SCHEDULE OF DIVINE SERVICES
SUNDAY OF THE PRODIGAL SON – Tone 6
Saturday, March 2
- NO VESPERS (due to the Clergy Retreat)
Sunday, March 3
- 9:45 A – Hours – Sandy Graham
- 10:00 A – Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom
Epistle Reader – Sandy Graham
EPISTLE: 1 Cor. 6:12-20 GOSPEL: Luke 15:11-32
MEMORIAL SATURDAY – SATURDAY OF MEATFARE
- Friday, March 8 – 6:00 P Vespers and General Panakhida
3rd Pre-Lenten Sunday
Sunday of the Last Judgment – Tone 7
Saturday, March 9
- 5:00 P Great Vespers and Confessions
Sunday, March 10
- 9:45 A Hours – Subdeacon Terrence Bilas
- 10:00 A Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom
Epistle Reader – Anastasia Bohush
EPISTLE: 1 Cor. 8:8-9:2 GOSPEL: Matt. 25:31-46
St. Elia Church School presents “Finding Nemo”. Join us on Friday, March 8th following Vespers and Panakihada services. Cheese Pizza and Soda Pop provided – bring a snack to share if you wish. ALL ages are welcome for this one!
- 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:
- Mickey Stokich
- Tom Hagerman
- Leonora Evancho
- Pierre Theodore
- 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)
UPPER ROOM WEEKLY REFLECTION:
“If at first you have begun, finish the work until it is done. Finish the task big or small, do it right or do not do it at all.”
- Monday, March 4 – Venerable Gerasimos of the Jordan
1 John 2:18-3:10 Mark 11:1-11
- Tuesday, March 5 – Martyr Conon of Isauria
1 John 3:11-20 Mark 14:10-42
- Wednesday, March 6 – Martrys of Ammoria in Phrygia, including: Constantine, Aetitus, Theophilus,Theodore, Melissenus, Calistus, Basoes and others – Fast Day
1 John 3:21-4:6 Mark 14:43-5:1
- Thursday, March 7 – The Holy Hieromartyrs of Cherson: Basil, Ephraim, Capito, Eugene, Aetherius, Elpidius and Agathodorus
1 John 4:20-5:1 Mark 15:1-15
- Friday, March 8 –- St. Theophylactus, Bishop of Nicomedia Fast Day
Hebrews 12:1-10 Matthew 20:1-16
- Saturday, March 9 – Memorial Saturday. Holy Forty Martyrs of Sebaste
1 Thessalonians 4:13-17 John 5:24-3
Prepare for Pascha by Praying the Psalms!
To draw nearer to Christ and one another during this Lenten Fast by praying the
Psalms together as a community, as we journey together toward holy Pascha.
How It Works
The Orthodox Church has divided the book of Psalms into 20 sections. In our St. Elia
prayer group, we will all be praying a new section each day throughout the 40 days
of the fast, beginning on March 18, so that we all will pray through the entire book of
Psalms twice during the course of the fast.
As we all join together in prayer, we can use this opportunity to pray for one another,
for our parish, and for any special intentions that any of us may have. If you have an
e-mail address, we will be able to share prayer requests with one another via e-mail.
(However, if you don’t, we can still use good old-fashioned word of mouth!)
What You Need
Nothing more than a Bible and a little bit of time to set aside each day.
How Do I Join?
Anytime before the beginning of the fast, write your name on the sign-up sheet at
church or go to www.saintelia.com/sign-up-for-the-lenten-prayer-group on the web
and fill in the online form. On the Sunday before Great Lent begins, printouts will be
available at church and an e-mail will be sent out with a schedule of which Psalms
to pray each day, and the names of everyone else who is participating in the prayer
group, so that we can remember one another in our daily prayers.
Spread the Word!
This does not need to be limited only to members of St. Elia. Pass along this
information to friends and relatives elsewhere and have them get in touch to join.
One Last Thing
May God bless us as we pray the Psalms together, and may He draw us nearer to Himself and to one another during this Lent. Have a blessed 40 days!
40 Holy Martyrs of Sebaste
Commemorated on March 9
In the year 313 St Constantine the Great issued an edict granting Christians religious freedom, and officially recognizing Christianity as equal with paganism under the law. But his co-ruler Licinius was a pagan, and he decided to stamp out Christianity in his part of the Empire. As Licinius prepared his army to fight Constantine, he decided to remove Christians from his army, fearing mutiny. One of the military commanders of that time in the Armenian city of Sebaste was Agricola, a zealous champion of idolatry. Under his command was a company of forty Cappadocians, brave soldiers who had distinguished themselves in many battles. When these Christian soldiers refused to offer sacrifice to the pagan gods, Agricola locked them up in prison. The soldiers occupied themselves with prayer and psalmody, and during the night they heard a voice saying, “Persevere until the end, then you shall be saved.”
On the following morning, the soldiers were again taken to Agricola. This time the pagan tried flattery. He began to praise their valor, their youth and strength, and once more he urged them to renounce Christ and thereby win themselves the respect and favor of their emperor. Seven days later, the renowned judge Licius arrived at Sebaste and put the soldiers on trial. The saints steadfastly answered, “Take not only our military insignia, but also our lives, since nothing is more precious to us than Christ God.” Licius then ordered his servants to stone the holy martyrs. But the stones missed the saints and returned to strike those who had thrown them. One stone thrown by Licius hit Agricola in the face, smashing his teeth. The torturers realized that the saints were guarded by some invisible power. In prison, the soldiers spent the night in prayer and again they heard the voice of the Lord comforting them: “He who believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live (John 11:25). Be brave and fear not, for you shall obtain imperishable crowns.”
On the following day the judge repeated the interrogation in front of the torturer, but the soldiers remained unyielding. It was winter, and there was a severe frost. They lined up the holy soldiers, threw them into a lake near the city, and set a guard to prevent them from coming out of the water. In order to break the will of the martyrs, a warm bath-house was set up on theshore. During the first hour of the night, when the cold had become unbearable, one of the soldiers made a dash for the bath-house, but no sooner had he stepped over the threshold, than he fell down dead.
During the third hour of the night, the Lord sent consolation to the martyrs. Suddenly there was light, the ice melted away, and the water in the lake became warm. All the guards were asleep, except for Aglaius, who was keeping watch. Looking at the lake he saw that a radiant crown had appeared over the head of each martyr. Aglaius counted thirty-nine crowns and realized that the soldier who fled had lost his crown. Aggias then woke up the other guards, took off his uniform and said to them, “I too am a Christian,” and he joined the martyrs. Standing in the water he prayed, “Lord God, I believe in You, in Whom these soldiers believe. Add me to their number, and make me worthy to suffer with Your servants.” Then a fortieth crown appeared over his head.
In the morning, the torturers saw with surprise that the martyrs were still alive, and their guard Aggias was glorifying Christ together with them. They led the soldiers out of the water and broke their legs. During this horrible execution the mother of the youngest of the soldiers, Meliton, pleaded with her son not to persevere until death. They put the bodies of the martyrs on a cart and committed them to fire. Young Meliton was still breathing, and they left him to lay on the ground. His mother then picked up her son, and on her own shoulders she carried him behind the cart. When Meliton drew his last breath, his mother put him on the cart with the bodies of his fellow sufferers. The bodies of the saints were tossed in the fire, and their charred bones were thrown into the water, so that Christians would not gather them up.
Three days later the martyrs appeared in a dream to St Peter, Bishop of Sebaste, and commanded him to bury their remains. The bishop together with several clergy gathered up the relics of the glorious martyrs by night and buried them with honor.
There is a pious custom of baking “skylarks” (pastries shaped like skylarks) on this day, because people believed that birds sing at this time to announce the arrival of spring. Forty “skylarks” are prepared in honor of the Forty Martyrs.
|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 are available at http://dce.oca.org.|
|March 5th is the feast day of Saint Mark the Ascetic, who was revered for his gentleness and for his ability to write with clarity about the “facts” of the Christian faith.There is not much information about Saint Mark’s life, but he lived in the fifth century and knew many of the great Church leaders of that time, including Saint John Chrysostom, who was probably his teacher and mentor. At the age of forty he was tonsured a monk, and spent the next several decades as a hermit in the desert of the northwestern Nile Delta in Egypt.He prayed with the Scriptures so closely that he learned them by heart. But, studious as he was, he did not ignore the living creatures around him. He paid attention to what was happening to them.That is why he once noticed that the offspring of a hyena was blind, and wept for it. Because of his compassion the young animal’s sight was restored. The mother hyena, in gratitude, brought him a sheepskin. While understanding the mother’s gift, he made it clear to her that she was never to kill the sheep of the poor people who lived in the neighboring villages.Saint Mark produced many writings, and in these we see his concern that people should have true knowledge, real facts, about the Christian life. So among his words are these: “Even though knowledge is true, it is still not firmly established if unaccompanied by works. For when we have totally neglected to practice something, our knowledge of it will gradually disappear.” He is stating a basic fact: Just as God acted for us by becoming man and overcoming death, He wants us to have an active faith, not just an intellectual one.In our own time, many people claim to state the facts about Christianity with certainty, but they are completely wrong. In a recent issue of the “New Yorker” Magazine, Adam Gopnik has an article about Galileo. In the article, Gopnik, who is not a Christian, writes that the Church’s teaching is that “the omnipotent ruler of the universe could satisfy his sense of justice only by sending his son here to be tortured to death…” This is the example of someone who only writes about but does not act or live the Christian life, and therefore doesn’t get his facts straight.
Gopnik’s description of the reason why Jesus Christ became Man completely ignores the true, factual reason why He did so: to save us, His creatures. As Christians, we have a duty to insist that people who write about our faith get their facts straight.
This is why saints like Mark the Ascetic are so valuable. He not only wrote about the Christian faith but lived it. His words are true because they were “accompanied by works.” A reading for this day tells us to do the same: “Little children, let us not love in word or speech, but in deed and in truth” (I John 3: 18).