“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasure in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break inn and steal. For where your treasure is there your heart shall be also.”
On the New-Martyrs of Rus'
by: Met. Philaret+ (ROCOR), 1981
At the height of the dreadful, bloody and God-hating revolution, many millions of Russian people, to safeguard their own safety, went over to the “Living Church,” cut themselves off from the Church, ignominiously rejected the faith of their ancestors, and even defected to the camp of the atheists and raised their children without benefit of religion.
During this terrible period of apostasy, the Church, mindful of the words of the Savior: “In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world” (Jn. 16:33), led to Christ a multitude of holy martyrs, fearless confessors, Orthodox Christians who suffered and were slain undeservedly for the faith. Their blood has washed away the infamy of the apostasy of their blood kinsmen. They became a voluntary sacrifice of purification for the sins of the nation.
But those who fought against God celebrated their victory over their innocent victims. The meek tsar, who had been forsaken by everyone, they slew, as a symbol of the Orthodox realm; they put to death the pastors of the Church who held it together, as well as monastics and members of the laity, those who loved Christ – men, women and even innocent children. With subtle moral tortures, they committed murder, they desecrated, they shot down, they battered to death, they slew with starvation, with cold, and with onerous labors in death camps. Drunk on the blood of their victims, the tormentors reached the point of total insanity: they buried people alive, drowned them in rivers, cut out their tongues, hanged them in churches from the Royal Doors, murdered their wives and children.
A single charge, was sufficient to result in execution: this is a servant of God, a believing Christian!
The faithful went like lambs to the slaughter, mute, submitting to the will of God, even unto death. Nothing was able to separate them from their love for Christ, not tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or the sword (Rom. 8:35).
This struggle illumined the Orthodox Church with new glory during those days of persecution; they became our glory, our victory, our joy. They departed from the Church Militant as conquerors and entered into the everlasting joy of the Church Victorious.
But the Church of Christ is one, and both aspects thereof, earthly and heavenly, live a single life, through love for Christ alone! Gazing upon their feat, we suffered with them, we prayed for them. Yet more and more often the faithful inquired whether it was not time to pray to them instead of for them. For it was beyond doubt that they had already entered into the joy of their Lord.
Through the glorification of the martyrs we are accounted worthy of the supreme aid of God through their prayers. And this aid is needful to all that wish to live in accordance with God’s commandments, especially for the Christians of our time who are persecuted and afflicted.
Beloved brethren and sisters, let us pray zealously to those who are mightier than we and who are with us. They are vanquishing the world, despite the fact that they “had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment… being destitute, afflicted, tormented” (Heb. 11:36-37). But those “of whom the world was not worthy,” as the Apostle (Paul) puts it, “received not the promise,” that is, the full blessedness and joy of everlasting life, awaiting us, as the same apostle says, “that they without us should not be made perfect” (Heb. 11:38-40). They are waiting for us! They are crying out to us to follow them!
Having them as our intercessors, “let us lay aside every weight and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,… lest (we) be wearied and faint in (our) minds” (Heb. 12:1, 3). Holy new martyrs, and confessors, pray to God for us!
Set Service Schedule:
- Every Saturday, Great Vespers 5:30pm.
- Every Sunday, Hours at 9:10am & Divine Liturgy at 9:30am.
- Every Tuesday, an Akathist is served at 6:30am, unless a Div. Liturgy supersedes it.
- Matins is served at 6am every Wednesday, Thrusday & Friday, unless a Div. Liturgy supersedes it.
- Vespers is served at 5:30pm every Wednesday evening.
Please see the calendar for other service times, there are some wonderful saints being celebrated this month, please come and honor them!
Coffee fellowship: Thursday the 16th (at cafe Creme, formerly Good Carma).
Bible Study: Topic is The Most-Pure Virgin Mary. Last study of this session, Wed. the 22nd.
Upcoming Major & Great Feasts:The Meeting of the Lord in the Temple, Feb., 2nd. See calendar for service times.
Women's group: Tuesday the 21st at 6pm. Beginning in March the Women's Group will be held on a Saturday.
“If you could see what grace descends during the Liturgy in church, you would gather the dust and wash your face with it.”
St. Gabriel the fool-for-Christ
Attention alter servers: mandatory meeting on Sunday the 5th, please make sure to attend!
Attention readers: mandatory meeting on Sunday the 19th.
House blessings! Have your home blessed, a sign up sheet in in the fellowship hall. Make sure to sign up and have your home blessed!
Like to bake? Have you considered helping with the ministry of prosphora baking? If you are interested, please speak with father.
Remember: the week of the 5th - 11th is a fast free week; Meatfare is Monday the 20th – Sunday the 26th (dairy is permitted, but no meat products).
Great Lent begins on Monday the 27th.
We will host Lenten Mission Vespers on Sunday evening the 12th of March (St. Gregory Palamas Sunday), at 6pm. Please make plans to be there! It is our responsibility to provide a lenten potluck after the service, so please also plan to bring a dish to share (sign-up sheet will be forthcoming).
Beginning in March, the women's group will be held on a Saturday. This is to help, hopefully, a greater number of ladies to attend. The decision has been made based upon the survey results.
Looking for great Orthodox books? Don't forget we have a bookstore! Most books are priced below suggested retail price.
Library note: if you have had a library book for awhile please remember to return it. Remember the library is a honor system.
A Rubrical note: during a great censing when the priest descends to cense the Nave, it is necessary only to move to the center of the church. Generally speaking, the priest or deacon needs only enough space to walk between the people and the walls while censing the icons. People in the pew area need not move during a censing.
A note on Prosphora bread: Prosphora is blessed bread partaken of after Holy Communion and at the conclusion of the Div. Liturgy. Please be mindful of crumbs, it is important to instruct children to eat it with reverence. If you share with a member of the congregation who has not partaken of Holy Communion, please only give one or two pieces. If you notice a number of crumbs on the floor please pick them up and deposit them outside. Prosphora should never be thrown in the trash.
Confession is a integral part of true Christian living. An Orthodox Christian who is regularly partaking of Holy Communion needs, for the health of their soul, to be partaking of Holy Confession at least on a monthly basis. This practice of true Christian living should be respected and practiced by all responsible members of the Church who are approaching the Chalice frequently.
Parents: please make sure that your children do not go to the restroom unattended. This is for the greater safety of our community and children.
Another reminder: Generally speaking there should be no unnecessary moving about during the Div. Liturgy; specifically during the reading of the Gospel, the Anaphora, and the Our Father all moving about should cease, unless it is an emergency. Parents are encouraged to help their children focus during these times.
Diapers and wipes: we are partnering with a Caring Pregnancy Center through supplying diapers and wipes. Please bring donations to the church. This is an ongoing ministry. A Caring Pregnancy Center helps woman make an informed choice for life. Protecting life at every stage is the job of every Christian.
Coffee Hour: Please be mindful which group you belong to and please be diligent in bringing food. This is in fact a ministry. It is the listed group's responsibility to make sure the coffee is made, please communicate with your group members as to who will do this. Thank you for all your hard work!