This Sunday we celebrate the Veneration of the Holy Cross. By God’s grace, we’ve reached the third Sunday of Holy and Great Lent, this halfway point of respite as our Metropolitan Ephraim told us, where we rest under the shade of the Holy Cross.
A beautiful, and brief, explanation of this Sunday written by Saint Philaret of New York Homily on the Sunday of the Cross with an short excerpt below:
‘We all know, of course, that the Life-giving Cross is our primary sacred object, our main spiritual treasure. And the Church especially glorifies this sacred object. The Cross is glorified over the course of the entire year, on Wednesdays and Fridays, and in the Church’s prayers nearly every Sunday. It is triumphantly brought out for veneration three times a year: in the summer, on the first of August (old style), when its carrying out from the cathedral church in Constantinople, the imperial city, and its procession through the streets of this city is triumphantly celebrated; September 14, (old style) – the main feast of the Cross – when its triumphant Exaltation is remembered; and today’s feast day, in the middle of Great Lent..’
Another edifying and slightly longer HOMILY ON THE THIRD SUNDAY OF GREAT LENT by Saint Ignatius Brianchanov speaks to us about carrying our cross, excerpt below:
‘What does it mean to take up our cross? The cross was an instrument of shameful execution of commoners and captives deprived of a citizen’s rights. The proud world, a world at enmity with Christ, deprives Christ’s disciples of the rights enjoyed by the sons of this world. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service. And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me (Jn. 15:19; 16:2–3). Taking up our cross means magnanimously enduring the mocking and derision that the world pours out upon followers of Christ—those sorrows and persecutions with which the sin-loving and blind world persecutes those who follow Christ……. ‘
Please see our updated Weekly Schedule of Services for a complete list of services this week at Saint Anna’s, the monastery and convent.
And remember, the Akathist Hymn to the Theotokos continues to be chanted for the next two Fridays, 7pm at Saint Anna’s. Please see the Weekly Schedule of Services for times at the monastery and convent.
If you cannot make it to church that evening, you can read the service here. Interesting to note – the word akathist literally means ‘without sitting’ .
Just added to our website- a wonderful daily calendar of Saints and Feasts of the Day in Russian/Greek/English/French! Below is a screenshot of the NEW daily calendar
Also new to our site this week, 2 audio additions
- A compilation of hymns from the Divine Liturgy of Saint John Chrysystom chanted by the sisters of Holy Nativity Convent (in English)
- The Life of the Theotokos (in Greek)
Lastly, we’re going to try a new way to add announcements each Sunday. Starting next week, a notebook will be left by the candles when you first enter the church in which announcements can be written. Feel free to add anything you’d like to share with the congregation. These can include items like the following few examples:
- Birth /Engagement announcements
- Baptism/Wedding announcements
- Request for prayers for upcoming surgery/travel
The announcements will be read right before the after-communion prayers are said, as usual. We hope this will be a way to help us to better share important information with the whole parish!
Struggling with cooking fasting foods? Visit our Fasting Food Resources page for delicious ideas – with many recipes online in Greek and Russian too!
And last but not least, a wonderful meal was prepared and enjoyed by all to benefit the Russia and Ukraine Benevolent Missionary Fund. Monies raised allow our clergy in Russia/Ukraine to travel the great distances between our parishes there to serve the Divine Liturgy and Holy Gifts. Thank you to all whose hard work today makes it possible for our brothers and sisters in distant lands to share in the glory and blessings of our Lord’s Holy Church. We were blessed to be joined by our Metropolitan Ephraim for liturgy and by our Bishop Gregory, Father Panteleimon and Father Isaac for the meal. It was a lovely afternoon of good food and love for our fellow Orthodox Christians far away in the flesh but very near in our hearts!