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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 • • (256) 235-3893 June 26, 2011 • 2nd Sunday after Pentecost • Sunday of All Saints of America St. David of Thessalonica (ca. 540). St. Dionysius, Archbishop of Suzdal’ (1385). Translation of the Relics of St. Tikhon of Lukhov (Kostromá— 1569). St. John, Bishop of the Goths in the Crimea (8th c.). Monk Martyr David of Thessalonica. Appearance of the TIKHVIN Icon of the Most-holy Theotokos (1388). The “SEDMIYEZERSKAYA” Icon of the Most-holy Theotokos, (17th c.).


The Apostles’ Fast continues through Wednesday, June 29.

Divine Liturgy will be celebrated Wednesday at 8 a.m. for the Apostles Peter and Paul. Fr. Basil’s class on Corinthians continues Wednesday evening at 4 o’clock.

The icon on the front is by the hand of Fr. Jerome Sanderson who has blessed our mission with his icons and carvings.

This Week’s Scripture, Service and Fasting Schedule Tues, 6/28 Wed, 6/29 Thurs, 6/30 Fri, 7/1 Sat, 7/2

Mon, 6/27

Sun, 6/26

Apostles’ fast No Services

Great Vespers Divine Liturgy 4 p.m. 8 a.m.

Matins 8 a.m.

Matins 8 a.m.

Great Vespers Divine Liturgy 4 p.m. 10 a.m.

Rom. 7:1-13

Rom. 7:14-8:2

Rom. 8:2-13

Rom. 8:22-27

Rom. 9:6-19

Rom. 3:28-4:3

Rom. 5:1-10

Matthew 9:36-10:8

Matthew 10:9-15

Matthew 10:16-22

Matthew 10:23-31

Matthew 10:32-36; 11:1

Matthew 7:24-8:4

Matthew 6:22-33

2 Corinthians 11:21-12:9

1 Corinthians 4:9-16

Matt. 16:13-19

Mark 3:13-19

Holy Apostles Peter & Paul

Synaxis of the Holy Apostles

Sts. Cosmas & Damian the Unmercenaries

St. John of San Francisco

All Saints of the British Isles

(Sts. Peter & Paul) (Sts. Peter & Paul)

St. Sampson the Hospitable & Unmercenay

Sts. John & Cyrus the Unmercenaries

(Holy Apostles) (Holy Apostles)

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

Great Vespers “Lord, I Call”

From the morning watch even to the night, let Israel hope in the Lord!

Sunday (Tone 1)

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

Accept our evening prayers, O holy Lord! Grant us remission of sins, for Thou alone hast manifested the Resurrection to the world. The righteous await me, till Thou shalt reward me.

As the brightest sun, as the brilliance of the Morning Star, the precious feast of the saints of America has dawned for us, to illumine us and to set our hearts on fire, to imitate their godly lives, and to follow their example of zeal for God. For with the Lord there is mercy and with Him is plenteous

Encircle Zion and surround her, O people! Give glory redemption, and He shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities. in her to the One Who rose from the dead! For He is Come, let us assemble today and let us praise the elect our God, Who has delivered us from our transgres- of North America! Having fought the good fight, you sions! have persevered in the faith, receiving your crowns of Out of the depths have I cried unto Thee, O Lord; O Lord, victory from God. Ask Him to deliver from every cahear my voice! lamity and sorrow all who keep your holy memory in Come, O people, let us hymn and fall down before faith and in love! Christ, glorifying His Resurrection from the dead! For Sunday of All Saints of America (Tone 6) He is our God, Who has delivered the world from the O praise the Lord, all ye nations, praise Him, all ye people! Enemy’s deceit! The earth rejoices and the heavens are glad, O venerable Let Thine ears give heed to the voice of my prayer! Saints of America, praising your labors and lives, your Be glad, O heavens! Sound trumpets, O foundations fortitude and purity of heart. By driving away a horde of the earth! Sing in gladness, O mountains! Behold of demons and enlightening many people with the light Emmanuel has nailed our sins to the Cross! Granting of the Orthodox Faith, you have confirmed our land. life, He has slain death. He has resurrected Adam as For His mercy hath been confirmed upon us and the truth of the Lover of Man. the Lord remaineth forever. Rise up, O mountains of Pennsylvania; rejoice, O ferSunday of All Saints of America (Tone 2) tile plains of Canada; for the elect of Christ who dwelt If Thou observest transgression, Lord, O Lord, who shall in you are glorified. Exult, all of Alaska; take pride, stand? For with Thee is propitiation. Come, let us praise the saints of North America, holy Chicago, Crestwood, and California, be joyful, Wilkeshierarchs, venerable monastics and glorious martyrs, Barre, Brooklyn, Sitka, and South Canaan, for the holy pious men, women and children, both known and un- ones of Israel have lived in you, and enlightened our known! Through their words and deeds, in various whole land. So with love, let us praise the holy women, walks of life, by the grace of the Spirit they achieved men and children, those known to us and those known true holiness. Now as they stand in the presence of only to God, and let us cry out to them: “Rejoice, All Christ Who glorified them, they pray for us, who cel- Saints of North America and pray to God for us!” ebrate their memory with love. Sunday of For Thy name’s sake have I waited upon Thee, O Lord; my soul hath waited upon Thy word; my soul hath hoped in the Lord.

All Saints of America (Tone 5)

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

Rejoice, North America, illumined by the holy Gospel! Come, let us assemble today and glorify the luminar- Rejoice, every city and town, which raised up citizens of ies of the North American lands, the glorious martyrs the heavenly Kingdom! Rejoice, venerable Father Herand holy bishops who confirmed our faith, the righ- man, first saint of our land! Rejoice O Martyrs Juveteous dwellers in the wilderness and guides of the naly and Peter, for your blood has watered the seed of spiritual life! Let us cry out to them in joy: “All Saints faith planted in Alaska! Rejoice, O holy Bishops: Innocent, Tikhon, Nicholas and Raphael! Rejoice, O holy of North America, pray to God for us!” ~3~

Fathers Alexis, John, and all righteous priests! Rejoice, All Saints of North America, for your light has shone forth to the ends of the earth! We ask you to pray to Christ our God that our souls may be saved!

Dogmatikon (Tone 1)

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

Let us praise the Virgin Mary. The gate of heaven, the glory of the world, the song of the angels, the beauty of the faithful. She was born of man, yet gave birth to God. She was revealed as the heaven, as the Temple of the God-head. She destroyed the wall of enmity. She commenced the peace, she opened the Kingdom. Since she is our foundation of faith, our defender is the Lord, whom she bore. Courage, courage! O people of God, for Christ will destroy our enemies, since He is all powerful.

full of immortality. Having been disciplined a little, they will receive great good, because God tested them and found them worthy of himself; like gold in the furnace he tried them, and like a sacrificial burnt offering he accepted them. In the time of their visitation they will shine forth, and will run like sparks through the stubble. They will govern nations and rule over peoples, and the Lord will reign over them for ever. Those who trust in him will understand truth, and the faithful will abide with him in love, because grace and mercy are upon his elect, and he watches over his holy ones. The Wisdom of Solomon (5:15-6:3)

The righteous live for ever, and their reward is with the Lord; the Most High takes care of them. Therefore they will receive a glorious crown and a beautiful diadem from the hand of the Lord, because with his right hand he will cover them, and with his arm he Old Testament Readings will shield them. The Lord will take his zeal as his Sunday of All Saints of America whole armor, and will arm all creation to repel his enThe Prophecy of Isaiah (43:9-14) emies; he will put on righteousness as a breastplate, Let all the nations gather together, and let the peoples and wear impartial justice as a helmet; he will take assemble. Who among them can declare this, and holiness as an invincible shield, and sharpen stern show us the former things? Let them bring their witwrath for a sword, and creation will join with him to nesses to justify them, and let them hear and say, It is fight against the madmen. Shafts of lightning will fly true. “You are my witnesses,” says the LORD, “and with true aim, and will leap to the target as from a my servant whom I have chosen, that you may know well-drawn bow of clouds, and hailstones full of wrath and believe me and understand that I am He. Before will be hurled as from a catapult; the water of the sea me no god was formed, nor shall there be any after me. will rage against them, and rivers will relentlessly I, I am the LORD, and besides me there is no savior. I overwhelm them; a mighty wind will rise against declared and saved and proclaimed, when there was them, and like a tempest it will winnow them away. no strange god among you; and you are my witnesses,” Lawlessness will lay waste the whole earth, and evilsays the LORD. “I am God, and also henceforth I am doing will overturn the thrones of rulers. He; there is none who can deliver from my hand; I work and who can hinder it?” Thus says the LORD, Listen therefore, O kings, and understand; learn, O your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “For your sake judges of the ends of the earth. Give ear, you that rule I will send to Babylon and break down all the bars, over multitudes, and boast of many nations. For your and the shouting of the Chalde’ans will be turned to dominion was given you from the Lord, and your sovlamentations. ereignty from the Most High, who will search out your works and inquire into your plans. The Wisdom of Solomon (3:1-9) The souls of the righteous are in the hand of God, and Aposticha no torment will ever touch them. In the eyes of the foolSunday (Tone 1) ish they seemed to have died, and their departure was We have been freed from sufferings by Thy suffering, thought to be an affliction, and their going from us to O Christ. We have been delivered from corruption by be their destruction; but they are at peace. For though Thy Resurrection. O Lord, glory to Thee! in the sight of men they were punished, their hope is ~4~

Theotokion (Tone 5)

The Lord hath become King; with beauty hath He clothed Himself.

Let creation rejoice! Let the heavens be glad! Let the nations clap their hands with gladness, for Christ our Savior has nailed our sins to the Cross. Slaying death, He has given life. He has resurrected fallen Adam as the Lover of Man.

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

Let us sing a hymn and in unity the Protectress of our land, our Queen, the Theotokos: “Rejoice, for you have crowned our land with your favor, pouring grace upon it! Therefore, the Church in America joyously celebrates your precious protection and commemorates the multiFor He hath established the world, which shall not be moved. tude of your miracles. Deprive us not of your mercies, O As King of heaven and earth, Thou wast voluntarily cru- Lady! Look with favor upon us in our adversities and afcified in Thy love for Man. Hell was angered when it met fliction, and raise us up by your powerful intercession!” Thee below. Adam rose seeing Thee, the Creator, under the earth. O Wonder! How has the Life of All tasted Troparia Sunday (Tone 1) death? Thou didst enlighten the world which cries: “O When the stone had been sealed by the Jews and the Lord, Who didst rise from the dead, glory to Thee!” soldiers were guarding Thine immaculate body, Thou Holiness belongeth to Thy house, O Lord, unto length of days! didst rise on the third day, O Savior, granting life to The myrrhbearing women came with haste to Thy the world. The powers of heaven therefore cried to tomb, bearing myrrh and lamentations. Not finding Thee, O Giver of life: Glory to Thy resurrection, O Thy most pure body, they learned from the Angel of Christ, Glory to Thy Kingdom, Glory to Thy dispenthe new and glorious wonder. They told the Apostles: sation, O only Lover of man. “The Lord is risen, granting to the world great mercy.” Sunday of

Sunday of

All Saints of America (Tone 4)

All Saints of America (Tone 8)

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

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

Keeping today the memory of all the Saints of North As the bountiful harvest of Thy sowing of salvation, America, let us praise them as is fitting, for they lived all the lands of North America offer to Thee, O Lord, all of Christ’s beatitudes. Poor, they became rich in spirit; the saints who have shone in them. By their prayers meek, they inherited the earth; mourning, they were keep the Church and our land in abiding peace comforted; thirsting for righteousness, they were satis- through the Theotokos, O most Merciful One! fied; merciful, they obtained mercy; pure in heart, they Resurrectional Dismissal Theotokion (Tone 8) beheld the image of God; as peacemakers, they became Both now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen. children of God; persecuted and tortured for righteous- For our sake Thou wast born of the Virgin and endured ness’ sake, they now rejoice in heaven; and they pray fer- crucifixion, O Good One, destroying death by death vently to the Lord that He may have mercy on our souls. and revealing the Resurrection as God. Do not despise the work of Thy hand! Reveal Thy love for mankind, O Merciful One! Accept the Theotokos who is praying for us, and save the despairing people, O our Savior!

Do not be careless. Pray as much as you can—more frequently and more fervantly. Prod yourself—force yourself to do so, for the Kingdom of God is taken by force. You will never attain it without forcing yourself.

St. Innocent of Alaska (1797-1879) ~5~

Divine Liturgy of St John Chrysostom Beatitude Verses

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

O Holy Hierarch and Wonderworker John Maximovsunday itch, you inspired all by your labors for Christ’s holy Blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy. Through food, the enemy led Adam out of Paradise; Church. Having purified yourself in ceaseless prayer, O and through the Cross Christ led the thief back into it holy one, you were deemed worthy to behold the inefcrying: Remember me, O Lord, when Thou comest fable light that cometh directly from God. Surrounded by the uncreated essence of Divinity, you were lifted into Thy kingdom. above the earth, knowing the bliss of silent prayer. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

Both now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen. I venerate Thy sufferings and glorify Thy resurrection. With Adam and with the thief I raise a shining cry to As you have continually interceded for our land, at the Thee: Remember me, O Lord, when Thou comest into prayers of the North American Saints, look upon us now, O Most pure Theotokos, and, as the hope of the Thy kingdom. hopeless and helper of those in distress, grant us a sign Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. of your compassion, O Lady. Without sin, hast Thou been crucified, and of Thine own will hast Thou been laid in the tomb. But Thou as Troparia God hast risen raising Adam with Thyself, crying: Resunday (Tone 1) member me, when Thou comest into Thy kingdom. When the stone had been sealed by the Jews and the

soldiers were guarding Thine immaculate body, Thou didst rise on the third day, O Savior, granting life to On the third day, O Christ our God, Thou hast raised the world. The powers of heaven therefore cried to from the tomb the temple of Thy “body raising with Thee, O Giver of life: Glory to Thy resurrection, O Thyself Adam and those descending from him, crying: Christ, Glory to Thy Kingdom, Glory to Thy dispenRemember me when Thou comest into Thy kingdom. sation, O only Lover of man. Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.

Sunday of

All Saints of America

Sunday of

Blessed are you when men shall revile you and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely for my sake.

We praise you, O Holy Hierarch Innocent, for like the Apostles to the Slavs, Cyril and Methodius, you left your homeland to journey to a foreign land. Following their example, you enlightened your new people by translating the Holy Scriptures into their own language.


Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven.

O Holy Hierarch Tikhon the Confessor, you provided for the spiritual well-being of the Church in the New World by establishing the monastic tradition. Through your prayers, may the monastery you founded in the mountains of Pennsylvania, named after your heavenly patron, St. Tikhon of Zadonsk, be a haven for many who give all in their love of Christ.

All Saints of America (Tone 8)

As the bountiful harvest of Thy sowing of salvation, the lands of North America offer to Thee, O Lord, all the saints who have shone in them. By their prayers keep the Church and our land in abiding peace through the Theotokos, O most Merciful One!

sunday (Tone 1)

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

Thou didst rise as God from the grave in glory; and the world didst Thou raise with Thee; and human nature hymneth Thee as God; and death hath vanished. Adam danceth for joy, O Master; Eve now redeemed from her bondage rejoiceth, crying, Thou art, O Christ, He that to all doth grant resurrection.


Sunday of

All Saints of America (Tone 3)

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

Today the choir of Saints who were pleasing to God in the lands of North America now stands before us in the Church and invisibly prays to God for us. With them the Angels glorify Him, and all the Saints of the Church of Christ keep festival with them; and together they all pray for us to the Pre-ëternal God.


sunday (Tone 1)

Let Thy mercy be upon us, O Lord, as we have set our hope on Thee. Vs: Rejoice in the Lord, ye righteous; praise becometh the upright! Sunday of

raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection: And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, affected, tormented; (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.

Alleluia Verses

sunday (Tone 1)

All Saints of America (Tone 7)

Vs: God gives vengeance to me, and subdues people Vs: Honorable before the Lord is the death of His saints. under me.

Epistle Reading

Vs: He magnifies the salvation of the King, and deals mercifully with David, His anointed, and his seed forever.


The Epistle of the Apostle Paul to the Romans (2:10-16)

Brethren, glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile: For there is no respect of persons with God. For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law; (for not the hearers ofthe law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified. For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;) in the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel. Sunday of

All Saints of America

The Epistle of the Apostle Paul to the Hebrews s(11:33-12:2)

Brethren, through faith saints subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions. Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. Women received their dead

Vs: Rejoice in the Lord and be glad, O you righteous!

Gospel Reading


The Gospel according to St. Matthew (4:18-23)

At that time, as Jesus walked by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon who is called Peter and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Immediately they left their nets and followed him. And going on from there he saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets, and he called them. Immediately they left their boat and their father, and followed him. And he went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and preaching the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every infirmity among the people.


Sunday of

All Saints of America

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted for At that time, great crowds followed him from Galilee righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heavand the Decap’olis and Jerusalem and Judea and en. Blessed are you when men revile you and persefrom beyond the Jordan. cute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reSeeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and ward is great in heaven, for so when he sat down his disciples came to him. And he men persecuted the prophets opened his mouth and taught them, saying: “Blessed who were before you. You are are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of the salt of the earth; but if salt heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall has lost its taste, how shall its be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they shall insaltness be restored? It is no herit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and longer good for anything exthirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. cept to be thrown out and trodBlessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. den under foot by men.” Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. The Gospel according to St. Matthew (4:25-5:12)

Sunday of All Saints of America On the second Sunday after Pentecost, each local Orthodox Church commemorates all the saints, known and unknown, who have shone forth in its territory. Accordingly, the Orthodox Church in America remembers the saints of North America on this day. Saints of all times, and in every country are seen as the fulfillment of God’s promise to redeem fallen humanity. Their example encourages us to “lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily besets us” and to “run with patience the race that is set before us” (Hebrews 12:1). The saints of North America also teach us how we should live, and what we must expect to endure as Christians.

Although it is a relatively young church, the Orthodox Church in America has produced saints in nearly all of the six major categories of saints: Apostles (and Equals of the Apostles); Martyrs (and Confessors); Prophets; Hierarchs; Monastic Saints; and the Righteous. Prophets, of course, lived in Old Testament times and predicted the coming of Christ.

The first Divine Liturgy in what is now American territory (northern latitude 58 degrees, 14 minutes, western longitude 141 degrees) was celebrated on July 20, 1741, the Feast of the Prophet Elias, aboard the ship Peter under the command of Vitus Bering. Hieromonk Hilarion Trusov and the priest Ignatius Kozirevsky served together on that occasion. Several years later, the Russian merchant Gregory I. Shelikov visited Valaam monastery, suggesting to the abbot that it would be desirable to send missionaries to Russian America. On September 24, 1794, after a journey of 7,327 miles (the longest missionary journey in Orthodox history) and 293 days, a group of monks from Valaam arrived on Kodiak Island in Alaska. The mission was headed by Archimandrite Joasaph, and included Hieromonks Juvenal, Macarius, and Athanasius, the Hierodeacons Nectarius and Stephen, and the monks Herman and Joasaph. St Herman of Alaska (December 13, August 9), the last surviving member of the mission, fell asleep in the Lord in 1837. ~8~

Throughout the Church’s history, the seeds of faith have always been watered by the blood of the martyrs. The Protomartyr Juvenal was killed near Lake Iliamna by natives in 1799, thus becoming the first Orthodox Christian to shed his blood for Christ in the New World. In 1816, St Peter the Aleut was put to death by Spanish missionaries in California when he refused to convert to Roman Catholicism. Missionary efforts continued in the nineteenth century, with outreach to the native peoples of Alaska. Two of the most prominent laborers in Christ’s Vineyard were St Innocent Veniaminov (March 31 and October 6) and St Jacob Netsvetov (July 26), who translated Orthodox services and books into the native languages. Father Jacob Netsvetev died in Sitka in 1864 after a life of devoted service to the Church. Father John Veniaminov, after his wife’s death, received monastic tonsure with the name Innocent. He died in 1879 as the Metropolitan of Moscow. As the nineteenth century was drawing to a close, an event of enormous significance for the North American Church took place. On March 25, 1891, Bishop Vladimir went to Minneapolis to receive St Alexis Toth (May 7) and 361 of his parishioners into the Orthodox Church. This was the beginning of the return of many Uniates to Orthodoxy.

St Tikhon (Belavin), the future Patriarch of Moscow (April 7, October 9), came to America as bishop of the diocese of the Aleutians and Alaska in September 1898. As the only Orthodox bishop on the continent, St Tikhon traveled extensively throughout North America in order to minister to his widely scattered and diverse flock. He realized that the local church here could not be a permanent extension of the Russian Church. Therefore, he focused his efforts on giving the American Church a diocesan and parish structure which would help it mature and grow. St Tikhon returned to Russia in 1907, and was elected as Patriarch of Moscow ten years later. He died in 1925, and for many years his exact burial place remained unknown. St Tikhon’s grave was discovered on February 22, 1992 in the smaller cathedral of Our Lady of the Don in the Don Monastery when a fire made renovation of the church necessary. St Raphael of Brooklyn (February 27) was the first Orthodox bishop to be consecrated in North America. Archimandrite Raphael Hawaweeny was consecrated by Bishop Tikhon and Bishop Innocent (Pustynsky) at St Nicholas Cathedral in New York on March 13, 1904. As Bishop of Brooklyn, St Raphael was a trusted and capable assistant to St Tikhon in his archpastoral ministry. St Raphael reposed on February 27, 1915.

The first All American Council took place March 5-7, 1907 at Mayfield, PA, and the main topic was “How to expand the mission.” Guidelines and directions for missionary activity, and statutes for the administrative structure of parishes were also set forth. In the twentieth century, in the aftermath of the Russian Revolution, countless men, women, and children received the crown of martyrdom rather than renounce Christ. Sts John Kochurov (October 31) and Alexander Hotovitzky (December 4 and August 7) both served the Church in North America before going back to Russia. St John became the first clergyman to be martyred in Russia on October 31, 1917 in St Petersburg. St Alexander Hotovitzky, who served in America until 1914, was killed in 1937. In addition to the saints listed above, we also honor those saints who are known only to God, and have not been recognized officially by the Church. As we contemplate the lives of these saints, let us remember that we are also called by God to a life of holiness. ~9~

Practical Instructions in Living the Orthodox Life

Below follows an edifying letter to an Orthodox parisioner seeking practical advice on living an Orthodox life.

The Orthodox Church is the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church which our Lord Jesus Christ founded through His Apostles, and which has been transmitted throughout the ages through the bishops who have been faithful to His teachings. As you must know by now, Christ did not found over 2,000 different “Christian” Churches, each proclaiming its own version of what Christ taught. He founded one Church, which has one Faith and one teaching. This is the Orthodox Church. It is the living repository of all the mysteries which God has revealed to man.

The more you grow in Orthodoxy, the more spiritual joy will fill your heart. As a convert myself, I know the difference clearly between life with Christ, and life without Him. But your spiritual journey is only beginning, for once you receive the grace of the Holy Spirit through holy baptism, your whole being will begin to be transformed, into that which is in accordance with God’s will. A person before holy Baptism is tyrannized by the devil, in such a manner that he can be forced to commit sins which he doesn’t want to. The reason for this is that the devil resides in the heart of the person outside the Church. But once he is baptized, the devil is cast out of his heart, into the outer recesses of his soul. The devil is still there, and can tempt a person, but he cannot force him any longer to commit sins he doesn’t want to. In baptism, freedom which you have never known is given to you, and it is truly a wonderful gift.

the perfect fulfillment of the commandments as much as is possible for the earthborn, nevertheless, the layman follows the same path as the monk, as much as he is able. I mention this because I would like to offer you some practical advice, which is advice that Father Gregory has given me over the years. Although some of it is advice for a monk, you will still find much benefit in it.

Each day an Orthodox Christian begins by thinking of God, and beseeching Him to help him live a life pleasing to Him. Let each morning that you rise begin with the words, Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, while you make the sign of Cross. Ask God to grant that no temptations befall you or your family this day, and ask Him to grant you the strength to do His will. During the day, try to say the above prayer, Lord Jesus much as you can, without being distracted from your work. When you get into your car, say it. When you begin washing the dishes, say it. While you chew your food, you can say it in your mind in rhythm with your chewing. If you take to heart these simple admonitions, I can’t tell you what kind of happiness God is going to put inside you. You will find out for yourself.

But I am speaking of something which will happen in The idea behind saying this prayer, called the Jesus God’s time, when you are ready. Now what you must do Prayer, is for you to come to realize that God is a living is learn about the Faith and begin to attempt to live an being, and He is continually looking right at you. First, Orthodox life. You must learn to acquire virtue. That in- we must learn to fear God, because He has the power to cludes the external virtues of fasting, praying with your send us into everlasting torment. In this state, you are voice, being obedient, reading spiritual books, and the like a slave of Christ. You do His will, because you don’t internal virtues, such as love, compassion, humility, pa- want Him to punish you, either now, or later. After this, tience, and prayer only with your mind, silently within you come to the state of an employee, or servant as the Fathers teach, for lack of a better word. You do God’s your heart, etc... will because, like the hireling, you know that He will The path of the monastic and layman are not that difreward you for your labor. Finally, though, you come ferent. Both follow Christ as much as they are able. The to the state of a son, where you do His will, simply bemonastic life is called the glory of the Church, for it is cause you love Him and know that you are loved, and ~10~

you want to do everything you possibly can to make Him happy. You don’t think about Him punishing you, for perfect love casts out fear. Nor do you think of the rewards He will grant you, for simply serving Him is more happiness than any man can ask for. There is one thing which you have to understand from the very outset of your spiritual contest: you are embarking on a very long journey, and there are many, many pitfalls along the way. You will fall into some of them, but don’t be afraid, this is all a part of the journey. The acquisition of the virtues is not something we master in one week, or one year, or even 10 years. You’re in this for life. Keeping that in mind, you have to resolve to be exceedingly patient with yourself, realizing that you are only a babe, and are not capable yet of even walking. And you need to have this kind of discernment with your husband and children, too. If you are just beginning, they are also, and it takes time to assimilate these things. I can’t overemphasize this for a person such as yourself, who truly loves God and wants to do His will, but at the same time is prone to melancholy. Be patient with yourself and give yourself time. Let’s talk about another very important thing, which will help you greatly: Humility. Humility is something so beautiful, so holy, so near to God Himself, that I cannot even begin to describe the blessings that come to us through it. Let me ask you this: Do you know why Lucifer (Satan) fell from heaven and became a devil? It was because of one sin: pride. Lucifer thought that he was more glorious than his Creator, God. Can you imagine?! So, it was through one sin that Lucifer fell to the depths. Well, guess what? Man can be saved by one virtue alone: Humility. Yes. The Fathers of the Church (I’ll explain who they are in a moment) have taught us throughout the ages that a man can enter into the spiritual life, even if slowly, by simply being humble. Isn’t that marvelous? How can we be humble, you might wonder? Well, the ways of humility are many, but I will give you a few to start you off. The first thing to keep in mind is that when you want to acquire a virtue, you have to ask God to help. This is humility. When we realize how weak we are, we turn to Him for help, and when we ask with humility, He helps us. Asking your spiritual father for advice is also a good way to acquire humility. “Ask your father, and he will tell you”, exhorts the Holy Spirit in the book of Proverbs.

Saint Dorotheos of Gaza, one of the Fathers of Church who lived in the 4th century, has a lot to say about humility. Quoting one of his superiors, he says, “Before anything else we need humility: a being ready to listen whenever a word is spoken to us, and to say, ‘I submit’, because through humility every device of the enemy, every kind of obstacle, is destroyed.” He says that even if we acquire all the other necessary virtues, they will not set us right without humility. On the other hand, as we said above, humility alone can save us, even if slowly. Even if we are very weak, we cannot fast very much, we cannot make many prostrations or bows, we cannot stand very long in prayers, we can still be humble, which is one of the objects of all those other ascetical activities. So, let be set on humbling ourselves. Here is another way to be humble. If someone blames you for something, we should take the blame without becoming angry. In fact, anger should be something foreign to us. If a person blames himself, rather than his neighbor, he will go on his way untroubled, unaffected, happy, and advancing in the commandments. This is actually the reason why Adam and Eve were cast out of Paradise, and Eve was put in subjection to Adam: neither one of them was willing to accept the blame for their actions. Adam blamed God Who gave him Eve; Eve blamed the serpent. Since no one was able to show a shred of humility, they were both expelled into our present pitiful condition. So, we should always blame ourselves for everything. Here’s something else: a person riding in a limousine has quite a different mind set from someone who is in riding down the street in a wheelchair, does he not? A person wearing a tuxedo thinks quite differently about himself than a beggar in rags, does he not? So, one way to acquire humility is to wear humble clothing, eat humble food, drive a humble get the idea. But when you do these things, do them with our Lord in your mind, thinking, “O Lord, for Thy sake I will endure the shame of this or that thing.” This is beautiful, for God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace to the humble. Thus far on humility. Now lets talk about prayer a little.


To be continued next week

St. Michael Russian Orthodox Cathedral in Sitka Alaska, circa 1900.

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

St Luke Bulletin 062611  
St Luke Bulletin 062611  

St. Luke Orthodox Church (OCA), Anniston, Alabama, Sunday bulletin for June 26, 2011.