOSE WHO
which had been prefigured by King David when he
PROFESS THEMSELVES AS BEING FAITHFUL AND WHO TEACH AND
fed the Holy Showbread from the Temple to those who
GUIDE OTHERS CONCERNING GOD YET THEIR HEART IS SO
HARDENED BY SINS SUCH AS PRIDE, EGOISM AND A LACK OF LOVE
were with him.
AND MERCY FOR OTHERS THAT THEY NEITHER ACKNOWLEDGED
According to certain customs that the Scribes and
NOR GAVE THANKS FOR THE ALL MERCIFUL GLORY AND GRACE
Pharisees had built up around the First Covenant
OF GOD, NOR REJOICED FOR THE MIRACULOUS HEALING OF ONE
Law, Healing (even Miraculous, Divine Healing!) was
OF THEIR SUFFERING BRETHREN.
considered as being work and thus was not
permissible on the Sabbath.
GOD IS LOVE AGAPE AND EVERYTHING HE HAS TAUGHT US
AND REVEALED TO US CONCERNS THAT DIVINE, UNCONDITIONAL
THEY ERRONEOUSLY BELIEVED THAT THEY SERVED GOD BY
ZEALOUSLY ENFORCING THESE PERIPHERAL CUSTOMS.
AND ABSOLUTE LOVE FOR GOD AND EACH OTHER!
THE DIVINE

AND

MIRACULOUS HEALINGS

Even if we believe strongly enough that our Lord can


perform Miracles for us even if our Faith is as strong
as God requires from us in order to act upon and
perform any of His Divine Miracles, then, it will not
need to happen - not in the sense that God will not
make it happen, but in the sense that we, ourselves do
not need a Divine Miracle, for our Faith is focussed on
the Love and Great Mercy of the Lord our God.
The point is not for a Miracle to happen, for if this was the
case, God would perform the Miracle according to His
Divine Will alone.
The point is for our inner being to rise from the dead to
rise from Spiritual Death to Spiritual Life - for Divine
Life to enter our immortal soul.
We must Live in God we must live every moment in
Christ - rather than stagnating in a Spiritually Dead
existence.
This is the Greatest of all Miracles!
When our Faith is strong and firmly established in our Life
in Christ, God will perform the other Miracles, which
we no longer need anyway, when this marvellous
Spiritual Miracle has already taken place.
Our Lord can Heal everyone who suffers from every type
of malady or ailment no matter whether it is Spiritual
or physical, but He doe not always do so.

OF OUR

LORD

AND

SAVIOUR, JESUS CHRIST

He only cures people according to His Divine Will and


Plan for each and every immortal soul.
Good health or Immortality is not exactly the issue here,
for inevitably we will suffer various types of ill health
and eventually our body and soul will be separated.
When we have fallen from Grace and have walked the
path of wickedness, we will bear all the
consequences of our iniquities, unless we Repent and
are Saved, and continue throughout our short lifespan to Repent and to thus be Saved until the end, as
long as we have Faith in God.
We will indeed suffer from various degrees of sickness, we
will suffer from hunger and thirst, and we will
experience many difficulties before we finally Repose.
Our Lord Jesus Christ did not come to raise all those who
have died, nor to feed all those who suffer hunger,
thirst and destitution, nor to Heal all those who suffer
from the innumerable types of disease and ailments.
Our Divine Saviour came to Save all mankind, without
exception, and often our Salvation occurs through the
suffering of sickness, pain and sorrow, through
hunger and thirst, through difficult, devastating
circumstances and even through death!
ARCHIMANDRITE SYMEON KRAGIOPOULOS
HTTP://WWW.ORTHODOXPATH.ORG/

INSPIRED, ETERNAL WISDOM

ST PAISIOS OF MOUNT ATHOS:


We should not ask God for anything that can be done
by mankind.
We should humble ourselves before them and we
should ask for their help.
ELDER CHRISTODOULOS KATOUNAKIOTIS

Simplicity in our lives and the practice of the Jesus


prayer, is a knife against the enemy.
ST MARK

THE

ASCETIC

Fight against temptations with Patience and Prayer. If


we try to fight temptation without these two Holy
Virtues, temptation will be stronger.
18.

ST ELEUTHERIOS, BISHOP & HIEROMARTYR

HOLY CHURCH FATHERS


ST ANTHONY THE GREAT

OF OUR

True Love does not mean only to give, but also to be


deprived and to feel sorrowful when such
deprivation and sorrow restrain another from
going astray and falling into sin.
When the trees are swayed by the winds, they develop
deeper roots and grow taller and stronger.
Similarly, when we are tested, we grow deeper rooted
in the Power and Providence of God.
ST PAISIOS OF MOUNT ATHOS:
The Love of God is so infinite that He has left us
free to not even Love Him!!

& ST ANTHIA OF ILLYRIA

15 DECEMBER 2016

Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria & All Africa


Archdiocese of Good Hope
All Glory, Honour and Worship to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and
forever, and unto the Ages of ages. Amen. Remembering also our Most Holy, Most Pure, Most
Blessed and Glorious Lady, Maria, Theotokos, yet Ever Virgin, together with all the Saints. And
let us commit ourselves and one another and our whole Life to Christ our God. Amen.

Tone 1
18 December 2016
th
26 Sunday After Pentecost
Sunday Before the Nativity of Christ our Lord
Sunday of the Holy Ancestors
Also the Feast of St Daniel, Holy Prophet of God & the Three Holy Youths St Sebastian, St
Zoe, St Nikostratos, St Castorios, St Tranquillinos, St Marcellinos, St Mark, St Claudios, St
Symhorianos, St Victorinos, St Tiburtios & St Castulos of Rome - St Sebastian, Abbot of
Pshekhonye Monastery, Vologda St Symeon the Wonderworker of Verkhoturye St Modestos, Archbishop of Jerusalem St
Floros, Bishop of Amisos St Michael the Holy Confessor of Constantinople St Thaddeus, Archbishop & New Hieromartyr of
Tver St Daniel the Hesychast
RESURRECTION APOLYTIKION TONE 1

Tou

While

lithou sfragisthentos ipo ton Ioudeon ke stratioton


filassonton to ahranton Sou Soma, Anestis trimeros,
Sotir, Doroumenos to kosmo tin Zoin. Dia touto e
Dinamis ton Ouranon evoon si Zoodota.
Doxa ti
Anastasi Sou, Hriste! Doxa ti Vasilia Sou! Doxa ti
Ikonomia Sou, mone Filanthrope!

the stone was sealed by the Jews, and soldiers


stood on guard over Thy Body undefiled, Thou didst
rise on the third day, O Saviour, Who grants Life unto
the world. For which cause the Heavenly Powers cried
aloud unto Thee: O Giver of Life: Glory to Thy
Resurrection, O Christ! Glory to Thy Kingdom! Glory
to Thy Providence, O Thou Who alone Loves mankind!

FESTAL APOLYTIKION ST DANIEL &

Megala ta tis Pisteos katorthomata!

THE

3 HOLY YOUTHS

Great indeed are the accomplishments of Faith! The Three

En ti pigi tis flogos, os


epi idatos anapafseos, i Agii Tris, Pedes igallonto, ke O
Profitis Daniil, leonton pimin, os provaton ediknito. Tes
afton ikesies Hriste O Theos, soson tas psihas imon!

Holy Youths stood exultingly in the fountain of fire as


if beside Still Waters!
And Daniel the Prophet
appeared to be shepherding the lions!
At their
Entreaties, O Christ God, Save our soul!

SEASONAL KONTAKION FOREFEAST

OF THE

NATIVITY

I Parthenos simeron, ton Proeonion Logon, en Spileo ethete The Virgin comes today to the Cave to give Birth Ineffably
apotekin aporritos. Horeve, i ikoumeni, akoutisthisa;
Doxason meta Angelon ke ton Pimenon, voilithenta
apofthine, Pedion Neon, ton Pro Eonon Theon.
PROKEIMENON HYMN

OF THE

to the Word Pre-Eternal. Hearing this, be of good


cheer, O Earth and its people: Glorify Him with the
Angels and the Shepherds, Whose Will it was to be
made manifest as a young Child the Pre-Eternal God.
THREE HOLY YOUTHS TONE 4

Blessed art Thou, O Lord, God of our Fathers!


For Thou hast always dealt Righteously with us.
THE EPISTLE
THE FAITH

OF THE

OF

ST PAUL

TO THE

OLD COVENANT JUDEANS

HEBREWS 11 : 9 10 & 32 40

FROM

ST ABRAHAM

TO

ST JOSEPH

THE

BETROTHED

Brethren: Through Faith Abraham dwelt in the Land of Promise, as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac
and Jacob, the Heirs with him of the same Promise.
He waited for the City that has Foundations, whose Builder and Maker is God.
And what more shall I say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon and Barak and Samson and Jephthah, also of
David and Samuel and the Prophets: who through Faith subdued Kingdoms, worked Righteousness, obtained
Promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of
weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.
Women received their dead raised to life again.
Others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, so that they might obtain a better Resurrection.
Others had trials mockings and scourgings - yes, of chains and imprisonments.
They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were tempted and they were slain with the sword.
They wandered about in sheepskins and in goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented of whom the world was not
worthy.
In deserts They wandered - and mountains, dens and caves of Earth.
And all these, having obtained a Good Testimony through Faith, did not receive the Promise God having provided
something better for us so that they should not be made Perfect apart from us.
THE HOLY GOSPEL ACCORDING
THE GENEALOGY

OF OUR

TO

ST MATTHEW 1 : 1 - 25

LORD & SAVIOUR, JESUS CHRIST, ACCORDING

TO THE FLESH

The Book of the Genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham:
Abraham begot Isaac; Isaac begot Jacob and Jacob begot Judah and his brothers.
Judah begot Perez and Zerah by Tamar; Perez begot Hezron, and Hezron begot Ram. Ram begot Amminadab;
Amminadab begot Nahshon, and Nahshon begot Salmon.
Salmon begot Boaz by Rahab; Boaz begot Obed by Ruth; Obed begot Jesse and Jesse begot David the King.
David the King begot Solomon by her who had been the wife of Uriah; Solomon begot Rehoboam; Rehoboam begot
Abijah, and Abijah begot Asa.
Asa begot Jehoshaphat; Jehoshaphat begot Joran, and Joran begot Uzziah.
Uzziah begot Jotham, Jotham begot Ahaz, and Ahaz begot Hezekiah.
26TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST - BEFORE NATIVITY

HOLY ANCESTORS

18 DECEMBER 2016

19.

Hezekiah begot Manasseh; Manasseh begot Amon, and Amon begot Josiah.
Josiah begot Jeconiah and his brothers about the time they were carried away to Babylon.
After they were taken to Babylon, Jeconiah begot Shealtiel, and Shealtiel begot Zerubbabel.
Zerubbabel begot Abiud; Abiud begot Eliakim, and Eliakim begot Azor.
Azor begot Zadok; Zadok begot Achim, and Achim begot Eliud. Eliud begot Eleazar; Eleazar begot Matthan, and
Matthan begot Jacob.
Jacob begot Joseph the (Betrothed) Husband of Mary (Miriam) of Whom was born Jesus Who is called Christ.
All the generations from Abraham to David were fourteen generations; from David until the captivity in Babylon were
fourteen generations. And from the captivity in Babylon until the Christ are fourteen generations.
The Birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His Mother, Mary, was Betrothed to Joseph, before they came together,
she was found with Child of the Holy Spirit. Joseph, her husband, being a Just man, and not wanting to make her a
public example, was minded to put her away secretly. While he considered these things, behold! an Angel of the
Lord appeared to him, saying: Joseph, son of David: do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife. That which is
Conceived in Her is of the Holy Spirit. She will bring forth a Son, and Thou shalt name Him Jesus. He will Save
His People from their sins.
All this was done so that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the Prophet, saying: Behold, the
Virgin shall be with Child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His Name ,Immanuel, which is translated: God
with us.
Having been woken from sleep Joseph did as the Angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his Wife, and did
not know Her until She had brought forth Her Firstborn Son. And he called His Name Jesus.
The name Jesus or Joshua means O Lord Save us,
So it was that THE HOLY SPIRIT PREACHED THE HOLY GOSPEL OF
which REFERS TO OUR LORDS DIVINE ROLE AS THE SAVIOUR OF
CHRIST CENTURIES BEFORE TO ST ABRAHAM, the ancient
ALL MANKIND.
Patriarch of the Old Covenant Israel.
The title Christ means Anointed One, or Messiah,
Furthermore, THE ANGEL OF THE LORD Whom St Abraham
which means THE ONE WHO IS FILLED WITH THE HOLY
beheld in a Vision was no created being He WAS
SPIRIT.
TRULY THE SON AND WORD OF GOD.
 J O H N 1 : 3 3 : St John the Baptist and Forerunner to
St Athanasios the Great taught that OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST,
Christ said: I did not know Him, but He Who sent
THE SON AND WORD OF GOD, WAS REFERRED TO AS AN ANGEL
me to Baptise with water said to me: Upon Whom
(MESSENGER OF GOD) BECAUSE HE ALONE REVEALS THE FATHER.
you see the (Holy) Spirit descending, and
In other words, OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST REVEALS GOD THE
remaining on Him, is He Who Baptises with the
FATHER TO US AS A GOD OF INFINITE LOVE AND MERCY WHO,
BEING ABSOLUTE GOODNESS, TRUTH AND LOVE, IS INCAPABLE
Holy Spirit.
The fact that the Holy Spirit remained upon Christ our
OF ANYTHING EVIL, CRUEL OR DESTRUCTIVE (which are the
inventions of the evil one who typifies hatred, everything wicked,
Saviour was a Divine Sign that HE POSSESSES THE HOLY
deceitful and destructive.)
SPIRIT IN HIS FULLNESS FROM ALL ETERNITY i.e. THERE HAS
 G E N E S I S 2 8 : 1 4 - The Lord God told St Jacob: ... your
NEVER BEEN A MOMENT WHEN THE SON OF GOD WAS NOT
seed shall be like the dust of the Earth; you shall
UNITED WITH GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT FOR TOGETHER WITH GOD
spread abroad to the West and to the East, to the
THE FATHER THEY ARE CO-ETERNAL.
North and to the South; and in you and in your
OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST DID NOT RECEIVE THE HOLY SPIRIT AT HIS
seed all the Tribes of the earth shall be Blessed.
BAPTISM by St John the Baptist.
Jewish genealogy normally included only male relatives
Instead, the Vision that St John the Baptist experienced
so THE MENTION OF FEMALE RELATIVES such as Tamar,
revealed the Absolute Truth that THE HOLY SPIRIT HAS
Rahab, Ruth and Bathsheba WAS MOST UNUSUAL,
ALWAYS BEEN WITH CHRIST.
especially since each of them was either a gentile or
ALTHOUGH ONLY GOD THE SON (the Second Divine Person of
a sinful Hebrew.
the Holy Trinity the Godhead) WAS INCARNATED (became
Hence, THE INCLUSION OF THESE WOMEN CONFIRMED THE
Man and thus physical and visible to us) GOD THE FATHER AND
GRACIOUS MERCY OF GOD AND PREFIGURED THE CALLING OF
GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT WORK IN PERFECT HARMONY IN OUR
GENTILES into the Church of Christ.
LORD JESUS CHRIST FOR OUR ETERNAL SALVATION.
IT ALSO EMPHASISED THE IMPORTANT ROLE OF WOMEN IN GODS
THE HOLY TRINITY ALWAYS WORKS IN PERFECT UNISON AS ONE
ETERNAL PLAN OF SALVATION AND ANTICIPATED THE VERY
GOD.
SPECIAL PLACE OF THE EVER BLESSED AND ALL HOLY VIRGIN
OUR LORD WAS INCARNATE AS A HEBREW, FROM THE LINEAGE OF ST
THEOTOKOS IN HIS DIVINE PLAN.
ABRAHAM, the Father or Patriarch of all Hebrews, and
By means of Anointing by St Samuel the Holy Prophet of
of St David, Israels greatest King and Prototype of our
God, St David the Psalmist was consecrated King of
Royal Messiah.
Israel and through his Psalms, St David was revealed
The Genealogy of Christ according to the Holy Gospel of
as a great and Holy Prophet of God.
St Matthew reveals that THE SON OF GOD IDENTIFIES SO
Consequently, ST DAVID THE PSALMIST, KING AND HOLY
DEEPLY WITH OUR HUMAN NATURE that He took it upon
PROPHET FORESHADOWED THE ROYAL AND PROPHETIC NATURE
Himself and has become part of it FOR THE SAKE OF OUR
OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST. (PSALM 109)
SALVATION.
In addition, as a wicked adulterer and murderer, ST
The Ancestry (according to His Incarnation) of our Lord Jesus
DAVID IS A GOOD EXAMPLE OF SINCERE CONTRITION,
Christ includes Righteous and wicked people, faithful
REPENTANCE AND FORGIVENESS OF SINS, which encourages
Kings and murderers, Jews and Gentiles, royalty and
us - for EVEN THE WORST OF SINNERS IS GRANTED THE
peasants A COMPLETE CROSS-SECTION OF HUMANITY.
POSSIBILITY OF REGENERATION OR RESTORATION BY THE DIVINE
ST MATTHEWS GENEALOGY OF CHRIST DESCENDS FROM ST
GRACE OF OUR MOST LOVING AND MERCIFUL GOD THROUGH
ABRAHAM in whom God Promised to Bless all Tribes of
OUR WILLING AND HEARTFELT REPENTANCE-CONFESSION.
the Earth, which was fulfilled in his greatest
ST JOSEPH THE BETROTHED IS NAMED AS OUR LORD JESUS
Descendent, Jesus Christ.
IMMEDIATE PREDECESSOR since according to the Old
ST LUKE, on the contrary, LISTED HIS GENEALOGY IN ASCENDING
Covenant, Marriage Laws confer Hereditary Rights on
ORDER FROM CHRIST ALL THE WAY BACK TO ADAM. (LUKE 3 : 23
38)
adopted as well as biological children.
 G E N E S I S 1 2 : 3 God said to Abram: ... I will Bless
(St Joseph was in fact the elderly uncle and Divinely Chosen Protector
those who Bless Thee and curse those who curse
and Guardian of Theotokos and Christ.)
Thee; and in Thee all the Tribes of the earth shall
THE EVER BLESSED VIRGIN MARY WAS ALSO DESCENDED FROM KING
be Blessed.
DAVID, as was her aunt Salome, (the sister of St Anna and
the late wife of St Joseph the Betrothed, mother of St James, St
THE HOLY SPIRIT SPOKE THROUGH HIS HOLY PROPHETS and He
Joses, St Jude, St Salome, and St Mary who are mentioned in the
spoke through St Moses the Holy Prophet of God who
Holy Gospels as Apostles and Myrrhbearers) since, according
wrote this Holy Book of Genesis.
to Hebrew Laws of the time, BETROTHALS WERE ARRANGED
 G A L A T I A N S 3 : 8 - St Paul explained to the Galatians: ...
FROM WITHIN THE SAME TRIBE.
the Scripture, foreseeing that God would Justify
For the same reason, ACCORDING TO THE WILL OF GOD,
the Gentiles by Faith, preached the Gospel to
THE TEMPLE PRIESTS HAD CONSENTED TO HER BETROTHAL TO
Abraham beforehand, saying: In Thee all the
Nations shall be Blessed.
20. 2 6 T H S U N D A Y A F T E R P E N T E C O S T - B E F O R E N A T I V I T Y

HOLY ANCESTORS

18 DECEMBER 2016

HER AGED UNCLE WHO WAS ACTUALLY HER LEGAL GUARDIAN


AND PROTECTOR OF HER VOW OF CHASTITY.
The term of whom is feminine in Greek, REFERRING
ONLY TO THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY. SO OUR LORD IS SHOWN
TO HAVE BEEN BORN ONLY OF HER AND NOT BEGOTTEN OF ST
JOSEPH THE BETROTHED.
THE ANCESTORS WERE ARRANGED IN THREE GROUPS OF FOURTEEN
GENERATIONS
since fourteen is the numerical

equivalent of the consonants in the name David,


underlining Christs descent from St David.
IT ALSO SHOWS THE DIVISION OF THE LEADERSHIP OF THE HEBREWS,
being under Judges until St David, under Kings until
Babylon and under Priests until Christ.
THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF ST JOSEPH THE BETROTHED CONSISTED OF
A MERCIFUL NATURE THAT TRANSCENDED THE DEMANDS OF THE

LAW.
 H O S E A 6 : 6 ... I desire Mercy not sacrifice, and the
Knowledge of God more than Whole Burnt
Offerings...
St Josephs natural Compassion and Mercy was evident
from his unwillingness to expose the young Virgins
assumed sin, even though he was obliged by Mosaic
Law to do so.
THE TERM HUSBAND AND WIFE APPLIED TO ALL BETROTHED
COUPLES EVEN BEFORE THE MARRIAGE HAD BEEN SANCTIFIED BY
GOD AND CONSUMMATED.
THE HOLY ORTHODOX CHURCH REFERS TO ST JOSEPH AS THE
BETROTHED, EMPHASISING THE TRUTH OF THE ALL HOLY AND
ALL PURE, EVER VIRGINITY OF THE BLESSED THEOTOKOS (which
would have been marvelled at and definitely confirmed by the
astounded Midwives who attended to the young Virgin before,
during and after the Nativity of Christ.)
 E S T H E R 2 : 7 Mordecai of the Tribe of Benjamin ...
had raised the daughter of Abigail, his fathers
brother, and her name was Esther; and when her
parents died, he brought her up to be his wife,
and she was beautiful.
Mordecais relation to Esther was that of both Guardian
and Betrothed husband - A NECESSARY SOCIAL AND
LEGAL ARRANGEMENT, WHICH WAS NOT UNUSUAL AT THE TIME.
This was similar to the special Relationship between St
Joseph the Betrothed and his very young niece, the
Ever Virgin Mary, in which THERE WAS NO SEXUAL
RELATIONSHIP, as demonstrated as well by Esthers
Virginity and Chastity.
AN ANGEL OR MESSENGER OF GOD DISPELLED ST JOSEPHS FALSE
ASSUMPTIONS by announcing THE UTTERLY UNREASONABLE
AND ILLOGICAL BUT DIVINE AND ABSOLUTE TRUTH: THE
VIRGINS CONCEPTION WAS BY THE WILL OF GOD BY THE
POWER AND ENERGY OF THE LIFE-GIVING HOLY SPIRIT.
BEING BORN OF THE VIRGIN PROVED CHRISTS DIVINITY and ONLY A
DIVINE REVELATION BY GOD COULD SERVE AS ADEQUATE
EVIDENCE OF SUCH A UNIQUE MIRACLE.
St Matthew repeatedly used the expression: ...that it
might be fulfilled which was spoken... which
underscores THE DIVINE INTERVENTION OF GOD
THROUGHOUT HUMAN HISTORY and which demonstrates
THE CONTINUITY BETWEEN THE OLD AND NEW COVENANTS
WITH GOD, INDICATING THE BEGINNING OF THE NEW
CREATION.
THE DIVINE CONCEPTION OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST FULFILLED
THE PROPHECY OF ST ISAIAH THAT SPECIFICALLY A VIRGIN
not a young woman! WOULD CONCEIVE AND BEAR A
SON WHO WAS NOT A NEW PERSON COMING INTO EXISTENCE
BUT WHO IS THE ETERNAL SON OF GOD WHO USED HER WOMB
AS HIS THRONE!
BOTH THE MYSTERIOUS VIRGINAL CONCEPTION BY THE HOLY SPIRIT
AND THE NAME IMMANUEL MEANING GOD WITH US
26TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST SUNDAY BEFORE

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the


Holy Spirit...
During this Season of anticipation, we hear many
familiar Christmas Hymns because we live in a
culture dominated by Western Religious Tradition.
Therefore, we may know some of their songs better than
our own Eastern Orthodox Hymns.
One of those Hymns is "Silent Night" and the most powerful
phrase in this beautiful Hymn is "Christ the Saviour is
born!"
These words are particularly relevant today, which is
Liturgically titled Sunday before the Nativity of

DECLARES AND CONFIRMS THE DIVINITY THE DIVINE NATURE


OF OUR LORD AND SAVIOUR, JESUS CHRIST.
Finally: when ST JOSEPH THE BETROTHED IN OBEDIENCE TO GOD

... took to him his wife, and did not know Her until
She had brought forth Her Firstborn Son... IT DID NOT
MEAN THAT THE BETROTHAL OR MARRIAGE WAS EVER
CONSUMMATED.
NOR DOES THE EXPRESSION FIRSTBORN SON MEAN THAT OUR ALL
HOLY LADY EVER BORE ANY OTHER CHILDREN for She kept
her Most Sacred Vow of Chastity until She reposed in
Peace many years later.
In Holy Scripture the word until which is sometimes
translated as to, is often used to express a situation
that actually continues after the event:
 M A T T H E W 2 8 : 2 0 Christ instructed His Apostles to go
forth into the world:
1. to make the people His Faithful Disciples,
2. to Teach the everything He has taught and revealed
to us
3. to Baptise all Nations in the Name of our Triune God
4. and
... to observe all Things that I have
commanded you;
He ends by telling us : ... I Am with you always, even TO
the end of the Age.
This does not mean that we are separated from Christ at
the end of the world for HE IS ALWAYS ETERNALLY PRESENT - GOD IS NEVER ABSENT, no matter where or
how we are!
 G E N E S I S 8 : 7 - Noah ... sent out a Raven, which kept
going to and fro, UNTIL the waters dried up from
the Earth.
 D E U T E R O N O M Y 3 4 : 6 When Moses has died God ...
buried him in a valley in the Land of Moab,
opposite Beth Peor; but no one knows his grave TO
this day.
THE TERM FIRSTBORN SON, DOES NOT IMPLY THAT THE BLESSED
VIRGIN HAD OTHER CHILDREN, but only that no child was
born to Her before our Lord Jesus Christ.
Traditionally, THE FIRSTBORN SON WAS THE PRIMARY HEIR AND
RECIPIENT OF BLESSINGS.
OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST IS THE FIRSTBORN OVER ALL CREATION,
AND THEREFORE THE FIRSTBORN FROM THE DEAD.

Christ was the first to be physically Resurrected - so He


returned to show to confirm, to ratify - that Divine Truth
to His Faithful Apostles and Disciples for 40 days before
His Glorious Ascension returning to His former invisible
State and Majestic Position, seated at the Right Hand Side
of God the Father the Most Honourable position as CoEqual, Co-Eternal and Co-Essential. mp
In the Orthodox Holy Icons of the Nativity of Christ, His
swaddling clothes are depicted as burial wrappings,
affirming THAT ONE PURPOSE OF HIS COMING WAS TO ENDURE
AND CONQUER DEATH.
 ISAIAH 1:3 OUR INFANT LORD JESUS CHRISTS MANGER WAS IN
A CAVE WHERE DOMESTIC ANIMALS WERE STABLED AT NIGHT
THUS FULFILLING THE PROPHECY OF ST ISAIAH: The ox

knows its Owner and the donkey its Masters


crib. ()
ACCORDING TO OLD COVENANT LAW, THE FATHER NAMES HIS
CHILD.
Thus, ACCORDING TO THE WILL OF GOD THE FATHER, HIS
ARCHANGEL, ST GABRIEL, TOLD ST JOSEPH THE BETROTHED
WHAT TO NAME HIS ALL PURE WARDS CHILD.
LIKEWISE, WAS ST ZACHARIAH THE HIGH PRIEST INFORMED OF THE
NAME OF HIS SON, ST JOHN THE BAPTIST AND FORERUNNER TO
CHRIST.

THE

NATIVITY

OF

CHRIST THE HOLY ANCESTORS

Christ because we learn why we refer to our Lord


Jesus Christ as our Saviour and from what He came to
Save all mankind.
In todays Sacred Lesson from the Holy Gospel according
to St Matthew, the first eighteen verses are devoted to
a selective recount of the genealogy of our Lord Jesus
Christ, according to His Incarnation i.e. the Ever
Blessed Theotokos lineage.
The next seven verses are devoted to the Events that
occurred shortly before His Nativity (His Birth).
The Ever Blessed, All Pure and Ever Virgin Mary
Conceived our Lord Jesus by the Will of God the
Father, by the Power and Energy of the Holy Spirit,

26TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST - BEFORE NATIVITY

HOLY ANCESTORS

18 DECEMBER 2016

21.

after having been Betrothed to her elderly uncle, St


Joseph the Betrothed, by the Temple Priests, as Her
Righteous and Trustworthy Guardian and Protector of
Her Sacred Vow of Chastity.
Therefore, when he was informed of Her pregnancy, St
Joseph the Betrothed at first wanted to ... put Her
away secretly... instead of reporting Her sin to the
Temple Authorities, thus avoiding Her public
humiliation, persecution and disgrace, which could
have had Her executed by stoning to death!
However, our All Knowing and Loving God sent His
Archangel to His Faithful servant, St Joseph, to explain
what had really occurred and to instruct him what to
do.
Furthermore, St Joseph is told that the Divine Child's
Name would be "Jesus" and that He would Save His
people from their sins.
Being a most devout and Faithful Servant of God, St
Joseph the Betrothed did everything accordingly.
Consequently, our Lord who was known as Jesus of
Nazareth is our "Saviour" because He does indeed
His Faithful People from their sins.
In fact, the Name "Jesus" literally means "God Saves."
Thus, the Incarnation, (literally the Enfleshment"), is the
physical Manifestation of the Second Person of the
Holy Trinity - the Eternal Word and Only Begotten Son
of God - Who voluntarily Emptied Himself of all His
Divine Majesty and Power, and took on the human
flesh of the All Pure, Ever-Virgin Mary, by the Power
and Energy of the Holy Spirit (the Third Person of the
Holy Trinity).
The Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ is a very important
Event, not only because it was the beginning of the
Earthly Life of our Divine Redeemer, but because it
affirmed the inherent Goodness of human nature,
and by extension, the rest of Creation.
The Nativity of Christ our Lord is the beginning of a
Cosmic Renewal, the Remaking of the whole world!
However, the Salvation of mankind cannot happen
against our own will.
Salvation is not and cannot be forced upon us.
The Ever Blessed Virgin Mary could have refused God's
Invitation/Command that was presented to Her by His
Holy Archangel, St Gabriel, at the Annunciation (Luke
1:26-38).
According to Her natural and absolute Humility and
Obedience to God, She instantly agreed and
accepted the Divine Will of God above Her own, with
the words: Let it be to me according to Thy Word."
St Joseph the Betrothed, Her Divinely Chosen Guardian
and Protector of Her Chastity, could still have either
reported Her supposed transgression to the Priests, or
quietly hidden her away somewhere - even after the
Angel of God had told him what to do.
Nevertheless, being a Righteous, Compassionate and
Obedient man of God, "... did as the Angel of the Lord
commanded him and took to him his Wife, and did
not know Her...." (MATTHEW 1:24).
Thus, it is clearly evident that both our Lady, Theotokos,
and St Joseph the Betrothed were profoundly
Obedient to God, thereby significantly participating in
His Divine Plan for the Salvation of all mankind.
Sunday Before the Nativity is also referred to as Sunday
of the Holy Ancestors or Sunday of the Holy Fathers
of Christ all of which make sense but why we
celebrate them may be not so obvious, since Christs
human lineage is traced through His Guardian,
Joseph the Betrotheds ancestors and, although of the
same Tribe and lineage as our Lady, Theotokos, was
not the human father of our Lord Jesus Christ (Who had
been Conceived without seed!).
THE ETERNAL, INSPIRED WISDOM

OF OUR

HOLY CHURCH

More confusing is the fact that today's Holy Gospel


Reading is according to St Matthew although the
Synaxarion refers to the Genealogy recounted in the
Gospel according to St Luke.
Despite the somewhat contradictory information, the
significant Message is that God worked throughout
numerous generations - from Adam to Abraham to
David to Joseph, in order to prepare the Way and His
People for the Coming of the long awaited Divine
Messiah, through the Ever Blessed, All Pure and Ever
Virgin Mary, who is the culmination of this
Cooperation between God and mankind, for She is
indeed the "Blossom" of Abraham and the Tribe of
King David.
She is indeed the "Flower" that ...blossoms with Life for
all! (4TH STICHERA HYMN OF VESPERS).
In todays Hymnology four other ancient Saints are also
mentioned, who were good examples of our Spiritual
Preparation for the Coming of our Saviour - St Daniel,
the Holy Prophet of God and the Three Holy Youths
who possessed unshakable Faith in God, at a time
when the world had fallen into deep Spiritual
Darkness and Death.
The full text of some of the Hymns conveys the essential
message of this Sunday Before the Nativity of Christ
our Lord and Saviour, for example:
Rejoicing in the Dew of the Spirit as in raindrops, the
Children of God walked in the midst of the flame, thus
prefiguring the Trinity and the Incarnation of Christ;
and Wise through Faith they quenched the power of
fire; while Daniel the Just appeared as a Shepherd of
lions. Entreated by their Prayers, O Saviour Who Loves
mankind, Deliver us also from the Unquenchable and
Everlasting Fire, and grant that we may reach Thy
Heavenly Kingdom.
The Faithful and Holy Children, when in the furnace of
the flame of fire as in a Dew, Mystically Prefigured Thy
Coming from the Virgin, which blazed for us, yet did
not burn. While Daniel the Just, and Wonderful
among the Prophets, clearly Foreshadowed for all Thy
Divine Second Appearance. In his Vision he cried and
said that Thrones were set, the Judge had taken His
Seat and the River of Fire appeared; from which, O
Christ, may we be Delivered by their Prayers. (5TH & 6TH
STICHERA HYMNS OF VESPERS)

Addressing our Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour is extremely


important but more significant is referring to Him as
"Our Saviour" or "My Saviour.
In other words, we must always personalize our
Relationship with Him because He not only came to
Save mankind in general but first and foremost our
Lord Jesus Christ was Born amongst us to Save each
and every one of us by directly teaching and
revealing to us His Divine Truth.
...O All-blameless Virgin, Living Palace of God, Thou
contained within Thyself Him Whom the Heavens
cannot contain; beyond understanding Thou gave
Birth to Him in the Cave, a Beggar and Incarnate, that
He might make me Divine and Enrich me, made a
Beggar by the incontinence of bitter eating... (FIRST
STICHERA HYMN OF VESPERS)

...Through Compassion enrolled with slaves, Longsuffering Christ, by Caesar's Decree, Thou came to
grant Freedom, Life and Deliverance to ungrateful
servants, who worship Thy Saving Nativity, for Thou
hast come to Save our soul... (SECOND STICHERA HYMN OF
VESPERS).

Amen.
FATHER RICHARD DEMETRIUS ANDREWS - ST GEORGE GREEK
O R T H O D O X C H U R C H - S T P A U L , M I N N E S O T A . USA
HTTP://WWW.ORTHODOXYTODAY.ORG/
FATHERS OUR HOLY SPIRITUAL FATHERS OF MOUNT ATHOS

A young man asked one of the Wise Holy Elders of the


Holy Mountain: Elder, how I can see Christ?
The Elder responded: To see Christ, my Child, first
you need to Cleanse yourself.
When you are expecting a Visitor, you clean your
house.

22. 2 6 T H S U N D A Y A F T E R P E N T E C O S T - B E F O R E N A T I V I T Y

If you are expecting a Guest, you clean the room


wherein He will stay.
You need to do the same thing for our Lord and
Saviour, Jesus Christ - when you want to behold
Him, when you want Him to enter within your
heart - you need to Cleanse and to prepare
yourself!

HOLY ANCESTORS

18 DECEMBER 2016

Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria & All Africa


Archdiocese of Good Hope
All Glory, Honour and Worship to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now
and forever, and unto the Ages of ages. Amen. Remembering also our Most Holy, Most
Pure, Most Blessed and Glorious Lady, Maria, Theotokos, yet Ever Virgin, together with all
the Saints. And let us commit ourselves and one another and our whole Life to Christ our
God. Amen.

25 December 2016

The Nativity of our Lord & Saviour


ADORATION

FIRST FESTAL ANTIPHON


STIHOS

1.

OF THE

SHEPHERDS

- NATIVITY

Exomologisome Si, Kyrie, en oli kardia mou,

en Voili Evtheon ke Sinagogi.

THREE MAGI

CHRIST TONE 2

OF

VERSE 1.

AND THE

I will give thanks to Thee, O Lord,with my whole

heart, in the Council of the Upright and in the


Assembly.

Tes Presvies tis Theotokou, Soter, Soson imas.

Through

the Intercessions
Saviour, Save us.

2.
Megala ta Erga Kyriou, exezitimena is panta
ta Thelimata Aftou.

VERSE 2.

3 . Exomologisis ke Megaloprepia to Ergon Aftou,


ke i Dikeosini Aftou meni is to eona tou eonos.

VERSE

STIHOS

STIHOS

4.
Litroin apestile to lao Aftou. Enetilato is ton
eona diathikin Aftou. Agion ke foveron to Onoma
Aftou.

STIHOS

of

the

Theotokos,

Great art the Works of the Lord,sought out in


all things with regard to His Will.
3 . Thanksgiving and Majesty art His Work, and
His Righteousness continues unto Ages of ages.
4.
He sent Redemption to His people. He
Commanded His Covenant forever. Holy and Fearful is
His Name.

VERSE

Doxa Patri ke Io ke Agio Pnevmati, ke nin ke ai ke is Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy
tous Eonas ton eonon.

Spirit, now and forever, and to the Ages of ages.

Amin
Tes Presvies tis Theotokou, Soter, Soson imas.

Amen
Through

the Intercessions
Saviour, Save us.

SECOND FESTAL ANTIPHON NATIVITY


1 . Makarios anir, O fovoumenos ton Kyrion, en tes
entoles aftou thelisi sfodra.

OF

Soson

O Son of God,
V ER SE

3.
Doxa ke ploutos en to Iko Aftou, ke i Dikeosini
Aftou eni is ton eona tou eonos.

V ER SE

3 . Exanetilen en skoti Fos tis evthesin Eleimon ke


Iktirmon ke Dikeos.

V ER SE

S TI HO S

W H O A R T B O R N O F T H E V I R G I N , Save us
who sing to Thee: Alleluia

2 . Dinaton en ti gi este to sperma aftou, genea


evtheon Evlogithisete.

S TI HO S

Theotokos,

1.
Blessed is the man who fears the Lord; he will
delight exceedingly in His Commandments.

V ER SE

S TI HO S

the

CHRIST TONE 2

S TI HO S

imas Iie Theou, O E X P A R T H E N O U T E H T H I S ,


psallontas Si: Allilouia!

of

2.
His seed shall be Mighty on earth; the
generation of the upright shall be Blessed.

3.
Glory and riches shall be in His House, and His
Righteousness continues unto Ages of ages.
4 For the Upright, Light springs up in Darkness, for
He is Merciful, Compassionate and Righteous.

Doxa Patri ke Io ke Agio Pnevmati, ke nin ke ai ke is Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy
tous Eonas ton eonon.

Spirit, now and forever, and to the Ages of ages.

Amin
Soson

imas Iie Theou, O E X P A R T H E N O U T E H T H I S ,


psallontas Si: Allilouia!

Doxa Patri ke Iio ke Agio Pnevmati.

Ke nin ke ai ke is

tous eonas ton eonon.

Amin

Amen
O Son of God, W H O

A R T B O R N O F T H E V I R G I N , Save us
who sing to Thee: Alleluia!

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the


Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages.

PEOPLE

Amen
THIRD FESTAL ANTIPHON NATIVITY

1 . Ipen O Kyrios to Kyrio mou: Kathou ek dexion


mou, eos an tho tous ehtrous Sou ipopodion ton Podon
Sou.

S TI HO S

OF

CHRIST TONE 4

1 . The Lord said to my Lord: Sit at My right Hand,


until I make Thine enemies the Footstool of Thy Feet.

V ER SE

I Gennisis Sou Hriste O Theos imon, anetile to kosmo to Thy Nativity, O Christ our God, has caused the Light of
Fos to tis gnoseos. En afti gar it is astris latrevontes,
ipo asters edidaskonto, Se proskinin, ton Ilion tis
dikeosinis, ke Se ginoskin ex Ipsous anatolin. Kyrie,
Doxa Si.
2.
Ravdon Dinameos exaposeli Si Kyrios ek Sion,
ke katakirieve en meso ton ehthron Sou.

S TI HO S

Knowledge to rise upon the world. For therein the


worshippers of the stars were by a Star instructed to
worship Thee, the Sun of Righteousness, and to know
Thee as Orient from on High. O Lord, Glory to
Thee!
2 . The Lord shall send forth the Rod of Thy Power
from Zion and rule in the midst of Thine enemies.

V ER SE

NATIVITY OF OUR LORD & SAVIOUR, JESUS CHRIST ADORATION OF SHEPHERDS & THE MAGI 25 DECEMBER 2016

23.

3 . Meta Sou i arhi en Imera tis Dinameos Sou, en


tes Lamprotisi ton Agion Sou.

S TI HO S

FESTAL ISODIKON

Ek

gastros pro eosforou egennisa Se. Omose Kyrios ke ou


metamelithisete. Si ierefs is ton eona, kata tin taxin
Melihisedek.

3 . With Thee is the beginning in the Day of Thy


Power, in the Brightness of Thy Saints.

V ER SE

OF THE

NATIVITY

Out

of the womb, before the Morning Star have I


Begotten Thee: the Lord has sworn and will not
repent: Thou art a Priest forever, after the Order of
Melchezedek.

Soson imas, Ie Theou, O EK PARTHENOU TEHTHIS, psallontas Save us, O Son of God, BORN OF THE VIRGIN, who sing
Si allilouia!

to Thee: Alleluia!
FESTAL APOLYTIKION

OF THE

NATIVITY

OF

CHRIST TONE 4

I Gennisis Sou Hriste O Theos imon, anetile to kosmo to Fos Thy

Nativity, O Christ our God, has caused the Light of


Knowledge to rise upon the world. For therein the
worshippers of the stars were by a Star instructed to
worship Thee, the Sun of Righteousness, and to know
Thee as Orient from on High. O Lord, Glory to Thee!
(3)

to tis gnoseos. En afti gar it is astris latrevontes, ipo


asters edidaskonto, Se prokinin, ton Ilion tis Dikeosinis,
ke Se ginoskin ex ipsous anatolin. Kyrie, Doxa Si. (3)

FESTAL KONTAKION - NATIVITY

OF

CHRIST - TONE 3

I Parthenos simeron, ton iperousion tikti, ke i gi to Spileon, Today

the Virgin gives Birth to Him Who is above all


being, and the earth offers a Cave to Him Whom no
man can approach. Angels with Shepherds give Glory,
and Magi journey with a Star. For unto us is Born a
Young Child, the Pre-Eternal God.

to aprosito prosagi. Angeli meta Pimenon Doxologousi.


Magi de meta Asteros odiporousi.
Di imas gar
egennithi, Pedion Neon, O Pro Eonon Theos.
INSTEAD

Osi

is Hriston
Allelouia! [3]

Evaptisthite,

OF THE

Hriston

TRISAGION HYMN THE BAPTISMAL HYMN

enedisasthe:

As many of you as were Baptised into Christ, have put


on Christ: Alleluia!

[3]

Doxa Patri ke Io ke Agio Pnevmati. Ke nin ke Ai ke is Glory

to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy


Spirit, Now and forever, and to the Ages of ages.
Amen

tous eonas ton eonon.

Amin
Hriston enedisasthe: Allelouia!
Dynamis!
Dynamis!
Osi is Hriston Evaptisthite,

Hriston

enedisasthe:

Have put on Christ: Alleluia!


P R I E S T With Strength!
CHOIR
With Strength!
PEOPLE
As many of you as

Allelouia!

were Baptised into Christ,

have put on Christ: Alleluia!


PROKEIMENON- PSALM 65 TONE (8) PLAGAL 4

All the world will worship Thee and Glorify Thee. Let them sing to Thy Name.
Glorify the Lord with Triumphal Hymns, all you Lands!
THE EPISTLE
WE

BECOME

OF

SONS

ST PAUL
OF

GOD

TO THE

THROUGH

GALATIANS 4 : 4 7

CHRIST &

THE

HOLY SPIRIT

Brethren, when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a Woman, born under the Law, to
Redeem those who were under the Law, so that we might receive the Adoption as sons. For His Son is in your hearts,
crying out: "Abba! Father!"
Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son - if a son, then an Heir of God through Christ.
His Son" refers to CHRIST AS GOD BY NATURE the Son of
WE CANNOT BECOME MEMBERS OF THE GODHEAD BY NATURE
God.
because WE ARE HUMAN BY NATURE. BUT WE DO BECOME
MEMBERS OF HIS FAMILY BY HIS GRACE.
THE INCARNATE SON OF GOD, IS "BORN OF A WOMAN," AND SO
THE MOST BLESSED MARY IS RIGHTLY CALLED THEOTOKOS Through our Divine Adoption (Holy Baptism and
MOTHER OF GOD OR BEARER OF GOD.
Chrismation) WE BECOME EVERYTHING GOD IS, EXCEPT IN
SINCE JESUS CHRIST WAS "BORN UNDER THE LAW" HE COULD
NATURE WE REMAIN HUMAN BEINGS.
REDEEM THOSE WHO WERE ALSO UNDER THE LAW HIS
However, THIS IS NOT AUTOMATICALLY OUR PERMANENT STATE
FELLOW HEBREWS, ACCORDING TO THE FLESH.
DUE TO OF OUR DESIRE FOR WORLDLY THINGS [ I.E. THINGS OF THE
GOD "REDEEMS THOSE WHO WERE UNDER THE LAW" IN ORDER TO
FLESH, THE PASSIONS] and that CONCUPISCENCE PREVENTS US
FULFIL HIS PROMISE TO ABRAHAM AND CONSEQUENTLY, GOD
FROM ATTAINING THEOSIS SPIRITUAL PERFECTION.
PAID THE RANSOM, AS IT WERE, TO HIMSELF, ACCORDING TO
IT TAKES DEDICATION AND EFFORT ON OUR PART TO ATTAIN
HIS OWN VOW.
SPIRITUAL PERFECTION, DEIFICATION OR THEOSIS LIKENESS
ALMIGHTY GOD DOES NOT OWE ANYONE ANYTHING AND HE
TO GOD!
CERTAINLY DOES NOT OWE US SALVATION !
We have the possibility through the Grace of God, but IT
JESUS CHRIST FULFILLED THE LAW AS AN INFANT BY BEING
DEPENDS ON OUR LOVE AND OBEDIENCE TO ALMIGHTY GOD
CIRCUMCISED on the eighth day and He was
AND HIS COMMANDMENTS.
Presented in the Temple 40 Days after His Birth.
Because WE ARE GIVEN "NEW LIFE" our Adoption by God is
Both of these Events are remembered in the Liturgical
also referred to as "New Birth" WE ARE SPIRITUALLY
Cycle of the Orthodox Church.
REBORN RENEWED IN CHRIST!
THE HOLY CEREMONIES OF THE EIGHT DAY BLESSING OF THE
EVERY TIME WE PARTAKE OF THE HOLY MYSTERIES OF
NEWBORN AND THE 40 DAY CHURCHING OF THE MOTHER
REPENTANCE CONFESSION AND EUCHARIST, WE ENJOY A
ARE PERFORMED TO THIS DAY IN THE ORTHODOX CHURCH.
REAFFIRMATION OF OUR ADOPTION AND THEREFORE OUR NEW
After these special Services, THE HOLY MYSTERY OF BAPTISM
LIFE IN OUR LORD AND SAVIOUR, JESUS CHRIST.
AND CHRISMATION IS CELEBRATED A FEW MONTHS LATER.
THE ONGOING GROWTH INTO ADOPTION, BEING "AN HEIR OF
OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST - THE SON OF GOD IS GOD DIVINE - BY
GOD," IS CALLED DEIFICATION. THIS MEANS THAT WE ARE
NATURE.
BECOMING BY THE GRACE OF GOD WHAT HE IS BY NATURE.
WE BECOME SONS (OR DAUGHTERS) OF GOD BY ADOPTION WHEN
EACH DIVINE PERSON OF THE HOLY TRINITY: "SPIRIT, SON AND
WE ARE BAPTISED IN THE NAME OF THE TRIUNE GOD THE
FATHER" IS INVOLVED IN THIS PROCESS OF TRANSFORMATION.
HOLY TRINITY.
THEREFORE TO BECOME SONS OF GOD BY GRACE, ONE MUST
BELIEVE IN AND KNOW THE FATHER, THE SON AND THE HOLY
SPIRIT.

24. N A T I V I T Y O F O U R L O R D & S A V I O U R , J E S U S C H R I S T A D O R A T I O N O F S H E P H E R D S & T H E M A G I 2 5 D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 6

THE HOLY GOSPEL ACCORDING

TO

THE GENTILE MAGI (ST CASPAR, ST MELCHIOR & ST BALTHAZAR) JOURNEYED

ST MATTHEW 2 : 1 12
FROM A GREAT

DISTANCE

TO WORSHIP THE

NEW BORN KING

After our Lord Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the King, behold! Magi from the East went to
Jerusalem, saying: "Where is He Who has been born King of the Jews? We have seen His Star in the East and have
come to worship Him."
Having heard, Herod the King was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. And he gathered all the Chief Priests and
Scribes of the people together to question them as to where the Christ was to be born. They told him: "In Bethlehem
of Judea.
For thus it is written by the Prophet: ...And you, O Bethlehem, in the Land of Judah, are not the least among the
Rulers of Judah. Out of you shall come a Ruler Who will shepherd My people Israel.
Then Herod, when he had secretly called the Magi, determined from them what time the Star had appeared. And he
sent them to Bethlehem saying: "Go, search carefully for the Child. When you have found Him, bring back word to
me, so that I may go and worship Him also." When they had heard the King, they departed.
And behold! The Star that they had seen in the East went before them, until it stood over where the Child was.
Beholding the Star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great Joy. And when they had entered the house, they saw the
young Child with Mary His Mother, and fell down and worshipped Him. And when they had opened their treasures,
they presented gifts to Him - gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
And being Divinely warned in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed for their own country
another way.
FORTY YEARS LATER HE SPOKE TO THEM CONCERNING THE GREAT
ST MATTHEW AND ST LUKE PLACED THE NATIVITY OF CHRIST IN
THE REIGN OF KING HEROD THE GREAT WHO WAS THE KING OF
PROPHET TO COME, USING THE WORDS OF GOD FROM THEIR
JUDEA 37 4 BEFORE CHRIST.
MEETING ON MOUNT SINAI.
Herod was under Roman rule and although he was a
THE NEW GENERATION WAS READY TO HEAR THE PROPHECY and
great builder, he was a dreadfully cruel ruler.
learnt that He would be similar to St Moses, BECAUSE
Due to his ignorance of the Messiah - and indeed of
THE SHORT-TERM PROPHECIES OF MOSES HAD ALL OCCURRED,
anything concerning God - as well as his obsessive
HIS LONG-TERM PROPHECIES THEREFORE WERE TO BE BELIEVED.
fear of being deposed, Herod summoned the Hebrew
THIS WAS THE MARK OF A TRUE PROPHET OF GOD and the same
leaders to enlighten him, and later instructed the
would apply to THE GREAT PROPHET WHO WOULD TELL THEM
Magi to report back to him.
ALL THAT GOD THE FATHER COMMANDED HIM. (By the Will of
the Father, through the Son...)
An ancient Prophecy of St Jacob indicated that THE
That indicated that HE IS THE WORD OF GOD MADE FLESH
MESSIAH WOULD APPEAR WHEN A GENTILE KING RULED i.e.
INCARNATE - FOR NO OTHER PROPHET, INCLUDING MOSES,
not of the Hebrew Tribe of Judah.
WOULD EVER SPEAK IN SUCH A MANNER.
 G E N E S I S 4 9 : 1 0 The Sceptre shall not depart from
While all previous Prophets were ordinary human beings,
Judah, nor a Lawgiver from his loins, until Shiloh
THE GREAT PROPHET WOULD BE GOD INCARNATE.
comes; and to Him shall be the Expectation of the
So it was that St Isaiah foretold how THE PEOPLE WOULD BE
Nations...
TAUGHT DIRECTLY BY GOD HIMSELF.
This Prophecy relates to Christ in numerous ways since
HE WOULD RISE FROM THE DEAD AND HE IS THE DIVINE
2. JESUS CHRIST IS OUR TRUE KING
LAWGIVER BECAUSE EVERY LAW OR COMMANDMENT OF GOD
THE FATHER WHICH HAS BEEN GIVEN TO US, INCLUDING THE
 I S A I A H 9 : 6 Great shall be His Government, and
MOSAIC LAW, IS GIVEN IN AND THROUGH OUR LORD JESUS
of His Peace there shall be no end. His Peace shall
CHRIST.
be upon the Throne of David and over His Kingdom,
As HEROD WAS A GENTILE who called himself King of
to order and establish It with Righteousness and
Judea, the Coming of the Messiah Gods Christ
Judgement, from that time forward, and unto Ages
was certainly at hand.
of Ages. The Zeal of the Lord of Hosts shall perform
 L U K E 1 : 2 0 - The Angel of God told St Zacharias:
this.
Behold! You will be mute and unable to speak until
 M I C A H 5 : 1 . . . O Bethlehem, House of Ephrathah,
the day these Things take place, because you did
although you are fewest in number among the
not believe my words which shall be fulfilled in their
thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall come forth
own time.
to Me the One to be Ruler of Israel, Whose goings
ST ZACHARIAS WAS DISCIPLINED FOR HIS LACK OF FAITH, yet this
forth were from the beginning, even from Eternity.
also served as proof that ARCHANGEL GABRIELS
3.
JESUS CHRIST IS OUR TRUE HIGH PRIEST
ANNOUNCEMENTS ARE ALWAYS TRUE ALWAYS GODS TRUTH.
Furthermore THE SILENCING OF THE HIGH PRIEST REVEALED A
 P S A L M 1 0 9 : 4 - The Lord swore, and will not Repent:
DEEPER MYSTERY.
Thou art a Priest forever according to the Order of
THE MESSIAH WAS expected to fulfil three crucial Roles held
Melchezedek.
by various people of the Old Covenant: PROPHET,
Seated at the Right Hand of God the Father, OUR DIVINE
PRIEST AND KING.
AND ETERNAL HIGH PRIEST RULES AND REIGNS OVER ALL
O N L Y O U R L O R D J E S U S C H R I S T F U L F I L L E D A L L
THINGS, INCLUDING HIS ENEMIES, AND LEADS HIS HOLY
THREE HOLY OFFICES PERFECTLY:
CHURCH IN HEAVENLY WORSHIP OF THE ALMIGHTY HOLY
TRINITY.
1. JESUS CHRIST IS OUR TRUE PROPHET
 H E B R E W S 4 : 1 4 Seeing then that we have a Great
 D E U T E R O N O M Y 1 8 : 1 5 1 8 The Lord your God
High Priest Who has passed through the Heavens
will raise up for you a Prophet like Me from your
Jesus the Son of God let us hold fast our
Brethren. Him you shall hear, according to all you
Confession.
asked from the Lord your God in Horeb in the day of
The expression passed through the Heavens refers to
the Assembly, saying: Let us not hear again the
THE ASCENSION OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, WHICH IS SEEN IN
Voice of the Lord our God, nor let us see this Great
THE CONTEXT OF THE SON OF GOD IS SEATED AT THE HIGHEST
Fire any more, lest we die. Then the Lord said to
PLACE OF HONOUR EQUALLY DIVINE - AT THE RIGHT HAND OF
me: What they have spoken is good. I will raise up
GOD THE FATHER.
for them a Prophet like you from among their
OUR ALMIGHTY LORD AND CREATOR HAS ACCOMPLISHED HIS
Brethren, and I will put My Word in His Mouth, and
DIVINE WORK ON EARTH AND HAS ENTERED INTO HIS SABBATH
He shall speak to them all I command Him...
REST.
It was first necessary for THE HEBREWS to be tested so as to
 L U K E 8 : 1 5 - God reveals His Truth to those ... who,
Fear profoundly Respect - the Lord and not to sin,
having heard the Word with a noble and good
for they WERE TOO SPIRITUALLY IMPERCEPTIVE TO HEAR ABOUT
heart, keep it and bear Fruit with Patience.
ANOTHER PROPHET.
Christ warned us against believing for a short while and
Consequently, THEY FAILED THE TEST AND DIED IN THE DESERT
then returning to our sinful, ungodly ways.
BECAUSE THEY REFUSED TO OBEY MOSES.
HAVING BEEN TAUGHT GODS TRUTH, WHICH WE THEN REJECT, WE
CONDEMN OURSELVES for we cannot plead ignorance!
NATIVITY OF OUR LORD & SAVIOUR, JESUS CHRIST ADORATION OF SHEPHERDS & THE MAGI 25 DECEMBER 2016

25.

THE CHIEF PRIESTS OF THE TEMPLE IN JERUSALEM WERE THE


POLITICAL AND RELIGIOUS LEADERS OF THE HEBREWS,
including the High Priest, who alone could enter the
Holiest Place of all YET THEY HAD NO IDEA THAT THE
MESSIAH HAD ALREADY BEEN BORN. (HEBREWS 9:7)
THE SCRIBES - important officials - KNEW THAT THE MESSIAH
WAS TO BE BORN AND WHERE HE WOULD BE BORN, HOWEVER,
THEY HAD NO DIVINE REVELATION THAT HE HAD ALREADY
ARRIVED.
St Matthew, who wrote for Jewish Christians, cited the
Gentile Magi as the first worshippers of our Lord Jesus
Christ.
St Luke, who wrote for Gentile Christians, cited the Jewish
poor the Righteous Shepherds from surrounding
fields - as the first worshippers. (LUKE 2:8-17)
OUR LORD JESUS CHRISTS DIVINE MISSION TO THE GENTILES
WAS ANTICIPATED BY THE "WISE MEN" OR MAGI, who
journeyed all the way "from the East" outside Israel,
from Persia and elsewhere.
THEY WERE ERUDITE SCHOLARS of the time and in the Old
Testament, BALAAM WAS ONE OF THEIR GENTILE
PREDECESSORS WHO ALSO ANTICIPATED THE MESSIAH. ( READ
NUMBERS 23; 24]

THE WORSHIP OF OUR LORD BY THE MAGI IS SYMBOLIC OF THE


CHURCH, THE TRUE ISRAEL, WHEREBY MEMBERSHIP IS
DETERMINED BY FAITH AND NOT BY ETHNIC LINEAGE.
 N U M B E R S 2 4 : 1 7 Barlaam prophesied: I will show Him,
but not now; I Bless Him, but He is not near. A Star
shall rise out of Jacob; And a Man shall rise out of
Israel. He shall break in pieces the rulers of Moab
and plunder all the sons of Seth.
THE "STAR" SIGNIFIED THE EXTRAORDINARY IMPORTANCE OF THE
NATIVITY OF THE CHRIST CHILD. In ancient times an
unusually bright star signified a God or a Deified
King.
CHRIST IS THE STAR AND THE MAN WHO ROSE FROM THE DEAD
...out of Jacob... and ... out of Israel.
THE MAGI KNEW THIS PROPHESY, and when they saw His Star,
they faithfully followed it all the way to Him.
BEING BORN UNDER THIS WONDROUS STAR fulfilled the
prophecy of the Psalms and SHOWS ALL CREATION
PARTICIPATING IN THE INCARNATION of the Son of God.
 P S A L M 1 0 9 : 3 ... with Thee is the beginning in the
Day of Thy Power, in the brightness of Thy Saints; I
have Begotten Thee from the Womb before the
morning star...
Psalm 109 is a Prophecy concerning THE MELCHIZEDEK
PRIESTHOOD OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, which explains
the True Meaning of the Nativity.
CHRIST IS THE SON OF DAVID ACCORDING TO THE FLESH, AND
ALSO THE LORD OF KING DAVID ACCORDING TO HIS DIVINITY.
 P S A L M 1 8 : 2 The Heavens declare the Glory of
God; the firmament shows the Creation of His
Hands...
Psalm 18 reveals God the Word the End becoming
Man in the Womb of the Most Holy Mother of God. For
on His Nativity, ALL CREATION BORE WITNESS TO THE GLORY
OF GOD REVEALED IN HIS INCARNATION.
THE NATIVITY

OF OUR

LORD

AND

In His Birth from the Womb of the Blessed Virgin, CHRIST


WAS LIKENED TO THE SUN RISING FROM THE EAST, TO A
BRIDEGROOM COMING FROM HIS CHAMBER, AND TO A STRONG
ATHLETE READY TO RUN A GREAT RACE, BRINGING SALVATION
OF THE WORLD.
 P S A L M 1 4 8 : 3 Praise the Lord from the Heavens;
praise Him in the Highest; praise Him, all you His
Angels; praise Him, all your His Hosts; Praise Him,
sun and moon; Praise Him all you stars and Light...
Psalms 148 150 are THE PRAISES LAUDS which form the
conclusion to the Psalter, and which EXHORT ALL
CREATION TO PRAISE THE MOST BLESSED HOLY TRINITY.
The climax of the Psalter is when ALL HUMANITY AND
CREATION EVERYWHERE AND IN ALL CIRCUMSTANCES ARE
CALLED UPON TO MAKE THIS DOXOLOGY TO GOD THE FATHER,
AND THE SON AND THE HOLY SPIRIT OUR ONE, TRUE AND
LIVING GOD ALMIGHTY.
THE NATIVITY STAR WAS A SIGN OF THE MESSIAH HIMSELF,
SIGNIFYING THE LIGHT HE WAS TO SHED UPON THE WHOLE
WORLD, THROUGHOUT TIME.
 2 K I N G S 2 2 The water of Jericho was unusable until
Elisha quoted God Who said: "... I have healed these
waters; from them there shall no longer be death or
barrenness... So the water was healed by the word
Elisha spoke, and so it remains to this day.
Just as our Lord God healed the waters of Jericho, so THE
INCARNATE SON OF GOD BRINGS RENEWAL OR REGENERATION
TO ALL DAMAGED CREATION.
 J E R E M I A H 3 6 : 1 0 ... thus said the Lord: When 70
years are about to be fulfilled in Babylon, I will visit
you and confirm My Words to you, to return your
people to this place.
St Jeremiah spoke historically for THERE WAS A RETURN OF
EXILES UNDER CYRUS AFTER 70 YEARS, and
Mystically for CHRIST CHOSE 70 MEN AS HERALDS OF HIS HOLY
GOSPEL. THEY LIVED A GODLY LIFE OF OBEDIENCE TO CHRIST,
SUFFERED MARTYRDOM AND SPREAD THE KINGDOM OF GOD,
WHICH IS OUR TRUE RETURN FROM SPIRITUAL EXILE IN THE
FALLEN WORLD.
 J E R E M I A H 3 6 : 1 4 : I will appear to you... is a
Prophecy of the Incarnation of God the Son when GOD
APPEARED TO US FOR THE FIRST TIME IN HIS FLESH IN HIS
HUMAN, VISIBLE NATURE.
The Hebrew Shepherds were the first to worship and
adore Christ, having done so shortly after His Birth, at
the dark cave as OUR SAVIOUR WAS SENT INITIALLY FOR
OLD COVENANT ISRAEL.
THE MAGI - THE FIRST FRUITS OF THE GENTILES - arrived in
Bethlehem much later, after the Holy Family had
moved into a house, WORSHIPPED GOD AS THE NEW
COVENANT ISRAEL.
THE MAGI HONOURED CHRIST AS OUR GREATEST AND ONLY KING
WITH SIGNIFICANT AND COSTLY GIFTS:
Gold is for the King of Ages. Frankincense is for the
God of All. Myrrh is offered to the Immortal One Who
shall be three days dead. (COMPLINE HYMN OF THE NATIVITY
OF CHRIST)

SAVIOUR, JESUS CHRIST METROPOLITAN PANTELEIMON

Christs Nativity granted mankind the Light of Divine


Truth, freeing us from Spiritual Darkness by enabling
us to know our True God through the Light of His Holy
Gospel and Holy Orthodox Church.
Freed from the falsehood of idolatry, we are able to
worship the One True God, the Holy Trinity for we
know the Way that leads us to acquire Holy Virtues
and Sanctification, as we freely walk the Path of
Salvation.
God came to us as Perfect Man in order to raise us to the
Heavenly Heights He Who is without Flesh, without
Body, took upon Himself our flesh and body. He, Who
cannot be contained within our Universe became
restricted and contained within the boundaries and
limitations of our human nature, yet simultaneously
fills all things everywhere with His Divine Presence!
He is God-Man, having two Natures and two Wills that
remain unmixed and unconfused, United in His One
Person as our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
...And the Word became flesh - not that we became
God, neither that we ascended into Heaven, but
that God the Word, out of Love for us took upon

OF

ANTINOES

Himself our human nature in order to Sanctify and


Save us to overcome sin and free us from mortality
and Death,
for without His Divine Economia
(Dispensation), we cannot inherit Eternal Life in His
Heavenly Kingdom.
God revealed Himself to us and invites us to become
worthy citizens of His Eternal Kingdom by way of the
Narrow Path, not wanting even one soul to be lost, for
by His Holy Mysteries, we become His adopted
Children and Co-Heirs with Christ our Lord.
The Nativity of our Saviour and Redeemer Jesus Christ,
the Incarnated Son and Word of God the Father,
sends us the most important Invitation of our life!
Let us follow the Star to Bethlehem, kneel before our
Creator with the humble Shepherds, or journey with
the three Magi and offer to the Divine Infant our tears
of Repentance, by opening our heart and soul in
loving welcome to our Eternal Saviour Who became
Man by the Holy Spirit and of the Virgin Mary.
Let us abandon sinful pleasures and receive with Joy the
Angelic Message, singing Glory to God in the
highest and on Earth Peace and Good Will!

26. N A T I V I T Y O F O U R L O R D & S A V I O U R , J E S U S C H R I S T A D O R A T I O N O F S H E P H E R D S & T H E M A G I 2 5 D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 6

Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria & All Africa


Archdiocese of Good Hope
All Glory, Honour and Worship to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and forever,
and unto the Ages of ages. Amen. Remembering also our Most Holy, Most Pure, Most Blessed and
Glorious Lady, Maria, Theotokos, yet Ever Virgin, together with all the Saints. And let us commit
ourselves and one another and our whole Life to Christ our God. Amen.

26 December 2016
Synaxix of our Ever Blessed All Pure & Holy Lady, Theotokos
2nd Day of the Nativity of our Lord & Saviour, Jesus Christ
Also the Feast of St Euthymios, Bishop of Hieromartyr of Sardis St Constantine of Synnada
St Evarestos of Studion Monastery St Nikodemos of Tishmana, Macedonia St Constantine
the Russian Hieromartyr of Lavra, Mount Athos - St Isaac II of Optina Monastery
FIRST FESTAL ANTIPHON

Exomologisome Si, Kyrie, en oli kardia mou, en


Voili Evtheon ke Sinagogi.

- NATIVITY

OF

CHRIST TONE 2

Exomologisome Si, Kyrie, en oli kardia mou, en


Voili Evtheon ke Sinagogi.

STIHOS 1

STIHOS 1

Tes Presvies tis Theotokou, Soter, Soson imas. ()

Tes Presvies tis Theotokou, Soter, Soson imas. ()

Megala ta Erga Kyriou, exezitimena is panta ta


Thelimata Aftou.

STIHOS 2

Exomologisis ke Megaloprepia to Ergon Aftou, ke i


Dikeosini Aftou meni is to eona tou eonos. .

STIHOS 3

4 Litroin apestile to lao Aftou. Enetilato is ton eona


diathikin Aftou. Agion ke foveron to Onoma Aftou.

STIHOS

STIHOS 2

STIHOS 3

STIHOS

Megala ta Erga Kyriou, exezitimena is panta ta


Thelimata Aftou.

Exomologisis ke Megaloprepia to Ergon Aftou, ke i


Dikeosini Aftou meni is to eona tou eonos. .
4 Litroin apestile to lao Aftou. Enetilato is ton eona
diathikin Aftou. Agion ke foveron to Onoma Aftou.

Doxa Patri ke Io ke Agio Pnevmati, ke nin ke ai ke is Doxa Patri ke Io ke Agio Pnevmati, ke nin ke ai ke is
tous Eonas ton eonon.

tous Eonas ton eonon.

Amin
Tes Presvies tis Theotokou, Soter, Soson imas.

Amin
Tes Presvies tis Theotokou, Soter, Soson imas.

SECOND FESTAL ANTIPHON NATIVITY

1 . Makarios anir, O fovoumenos ton Kyrion, en tes


entoles aftou thelisi sfodra.
Soson imas Iie Theou, O E X P A R T H E N O U T E H T H I S ,
psallontas Si: Allilouia! ()
S T I H O S 2.Dinaton en ti gi este to sperma aftou, genea
evtheon Evlogithisete.
STIHOS

3 . Doxa ke ploutos en to Iko Aftou, ke i Dikeosini


Aftou eni is ton eona tou eonos.

STIHOS

4. Exanetilen en skoti Fos tis evthesin Eleimon ke


Iktirmon ke Dikeos.
Doxa Patri ke Io ke Agio Pnevmati, ke nin ke ai ke is
tous Eonas ton eonon.

1 . Blessed is the man who fears the Lord; he will


delight exceedingly in His Commandments.
O Son of God, W H O A R T B O R N O F T H E V I R G I N , Save us
who sing to Thee: Alleluia ()
VERSE
2 . His seed shall be Mighty on earth; the
generation of the upright shall be Blessed.
3 . Glory and riches shall be in His House, and His
Righteousness continues unto Ages of ages.

VERSE

4. For the Upright, Light springs up in Darkness, for


He is Merciful, Compassionate and Righteous.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy
Spirit, now and forever, and to the Ages of ages.

VERSE

imas Iie Theou, O E X P A R T H E N O U T E H T H I S ,


psallontas Si: Allilouia!

Doxa Patri ke Iio ke Agio Pnevmati.

Ke nin ke ai ke is

tous eonas ton eonon.


Amin

Amen
O Son of God, W H O

A R T B O R N O F T H E V I R G I N , Save us
who sing to Thee: Alleluia!

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the


Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages.
Amen

PEOPLE

THIRD FESTAL ANTIPHON NATIVITY

Ipen O Kyrios to Kyrio mou: Kathou ek dexion


mou, eos an tho tous ehtrous Sou ipopodion ton Podon
Sou

STIHOS 1.

CHRIST TONE

VERSE

STIHOS

Amin
Soson

OF

OF

CHRIST TONE 4

1.The Lord said to my Lord: Sit at My right Hand,


until I make Thine enemies the Footstool of Thy Feet.

VERSE

I Gennisis Sou Hriste O Theos imon, anetile to kosmo to Thy Nativity, O Christ our God, has caused the Light of
Fos to tis Gnoseos. En afti gar it is astris latrevontes,
ipo Asters edidaskonto, Se Proskinin, ton Ilion tis
Dikeosinis, ke Se Ginoskin ex Ipsous Anatolin.
Kyrie, Doxa Si.()

Knowledge to rise upon the world. For therein the


worshippers of the stars were by a Star instructed to
worship Thee, the Sun of Righteousness, and to know
Thee as Orient from on High. O Lord, Glory to
Thee! ()

2 . Ravdon Dinameos exaposeli Si Kyrios ek Sion, ke


katakirieve en meso ton ehthron Sou.

VERSE

3. Meta Sou i arhi en Imera tis Dinameos Sou, en tes


Lamprotisi ton Agion Sou.

VERSE

STIHOS

STIHOS

SECOND DAY

OF THE

NATIVITY

OF OUR

LORD

AND

2 . The Lord shall send forth the Rod of Thy Power


from Zion and rule in the midst of Thine enemies.

3 . With Thee is the beginning in the Day of Thy


Power, in the Brightness of Thy Saints.

S A V I O U R S Y N A X I S T H E O T O K O S 2 6 D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 6 27.

FESTAL ISODIKON

Ek

gastros pro eosforou egennisa Se. Omose Kyrios ke ou


metamelithisete. Si ierefs is ton eona, kata tin taxin
Melihisedek. Soson imas, Ie Theou, O EK PARTHENOU
TEHTHIS, psallontas Si allilouia!
FESTAL APOLYTIKION

Out

of the womb, before the Morning Star have I


Begotten Thee: the Lord has sworn and will not
repent: Thou art a Priest forever, after the Order of
Melchezedek. Save us, O Son of God, BORN OF THE
VIRGIN, who sing to Thee: Alleluia!

NATIVITY

OF THE

NATIVITY

OF THE

OF

CHRIST TONE 4

I Gennisis Sou Hriste O Theos imon, anetile to kosmo to Fos Thy

Nativity, O Christ our God, has caused the Light of


Knowledge to rise upon the world. For therein the
worshippers of the stars were by a Star instructed to
worship Thee, the Sun of Righteousness, and to know
Thee as Orient from on High. O Lord, Glory to Thee!
(3)

to tis gnoseos. En afti gar it is astris latrevontes, ipo


asters edidaskonto, Se prokinin, ton Ilion tis Dikeosinis,
ke Se ginoskin ex ipsous anatolin. Kyrie, Doxa Si. (3)

FESTAL KONTAKION - NATIVITY

OF

CHRIST - TONE 3

I Parthenos simeron, ton iperousion tikti, ke i gi to Spileon, Today

the Virgin gives Birth to Him Who is above all


being, and the earth offers a Cave to Him Whom no
man can approach. Angels with Shepherds give Glory,
and Magi journey with a Star. For unto us is Born a
Young Child, the Pre-Eternal God.

to aprosito prosagi. Angeli meta Pimenon Doxologousi.


Magi de meta Asteros odiporousi.
Di imas gar
egennithi, Pedion Neon, O Pro Eonon Theos.
INSTEAD

Osi is Hriston Evaptisthite, Hriston enedisasthe:

AGIOS O THEOS...

OF THE

As many of you as were Baptised into Christ, have put on

Allelouia!

Christ: Alleluia!
PROKEIMENON PSALM 67/68 TONE 4

God is Wondrous in His Saints.


In the Congregations, Bless God! The Lord from the Fountains of Israel!
EPISTLE

OF

ST PAUL

TO THE

THE CALLING & CONVERSION

OF

GALATIANS 1 : 11 19

ST PAUL

BY OUR

LORD JESUS CHRIST

Brethren: I certify that the Gospel, which was preached by me, is not according to mankind. For I neither received it
from man, nor was I taught it, but It came to me through the Revelation of Jesus Christ.
You have heard of my former conduct in Judaism how I persecuted the Church of God beyond measure, and tried to
destroy Her. And I advanced in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries in my own Nation, being more
exceedingly zealous for the traditions of my Fathers.
When it pleased God, Who separated me from my mothers womb, and Called me through His Grace, to reveal His Son
in me, so that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately confer with flesh and blood, nor did I
go up to Jerusalem to those who were Apostles before me; but I went to Arabia, and returned again to Damascus.
After three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and remained with him for fifteen days.
The other Apostles I did not see, except James, the Brother of our Lord.
IN ALL PRIVATE REVELATIONS, THE ONLY OTHER WITNESS IS
APOSTOLIC TRADITION IS GROUNDED IN DIVINE REVELATION FROM
ALMIGHTY GOD HIMSELF.
OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST.
 Just as the Twelve Apostles were CALLED BY CHRIST,
However, ST PAUL KNEW THAT HE HAD TO TEACH THE SAME HOLY
so was St Paul.
GOSPEL AS THE OTHER APOSTLES OF CHRIST.
 Just as the Twelve RECEIVED THE HOLY GOSPEL
James refers to ST JAMES THE JUST, THE FIRST BISHOP OF
DIRECTLY FROM CHRIST, so did St Paul.
JERUSALEM AND AUTHOR OF THE EPISTLE OF ST JAMES.
 Just as the Twelve STOOD TOGETHER AS ONE, so St Paul
THE TERM BROTHER IS ALSO A REFERENCE TO A COUSIN OR CLOSE
entered their UNITY IN CONSENSUS AND MUTUAL
MALE RELATIVE.
SUBMISSION.
ST JAMES WAS THE ELDEST SON OF ST JOSEPH THE BETROTHED AND
PEOPLE ARE CALLED BY GOD not according to their former
HIS LATE WIFE, SALOME (a sister of St Anna, the mother of
conduct whether good or bad - but BY DIVINE GRACE.
the Blessed Virgin)
and therefore a COUSIN TO
ST PAUL, WHOM GOD CALLED IN MERCY, RECEIVED DIVINE GRACE
THEOTOKOS AND OUR LORD.
FROM ST ANANIAS HANDS AND THE BLESSED WATERS OF HOLY
ST JAMES DEEP LOVE FOR AND DEVOTION TO OUR LORD JESUS
BAPTISM.
SINCE HIS BIRTH, ARE BELIEVED TO BE THE REASON FOR HIS
The words ... separated me from my mothers womb...
HONOURABLE TITLE OF BEING OUR LORDS BROTHER.
refer not to St Pauls physical birth but to GODS DIVINE
According to some, he was the only one of St Josephs
CALL TO APOSTOLIC MINISTRY BEFORE HE WAS BORN.
sons who was quite willing to share his inheritance
As with St Paul, GODS INTENTIONS FOR PEOPLE MAY LIE HIDDEN
with Christ.
FOR MANY YEARS.
In accordance with Mosaic Law, adopted children were
supposed to have equal rights to inheritance, but
As a True Apostle of Christ, ST PAUL SUBMITTED HIMSELF TO THE
CHURCH AND HER HOLY APOSTLES RATHER THAN ELEVATING
often this proved problematic due to human greed or
HIMSELF.
other motivations.
St Paul knew that his ENCOUNTER WITH OUR LORD JESUS
CHRIST, HIS INSTRUCTION IN THE HOLY GOSPEL AND HIS CALL
TO APOSTLESHIP WERE HIGHLY UNUSUAL.
THE HOLY GOSPEL ACCORDING
THE FLIGHT

INTO

TO

EGYPT SLAUGHTER

ST MATTHEW 2 : 13 23
OF THE

14,000 INNOCENTS

When the Magi had departed, behold! an Angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying: Arise, take the
Child and His Mother, and flee to Egypt. And stay there until I bring Thee word. Herod will seek the Child to
destroy Him. Arising, he took the Child and His Mother by night, and departed for Egypt, and remained there until
the death of Herod, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the Prophet, saying: Out of
Egypt I Called My Son.
Then Herod - when he saw that he was deceived by the Magi - was exceedingly angry.
And he sent forth and put to death all the male children in Bethlehem and in all its districts - from two years old and
under, according to the time that he had determined from the Magi.
Then was fulfilled what was spoken by Jeremiah the Prophet, saying: ... A voice was heard in Ramah, of lamentation,
weeping and much mourning - Rachel weeping for her Children, and refusing to be comforted, for they are no
more.
After Herod had died, behold! an Angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, saying: Arise! Take the
Child, and His Mother, and go to the Land of Israel. Those are dead who sought the Childs Life.
He arose, took the Child and His Mother, and entered the Land of Israel.
28. S E C O N D D A Y

OF THE

NATIVITY

OF OUR

LORD

AND

SAVIOUR SYNAXIS THEOTOKOS 26 DECEMBER 2016

Hearing that Archelaus was reigning over Judea, instead of his father, Herod, he was afraid to go there.
Being warned in a dream, he turned aside into the region of Galilee, and they went to dwell in a city called Nazareth,
that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Prophets: ...He shall be called a Nazarene.
WHILE OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST WAS PRESENT IN HIS INCARNATION
On their way into captivity, they passed Ramah, which
ON EARTH, HE WAS WATCHED OVER BY THE ANGELIC HOSTS OF
was nearby Bethlehem, where Rachel, the wife of St
ALMIGHTY GOD (until He entered Hades.)
Jacob, the ancient Patriarch, had been buried.
So, obviously, when they heard the secret plotting of
IN HIS PROPHECY, ST JEREMIAH BEHELD RACHEL WEEPING BITTERLY
Herod for the murder of all male infants of Bethlehem
IN HER GRAVE - OVERWHELMED BY HER COMPASSION AND
SORROW FOR HER DESCENDENTS WHO WERE BEING EXILED.
and the surrounding region, who were two years of
ONCE AGAIN, DURING THE BRUTAL EXECUTION OF THE 14,000 HOLY
age or younger, ONE OF THE HOLY ANGELS OF GOD WHO
INNOCENTS OF BETHLEHEM, ST RACHEL WEPT WITH INTENSE
KEPT WATCH OVER THE HOLY FAMILY, WARNED ST JOSEPH THE
BETROTHED
THE LEGAL GUARDIAN, PROTECTOR AND
SORROW FOR ALL HER BELOVED CHILDREN thereby showing
STEPFATHER OF OUR LADY THEOTOKOS AND CHRIST - OF THE
that ALL THE RIGHTEOUS SOULS, SAINTS AND HOLY MARTYRS
IMPENDING DISASTER.
REPOSING IN PARADISE ARE CLEARLY AWARE AND HAVE
Being Wise, Righteous, Humble and Obedient to God, ST
COMPASSION FOR THOSE STILL STRUGGLING IN THIS EXISTENCE.
JOSEPH THE BETROTHED IMMEDIATELY RESPONDED TO THE
THE 14,000 HOLY INNOCENTS OF BETHLEHEM ARE CERTAINLY
ANGELIC INSTRUCTIONS.
SANCTIFIED, BLESSED MEMBERS OF OUR VENERATED HOLY
EGYPT IS WHERE THE NATION OF ISRAEL ONCE TOOK REFUGE, AND
MARTYRS, FOR THEY, TOO, PERISHED FOR THE SAKE OF CHRIST
AS ST JOSEPH THE ANCIENT PATRIARCH of the Old Covenant
OUR SAVIOUR.
HAD ONCE SAVED GODS CHOSEN PEOPLE by leading them
 Just as St Rachel was told that her children would
to Egypt in difficult times, SO NOW, TOO, ST JOSEPH THE
return from exile in Babylon, SO TOO, WOULD OUR
BETROTHED SOUGHT REFUGE IN EGYPT during the
LORD JESUS CHRIST AND HIS HOLY FAMILY RETURN FROM
persecution of Herod and the terrible slaughter of the
EXILE IN EGYPT. (JEREMIAH 38:16-17)
14,000 Holy Innocents, THEREBY SAVING OUR SAVIOUR AND
According to historical records, Herod the Great died
FOUNDER OF THE NEW COVENANT ISRAEL.
in 4 BC.
THE GIFT OF GOLD THAT WAS PRESENTED TO THE NEW BORN KING
THE DATE OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRISTS BIRTH ON WHICH OUR
OF THE AGES BY THE THREE MAGI who had travelled from
CURRENT YEAR OF THE LORD OR ANNO DOMINI(AD)
afar, following the unique Bright Star that had
CALENDAR IS BASED, IS THUS OFF BY 4 OR 5 YEARS. (We should
suddenly appeared from nowhere in the Heavens,
thus add 4 or 5 years to the current year i.e. instead
PAID FOR THE HOLY FAMILYS JOURNEY AND EXPENSES UNTIL
of 2016 2020/2021.)
Augustus Caesar had banished Archelaus due to his
THEIR SAFE RETURN.
 Out of Israel I Called My Son... refers initially to the
unbridled cruelty in 6 AD.
Old Covenant Nation of Israel being led out of
THAT CRUELTY WAS DIVINELY REVEALED TO ST JOSEPH THE
captivity in Egypt. (HOSEA 11:1)
BETROTHED, SO THAT HE THEN DETOURED TO NAZARETH,
IN THE OLD TESTAMENT, THE TERM SON, REFERRED TO THE WHOLE
INSTEAD OF RETURNING TO BETHLEHEM.
NATION OF ISRAEL, whereas ACCORDING TO OUR NEW
Nazareth fell under the rule of another more lenient son
COVENANT, OUR LORD AND SAVIOUR, JESUS CHRIST FULFILS
of Herod the Great, named Herod Antipas.
THAT CALLING AS THE TRUE, ETERNAL, ONLY BEGOTTEN SON
 The source of the Prophecy concerning our Lord Jesus
OF GOD THE FATHER COMING OUT OF EGYPT.
Christ being ... called a Nazarene, is unknown
 THE HORRIFIC CRUELTY OF HEROD WAS PREFIGURED BY
but has been taken as a reference to the Rod
PHARAOH, who in an attempt to destroy the power
(Neser) that is mentioned in the Book of Isaiah,
of Israel ordered all their new born sons to be
and to the Nazirite (Nazir) mentioned in the Book
murdered. (EXODUS 1: 16 22)
of Judges (ISAIAH 11:1 & JUDGES 13:5)
 The Old Testament Book of Jeremiah recorded how
 St Matthew might also have been referring to various
THE PEOPLE OF JERUSALEM WERE LED AWAY INTO EXILE.
passages in which THE MESSIAH WAS DESPISED, SINCE
(JEREMIAH 38:15)
NAZARETH DID NOT HAVE A GOOD REPUTATION, according
to the words of St Bartholomew/Nathaniel. (JOHN 1 :
46)

GLORY TO GOD IN THE HIGHEST, AND ON EARTH, PEACE AND GOOD WILL TO ALL MANKIND!
A SERMON BY ST JOHN OF KRONSTADT
In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Enmity, civil strife, and disorder reigned everywhere.
Pride, inhumanity, and all manner of vice corrupted
Holy Spirit...
social and family life.
Dearly Beloved in Christ: This glorious Hymn to our
The period that followed was no better.
Incarnate God, the Infant Christ Jesus, was sung by
Terrible persecutions against those who believed in Christ
the Angelic Hosts on Earth at His Nativity.
drenched the world in blood over the course of three
It is a brief Hymn, but its meaning and significance are
centuries: brother betrayed brother to torture,
wise and full of substance.
husbands betrayed their wives and children, children
In it is contained and revealed to us the Mystery of the
betrayed their parents.
Incarnation of the Eternal, Only Begotten Son of God
Human relations, blood ties, and family were all
for the Salvation of all mankind.
profaned and scorned.
This Divine Mystery, in the words of our Holy Church,
And in Jerusalem itself, there was the abomination of
...amazed all the Angelic Powers.
desolation.
But where is this Peace on Earth, which the Holy Angels of
In our times also, societies and Kingdoms are also being
God announced to the humble Shepherds of
shaken. International and civil wars and dissention
Bethlehem?
continue.
In Jerusalem itself, the city of David, where the great
There are heresies and schisms, conspiracies and
Temple of our Living God is situated, there was no
criminally destructive teachings are intensifying to
Peace.
topple age-old state institutions and foundations of
When the Magi travelled a great distance from the East to
family, civilian, and Religious Community.
Jerusalem enquired: "Where is the King of the Jews
Evil raises its sacrilegious hand against the Anointed of
Who is born?" King Herod became enraged just to
God, to whom God Himself has entrusted Nations.
hear it, as was all of Jerusalem with him.
The savages want to install unbelief atop the Sacred
In the world-wide Roman Empire there was no Peace.
Relics, destroy the State, the family, and law in the
Contemporaries described in dark colours the moral
guise of ...equality and brotherhood
degradation of all the Nations, and the deformation
Where is the Peace on Earth that the Angels of our Lord
of God's Image in people.
God proclaimed?
All manner of defilement and iniquity was rife in those
Where is the Peace brought to Earth by our God-Man?
Spiritually Dark days, as idol worship had replaced
Where is the Peace proclaimed by His Holy Gospels and
the worship of the One True and Living God.
the preaching of His Holy Apostles that reached to the
Iniquity, shame, satiety, and drunkenness comprised
ends of the Earth, to all Nations and Kings?
mankind's worldly happiness, aim, and striving.
SECOND DAY

OF THE

NATIVITY

OF OUR

LORD

AND

S A V I O U R S Y N A X I S T H E O T O K O S 2 6 D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 6 29.

 Peace is not in this world, for ...the whole world lies


in wickedness... said the Beloved Apostle of
Christ, St John the Divine Theologian. (1 JOHN. 5:19).
The Divine Mystery that was sung about by the Holy
Angels concerned the Coming of the Eternal Son of
God on Earth, by Whom Peace began to reign - at
first, in His small, Chosen FlockHis Holy Church, in
His Apostles and Faithful Disciples to whom He had
often taught this Peace, and later, in the whole
Kingdom of Grace, His Universal Holy Church, which
spread throughout the world.
Yes, Beloved Brethren, a whole Kingdom of God is
established by our Lorda Kingdom that is Eternal,
Universal, and orderly; with Laws, Rules, and Holy
Mysteries; with Orders of Services, Guidelines for Life
in Christ, as well as other inter-personal relationships.
This Kingdom is the Holy, Orthodox, Apostolic Church,
where there ever abides Peace and Joy in the Holy
Spirit, the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the Love
of God the Father.
True, the Church of God on Earth was always under the
Cross, always persecuted, and hated.
 But nevertheless, it always possessed an inner Gracefilled
Peaceeven
during
the
cruellest
persecutions, for God has always been and
always will be in it, Delivering Her (and us) from
all calamity according to His Word : ... the gates
of Hell shall not prevail against it !(MATTHEW 16:18).
Therefore, all truly believing people who fulfil Christ's
Commandments - all truly repentant sinners - have
the Peace of Christ within themselves, and no external
troubles of this world can destroy itas long as we
never willingly choose to walk that deadly path of
iniquity and sin.
Therefore, if earthly Kingdoms and civil societies in
general wish to attain and establish the Peace

brought to Earth by our King of Righteousness - the


Peace, and Love of our Lord Jesus Christ - they need
to be closely United with the Kingdom of our Lord - His
Holy Church on Earth.
They must be willing to commit themselves to the
Commandments of our Lord Jesus Christ and the
Rules of His Holy Church.
Whenever these Divine Commandments are broken, they
should quickly Repent and sincerely Confess their
mistakes and iniquity.
Members of a State that Confesses the Christian Faith
should be kind, honest, and sincerely dedicated
members of the Church.
Disruption of this Union between the Church and State that is, of its citizens, and the neglect of Faith, the
Commandments, and the Holy Gospels - causes
unbelief and all social disorder and vice.
Such disruption also causes moral or political impotence
in society, and deprives it of the Blessings of Heaven.
Nations that were always closely United with the Holy
Church of Christ, were able to grow, strengthen, and
Ascend to the Heights of their might and glory.
May God grant that this Union of the State and the
Churchthis Kingdom of Peacealways continue!
Only then will our Nations be a Kingdom of Peace with
God's Blessings.
Only then will no sedition be frightening, because it will
not find a foothold in our midst!
May our Lord Jesus Christ reign forever in our heart and
soul, and may Peace and Blessing reign with Him!
Amen.
TRANSLATED

ST. JOHN OF KRONSTADT


FROM RUSSIAN BY NUN CORNELIA (REES)

http://www.pravoslavie.ru/english/43912.htm

OUR LORDS PRAYER PART 2

If our earthly Fathers reflect the Grace and Blessings of


our Heavenly Father, they are True Fathers as well.
Without this Divine Grace, they are not True and Genuine
Fathers, and they cannot offer anything essential to
their Children.
When men are estranged from our Heavenly Father, they
cannot be genuine, proper Fathers.
How many people suffer today because they did not
have a True and Loving Father!
A heterodox Christian, who came to Orthodoxy, said that
he had become an Orthodox Christian because only
in Orthodoxy did he find Spiritual Fathers a Divine
Gift that no longer exists in western Christianity.
A Romanian writer, Virgil Georgiou, saw in the face of his
poor but Holy Father a Priest the Face of God and
that Vision prevented him from straying far from God
throughout his stormy life.
When we address God as Father, we acknowledge His
Paternal concern for us.
We are not orphans, and neither are we alive because of
fate or blind destiny.
We are creatures of His Love and we are constantly under
His Paternal Attendance and Care.
Our Heavenly Fathers Guiding and Remedying Love can
be seen even behind all lifes difficulties.
St Cosmas the Aitolian, reminded us of Gods Paternal
Love: ... first of all, our duty is to Love our God
because He granted us such spacious land to
temporarily dwell in, so many thousands of myriads of
herbs and plants, fountains, rivers, wells, seas, fish,
air, day, night, fire, sky, stars, sun and moon.
For whom did He create all this? For us! What did He
owe us? Nothing! All these are His free Gifts to us!
He created us as intellectual human beings, not animals.
He created us to be Pious, Orthodox Christians, not
impious heretics.
Even though we continually sin, He feels Compassion for
us like a Father does and He does not put us to death
in order to place us in Hell, but He awaits with open
Arms for our Repentance.

30. S E C O N D D A Y

OF THE

NATIVITY

OF OUR

LORD

AND

He awaits for us to Repent - to stop doing evil deeds and to do good, Confess, amend ourselves, so that He
can embrace us, kiss us and place us in Paradise
where we will Rejoice forever.
Such a Loving God! Such a Long-suffering Lord and
Master!
Should we not also Love Him - and if need be, shed our
blood a thousand times for His Love, as He shed His
Precious Blood due to His Love for us? (TEACHINGS OF
COSMAS THE AITOLIAN)
Consequently, a sense of security that banishes our
insecurity and anxiety, emanates from the Faithful
Invocation of God as our Heavenly Father.
We are greatly honoured to address God as our Father
but also great is the responsibility to become worthy of
our Heavenly Father, for we are commanded: ...Be
therefore Merciful, as your Father also is Merciful!
and ...Be therefore Perfect, even as your Father Who
is in Heaven is Perfect (LUKE 6: 36 & MATTHEW 5: 48).
St Nicodemus the Hagiorite commented: ...For this reason
our Lord instructs us how to pray to our Father by
Grace, so that we are always Protected under the
Grace of Adoption until the end - to be Gods Children
not only by our Rebirth and Baptism, but by our
Labours and deeds, as well.
Those who do not perform Spiritual Acts, but satanic acts
are not worthy to call God our Father but instead the
Devil, according to our Lord: You are of your father
the Devil, for you do his desires! ...in relation to evil
you are born from your father, the Devil, for you act
according to the evil desires of your father. (JOHN 8:44).
Our Lord orders us to name Him our Father, for we were
truly Children of God with the Rebirth of Holy Baptism.
...we must preserve the Virtues of our Father and not be
ashamed of the relationship we have with Him (ABOUT
CONTINUAL COMMUNION)
...TO BE CONTINUED...

SAVIOUR SYNAXIS THEOTOKOS 26 DECEMBER 2016

Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria & All Africa


Archdiocese of Good Hope
All Glory, Honour and Worship to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and forever, and
unto the Ages of ages. Amen. Remembering also our Most Holy, Most Pure, Most Blessed and Glorious
Lady, Maria, Theotokos, yet Ever Virgin, together with all the Saints. And let us commit ourselves and one
another and our whole Life to Christ our God. Amen.

27 December 2016
Third Day of the Nativity of Christ our Lord
St Stephen, Archdeacon & Protomartyr
Also the Feast of St Theodore Graptos (the Scribe) (& the Branded) Confessor St Theodore of
Constantinople - The Wonder-working, All Merciful Kykko Icon of the Ever Blessed Virgin
Theotokos
FIRST FESTAL ANTIPHON

1.

- NATIVITY

Exomologisome

Si, Kyrie, en oli kardia mou, en Voili


Evtheon ke Sinagogi.

Tes

Presvies tis Theotokou, Soter, Soson imas.


(REPEATED)

2 . Megala ta Erga Kyriou, exezitimena is panta ta


Thelimata Aftou.

Exomologisis

3.

ke Megaloprepia to Ergon Aftou, ke i


Dikeosini Aftou meni is to eona tou eonos.
4. Litroin apestile to lao Aftou. Enetilato is ton eona
diathikin Aftou.
Agion ke foveron to Onoma
Aftou.

1.

Council of the Upright and in the Assembly.


the Intercessions of the
Saviour, Save us. (REPEATED)

2.

Great

4.

He

the Intercessions
Saviour, Save us.

SECOND FESTAL ANTIPHON NATIVITY

Dinaton

3.

Doxa

en ti gi este to sperma aftou, genea evtheon


Evlogithisete.

ke ploutos en to Iko Aftou, ke i Dikeosini Aftou


eni is ton eona tou eonos.
4. Exanetilen en skoti Fos tis evthesin Eleimon ke Iktirmon
ke Dikeos.

sent Redemption to His people. He Commanded


His Covenant forever. Holy and Fearful is His
Name.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy
Spirit, now and forever, and to the Ages of ages.

Amen
Through

SMALL LITANY

2.

Theotokos,

art the Works of the Lord,sought out in all


things according to His Will.
3. Praiseworthy and Majestic art His Works, and His
Righteousness endures unto the Ages of ages.

tous Eonas ton eonon.

1. Makarios anir, O fovoumenos ton Kyrion, en tes


Entoles Aftou thelisi sfodra.
Soson imas Iie Theou, O E X P A R T H E N O U T E H T H I S ,
psallontas Si: Allilouia! (REPEATED)

CHRIST TONE 2

Through

Doxa Patri ke Io ke Agio Pnevmati, ke nin ke ai ke is


Amin
Tes Presvies tis Theotokou, Soter, Soson imas.

OF

I will Praise Thee, O Lord,with my whole heart, in the

1.

OF

of

the

Theotokos,

CHRIST TONE 2

Blessed is the man who fears the Lord;

he will delight

exceedingly in His Commandments.

O Son of God,

W H O A R T B O R N O F T H E V I R G I N , Save us
who sing to Thee: Alleluia (REPEATED

2.

His

4.

For the Upright, Light springs up in Darkness, for He

seed shall be Mighty on earth; the generation of


the upright shall be Blessed.
3. Glory and riches shall be in His House, and His
Righteousness continues unto Ages of ages.
is Merciful, Compassionate and Righteous.

Doxa Patri ke Io ke Agio Pnevmati, ke nin ke ai ke is Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy
tous Eonas ton eonon.

Spirit, now and forever, and to the Ages of ages.

Amin

Amen

O MONOGENIS IIOS

KE

LOGOS...

THIRD FESTAL ANTIPHON NATIVITY

Ipen O Kyrios to Kyrio mou: Kathou ek dexion


mou, eos an tho tous ehtrous Sou ipopodion ton Podon
Sou.
Gennisis Sou Hriste O Theos imon, anetile to kosmo to
Fos to tis gnoseos. En afti gar it is astris latrevontes,
ipo asters edidaskonto, Se proskinin, ton Ilion tis
dikeosinis, ke Se ginoskin ex Ipsous anatolin.
Kyrie, Doxa Si. REPEATED

STIH O S1

2
Ravdon Dinameos exaposeli Si Kyrios ek Sion,
ke katakirieve en meso ton ehthron Sou.
S T I H O S 3 Meta Sou i arhi en Imera tis Dinameos Sou, en
tes Lamprotisi ton Agion Sou.

STIH OS

OF

CHRIST TONE 4

The Lord said to my Lord: Sit at My righ Hand,


until I make Thine enemies the Footstool of Thy Feet.

V ER SE 1

Thy Nativity, O Christ our God, has caused the Light of


Knowledge to rise upon the world. For therein the
worshippers of the stars were by a Star instructed to
worship Thee, the Sun of Righteousness, and to know
Thee as Orient from on High. O Lord, Glory to
Thee!
V E R S E 2 The Lord shall send forth the Rod of Thy Power
from Zion and rule in the midst of Thine enemies.
3 With Thee is the beginning in the Day of Thy
Power, in the Brightness of Thy Saints.

V ER SE

FESTAL ISODIKON PSALM 109/110 - NATIVITY - TONE 2

Ek

Gastros pro eosforou Egennisa Se. Omose Kyrios ke ou


metamelithisete. Si Ierefs is ton eona, kata tin taxin
Melihisedek.

3RD DAY

OF THE

NATIVITY

OF

CHRIST

OUR

Out

of the Womb, before the Morning Star have I


Begotten Thee: the Lord has sworn and will not
repent: Thou art a Priest forever, after the Order of
Melchizidek.

L O R D S T S T E P H E N , A R C H D E A C O N & P R O T O M A R T Y R - 2 7 D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 6 31.

Soson

imas, Ie Theou,
psallontas Si Allilouia!

PARTHENOU

EK

Save

us, O Son of God, B O R N O F T H E V I R G I N , who


sing to Thee: Alleluia!

TEHTHIS,

FESTAL APOLYTIKION NATIVITY

OF

CHRIST

OUR

LORD

I Gennisis Sou Hriste O Theos imon, anetile to kosmo to Fos to Thy Nativity, O Christ our God, has caused the Light of
tis gnoseos. En afti gar it is astris latrevontes, ipo asters
edidaskonto, Se prokinin, ton Ilion tis dikeosinis, ke Se
ginoskin ex ipsous anatolin. Kyrie, Doxa Si.

Knowledge to rise upon the world. For therein the


worshippers of the stars were by a Star instructed to
worship Thee, the Sun of Righteousness, and to
know Thee as Orient from on High. O Lord, Glory
to Thee!

FESTAL APOLYTIKION ST STEPHEN PROTOMARTYR

Vasilion Diadima, estefthi Si korifi, ex athlon on iperminas, O


iper Hristou tou Theou, Martyron protoathle. Si gar tin
Ioudeon, apelegxas manian, ides Sou ton Sotira, tou
Patros dexiothen. Afton oun ekdisopi ai, iper ton psihon
imon.
PATRONAL FESTAL HYMN
SEASONAL

Stephen, a Crown of Royalty was laid upon Thy head


for contests Thou courageously endured for Christ our
God, as First among Martyred Saints. Thou stood in
accusation of the raging Judeans; and Thou beheld our
Saviour at the Right Hand of the Father. We pray that
Thou will ever Entreat Him to Save our soul.

KONTAKION - NATIVITY OF CHRIST TONE 3

I Parthenos simeron, ton Iperousion tikti, ke i Gi to Spyleon to Today

the Virgin gives Birth to Him Who is above all


being, and the Earth offers a Cave to Him Whom no
man can approach. Angels with Shepherds give
Glory, and Magi journey with a Star. For unto us is
Born a young Child: the Pre-Eternal God.

aprito prosagi. Angeli meta Pimenon Doxologousi, Magi


de meta Asteros odiporousi, di imas gar Egenniti, Pedion
Neon, O Pro Eonon Theos.
TRISAGION HYMN

FESTAL PROKEIMENON NATIVITY PSALM 18/19 TONE 4

Their Proclamation went forth into all the Earth and their words to the ends of the world.
The Heavens declare the Glory of God! The Firmament shows the Creation of His Hands.
THE ACTS

OF THE

APOSTLES ACCORDING

EVAN

GELISM

AND

MARTYRD

TO
OM

ST LUKE

6 : 8 7 : 5 & 47 60

OF ST STEPHEN

In those days, Stephen, full of Faith and Power, did great Wonders and Signs among the people. Then there arose
some from what is called the Synagogue of the Freedmen (Cyrenians, Alexandrians, and those from Cilicia and
Asia), disputing with Stephen. But they were not able to resist the Wisdom and Spirit by which he spoke. So they
secretly induced men to say: We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses and God. And they
stirred up the people, the Elders, and the Scribes; and they went to him, seized him and took him to the Council.
They also set up false witnesses who said: This man does not cease speaking blasphemous words against this Holy
Place and the Law; for we have heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth will destroy this place and change the
customs, which Moses delivered to us. And all who sat in the Council, looking steadfastly at him, saw his face as the
face of an Angel. Then the High Priest said: Are these things so?
And Stephen said: Brethren and Fathers, listen: the God of Glory appeared to our Father Abraham when he was in
Mesopotamia, before he dwelt in Haran, and said to him: Get out of your country and from your relatives, and go to
a land that I will show you. Then he went out of the land of the Chaldeans and dwelt in Haran. From there, when
his father was dead, He moved him to this land in which you now dwell. And God gave him no Inheritance in it, not
even enough to set his foot on...
...Solomon built God a House. However, the Most High does not dwell in Temples made by hands, as the Prophet says:
Heaven is My Throne and earth is My Footstool. What House will you build for Me? says the Lord, Or what is the
Place of My Rest? Has My Hand not made all these things?
You stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears! You always resist the Holy Spirit! As your fathers did, so do you.
Which of the Prophets did your fathers not persecute? And they killed those who foretold the Coming of the Just
One, of Whom you now have become the betrayers and murderers, who have received the Law by the Direction of
Angels, and have not kept it.
When they heard these things they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed at him with their teeth. But he, being full of
the Holy Spirit, gazed into Heaven and saw the Glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right Hand of God, and said:
Behold! I see the Heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right Hand of God!
Then they cried out with a loud voice, stopped their ears, and ran to him with one accord; and they cast him out of the
city and stoned him. And the witnesses laid down their clothes at the feet of a young man named Saul.
And they stoned Stephen as he called on God, saying: O Lord Jesus: receive my soul! Then he knelt down and cried
out with a loud voice: O Lord, do not charge them with this sin! And when he had said this, he fell asleep.
THE HOLY GOSPEL ACCORDING
THE PUBLIC MINISTRY

OF OUR

TO

ST MATTHEW 12 : 15 - 21

LORD & SAVIOUR, JESUS CHRIST

At that time, many followed our Lord Jesus, and He Healed them all, yet warned them not to make Him known, that it
might be fulfilled what was spoken by Isaiah the Prophet, saying: Behold! My Servant Whom I have chosen My
Beloved with Whom My Soul is well pleased! I will put My Spirit upon Him, and He shall declare Justice to the
Gentiles. He will not quarrel nor cry out, nor will anyone hear His Voice in the streets. A bruised reed He will not
break, and smoking flax He will not quench, until He sends forth Justice to Victory. And in His Name the
Gentiles will trust.
THE ETERNAL, INSPIRED WISDOM OF ST PAISIOS OF MOUNT ATHOS
Our heart fuels our Spiritual Life, for whenever we do
anything from our heart, we are not exhausted by it,
so when I am asked what should be studied, I tell
people instead, what they should Love. Certain
Professions, like medicine and teaching require
Love and devotion. This is the same with our
Spiritual Life. Our heart must participate in our
Prayers.

32. 3 R D D A Y

OF THE

NATIVITY

OF

CHRIST

OUR

Our Spiritual Life requires a great deal of self denial,


and Love of Virtue for Virtues sake.
When others have low morale, we should give them
Courage, and raise them up. However, when their
morale is high and they are egotistic, we ought to
humble them.

LORD ST STEPHEN, ARCHDEACON & PROTOMARTYR- 27 DECEMBER 2016