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Promise The

HOLY TRINITY GREEK ORTHODOX CHURCH WESTFIELD ^ NEW JERSEY

November/December 2013 ^ Volume 37, Issue 7

HtgocWestfield@htgocnj.org

908-233-8533

holytrinitywestfield.org

Concerning Holy Communion Part two ■ THE REVEREND PETER DELVIZIS

Last month a series entitled “Concerning Holy Communion” began. This month the article continues introducing fasting, reconciliation and prayer as essential tools in preparing to receive Holy Communion.

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aving introduced this topic on how an Orthodox Christian is to prepare to receive Holy Communion, it was stated in the last issue that an Orthodox Christian is expected to follow the Sacred Canons and Holy Traditions concerning the reception of Holy Communion. The first and most simple way that the Canons speak of is to follow a complete fast the day of receiving. In other words, nothing is to be taken by the mouth the morning of receiving Holy Communion. No meal is to be eaten. While pastoral exceptions are given to those who must take medication and to infants, this ancient Tradition of the complete fast cannot be broken by anyone else. This is the strictest and universally followed rule Canon. Also of critical importance with any preparation in receiving Holy Communion is to make sure that you have reconciled yourself with God and neighbor. The Lord teaches us that, If you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. – Matthew 5:23-24 To

be at peace with others is a requirement for receiving the Eucharist. The Kiss of Peace which is a liturgical act that is exchanged by the clergy during the Divine Liturgy is a sign of reconciliation and forgiveness. The faithful must also experience reconciliation as a way to offer the Holy Gifts at the altar. There can be no animosity between yourself and another if you are to receive the Eucharist. Pride, greed, lust, envy, anger are from the devil and these things cause enmity and schism between brothers. Holy Communion is not compatible with these things since Holy Communion seeks to unite one to another and all with God. Without

sharing the unity and mutual love as a spiritual family the faithful cannot ‘with one mind’ confess the Triune God. The October issue of The Promise also included prayers that are to be read before receiving communion. This month’s issue includes the prayers after receiving communion. Prayer is essential with preparation because it is through prayer that we begin to commune with God. The following point cannot be emphasized enough. The highest and most creative form of prayer is found during the celebration of the Divine Liturgy. When the Church is in solemn Pag. 3 prayer we are assured that

Wait for the promise of the Father

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Dates in the Life of Our Church November - December

MON

11

Sts. Victor & Vikenzios, Menas 8:30 AM Orthros 9:30 AM Divine Liturgy

TUE

12 THUR

14

4:00 PM Greek School 7:00 PM Philoptochos Board Meeting 10:00 AM TOTs

7:30 PM Choir FRI

SAT

16 SUN

17

TUE

19 THUR

21

SUN

1

11:00 AM Baptism

WED

4

8:15 AM Orthros 9:30 AM Divine Liturgy

6

SUN

8

THUR

12

7:30 PM NNJYC 11:00 AM Trinity Circle

15

Entrance of the Theotokos 8:30 AM Orthros

TUE

2

8:30 AM Orthros St. Nicholas the Wonderworker 8:30 AM Orthros 8:15 AM Orthros 9:30 AM Divine Liturgy St. Spyridon the Wonderworker 8:30 AM Orthros 8:15 AM Orthros 9:30 AM Divine Liturgy

SUN

22

8:15 AM Orthros 9:30 AM Divine Liturgy 12:00 PM Pageant Rehearsal

TUE

24

Christmas Eve 8:30 AM Orthros

7:30 PM Choir

9:15 AM Royal Hours of the Nativity

8:15 AM Orthros

7:00 PM Vesperal Divine Liturgy

9:30 AM Divine Liturgy St. Katherine the Great Martyr

Christmas Pageant WED

25

4:00 PM Greek School

Christmas - The Nativity of the Saviour 8:30 AM Orthros 9:30 AM Divine Liturgy

8:30 AM Orthros 9:30 AM Divine Liturgy

26

St. Barbara the Great Martyr

Parish Council Elections

4:00 PM Greek School

6:30 PM Greek Dance

25

9:30 AM Divine Liturgy

9:30 AM Divine Liturgy SUN

7:00 PM Greek Dance

MON

8:15 AM Orthros

9:30 AM Divine Liturgy

4:00 PM Greek School

SUN

OfďŹ ce Closed

9:30 AM Divine Liturgy

9:30 AM Divine Liturgy

24

Thanksgiving Day

Parish General Assembly

FRI

6:30 PM Greek Dance

18

FRI

29

Nativity Fast Begins

Stewardship Sunday / Youth Sunday & Brunch MON

28

4:00 PM Greek School 7:00 PM Greek Dance

15

THUR

SAT

30

Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church ^ Westfield, New Jersey

8:15 AM Orthros 9:30 AM Divine Liturgy


Pag. 1 CONCERNING HOLY COMMUNION God will respond by sending down to us His Holy Spirit. Once again we offer to You this spiritual and bloodless worship, and we ask, pray and supplicate; send down Your Holy Spirit UPON US and upon these gifts we offer to you. – Prayer of Consecration, The Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom. Full participation in the Eucharistic celebration means to be present from the beginning of the Divine Liturgy until the dismissal while also communing from the Holy Chalice. It is during the Divine Liturgy that we experience and witness the presence of God. I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be given to them by My Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in

the midst of them. – Matthew 18:19-20. It can be considered rather offensive for an Orthodox Christian to ignore the Lord’s presence both by arriving late for the liturgy, after the Lord has manifested Himself to the congregation, and by abstaining from Holy Communion which is His life-giving Body and Blood that was sacrificed upon the Cross and shed for your salvation. If Scripture is searched, you will find that the one person who was not present for the entire first Eucharistic Banquet was Judas the Betrayer. Judas is not a model of faith by any means. Each of us at our baptism was given the name of a saint. This “friend of God” should be your role model of piety and the one who shows you Christ. As your patron

saint has already consecrated his life to Christ and delights in His presence, so too should you allow him to bring you into closer union with Christ by finding delight in being in His House. It has been said that fervent love finds a way for lovers to unite. You are called to express faithful zeal and become a witness of God’s blessings that have been given to you. Through prayer you begin to commune with God and are united in His love. Through the prayer of the congregation you enter into His heavenly dominion and see before you God manifested. By receiving Holy Communion, you are united to Christ and make provision for eternal life. ^

GOYA 37TH ANNUAL CHRIST ENCOUNTER WEEKEND

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his year was my fourth YHT retreat, and the best one yet by far. The theme centered around a quote from Timothy 4:12: “Do not let them look down on you because you are young, but set an example to the believers through speech, conduct, love, faith and purity.” What words could be more relevant to a young adult getting ready to make their entrance into the world of independent life at college? The reminder that just because we are young doesn’t mean that our convictions and beliefs lack merit, reflection, maturity, or value. Faith is not something for “grown ups” only. Faith is not a responsibility that is thrust upon you in adulthood. Faith is an evolution of the soul, one that begins from the moment we are baptized.

roasting marshmallows provided for some real quality time. In the midst of our hectic lives and our responsibilities, it’s truly a blessing to spend a weekend enjoying nature and our friends who are really better described as our spiritual family. I will truly miss every GOYAN next year, but I will cherish the memories I have made at the retreats.. ^

We are called upon as Orthodox Christians to foster our spirituality throughout our whole lives, and spread the word of God through our conduct, love, faith and purity. The seminarians, Fr. Peter and advisors at the retreat led such powerful discussions and provided insightful guidance on the theme. – Elena Arida Beyond the spiritual enrichment I experienced over the weekend, I had such a wonderful time with my friends. Ziplining, tetherball, football, hiking, and

Harvest season for seasoned goyans. The Promise ^ November/December 2013 ^ Volume 37, Issue 7

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Prayers Before Receiving Holy Communion

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hen you have had your due and rightful part in these life giving and mysterious gifts, give immediate praise and great thanks to God, and say the following with fervent soul: Glory to you, O God! (3x)

Anonymous

I thank You, Lord, my God, that You have not rejected me, a sinner, but have made me worthy to partake of Your holy Mysteries. I thank You that You have permitted me, although I am unworthy, to receive Your pure and heavenly gifts. O loving Master, who died and rose for our sake, and granted to us these awesome and life-giving Mysteries for the well-being and sanctification of our souls and bodies, let these gifts be for healing of my own soul and body, the averting of every evil, the illumination of the eyes of my heart, the peace of my spiritual powers, a faith unashamed, a love unfeigned, the fulfi lling of wisdom, the observing of Your commandments, the receiving of Your divine grace, and the inheritance of Your kingdom. Preserved by them in Your holiness, may I always be mindful of Your grace and no longer live for myself, but for You, our Master and Benefactor. May I pass from this life in the hope of eternal life, and attain to the everlasting rest, where the voices of Your saints who feast are unceasing, and their joy, beholding the ineffable beauty of Your countenance, is unending. For you,

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Christ our God, are the true joy and the inexpressible gladness of those who love You, and all creation praises You forever. Amen.

Prayer of St. Basil the Great

I thank You, Christ and Master our God, King of the ages and Creator of all things, for all the good gifts You have given me, and especially for the participation in Your pure and lifegiving mysteries. I, therefore, pray to You, good and loving Lord: keep me under Your protection and under the shadow of Your wings. Grant that to my last breath I may with a pure conscience partake worthily of Your gifts for the forgiveness of sins and for eternal life. For You are the Bread of life, the source of holiness, the Giver of all good things, and to You we give glory, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, now and forever and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Prayer Of St. Symeon Metaphrastes

You who have voluntarily given me Your flesh as food, who are a burning fi re to the unworthy, do not consume me. No, my Creator. Rather, penetrate into my members, all my joints, my organs, my heart and burn like thorns all my iniquities. Cleanse my soul, hallow my thoughts, make firm my knees and my bones as well. Illumine my five senses and make my entire being vigilant with the fear of You. Watch over me always, shield and protect me from every deed and word that corrupts the soul. Cleanse me, purify and put me in order. Adorn me, give me understanding, and illumine me. Mark me as Your dwelling place of the Spirit only and no longer a place of sin, so that when You enter, as if into Your own home of communion, every evil doer and every passion will flee from me as from fire. As advocates, I bring to

Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church ^ Westfield, New Jersey

You all the saints, the captains of the incorporeal hosts, Your Forerunner, Your wise Apostles, and more than these, Your spotless, pure Mother, whose prayers accept, my compassionate Christ. Make Your ser vant a child of light. For in Your goodness, You alone sanctify and enlighten our souls, and to You, our God and Master, do we give, as it is right, glory every day.

Anonymous

Let Your sacred body, Lord Jesus Christ our God, lead me to eternal life, and Your precious blood to remission of sins. Let this Eucharist be to me joy, health, and gladness. And at Your fearful Coming deem me a sinner worthy to stand at the right hand of Your glory, by the intercession of Your most pure Mother, and of all Your saints. Amen.

To the Virgin Mary All holy Lady, Theotokos, light of my darkened soul, my hope, shelter, refuge, comfort, and joy, I thank you, for you have deemed me, the unworthy one, worthy to partake of the most pure Body and of the precious Blood of your Son. But you who gave birth to the true Light, enlighten the spiritual eyes of my heart. You conceived the source of immortality. Now give life to me who am dead in sin. You, the compassionate Mother of the merciful God, have mercy on me and give me penitence and contrition of heart and meekness in my thoughts and an awakening of my thoughts from captivity. And grant me, until my last breath, to receive without condemnation the sanctification of your sacred Mysteries for the healing of soul and body. Grant me tears of repentance and confession that I may praise and glorify you all the days of my life. For you are blessed and glorified to the ages. Amen. Glory Be To God. To read the entire series of Prayers simply visit: http://www.goarch.org/chapel/liturgical_texts/ daily_prayers ^


Philoptochos

ALWAYS A SEASON FOR THANKS-GIVING

■ PENNY PEFANIS, PRESIDENT

To aid the poor, the aged, the hungry, the needy, and the sick through charitable works performed with discretion, courtesy, and kindness.

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rayer can be initiated in four forms: forgiveness, intercession, guidance and thanks. We often ask for forgiveness, ask for intercession from the Theotokos and all the saints, and ask for or seek guidance from God. Each is a form of receiving. But how often do we remember to offer thanks, an act of giving? Here within our Holy Trinity family, the Lord hears our prayers as we give thanks to many individuals who have generously given through their acts of kindness. Nitsa Bruno coordinated a sumptuous spread to thank all of our stewards for their financial support in the National Initiative of Aid to Greece and Cyprus. Marina LoAlbo seamlessly chaired the Fifty/Fifty Raffle whose proceeds benefit many in need. Sophie Stappas coordinated the mammoth task of sending a copious number of shoes donated thankfully by all of you to Soles4Souls, an organization that gives shoes to many who have never owned a pair.

Stella Wacker, another steward, generously shared her extraordinary “Pilgrimage to Constantinople” with us. Debra Vlahakis chaired the Lord & Taylor Charity Event coupon sale expediently so that its proceeds will augment donations to our worthy charities. Anna Savva graciously provided us with the opportunity to support Breast Cancer Awareness and honored those afflicted by representing them on the church grounds with pink ribbons. These events are loving forms of outreach, supported by all of you in a heart-warming Christian response to the mission of Philoptochos. With deep appreciation we thank you kindly. We wish all the parishioners of Holy Trinity a blessed Thanksgiving with your families, and we give thanks to God for your constant support in all that you have done.

Calendar of Events Community Christmas Card – through Dec.8 Cynthia Ladas, Julie Exarhakos and Mary Skiadas, chairs General Meeting/Christmas Party – Dec. 11 Marina LoAlbo, chair Vasilopita Luncheon – Sun., Jan. 26. ^

The Bookstore Celebrate Thanksgiving at the Church Book Store! ■ SANDY MOURATOGLOU & ANDREA BLASI

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n Autumn, nature paints a beautiful tapestry of colored leaves. This season is also known as “ fall”. The Christian goes far beyond Shakespeare’s famous quotation: “The quality of mercy is not strained: it droppeth as the gentle rain from Heaven!” Thanksgiving Day falls in the month of November, and this celebration, for the Christian, goes far beyond a turkey dinner with all the trimmings! Come to the Book Store and celebrate this season by finding a

special gift for yourself or a loved one to celebrate all the blessings you have by learning more about Christ and Christianity! In addition, the Book Store needs stewards to act as cashiers. This is a unique opportunity to browse our offerings for yourself, meet new friends, and most of all, to help to spread the Word of God! If you are interested, you can donate your time during any fellowship hour, at your convenience. Stop by our table any Sunday to discuss this. Browse our offerings: if you don’t see what you want, we can order it for you! ^

RELIGIOUS AWARDS FOR ALL SCOUTS

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f you are a boy or girl in Grades 1-12 and involved in Scouting, did you know that you can earn an Orthodox Christian religious award? Many Scouts from Holy Trinity have been honored with the St. George (grades 1-3), Chi Rho (4-5), and Alpha Omega (6-12) Awards. This past year, six Scouts completed their awards. To fi nd out how Holy Trinity supports our Scouts in fulfi lling the requirements, contact our Scouting advisor, Miriam Kotsonis: mekotsonis@gmail.com, 908/672-0001 or Father Peter. ^

The Promise ^ November/December 2013 ^ Volume 37, Issue 7

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MEASUREMENTS

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f a person does something wrong, we pin a mental on him. From then on he is remembered as the person who committed such-and-such a sin. We forget that people change. They don’t remain the same. That’s why we need to listen to the tailor who said to his client, when the client asked him to follow the measurements from his last suit: “I’ve got those measurements,” he said, “but to do things right I must take measurements for each new suit. People change, and not always for the worse. For all we know you may have dropped a few inches here and there.” Not a bad philosophy to follow as we deal with people. Don’t rely on old preconceptions. People do change, and not always for the worse. ^

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NEVER JUDGE THE UNFINISHED

ever judge an unfinished picture. None of us is finished. Samuel Johnson said, “God Himself does not propose to judge a person until his life is over. Why should you and I?” A young man wore a button on his lapel which said, “PBPGINFWMY.” When asked what it meant, he said, “Please be patient – God is not finished with me yet.” A good thing to remember when we are tempted to criticize! St. Paul wrote, “Therefore, do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purpose of his heart. Then every man will receive his commendation from God.” – 1Corinthians 4:5 ^

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The Promise ^ November/December 2013 ^ Volume 37, Issue 7

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Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church 250 Gallows Hill Road ^ Westfield, NJ 07090 Change Service Requested

Metropolis of New Jersey

Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church Office Staff

Contact Information Mailing Address 250 Gallows Hill Rd. Westfield, NJ 07090-1109 Phone 908-233-8533

Accountant Diana R. Waltsak Caretaker Ocione Nunes Admin. Assistant E. Joy Daniledes

Fax 908-233-0623 E-mail HtgocWestfield@htgocnj.org Web site holytrinitywestfield.org Presiding Priest Rev. Peter Delvizis

Worship Psaltis Pascalis Kuvalakis Choir Director Kathryn Athanasoulas Organist Phyllis Verenes Head Acolyte Nik Karsos

E-mail FrPeter@htgocnj.org

Schedule of Services

The Promise: Volume 37, Issue 7

Sundays

Weekdays

Orthros

8:15 AM

8:30 AM

Divine Liturgy

9:30 AM

9:30 AM

10 issues published annually. No subscription fee. Article deadline - 10th of the preceding month

Ministries Parish Council Philoptochos Religious Education Greek School Youth (GOYA) JOY / HOPE TOTS Bookstore Cultural Greek School PTO Trinity Circle

Agapios Kyritsis Penny Pefanis Jenny Hantzios-Basis Rita Fitanidis Nik Karsos Julie Vagelos & Peggy Tsirigotis Joanne Paras Sandy Mouratoglou Barbara Manos Christina Warnick Antoinette Genakos


The Promise Nov/Dec.-2013