SUNDAY AFTER CHRISTMAS COMMEMORATION OF THE HOLY AND RIGHTEOUS JOSEPH, KING DAVID, AND JAMES, COUSIN OF OUR LORD STEPHEN – PROTOMARTYR DECEMBER 27, 2015

27 12 2015

Saturday, Dec. 26 SYNAXIS OF THE THEOTOKOS
4:00 PM ✞John Phillips – Brother Peter Phillips

Sunday, Dec. 27 SUNDAY AFTER CHRISTMAS
8:30 AM ✞Michael & Rose Katsock – Michael Kane

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Friday, January 1 THE CIRCUMCISION OF OUR LORD
4:00 PM St. Basil the Great – Archbishop
God’s Blessings and Good Health for all Parishioners
Divine Liturgy of St. Basil the Great

Saturday, January 2 Blessing of Holy Water
4:00 PM ✞David Trimmell – Wife Irene Quirion

Sunday, Jan. 3 SUNDAY BEFORE THEOPHANY OF OUR LORD
8:30 AM ✞Mary Kulyn – 75 years after death – Michael Kane
1:00 PM Ukrainian Holy Supper, Come one and ALL.

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The Feast of St. Stephen the Protomartyr
December 27th

In the feast of the Nativity of our Lord we admired the infinite love and sacrifice of God for us sinner. On the third day after the feast of the Nativity, holy Church places before us the heroic example of the love of God in the person of the Protomartyr St. Stephen. St. Gregory of Nyssa in his sermon in honor of St. Stephen says: “Behold we go from one feast to another and receive grace upon grace. Yesterday the Lord of the universe filled us with wonder, whereas today the disciple of the Lord fills us with wonder. In what manner the former, and in what manner the latter? The former (i.e., St. Stephen) for the sake of the Lord rid himself of human nature. The martyr’s death of St. Stephen is truly singular, as is his cult, which is enjoyed in the Church of Christ since apostolic times.
The Eastern Church in giving glory to St. Stephen in its church services gives him a threefold title, calling him an Apostle, the Protomartyr, and an Archdeacon. St. Stephen belonged to the seventy apostles whose memory our church honors on the 4th of January. For his holiness, fortitude and zeal in spreading the word of God, he deserves the title of apostle in every way.
St. Stephen was not only a zealous apostle, but was also the first martyr. Accused before the Synhedrion – the Jewish Council – by false witnesses, he bravely professed the holy faith. For this they led him out of the city and stoned him to death. Like Christ, he too prayed for his enemies at his death.
The Christian religion is religion of heroism. It cultivates and trains heroes and demands heroism. The life of a good Christian is a constant struggle with the devil, the passions and the world, which is the enemy of God. The Christian must always place the love of God above all things: above his “I”, above worldly interests, above all comforts, above father, mother, brother and sister, and even life itself. This is what Jesus Chris Himself taught and demanded: “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, and wife and children, and brothers and sister, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.” Luke 14, 26-27)
Upon us all weighs the obligation of being Christians not only in name, but also in the faithful and courageous profession of our faith in word, deed and our entire life, and, if necessary, even in death by giving up our lives for the faith. St. Stephen, the first-martyr, gives us and inspiring example of a courageous and heroic profession of faith.

SANCTUARY LIGHT: The Sanctuary light is requested to burn this week Dec.26 –Jan. 2 by Becky Molecavage in memory of Parents Frances & Dimitri Bencho.

ALTAR CANDLES: The Altar Candles that will burn at all Divine Liturgies and services are available for your intentions to burn for the month. Most of the months are available. Donations are $40, remember your loved ones living or deceased in this special way.

HOLY FAMILY PLAQUE: The Pewter Plaque of the Holy Family that is on the wall in the vestibule was donated by Paul and Dolores Hoover. Our thanks for such a beautiful addition to our church.

THANKS: Through the year, many of the parishioners have volunteered for various projects. The services that you so willingly provide is greatly appreciated – whether it be the cleaning of the Church, snow removal on the sidewalks, being there for funerals to open and arrange the necessary bells etc., working at our fund-raising projects, baking of the breads for Church Services, choir singing and any other service that is connected to the Church duties. Your volunteer hours keep us in good running – Keep up the good work with God’s Blessings. We cannot forget to also thank the few non-parishioners who come in to help with our Pyrohy Projects. Thanks to all for all you do. May God grant you a wonderful and blessed year 2010.

UKRAINIAN HOLY SUPPER: It is so good to see the Parishioners who have signed up for the celebration of Ukrainian Holy Supper, January 3, 2015. This is a nice tradition for all parishioners, families and friends. This will give all the opportunity to join together as a Parish Family and enjoy the tradition. The menu is meatless. Please sign the sheet in the vestibule for the dish you are bringing. The Church will supply the fish and pyrohys.

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