SUNDAY BEFORE CHRISTMAS DECEMBER 23, 2018

24 12 2018

Saturday, December 22
4:00 PM ✞Steven Havran – Sandra Sydnor

Sunday, Dec. 23 SUNDAY BEFORE CHRISTMAS – SUNDAY OF THE ANCESTORS
8:30 AM God’s Blessings and Good Health for all Parishioners

Monday, December 24 ~ Christmas Eve – VIGIL OF CHRISTMAS -4:00 PM
Compline Lytia Service – Divine Liturgy – Anointing with Holy Oil and Myrovania
God’s Blessings and Good Health for all Parishioners
8:00 pm at Transfiguration of Our Lord, Nanticoke
Tuesday, December 25 ~ Christmas Day – NATIVITY OF OUR LORD – 8:30 AM
Divine Liturgy – Anointing withHoly Oil and Myrovania
✞Ronald Kachinko – Kathy Elko
10:30 am at Transfiguration of Our Lord, Nanticoke
Wednesday, Dec. 26 SYNAXIS OF THE MOTHER OF GOD
11:00 AM Anointing with Holy Oil and Myrovania
✞Michael Hubiack –Mr. & Mrs. Nicholas Sabol
Thursday, Dec. 27 ST. STEPHEN, PROTOMARTYR
9:00 AM SUNDAY AFTER CHRISTMAS
Anointing with Holy Oil and Myrovania
✞Anna Fedorchak – A Friend
Saturday, Dec. 29
4:00 PM ✞Bernard Kachinko – Kachinko Family

Sunday, Dec. 30 SUNDAY AFTER CHRISTMAS
8:30 AM God’s Blessings and Good Health for all Parishioners

The Meaning of the Candy Cane
The fascinating story behind the candy cane … 
The birth, ministry, and death of Jesus Christ are signified through the elements of the candy cane ~

JESUS CHRIST is … 
Our Good Shepherd (staff shape) ~ 1 Pt. 5:4
Our Rock (hard candy) ~ 1 Cor. 10:4
Our Sinless Savior (white) ~ 2 Cor. 5:21
Our Sacrificial Lamb (red) ~ Eph. 1:7
The STRIPES symbolize pain inflicted upon Jesus before his death on the cross and a bold stripe to represent the blood he shed for mankind. The three stripes can also represent the power and presence of the Trinity (the Father, Son and Holy Spirit). The smell and taste of PEPPERMINT relate to the herb hyssop. Psalm 51:7 states, “Purge me with hyssop and I shall be clean, wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.” The candy cane is meant to be shared — broken into pieces for all to share. That reminds us of Jesus’ words, “This is my body which is broken for you” (1 Cor. 11:24). What a sweet way to share the Gospel! And you just thought it was good candy

Oh, for the good old days when people would stop Christmas shopping when they ran out of money.  ~Author Unknown

Christmas is forever, not for just one day,
for loving, sharing, giving, are not to put away
like bells and lights and tinsel, in some box upon a shelf.
The good you do for others is good you do yourself…
Let Every Day Be Christmas

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.

BLESSINGS FOR A
MERRY CHRISTMAS

CHRISTMAS EVE

The feast of the Nativity of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is ranked among the greatest feasts of our Church Year. Holy Church, mindful of the majesty and significance of this feast, encourages the faithful to prepare by prayer and fasting for this encounter with our Savior.
The festal preparation reaches its peak on the Eve of the Nativity. It is a day of watching, prayer and fasting. God 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 Christmas fast to a close. A strict fast is prescribed for this entire day. The whole family feels 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 Eucharist, then the Incarnation of the Son of God. The eternal God becomes 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 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…”

SANCTUARY LIGHT: The Sanctuary light is requested to burn this week Dec. 22 – 29 by Ann Beshada in memory of her mother Mary Conniff.

THANKS: Our thanks to those who gave their time to came out to set up our beautiful Nativity. God’s blessing on you always. Your efforts are greatly appreciated.

ANGELS: There are some beaded Angels that are available for you donation. They were once used on our Church tree and that was changed. If you wish to have any please see one of the women before or after the Divine Liturgy.

At this time of year we are reminded that Love, Jesus Christ the Son of God who is God (agape, a giving love) entered the world to teach men how to love as He loves. God entered the world in the most vulnerable way, as an infant, so that the faithful could return God’s love to him, in the giving of ourselves back to God. May this message of love resound in your hearts throughout the year.

God bless you all this Christmas Season.

Fr. Walter Pasicznyk

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