Christ is born!
The Nativity of our dear Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ approaches.
As we give thanks for the gift of salvation through the Incarnation of the Son of God and we are looking forward to the opportunity to have a permanent place of worship where we can glorify Him.
With anything that is worthwhile there is a lot of hard work and sacrifice. The word sacrifice comes from the Latin meaning to make holy and this is our responsibility to make us better and to have a sanctified place to call home.
And now how do we make ourselves more acceptable to Him?
This is the last week of the fast before Nativity and everyone is called upon to come to holy confession and to receive the Holy Mysteries.
Confessions are best heard in the evening services so as not to rush your time and not to push me.
Something else we have to work on is making the church the center of our lives and that includes coming to more services than Sunday liturgy and to come to the Sunday liturgy on time or before. How could we feel good about coming late to meet our Saviour?
Of course, parents with small children are always understood that their time is not always what they’d prefer.
Attached is the schedule for the coming services and looking forward to spending the Feast with another feast prepared by our people after liturgy on Saturday.
How grateful we are for His many blessings.
Love and blessings,
† Vladyka Nikolai
Приближается Рождество нашего дорогого Господа и Спасителя Иисуса Христа.
В то время, как мы благодарим за дар спасения через Воплощение Сына Божьего, мы также с нетерпением ждем возможности иметь постоянное место богослужений, где мы сможем восхвалять Его.
Как и всё, что чего-то стоит, это тоже требует усердной работы и (жертво)приношений. Слово «жертва» происходит от латинского значения «сделать священным», и нашей обязанностью является сделать самих себя лучше, и иметь освященное место, которое мы сможем называть домом.
А теперь, как мы можем сделать себя более премлемыми Ему?
Это последняя неделя поста перед Рождеством, и все призываются прийти на святую исповедь и получить Святые Таинства.
Исповеди лучше всего слушаются на вечерних службах, дабы не торопить ваше время, и не подталкивать меня.
Также, то над чем нам еще стоит работать, это сделать Церковь центром нашей жизни, и это включает посещать больше служб, чем только воскресная литургия, а главное – приходить вовремя или заранее. Как мы можем чувствовать себя хорошо, опаздывая на встречу со Спасителем?
Конечно же, понятно, что родители с маленькими детьми не всегда имеют возможность быть настолько пунктуальными, как бы им того желалось.
В приложении смотрите расписание праздничных служб.
С нетерпением жду провести этот Праздник с еще одним пиром, приготовленным нашими прихожанами, после литургии в воскресенье.
Как благодарны мы за многие Его благословения.
С Любовью и благословениями,
† Владыка Николай
| The Eucharist
The Holy Eucharist, meaning thanksgiving, is a holy mystery (or sacrament) that is celebrated during the Divine Liturgy within the Orthodox Church. During this celebration, where the consecrated bread and wine, through the power of the Holy Spirit, becomes the Precious Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, is consumed by those Orthodox Christians who have prepared through confession, and their pre-communion prayers. Orthodox Christians believe that the Real Presence of God (not merely a sign) is present after the consecration of the Gifts. Because the Church is primarily a eucharistic community, the Eucharist is the very center of life in the Orthodox Church. As the source and the goal of all of the Church’s doctrines and institutions, the Eucharist is the completion of all the Church’s other mysteries (sacraments).
The Orthodox Church does not believe the Last Supper was a Passover meal, a position consistent with the account given by the Gospel of Saint John. She therefore uses leavened bread for, according to the Gospel of Saint John, Last Supper and Passion, took place during the evening, night and day time of Passover Day, therefore leavened bread was eaten in Last Supper. According to the synoptic Gospels, last Supper, Lord’s trial and crucifixion took place during next day, the first Day of Unleavened Bread feast, but according to Lev 23:7, any work on that Day was forbidden.
The Orthodox Church teaches that the Eucharist is a true sacrifice, and not a mere figure or symbol but a sacrifice. It is not the bread that is sacrificed, but the very Body of Christ. Yet, because the Lamb of God was sacrificed only once, and for all time, this Eucharistic sacrifice is not a bloody immolation of the Lamb, but a transformation of the bread into the sacrificed Lamb. And all the events of Christ’s sacrifice, the Incarnation, the Last Supper, the Crucifixion, the Resurrection, and the Ascension are not repeated in the Eucharist, but they are made present.
During the Eucharist, the sacrifice offered is Christ Himself, and it is Christ Himself Who in the Church performs the act of offering. Christ is both priest and victim. This Eucharist is offered to God the Trinity, not just the Father but also the Holy Spirit and to Christ Himself. In this sacrifice, it is Christ who is the Eucharist, and the one Who is offered, and the one Who offers. This sacrifice is propitiatory, and is offered on behalf of both the living and the dead.
Although the Eucharist is normally reserved in a tabernacle on the altar table, there are no services of public devotion before the reserved sacrament, nor is there any equivalent to the Roman Catholic functions of Exposition and Benediction. The priest blesses the people with the sacrament during the course of the Liturgy, but never outside it. The reserved gifts are kept exclusively for those unable to attend the Liturgy because of infirmity or sickness.
As the central act of worship, and the very core of our Orthodox Faith, an Orthodox Christian who takes his faith seriously would never intentionally refrain from participating in the Divine Liturgy, either on Sundays, or the Great Feasts of the Church. The mystery of the Holy Eucharist defies analysis and explanation in purely rational and logical terms. For the Eucharist, as Christ himself, is a mystery of the Kingdom of Heaven which, as Jesus has told us, is “not of this world.” The Eucharist, because it belongs to God’s Kingdom, is truly free from the earth-born “logic” of fallen humanity. Thus, Saint John of Damascus said, “If you enquire how this happens, it is enough for you to learn that it is through the Holy Spirit … we know nothing more than this, that the word of God is true, active, and omnipotent, but in its manner of operation unsearchable”