SUNDAY BEFORE CHRISTMAS DECEMBER 24, 2017

21 12 2017

Saturday, Dec. 23
4:00 PM ✞Peter Phillips – Son Peter Phillips

Sunday, December 24 ~ Sunday Before Christmas – 8:30 AM
God’s Blessings and Good Health for all Parishioners

Monday, December 25 ~ Christmas Day – NATIVITY OF OUR LORD – 9:00 AM
Divine Liturgy – Myrovania
God’s Blessings and Good Health for all Parishioners

Tuesday, Dec. 26 SYNAXIS OF THE MOTHER OF GOD
9:00AM ✞8th Day Ron Kachinko – From the Parish

Wednesday, Dec. 27 ST. STEPHEN, PROTOMARTYR
11:00 AM ✞John Phillips – Brother Peter Phillips
Saturday, Dec. 30 Christmation of Lynne Wescott
4:00 PM ✞Memorial for Arlene Jones – Ann Beshada
Sunday, Dec. 31 SUNDAY AFTER CHRISTMAS
8:30 AM God’s Blessings and Good Health for all Parishioners

Transfiguration of Our Lord
Saturday, December 23 – 6:00 pm Vesperal Divine Liturgy
Sunday, December 24 – Divine Liturgy Sunday Before Christmas 10:30 am Divine Liturgy
Sunday, Christmas Eve December 24 – 7:30 pm Great Compline and Divine Liturgy with Myrovania

What Christmas should Mean to Us

Christmas is a time for loving,
Holding in our hearts
All the magic and the wonder
That this blessed day imparts
It’s a time for letting bygones
Be just that, and nothing more,
Time for looking back and weighing
All we have been working for.

Christmas is a time for giving
Something more than store-bought goods,
Time for spending peaceful moments,
Walking through the quiet woods.
‘Tis a time for growing closer
While we have the time to spend,
Cherishing the precious moments
With relative or friend.

Christmas is a time for sharing
Hope and joy and sorrow,
Giving what is ours today,
But may not be…tomorrow.
‘Tis a time for recollection,
For the sands of time run fast,
Do not squander golden moments,
Do not grieve for what is past.

There’s a bright star in the heavens,
Over one small cattle stall,
And a Baby in a manger
Who has come to save us all.
And with love beyond all telling,
As He reaches out for us,
This hushed and holy moment is
What Christmas should mean to us.

The Coal Basket Bible


The story is told of an old man who lived on a farm in the mountains of Kentucky with his young grandson. Each morning, Grandpa was up early sitting at the kitchen table reading from his old worn out Bible.
His grandson who wanted to be just like him tried to imitate him in any way he could.  One day the grandson asked, “Papa, I try to read the Bible just like you but I don’t understand it, and what I do understand, I forget as soon as I close the book. What good does reading the Bible do?”
The Grandfather quietly turned from putting coal in the stove and said, “Take this coal basket down to the river and bring back a basket of water”
The boy did as he was told, even though all the water leaked out before he could get back to the house. The grandfather laughed and said, “You will have to move a little faster next time,” and sent him back to the river with the basket to try again.
This time the boy ran faster, but again the basket was empty before he returned home. Out of breath, he told his grandfather that it was “impossible to carry water in a basket,” and he went to get a bucket instead.
The old man said, “I don’t want a bucket of water; I want a basket of water. You can do this. You’re just not trying hard enough,” and he went out the door to watch the boy try again.
At this point, the boy knew it was impossible, but he wanted to show his grandfather that even if he ran as fast as he could, the water would leak out before he got far at all.
The boy scooped the water and ran hard, but when he reached his grandfather the basket was again empty. Out of breathe, he said, “See Papa, it’s useless!”
”So you think it is useless?” The old man said, “Look at the basket.”
The boy looked at the basket and for the first time he realized that the basket looked different.  Instead of a dirty old coal basket, it was clean.
”Son, that’s what happens when you read the Bible. You might not understand or remember everything, but when you read it, it will change you from the inside out.” That is the work of God in our lives. To change us from the inside out and to slowly transform us into the image of His son.
Take time to read a portion of God’s word each day, and remind a friend by sharing this story.

CHRISTMAS EVE

The feast of the Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ is among four of the greatest feasts. Therefore, Holy Church, mindful of the majesty and significance of this, encourages the faithful to prepare with prayer and fasting for Christ Is With Us.
The festal preparation reaches its peak on the Eve of the Nativity. It is a day of watching, prayer and fasting. The Messiah from heaven is about to arrive; therefore, it is necessary to prepare for his coming worthily. The Holy Eve of the Nativity has not only its own significant services; it is also rich in symbolic rites and customs, some of which go back to pre-Christian times.
The eve of Christmas brings the Forty Days Phillips Fast to a close. A strict fast is prescribed for the entire day on the Eve of the Nativity. The whole family knows that on that day a very important heavenly guest will arrive in the evening, and therefore, a deeply festal and spiritual mood pervades the home. Our ancestors highly respected and zealously observed the fast of this day until the appearance, of the evening star.
An old Slavonic Prologue for the 24th of December contains the following spiritual exhortation to the faithful in reference to greeting the feast of the Nativity of Christ: “Take note brethren, that there is a fast on the day before this feast of the Nativity of Christ. Therefore, on this day, at the Sixth Hour (12 o’clock noon), we gather together for prayer, with love; and purity, overcoming anger, purifying carnal desires, and renouncing all evil deeds so that we may be made worthy with pure lips and an undefiled heart to partake of the Body of the Lord, that same Body which the Lord took upon Himself and willingly became poor.”

THE NATIVITY OF OUR LORD
AN UNFATHOMABLE MYSTERY
The greatest and most profound mystery of the Christian faith is the mystery of the Incarnation of the Son of God. The eternal God becomes man, being born a little infant and does not cease to be God. “And the Word was made flesh and dwelt amongst us” – says St. John the Evangelist. Christ’s nativity is the cradle of our faith. Only faith is able to accept this unfathomable mystery, understand it and adore it.
In the first centuries, the holy Fathers of the Eastern Church accepted the mystery of the Incarnation of the Word of God with profound faith and great piety. Enraptured by this mystery, they have nothing but words of wonder for the most wonderful love of God, the sacrifice, humility, and poverty of the newly born Messiah and Savior. Like the holy Fathers, in her Christmas celebrations our Church also joyfully praises and glorifies the mystery of the birth of the divine Infant.
Today, he who is invisible by nature became visible in the flesh for man’s sake; hence, glorifying him, we cry: “Glory to God in the highest and peace on earth to men of good will…”

MYSTERY OF CHRISTMATION (Sacrament) Ms. Lynne Wycott desires to be Ukrainian Catholic and will receive the Mystery of Christmation on Saturday the 30th of December as part of the Divine Liturgy.

SANCTUARY LIGHT: The Sanctuary light is requested to burn this week Dec. 23 – 30 by John Claudia Bosack in memory of Mary & Elias Valadja.

THANKS: Our thanks to those who gave their time and effort to come last Sunday to prepare the Nativity for the coming Christmas. Also our thanks to Dolores & Mike Sinko and Dave Youelles for the setting up of the lovely Christmas Tree. May God bless our volunteers with good health.

BUILDING FUND: Our thanks to Audrie & Michael Dubinsky for their donation 0f $100 to our Building Fund in memory of the Family of Leon Woss.

SYMPATHY: We extend our sincere sympathy to the family of Ron Kachinko who was called to his eternal rest. May his memory be eternal.
Our sympathy to our parish in the death of Arlene Jones. May she rest in Peace.
Vichnya Pomyat!

ENVELOPES: Many envelopes are still ready to be picked up. If you know anyone who has not taken theirs, please inform them. If you can deliver any of the envelopes it would be appreciated.

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