From the Rector: How to Become a Good Orthodox Christian

From the Rector: How to Become a Good Orthodox Christian
 
Often times the Rector is asked, “What must I do, or how must I live, to be a good Orthodox Christian?” One of the keys to understanding the answer to this question is to realize that we are not saved alone, but rather within the Church. This is why it is essential to be a member of a parish or a monastic brotherhood (or sisterhood). There is no such thing as a “free agent” or “independent” Orthodox Christian. No one is in a “special category” with some level of independence from the brethren as thinking that way about oneself only leads to self-delusion (“prelest” as the Fathers call it). So, with this important proviso in mind, here are the Rector’s “top ten” things to do in order to be a good, faithful Orthodox Christian.
 
1.      Attend Liturgy every Sunday (and be on time standing attentively ready for the priest to proclaim: “Blessed is the Kingdom of the Father, and the Son, and of the Holy Spirit…”).
 
2.      Go to Confession and Communion regularly.
 
3.      Pray every morning, evening, and before and after every meal.
 
4.      Read the scriptures daily.
 
5.      Fast to the best of your ability according to the Church Calendar.
 
6.      Tithe to the parish.
 
7.      Offer your time to the parish and to your brethren.
 
8.      Be grateful, cheerful, and cultivate a simple way of life.
 
9.      Do not gossip or get unnecessarily involved in controversies.
 
10.  Do not be self-directed in spiritual things, but rather seek guidance from your priest and faithfully work to follow his counsel.
With much love in Christ,
Fr Mark

Paschal Quotations for Week of the Samaritan Woman (from The Pentecostarion)

Dear Brethren and Friends of St Elizabeth’s,
 
Christ is risen! Христосъ воскресе!
 
The link below includes some of the stichera (verses) from the services of Matins and Vespers for the Week of the Samaritan Woman. They are taken from The Pentecostarion, which is the special liturgical book used during this season of the year – Pascha through All Saints –  for our worship and edification. The verses chosen focus on the glorious resurrection of Our Lord and how His resurrection changes our humanity and the very fabric of Creation.
 
 
With much love in Christ,
Fr Mark

Paschal Quotations for Week of the Paralytic (from The Pentecostarion)

Dear Brethren and Friends of St Elizabeth’s,
 
Christ is risen!
 
The link below includes some of the stichera (verses) from the services of Matins and Vespers for the Week of the Paralytic. They are taken from The Pentecostarion, which is the special liturgical book used during this season of the year – Pascha through All Saints –  for our worship and edification. The verses chosen focus on the glorious resurrection of Our Lord and how His resurrection changes our humanity and the very fabric of Creation.
 
 
With much love in Christ,
Fr Mark

Paschal Quotations for Thomas Week (from The Pentecostarion)

Dear Brethren and Friends of St Elizabeth’s,
 
Christ is risen!
 
The link below includes some of the stichera (verses) from the services of Matins and Vespers for Thomas Week. They are taken from The Pentecostarion, which is the special liturgical book used during this season of the year – Pascha through All Saints –  for our worship and edification. The verses chosen focus on the glorious resurrection of Our Lord and how His resurrection changes our humanity and the very fabric of Creation.
 
 
With much love in Christ,
Fr Mark

Paschal Quotations for Bright Week (from The Pentecostarion)

Dear Brethren and Friends of St Elizabeth’s,
 
Christ is risen!
 
The link below includes some of the stichera (verses) from the services of Matins and Vespers for Bright Week. They are taken from The Pentecostarion, which is the special liturgical book used during this season of the year – Pascha through All Saints –  for our worship and edification. The verses chosen focus on the glorious resurrection of Our Lord and how His resurrection changes our humanity and the very fabric of Creation.
 
 
With much love in Christ,
Fr Mark

The Liturgical Meaning of Holy Week

Dear Brethren & Friends of St Elizabeth’s,

Now that we have completed  the 40 days of the Lenten Fast, it is time for us to transition from our Lenten “preparation” to “participation” in the Our Lord’s Passion and Resurrection during Holy Week. Attendance at the divine services is essential in this endeavor. In addition to the link below of the Holy Week Schedule of Services is a short essay to help in the understanding of the divine services entitled, “The Liturgical Meaning of Holy Week.” May this help you in your “participation” this Holy Week.

Holy Week Schedule 2018

A Liturgical Explanation of Holy Week

With much love in Christ,
Fr Mark

HOLY WEEK SCHEDULE 2018

HOLY WEEK SCHEDULE 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Friday, March 30
6:30pm: Matins for Lazarus Saturday

Lazarus Saturday, March 31

9:40am: Hours & Liturgy
5:30pm: Vigil & Blessing of Palms

Palm Sunday, April 1

9:40am: Hours & Liturgy
4:00pm: Bridegroom Matins

Holy Monday, April 2
6:30pm: Bridegroom Matins

Holy Tuesday, April 3

6:30pm: Bridegroom Matins

Holy Wednesday, April 4

6:30pm: Matins for Holy Thursday

Holy Thursday, April 5

10:00am: Vesperal Liturgy (Mystical Supper)
6:30pm: Matins w/ Passion Gospels

Holy Friday, April 6

9:00am: Royal Hours & Typika
1:30pm: Vespers w/ Taking Down from the Cross
6:30pm: Matins w/ Lamentations

Holy Saturday/Annunciation, April 7

10:00am: Vesperal Liturgy

1:00pm: Holy Saturday Lenten Meal



**HOLY PASCHA**
Saturday, April 7:
11:30pm – Midnight Office; Procession; Matins; Liturgy; Blessing of Baskets

(Pascha service extends into the early morning hours of Sunday, April 8)

Pascha Sunday, April 8
2:00pm: Agape Vespers
3:00pm: Pascha Cookout & Egg Hunt

Holy Unction: Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Dear Brethren & Friends of St Elizabeth’s,
 
This Wednesday – March 28 – at 6:30pm we will be serving Holy Unction for the faithful of the parish. This is a very special service of healing and forgiveness and is celebrated in the parish as a general service only once a year. Please take advantage of this blessing. Below you will find a brief description of Holy Unction and the rules for Holy Unction in both Russian and English. If you have any further questions, please contact Fr Mark. 
 
 
  
With much love in Christ,
Fr Mark

Confession Resources: The Need for Frequent Confession & Tools for Preparing for Confession

Dear Brethren & Friends of St Elizabeth’s,
 
Great Lent – the season of repentance – is a time in the Church year for us to reset ourselves spiritually. One of the things to be reset for many of us is the frequency of our confessions. Confession should be a regular part of our spiritual lives, not just reserved for times of deep trouble or sorrow or for our deathbeds, Frequency of Confession helps us live lives that are mindful of God’s Commandments and creates in us a spirit that is desires to follow Christ with every action of our daily lives. Below are some resources to help with preparing for Confession as well as “A Brief Confession Before One’s Spiritual Father” by St Dmitri Rostov in both English and Russian.
 
 
Booklet “Confession: The Mystery of Repentance”: https://www.stmaryofegypt.org/files/library/conf/Conf_toc.htm
 

BRIEF TALK BEFORE CONFESSION

A Brief Confession before One’s Spiritual Father

Краткая Исповѣдь предъ духовникомъ.

A Brief Confession before One’s Spiritual Father & Краткая Исповѣдь предъ духовникомъ

With much love in Christ,
Fr Mark