SUNDAY BEFORE CHRISTMAS SUNDAY OF THE ANCESTORS DECEMBER 22, 2019

23 12 2019

Saturday, Dec. 21 SUNDAY BEFORE CHRISTMAS – ANCESTORS
4:00 PM Ihor Pasicznyk – Olympia Pasicznyk
Sunday, Dec. 22 SUNDAY BEFORE CHRISTMAS – ANCESTORS
8:30 AM God’s Blessings and Good Health for all Parishioners

Tuesday, December 24 ~ Christmas Eve – VIGIL OF CHRISTMAS – 4:00 PM
Znamy Boh – Great Compline Litia Service with Divine Liturgy
Anointing with Holy Oil Myrovania
God’s Blessings and Good Health for all Parishioners

Wednesday, December 25 ~ Christmas Day –NATIVITY OF OUR LORD – 8:30 AM
Divine Liturgy – Anointing with Holy Oil and Myrovania
John Phillips from Peter Phillips

Thursday, Dec. 26 SYNOXIS OF THE THEOTOKOS
11:00 PM Ann Phillips – Son Peter Phillips
Divine Liturgy with Myrovania

Friday, Dec. 27 ST. STEPHEN, PROTOMARTYR
7:30 AM Divine Liturgy at Transfiguration of Our Lord, Nanticoke, PA

Saturday, Dec. 28
4:00 PM ✞Peter Phillips – Son Peter Phillips
Sunday, Dec. 29 SUNDAY AFTER CHRISTMAS
8:30 AM God’s Blessings and Good Health for all Parishioners

Transfiguration of Our Lord Saturday DivineLiturgy is 6:00 PM ~
Sunday Divine Liturgy is 10:30 Tuesday, Dec. 24 ~ Christmas Eve 8:00 PM; Wednesday,
Dec. 25 Christmas Day 10:30 AM; Friday, Dec. 27 St. Stephen 7:30 AM

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.

CHRISTMAS IS LOVE
Christmas is for love. True joy comes from giving. Out of a giving heart people desire to reunite with family and friends and celebrate with tinsel and brightly decorated packages. But mostly, Christmas is for love, for God so Loved the world He sent His only begotten Son. I had not believed this until a small student with a wide-eyed innocence and soft rosy cheeks gave me a wondrous gift one Christmas. Mark was an 11 year old orphan who lived with his aunt, a bitter middle aged woman greatly annoyed with the burden of caring for her dead sister’s son. She never failed to remind young Mark, if it hadn’t been for her generosity, he would be a vagrant, homeless waif. Still, with all the scolding and chilliness at home, he was a sweet and gentle child. I had not noticed Mark particularly until he began staying after class each day (at the risk of arousing his aunt’s anger, I later found) to help me straighten up the room. We did this quietly and comfortably, not speaking much, but enjoying the solitude of that hour of the day. When we did talk, Mark spoke mostly of his mother. Though he was quite small when she died, he remembered a kind, gentle, loving woman, who always spent much time with him. As Christmas drew near however, Mark failed to stay after school each day. I looked forward to his coming, and when the days passed and he continued to scamper hurriedly from the room after class, I stopped him one afternoon and asked why he no longer helped me in the room. I told him how I had missed him, and his large gray eyes lit up eagerly as he replied, “Did you really miss me?” I explained how he had been my best helper. “I was making you a surprise,” he whispered confidentially. “It’s for Christmas.” With that, he became embarrassed and dashed from the room. He didn’t stay after school any more after that. Finally came the last school day before Christmas. Mark crept slowly into the room late that afternoon with his hands concealing something behind his back. “I have your present,” he said timidly when I looked up. “I hope you like it.” He held out his hands, and there lying in his small palms was a tiny wooden box. “Its beautiful, Mark. Is there something in it?” I asked opening the top to look inside. ” “Oh you can’t see what’s in it,” He replied, “and you can’t touch it, or taste it or feel it, but mother always said it makes you feel good all the time, warm on cold nights, and safe when you’re all alone.”
I gazed into the empty box. “What is it Mark,” I asked gently, “that will make me feel so good?” “It’s love,” he whispered softly, “and mother always said it’s best when you give it away.” And he turned and quietly left the room. So now I keep a small box crudely made of scraps of wood on the piano in my living room and only smile as inquiring friends raise quizzical eyebrows when I explain to them that there is love in it. Yes, Christmas is for gaiety, mirth and song, for good and wondrous gifts. But mostly, Christmas is Love.
Author Unknown

The Nativity

Once Upon A Christmastime

Once upon a Christmastime, the angels sang with joy,
To herald the coming of a precious Baby Boy.
Their shouting filled the heavens and shook the mighty earth,
And sent the shepherds searching for the place of His glorious birth.
And when they found the manger and gazed upon His face,
They knelt in adoration in that low and holy place.
Oh, Father, fill me with the love that filled the earth that night,
A love that reaches throughout the world, and fills it with Your light.

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 a vulnerable infant and does not cease to be God. “And the Word was made flesh and dwelt amongst us” – says St. John the Evangelist. Jesus’s nativity is the cradle of our faith. We are called to reflect on this great and unfathomable mystery, to grow in understanding.
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 Son as an 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…”
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Feast of the Holy Fathers

The holy Fathers were the eminent Saints of the Old Testament that had some relation to the earthly origin of Our Lord, Jesus Christ. They lived after the proclamation of the Decalogue by Moses.
Some of them were great Saints, and some besides being Saints were also prophets. The Church honors Moses, Joshua, King David, Susanna, and all the great prophets who foretold the coming of the Messiah.
The feast presents some admirable models of faith and hope from the Old Testament that her faithful may follow them in loving and serving the Savior for Whom the Saints of the Old Testament were waiting.

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May the music of the season bring hope and peace of mind
As you sing familiar carols and pray for all mankind.
May the birthday of our Savior remind you, “God is love!”
As you deck the halls and gaze upon the Christmas Star above.

NATIVITY SET UP: Thank you to all the faithful who came out to set up the Nativity. Help with the Church projects are always appreciative to those who lend their help. The tree is one project set up by Dolores & Mike Sinko and David Youells. Thanks for the beauty of the season.

SANCTUARY LIGHT: The Sanctuary light is requested to burn this week Dec. 21 – 28 by Sonya Dempsey & Family in memory of Frank Dempsey, Sr.

SYMPATHY: We extend our sincere sympathy to the family of Nellie Wdowiak who was called to her eternal rest. May her memory be eternal! Vychnya Pomyat!

ENVELOPES: The 2020 Church envelopes are in the vestibule. Please use your envelopes to be credited in the Church Data Base. Your generous contributions is what will make the Church function and continue to progress. As you know the cost of all utilities are rising and rising and it does take money to furnish the parishioners with heat, air conditioning, water and all the necessities for keeping the Church going. If there is any change of address or telephone please put it on your envelopes so the data can be updated. If you can deliver envelopes to your friends, family or neighbors, please help to distribute them. Thank you. Do not use until the New Year.


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