Photo of the Remarkables mountain range in Queenstown, New Zealand. FOR BUTTONS

 

Bible Book of Matthew from AnimateIt.net

 

 

St. George's Orthodox Church
Diocese of the South
Edenton, NC
/ NEWS LETTER

ST George Newsletter

12 SEPTEMBER 2020 NEWSLETTER

I.          Monday the 14th

II.         Elevation of the Cross

III.       decoration of the Cross

IV.       services and parish hall

V.        current announcements

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

 

I.   MONDAY for HOLY CROSS DAY:

            For the September 14th Holy Cross Day next week, as usual we will have Great Vespers on its eve and the Divine Liturgy on its morning, although with the former at a different hour because of the weekend date this year.

            So on Monday morning September 14th at 6:50 & 7:00 a.m. respectively there will begin the Hour’s Prayers and the Divine Liturgy for the Great Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, concluding around 8:10 a.m.

            And as this year its eve falls thus a Sunday, we plan to shorten somewhat the Sunday morning Divine Liturgy on September 13th and to serve the vespers, also shortened, right afterwards, for the same Great Feast, of the Elevation of the Cross.

            One of the seven Great Feasts of our Lord, among the twelve Great Feasts of the Church, it is described in § II below.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

 

II.   ELEVATION of the CROSS:

            The Great Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross celebrates originally the finding of the Cross in the year 326, under the supervision of the Empress St. Helena with the help of the Patriarch Macarius of Jerusalem and of the local elderly Hebrew Jude (later St. Cyriacus), beneath the pagan Temple of Venus that had been built by the 2nd­‑century Emperor Hadrian to obliterate the holy sites of Golgotha and the Sepulchre.

            After the finding of the Cross and then of Christ’s Tomb nearby, St. Helena’s son, the Emperor St. Constantine I the Great, erected above Golgotha and the Tomb a vast rotunda, atrium, and basilica, known as the Church of the Holy Sepulchre (the Latin name) or the Church of the Resurrection (the Greek name).  Thereupon in the year 335 in a two­‑day celebration, on September 13th the church was consecrated and on September 14th there was brought outside and lifted high the Cross so that all could pray in its presence and could come forward to venerate it.

            Thus this Feast, known in Greek as the “Raising Aloft (or Elevation) of the Venerable Cross” and in Latin as the “Exaltation of the Holy Cross,” has continued on September 14th to this day.

            The (Eastern) Roman Empire’s province of Palestine was plundered in 614 by the Persians who carried away the Cross, but in 628 both the province and the Cross were recovered by the Emperor Heraclius, who escorted the Cross in September of 629 to Constantinople and then on March 21st of 630 back to Jerusalem, where it was “elevated” at the Church again, as before.

            Since then, September 14th has commemorated both the finding (“inventio” in Latin) of the Cross in 326 and its recovery from the Persians in 628, and the Feast became celebrated annually in all the churches of the Empire, thus receiving its (variously translated) present name:  the Universal Elevation (or Exaltation) of the Venerable (or Precious) and Life­‑giving (or Life­‑creating) Cross—the day on which all bishops and priests would bless with the cross the four directions of the universe.  (This last ritual continues to the present time, during the Matins on this Feast day, especially in cathedral and monastery churches.)

            (In western Europe for many centuries the two events instead were celebrated separately:  “Roodmas” commemorated on May 3rd the a.d. 326 finding of the Cross, and “Holyrood” Day commemorated on Sept. 14th the Cross’s 7th­‑century recovery, until the two were combined in most of Western Christianity in the latter 20th century for a single “Holy Cross Day” on September 14th, like the Orthodox East.  And the autumnal Embertide—the Ember Days being since the 4th century the Western Church’s quarterly three­‑day fast—is always the Wednesday, Friday & Saturday following this Holy Cross Day.)

            Moreover from a.d. 630 the September 14th commemoration became the annual national holiday of the Christian Empire; and the principal hymn (the “troparion”) of the feast became in effect the national anthem, sung on all public occasions, of both of the (Orthodox) Christian Empires—first the (Eastern) Roman (or “Byzantine”), and second, the Russian Empire.

            The hymn in present form is as follows:  “O Lord, save Thy people, and bless Thine inheritance, granting victory unto the Orthodox Christians over their adversaries; and by the power of Thy Cross, preserve Thy habitation.”

            (When sung as the Imperial anthem, the wording varied:  “O Lord, save Thy people, and bless Thine inheritance, granting victory unto the Emperor over the barbarians; and by the power of Thy Cross, preserve Thy commonwealth.”)

            The Trisagion (“Thrice Holy”) hymn, normally sung at each Divine Liturgy, is replaced for September 14th with another special hymn, similarly three­‑fold but accompanied by prostrations:  “Before Thy Cross, we bow down in veneration, O Master; and Thy holy Resurrection we glorify.”

            With its one­‑day Fore-Feast and its seven­‑day After-Feast, besides the Saturday and Sunday Before the Elevation and the Saturday and Sunday After, the Church’s observance of this Great Feast annually of the Holy Cross, of our Lord & God & Saviour Jesus Christ, spans a period ranging from ten days to fifteen days altogether.

            As Fr. Thomas Hopko, the late Dean Emeritus of St. Vladimir’s Seminary, has written (citing Ephesians 2: 19, Hebrews 11: 10, and Revelation 21—22):  When we elevate the Cross and bow down before it in veneration and worship to God, we proclaim that we belong to the Kingdom “not of this world,” and that our only true and enduring citizenship is with the saints in the “city of God.”

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

 

III.   DECORATION of the CROSS:

            For the Exaltation of the Cross, in the middle of the nave the cross remains for veneration for nine days, from the eve of the September 14th Great Feast until the Leave-Taking of the Feast on September 21st.

            The cross placed in the nave for veneration is, by custom since the first millennium, decorated for the Feast with carnations or other available flowers, or with freshly­‑cut basil leaves, or with both.

            Both are anciently connected with this 4th­‑century veneration of the Cross of Jesus Christ, “basil” being from the Greek word for “royal,” and “carnation” from the Latin for “of the flesh.”

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

 

IV.   SERVICES and PARISH HALL:

            As reported in our summer newsletters, since North Carolina’s “phase 2” orders effective May 22nd and now “phase 2½” orders effective September 4th, and in view of our providential circumstances of a very large church building with a very small congregation, since May 23rd we have been able again to announce our church services publicly and to welcome visitors.

            At services our Bishop has asked that six­‑foot distancing be maintained between households, and that masks be worn indoors, with exceptions for those helping with our singing, or assigned to chanting or reading parts in the service, and for children under eight years.  (Masks are available in the narthex for visitors needing them, along with 80% alcohol hand sanitizer.)

            Although North Carolina’s executive orders exempt churches entirely, their comparable rule for retail stores & hair salons & restaurants would allow an attendance of twenty­‑five in the 2,100 square­‑foot St. George’s church; and thus with our yet very small congregation, we have plenty of room for visitors.

            Of course anyone having or feeling any symptom of the virus, as well as those with weakened immune function or comparable medical conditions, should offer instead at home our Sunday prayers or other days’ prayers, for the time being.

            And as related in the last two newsletters, our Diocese of the South on August 11th, by consensus of our bishop, administrator, chancellor, and the local deans, has issued now simplified guidelines, for a prudently maximal approach, in concert with the civil jurisdictions in our Diocese, to the further reopening of church life in our parishes and missions.

            Thus at St. George’s we resumed on August 16th our after­‑church Sunday parish­‑hall refreshments & fellowship and Bible study, which had been suspended since March 12th.

            Until the pandemic subsides, the protocols of distancing between households and of masks indoors, as at services in the church, will continue likewise for our parish­‑hall activities, along with limits on duration and numbers, and with particular care & attention as to food & beverage sourcing & serving.

            As with our remarkably spacious church, in Edenton during this pandemic we are blessed to have a parish hall (the former St. John’s School auditorium) that’s likewise quite spacious for the yet small size of our congregation and visitors.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

 

V.   CURRENT ANNOUNCEMENTS:

            On Monday, Sept. 14th, we have morning 6:50 & 7:00 a.m. services for the Great Feast of the Elevation of the Cross, as fully described near the beginning of this newsletter.

            Each Saturday we have Great Vespers at 5:00 p.m., concluding before 6:00 p.m.

            And every Sunday we have at 9:35 a.m. the Hours’ Prayers and at 10:00 a.m. the Divine Liturgy, followed by lunch or refreshments, and normally with Bible study.

            (Visitors expecting to be with us on a particular Sunday may always call our office at 482–2006 to confirm which chapter is next for our Bible study on the Sunday approaching.  On those infrequent Sundays when a further service is scheduled to follow the usual morning services, we occasionally decide to let that take the place of the Sunday’s Bible study.)

            All of our services are held in our historic church building at 212 East Church Street in Edenton; and visitors are always invited and welcome.  Our office telephone number is 482–2006.

            Our prayers are asked for the servant­‑of­‑God Jonathan, recovering from surgery, besides for his family, and likewise for the handmaiden­‑of­‑God Katina.

            And our prayers are asked for our community and our country and our leaders, and for the people and for their salvation, as always; and for Fr. Andrew & Mo. Katrina, for Tony, for Rosa, for Maria, for Scott, for Harvey, for Sandy, and for Darnell; and for those many further friends for whom we pray at each of our services.

            Our mailing address is P. O. Box 38, Edenton, N. C., 27932.

 

 
 
05 SEPTEMBER 2020 NEWSLETTER

  • Monday 7th & Tuesday 8th
  1. protocols at services

III.       re­‑opening of parish hall

  1. Nativity of the Theotocos
  2. current announcements

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

 

  1. MONDAY 7th & TUESDAY 8th:

            For the September 8th Great Feast next week, as usual we will have Great Vespers on its eve and the Divine Liturgy on its morning.

            So Monday evening (Labor Day) September 7th at 7:00 p.m. (concluding before 8:00 p.m.) there will begin the Vespers of the Feast of the Nativity of the Most-Holy Theotocos, the Ever-Virgin Mary.

            And Tuesday morning September 8th at respectively 6:50 & 7:00 a.m. there will begin the Hour’s Prayers and the Divine Liturgy (concluding around 8:10 a.m.), for the same Great Feast, of the Nativity of the Theotocos.

            (The title Theotocos [or Theotokos] is the Greek theological term meaning the “God­‑bearer,” or more precisely the “Birth­‑giver of God,” or “Birth­‑giver to God”—viz., to God the Son.

            (This established term Theotocos was then made obligatory, or dogmatic, by the Fourth Ecumenical Council, at Chalcedon in 451, to define and guard against the heresies of the Nestorians and Arians—who contended that the child borne by the Virgin Mary was merely the Christ, or Messiah, and that he was not God the Son, a Person of the Trinity.)

            One of the twelve Great Feasts of the Church, the Nativity of the Theotocos is described in § IV below.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

 

  1. PROTOCOLS at SERVICES:

            As reported in our summer newsletters, since North Carolina’s “phase 2” orders effective May 22nd and now “phase 2½” orders effective September 4th, and in view of our providential circumstances of a very large church building with a very small congregation, since May 23rd we have been able again to announce our church services publicly and to welcome visitors.

            At services our Bishop has asked that six­‑foot distancing be maintained between households, and that masks be worn indoors, with exceptions for those helping with our singing, or assigned to chanting or reading parts in the service, and for children under eight years.  (Masks are available in the narthex for visitors needing them, along with 80% alcohol hand sanitizer.)

            Although North Carolina’s executive orders exempt churches entirely, their comparable rule for retail stores & hair salons & restaurants would allow an attendance of twenty­‑five in the 2,100 square­‑foot St. George’s church; and thus with our yet very small congregation, we have plenty of room for visitors.

            Of course anyone having or feeling any symptom of the virus, as well as those with weakened immune function or comparable medical conditions, should offer instead at home our Sunday prayers or other days’ prayers, for the time being.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

 

III.   RE­‑OPENING of PARISH HALL:

            As related preliminarily in the last newsletter, our Diocese of the South on August 11th, by consensus of our bishop, administrator, chancellor, and the local deans, has issued now simplified guidelines, for a prudently maximal approach, in concert with the civil jurisdictions in our Diocese, to the further reopening of church life in our parishes and missions.

            Thus at St. George’s we resumed on August 16th our after­‑church Sunday parish­‑hall refreshments & fellowship and Bible study, which had been suspended since March 12th.

            Until the pandemic subsides, the protocols of distancing between households and of masks indoors, as at services in the church, will continue likewise for our parish­‑hall activities, along with limits on duration and numbers, and with particular care & attention as to food & beverage sourcing & serving.

            As with our remarkably spacious church, in Edenton during this pandemic we are blessed to have a parish hall (the former St. John’s School auditorium) that’s likewise quite spacious for the yet small size of our congregation and visitors.

            Our Bible study, reviewed in detail in the last newsletter, this weekend after refreshments on Sunday the 6th will next address chapter 12 of the Proverbs.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

 

  1. NATIVITY of the THEOTOCOS:

            The Orthodox Church’s twelve Great Feasts, together with Good Friday (a fast rather than a feast) and Easter or the Pasch (the greatest “Feast of Feasts”), generally speaking commemorate the principal historical events in God’s plan of Salvation offered to mankind.

            Although the Crucifixion and Resurrection indeed are its apex, this plan of Salvation is understood in Orthodox Christianity to involve the longer entire series of events.

            Thus in sequence the Church commemorates the Conception of Christ’s Mother the Theotocos, next her Nativity, her Entrance into the Temple, the Annunciation to her by the Archangel, then Jesus Christ’s own Nativity, His Circumcision, His Presentation in the Temple, His teaching in the temple at the age of twelve, His Baptism by St. John, His Transfiguration, His triumphal Entrance into Jerusalem, the Crucifixion, the descent into hell, the Resurrection, His Ascension, and finally His Mother’s Dormition.

            Continually then these events remind us of God’s willingness to take on our form and become man and suffer, to save us for eternal life with Him, and moreover that Christ thus was both fully God and fully man, as crucially emphasized by our Christian theology.

            As it was within the Virgin’s womb where took place this union of God and man, in Christ our Savior, so the birth of Mary indeed foreshadows this Salvation soon to come—just as Orthodox Christianity understands the whole Old Testament as foretelling and prefiguring ultimately the Incarnation of the Messiah or Christ Jesus—and His Crucifixion and Resurrection and Ascension.

            And so on this September 8th Feast the Church proclaims:  “Today beginneth grace to bear its first fruits”; and “The pre­‑ordained tabernacle of our reconciliation with God now beginneth to be”; and “Thy birth, O Theotocos, hath brought joy to all the inhabited earth.”

            Among the twelve Great Feasts, the one celebrated first during the church year, which commences (since the fifth century) on September 1st, is logically this Feast of the Nativity of the Most-Holy Theotocos and Ever-Virgin Mary—the Birth of the Virgin who, when coming of age, consented to conceive by the Holy Spirit and to bear Jesus our Lord and Savior.

            Mary’s parents fittingly were of royal and priestly lineage respectively:  her father was St. Joachim from Nazareth, son of Barpathir of Galilee, of the royal House of David of the Tribe of Judah; and her mother was St. Anna, or St. Anne, daughter of the priest Matthan from Bethlehem, of the priestly House of Aaron of the Tribe of Levi.  (Anna’s elder sister Zoia was mother of St. Elizabeth, who was mother of John the Baptist.)

            Joachim and Anna were wealthy and devout and generous, but aged and childless, until God blessed their faithfulness, with the daughter Mary.  They had a house in Jerusalem, beside the Pools of Bethesda (John 5: 1–9) near the Sheep Gate leading into the Temple courts, although their principal residence was at Nazareth—the city also of St. Joseph the Betrothed.

            Above their house in Jerusalem stands the Church of St. Anne, built by the Crusaders in the 1130’s to replace the original Basilica of the Nativity of St. Mary there (destroyed by the Persians in 614), which had been built about 450 by the Byzantine Empress Eudocia (Ælia Eudocia Augusta, wife of Emperor Theodosius II) and which fittingly was dedicated on September 8th.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

 

  1. CURRENT ANNOUNCEMENTS:

            This Labor Day weekend on Monday the 7th and then on Tuesday the 8th, we have respectively evening 7:00 p.m. and morning 6:50 & 7:00 a.m. services for the Nativity of the Theotocos, as fully described above in this newsletter.

            Each Saturday we have Great Vespers at 5:00 p.m., concluding before 6:00 p.m.

            And every Sunday we have at 9:35 a.m. the Hours’ Prayers and at 10:00 a.m. the Divine Liturgy, followed by lunch or refreshments, with Bible study.

            All of our services are held in our historic church building at 212 East Church Street in Edenton; and visitors are always invited and welcome.  Our office telephone number is 482–2006.

            There were no newsletters the last three weeks, the most recent thus having been the issue of August 6th/8th.

            Our prayers are asked for the servant­‑of­‑God Jonathan, recovering from surgery, besides for his family, and likewise for the handmaiden­‑of­‑God Katina.

            And our prayers are asked for our community and our country and our leaders, and for the people and for their salvation, as always; and for Fr. Andrew & Mo. Katrina, for Tony, for Rosa, for Maria, for Scott, for Harvey, for Sandy, and for Darnell; and for those many further friends for whom we pray at each of our services.

            Our mailing address is P. O. Box 38, Edenton, N. C., 27932.

 

6

Settings

St. George's Orthodox Church

08 AUGUST 2020 NEWSLETTER

  • I.          re­‑opening of parish hall

    II.         resumption of Bible study

    III.       Friday 14th & Saturday 15th

    IV.       Feast of the Dormition

    V.        protocols at services

    VI.       current announcements

    VII.      herbs & flowers at Dormition

    _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

     

    I.          RE­‑OPENING of PARISH HALL:

                This week Archbishop Alexander, of our Diocese of the South, gave his blessing in our Deanery of the Carolinas for a resumption of after­‑church Sunday parish­‑hall refreshments & fellowship, which had been suspended since March 12th.

                In view of the continuing pandemic, however, he asks that those attending employ either masks or social distancing, that setting up of coffee be by a server with gloves & mask, that food prepared at home not be shared outside the household, and that other fare (food from a licensed establishment, or parish­‑hall coffee) be distributed through individual self­‑service, unless by a server with gloves & mask.

                Accordingly beginning this weekend on Sunday the 9th, our services in the church will once again be followed, in the parish hall, by lunch or refreshments, with Bible study.

    _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

     

    II.         RESUMPTION of BIBLE STUDY:

                Our Sunday lunchtime Bible study, arising from congregational interest and begun last December until suspended March 12th for the pandemic, will resume this weekend on Sunday August 9th.

                After having begun with the latter chapters of Isaiah, we had been proceeding weekly chapter by chapter through the Proverbs of Solomon, finishing chapter 8 before the suspension; and so on Sunday this weekend we will resume with Proverbs chapter 9.

                For Bible studies, because Orthodox Christianity preserves & continues to publish the ancient Church Fathers’ & Mothers’ wisdom, we rely on this Patristic commentary rather than our own speculation, in questions of Biblical interpretation.

                Accordingly in Orthodox Bible­‑study groups, our participation consists largely of applying the verses to our lives, in our aspiration to Christian discipleship.

                The format with which we’ve started our study here (subject to later adjustment perhaps as we gain experience) is individual advance home reading of the approaching chapter, followed then in the Sunday group meeting by voluntary reports of our individual reflection & contemplation in applying passages of the week’s chapter in our own lives.

                (We normally proceed to the next chapter each week, although on those infrequent Sundays when a further service is scheduled to follow the usual morning services, we occasionally let that take the place of the Sunday’s Bible study.)

                Visitors are always welcome to attend with us, as at all of our services and events; on Sunday the 9th this weekend Proverbs chapter 9 is scheduled, but those expecting to be with us later on a particular Sunday may always call our office at 482–2006 to confirm which chapter is in line for the Sunday approaching.

                It’s our hope that this Bible study we’ve initiated will both encourage our own Christian growth and also draw others to participate at St. George’s in this quest to be conscientious followers of Jesus Christ.

    _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

     

    III.   FRIDAY 14th & SATURDAY 15th:

                For the August 15th Great Feast next week, as usual we will have Great Vespers on its eve and the Divine Liturgy on its morning.

                So Friday evening August 14th at 7:00 p.m. (concluding before 8:00 p.m.) there will begin the Vespers of the Great Feast of the Dormition.

                And Saturday morning August 15th at respectively 6:50 & 7:00 a.m. there will begin the Hour’s Prayers and the Divine Liturgy (concluding around 8:10 a.m.), for the same Great Feast, of the Dormition of the Theotocos.

                One of the twelve Great Feasts of the Church, it is described in § IV and § VII below.

    _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

     

    IV.   FEAST of the DORMITION:

                “Theotocos” (or “Theotokos”) is the Greek theological term meaning the “Birth­‑giver of God,” or “Birth­‑giver to God”—viz., to God the Son, Jesus Christ.  This term for our Lord’s mother, the Virgin Mary, is also rendered in English, more succinctly although imprecisely, often as the “God­‑bearer.”

                “Dormition” (an English noun since the 15th century, from the French and Latin) translates the Biblical Greek noun that is equivalently rendered “falling asleep” in New Testament translations typically.

                Thus this Feast, of the Dormition (or “Falling Asleep”) of the Theotocos (or “God-Bearer”), commemorates the extraordinary circumstances of that event, in Jerusalem and in the Garden of Gethsemane, near her residence by the Mount of Olives at the house of the parents of the Apostle John the Evangelist & Theologian, into whose care Christ Jesus had commended her upon His departure.

                (The Feast is defined more specifically on the Roman Catholic calendar and known as the Assumption, while being defined less specifically on the Anglican calendar and known as the Feast of St. Mary the Virgin, or as Marymas.)

                One of the twelve Great Feasts of the Orthodox Church, it has been celebrated always on August 15th since the 5th or 6th century.

                At the conclusion of the Saturday morning Liturgy, Fr. Benedict will offer the Blessing of Fragrant Herbs, which has always been part of the services for the Dormition Feast.

                Those attending are invited to bring herbs to be blessed for their household use accordingly, or spices or flowers as well, as discussed at the conclusion of this newsletter.

    _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

     

    V.   PROTOCOLS at SERVICES:

                As related in our recent newsletters, in view of North Carolina’s “phase 2” orders effective May 22nd and refined effective June 26th & July 17th & August 7th, and of our providential circumstances of a very large church building with a very small congregation, we were able to announce our church services publicly again to visitors beginning May 23rd.

                And as first recounted in our March 12/14 newsletter, for the time being our Bishop has given his blessing for minimizing unnecessary physical contact at our services.

                Thus in showing veneration for Jesus Christ and His Cross and Gospel and similar depictions, we’re asked simply to bow for the time being, without the usual kiss, and likewise as to the Lord’s Chalice and the celebrant’s hand.

                At services our Bishop has asked that six­‑foot distancing be maintained between households, and that masks be worn indoors, with exceptions for those helping with our singing, or assigned to chanting or reading parts in the service, and for children under eight years.  (Masks are available in the narthex for visitors needing them, along with 80% alcohol hand sanitizer.)

                Although North Carolina’s current executive orders exempt churches entirely, their comparable rule for retail stores & hair salons & restaurants would allow an attendance of twenty­‑five in the 2,100 square­‑foot St. George’s church; and thus with our yet very small congregation, we have plenty of room for visitors.

                Of course anyone having or feeling any symptom of the virus, as well as those with weakened immune function or comparable medical conditions, should offer instead at home our Sunday prayers or other days’ prayers, for the time being.

    _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

     

    VI.   CURRENT ANNOUNCEMENTS:

                Next week on Friday the 14th and Saturday the 15th, we have respectively evening 7:00 p.m. and morning 6:50 & 7:00 a.m. services for the Great Feast of the Dormition, as described at the beginning of this newsletter.

                Each Saturday we have Great Vespers at 5:00 p.m., concluding before 6:00 p.m.

                And every Sunday we have at 9:35 a.m. the Hours’ Prayers and at 10:00 a.m. the Divine Liturgy, followed by lunch or refreshments, with Bible study.

                All of our services are held in our historic church building at 212 East Church Street in Edenton; and visitors are always invited and welcome.  Our office telephone number is 482–2006.

                Our prayers are asked for the servant­‑of­‑God Jonathan, recovering from surgery, besides for his family, and likewise for the handmaiden­‑of­‑God Katina.

                And our prayers are asked for our community and our country and our leaders, and for the people and for their salvation, as always; and for Fr. Andrew & Mo. Katrina, for Tony, for Rosa, for Maria, for Scott, for Harvey, for Sandy, and for Darnell; and for those many further friends for whom we pray at each of our services.

                Our mailing address is P. O. Box 38, Edenton, N. C., 27932.

    _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

     

    VII.   HERBS & FLOWERS at DORMITION:

                The Dormition next weekend on Saturday the 15th is one of the three days yearly when all attending are invited to bring flowers; they may be brought, perhaps with a sprig of greenery, either in a small bud vase or without; and our regular participants may also bring extras for use by visitors.

                Typically worshipers at the morning Liturgy hold their flowers particularly during the Gospel reading and the concluding Blessing.

                Besides flowers, at the Dormition herbs may be brought, whether fresh or packaged.  At the conclusion of the services, the worshipers hold their herbs (and may hold spices with them) for the priest’s annual Blessing of Fragrant Herbs, after which the herbs (and spices) are taken back to bless the table fare at home throughout the year.

                (For any who are unable to attend Saturday morning’s Dormition Liturgy, Fr. Benedict will make the herbs blessing available also the following Sunday.)

                (The other two occasions when all are encouraged to bring flowers are the Feast of Pentecost, seven weeks after Easter, and the Exaltation of the Cross, always on September 14th.  For the Veneration of the Cross in mid Lent we bring, by contrast, basil or other greenery simply.)

                At the Dormition the flowers remind us of those from our Lord’s Mother’s tomb on the visit of St. Thomas, and the herbs symbolize the fragrance likewise found there.

     

 
 
St. George's Orthodox Church
orthodoxedenton@coastalnet.com
 
 
 
 
02 AUGUST 2020 Newsletter

  • I.          Transfiguration Aug. 6th

    II.         the un-created light

    III.       protocols at services

    IV.       current announcements

    V.        the Dormition Fast

    _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

     

    I.   WEDNESDAY 5th & THURSDAY 6th:

                For the August 6th Feast of the Transfiguration next week, as usual we will have Great Vespers on its eve and the Divine Liturgy on its morning.

                So Wednesday evening August 5th at 7:00 p.m. (concluding about 8:00 p.m.) there will begin the Vespers, of the Feast of the Holy Transfiguration of our Lord, God & Saviour, Jesus Christ.

                And Thursday morning August 6th at respectively 6:50 & 7:00 a.m. there will begin the First Prayers and the Divine Liturgy (concluding at 8:10 a.m.), for the same Great Feast, of the Transfiguration.

                The Transfiguration, of Jesus on Mt. Tabor between Moses and Elijah, representing the Law and the Prophets, is recounted in all three synoptic Gospels:  in Matthew 17, Mark 9, and Luke 9.

                One of the seven Great Feasts of our Lord, among the twelve Great Feasts of the Orthodox Church, it is celebrated always on August 6th on the calendars of both the Eastern Church and the Western Church.

                Near the end of the vespers on Wednesday, Fr. Benedict will offer the Blessing of the First­‑fruits, which has always been part of the services for the Feast of the Transfiguration.

                Those attending are invited thus to bring grapes, or apples or other such produce, to be blessed for their household use accordingly.

                (For any who are unable to attend the Transfiguration vespers, Fr. Benedict will make the first­‑fruits blessing available also the following Sunday.)

    _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

     

    II.   UN-CREATED LIGHT:

                At the Transfiguration, the Eastern Church takes particular note of the light that Peter & James & John saw on Mt. Tabor, when Jesus “was transfigured before them; and His face did shine as the sun, and His raiment was white as the light”; and “the disciples ... fell on their face, and were sore afraid” (Matthew 17: 1–2, 5–6).

                The Church understands this light of Christ’s Transfiguration on Mt. Tabor to be the same light which Moses had seen in the burning bush (Exodus 3) that was not consumed (“and Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look upon God”), and which St. Paul later saw (“and he fell to the earth”) on the road to Damascus (Acts 9: 1–9, also 22: 4–9 and 26: 11–15).

                Orthodox theology understands these Biblical accounts as reporting the extraordinarily rare instances in which God has allowed a human being to see light that is “not created.”

                Thus the sun and its light, and fire and its light, for example, are part of the Creation, that God has made.

                But the light of the burning bush and of the Transfiguration and of the Damascus road, Orthodox Christianity understands, is not created but is an uncreated attribute of God Himself, which He has permitted mankind to encounter under such momentous circumstances as the Transfiguration of Our Lord, God & Saviour, Jesus Christ, which we will celebrate next Wednesday & Thursday August 5th & 6th.

    _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

     

    III.   PROTOCOLS at SERVICES:

                As related in our recent newsletters, in view of North Carolina’s “phase 2” orders effective May 22nd and refined effective June 26th and July 17th, and of our providential circumstances of a very large church building with a very small congregation, we were able to announce our church services publicly again to visitors beginning May 23rd.

                And as first recounted in our March 12/14 newsletter, for the time being our Bishop has given his blessing for minimizing unnecessary physical contact at our services.

                Thus in showing veneration for Jesus Christ and His Cross and Gospel and similar depictions, we’re asked simply to bow for the time being, without the usual kiss, and likewise as to the Lord’s Chalice and the celebrant’s hand.

                At services our Bishop has asked that six­‑foot distancing be maintained between households, and that masks be worn indoors, with exceptions for those helping with our singing, or assigned to chanting or reading parts in the service, and for children under eight years.  (Masks are available in the narthex for visitors needing them, along with 80% alcohol hand sanitizer.)

                Although North Carolina’s current executive orders exempt churches entirely, their comparable rule for retail stores & hair salons & restaurants would allow an attendance of twenty­‑five in the 2,100 square­‑foot St. George’s church; and thus with our yet very small congregation, we have plenty of room for visitors.

                While our church services have resumed, the Sunday luncheons afterwards, along with the Bible studies and our other parish­‑hall activities, remain suspended until the pandemic further subsides.

                Of course anyone having or feeling any symptom of the virus, as well as those with weakened immune function or comparable medical conditions, should offer instead at home our Sunday prayers or other days’ prayers, for the time being.

    _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

     

    IV.   CURRENT ANNOUNCEMENTS:

                Next week on Wednesday the 5th and Thursday the 6th, we have evening 7:00 p.m. and morning 6:50 & 7:00 a.m. services for the Great Feast of the Transfiguration of our Lord, as described at the beginning of this newsletter.

                Each Saturday we have Great Vespers at 5:00 p.m., concluding before 6:00 p.m.

                And every Sunday we have at 9:35 a.m. the Hours’ Prayers and at 10:00 a.m. the Divine Liturgy.

                (In normal times, lunch and Bible study follow our Sunday services; but the lunch and Bible study in the parish hall remain temporarily suspended for the pandemic.)

                All of our services are held in our historic church building at 212 East Church Street in Edenton; and visitors are always invited and welcome.  Our office telephone number is 482–2006.

                There were no newsletters the last four weeks, the most recent thus having been the issue of June 25th/27th.

                Our prayers are asked for the servant­‑of­‑God Jonathan, recovering from surgery, besides for his family, and likewise for the handmaiden­‑of­‑God Katina.

                And our prayers are asked for our community and our country and our leaders, and for the people and for their salvation, as always; and for Fr. Andrew & Mo. Katrina, for Tony, for Rosa, for Maria, for Scott, for Harvey, for Sandy, and for Darnell; and for those many further friends for whom we pray at each of our services.

                Our mailing address is P. O. Box 38, Edenton, N. C., 27932.

    _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

     

    V.   The DORMITION FAST:

                The Dormition Fast, one of the Church’s four seasons of fasting, begins as always on August 1st and so runs for the fourteen days preceding August 15th, the Feast of the Dormition (the Falling-Asleep) of the Theotocos (the God-Bearer, i.e., the Virgin Mary).

                (An inquirer or catechumen or one otherwise yet entering upon such a fast should not try to undertake this all at once, as such an attempt likely would be neither successful nor beneficial.  Adopting the discipline instead in increments, over a period of several seasons & years as necessary, avoids a sense of burden or being overwhelmed and allows rather a glad anticipation of each successive step.)

                The fasting principles for this season are the same as for Lent (and thus somewhat stricter than the rule for Advent and for the Apostles’ Fast in June).  Thus besides restricting the number of meals, we generally abstain from meat (including finfish), eggs & dairy products, and oil & wine (—i.e., alcoholic beverages); but on Saturdays and Sundays oil and wine are allowed, as the Sabbath and the Lord’s Day respectively.

                On August 6th, the Feast of the Transfiguration, finfish (i.e., fish with backbones) are allowed, as well as oil & wine; and in our jurisdiction, the Orthodox Church in America, this relaxation is provided likewise on Aug. 9th & Aug. 13th for the Feast Days respectively of St. Herman of Alaska and of St. Tikhon of Zadonsk.

                (Shellfish, i.e., all invertebrates, have been traditionally allowed throughout the season, as being more primitive than the animals from which we abstain, and notably without recognizable blood generally—besides being historically disdained as mere scavengers.)

                The fasting discipline should be undertaken with the guidance, especially when questions arise, of one’s priest (or spiritual father, or mother), for several reasons, including those of ensuring a proper measure of prayer, compassion, & dependence on God, and of avoiding pride or irritability.  Reasons of health may mitigate the fast, as well as other personal circumstances, such as those of an individual in a non-Orthodox household.

                (And during such a fast from “meat and cheese” etc., one needs to assess & maintain a menu still affording sufficient protein—which might thus include such staples as peanuts, peanut butter, lentils, beans, peas, quinoa, and shellfish.)

                Most importantly, the Orthodox emphasize not a legalistic approach to fasting but one of joyful anticipation.

                The Biblical history of fasting, together with its spiritual benefits of self­‑discipline, to soul & body together, that are experienced by those who follow this example of Jesus Christ and the Fathers in growing closer to God, is well explained by Bishop Kallistos (Timothy Ware) in his booklet “When You Fast,” available from our tract cabinet.

     

     

     

 
Settings
St. George's Orthodox Church
orthodoxedenton@coastalnet.com
 
 
 
 

27 JUNE 2020 Newsletter
  •   I.       All Saints’ Days

    II.         All Saints of Britain

    III.       exemplary British Saints

    IV.       protocols at services

    V.        current announcements

    _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

     

    I.   ALL SAINTS’ DAYS:

                After the Great Feast of Pentecost, celebrating the Descent the Holy Spirit upon the Church, the subsequent Sundays on the Orthodox calendar fittingly commemorate the Church’s Saints who followed through the centuries.

                As noted in the last newsletter, a Saint is one, departed this life, for whom we no longer pray (as the Church recognizes that he or she, having now come to the glory of the Lord, no longer has need for our prayers) but whose intercessions for ourselves we may now ask, both privately & publicly.

                And so following Pentecost the first Sunday (June 14th this year) always is All Saints’ Day, which both honors the named Saints we know, but whose separate feast days we do not always commemorate, and also honors the equally holy Saints whose names we do not know; and the second Sunday (June 21st this year) always honors specifically the local country’s Orthodox saints, so that here that day is called All Saints of North America.

                Finally now this weekend the third Sunday, June 28th this year, is the Feast of All Saints of Britain & Ireland, in recognition that, in contrast to western continental Europe, the English Church remained Orthodox past 1066 and the Irish Church until 1172.

                As is always the Orthodox practice, each of these three feast days is celebrated first on its eve, with Vespers at 5:00 p.m. Saturday, and second on its morning, at 9:35 & 10:00 a.m. Sunday.

                Visitors are invited and welcome at all of our services always.

    _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

     

    II.   ALL SAINTS of BRITAIN:

                England, though this fact is sometimes overlooked, had remained an Orthodox kingdom until the Norman Conquest of 1066, when William’s regime deposed the Orthodox bishops and abbots throughout England and replaced them with imported Normans allegiant to Rome, so that by 1070 the English Church had been made Roman Catholic, which it remained until that character was extinguished likewise, by the 16th-century Reformation.  (The last Orthodox bishop remaining in England died in prison in 1072.)

                In Ireland the Church remained Orthodox a century longer; its overthrow began with the Norman invasion of Ireland in 1169 & 1170, and the formal subjugation by Rome of the Celtic Church in Ireland may be dated to the Second Synod of Cashel in 1172.

                By contrast the British north, what is now Scotland, had not become Christian at all until much later; and since the Synod of Whitby in 664 its Church was generally Roman rather than Celtic:  accordingly the end of Orthodox Christianity in Scotland is conventionally dated the same as in continental Western Europe, to the Great Schism of 1054, when the Roman Patriarchate became the Roman Catholic Church by separating herself from the Church’s other four ancient Patriarchates—Jerusalem, Antioch, Alexandria, and Constantinople.

                A few of the more widely known saints from the Orthodox era of the British Christianity are addressed below.

    _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

     

    III.   EXEMPLARY BRITISH SAINTS:

                The more prominent saints from the Orthodox era of the British Christianity include thus the following:

                —St. Aidan of Lindisfarne, St. Alban the Protomartyr of Britain, St. Aristobulus the Old, St. Augustine of Canterbury, the Venerable Bede, St. Boniface the Apostle to the Germans, St. Brendan the Navigator, St. Brigid of Kildare, St. Chad of Lichfield, St. Columba of Iona the Enlightener of Scotland, St. David of Wales, St. Dunstan of Canterbury, King Edmund the Martyr, and King Edward the Martyr.

                Summaries are offered here of a sampling of four; we’ll hope our newsletters may summarize more of these in future years.

                St. Aristobulus (Romans 16:10) of Britannia was an Apostle of the Seventy (Luke 10:1) and the brother of St. Barnabas (Acts 9: 26–27; 13: 2–3, 46; 15:12; Galatians 2:9).  Born a Jew in Cyprus (Acts 4: 36–37), Aristobulus was, by St. Paul the Apostle, consecrated a bishop and sent to Britannia, the Roman province of Britain (initially the southeastern half of present England).  After preaching also on Iberia’s eastern coast during his missionary journey there, Aristobulus arrived on Great Britain and completed his life of evangelism there during the first century, as the province’s first bishop.

                St. Patrick the Apostle, Enlightener of Ireland, was born in the latter fourth century’s terminal years of Roman Britannia, on Great Britain’s west coast, where at the age of sixteen he was captured and enslaved by Irish raiders and carried to Ireland where as a shepherd he worked as a slave six years until his miraculous escape back to Great Britain.  His personal Christian spiritual growth during his slavery in Ireland led Patrick to seminary and the monastic life and holy orders, and ultimately to his divine calling as a missionary to the pagan Irish who had enslaved him.  At Armagh the first bishop of Ireland, and regarded as the founder of Christianity in Ireland, the monastic bishop St. Patrick in the latter fifth century reposed on March 17th at Saul and was buried at Downpatrick, both in Down, the County neighboring Armagh with St. Patrick’s cathedral, all within the Province of Ulster.

                St. Brigid, or St. Bride in English, was on Ireland’s east coast in 451 born into slavery; although her father was a pagan chieftain, her mother was one of his slaves, of the Picts (northeast Scotland) ethnically; and upon the mother’s pregnancy, the father sold her, together with the daughter Brigid to be born, to a druid sorcerer.  Ultimately St. Brigid founded monasteries, for women and for men, west of Dublin at Kildare, where she reposed ca. 523 on February 1st; revered as the founder of women’s communal monasticism in Ireland, she is, along with St. Patrick, counted as a patron saint of Ireland.

                The Martyr St. Edward the King, of which we have an icon here in St. George’s Church, was in his teenaged years crowned King of England in 975/976, and in 978/979 he was martyred; his life is recounted at considerable length in our newsletter of October 1, 2009.

    _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

     

    IV.   PROTOCOLS at SERVICES:

                As related in our recent newsletters, in view of North Carolina’s “phase 2” orders effective May 22nd and refined effective June 26th, and of our providential circumstances of a very large church building with a very small congregation, we were able to announce our church services publicly again to visitors beginning May 23rd.

                And as first recounted in our March 12/14 newsletter, for the time being our Bishop has given his blessing for minimizing unnecessary physical contact at our services.

                Thus in showing veneration for Jesus Christ and His Cross and Gospel and similar depictions, we’re asked simply to bow for the time being, without the usual kiss, and likewise as to the Lord’s Chalice and the celebrant’s hand.

                At services our Bishop has asked that six­‑foot distancing be maintained between households, and that masks be worn indoors, with exceptions for those helping with our singing, or assigned to chanting or reading parts in the service, and for children under eight years.  (Masks are available in the narthex for visitors needing them, along with 80% alcohol hand sanitizer.)

                Although North Carolina’s current executive orders exempt churches entirely, their comparable rule for retail stores & hair salons & restaurants would allow an attendance of twenty­‑five in the 2,100 square­‑foot St. George’s church; and thus with our yet very small congregation, we have plenty of room for visitors.

                While our church services have resumed, the Sunday luncheons afterwards, along with the Bible studies and our other parish­‑hall activities, remain suspended until the pandemic further subsides.

                Of course anyone having or feeling any symptom of the virus, as well as those with weakened immune function or comparable medical conditions, should offer instead at home our Sunday prayers or other days’ prayers, for the time being.

    _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

     

    V.   CURRENT ANNOUNCEMENTS:

                Each Saturday we have Great Vespers at 5:00 p.m., concluding before 6:00 p.m.

                And every Sunday we have at 9:35 a.m. the Hours’ Prayers and at 10:00 a.m. the Divine Liturgy.

                (In normal times, lunch and Bible study follow our Sunday services; but the lunch and Bible study in the parish hall remain temporarily suspended for the pandemic.)

                All of our services are held in our historic church building at 212 East Church Street in Edenton; and visitors are always invited and welcome.  Our office telephone number is 482–2006.

                There was no newsletter last week, the most recent thus having been the issue of June 11th/13th.

                Our prayers are asked for the newly­‑departed Ernest, that he may rest in peace, and for Heather and the rest of Ernest’s family in their loss; and for the servant­‑of­‑God Jonathan, recovering from surgery, besides for his family, and likewise for the handmaiden­‑of­‑God Katina.

                And our prayers are asked for our community and our country and our leaders, and for the people and for their salvation, as always; and for Fr. Andrew & Mo. Katrina, for Tony, for Rosa, for Maria, for Scott, for Harvey, for Sandy, for John B. C., and for Darnell; and for those many further friends for whom we pray at each of our services.

                Our mailing address is P. O. Box 38, Edenton, N. C., 27932.

     

     

     

 
Settings
St. George's Orthodox Church
orthodoxedenton@coastalnet.com
 
 
 
 

  1. services resume!
  2. protocols at services
  3. schedule of services
  4. The Ascension
  5. current announcements
  6. hymnography of the Ascension

     _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

 

SERVICES RESUME:

Finally we are now able, thanks be to God, to announce the resumption of our services, in view of the new “phase 2” orders effective this Friday the 22nd dramatically easing restrictions for North Carolina, and in view of Chowan County’s own consistently low statistics during the pandemic.

Because Orthodox Christianity understands that the conducting of her Divine Liturgy, as ordained by Jesus Christ and with its included prayers always for the welfare of the local inhabitants, is of real benefit to the community surrounding the parish or mission

in a variety of means both seen and unseen, during the height of the pandemic in recent weeks a limited Sunday Liturgy has continued at St. George’s, on behalf of the congregation and community, with our Bishop’s blessing and a maximum of ten and then five participants and consequently not publicly announced.

But our providential circumstances, of having a very large church building while our congregation is yet very small, now make it possible happily to announce our church services publicly again to visitors.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

 

PROTOCOLS at SERVICES:

As first recounted in our March 12/14 newsletter, for the time being our Bishop has given his blessing for minimizing unnecessary physical contact at our services.

 Thus In showing veneration for Jesus Christ and His Cross and Gospel and similar depictions, we’re asked simply to bow for the time being, without the usual kiss, and likewise as to the Lord’s Chalice and the celebrant’s hand.

(And for the time being the Holy Gifts from the Chalice, instead of being communicated with the usual common spoon, will be communicated with a rotation of liturgical spoons disinfected with 151° food­‑grade ethanol.)

At services our Bishop has asked that six­‑foot distancing be maintained between households, and that masks be worn indoors, with exceptions for those helping with our singing, or assigned to chanting or reading parts in the service, and for children under

eight years.  (Masks are available in the narthex for visitors needing them, along with 80% alcohol hand sanitizer.) Although North Carolina’s new executive order exempts churches entirely, its comparable rule for retail stores & hair salons & restaurants would allow an attendance of twenty­‑five in the 2,100 square­‑foot St. George’s church; and so with our yet very small congregation, happily we have plenty of room for visitors.

While our church services have resumed, the Sunday luncheons afterwards, along with the Bible studies and our other parish­‑hall activities, remain suspended until the pandemic further dissipates.

Finally, anyone not feeling well, or having any symptom of the virus—as well as those with weakened immune function or comparable medical conditions—of course should offer instead at home our Sunday prayers or other days’ prayers, for the time being.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

 

III.   SCHEDULE of SERVICES:

SATURDAY 5:00 p.m. vespers accordingly resumes WEEKLY now this week on May 23rd.

SUNDAY 9:35 a.m. Hours’ Prayers and 10:00 a.m. Divine Liturgy likewise resume WEEKLY now on May 24th.

WEDNESDAY May 27th at 7:00 p.m. vespers will be served for the eve of the Great Feast of our Lord’s Ascension into Heaven.

THURSDAY May 28th early morning services likewise will be held for Ascension Day; the starting time (around 7:00 a.m. probably, and concluding well before 8:30 a.m.) will be decided by the congregation this weekend, and newsletter subscribers or others

 interested in attending may reply by to this newsletter, or call our office at 482–2006 after Sunday afternoon, to learn the specific time decided.

Continuing instability of civil circumstances could affect our schedule in coming weeks, but current information is always available by calling our office at 482–2006.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

 

THE ASCENSION:

Christ’s Ascension into Heaven, as recounted in chapter 1 of The Acts, as well as at the end of Mark’s and Luke’s Gospels, occurred on the fortieth day from the Pasch, or Orthodox Easter, and so it falls always on a Thursday.

Thus the Ascension into Heaven, of Our Lord, God & Saviour, Jesus Christ, among the twelve Great Feasts of the Church, is one of the seven Great Feasts of our Lord.

Orthodox Christianity understands salvation as involving Christ’s work through a series of events including his Incarnation, Nativity, Crucifixion, Descent, Resurrection, and Ascension, so that He as God became man and, after overthrowing the power of

death, took man’s human nature & flesh into heaven, restoring & reconciling man to God.

 As at Christmas the human shepherds were amazed in seeing God born as a child on earth, so at Ascension the angels were amazed in seeing a human being ascend into Heaven, and again at Pentecost the people were amazed in seeing the Holy Spirit

descended upon the men of the Church.

The hymnography of Ascension Day, addressed in more detail below, repeats the bewildered amazement of the angels in seeing a human being ascend in the flesh into Heaven.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

 

CURRENT ANNOUNCEMENTS:

 Each SATURDAY we have Great Vespers at 5:00 p.m., concluding before 6:00 p.m.

 And every SUNDAY we have at 9:35 a.m. the Hours’ Prayers and at 10:00 a.m. the Divine Liturgy.

(In normal times, lunch and Bible study follow our Sunday services; but the lunch and Bible study in the parish hall are temporarily suspended for the pandemic.)

Next WEDNESDAY the 27th at 7:00 p.m. and next THURSDAY the 28th in the early morning, as explained in § III above, we have services for the Great Feast of our Lord’s Ascension into Heaven.

All of our services are held in our historic church building at 212 East Church Street in Edenton; and visitors are always invited and welcome.  Our office telephone number is 482–2006.

There were no newsletters the last six weeks, the most recent thus having been the issue of April 2nd/4th.

Our prayers are asked particularly for the servant­‑of­‑God Jon, recovering from surgery, besides for his family, and likewise particularly for the handmaiden­‑of­‑God Katina.

And our prayers are asked for Fr. Andrew & Mo. Katrina, for Tony, for Rosa, for Maria, for Scott, for Harvey, for Sandy, for John B. C., and for Darnell; and for those many further friends for whom we pray at each of our services.

Our mailing address is P. O. Box 38, Edenton, N. C., 27932.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

 

HYMNOGRAPHY of the ASCENSION:

 Orthodox Christianity’s understanding of Christ’s Ascension is expounded in, as for any Feast, the ancient hymns appointed for the day; thus the following examples are from the Matins of the Ascension.

 “Thou didst go up to the Father, O Christ, Bestower of life; and didst uplift our nature in Thine ineffable compassion, O Thou Who lovest mankind.”

 “Having sought out Adam, who had been deluded by the deceit of the serpent, O Christ:  as Thou didst clothe Thyself in him, Thou didst ascend and sit on the right hand, as One equally enthroned with the Father, as the angels hymned Thee.

  “Earth doth celebrate and dance, and heaven rejoiceth today, at the ascension of the Creator of creation, Who by His will hath manifestly united the disparate natures.”

 "O Christ, Who didst come down from heaven to those on earth, Who didst lie below in death’s custody, and Who, as God, didst by Thine ascension lift Adam’s form up to heaven:  as Thou art merciful and lovest mankind, Thou didst cause it to sit with Thee 

 on the throne of the Father.”

 “Assuming our nature, which hath been slain by sin, O Saviour, Thou didst bring it to Thine own Father.”