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St. LukeDiocese Orthodox Christian Church of the South, Orthodox Church in America The Rev. Father Basil Henry, Priest 1415 Woodstock Ave. • Anniston, Alabama • www.stlukeanniston.org/ basilncana@yahoo.com • (256) 235-3893

Sunday, March 27, 2011 • 3rd Sunday of Lent Sunday of Veneration of the Cross

St. Matrona of Thessalonica (3rd-4th c.). Prophet Hanani (Ananias) (II Chron., ch. 16). Martyrs Manuel and Theodosius (304). St. Cyricus. monk ofThrace. St. Paphnutius (4th c.), disciple of St.Anthony the Great. St. John the Clairvoyant, anchorite of Lyeopolis, Egypt (394). St. Rupert. bishop ofSalzburg (718). St. Paul. bishop of Corinth (ca. 925). St. Ephraim of Rostov (1454). St. Alexander, abbot of Voche, near Galich (16th c.). St. Anthony, Metropolitan of Tobolsk (1740). Icons of the Most Holy Theotokos on Mt. Athos “Glykophylousa” (“Sweet-kissing”) and “of the Akathist.”

Announcements

Orthodox parishes have been asked to collect donations for the relief efforts in Japan. Donations will be sent to International Orthodox Christian Charities [iocc.org]. IOCC is organizing relief efforts to the Japanese people through the Orthodox Church of Japan.

The cover photo is of the Chapel of St. Sergius of Radonezh in Eagle River, Alaska. Photo supplied by John Mark Lemmel.

This Week’s Service Schedule & scripture readings Monday, 3/28

No Service

Isaiah 14:24-32

Genesis 8:21-9:7

Proverbs 11:19-12:6

Tuesday, 3/29

Morning Prayer 8 a.m.

Isaiah 25:1-9

Genesis 9:8-17

Proverbs 12:8-22

Presanctified 4 p.m.

Isaiah 26:21-27:9

Genesis 9:18-10:1

Proverbs 12:23-13:9

Isaiah 28:14-22

Genesis 10:32-11:9

Proverbs 13:19-14:6

Hebrews 7:26-8:2

Isaiah 29:13-23

Genesis 12:1-7

Proverbs 14:15-26

Vespers 4 p.m.

Hebrews 6:9-12

Mark 7:31-37

1 Cor. 15:47-57

John 5:24-30

Divine Liturgy 10 a.m.

Hebrews 6:13-20

Mark 8:34-9:1

Ephesians 5:9-19

Mark 9:17-31

Wednesday, 3/30 Thursday, 3/31

Matins 8 a.m.

Friday, 4/1

Akathist 8 a.m.

St. Innocent of America

Saturday, 4/2

Memorial Saturday

Sunday, 4/3

Hours

St. John of the Ladder 9:40 a.m.

John 10:9-16

Service times are subject to change. Please check with Fr. Basil if in any doubt.

This Week’s Fasts Sunday

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Great Fast

Thursday

Friday

Saturday


“Lord, I Call”

Great Vespers

For with the Lord there is mercy and with Him is plenteous redemption, and He shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities.

sunday (Tone 3)

Lead forth my soul from prison, that I may confess Thy name!

By Thy Cross, O Christ our Savior, death’s dominion has been shattered; the devil’s delusion destroyed. The race of man, being saved by faith, always offers Thee a song. The righteous await me, till Thou shalt reward me.

All has been enlightened by Thy Resurrection, O Lord. Paradise has been opened again. All creation, praising Thee, always offers Thee a song. Out of the depths have I cried unto Thee, O Lord; O Lord, hear my voice!

Rejoice, O life-bearing Cross: bright paradise of the Church, the tree of incorruption! You have obtained for us the joy of everlasting glory. Through you, the hosts of demons are driven out; the choirs of Angels are amazed and rejoice; the company of the faithful gathers in celebration. O unconquerable weapon, unbroken stronghold, triumph of Orthodox Christians and pride of priests, by following you may we witness the Passion and Resurrection of Christ our God! O praise the Lord, all ye nations, praise Him, all ye people!

Rejoice, O life-bearing Cross: the invincible weapon of I glorify the power of the Father and the Son. I praise godliness, the gate of Paradise, the protection of the the authority of the Holy Spirit. The undivided, un- faithful! The Cross is the might of the Church, through created Godhead, the consubstantial Trinity which which corruption is abolished, through which the powreigns forever. er of death is crushed. The Cross raises us up from earth Let Thine ears give heed to the voice of my prayer! to heaven. The Cross is the enemy of Satan. The Cross We bow down in worship before Thy precious Cross, is the glory of martyrs. The Cross is the haven of salvaO Christ, and we glorify and praise Thy Resurrection. tion, and grants the world great mercy. For by Thy wounds we have all been healed. For His mercy hath been confirmed upon us and the truth of the Lord remaineth forever.

If Thou observest transgression, Lord, O Lord, who shall stand? For with Thee is propitiation.

Come, O Adam and Eve, our first father and mother, We praise the Savior Incarnate of the Virgin. For He you fell from divine glory through the envy of the was crucified for our sake and resurrected on the third murderer of man! Bitter was the pleasure of the Tree of old; but see, the honored Tree of the Cross draws near! day, granting us great mercy. Run with haste and embrace it in joy, crying out with For Thy name’s sake have I waited upon Thee, O Lord; my soul faith: “You are our help, O most-precious Cross! We hath waited upon Thy word; my soul hath hoped in the Lord. eat of your fruit and gain incorruption! We are reChrist descended to hell proclaiming the glad tidings: stored again to Eden, having received great mercy!” “Behold! Now, I have triumphed! I am the Resurrection, I will lead you out, for I have shattered the gates Sunday of the Cross (Tone 3) of death!” Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit… Wishing to restore all men to life, You accepted cruciSunday of the Cross (Tone 5) fixion, O Christ our God. Burning with boundless From the morning watch even to the night, let Israel hope in love for man, You took the quill of the Cross in Your the Lord! Shine, O Cross of the Lord! Illumine the hearts of hand; dipping it in ink of royal crimson, You signed those who honor you! With love inspired by God, we our release with blood-stained fingers. Though tempembrace you, for you are the only hope of the world. tations assault us, may we never forsake You again! Through you our tears are wiped away, the snares of Have mercy on Your despairing people, O long-sufferdeath are sprung, and we pass over into everlasting joy. ing Master! Arise and fight Your enemies in Your alThrough the Cross reveal Your beauty to us, O Lord! mighty power! Help Your servants who ask for mercy in faith! Bestow upon us the fruits of abstinence! ~3~


Dogmatikon (Tone 3)

Sunday of the

Both now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.

Cross (Tone 4)

Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.

How can we not wonder at thy mystical childbearing, O exalted Mother, for, without receiving the touch of The humble David defeated his enemies by Your help, O man, thou gavest birth to a Son in the flesh, O im- Lord. Now come to the aid of Your Orthodox people; maculate Virgin. The Son born of the Father before show us Your power as You did of old, and our adversareternity was born of thee at the fullness of time, O ies will know that You are God! And we will be victorihonored Lady. He underwent no mingling, no change, ous, for we hope in You. Through the constant intercesno division, but preserved the fullness of each nature. sions of Your all-pure Mother, grant us Your great mercy! Entreat Him to save the souls, O Lady and Virgin and Troparia Mother, of those who confess thee in the Orthodox sunday (Tone 3) manner, to be the Theotokos. Let those in heaven be glad. Let those on earth rejoice, for the Lord hath wrought a mighty act with His arm. Aposticha He hath trampled down death by death. He is become sunday (Tone 3) the first born of the dead. From the bosom of hell hath The sun was darkened by Thy Passion, O Christ, but He delivered us, and hath granted unto the world all creation was enlightened by the light of Thy Resurgreat mercy. rection. Accept our evening song, O Lover of man! Sunday of the

The Lord hath become King; with beauty hath he clothed himself.

Cross (Tone 1)

Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit…

Thy life-bearing Resurrection, O Lord, enlightened the O Lord, save Thy people, and bless Thine inheritance! whole universe, recalling Thy creation. Delivered from Grant victories to the Orthodox Christians over their Adam’s curse, we sing: “O Almighty Lord, glory to Thee!” adversaries; and by virtue of Thy Cross, preserve Thy habitation! For He hath established the world, which shall not be moved. Thou art the changeless God, Who, suffering in the Resurrectional Dismissal Theotokion (Tone 1) flesh, was changed. Creation could not endure seeing Both now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen. Thee on the Cross. It was filled with fear while praising When Gabriel announced to thee, O Virgin, “Rejoice,” Thy patience. By descending to hell and rising on the with that word the Master of all was incarnate in thee, third day, Thou hast granted to the world life and O holy Ark. As the righteous David said, thy womb great mercy. became more spacious than the heavens, bearing thy Holiness belongeth to Thy house, O Lord, unto length of days!

Thou didst endure death, O Christ, to deliver the race of man from death. Thou didst rise from the dead on the third day, raising with Thyself those who knew Thee as God and enlightening the world. Glory to Thee!

Creator. Glory to Him Who took abode in thee! Glory to Him Who came from thee! Glory to Him Who freed us by being born of thee!!

“When you pray either aloud or to yourself for others; for instance, for the members of your household or for strangers, even though they may not have asked you to do so, pray for them with the same ardor and zeal as you would pray for yourself. Remember the commandment of the law: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself’ (Lev. 19:18). Observe this rule upon all occasions.” St. John of Kronstadt (1829–1908) ~4~


Divine Liturgy of St Basil the Great Beatitude Verses

Both now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.

The greatest of all wonders was revealed in you, ewe sunday without blemish, for you bore the Lamb that takes Blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy. O Christ, Thou hast cast out of Paradise Adam, the away the sin of the world! Entreat Him fervently for forefather, who had set aside Thy commandment. And those who sing your praises! in Thy compassion, Thou hast made to dwell therein Troparia the thief confessing Thee upon the cross and crying; sunday (Tone 3) ‘Remember me, O Savior, in Thy kingdom.’ Let those in heaven be glad. Let those on earth rejoice, Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. for the Lord hath wrought a mighty act with His arm. O Giver of life and Lord, Thou hast condemned us He hath trampled down death by death. He is become having sinned to the curse of death. And suffering in the first born of the dead. From the bosom of hell hath Thy sinless body Thou hast made mortal men live cry- He delivered us, and hath granted unto the world great ing: ‘Remember us also in Thy kingdom.’ mercy. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

Cross (Tone 1) O Lord, risen from the dead, Thou hast raised us from O Lord, save Thy people, and bless Thine inheritance! passions by Thy resurrection. And Thou hast destroyed Grant victories to the Orthodox Christians over their all the might of death. Therefore we cry with faith to adversaries; and by virtue of Thy Cross, preserve Thy Thee: ‘Remember us also in Thy kingdom.’ habitation! Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.

Sunday of the

Kontakia

By Thy three days’ burial hast Thou, making them live, Sunday of the Cross (Tone 1) raised those lying dead in hell. And Thou as God hast Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen. poured forth incorruption upon us who at all times cry Now the flaming sword no longer guards the gates of with faith: ‘Remember us also in Thy kingdom.’ Eden; it has been mysteriously quenched by the wood of Sunday of the Cross the Cross. The sting of death and the victory of hell have Blessed are you when men shall revile you and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely for my sake. been vanquished; for Thou, O my Savior, hast come and We venerate Your Cross, merciful Lord: the Tree which cried to those in hell: “Enter again into Paradise!” the Prophet of lamentation saw with its fruit. and we sing in praise of Your bonds and tomb, of the spears and the nails. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven.

Trisagion Sunday of the

Cross (Tone 1)

Instead of “Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal…”, we sing:

Before Thy Cross, we bow down in worship, O Master,and Thy holy Resurrection, we glorify.

We kiss the holy Cross, O Christ, which You were pleased to bear on Your shoulders, on which You ac- Prokeimenon Sunday of the cepted to be lifted up and crucified in the flesh! We Cross (Tone 6) receive from it strength against our invisible enemies. Save, O Lord, Thy people, and bless Thine inheritance. Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit… Vs: To Thee, O Lord, will I cry; O my God, keep Thou I praise the Unity in three Persons and the Trinity wor- not silent toward me. shipped in one Nature; the Triune God, the threefold Light: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

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Epistle Reading Sunday of the

Alleluia Verses

Cross

Sunday of the

Hebrews 4:14-5:6

Cross (Tone 1)

Vs: Remember Thy congregation, which Thou hast Brethren, seeing then that we have a great high priest, purchased of old! that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast to our profession. For we have not an Vs: God is our King before the ages; He has worked high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling salvation in the midst of the earth! of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as Gospel Reading we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly Sunday of the Cross (Tone 6) unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, Mark 8:34-9:1 and find grace to help in time of need. The Lord said: “If anyone wishes to come after me, let For every high priest taken from among men is ordained for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins: Who can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way; for that he himself also is compassed with infirmity. And by reason hereof he ought, as for the people, so also for himself, to offer for sins. And no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron. So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee. As he saith also in another place, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.

him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it; and whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what does it profit a man, to gain the whole world and forfeit his life? For what can a man give in return for his life? For whoever is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of man also be ashamed, when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”

And he said to them, “Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God come with power.”

Please note Holy Communion is reserved for Orthodox Christians who have prepared themselves beforehand. All are welcome to receive the blessed bread and Father’s blessing after services.

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Veneration of the Holy Cross

At the Vigil on this day, after the Great Doxology, the Cross is brought in a solemn procession to the center of the church and remains there for the entire week—with a special rite of veneration following each service. It is noteworthy that the theme of the Cross which dominates the hymnology of that Sunday is developed in terms not of suffering but of victory and joy. More than that, the theme-songs (hirmoi) of the Sunday Canon are taken from the Paschal Service— “The Day of the Resurrection”—and the Canon is a paraphrase of the Easter Canon. The meaning of all this is clear. We are in Mid-Lent. On the one hand, the physical and spiritual effort, if it

serious and consistent, begins to be felt, its burden becomes more burdensome, our fatigue more evident. We need help and encouragement. On the other hand, having endured this fatigue, having climbed the mountain up to this point, we begin to see the end of our pilgrimage, and the rays of Easter grow in their intensity.

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Lent is our self-crucifixion, our experience, limited as it is, of Christ’s commandment heard in the Gospel lesson of that Sunday: “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me” (Mark 8:34). But we can not take up our cross and follow Christ unless we have His Cross which He took up in order to save us. It is His Cross, not ours, that saves us. It is His Cross that gives not only meaning but also power to others. This is explained to us in the synaxarion of the Sunday of the Cross:—On this Sunday, the third Sunday of Lent, we celebrate the veneration of the honorable and LifeGiving Cross, and for this reason: inasmuch as in the forty days of fasting we in a way crucify ourselves… and become bitter and despondent and failing, the Life -Giving Cross is presented to us for refreshment and assurance, for remembrance of our Lord’s Passion, and for comfort… We are like those following a long and cruel path— who become tired, see a beautiful tree and many leaves, sit in its shadow and rest for a while and then, as if rejuvenated, continue their journey; likewise today, in the time of fasting and difficult journey and effort, the Life-Giving Cross was planted in our midst by the holy fathers to give us rest and refreshment, to make us light and courageous for the remaining task. Or, to give another example: when a king is coming,— at first his banner and symbols appear, then he himself comes glad and rejoicing about his victory and filling with joy those under him; likewise, our Lord Jesus Christ, who is about to show us His victory over death, and appear to us in the glory of the Resurrection Day, is sending to us in advance His

scepter, the royal symbol—the Life-Giving Cross— and it fills us with joy and makes us ready to meet, inasmuch as it is possible for us, the King himself, and to render glory to His victory… All this in the midst of Lent which is like a bitter source because of its tears, because also of its efforts and despondency… but Christ comforts us who are as it were in a desert—until He shall lead us up to the spiritual Jerusalem by His Resurrection… for the Cross is called the Tree of Life, it is the tree that was planted in Paradise, and for this reason our fathers have planted it in the midst of Holy Lent, remembering both Adam’s bliss and how he was deprived of it, remembering also that partaking of this Tree we no longer die but are kept alive… by Fr. Alexander Schmemann

Our father, Protopresbyter Alexander Schmemann, (d. 1983) was a prominent 20th century Orthodox Christian priest, theologian, and writer. He taught at St. Vladimir Theological Seminary in Crestwood, New York and at St. Sergius Orthodox Theological Institute in Paris, France. His writings have been very influential in contemporary Orthodoxy, and have been translated into many languages.

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St. Innocent, Apostle to America, Enlightener of the Aleuts

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Saint Innocent (secular name: John Evseyevich Popov-Veniaminov) was born into the family of a church server on August 26, 1797 in the village of Anginskoye, Verkholensk District, Irkutsk province. In his fifth year he was already receiving instruction in reading and writing from his ailing father, who died in August 1803.

In 1807 the future bishop entered the Irkutsk theological seminary, subsisting on a meager state grant. In 1817, a year before completing his studies at the seminary, he married, and on May 18 of that year was ordained deacon of the Church of the Annunciation in Irkutsk. Upon graduation from the seminary in 1818, Deacon John Veniaminov was appointed a teacher in a parish school, and on May 18, 1821 he was ordained priest to serve in the Church of the Annunciation. Father John Veniaminov served only two years in that parish, but in this short time was able to win the deepest respect of his parishioners by the purity of his life, his conscientious celebration of divine services, and his pastoral zeal. But the Lord did not intend Father John Veniaminov to fulfill God’s call in Irkutsk. Divine Providence led him onto the path of apostolic service in the distant Aleutian Islands. At the beginning of 1823, Bishop Michael of Irkutsk received instructions from the Holy Synod to send a priest to the island of Unalaska in the Aleutians. However, no member of the Irkutsk clergy was prepared to volunteer for this arduous mission. Then Father John Veniaminov announced his willingness to devote himself to pastoral service on these distant islands. In later life Saint Innocent would recall how after an inner struggle he had said: “Blessed be the name of the Lord!” and was consumed by a burning desire to devote himself to the service of people ignorant of Christ, but, according to eyewitnesses, eager to hear the teachings of the Gospel. On May 7, 1823 Father John Veniaminov departed from Irkutsk for his new home accompanied by his aging mother, his wife, his infant son Innocent, and his brother Stefan. Their journey was long and exceptionally

difficult. It took them more than a year to travel from Irkutsk to the island of Unalaska, which they finally reached on July 29, 1824. It was from this point in time and place that the man who in his own lifetime became known as “the apostle of America” began his indefatigable apostolic mission, a mission that was to last almost half a century. His apostolic feats were achieved in the severest climatic conditions constantly fraught with mortal danger. After he and his family had made their home in a wretched earthen hut, Father John Veniaminov undertook as his first task the construction of a church on the island, and set about studying the local languages and dialects. He trained some of the islanders to be carpenters, metalworkers, blacksmiths, bricklayers and stonemasons, and with their assistance in July 1825, he undertook the construction of a church, which was consecrated in honor of the Ascension the following July. Father John Veniaminov’s parish included not only the island of Unalaska, but also the neighboring Fox Islands and Pribilof Islands, whose inhabitants had been converted to Christianity before his arrival, but retained many of their pagan ways and customs. Their new spiritual father often had to travel from one island to the other, battling through the stormy ocean waves on a fragile canoe, at enormous risk to his own life and limb. His travels over the islands greatly enhanced Father John Veniaminov’s familiarity with the local dialects. In a short time he had mastered six local dialects, and selecting the most widespread of these, he devised for it an alphabet of Cyrillic letters, and translated into that dialect the Gospel according to St. Matthew, as well as the most frequently used prayers and hymns. These were so successfully adopted by the local populace that they soon displaced the shamanic chants. The zealous missionary waged a vigorous campaign against the vicious practices of the natives, and soon succeeded in

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eliminating them. Father John Veniaminov’s first translations, the Catechism and the Gospel According to St. Matthew, appeared in Aleut(Fox Island dialect) in 1828. He also wrote an article in this language, The Indication of the Way into the Kingdom of Heaven and compiled a grammar for this Aleut dialect. Father John Veniaminov’s zeal was not confined to the propagation and affirmation of Orthodoxy amongst the Aleutians, and so in 1829, with the blessing of Bishop Michael of Irkutsk, he undertook a journey to the American mainland, to Nushagak, where he brought the word of Christ to the inhabitants of the Bering seacoast, and baptized those who believed. In November 1834, Father John Veniaminov was transferred to Sitka Island, to the town of Novoarkhangelsk. This opened up to him a new and broader field of missionary activity amongst the Tlingits (or Kolushchans), who had not previously been missionized, due to their firm allegiance to pagan ways. In Sitka, Father John Veniaminov devoted himself body and soul to the illumination of the Tlingit people, having first assiduously studied their dialect, mores and customs. His linguistic labors were crowned with great successes here too, and bore fruit in the composition of a scholarly work, Notes on the Kolushchan and Kodiak Tongues as well as Other Dialects of the RussoAmerican Territories, with a Russian-Kolushchan Glossary, the publication of which was greeted as a great event in the scholarly world.

not forced upon them. Father John Veniaminov patiently waited until people manifested a desire to be baptized. A school was built for the local children, and he provided it with readers and textbooks that he composed and translated by his own hand into the local dialects, and he was their teacher. After leading them into the light of the Gospel, he instructed them in various crafts and trades, he even taught the Tlingits how to vaccinate. This approach won him the trust of the stubborn pagans. Father John Veniaminov’s contemporaries record that the natives loved their teacher and illuminator like a real father, since he was indeed both benefactor and father, teacher and patron to his spiritual children that he had saved for Christ. In his fifteen years of missionary activity in the Aleutian Islands, Father John Veniaminov was led by his increasing familiarity with the problems of missionary work to the conclusion that a successful development of missionary service in these areas demanded, first and foremost, the construction of many new churches, the founding of a permanent mission in the American north, the appointment of clergyman and missionaries, and the establishment of a deanery under a diocesan bishop.

In contemporary descriptions of Father John Veniaminov’s fifteen-year missionary service on the islands of Unalaska and Sitka, he was likened to St. Stephen of Perm. His sound judgment and common sense earned him access to the coarse, but simple and good hearts of the local people. The truths of Christ’s teaching were conveyed to them in accordance with their mental development: they were instructed in an atmosphere of total freedom of belief, and the truths were ~9~


The Orthodox Faith > Doctrine > The Symbol of Faith

... All things visible and invisible ... In addition to the visible, physical creation there is an invisible world created by God. The Bible sometimes calls it “the heavens” and other times refers to it as “above the heavens.” Whatever its symbolical description in the Holy Scriptures, the invisible world is definitely not part of the physical, material universe. It does not exist in space; it has no physical dimensions. And so it cannot be located, and it has no “place” which can be “reached” by travel within the galaxies of the spatial, locatable “places” of the physically created universe. However, the fact that the invisible, created world is purely spiritual and is not discoverable on a map of the created material spaces makes it no less real or truly existing. The invisible creation exists as different from the created material universe and, of course, as totally different from the uncreated, absolutely super-divine existence of the uncreated God.

ers, warriors, and messengers of Yahweh relative to this world. Thus, angels and archangels are seen to struggle against spiritual evil and to mediate between God and the world. They appear in various forms to men in both the Old and New Testaments as well as in the life of the Church. The angels are those who bring the power and presence of God and who are messengers of His word for the salvation of Invisible created reality consists of the hosts of bodithe world. The best-known of the angels are Gabriel less powers, generally—and somewhat incorrectly— (which means literally “man of God”), the bearer of called the angels. the good news of Christ’s birth (Dan 8:16; 9:21; Lk 1:19, 26), and Michael (which means literally “who is Angels Angels (which means literally “messengers”) are, like God”), the chief warrior of the spiritual armies strictly speaking, but one rank of the incorporeal or of God (Dan 11:13; 12:1; Jude 9; Rev 12:7). bodiless powers of the invisible world. Generally speaking the appearances of the bodi-

According to Orthodox Scripture and Tradition there are nine ranks of bodiless powers or the Hosts (Sabaoth means literally “armies” or “choirs” or “ranks”). There are angels, archangels, principalities, powers, virtues, dominions, thrones, cherubim, and seraphim. The latter are described as offer ing continual adoration and glory to God with the incessant and ever-resounding cry of Holy! Holy! Holy! (Isa 6:3; Rev 4:8). Those in the middle of the above listing are little-known to men while the angels and archangels are seen as the active work-

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less powers to men are described in a physical way (“six-winged, many-eyed”; o r in the “form of a man”). However, it must be clearly understood that these are merely symbolical descriptions. By nature and definition the angels have no bodies and no material properties of any sort. They are strictly spiritual beings.


recognition—and still more—the experience of this In addition to the created spiritual powers who do reality of the cosmic spiritual struggle (God and Sathe will of God, there are, according to the Orthodox tan, the good angels and the evil angels), one cannot faith, those who rebel against Him and do evil. These truly be called an Orthodox Christian who sees and are the demons or devils (which means literally those lives according to the deepest realities of life. Once who “pull apart” and destroy) who are also known again, however, it must be clearly noted that the devil both in the Old and New Testaments as well as in is not a “red-suited gentleman” nor any other type of grossly-physical tempter. He is a subtle, intelligent the lives of the saints of the Church. spirit who acts mostly by deceit and hidden actions, Satan (which means literally the enemy or the adverhaving as his greatest victory man’s disbelief in his sary) is one proper name for the devil, the leader of existence and power. Thus, the devil attacks “head-on” the evil spirits. He is identified in the serpent symbol only those whom he can deceive in no other way: of Gen 3 and as the tempter of both Job and Jesus Jesus and the greatest of the saints. For the greatest ( Job 1:6; Mk 1:33). He is labelled by Christ as a depart of his warfare he is only too satisfied to remain ceiver and liar, the “father of lies” ( Jn 8:44) and the concealed and to act by indirect methods and means. “prince of this world” ( Jn 12:31; 14:30; 16:11). He Be sober, be watchful. Your adversary, the devil, has “fallen from heaven” together with his evil angels prowls around like a roaring lion seeking someone to do battle with God and his servants (Lk 10:18; to devour. (1 Pet 5:8) Isa 14:12). It is this same Satan who “entered Judas” to effect the betrayal and destruction of Christ (Lk Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able 22:3). to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we are not contending against flesh The apostles of Christ and the saints and blood, but against the prinof the Church knew from dicipalities, against the powers, rect experience Satan’s powers against the world rulers of this against man for Man’s own present darkness, against the destruction. They knew as spiritual hosts of wickedwell Satan’s lack of power ness in the heavenly places and his own ultimate (Eph 6:11-12). destruction when man is with God, filled with The series The Orthodox the Holy Spirit of Christ. Faith is intended to provide According to Orthodox basic, comprehensive infordoctrine there is no midmation on the faith and the life of the Orthodox Church dle road between God for the average reader. The and Satan. Ultimately, author is Fr. Thomas Hopand at any given moko, Dean Emeritus of St. ment, man is either with Vladimir’s Seminary, CrestGod or the devil, serving wood, NY. one or the other.

Evil Spirits

These articles are available as a set of four books— commonly known as the Rainbow Series and are available for purchase. Please speak with Father if you are interested.

The ultimate victory belongs to God and to those with Him. Satan and his hosts are finally destroyed. Without this ~11~


Romanian children after church.

St. Luke Orthodox Christian Church 1415 Woodstock Ave. Anniston, AL 36207


St Luke Bulletin 032711