Feast of the Theophany
Life Line Screening
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The Nativity of our Lord and God and Savior Jesus Christ
So much of the month of December is the time of Advent or preparing for the coming of Christ. People prepare in many ways - some meditate more about the life of Christ, fast and pray and gain a sense of peace.
Others rush around in frenzy - from store to store, from party to party. They hope to get a bit of peace and quiet but it eludes them, as they do not allow themselves any downtime to even think about the reason for the celebration. Christ is forgotten in the rush, rush.
Most are somewhere in the middle, straddling both ways for preparing for the great day. As the day becomes more secularized, it will take more effort to prepare for it.
Little by little the theme of the Nativity is introduced into church services. The first mention is made on the eve of the Entrance of the Mother of God into the Temple. We hear for the first time the announcement: “Christ is born! Glorify Him!”
Then on the two Sundays before the Nativity, the Church commemorates the Forefathers and Fathers, who are the prophets and the saints of the Old Testament who prepare us for the Coming, for the salvation and reconciliation of mankind with God.
The Eve of the Holy Day is dedicated to an especially strict fast. Many observe a special meal.
On the great day itself, Christmas - the Nativity of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ - we hear the familiar “Christ is born! God is with us!” and we respond “Glorify Him!”
Our Parish Thanksgiving Dinner is Sunday, Nov 13, 2016, 12:00 noon following Divine Litugy, in the church party room. This is a time of fellowship and enjoyable conversation with our neighbors, friends and family. Dinner tickets are $15 each. To help with the amount of food to prepare for dinner, please purchase or order your dinners in advance. Call Sandy for at 440-960-1406; 440-371-1856.
LET US GIVE THANKS
An old poem describes a woman walking through a meadow, mediating on nature. While strolling about, she came upon a field of golden pumpkins. In the corner of the field stood a majestic, huge oak tree.
She sat under the oak tree musing on the strange twists in nature which put tiny acorns on huge branches and huge pumpkins on tiny vines. She though to herself, “God blundered with Creation! He should have put the small acorns on the tiny vines and the large pumpkins on the huge branches.”
Nodding off, the woman stretched out under the oak tree for a nap. A few minutes after falling asleep she was awakened by a tiny acorn bouncing off her nose. Chuckling to herself, she rubbed her nose and thought, “Maybe God was right after all!”
For all the blessings we have received this year, whether they be seen or unseen, recognized or disguised, let us offer a Prayer of Thanksgiving unto the Lord! For He knows what we need even before we ask or are aware of it!
-Matushka Nina Stroyen
Kursk Root Icon visit Tues April 5 2016
St. Tikhon Russian Orthodox mission
of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia to host a visit of the
‘Root Icon of the Theotokos of the Sign’
Tuesday, April 5, 2016, 5:30 pm - 6:30 pm
Ohio Veterans Home Secrest Chapel
Accompanying the Icon will be Father Ilia Marzev, Pastor St. Sergius Russian Orthodox Cathedral, Parma, Ohio. Father Ilia will serve a brief Akathist to the Theotokos of the Sign before the Holy Icon. After the service, the faithful will be able to venerate the icon.
The public is warmly invited to attend
This Russian Icon of the Mother of God, now 700 years old, is credited as a constant source of healing, comfort and deliverance for countless of Orthodox Christians who sought the heavenly intercessions of the Most Pure Theotokos. Since its miraculous appearance to a hunter in the forest near Kursk, Russia, in 1295, the icon has survived fire, war, vandalism and the Russian Revolution. In 1919, it was carried out of Russia and since 1957 has been in the Russian Orthodox Cathedral of the Mother of God of the Sign in New York City.
Each year, the wonderworking icon is taken on pilgrimage around the world to parishes of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia, where the faithful venerate the icon and offer prayers to the Theotokos. The icon is considered to be the protection of Orthodox Christians living everywhere.
The highly venerated icon depicts the Theotokos and Christ surrounded by nine prophets holding Old Testament scrolls: King Solomon, Daniel, Jeremiah, Elijah, Habakkuk, Gideon, Isaiah, Moses, and King David.
Parking is at the Ohio Veterans Home Secrest-Giffin Care Facility parking lot off of Strub Rd; entry to the facility is through the double glass doors; Secrest Chapel is on the first floor, just past the reception desk.
Everyone is welcome.
Prayer of St. Ephraim the Syrian
The ancient Orthodox Church reminds us, its faithful, that it's that time in its yearly liturgical and sacramental cycle to prepare to look deeply into oneself to assess one's spiritual condition and how it governs his/her life and influences the lives of others.
Great Lent was and is a spiritual journey in preparation for the Resurrection of Christ (Pascha). Its main intent being to humbly and sincerely search one's soul in order to see oneself as he/she truly is. By honestly recognizing one's sins. Through prayer, worship, reading of Scripture, almsgiving and especially forgiveness and love, change the direction of our lives. In this way we begin to gain control over the things that have controlled us or badly influenced us that need to be 'turned around' (repentance). – Matushka Nina Stroyen
There is a powerful prayer of the ancient church attributed to a 4th century monk, St. Ephraim the Syrian, found in Lenten worship services:
Prayer of St Ephraim
O Lord and Master of my life, take from me the spirit of sloth, despair, lust for power and idle talk. But rather give to me Thy servant, a spirit of chastity, humility, patience and love. Yea, O Lord and King, grant me to see my own faults and not to judge my brother for blessed art Thou O Lord unto ages of ages. Amen
CHRIST IS RISEN! TRULY HE IS RISEN!
PASCHA - May 1, 2016
Pascha is the greatest and most joyful feast in the Church!
It is a movable Feast and the date of its celebration each year is determined according to a formula agreed to by the Church at the Council of Nicea in 325 AD. This year Pascha is celebrated on May 1.
Pascha celebrates Our Lord and Saviour's Resurrection from the dead conquering death for all those who follow him.
It is immediately preceded by Great Lent and Passion Week, times during which Orthodox Christians prepare themselves with prayer, fasting and repentance for their spiritual growth and the coming feast.
Passion Week ends and Pascha begins at sunset on Great Saturday, April 30, recalling the Jewish Sabbath which begins at sunset on Friday and ends at sunset on Saturday.
We know from the Gospels that Christ was crucified on Friday and remained in the tomb during the Sabbath.
ORTHODOX GREAT LENT
The Orthodox Church and the Western Church both have a 40 day Great Lent, but they are calculated differently.
The Orthodox Church starts Great Lent on Monday and ends on Lazarus Saturday, the day before Palm Sunday.
The Western Church starts on a Wednesday and ends on Holy Saturday.
During the period of Great Lent the Church helps us to assess our spiritual condition and renew ourselves by creating conditions which predispose us towards fasting and repentance.
Some of us give up something and add something, both in an effort to help us to recognize our sins and gain control over our spiritual lives...
Give up cookies and smile one more time each day...
Give up gossiping about the neighbor and open the door for someone at the store...
Give up a favorite TV show and pray for someone you don't like...
Give up an extra cup of coffee and arrive at church 5 minutes early...
We complete our Lenten effort by going to Confession and receiving Holy Communion.