Please Remember in Your Prayers

Schema-Archimandrite Joachim; Archpriest Vincent Saverino; Archpriest Michael Hatrak; Archpriest John Vass; Deacon Michael Bishop; Mat. Myra Kovalak; Mat. Klavdiya Burbelo; Kh. Fredericka Mathewes-Green; Nun Elizabeth; Nun Magdalena; Mat. Natalia Kosich; Mat. Diane Winsky; Mat. Catherine Kowalchik; Marie Vass; Charles Snipes; Arthur-Stephen Lisowsky; Yelena Radchenko; Lydia Zorina; Tatiana; Katherine Plaskowitz; Philip Plaskowitz, Michael Stanka; Bernadine Borawick; Julia Aymold; Mary Johnson; Olga Chanat; Lilli Ann Hoffman;       Lara Marinich; Oleg Marinich; Ioann and Galina Zernetkin; Monika-Anastasia & Stephanie Handley; Blanche-Julia Stolkovich; Ekaterina Koroleva; Nina Lewis; Maryann Black; Lyudmila, Anton & Aleksander Karnup; John Alexander Bylen; Katherine Garrett; Stephen Kaminitsky; Constantine; John-Thomas Planinshek; Kenneth Pukita; William and Ann Ferkile; Maria and Alexander Lozada; Sergei Krektyshev; Irina Kononova; Petr and Lyudmila Borodkin; Anthony and John Bakie; Svetlana & Aleksey; Nina; Mat. Galina, Alla; Anna; Alla; Raisa, Zinaida; Monk Maksim Krayushkin; Valentina; Joseph Germano; Pavel, Vladimir, Valentina, Nina, and Maria; Maria Pappas; Bonnie Duke; Joseph Lacomy; Diana Radchenko; Aleksey Potapov; Oleg and Andrei; Vitaliy, Tatiana, Olena & Nicholas Berchuk; Marian, Irena and Isabella; Kateryna Koshlaba; David, Selina-Sophia, John, Maryann, David, Joseph, Lisa Ann Eichelberger; Cynthia and Bill (Basil) Popomaronis.

ru

Bulletin

15th Sunday after Pentecost

Tone 6

 

September 4/17, 2017

 

 

Hieromartyr  Babylas, Bishop of Antioch, with Martyrs Urban, Prilidian, and Epolonius, and their mother Christodula (251); Holy Prophet and God-seer Moses (1531 B.C.); Uncovering of the relics (1911) of St. Joasaph, Bishop of Belgorod (1754); Uncovering of the relics (1989) of St. Metrophanes, Bishop of Voronezh (1703); Synaxis of Voronezh saints; Synaxis of the Saints of Voronezh; Hieromartyr Parthenius, abbot of Kiziltis Monastery in Crimea (1867); Transfer (1992) of the relics of the Right-Believing, Wonder-working Prince Peter (in monasticism-David) and Princess Fevronia (in monasticism-Euphrosyne) of Muromsk; Martyr Hermione, daughter of Apostle Philip the Deacon (117); Martyr Babylas of Nicomedia, and with him 84 children (4th c.); Martyrs Theodore, Mianus, Julian, and Kion of Nicomedia (305-311); Hieromartyr Peter, Metropolitan of Dabro-Bosnia (1941) (Serbian); Synaxis of the new martyrs and confessors of Kazakhstan;  Hieromartyrs Gregory, Paul, John, Nicholas, Nicholas, John, Nicholas, Alexander, Peter, Michael and Elijah-priests, Venerable-martyr Stephen, Martyrs Basil, Peter, Stephen and Alexander (1937); Martyr Elena (1943. Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos "The Unburnt Bush" (1680).

 

 

 

Today’s Scriptural Readings:      

2 Corinthians 4: 6-15   /  Matthew 22: 35-46

Fr. John’s Sermons (Video): Click here  

 

 

Today: Moleben for our children at the start of the new Sunday School year

 

 

This  Week’s  Liturgical  Calendar

Wednesday, September 20th – 6:00 PM

Vigil Service at the Chapel

Thursday, September 21st – 9:00 AM

Divine Liturgy in Church

Nativity of the Theotokos

Saturday, September 23rd – 6:00 PM 

Vigil Service at the Chapel

Sunday, September 24th – 10:00 AM

Divine Liturgy in Church

 

 

Divine Services at Holy Trinity are now live-streamed at

https://www.youtube.com/user/HolyTrinitySermons

 

 

Please Join us for the Remembrance Meal – Today after Services

Today’s Sponsors: Larisa Hidar and her family in memory of her brother +Vyacheslav

 

 

Special Collection Today (IOCC)

Today we will make a special collection to help the victims of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Funds will be sent to International Orthodox Christian Charities www.iocc.org  which is working with other charitable agencies and Orthodox parishes in the region to help meet the needs of those suffering in Texas, Louisiana and Florida.

 

Panikhida –Today

Today, after Divine Liturgy we will serve a Panikhida for +Sandra Ann Wanner (2nd annual), +John Vass (12th annual) and +Vyacheslav Shultiyev (10th annual), husband of Elena, father of Alexandra Shultiyeva and brother of Larisa Hidar.  Please stay for the remembrance meal afterwards. May their memory be eternal.

 

Sunday School Registration

Sunday School Registration is now open for the 2017/18 Sunday School classes. Please register your child/children and submit your registration form(s) to Ekaterina Radchenko by September 10th. It is necessary that a form be filled out for each child so that we can plan class size, teachers, etc. The first day of Sunday School lessons is scheduled for Sunday, September 17th.  

 

Dear Parents and Sunday School Teachers, it is important for all of our children to attend Divine Services and classes every Sunday. We parents teach our children about the importance of going to school every day in order do well in this life. So too, we must teach the importance of keeping the Lord’s day holy and of studying Scriptures and Church life, in order for them to know God and to inherit eternal life, a much loftier and crucial endeavor! Let us give them heavenly food for the soul…

 

Come to Holy Confession… Frequent Confession is important and necessary!

…let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body (1 Corinthians 11: 28-29).  

 

Confession on Sunday Mornings

Private confessions are heard each Sunday from 9:15 – 10:00 AM. Divine Liturgy will start promptly at 10:00 AM even if there are still people waiting for confession. Confessions are also heard after Saturday evening services and by appointment. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.

 

Cleaning/Beautification of Icons Continues

BAS Decorative and Conservation Arts (http://www.byzantiumarts.com/) continues the restoration of the large icons on canvas. This work will include cleaning and enhancements to the beauty of the icons giving them a more transitional style closer to that of the iconostasis. 

 

The Restoration Committee agreed to put the following guidelines into place to help expedite the work of Katerina Spilio from BAS Decorative and Conservation Arts. Katerina and her artists will: 

  • Remove any changes to the original icons.
  • Adjust all halos as necessary; Add lettering, lines, inscriptions where needed; Add halos where needed.
  • Use real gold (24K) for all halos.
  • Adjust the colors of the icons (e.g. soften blacks with more liturgical colors, replace pastels with brighter, deeper colors, etc.).
  • Adjust the shading of the icons to improve dimensional effect; this includes how clothing drapes down.
  • Adjust the eye direction and complexion of the figures, as needed, according to Orthodox tradition.
  • Add bilingual inscription to each icon.

 

 


Russian Festival 2017 – October 20, 21, 22

www.russfest.org 

Plan your vacations accordingly so you have the time to help your parish during these important days.

 

On the following days we will prepare food for the Russian Festival in the hall.

 

Sunday, Sept. 17th

Goluptsi (Stuffed cabbage)

Saturday, Oct. 7th  

Bread Baking

Saturday, Sept. 23rd 

Bread Baking

Sunday, Oct. 8th

Baking Desserts

Sunday, Sept. 24th 

Vareniki

Monday, Oct. 9th

Kolbasa (10 AM)

 

Saturday, Sept. 30th  

Bread Baking

Sunday, Oct. 15th

Baking Tea Balls

 

Sunday, Oct. 1st

Vareniki

Wed-Thur. Oct 18-19

Cooking All Day

 

For details contact Albert Blaszak alb42@verizon.net 410-799-3226 We need everyone’s help.

 

To volunteer to work at the Festival and see what slots are available, click here:
 

To help prepare food in advance, which will be sold at the Festival, click here:
 

To donate Desserts, which will be sold at the Festival, click here:
 

 

      1.   Soda / Water / Juice Boxes Donation Drive Underway ! Please help us reduce our Festival expenses…buy a few cases of soft drinks   (12 oz. cans), bottled water (½ liter) and kids’ juice boxes over the next several weeks as they go on sale in area supermarkets. We need Coke, Pepsi, Diet Coke, Diet Pepsi, Sprite, Fanta (no generics). Water: Deer Park, Aquafina, etc. and brand name juices. Thank you for your generosity !!!  

 

      2.  Volunteers are encouraged to register their work times at http://www.russfest.org/volunteer.htm. This link will take you to an online registration site. For those without internet access contact Natalie Burbelo 443-567-6031 nbsf49@verizon.net. Arrange your schedules as early as possible.

 

      3.   Festival Desserts Table We need donations of desserts to supply our desserts table. We ask your help to increase both the quantity and variety of items. To promise your desserts please register at http://www.signupgenius.com/go/4090a4aaaaf2da5f85-festival. For those without internet access please contact Tania Masiuk 410-987-4850, tania_masiuk@yahoo.com. 

 

      4.   We are accepting ads for the 2017 Russian Festival Program Booklet. Parishioners and friends are asked to purchase ads to commemorate the memory of their departed loved ones and/or to offer the congratulations on behalf of their living family members. And we need everyone’s help with asking local businesses to purchase advertisements. Please contact Michael Mickel at 410-666-2870 or mcmickel@verizon.net for more information.

 

      5.   Festival Raffle Tickets have been distributed to parishioners and friends.  We need everyone’s cooperation to make this segment of our annual festival a success.  Please send the money and the sold ticket stubs by October 1st to Michael Mickel 4042 Stansbury Mill Rd Monkton, MD 21111 or hand them back to Michael Mickel after church each Sunday.  

 

      6.   Bread Baking Days have begun. In addition to the volunteers who bake breads on Saturdays, we need volunteers who can help with the clean up after the baking is done. So, if you are not much of a baker, but would like to help, please offer your assistance with the cleanup on any or every Saturday. 

 

      7.   Facebook: Holy-Trinity-Russian-Festival – “Like us” & “Share”  Are you on Facebook?:  Go to our Facebook page (Holy-Trinity-Russian-Festival) “Like us” and “Share” the page. This will help us advertise the event. Pass it along to your friends as well.

 

      8.  The Russian Festival Committee will conduct its last meeting on Wednesday, October 4th in the church hall at 7:00 PM. All are welcome to attend.

 

Please help us to cover the costs of our annual Russian Festival. Donations of any size are very much appreciated. May God bless you for your sincere generosity.  Please call Michael Mickel 410-666-2870 mcmickel@verizon.net or Albert Blaszak 410-799-3226 or alb42@verizon.net.

 


Russian Festival Sponsorship List – 2017

$ 50 

Rice – Ludmila Karnup

$ 300

Wine – Michael Bosse

$ 60 

String Beans

$ 300

Wine

$ 75 

Red Beets

 $ 300 

Vodka – ½ of costs – Anonymous

$ 75 

Russian Candy – Marinich Children

$ 300 

Vodka – ½ of costs

$ 100 

Cabbage – Marie Vass

$ 350 

Russian Beer – ½ of costs 

$ 100 

Coffee Supplies

$ 350 

Russian Beer – ½ of costs

$ 150 

Eggs

$ 350 

Kolbasa – ½ of costs

$ 150 

Potatoes 

 $ 350 

Kolbasa – ½ of costs

$ 175 

Salmon  

 $ 400 

Russian Ads

$ 175 

Sour Cream

$ 400 

Newspaper Ads

$ 175 

Turkey / Ham

$ 400 

Newspaper Ads

$ 175 

Sauerkraut

$ 400 

Electronic Ads

$ 200 

Cleaning Supplies

$ 500 

Security – ½ of costs

$ 200 

Chicken – ½ of costs

$ 500 

Security – ½ of costs

$ 200 

Chicken – ½ of costs

$ 500 

Beef

$ 200 

Butter – ½ of costs

$ 400 

Bread    ½ of costs – Tom Berry

$ 200 

Butter – ½ of costs

$ 600 

Bread – ½ of costs

$ 300 

Entertainment – Russ/Pat Disharoon

$ 600 

Wash Balalaika Soc – Russ/Pat Disharoon

$ 300 

Entertainment – 1/3 of costs

$ 600 

Wash Balalaika Soc. – ½ of costs

$ 300 

Entertainment – 1/3 of costs

$ 800 

Tent – ¼ of costs 

$ 300 

Paper Goods – ½ of costs

$ 800 

Tent – ¼ of costs

$ 300 

Paper Goods – ½ of costs

$ 800 

Tent – ¼ of costs 

$ 300 

Decorations

$ 800 

Tent – ¼ of costs

$ 300 

Flour – Russ/Pat Disharoon

$ 1,000 

Stage – ½ of costs – Bonnie Duke

$ 300 

Flour – ½ of costs

$ 1,000 

Stage – ½ of costs

 

 

 

 

Birthday / Anniversary Celebrations:  September 17-23

We offer best wishes and wedding anniversary congratulations to Drew and Adele Pastor (9/19 – 30th Ann.) and we offer our congratulations to Fr. Deacon Michael Bishop (9/23 – Ordination 10th Anniversary). May God bless them with health, prosperity and many years. To include your birthdays/anniversaries contact Fr. John.

 

Vigil Candles: On the Altar and near St. Barbara

Sept 17-23:  Candles offered by Larisa Hidar for the repose of the soul of the servant of God: +Vyacheslav Shultiev (10th Annual). A $15 donation will keep all three candles lit for one week. Schedule your candle offering with Vadim Radchenko 410-465-6172. Thank you.

 

Cleaning Group – Group #4 /  Join a Group – Help your brothers and sisters

Group #4 will clean this week Sept. 18-23: Anna-Zumrat Shkurba (captain), Dmitriy Shkurba, Margarita Vinogradova, Olga Mychko, and Tatiana Kalish. This group needs more members. Any volunteers??

 

Submit your 2017 Pledge

Please be generous as the Lord is generous to you. Our church cannot operate without your financial contributions. Our parish will grow only through your prayers, work and generous sacrifice.

 

He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.   (2 Corinthians 9:6)

 

Please Remember in Your Prayers…

Schema-Archimandrite Joachim; Archpriest Vincent Saverino; Archpriest Michael Hatrak; Archpriest John Vass; Deacon Michael Bishop; Mat. Myra Kovalak; Mat. Klavdiya Burbelo; Kh. Frederica Mathewes-Green; Nun Elizabeth; Nun Magdalena; Mat. Natalia Kosich; Mat. Diane Winsky; Mat. Catherine Kowalchik; Marie Vass; Charles Snipes; Arthur-Stephen Lisowsky; Yelena Radchenko; Lydia Zorina; Tatiana; Katherine Plaskowitz; Philip Plaskowitz, Michael Stanka; Bernadine Borawick; Julia Aymold; Mary Johnson; Olga Chanat; Lilli Ann Hoffman;       Lara Marinich; Oleg Marinich; Ioann and Galina Zernetkin; Monika-Anastasia & Stephanie Handley; Blanche-Julia Stolkovich; Ekaterina Koroleva; Nina Lewis; Maryann Black; Lyudmila, Anton & Aleksander Karnup; John Alexander Bylen; Katherine Garrett; Stephen Kaminitsky; Constantine; John-Thomas Planinshek; Kenneth Pukita; William and Ann Ferkile; Maria and Alexander Lozada; Sergei Krektyshev; Irina Kononova; Petr and Lyudmila Borodkin; Anthony and John Bakie; Svetlana & Aleksey; Nina; Mat. Galina, Alla; Anna; Alla; Raisa, Zinaida; Monk Maksim Krayushkin; Valentina; Joseph Germano; Pavel, Vladimir, Valentina, Nina, and Maria; Maria Pappas; Bonnie Duke; Joseph Lacomy; Diana Radchenko; Aleksey Potapov; Oleg and Andrei; Vitaliy, Tatiana, Olena & Nicholas Berchuk; Marian, Irena and Isabella; Kateryna Koshlaba; David, Selina-Sophia, John, Maryann, David, Joseph, Lisa Ann Eichelberger; Cynthia and Bill (Basil) Popomaronis.

 

Next Council Meeting: Tuesday, September 19th – 7:00 PM in the Church Hall

 

Fr. John Vass, Pastor  410-997-0802

Fr. Deacon Michael Bishop:                        410-563-0472

Victor Marinich, Council President:          443-512-0985

Vadim Radchenko, Vice President:              410-465-6172

Andrei Burbelo,  Recording Secretary:    443-567-6031

Albert Blaszak, Treasurer:                             410-799-3226

Monika Handley, Stewardship Chair:      410-263-5758

Anna-Zumrat Shkurba, Member-At-Large: 443-857-8541

Natalie Burbelo, Sisterhood President:    443-567-6031

Michael Mickel, Cemetery Manager:             410-666-2870

 

 

 

Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos "The Unburnt Bush" (1680)

This wonderworking icon is in Moscow, in the Church of the Unburned Bush, close to the Dievichiago Field. There is a special service to this icon in manuscript with the title: "This service is sung on the Holy Mount Sinai, whenever someone wants it and whenever there is a terrible thunderstorm". Now this celebration is established in the memory of Moses the prophet who was worthy in the burning and unburned bush to foresee the salvation of the human race by the Son of God, who was incarnate unburned from the Most Holy Virgin and is kept whole in her ever-virginity. "As the bush burns and is not burned, so the Virgin gave birth to Thee", sings the Holy Church (Dogmatic tone 2). On this basis, there also was a belief that the Mother of God Herself was unburned from the fire of God, and saves from material fire as from lightning and fire. The depiction of the Mother of God of the Unburned Bush shows an eight-pointed star made from two sharp four-pointed stars with concave ends, from which one is red (fiery) reminding one of fire, as embraced in the Moses vision of the bush; the other is of green color indicating the natural color of the bush, which it protected, being embraced by a fiery flame. The Most Holy Virgin with the Eternal Child is represented in the middle of the eight-pointed star, as if in the bush. On the corners of the red four cornered star are represented: the man, the lion, the calf and the eagle, seen as signs of the special features of the four Evangelists about the life and teaching of that Divine and Immaterial Fire, Which unburned was accepted in the womb of the Most Holy Virgin Mary. 

© 1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.

 

 

The Nativity of Our Most Holy Lady Mother of God and Ever Virgin Mary

Thursday, September 8/21

 

The Birth of Our Most Holy Lady Mother of God and Ever Virgin Mary is celebrated by the Church as a day of universal joy. Within the context of the Old and the New Testaments, on this radiant day was born the Most Blessed Virgin Mary, – having been forechosen through the ages by Divine Providence to bring about the Mystery of the Incarnation of the Word of God, and She is revealed as the Mother of the Savior of the World, Our Lord Jesus Christ. The Most Holy Virgin Mary was born in the small city of Galilee, Nazareth. Her parents were Righteous Joachim from the tribe of the King and Prophet David, and Anna from the tribe of the First-Priest Aaron. The couple was without child, since Saint Anna was barren. Having reached old age, Joachim and Anna did not lose hope on the mercy of God. They had strong faith that for God everything is possible, and that He would be able to solve the barrenness of Anna – even in her old age, as He had once solved the barrenness of Sarah, spouse of the Patriarch Abraham. Saints Joachim and Anna made a vow to dedicate the child which the Lord might bestow on them, into the service of God in the Temple. Childlessness was considered among the Hebrew nation as a Divine punishment for sin, and therefore the righteous Saints Joachim and Anna had to endure abuse from their own countrymen. On one of the feast days at the Temple in Jerusalem the elderly Joachim brought his sacrifice in offering to God, but the High Priest would not accept it, – considering him to be unworthy since he was childless. Saint Joachim in deep grief went into the wilderness and there he prayed with tears to the Lord for the granting of a child. Saint Anna, having learned about what had happened at the Jerusalem Temple, wept bitterly; never once did she complain against the Lord, but rather she prayed, asking God's mercy on her family. The Lord fulfilled her petitions when the pious spouses had attained to extreme old age and prepared themselves by virtuous life for a sublime calling – to be the parents of the Most Holy Virgin Mary, the future Mother of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Archangel Gabriel brought Joachim and Anna the joyous message: their prayers were heard by God, and of them would be born a Most Blessed Daughter Mary, through Whom would come the Salvation of all the World. The Most Holy Virgin Mary of Herself in purity and virtue surpassed not only all mankind but also the Angels; – She was manifest as the Living Temple of God, such that the Church sings in its festal verses of song: "the Heavenly Gate, bringing Christ into the world for the salvation of our souls" (2nd Stikhera on "Lord, I have cried", Tone 6). The Birth of the Mother of God marks the change of the times, wherein the great and comforting promises of God begin to be fulfilled about the salvation of the human race from slavery to the devil. This event has brought nigh to earth the grace of the Kingdom of God, – a Kingdom of Truth, piety, virtue and life immortal. Our Mother First Born of All Creation is revealed to all of us by grace as a merciful Intercessor and Mother, to Whom we steadfastly recourse with filial devotion.

 

 

St. John of Kronstadt (+1908)

Sorrow and Joy:  A Homily on the Nativity of the Most Holy Mother of God

Thy Nativity, O Theotokos Virgin, has brought joy to all the inhabited earth: 

For from Thee has sprung forth the Son of Righteous, Christ our God. 

 

We solemnly celebrate, dear brothers and sisters, the Nativity of the Most Holy Virgin Mary from her barren parents, pious Joachim and Anna. The Holy Church established this feast during the first centuries of the Christian Faith. The event that we celebrate—the birth of the God-Chosen maiden—brought joy to all the world, for the God-man, Jesus Christ, Who shone forth from Her, destroyed God’s curse which weighed heavily upon the transgressing and accursed human race, and brought God’s blessing upon it; having trampled down inherent death, He gave people eternal life. Thus, the Holy Church explains the cause of the present joy. 

 

The parents of the Ever-Virgin sorrowed long over their barrenness; they prayed long and fervently to the Lord that He loose this barrenness, which was considered a punishment from God for sins. They gave much alms in order to incline the mercy of the All-Merciful, endured the reproach of their countrymen, and through this sorrow and ceaseless prayer and good works, they gradually purified their spirits, and burned ever greater with love and dedication to God, thus being prepared by God’s Providence to give blessed birth to the Most Blessed Daughter, chosen out of all people to be the Mother of the Incarnate Word. 

 

The Lord leads His chosen ones to glory by a narrow and sorrowful path; for even She, the Mother of God according to the flesh, received the prophecy of Simeon that a sword shall pierce Her soul, and She will experience heavy sorrows in her soul during Her Son’s suffering life, that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed (Lk. 2:34–35). The path of all God’s chosen is thus sorrowful and narrow, for the world and the prince of this world—that is, the enemy of God and people, extremely presses the people of God. The Lord Himself allows them to go by the narrow way, inasmuch as He enables them to strive for God and put their hope in Him. 

 

But let us turn our gaze from the sorrow to the joy. What joy does the Nativity of the Mother of God bring us? Let us explain in more detail the Church hymn which explains the meaning of this feast’s joy. Through the birth of the Ever-Virgin, through Her only-begotten Son and God, cursed and outcast mankind makes peace with God Who is immeasurably offended by man’s sins, for Christ became the mediator of this peace (cf. Rom. 5:10-11). Man is freed from the curse and eternal death, made worthy of the blessing of the Heavenly Father; he is united and co-mingled with the Divine nature; he is raised to his first inheritance by this co-mingling, according to the Church hymn. Mankind, once an outcast, has been made worthy of sonship to the Heavenly Father, received the promise of the glorious resurrection and eternal life in the heavens together with the angels. 

 

This has all been and is being wrought by the Son of God incarnate from the Most Pure Virgin from the Holy Spirit, and by the intercession of His Most Pure Mother. How honored and magnified is mankind through the Holy Virgin Mother of God, for it has been made worthy of renewal and sonship by God; She Herself was made worthy by Her immeasurable humility and exceedingly great purity and holiness to be the Mother of the God-man! She is ever the most powerful Intercessor for the Christian race before Her Son and God! She is our Hope unashamed; She turns away from us the dark cloud of God’s righteous wrath, opens to us the ancient paradise by Her powerful intercessions; She upholds the thrones of kings, and preserves them unshakeable to the ages. She has saved Russia thousands of times and continues to save her; She has made her strong, glorified her, established her, and continues to do so; She is the Surety of Sinners for salvation. To Her do Christians direct their numberless prayers, requests, and praises, doxologies and thanksgiving; She has worked and continues to work miracles without number in the Church, to the ends of the world. 

 

Let us brightly celebrate the feast of the Nativity of the Most Pure Virgin Mary, adorning ourselves with all the Christian virtues.  http://www.pravoslavie.ru/english/39253.htm 

 

 

Metropolitan Anthony of Sourozh (+2003):   Nativity of the Mother of God

In the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

I should like to say a few words about the greatness of this feast. When a man surveys this world in which we live, which is so vast, seemingly boundless, and looks at himself in it, he feels very small and insignificant. And if he adds to this the hardness and coldness of men, he may sometimes feel extremely vulnerable, helpless and unprotected both before people and before the terrifying vastness of the world.

 

Yet at the same time if a man looks at himself not in relation to his surroundings, but goes deep into himself, he will there discover such an expanse, such depths, that the whole created world is too small to fill it. Man sees the beauty of the world — and the vision does not completely satisfy him; he learns an enormous amount about God's creation — and the knowledge does not fill him to the brim. Neither human joy nor even human sorrow can completely fill a man, because in him is a depth that exceeds everything created; because God made man so vast, so deep, so limitless in his spiritual being, that nothing in the world can finally satisfy him except God Himself.

 

Today's feast of the Mother of God demonstrates this fact with particular beauty and splendor. She so believed in God, She gave herself to Him with such a pure mind and pure heart, with an unwavering will, with the purity of Her virginity and life such that She was granted to say the Name of God perfectly, with such love that the Word became flesh and God was made man in Her.

 

Through this we are shown that not only is the soul, the inner being and spirit of man, so created by God that it can contain the mystery of a meeting with the living God, but that even the body is so made that in an unfathomable way it can be united with the living God. Indeed, according to St. Peter we are called to become partakers of the divine nature; according to St. Paul our vocation is to become temples of the Holy Spirit. The whole of the New Testament teaches us that we are the Body, the living tremulous Body of Christ, through baptism and through Holy Communion. How wonderful this is, and therefore with what reverence must we regard not only our immortal soul, but this body of ours which is called to rise again, to enter the Kingdom of God and be glorified, like the body of Christ.

 

In the XI century St. Simeon the New Theologian wrote one day when he had returned to his humble cell after receiving Holy Communion, words to this effect, "I look upon this corruptible body, upon this frail flesh, and I tremble, because by partaking of the Holy Mysteries it has been permeated by God, it has been united with Christ, it is overflowing with the Holy Spirit... these powerless hands have become the hands of God, this body has become a body that God has taken possession of."

 

Consider what has been given us not only by our faith, but by the sacraments of the Church. The immersion in the blessed waters of Baptism makes us particles, living members of Christ's Body, the Anointing with Holy Chrism is not only the visible seal of the Holy Spirit, but makes us the temples in which He dwells. When the bread and wine which are offered by our faith and love to God are consecrated, they become incomprehensibly and mysteriously the Body and Blood of Christ, and this created matter partakes of Christ and imparts to us, who are incapable of soaring to God in spirit, the divinity of Christ, which saves and transfigures us in soul and body. 

 

This feast of Nativity of the Mother of God is the time when we remember the birth of the One who for the sake of us all, for the whole human race, was able to show such faith, to surrender so absolutely to God, that He could become Man through Her, and bring us these manifold, unfathomable gifts. Glory to Her humility, glory to Her faith, glory to Her love, glory to God Who was incarnate and to the Virgin Mother of God, the worthy vessel of the incarnation of the Son of God, Christ our God! Amen. http://www.mitras.ru/eng/eng_archive.htm 

 

O Most Holy Trinity, Our God, Glory to Thee!