Epistle: Ephesians 2:14-22
Gospel: Luke 13:10-17
Schedule of Services:
-Saturday, December 3rd, Great Vespers at 4pm.
-Sunday, December 4th, Divine Liturgy at 10am. Hours begin at 9:40am.
-For today’s coffee hour, we will share foods from our Thanksgiving celebration. Fasting rules do not have to be followed today, but we are asked to return to the fasting calendar by tomorrow.
-We will be decorating the church after Liturgy today, as well. Please stay if you can to help with this.
-Today is the deadline for gifts and gift cards for the St. Nicholas Project. Hopefully, we have all the gifts wrapped, labelled and brought to church today. Thank you to all of you who donated gifts.
-On Dec. 4th (next Sunday) we will hold an education session during coffee hour. The topic next Sunday will be the “Genealogy of Jesus Christ.” Coffee hour during education sessions will be pot-luck. We hope to see you next week.
-During the Nativity season, please don't forget the needy! Shop Rite gift cards and non perishable staples are greatly needed and appreciated.
-The next Sunday school lesson for children will be held on Sunday, December 18th. The lesson will begin upstairs in the church.
Living: Paul, Melissa, Helen, John, Darlette, Steven, Janet, Teresa, Irina, Alla, Ira, Victor, the Reader Christopher; the suffering people and innocent victims of the Ukrainian/Russian war; the suffering people of Yemen, Syria, and Palestine.
Departed: George, Emmanuel.
Words for the Day:
When the soul by the Holy Spirit comes to know the Mother of God; when in the Holy Spirit the soul becomes kin to the Apostles, the Prophets, and all the Saints and Righteous Ones, then she is irresistibly drawn to that world, and cannot remain, but is bothered, and thirsts, and cannot cease from prayer, and although the body becomes exhausted and wants to lie down on a bed, even while lying in bed the soul longs for the Lord and the Kingdom of the Saints.
(St. Silouan the Athonite, Writings, I.28)
The liturgical services for Christmas, officially called The Nativity According to the Flesh of Our Lord and God and Savior Jesus Christ, are consciously patterned after the services for the festival of the Pascha of the Lord, the Holy Resurrection […] After the eucharistic celebration of St. John Chrysostom on the day of the feast itself, the celebration continues to its completion in the festival of the Meeting of the Lord in the Temple 40 days later. At the center of the festal season remains the original “Festival of Lights,” the holy Epiphany, officially called in the Orthodox Church The Holy Theophany of Our Lord and God and Savior Jesus Christ. The liturgical verses and hymns for Christmas and Epiphany, the Pascha of Christ’s incarnation and manifestation in the flesh, repeat those of Easter, the Pascha of Christ’s death and resurrection […] Jesus lay as an infant in the cavern in the reign of Caesar Augustus that He might lay in the tomb under Pontius Pilate. He was hounded by Herod that He might be caught by Caiaphus. He was buried in baptism that he might descend into death through the Cross. He was worshipped by wise men that the whole of creation might adore Him in His triumph over death. The Pascha of His Cross was prepared by the Pascha of His Coming. The Pascha of His Resurrection was begun by the Pascha of His Incarnation. The Pascha of His Glorification was foretold by the Pascha of His Baptism. This is what Christians celebrate each year in what Father Alexander Schmemann was the first to call “the Winter Pascha.”
Fr. Thomas Hopko, The Winter Pascha, pgs. 10-11.
Next Week’s Readings:
Epistle: Ephesians 4:1-6. I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
Gospel: Luke 17:12-19. And as he entered a village, he was met by ten lepers, who stood at a distance and lifted up their voices, saying, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.” When he saw them he said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went they were cleansed. Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice; and he fell on his face at Jesus' feet, giving him thanks. Now he was a Samaritan. Then Jesus answered, “Were not ten cleansed? Where are the nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” And he said to him, “Rise and go your way; your faith has made you well.”