CHEESEFARE SUNDAY February 15, 2015

12 02 2015

Saturday, Feb. 14
4:00 PM Stanley Mytych & Irene Spock – Steve Spock & Rose Mytych

8:30 AM God’s Blessings and Good Health for all Parishioners

Friday, Feb. 20

Saturday, Feb. 21
4:00 PM All Deceased of Lotrick Family – Katherine Lotrick

8:30 AM God’s Blessings and Good Health for all Parishioners

The forgiveness of sins can be viewed from many different aspects. The spirituality of the West tends to accentuate man’s activity in receiving the sacraments, performing
good works and believing in Christ. These are all part of the total response; but Byzantine spirituality has the peculiar emphasis of seeing the forgiveness of sins effected through praise of God.
Christ’s act of love in His passion and resurrection is a victory over the forces of evil and over sin itself. We share in this victory when we acknowledge it and praise the Victor. We actually enter into the Kingdom as we recognize Him, in praise, to be the source of our sanctification, and we participate in His glory and holiness when joyful praise cleanses our hearts while celebrating His victory:
We beg forgiveness for our stumbling, Christ God; because you chose, of your own free will, to ascend upon the cross in the flesh in order to deliver from the enemy’s yoke those you had created. For this reason we cry out to you in thanksgiving: ‘You our Savior have filled all things with joy when you came
to save the world.’ (Feast of the Ikon of Christ)
Sts. Basil and Chrysostom and many other Fathers of the Church often repeat that one of the effects of praising God is to “forgive sins” “purify the soul,” “bring down the grace of God.” St. Cyril of Jerusalem insists that “by our spiritual hymns our sins are forgiven, and we sanctify ourselves.” St. Basil says “when the day is breaking (his community) sings together with one mouth and one heart the psalm of confession (Ps. 51) to the Lord, each making his own the words of repentance and thus having his sins forgiven him.” St. John Chrysostom explains, “Psalm 141 has the effect of purifying a soul and forgiving sins. This evening psalm is a medicine that removes all defilement of sin. By stirring up the soul it enkindles a desire for God. Once the soul has burst into flame and overflows with joy and love, sins are removed and forgiven. Where there is love, every evil vanishes from the soul. When God is thus remembered, sins are forgiven and evil destroyed.”
Confession, therefore, is not only an acknowledgement of man’s misery and of his need for help, it is also (and perhaps more so) a joyful proclamation of God’s saving goodness; it is an act of worship:

Fast is one of the oldest and most venerable practices in the Church, which came to us through an interrupted tradition (St Basil, Horn on Fast I, S). The Great Fast can be described as a forty-day period of prayer, penance, and spiritual exercises in preparation for the proper celebration of Easter.
The Great Fast, as we know it today, is the result of a most complicated historical development, not all stages of which have been sufficiently explained. It seems that in the second century, the Church knew only a very short fast (a day or two) before the Pasch. During the third century the pre-paschal fast was extended to the entire week known to us as the Passion or Holy Week. The first mention of the Forty Days Fast is made in the fifth canon of the Council of Nicaea (325). From that time, the Forty Days Fast is discussed by many Church Fathers and St. Athanasius (d. 373) does not hesitate to say: “Anyone who neglects to observe the Forty Days Fast is not worthy to celebrate the Easter Festival’ (cf. Festal Letters XIX, 9)
The Synod of Laodicaea (about 360) imposed the strict obligation of fasting for forty days before Easter for the first time. By the end of the fourth century, the Great Fast, known to the Greeks as the “Tessaracoste” (forty Days) and the Romans as ‘Quadragesima”, was generally observed by the entire Church.
Originally, the forty-day period was computed from Good Friday, the day the Pasch of Crucifixion was celebrated, and then extended to six weeks. In Constantinople, when they transferred the solemn Baptism from Easter to the Saturday of Lazarus, the Lenten season of preparation also had to be anticipated by one week. Thus, according to the Byzantine practice, the Great Fast began seven weeks before Easter and ended on the Friday before the Saturday of Lazarus. At the Vespers of Lazarus we sing: “We have concluded the beneficial Forty Days (Lent) and we implore You, 0 Lover of Mankind, make us see the Holy Week of Your Passion and praise Your work (of redemption).” Liturgically, then, the Great Fast ends on the Friday before the Saturday of Lazarus and is exactly forty days long.
In the Roman Rite, Holy Week was included in the Lenten season and the Lenten season was of six-week duration. But later, when the Sundays in Lent were exempt from fasting in the West, Lent became only thirty-six days long. This situation was remedied in the seventh century by adding four more days of fasting at the beginning of the Lenten season with the first day of Lent on Ash Wednesday. This is the reason for the difference in the first day of Lent between the Byzantine Rite and the Roman Rite.

SANCTUARY LIGHT: The Sanctuary Light is requested to burn this week February 14 – 21 by Mike Kane in memory of Joseph Kane.
Many weeks are available for requests for the weekly Sanctuary Light.

FIRST DAY OF LENT: Monday, February 16th is the First Day of Lent. Please remember ages 14 to 57 cannot eat Meat and Dairy products on this day and all Fridays during the Lenten season. No music and dancing also during this time.

LUC MEETING: For our next LUC meeting we need to depart somewhat from the more typical Sunday afternoon meeting time due to so many upcoming Sundays already filled with Pre-Lenten dinners and Lenten Stations of the Cross.
Therefore, our next meeting will be held at 6:00pm, Tuesday March 17th at Grotto Pizza Private Dining Room, 36 Gateway Shopping Center on South Wyoming Avenue, Edwardsville.

DEANERY STATIONS OF THE CROSS 2015 4:00 PM on all Stations
Feb. 22 Wilkes-Barre, Ss. Peter & Paul
Mar. 1 Plymouth, Ss. Peter & Paul
Mar. 8 Glen Lyon, St. Nicholas
Mar. 15 Nanticoke, Transfiguration
Mar. 22 Edwardsville, St. Vladimir



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