29th Sunday after Pentecost. Tone four.
Nativity (St. Philip’s Fast). Fish Allowed
John 20:1-10 (7th Matins Gospel)
Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene went to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. Then she ran and came to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him.” Peter therefore went out, and the other disciple, and were going to the tomb. So they both ran together, and the other disciple outran Peter and came to the tomb first. And he, stooping down and looking in, saw the linen cloths lying there; yet he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb; and he saw the linen cloths lying there, and the handkerchief that had been around His head, not lying with the linen cloths, but folded together in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who came to the tomb first, went in also; and he saw and believed. For as yet they did not know the Scripture, that He must rise again from the dead. Then the disciples went away again to their own homes.
Colossians 3:4-11 (Epistle)
When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory. Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience, in which you yourselves once walked when you lived in them. But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him, where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all.
Luke 14:16-24 (Gospel)
Then He said to him, “A certain man gave a great supper and invited many, and sent his servant at supper time to say to those who were invited, ‘Come, for all things are now ready.’ But they all with one accord began to make excuses. The first said to him, ‘I have bought a piece of ground, and I must go and see it. I ask you to have me excused.’ And another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to test them. I ask you to have me excused.’ Still another said, ‘I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.’ So that servant came and reported these things to his master. Then the master of the house, being angry, said to his servant, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in here the poor and the maimed and the lame and the blind.’ And the servant said, ‘Master, it is done as you commanded, and still there is room.’ Then the master said to the servant, ‘Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. ‘For I say to you that none of those men who were invited shall taste my supper.’ ”
Saints and Feasts Celebrated Today
|Week of Holy Forefathers
On this Sunday, in preparation of the Nativity of our Lord, we remember the Patriarch Abraham and his lineage, ancestors of Christ. The story of Abraham and his faithfulness should be read in the Book of Genesis. “Through the connection of the holy Ancestors and Patriarchs, Our Saviour Jesus Christ is Himself also, in a way, the fruit of the faith of Abraham. So, when God makes his voice known to each of us while we are still in the strange land of the passions and worldly vanities, we must like Abraham unhesitatingly leave all that is ours, and follow the divine calling with faith until we reach the Promised Land where, in our turn, we shall be able to give birth spiritually to Christ For, planted in us by faith and Baptism, He has to grow in us through the virtues so as to shine in the light of contemplation. We descendants of Abraham, ‘children of the promise’ as Isaac was, having become ‘sons of God’ through the gift of the Holy Spirit, out therefore to see Christ form in us… Let us then for our part become forebears of Christ and continue steadfast in the faith, so that we may keep the feast of his Nativity, saying: It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.” (Synaxarion)
|Martyrs Thyrsus, Leucius , and Callinicus of Apollonia (250).
The Holy Martyrs Thyrsos, Leukios and Kallinikos suffered for Christ under the emperor Decius (249-251) at Bithynian Caesarea. Saint Leukios, having reproached the governor Qumvricius for his unjust persecution of Christians, after torture was beheaded by the sword. Saint Thyrsos, sentenced to cruel tortures and torments, endured them unharmed and by the will of God he died peacefully. The pagan priest Kallinikos, having seen the bravery and the miracle involving Saint Thyrsos, believed in Christ and boldly confessed the true faith, for which he was beheaded by the sword.
|Martyrs Apollonius, Philemon, Arianus , and Theoctychus of Alexandria (ca. 305).
The Holy Martyrs Philemon, Apollonios, Arian and Theotykhos suffered for the faith in Egypt, at the city of Antinoe, under the emperor Diocletian (284-305). Saint Arian up until his conversion to Christ was a persecutor of Christians, among which number were the martyrs Apollonios and Philemon. The Martyr Apollonios, at first fearing to face the sufferings, asked the pagan-musician Philemon to change into his clothing and make the appearance of offering sacrifice to idols for him. But unexpectedly Saint Philemon confessed himself a Christian afront the pagans. Saint Apollonios repented himself and also confessed Christ. After torture both martyrs were executed. Their torturer Arian, , his injured eye having been healed by ashes taken from the remains of Philemon, repented and was converted to the Christian faith and baptised together with all his household and body-guards. Out of love for Christ they voluntarily went to torture and were sentenced to death. Among the body-guards the eldest was the Martyr Theotykhos, remembered together with the other saints. The Martyrs Philemon and Apollonios died on 16 March 286, and the Martyrs Arian and Theotykhos , on 4 March 287.
|Sainted Ilarion, Metropolitan of Suzdal’ and Yur’ev (1707).
Sainted Ilarion, Metropolitan of Suzdal’ and Yur’ev (in the world John), was born 13 November 1631 into the family of the lower-city priest Ananii. His father, famed for his piety and reading, was one of three candidates for the Patriarchal throne, put forth together in choice with the future Patriarch Nikon (1652-1658). John took vows at a monastery in 1653. In 1655 he became founder and builder of the Phlorischev wilderness monastery not far from the city of Gorokhovetsa. In the doings of a monk, the saint underwent an harsh struggle with fleshly passions. When he fell down in exhaustion before the Vladimir Icon of the Mother of God and with tears besought Her for help, the Mother of God shielded him with gracious power and pacified his spirit. One time, when Saint Ilarion was serving evening song together with a monk-deacon, robbers burst into the church. They killed the monk-deacon and started to set Saint Ilarion on fire, interrogating him as to where the monastery treasure was hid. They did not believe that in the monastery there was no gold. Overcome by the pain, Saint Ilarion turned to the wonderworking icon and said: “O All-Pure Virgin Mary, Mother of our Lord Jesus Christ! If they injure me with the fire, I shall no more have the ability to always glorify Thy Son and Thee”. Suddenly the robbers heard the shouts of people searching for them, and in fear they fled. One time, Saint Ilarion in passing by the church heard a voice: “I shalt glorify thee through all the land”. He trembled, and having gone into the vestibule, he found there no people; in the portico was only the Vladimir Icon of the Mother of God. The ascetic with tears fell down before the image and confessed his unworthiness. Later on, when the saint had set about construction of a stone church, he greatly sorrowed, that concerns about the construction and disagreements among the workers were distracting him from prayer. While making services in church with the brethren, he was preoccupied by these thoughts and began to regret beginning the work. With tears he besought the Mother of God not to abandon him and to deliver him from these worries. At the finish of the prayer Saint Ilarion remained alone in church and began again to think about the construction. And so he fell asleep. In a dream the Mother of God appeared to him and said: “Transfer My image, named the Vladimir, from this hot church and put it in the newly-made stone church, and I shalt be thine Helper there”. Saint Ilarion awoke and gave the command to ring the large bell. The monks immediately assembled. All set off to the hot church and, having prayed before the icon, solemnly transferred it from the portico into the temple. After making the all-night vigil, Divine Liturgy and a molieben, the saint told the brethren about his vision. Then in procession they transferred the icon to the church under construction, where they set it amidst the woods. From that time the construction went successfully and soon was finished. The saint wanted to dedicate the temple in honour of the icon. But he had a vision in which he was made to understand, that the temple was to be consecrated in honour of the Dormition (Uspenie) of the MostHoly Mother of God. In the wilderness monastery he maintained a very strict community rule. In the year 1694 the saint sent a directive to the Phlorischev monastery talking of monastic rule, in which he reminisced about his own monastery rule at this monastery: “Under me, a sinner, no one possessed anything of his own, but all was put in common. And at present many of you remember about that former community in common. And they remember also that I consigned to the fire those belongings which, under me a sinner, would destroy that common-community”. On 11 December 1681 the saint was consecrated to the dignity of Archbishop of Suzdal’ and Yur’ev, and in 1682 he was elevated to the dignity of Metropolitan and remained on the Suzdal’ cathedra until February 1705. The saint died peacefully on 14 December 1707 and was buried in the Suzdal’ cathedral in honour of the Nativity of the MostHoly Mother of God. The saint was known for his unceasing concern for the poor. After his death they found all of three farthings of money. The wonderworking Icon of the Mother of God of Vladimir-Phlorischev (Comm. 26 August) was written by the reknown iconographer Ivan Andreevich Chirov in 1464 at Nizhni Novgorod under a vow of Ivan Yakovlevich Vetoshnikov.
|Additional Saints and Feasts Celebrated Today|
|New Hieromartyr Nicholas priest (1937).|
|St. Bassian confessor, archbishop of Tambov (1940).|
|St. Venatius Fortunatus, bishop of Poitiers (7th c.) (Celtic & British).|
|Venerable Hygbald, abbot in Lincolnshire (7th c.) (Celtic & British).|
|Sts. Fingar and Phila, brother and sister, martyrs in Cornwall.|
|Venerable Daniel the Hesychast of Voronej (17th c.) (Romania).|
|Four guards converted by St. Arianus and martyred (Greek.).|
|St. Folciunus, bishop of Tervas (855) (Neth.).|
Troparion of the Sunday, Tone IV
When the women disciples of the Lord learned from the angel
the joyous message of Thy
they cast away the ancestral curse
and elatedly told the Apostles:
Christ God is risen,
granting the world great mercy!
Hymn to the Theotokos, Tone IV
The mystery of all eternity,
unknown even by angels,
through you, O Theotokos, is revealed
to those on earth:
God incarnate, by union without confusion.
He voluntarily accepted
the cross for us,
by which He resurrected the first-created man,
saving our souls
Kontakion of the Sunday, Tone IV
My Savior and Redeemer as God rose from the tomb and delivered the earthborn from their
chains. He has shattered the gates of hell, and as Master, He has risen on the third day!
Sunday of the Holy Forefathers, Troparion, Tone II
Through faith Thou hast justified the Forefathers,
them the Church of the gentiles.
These saints exult in glory
for from their
seed came forth a glorious fruit:
She who bore Thee without seed.
their prayers, O Christ God, have mercy upon us.
Kontakion, Tone VI
You did not worship the graven image
O thrice-blessed ones,
with the immaterial Essence of God,
you were glorified in a trial by fire.
From the midst of the unbearable flames you called upon God crying:
Speedily come to our aid,
for Thou art merciful and able
to do as Thou willest.
Holy Martyrs Thyrsus, Leucius, Philemon & Companions,Troparion, in Tone IV
In their sufferings, O Lord,
Thy martyrs received imperishable crowns from Thee our God;
for, possessed of Thy might,
they set at nought the tormenters and crushed the feeble audacity of the demons.
By their supplications save Thou our souls.
Hymns, Readings, Feast Day, and Fasting Information provided by Holy Trinity Orthodox Church.
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