SCHEDULE OF DIVINE SERVICES
BEGINNING OF THE LENTEN TRIODION
1st Pre-Lenten Sunday
SUNDAY OF THE PUBLICAN AND PHARISEE – Tone 5
First and Second Finding of the Honorable Head of the Holy Glorious Prophet, Forerunner John the Baptist
Saturday, February 23
- 5:00P Great Vespers & Confessions
Sunday, February 24
- 9:45A Hours – Bud Graham
- 10:00A Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom
Epistle Reader ~ Bud Graham
EPISTLE: 2 Timothy 3:10-15 GOSPEL: Luke 18:10-14
FAST FREE WEEK
2nd Pre-Lenten Sunday
SUNDAY OF THE PRODIGAL SON – Tone 6
Saturday, March 2
- NO VESPERS SCHEDULED (Due to 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 & General Panakhida
*AFTER SERVICES* – Saint Elia Church School presents “Finding Nemo” during a Pizza Party! All are welcome. Cheese Pizza and soda will be provided; bring a snack to share if you wish. Please sign up by Sunday, March 3rd so we can plan on there being enough pizza. For your own comfort, bring your lawn chairs, blankets and pillows.
DIOCESAN CLERGY RETREAT
The Priests and Deacons of our Diocese, along with His Grace Bishop Alexander, will be on Retreat at Dormition Monastery this week Feb. 28 – March 2 Please keep them in your prayers.
- 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)
- Anthony Freude, son of Fr. Don and Popadia Donna Freude
- Egor Cravcenco, son of Serghei and Ludmila Cavcenco
PARISH COUNCIL MEETING
Tuesday, February 26 at 7:00P
UPPER ROOM WEEKLY REFLECTION:
“Preach the Gospel at all times. When necessary, use words.” St. Francis of Assisi
THIS WEEK’S FEAST DAYS AND SCRIPTURE READING
Monday, FEB 25 – St. Tarasius, Archbishop of Constantinople – No Fast
2 Peter 1:20-2:9 Mark 13:9-13
Tuesday, FEB 26 – St. Porphyrius, Bishop of Gaza – No Fast
2 Peter 2:9-22 Mark 13:14-23
Wednesday, FEB 27 – Repose of St. Raphael, Bishop of Brooklyn – No Fast
Hebrews 13:17-21 John 10:9-16
Thursday, February 28 – Venerable Basil the Confessor – No Fast
1 John 1:8-2:6 Mark 13:31-14:2
Friday, MAR 1 – Martyr Eudoxia of Heliopolis – No Fast
1 John 2:7-17 Mark 14:3-9
Saturday, MAR 2 – Hieromartyr Theodotus, Bishop of Cyenia – No Fast
2 Timothy 3:1-9 Luke 20:46-21:4
✔ CHURCH SCHOOL – 2012 – 2013
Church School classes are held on Sunday mornings. Following the celebration of Divine Liturgy,the children proceed to their classes in the Church Hall.
The theme for this year is Jesus, the Good Shepherd. A shepherd takes care of his sheep. The sheep knows the Shepherd’s voice, and they follow where he leads them. “Jesus said, ‘I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives his life for his sheep.’” John 10:11.
The adults of our community remain in Church during the Church School time for a special session of Q & A – Questions and Answers. Please remember that the time our children have in Church School is very precious. During the their class time, please do not be in the Church Hall visiting and conversing. This is distracting for the teachers and children.
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!
SUNDAY OF THE PUBLICAN AND PHARISEE ~ Commemorated on February 24
The Sunday after the Sunday of Zacchaeus is devoted to the Publican and the Pharisee. At Vespers the night before, the TRIODION (the liturgical book used in the services of Great Lent) begins.
Two men went to the Temple to pray. One was a Pharisee who scrupulously observed the requirements of religion: he prayed, fasted, and contributed money to the Temple. These are very good things, and should be imitated by anyone who loves God. We who may not fulfill these requirements as well as the Pharisee did should not feel entitled to criticize him for being faithful. His sin was in looking down on the Publican and feeling justified because of his external religious observances.
The second man was a Publican, a tax-collector who was despised by the people. He, however, displayed humility, and this humility justified him before God (Luke 18:14).
The lesson to be learned is that we possess neither the Pharisee’s religious piety, nor the Publican’s repentance, through which we can be saved. We are called to see ourselves as we really are in the light of Christ’s teaching, asking Him to be merciful to us, deliver us from sin, and to lead us on the path of salvation.
FIRST & SECOND FINDING OF THE HEAD OF JOHN THE BAPTIST ~ Commemorated on February 24
After the Beheading of the Holy Prophet, Forerunner and Baptist John (August 29), his body was buried by disciples in the Samarian city of Sebaste, and his venerable head was hidden by Herodias in an unclean place. St Joanna (June 27), the wife of King Herod’s steward Chuza (Luke 8:3), secretly took the holy head and placed it into a vessel and buried it on the Mount of Olives in one of Herod’s properties.
After many years, this property passed into the possession of a government official who became a monk with the name of Innocent. He built a church and a cell there. When they started to dig the foundation, the vessel with the venerable head of John the Baptist was uncovered. Innocent recognized its great holiness from the signs of grace emanating from it. Thus occurred the First Finding of the Head. Innocent preserved it with great piety, but fearful that the holy relic might be abused by unbelievers, before his own death he again hid it in that same place, where it was found. Upon his death the church fell into ruin and was destroyed.
During the days of St Constantine the Great (May 21), when Christianity began to flourish, the holy Forerunner appeared twice to two monks journeying to Jerusalem on pilgrimage to the holy places, and he revealed the location of his venerable head.
The monks uncovered the holy relic and, placing it into a sack of camel-hair, they proceeded homewards. Along the way they encountered an unnamed potter and gave him the precious burden to carry. Not knowing what he was carrying, the potter continued on his way. But the holy Forerunner appeared to him and ordered him to flee from the careless and lazy monks, with what he held in his hands. The potter concealed himself from the monks and at home he preserved the venerable head with reverence. Before his death he placed it in a water jug and gave it to his sister.
From that time the venerable head was successively preserved by devout Christians, until the priest Eustathius (infected with the Arian heresy) came into possession of it. He beguiled a multitude of the infirm who had been healed by the holy head, ascribing their cures to the fact that it was in the possession of an Arian. When his blasphemy was uncovered, he was compelled to flee. After he buried the holy relic in a cave, near Emesa, the heretic intended to return later and use it for disseminating falsehood. God, however, did not permit this. Pious monks settled in the cave, and then a monastery arose at this place. In the year 452 St John the Baptist appeared to Archimandrite Marcellus of this monastery, and indicated where his head was hidden. This became celebrated as the Second Finding. The holy relic was transferred to Emesa, and later to Constantinople.
Dealing with the Devil
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.
On February 24 we read Mark 13: 9-13. These words of Jesus Christ warn the disciples of difficult times to come.
The events He foretells are frightening: “They will deliver you up to councils; and you will be beaten in synagogues…And brother will deliver up brother to death and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death; and you will be hated by all for My name’s sake.”
But before telling them all these things, He urges the disciples to “take heed to yourselves,” which is also translated as “watch out for yourselves” or “beware.” This warning could simply mean that they must prepare for the trouble that is coming.
But it might also mean that they must be ready to face that trouble without letting it overcome them. The devil uses whatever he can to tempt us away from faith, and making us despair when we suffer unjustly for the faith can be one of his weapons. That is why Christ adds this promise to His warning: “But he who endures to the end will be saved.”
On this same day we remember a man who did allow the devil’s temptation to overcome him. He is the monk Erasmus of the Kiev Caves. He came from a very wealthy family, and decided that the best way to spend his money was to beautify the monastery church with icons and precious relics. He used up his fortune doing this, and continued to live his personal life as a monk without possessions or wealth.
The devil found a way to use Erasmus’ generous beautifying of the church against him by making him doubt what he had done. Why, the devil tempted him, didn’t you use your money to help the poor? What good is a beautiful church?
Erasmus allowed these evil questions to drive him into despair, which was his real sin. He drifted into an unhealthy, unfruitful way of living.
When he became deathly ill, his monastic brothers were sure that it was too late for him to repent. But the Mother of God appeared to him as he lay dying. She understood that he had wanted to honor her by making the church beautiful, and she assured him that he would be given time to repent, and would be received into the Kingdom of Heaven.
On February 25 we remember another person who was tempted by the devil: Saint Tarasius, Patriarch of Constantinople. At the end of a life spent honorably serving God, he was attacked by demons trying to make him despair by accusing him of various sins. But rather than give in, he shouted back at them, “I am not guilty of that sin!” and flailed the air with his arms, driving them off. When he finally died, he was at peace and his face was radiant.
Whatever ways the devil finds to tempt us into despair, it’s good to remember the promise of Christ: The person who endures to the end will be saved.