March 17, 2013




4th Pre-Lenten Sunday CHEESEFARE SUNDAY Tone 8 – The Expulsion of Adam from Paradise

Saturday, March 16

  • 5:00 P  Great Vespers and Confessions

Sunday, March 17

  • 9:45 A  Hours – Reader Aaron Gray
  • 10:00 A  Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom

Epistle Reader – Reader Aaron Gray

EPISTLE: Rom. 13:11-14:4    GOSPEL: Matt. 6:14-21

  • 5:00 P  Vespers of Forgiveness and Mutual Forgiveness Service

†Cheesefare Sunday: In addition to fasting from meat and all meat products, we begin on Monday, March 18, to fast from all dairy products until Pascha, May 5




Monday, March 18 – 6:00 pm Great Canon of Repentance of St .Andrew of Crete – 1st Sectionlent

Tuesday, March 19 – 6:00 pm Great Canon of Repentance of St .Andrew of Crete –2nd Section

Wednesday, March 20 – 6 pm Great Canon of Repentance of St .Andrew of Crete – 3rd Section

Thursday, March 21 – 6 pm Great Canon of Repentance of St .Andrew of Crete –4th Section

Friday, March 22 – 6:00 pm Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts –Blessing of the Boiled Wheat in remembrance of St .Theodore of Tyre with a Lenten Covered Dish to follow.


Special thanks to Michele Lambo for today's Prosphora Offering.

Special thanks to Michele Lambo for today’s Prosphora Offering.

Today's coffee hour is provided by Mary Magensky.  Thank you from your fellow parishioners!

Today’s coffee hour is provided by Mary Magensky. Thank you from your fellow parishioners!



Saturday, March 23

  • 5:00 P  Great Vespers and Confessions

Sunday, March 24

  • 9:45 A  Hours – Reader Michael Luc
  • 10:00 A  Divine Liturgy of St. Basil the Great

Epistle Reader – Reader Michael Luc

EPISTLE: Heb.11:24-26,32-12:2 GOSPEL: John 1:43-51

  • 5:00 P Great Vespers of the Annunciation @ Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church

Monday, March 25

  • 6:00 P  Vesperal Divine Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom @ St. Elia




“But even now,” says the Lord, “repent sincerely and return to me with fasting and weeping and mourning.” Joel 2:12

Reflections from the Upper Room...

Reflections from the Upper Room…



MON, March 18 – St. Cyril of Jerusalem. St. Nicolai of Zicha – Strict Fast Monday, March 18 – St. Cyril of Jerusalem. St. Nicolai of Zicha – Strict Fast 6th Hour: Isaiah 1:1-20 Vespers: Genesis 1:1-13; Proverbs 1:1-20

This Week's Feast Days & Scripture Readings

This Week’s Feast Days & Scripture Readinings

TUE, March 19 – Martyrs Chrysanthus and Daria – Strict Fast 6th Hour: Isaiah 1:19-2:4 Vespers: Genesis 1:4-23; Proverbs 1:20-33

WED, March 20 – Holy Fathers slain at the Monastery of St. Sabbas – Strict Fast 6th Hour: Isaiah 3:2-11 Vespers: Joel 3:12-21

THU, Mar 21 – St. James the Confessor, Bishop of Catania – Strict Fast 6th Hour: Isaiah 2:11-21 Vespers: Genesis 2:4-19; Proverbs 3:1-18

FRI, March 22 – Hieromartyr Basil of Ancyra – Strict Fast 6th Hour: Isaiah 3:1-15 Vespers: Genesis 2:20-30 Proverbs 3:19-34

SAT, March 23 – Commemoration of St. Theodore the Recruit – Strict Fast Hebrews 1:1-12 Mark 2:23-3:5





Let us remember our Faithful who are serving in the Armed Forces: usa_flag

  • Anthony Freude, son of Fr. Don and Popadia Donna Freude
  • Egor Cravcenco, son of Serghei and Ludmila Cavcenco



Let us remember our Faithful who are sick or shut in:

Wishing you a speedy recovery.

Wishing you a speedy recovery.

  • Mickey Stokich
  • Tom Hagerman
  • Leonora Evancho
  • Bessie Alexandrovich
  • Larissa Freude
  • Christina Paluch Collins
  • Anastasia Haymon
  • Nicholas Dimoff
  • Veronica Dameff
  • Joseph Boyle, Sr. (father of Kathy Gray)
  • Joseph Boyle, brother of Kathy Gray (Ann Arbor, Michigan)


Our Greater Orthodox Akron Community will gather for the Vespers of the Sunday of Orthodoxy and the Feast of the Annunciation on Sunday evening, March 24th at 5 P at Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church.  Our Guest Homilist is Fr. Dr. Radu Bordeianu, Associate Professor at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh. Pa. (Fr. Brodeianu was a Doctoral Student of our Bishop Alexander at Marquette University).


The annual Spring Pilgrimage of St. Gregory Palamas Monastery in Hayesville, Ohio will be held on Saturday, March 30, 2013, the second Saturday of the Great Fast.  The 3rd and 6th Hours will be read at 9:45 am followed by the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy served by His Eminence, Metropolitan Savas of the Greek Metropolis of Pittsburgh.  A Lenten Meal will be served in the new trapeza following the Divine Liturgy.


A Lenten Retreat for teens, sponsored by our diocesan St. Paul Cathedral in Dearborn Heights Michigan, will be held at Dormition of the Mother of God Monastery, Rives Junction, Michigan, April 5 – 7, 2013.  

ARRIVAL on Friday, April 5 – between 5 PM – 8 PM. Dinner will be at 6 PM and Mother Gabriella will give a welcoming talk at 8 PM. Lights out at 11 PM.

Saturday, April 6 – Divine Liturgy at 9 AM followed by lunch and Retreat Sessions.  Our Father and Bishop Alexander will be speaking during the day. Weather permitting, a discussion around a bonfire will be at 7:30 PM

Sunday, April 7 – Services at 10 AM followed by lunch and departure for home. Donations: Teenagers $60 includes room and meals. Adults $100 includes room and meals.

Saturday only: $25 for teens and adults. Please speak to Popadia Donna for more information!




LENT is for LIFE

LENT is for LIFE

In the Orthodox Church, the last Sunday before Great Lent—the day on which, at Vespers, Lent is liturgically announced and inaugurated—is called Forgiveness Sunday. On the morning of that Sunday, at the Divine Liturgy, we hear the words of Christ: “If you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses…” (Mark 6:14-15). Then after Vespers—after hearing the announcement of Lent in the Great Prokeimenon: “Turn not away Thy face from Thy child, for I am afflicted! Hear me speedily! Draw near unto my soul and deliver it!”, after making our entrance into Lenten worship, with its special melodies, with the prayer of St Ephraim the Syrian, with its prostrations—we ask forgiveness from each other, we perform the rite of forgiveness and reconciliation. And as we approach each other with words of reconciliation, the choir intones the Paschal hymns, filling the church with the anticipation of Paschal joy. What is the meaning of this rite? Why is it that the Church wants us to begin the Lenten season with forgiveness and reconciliation? These questions are in order because for too many people Lent means primarily, and almost exclusively, a change of diet, the compliance with ecclesiastical regulations concerning fasting. They understand fasting as an end in itself, as a “good deed” required by God and carrying in itself its merit and its reward. But the Church spares no effort in revealing to us that fasting is but a means, one among many, towards a higher goal: the spiritual renewal of man, his return to God, true repentance and, therefore, true reconciliation. The Church spares no effort in warning us against a hypocritical and pharisaic fasting, against the reduction of religion to mere external obligations. As a Lenten hymn says: “In vain do you rejoice in not eating, O soul! For you abstain from food, But from passions you are not purified. If you persevere in sin, you will perform a useless fast!” Now, forgiveness stands at the very center of Christian faith and of Christian life because Christianity itself is, above all, the religion of forgiveness.

God forgives us, and His forgiveness is in Christ, His Son, whom He sends to us so that by sharing in His humanity we may share in His love and be truly reconciled with God.  Indeed, Christianity has no other content but love. And it is primarily the renewal of that love, a growth in it, that we seek in Great Lent, in fasting and prayer, in the entire spirit and the entire effort of that season. Thus, truly forgiveness is both the beginning of, and the proper condition for, the Lenten season. One may ask, however: Why should I perform this rite when I have no “enemies?” Why should I ask forgiveness from people who have done nothing to me, and whom I hardly know? To ask these questions is to misunderstand the Orthodox teaching concerning forgiveness. It is true that open enmity, personal hatred, real animosity may be absent from our life, though if we experience them, it may be easier for us to repent, for these feelings openly contradict Divine commandments. But the Church reveals to us that there are much subtler ways of offending Divine Love. These are indifference, selfishness, lack of interest in other people, of any real concern for them—in short, that wall which we usually erect around ourselves, thinking that by being “polite” and “friendly” we fulfill God’s commandments. The rite of forgiveness is so important precisely because it makes us realize—be it only for one minute— that our entire relationship to other men is wrong, makes us experience that encounter of one child of God with another, of one person created by God with another, makes us feel that mutual “recognition” which is so terribly lacking in our cold and dehumanized world. On that unique evening, listening to the joyful Paschal hymns we are called to make a spiritual discovery: to taste of another mode of life and relationship with people, of life whose essence is love. We can discover that always and everywhere Christ, the Divine Love Himself, stands in the midst of us, transforming our mutual alienation into brotherhood. As I advance towards the other, as the other comes to me—we begin to realize that it is Christ who brings us together by His love for both of us. And because we make this discovery—and because this discovery is that of the Kingdom of God itself: the Kingdom of Peace and Love, of reconciliation with God and, in Him, with all that exists—we hear the hymns of that Feast, which once a year “opens to us the doors of Paradise.” We know why we shall fast and pray, what we shall seek during the long Lenten pilgrimage. Forgiveness Sunday: the day on which we acquire the power to make our fasting— true fasting; our effort—true effort; our reconciliation with God—true reconciliation. —Father Alexander Schmemann

Following Christ to Hard Places

This weekly bulletin insert complements the curriculum published by the Department of Christian Education of the Orthodox Church in America. This and many other Christian Education resources areavailable at 17 is the eve of Great Lent, when we prepare ourselves to begin the days of intensified prayer and more rigorous fasting that will lead us through the weeks to Holy Pascha. Some would say that the physical act of fasting is hard. For others, establishing and maintaining a regular practice of prayer is difficult. Yet on this day, we are asked to do the thing that may be hardest of all for many people: to forgive every person in our lives. We are asked to start on the Lenten path that will lead us to the words we sing on Pascha: “Let us…forgive all by the Resurrection.” Jesus Christ never pretended that some of the things He had to do were not hard for Him. We read in Matthew’s Gospel how He made it clear that going to Jerusalem was hard, because He knew what awaited Him there. He took the twelve disciples aside and told them, “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man will be delivered to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn him to death, and deliver him to the Gentiles to be mocked and scourged and crucified…” (20: 17-19a). Jesus also told the disciples that He would be “raised on the third day,” but the miracle of the Resurrection came after the all-important words spoken on the cross, when He asked His Father to forgive those who killed Him. On March 17th we remember a famous saint who also had to go to a hard place and had to forgive. He is the great Patrick, the Enlightener of Ireland. That is the country with which he is most closely associated, but it was not his birthplace and his early memories of it must have been recollections of hardship and cruelty. Patrick was the grandson of a priest and the son of a deacon. He was born around the year 390 and grew up in the southwestern part of Britain. He was sixteen that he first went to Ireland, and not by choice. Captured by Irish pirates, he was taken to their homeland and sold into slavery. After six years of suffering and intense homesickness, Patrick managed to escape and get back to his family. In gratitude to God he began to study to become a priest.  By the year 435, Patrick was ready, and was given his assignment: he was to go to Ireland and preach there. The idea of returning to a place where he had endured such loneliness and misery must have been hard. Worse, he would be remembered by some as a lowly runaway slave, not a priest and teacher. But Patrick was able to forgive the terrible things he associated with Ireland, and taught with love and gentleness. He lived by the words of Proverbs 3: 27, which we read on March 22: “Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it.” Troparion — Tone 3 Holy Bishop Patrick, Faithful shepherd of Christ’s royal flock, You filled Ireland with the radiance of the Gospel: The mighty strength of the Trinity! Now that you stand before the Savior, Pray that He may preserve us in faith and love! Kontakion — Tone 4 From slavery you escaped to freedom in Christ’s service: He sent you to deliver Ireland from the devil’s bondage. You planted the Word of the Gospel in pagan hearts. In your journeys and hardships you rivaled the Apostle Paul! Having received the reward for your labors in heaven, Never cease to pray for the flock you have gathered on earth, Holy bishop Patrick!

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