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WEEKLY DIOCESAN BULLETIN

SUNDAY, JUNE 11, 2017 

FIRST SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST:
THE SUNDAY OF ALL SAINTS

RESURRECTIONAL TROPARION - TONE EIGHT:
Thou didst descend from on high, O Merciful One!  Thou didst accept the three-day burial to free us from our sufferings.  O Lord, our Life and Resurrection: Glory to Thee!

TROPARION TO THE SAINTS - TONE FOUR:
As with fine porphyry and royal purple, Your Church has been adorned with Your martyrs’ blood shed throughout all the world.  She cries to You, O Christ God: Send down Your bounties on Your people; grant peace to Your habitation, and great mercy to our souls!

RESURRECTIONAL KONTAKION - TONE EIGHT:
By rising from the tomb You raised the dead and resurrected Adam.  Eve exults in Your Resurrection, and the world celebrates Your rising from the dead, O greatly Merciful One!

KONTAKION TO THE SAINTS - TONE EIGHT:
The universe offers You the God-bearing martyrs as the first-fruits of creation, O Lord and Creator.  By their prayers keep Your Church, Your habitation, in abiding peace, through the Theotokos, O most merciful One.

EPISTLE READING

PROKEIMENON IN TONE EIGHT:
Pray and make your vows before the Lord our God.  God is wonderful in His saints, the God of Israel.

FIRST SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST: HEBREWS 11: 33–12:2  Brethren, who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked 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, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. Women received their dead raised to life again.  Others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection.  Still others had trial of mockings and scourgings, yes, and of chains and imprisonment.  They were stoned, they were sawn in two, were tempted, were slain with the sword.  They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented - of whom the world was not worthy.  They wandered in deserts and mountains, in dens and caves of the earth.  And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise, God having provided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect apart from us.  Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

THE ALLELUIA VERSES:
The righteous called, and the Lord heard them. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers them out of them all.

GOSPEL READING

FIRST SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST: MATTHEW 10: 32, 33, 37, 38; 19: 27-30
At that time Jesus said, “Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven.  But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven.  He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me.  And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.  And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.”  Then Peter answered and said to Him, “See, we have left all and followed You.  Therefore what shall we have?”  So Jesus said to him, “Assuredly I say to you, that in the regeneration, when the Son of Man sits on the throne of His glory, you who have followed Me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.  And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands for My name’s sake, shall receive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life.  But many who are first will be last, and the last first.”

FROM THE PROLOGUE:
MAY 29/JUNE 11, BY SAINT NIKOLAI VELIMIROVIC:

The Holy Martyr Theodosia of Tyre
Once, during the reign of Emperor Maximian, many Christians stood bound before the praetor in Palestinian Caesarea. The pious virgin Theodosia approached, and comforted and encouraged them in their martyrdom. Upon hearing what she was saying, the soldiers also led her before the judge. The enraged judge ordered that a stone be hung around her neck and that she be cast into the depths of the sea. But angels of God carried her to the shore alive. When she appeared before the judge again, he ordered her to be beheaded. The following night, Theodosia appeared to her parents encompassed in a great heavenly light, surrounded by many other virgins who were also saved and said: “Do you see how great is the glory and grace of my Christ, of which you wanted to deprive me?” She said this to her parents because they had tried to dissuade her from confessing Christ and martyrdom. Theodosia suffered honorably and was glorified in the year 308.

The Venerable Martyr Theodosia
Theodosia was born as the result of the prayers of her mother to the holy Martyr Anastasia, who appeared to her and said that she would give birth. Her parents dedicated her to God and at an early age presented her to a women’s monastery. After the death of her parents Theodosia inherited a vast estate, and from that estate she ordered three icons from a goldsmith: of the Savior, the Theotokos and St. Anastasia. The rest of her inheritance she distributed to the poor. She suffered in the year 730 during the reign of the evil Emperor Leo the Isaurian, the iconoclast, and received a twofold wreath: virginity and martyrdom. 

Saint Alexander, Bishop of Alexandria
Alexander was the first to take up the fight against Arius. He reposed in the year 326.

Saint John of Ustiug, Fool-for-Christ and Miracle-worker

The Holy Martyr Nannus (John) of Thessalonica
John suffered for the Faith at the hands of the Turks in Smyrna in 1802.

The Holy Martyr Andrew of Chios
Andrew suffered for the Faith at the hands of the Turks in Constantinople in the year 1465.

The Fall of the City of Constantinople
Because of the sins of men, God permitted a bitter calamity to fall upon the capital of Christianity. On May 29, 1453, Sultan Mohammed II conquered Constantinople and executed Emperor Constantine XI.

HYMN OF PRAISE: The Fall of the City of Constantinople Emperor Constantine XI

Constantine the Emperor bravely defends Constantinople,
And to God he quietly prays within himself:
“O Most-high God, Who lookest down from heaven,
Thou dost not allow injustice to defeat justice.

Christians have greatly sinned against Thee,
And have horridly trampled upon Thy laws.

This battle is not without Thy permission;
Because of men’s sins, blood is shed.

If it is Thy will that this city fall,
Encourage my people not to surrender,
That the Cross not be trampled upon and that they not go over to Islam.

Rather, let them endure bondage, until freedom returns.

Let them be servants, let them even be slaves;
Let hatred and ridicule fall upon them;

But let them endure with hope and repentance
And with bitter sighing for former sins,
Until they wash away and expiate all their sins,
And until they completely return to Thee.

If they have Thee, they will be rich;
Thou wilt replace all plundered treasures.

Constantinople on earth—may it be or not be;
Thou didst establish a Constantinople in heaven,
Where, with Thy servants, Thou gloriously reignest.

Behold, I stand before this Constantinople.

O Blessed One, have mercy on our sinful souls.

When it is built anew, let the old one be razed!”

REFLECTION
Oh, how great was the fearlessness of the holy men and holy women! When we read about their lives, both shame and pride are awakened involuntarily in us: shame that we have lagged so far behind them, and pride that they are of our Christian race. Neither sickness, nor prison, nor exile, nor suffering, nor humiliation, nor the sword, nor the abyss, nor fire, nor the gallows were able to shake the exalted peace of their souls, firmly attached to Christ, the Helmsman of the universe and of human history. When Emperor Julian apostatized from the Faith and began to lay waste Christianity throughout the entire empire, St. Athanasius the Great quietly spoke of him to the faithful: “It is a small cloud; it will pass!” (Nibicula est, transibit). And indeed, that dark cloud quickly passed, and Christianity lowered its roots even deeper and spread its branches all the more throughout the world. The impotent rage of Julian against Christ passed after several years with Julian’s cry in his death-rattle: “O Nazarene, Thou hast conquered!” O sons of God, why should we be afraid of anything, when God our Father fears nothing?

CONTEMPLATION
Contemplate the grace of God the Holy Spirit in the Mystery of Marriage:
1. How grace gives a certain dignity to the manner of the procreating of the human race;
2. How it makes matrimony honorable by comparing it to the union of Christ with the Church.

HOMILY
on the twofold Mystery of Marriage

This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the Church (Ephesians 5:32).

Great is the mystery when a man leaves his father and mother and cleaves to his wife. The Apostle himself, who was raised to the third heaven and who saw many mysteries of heaven, calls the physical union of men and women in marriage on earth “a great mystery.” It is the mystery of love and life, and only the mystery of Christ’s union with His Church is greater. Christ is called the Bridegroom, and the Church is called the Bride. Christ loves His Church so much that, because of her, He left His Heavenly Father—remaining with Him, of course, in unity of essence and divinity—and descended to earth and bound Himself to His Church. He suffered for her so that, by His Blood, He might cleanse her from every sin and defilement, and make her worthy to be called His Bride. With His love He warms the Church, with His blood He feeds the Church, and by His Holy Spirit He causes the Church to live and sanctifies and adorns her. What a husband is to a wife, so Christ is to the Church. Man is the head of woman and Christ is the Head of the Church.  A woman obeys her husband, and the Church obeys Christ. A husband loves his wife as he loves his own body, and Christ loves the Church as His own Body. A husband loves his wife as he loves himself, and a wife reveres her husband; so also Christ loves the Church as His own self, and the Church reveres Christ. Since no one hates his own flesh but rather warms and nourishes it, so also Christ warms and feeds the Church as His own Body. Every individual human soul is the bride of Christ the Bridegroom, and the assembly of all the faithful is the bride of Christ the Bridegroom. The relationship of a believing man toward Christ is the relationship of the entire Church toward Christ. Christ is the Head of that great Body which is called the Church, and which is in part visible and in part invisible.

O my brethren, this is a great mystery! It is revealed to us according to the measure of our love for Christ and of our fear of Christ’s judgment.

O Lord, gentle Savior, cleanse us, save us and adorn our souls, that we may be worthy of that immortal and indescribable unity with Thee in time and in eternity.

To Thee be glory and praise forever. Amen.

+++ DIOCESAN NEWS +++
Pentecost in
Montana
03 June 2017
Patronal Feast Day Celebration in Seattle
28 May 2017
Slava Celebration at St. George Parish in San Diego, California
07 May 2017
Ordination of Joseph Wesseler to the Deaconate
April 2017 13


UPCOMING EVENTS

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DIOCESAN DAYS 2017

21st Annual Diocesan
Days Gathering

Sept. 1st – Sept. 3rd 

Saint Steven’s Serbian Orthodox Cathedral Alhambra, California

THE CHURCH AS FAMILY & 
THE FAMILY AS CHURCH

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“You are no longer strangers and aliens, but the members of the household of God”
(Eph. 2:19)

With
Fr. Timothy Pavlatos and the St. Simeon Choir (Paris) 

SCHEDULE


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