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Basiliscus the Martyr, Bishop of Comana; Holy New Martyrs Demetrius and Paul of Tripoli; John-Vladimir, Ruler of Serbia
Saints Feasts and Readings for 5/22/2015
Why is the Ascension of our Lord so important? Is it an event that concerns Jesus only, as Lord over all, OR is it an event that also concerns us? YES! Come explore the mystery as we look to the Old Testament for light on this!
On May 24th of last year, Fr. Thomas Hopko of blessed memory gave a 2 part lecture at Holy Trinity Orthodox Church in Parma, OH on the Ascension of Christ. Our thanks to Holy Trinity and Protodeacon Anthony for the recordings.
Dr. Brad Nassif, Professor of Biblical and Theological Studies at North Park University in Chicago, reminds us that no matter how monotonous, unseen, or ordinary, our jobs can powerfully transform us into Christlikeness. This is an audio version of an article that first appeared at christianitytoday.com.
On this month's edition of "Patristic Nectar Films," Fr. Josiah Trenham interviews Monk Maximos (Constas), Athonite, patrologist, and former Harvard Professor, about St. Maximos the Confessor and the Philokalia. St. Maximos the Confessor lived and taught in the 7th century, and his contribution to the promotion of Holy Orthodoxy is virtually unmatched.
The week of May 6-11, 2015 was a glorious week for the city of Washington and the Parish of St. George. On Wednesday, May 6, His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph, Primate of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America, accompanied by Sub-Deacon Rassem El-Massih, arrived in Washington, D.C. for an official visit.
On Thursday May 7, His Eminence, accompanied by the Very Rev. Joseph Rahal, Pastor of St. George Church of Washington, D.C., the Very Rev. Isaac Crow of Ss. Peter & Paul Church of Potomac, MD, and Sub-Deacon Rassem El-Massih, attended and participated in the 100-year commemoration of the Armenian, Assyrian, Syriac and Antiochian genocide that took place in 1915 in the Ottoman Empire in Turkey.
On Friday May 8, His Eminence attended a private dinner with members of the parish council of St. George, their spouses and other prominent members of the Parish at the home of Jamal & Amal Motran in Fredrick, MD.
During this gathering many topics were discussed. Those in attendance were:
Eric and Patricia Granahan
Mike and Dianne Rishmawi
George and Grace Ghareeb
Nabil and Nahida Berberi
Samer and Nayfeh Makhlouf
Elias and Maysoon Rizkallah
Eli and Mariana Souri
Joe and Lourdes Moutran
Jamal and Amal Moutran
Jamil & Diana Bahri
Rami & April Motran
Dr. John & Mariam Motran
Issa and Roudeyna Ayoub
Dr. Tony and Grace Chehade
Habib and Zeina Chehade
Assaad and Roxanne Saliba
Walid and Angela Saliby
(Note: each couple of the above mentioned people donated $100 toward this weekend expenses).
Saturday May 9: His Eminence had a private lunch with a family.
At 4:00 PM: His Eminence met with members of the Ladies Myrrh Bearing Society of St. George. The Ladies served him refreshments and a discussion about the role of the Ladies within the Church. His Eminence thanked the Ladies for all the good work they do.
At 5:00 PM: His Eminence met with members of the Parish Council and he challenged them to be "servant" of the Church, emulating our Lord Jesus Christ.
At 5:30 PM: His Eminence presided over the Great Vespers Service. Several members of the Clergy from this area were in attendance. Our Choir, throughout the weekend was superb and the Metropolitan was very impressed with them, along with our Chanters: Norma Achor and Eyvonka Rizkalla, and of course Sub-Deacon Rassem El-Massih with his beautiful voice.
At 6:30 PM: The Grand Banquet in Honor of the Metropolitan was held at St. George Ballroom. More than 300 people were in attendance, with soft music in the background. Walid Saliby was the MC for the evening and Mrs. Nyla Louh sang the National Anthem. A moment of silence was observed for the Genocide that took place 100 years ago in Turkey, for the Armenians, Antiochians, Syriacs, Assyrians and many others. Mr. Eric Granahan, Chairman of the Parish Council welcomed the dignitaries and the guests that were present amongst them were former Ambassador Dr. Clovis Maksoud, Mr. Paul Monteiro former Director of Public Engagement at the White House, and other dignitaries.
Sunday May 10: The climax of the entire weekend. His Eminence presided over the Divine Liturgy. In attendance were Mr. Antoine Chedid, the Ambassador of Lebanon; Dr. Clovis Maksoud, former Ambassador of the Arab League to the United Nations; and Brigadier General George Shreim, Military Attache at the Lebanese Embassy.
During the Liturgy, His Eminence elevated Deacon Workineh Belesse to the dignity of Arch-Deacon, and the end of the Liturgy he inducted the following people to Order of St. Ignatius of Antioch:
Mr. Eric Granahan
Mr. George Ghareeb
Mr. Michael Rishmawi
Mrs. Nancy Tentzeras
Following the Liturgy, the Ladies with their president, Ms. Nicolette Aftimos, served a superb lunch for everyone.
It was an exhilarating weekend. My most sincere thanks to each and everyone of you for your good work.
The Very Rev. Joseph Rahal
The Summer 2015 issue of DIAKONIA is now available online. This issue highlights The Diocese of Worcester and New England! The issue contains:
- Messages from His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph and His Grace Bishop John
- A Tribute to "Woman"
- A message from Diocesan Spiritual Advisor Fr. Edward Hughes
- A Sincere Word of Thanks by Lucy Hanna
- Introducing The 2013 - 2015 Board of Antiochian Women of the Diocese of Worcester and New England
- My Mother's Legacy by Christine Bezreh
- Happenings Around the Diocese of Worcester and New England
...and more! Download (PDF) here.AttachmentSize DIAKONIA Summer 2015 (PDF)3.37 MB
In honor of the Holy Feast of Pentecost, Bishop Anthony encourages all churches in the Toledo Diocese to support our new missions. Missions are a sign of a living, and vibrant church, and evidence that the same Holy Spirit who descended upon the Apostles is with us today!
May 31, 2015
Great Feast of the Descent of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost
Beloved Clergy and Laity of the Diocese of Toledo and the Midwest:
Christ is in our midst!
We give thanks to God in all things as we enjoyed the blessings of the Great Fast, the Feast of Feasts, Pascha, and now our celebration of the Descent of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost.
As we read in the Holy Scriptures, our Lord asked the apostles and disciples to stay in the Holy City of Jerusalem until they received "power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the end of the earth." (Acts 1:8) The Holy Spirit gave them the power and grace to go and preach the Good News of His Resurrection. This "power" has been with the Church since that day and given to us!
This most-joyous feast represents the beginning of the Church's mission to carry the Gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ to the four corners of the earth. From that day in Jerusalem, the Apostles followed our Lord's command to make disciples of all nations. This mission continues to this very day.
Of particular importance in the Diocese of Toledo and the Midwest is the work of our nine mission parishes and our Diocesan Mission Council. Through our mission parishes, the love of God the Father and the Communion of His All-Holy Spirit in His One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church have come to rest in the hearts and on the heads of so many in otherwise geographically and spiritually remote places throughout our Diocese.
As we hear in the Epistle, the establishment of missions is not always an easy task. Many of our mission parishes are small and without the material means to acquire what is needed to help them grow and prosper. It is vital that all of the faithful throughout the Diocese take up the task of sharing what they have received, both in spiritual and material blessings, with our mission parishes.
I strongly encourage our more-established parishes to "adopt" a mission parish and work to ensure that the mission has all that it needs to carry on the work of our Lord. In those mission parishes where many of the faithful have been "newly-illumined," share the faith and traditions as we have received them from our spiritual fathers and mothers, and learn of the path that brought the faithful home to the Orthodox Church. As our Lord instructed the Apostles, "Freely ye have received, freely give." (Mathew 10:8)
On the Great and Holy Feast of Pentecost, all parishes are asked to take a special offering to support our nine missions. You may send your checks to the "Diocese of Toledo Mission Fund", c/o Nicholas Ayoub 1251 Franklin St. SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49506. In addition, I am renewing my request that all parishes include a line item in their annual budgets for the benefit of the mission fund.
Please continue to keep our missions in your prayers during this festal season and throughout the entire year!
Have a blessed Feast and may the Lord bless you as you remain faithful to Him.
+ Bishop Anthony
Bishop of Toledo
Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America
AttachmentSize 2015 Pentecost Letter fro Bishop Anthony (PDF)102.62 KB
Baltimore, MD (IOCC) - It's been a difficult year since record rainfall drenched the Balkans last spring, unleashing the worst flooding in more than 100 years and leaving a trail of destruction across Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina. More than 70 people lost their lives, while hundreds of thousands of survivors had to evacuate as family homes and farms, roads and utilities were damaged or destroyed. Relentless summer and fall rains renewed flooding, which slowed recovery and threatened to keep many families from having warm and dry shelter in time for winter. "I have never felt so scared and helpless in all my life," recalls Ljubica, of the day last May when forceful floodwaters rushed through the doors and windows of her modest home in Samac, Bosnia. She and her husband, Zivko, (right) both disabled, sat trapped and helpless as cold, muddy waters quickly rose toward the ceiling. Neighbors managed to carry the couple up to the attic where they spent 13 days living on food and water rations delivered by rescue boats and waiting for the floodwater to subside. When it did subside, their wood stove and water heater were all that was spared. Everything else in the couple's home of 40 years was carried away by water or buried under a foot of mud and silt ...
We sometimes describe people as cradles or converts; but instead of describing people, that can divide us. And they're a bit misleading: we aren't born into the Church, and there isn't a specific moment in the past when we enter the Church. We're actually pilgrims, making our way to Christ, growing closer to Him everyday. Watch the new episode of "Be the Bee."
As the angels, O Savior, wondered at Thy strange elevation, and the Disciples were amazed at Thy dread rising, Thou didst ascend in glory, being God, and the gates were lifted up for Thee. Wherefore, the heavenly powers were surprised, shouting, Glory to Thy condescension, O Savior; glory to Thy reign; glory to Thine Ascension, O Thou Who alone art the Lover of mankind.
--Orthros of the Feast
On the fortieth day after Jesus was resurrected from the dead, He was taken up into the heavens in a cloud.
"The cloud which today envelopes Jesus and ascends with him to heaven represents the smoke of the sacrifice rising from the altar to God. The sacrifice is accepted, and the victim is admitted to God's presence where it will continue to be offered in an eternal and heavenly manner. The work of our salvation has been accomplished and is blessed."
Read "The Ascension": An Excerpt from The Year of the Grace of the Lord
Read "From the Heart: Resting in the Ascension"
Read Fr. Theodore E. Ziton on the Ascension
Read St. Leo the Great on the Ascension
Under the Grapevine podcast explains the Ascension to children
Listen to Fr. Patrick Reardon's homily on the Ascension
On this day, the Thursday of the sixth week of Pascha, we celebrate the Ascension of our Lord and God and Savior Jesus Christ.
After His Resurrection, Jesus remained on earth for forty days, appearing to His Disciples in various places. He ate, drank and conversed with them, verifying and assuring His Resurrection. On the fortieth day after Pascha, Jesus appeared to His Disciples in Jerusalem. He gave them His last commandment, to go forth and preach in His Name to all the nations. At the same time, He told them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait until they were clothed with the power from on high by the descent of the Holy Spirit upon them. Having said this, Jesus led His Disciples to the Mount of Olives. Then He lifted up His hands and blessed them. And as He was speaking to them with words of fatherly blessing, Jesus departed from them and ascended into Heaven, being received by a shining cloud, indicating His divine majesty. He gradually disappeared from the sight of the Disciples as they gazed at Him. And as they stood thus, two angels in brilliant white robes appeared to them in the form of men and said to them: Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into Heaven? This same Jesus, Who is taken from you into Heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into Heaven. In these words is fulfilled and defined the doctrine concerning the Son of God and His Word, in the Confession of Faith. After our Lord Jesus Christ fulfilled all His great dispensation for us, He ascended in glory into Heaven, and sat on the right hand of God the Father. His Disciples returned from Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives, rejoicing in the promise of the coming of the Holy Spirit. O Christ our God, Who didst ascend in glory, have mercy on us. Amen.
Overall, the OCMC mission team to Moldova was very fruitful. I believe we touched many hearts. Fellow team members Fr. Robert Miclean, Teresa Duro, and I were a very good match together. Fr....
The Department of Sacred Music is thrilled to announce the Thirtieth Anniversary Sacred Music Institute (SMI), which will be held at the Antiochian Village from July 8-12, 2015. This year is promising to be the best ever! Whether you love Byzantine or 4-part choral music, there is something for everyone, from theoretical classes to private lessons in voice, chanting, conducting and vocal technique; instruction in Byzantine chant and choral conducting; special presentations and concerts from the Sacred Music Chamber Choir and the Sacred Music Byzantine Chamber Choir; and even our 30th Anniversary Musical Review!
The Sacred Music Institute has it all. This very special and memorable weekend will be attended by our Keynote Speaker His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph.
For more information about this not-to-be-missed event, please contact Paul Jabara at email@example.com, visit the Department of Sacred Music web page, and join the Sacred Music Institute Facebook page for all the latest info.
And......for the fourth straight year, the Department of Sacred Music is thrilled to announce our Youth Music Ministry. This Ministry brings our teens throughout the Archdiocese together to worship through music. The teens have their very own classes in Byzantine chant and they participate in two choirs. They even have a session titled "Teen Talk" with Sayidna Joseph. Get ready Sayidna, our teens have lots of questions! And once again this year, all teens are eligible for full scholarships covering room/board/course materials, as long as they meet the June 1, 2015 deadline. For more information about the Youth Music Ministry, or as we like to call it, the "YMM", please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Welcome! Bienvenue! Ahla wa Sahla!
As the Paschal season winds down, Fr. Evan takes calls and email questions on a variety of topics including "How do we deal with the struggles of life and embrace them instead of dismissing them?"
On a new "Ancient Faith Presents," Bobby Maddex interviews Dr. Stephen Turley, the author of the book Awakening Wonder: A Classical Guide to Truth, Goodness, and Beauty, published by Classical Education Press.
Who shall declare Thy might, O Christ? And who shall number the multitude of Thy wonders? For as Thou wast doubly seen in Thy goodness on earth, so didst Thou doubly grant healing to the sick; for not only didst Thou heal the bodily eyes of the man born blind from the womb, but the eyes of his soul also. Wherefore, he confessed that Thou art a hidden God, granting all the Great Mercy.
--Doxasticon of the Feast, Tone 8
On this day, the sixth Sunday of Pascha, we celebrate the miracle wrought by our Lord and God and Savior Jesus Christ upon the man who was blind from his birth.
O Bestower of light, Who art Light coming forth from Light,
Thou dost give eyes to the man who was blind from his birth, O Word.
The Savior met this man, born blind and incurable after every human effort, while leaving the Temple on the Sabbath. Jesus spat into the dirt, made clay, rubbed it in his eyes and told him to wash in the pool of Siloam, a famous water spring in Jerusalem. The Savior did not send him there because his eyes were covered in clay, nor did the pool have healing power, but instead to test his faith and obedience. The blind man proclaimed that Jesus healed him, but this confession caused him to be cast out by the enemies of the truth. Even his own parents would not defend him. However, the blind man followed Jesus from that moment forward.
By Thy boundless mercy, O Christ our God, Giver of light, have mercy on us. Amen.
Since my soul’s noetic eyes are blind and sightless, I come unto Thee, O Christ, as did the man who was born blind. And in repentance I cry to Thee: of those in darkness Thou art the most radiant Light.
Grant me a stream of ineffable wisdom and knowledge from on high, O Christ, Thou Light of them that are in darkness and Guide of all them that are gone astray, that I may tell of those things that the divine book of the Gospel of peace hath taught, to wit, the miracle that was wrought upon the blind man; for though blind from birth, he receiveth the physical eyes as well as the eyes of the soul, as he crieth out in faith: of those in darkness Thou art the most radiant Light.
--Kontakion and Oikos of the Feast