Please Remember in Your Prayers

Schema-Archimandrite Joachim; Archpriest Vincent Saverino; Archpriest Michael Lepa; Mat. Klavdiya Burbelo; Deacon Michael Bishop; Nun Elizabeth; Nun Magdalena; Mat. Natalia Kosich; Mat. Diane Winsky; Mat. Catherine Kowalchik; Marie Vass; Charles Snipes; Arthur-Stephen Lisowsky; Yelena Radchenko; Lydia Zorina; Katherine Plaskowitz; Philip Plaskowitz, Michael Stanka; Bernadine Borawick; John Antoniak; 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; Matushka Marianne Lobalbo; Lyudmila, Anton & Aleksander Karnup; John Alexander Bylen; Katherine Garrett; Stephen Kaminitsky; Constantine; John-Thomas Planinshek; Kenneth Pukita; Ann Ferkile; Maria and Alexander Lozada; Sergei Krektyshev; Irina Kononova; Petr Borodkin; Anthony and John Bakie; Svetlana & Aleksey; Nina; Mat. Galina, Alla; Anna; Alla; Raisa, Zinaida; Liubov and Maksim Krayushkin; Joseph Germano; Pavel, Vladimir, Valentina 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.       

ru

Bulletin

St. Thomas Sunday / Anti-Pascha

2nd Sunday of Pascha

 

Christ is Risen!  Truly, He is Risen!

Христос Воскресе!  Воистину Воскресе!

Χριστος Ανεστη !    Αλιθως Ανεστη !

Hristos a înviat! Cu adevărat a înviat!

ქრისტე აღსდგა!    ჭეშმარიტად აღსდგა

 

April 10/23, 2017

 

Martyrs Terence, Pompeius, Africanus, Maximus, Zeno, Alexander, Theodore, and 33 others beheaded at Carthage (250); Marytrs James-priest, and Azadanes and Abdicius-deacons of Persia (ca. 380); Hieromartyr Gregory V, Patriach of Constantinople (1821); Hieromartyr Flegont, priest (1938); Martyr Demetrius (1942).

 

 

Today’s Scriptural Readings:     

Acts 5:12-20   /   John 20:19-31

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

 

 

We magnify Thee O Life-Giving Christ, Who for our sake didst descend into hell,  

and Who with Thyself didst resurrect all.

 

This  Week’s  Liturgical  Calendar

Wednesday, April 26th – 7:30 PM

Akathist in Church

Akathist to the Resurrection

Saturday, April 29

No Services Scheduled

Sunday, April 30th – 10:00 AM

Confessions begin at 9:15 AM

Divine Liturgy in Church

Sunday of the Myrrh-Bearing Women

 

Divine Services at Holy Trinity are now live-streamed at

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

 

 

Welcome to our parish !

Welcome to our joyous celebration at Cathedral Gardens !

 

TODAY, Sunday, April 23 beginning at 10:00 AM the Divine Liturgy will be celebrated at Sts. Peter & Paul Chapel located at Cathedral Gardens in Elkridge, MD. Join us for a day of prayer, reflection, celebration, friendly socializing, rest and relaxation…and don’t forget about the great food and drink!!! Come and spend the whole day with us on this joyous feast !!!   

 

We extend a very special welcome to the many guests attending our services and the grave blessings today.  All of us at Holy Trinity Russian Orthodox Church are very happy to welcome you to our parish community and warmly invite you to pray with us in the presence of God.  May God touch you with His grace and fill your hearts with much spiritual joy.   Christ is Risen !   Indeed, He is Risen ! 

 

Christ is Risen !   Truly He is Risen ! Христос Воскресе!  Воистину Воскресе!

We most sincerely thank so many faithful parishioners… The many Divine Services we conducted during Holy Week, Pascha, and Bright Week were very beautiful and prayerful.  Thank you to everyone who played a part in the celebrations of these solemn and festive days – to our choir for your careful preparation and heartfelt singing….to those who helped clean and get the church ready for each of the many services…to our altar servers who served with much solemnity and faith…to our Sunday School teachers, parents and students for all the activities for the kids…to those who decorated the church with beautiful flowers…to everyone who donated for and helped prepare the delicious Paschal breakfast and picnic.  Many of you contributed much time, energy and money to make this year’s Paschal celebrations joyous, sincere, faithful, and memorable.  Pascha is truly the “feast of feasts” – there is no greater celebration in the entire world. And because of your efforts, because of your dedication, our parish fittingly glorified the Risen Christ and expressed our love for God and His Holy Church.  May God bless you with His peace and love, preserving you in good health and prosperity for many years. Thank you! 

 

The Holy Fire burns in our church and chapel

The miracle of the Holy Fire that emanates from the Holy Sepulcher of Christ each year on Holy Saturday has reached the USA! With the blessing of His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America and New York, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, the Synodal Chancery, and with the support of the St Andrew the First-Called Foundation, the Holy Fire has been brought from the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem to the USA. Bring lanterns/candles and take the Holy Fire to your homes.

 

For more information on the Holy Fire, please visit:

http://www.holyfire.org/eng/

http://www.pravoslavie.ru/english/102734.htm

http://www.pravoslavie.ru/english/102739.htm

http://www.eadiocese.org/news_170416_3.html

 

Church School Camping Trip – May 19-21, 2017

The 17th Annual Church School Camping Trip at Camp Running Bear (formerly Camp Alkor) in Monkton, MD for children ages 6-12 will take place May 19-21. Our theme this year is “The Treasure of St. Paul” – a study of the life of St. Paul and his epistles. Registrations due by April 24th. Registration forms are on the bulletin table. For more information contact Dr. Pat Disharoon pdisharoon@aol.com  410-233-5337. Also, all adult chaperones MUST register with Dr. Pat by April 24th to expedite background checks.



 

The Artos

In the Holy Orthodox Church, there is the custom for a single loaf of blessed bread (Artos in Greek),  to lie before the Iconostasis throughout Bright Week in memory of the Risen Lord, Jesus Christ, before it is shared among the whole congregation. On the first day of Pascha, during the Holy and Divine Liturgy, after the Prayer Before the Ambo, the Artos is blessed by a special prayer and sprinkling with the Holy Water. Throughout Bright Week, at the end of the Holy and Divine Liturgy, the Artos is carried around the church in solemn procession. On the Saturday of Bright Week it is distributed as a blessing of the Arch-Pastor (that is to say Christ) to the congregation (sometimes after Divine Liturgy on Saint Thomas Sunday). 

 

The significance of the Artos is that it serves to remind all Christians of the events connected with the Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ. While still living on earth, the Lord called Himself the Bread of Life, saying: I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me shall not hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst (John 6:35). After His Resurrection, more than once Jesus appeared to His disciples, ate before them, and blessed their own food. For example, as evening fell on the first day of His resurrection, He was recognized in Emmaus by two of His disciples as He blessed and broke bread (Luke 24:13-35).  As Cyril, the Bishop of Turov, who lived during the 12th century in Russia, said in a sermon for the Sunday after Pascha: "Even as the Jews bore the unleavened bread upon their heads out of Egypt through the desert (Exodus 12:34), until they had crossed the Red Sea, after which they dedicated the bread to God, divided it amongst all their host, and having all eaten thereof, became … terrible to their enemies, even so do we, saved by our Resurrected Lord from the captivity of that Pharaoh of the mind, the Devil, bear the blessed bread – the Artos – from the day of the Resurrection of Christ and, finally, having dedicated this bread to God, we eat of it and preserve it to the health of body and soul." It is a custom among our people to this very day, to keep the Artos throughout the year and with due reverence and faith to eat of it in time of illness or distress. This is eaten, often together with a drink of Holy Water, which had been blessed at the Feast of the Theophany.

 

 

Saturday, April 29th – Baptism

On Saturday, April 29th at 1:00 PM, we will baptize Mikhael Masiuk, son of Aleksei & Kathrine Masiuk

and the first grandson of Martin & Tatiana Masiuk. Congratulations!

 

Vigil Candles: On the Altar and near St. Barbara

April 16-22:  Candles offered by Olga Hansen for the repose of the soul of the servant of God: Svetlana.   April 23-29:  Candles offered by Andrei Burbelo for the repose of the soul of the servant of God: Stefan.  A $15 donation will keep all three candles lit for one week. Schedule your candle offering with Vadim Radchenko 410-465-6172. Thank you.

 

Birthday / Anniversary Celebrations:  April 16-29

We offer our best wishes and birthday congratulations to Grigorii and Dmitri Griffith (4/17), Jill Marinich (4/23), Dr. Pat Disharoon (4/26) and Chris Pastor (4/28).  May God bless them with health, prosperity and many years. To include your birthday/anniversary in the bulletin call Fr. John.

 

Youth Contest:  “Who is my neighbor?” (Luke 10:29)

The Fellowship of Orthodox Christians in America (FOCA) is conducting a contest for youth to express in literature, music, photography or the visual arts the significance of the parable of the Good Samaritan. For information and registration go to: www.orthodoxfellowship.org. Deadline: May 15, 2017


Cleaning Groups – Group #1 & #2 /  Join a Group – Help your brothers and sisters

Group #1 &#2 will clean this week April 24-29: Group #1 - Adele Pastor (captain), Drew Pastor, Dan Walsh, Natalie & Andrei Burbelo, Erica Lawson and Mary Johnson and Group #2 - Natallia Makarava (captain), Mikhail Merzliakov, Catalin Frujinoiu and Anca Frujinoiu. These groups need more members. 

 

Cathedraticum Offering

Our box of offering envelopes has a variety of additional envelopes for special collections.  One asks for donations for the Cathedraticum.  Please note that this offering is in addition to your pledge. The Cathedraticum is what each and every one of our Patriarchal Parishes offers in support of our diocese and our St. Nicholas Cathedral in NYC.  Every individual adult is expected to offer $50.00 to support our cathedral and bishop, as per the Operating Budget of the Patriarchal Parishes. Single pledging adult = $50; Married couple under one family pledge = $100…etc. Submit your Cathedraticum Offering to the Parish Treasurer, Albert Blaszak. Write “Cathedraticum” on the memo line of your check or in a specially marked envelope. Thank you for your commitment to our Church.

 

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 Lepa; Mat. Klavdiya Burbelo; Deacon Michael Bishop; Nun Elizabeth; Nun Magdalena; Mat. Natalia Kosich; Mat. Diane Winsky; Mat. Catherine Kowalchik; Marie Vass; Charles Snipes; Arthur-Stephen Lisowsky; Yelena Radchenko; Lydia Zorina; Katherine Plaskowitz; Philip Plaskowitz, Michael Stanka; Bernadine Borawick; John Antoniak; 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; Matushka Marianne Lobalbo; Lyudmila, Anton & Aleksander Karnup; John Alexander Bylen; Katherine Garrett; Stephen Kaminitsky; Constantine; John-Thomas Planinshek; Kenneth Pukita; Ann Ferkile; Maria and Alexander Lozada; Sergei Krektyshev; Irina Kononova; Petr Borodkin; Anthony and John Bakie; Svetlana & Aleksey; Nina; Mat. Galina, Alla; Anna; Alla; Raisa, Zinaida; Liubov and Maksim Krayushkin; Joseph Germano; Pavel, Vladimir, Valentina 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.       

 

Next Council Meeting: Thursday, April 27th – 7:30 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

 

 

The Second Sunday of Pascha. Thomas Sunday (John 20:19-31)

From The Explanation of the Gospel of St. John 

by Blessed Theophylact, Archbishop of Ochrid and Bulgaria

 

John 19–23. Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. And when He had so said, He showed unto them His hands and His side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord. Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as My Father hath sent Me, even so send I you. And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Spirit: Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained. 

 

When Mary Magdalene brought her news to the disciples, it is likely that they reacted in one of two ways: either they did not believe her, or, if they did, they were crestfallen because they were not deemed worthy to see Christ. Meanwhile, fear of the Jews was increasing the disciples’ longing to see the only One Who could relieve their anxiety. And so the Lord appeared to them that very evening, when all of them were gathered together. It is written that He appeared when the doors were shut, meaning, He entered through locked doors. This was to show that He had risen in the very same manner, while the entrance to the tomb was shut with a stone. One would think they might have taken Him for a ghost, but Mary Magdalene’s testimony had greatly strengthened their faith. Also, He manifested Himself in such a way as to calm their tumultuous thoughts: Peace be unto you, He said gently, meaning, “Be not afraid.” This was to remind them of what He had told them before the crucifixion: My peace I give unto you (Jn. 14:27). Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord. This, too, He had foretold before His death: I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice (Jn. 16:22). It was well that He should say to them again, Peace, for the disciples were now engaged in desperate struggle with the Jews. As He had said, Rejoice! to the women (Mt. 28:9), because sorrows were their lot, so He grants peace to the disciples, who were now, and would always be, at war with the Jews. 

 

It is fitting that He grants joy to the women, condemned to bear children in pain and suffering; and peace to the men, on account of the warfare that would engulf them for preaching the Gospel. At the same time He reveals that the cross has ushered in peace: “The cross has brought peace: now I send you forth to proclaim it.” To strengthen and embolden the disciples, He declares, “As My Father hath sent Me, even so send I you. It is My work you have undertaken, so do it boldly: I will be with you.” Behold the authority of his command: “It is I Who sends you (̓Εγὼ πέμπω ὑμᾶς).” No longer does He condescend to the limitations of their understanding, saying as He often did before the resurrection, “I will ask My Father and He will send you.” Now He breathes on them and gives them the Holy Spirit—but not the entirety of the gift He would bestow at Pentecost. Receive ye the Holy Spirit, means, “Let this partial bestowal of grace make you ready to receive later the fullness of the Holy Spirit.” The words, Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them, indicate the particular gift He gives the disciples now: power to forgive sins. Later, on Pentecost, the Holy Spirit Himself would descend in all His might, lavishing upon the apostles every spiritual gift and power to work wondrous deeds, such as raising the dead. 

 

It is worth considering why John records only that Christ appeared to His disciples in Jerusalem, while Matthew and Mark say that He promised to appear to them in Galilee (see Mt. 26:32; Mk. 14:28).

 

Some have explained it this way: “Christ never said He would appear to the disciples only in Galilee, and not in Jerusalem. In Jerusalem, He appeared to the twelve, whereas in Galilee, He appeared to all His disciples, in accordance with His promise. The fact that He showed Himself many times to the twelve indicates that He honored them more highly than the others.” From this we again see that there are no irreconcilable disagreements between the accounts of the Evangelists. There were many appearances of the Lord after His resurrection, and each Evangelist selected certain ones to record. When two Evangelists describe the same event, the second usually tells what the first has omitted. And now, O reader, reflect upon the divine rank of the priesthood. The power to forgive sins is a divine power; hence, we must show honor to the priests as to God. Even if they are unworthy, they are still ministers of divine gifts, and grace empowers them (ἐνεργεῖ διʹαὐτῶν) just as it empowered Balaam’s ass, enabling it to speak (see Num. 22:28-30). Human frailty does not hinder the working of grace. Therefore, since grace is bestowed through the priests, let us honor them. 

 

John 24–29. But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into His side, I will not believe. And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you. Then saith He to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold My hands; and reach hither thy hand and thrust it into My side: and be not faithless, but believing. And Thomas answered and said unto Him, My Lord and My God. Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen Me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed. 

 

Thomas … was not with the disciples, perhaps because he had not yet returned from where he was hiding after the disciples had scattered. Elsewhere, we learned that the Hebrew name “Cephas” means “Rock” (Πέτρος, see Jn. 1:42); here we are told that “Thomas” means “Twin” (Δίδυμος). The Evangelist provides the meaning of the name here to indicate that Thomas was prone to be of two minds—a doubter by nature. He doubted the news brought to him by the others, not because he thought they were liars, but because he considered it impossible for a man to rise from the dead. And his doubt made him excessively inquisitive. Gullibility is a sign of light-mindedness; but stubborn resistance to truth is a sure indication of thick-headedness. Thomas would not even trust his eyes, but demanded proof by touch, the least discriminating of the senses: except I shall … thrust my hand into His side. How did Thomas know there were wounds in Christ’s hands and side? Because the other disciples had told him. And why does the Lord wait eight days before appearing to him? To allow time for each of Thomas’ fellow disciples to tell him what they had witnessed. Hearing the same story from each one individually made him more willing to believe, and increased his desire to see the Lord. In order to show that He was invisibly present eight days earlier, when Thomas had expressed disbelief, the Lord does not wait for Thomas to speak. Instead, He straightway proposes exactly what Thomas desired, quoting his very words. 

 

First He rebukes Thomas, saying, Reach hither thy hand; then He admonishes him: and be not faithless, but believing. From this it is clear that Thomas’ doubt was caused by lack of faith, and not because he was careful to verify the facts (as some say, wishing to put him in better light). But as soon as Thomas touched the Lord’s side, he was revealed as a superb theologian, proclaiming the two natures and single hypostasis of the one Christ. Thomas refers to the human nature of Christ, calling Him Lord; for the term “Lord” (Κύριος) is applied not just to God, but to men as well. (Thinking that Jesus was the gardener, Mary Magdalene had said to Him, Sir (Κύριε), if thou have borne Him hence… (v. 15). But when Thomas cries out, …and My God, he confesses Christ’s divine essence, and affirms that the names Lord and Godrefer to one and the same Person. By declaring blessed those who have not seen, and yet have believed, the Lord teaches us that faith means the acceptance of things not seen. He is referring, first to the disciples who believed without touching His side or the print of the nails, and second to those who would later believe (without any physical confirmation). He is not depriving Thomas of his share of blessedness, but encouraging all who have not seen. There was a common saying, “Blessed are the eyes that have seen the Lord.” Christ, however, praises those who will believe without seeing, declaring them to be truly blessed. 

 

A question arises: how can an incorruptible body display the mark of nails and be touched by human hands? The answer is that such things are possible as part of the divine economia: they are manifestations of God’s condescension and love for man. By entering the room when the doors were shut, Christ makes it absolutely clear that after the resurrection His body is altered: it is now light and subtle, free of all material coarseness. But to confirm that it is indeed their Lord and Master Who has appeared to them, He permits His resurrected body, bearing the wounds of the crucifixion, to be touched. For the same reason, when He walked on the water before the Passion (see Mk. 6:48]), His body was unchanged from when He was walking about on land, and this reassured the disciples. But though He allows His resurrected body to be touched, it is now impassible and incorruptible. When Christ eats now with the disciples, it is no longer to satisfy any physical demands of His body (for there were none). Food once eaten is altered in the stomach and passes out into the drain (see Mt. 15:17). But it was not so with Christ after the resurrection. The food He ate during that time was consumed by an invisible, divine power. His only purpose in eating was to confirm the reality of His resurrection, and He permitted His incorruptible body to bear the mark of nails, and to be handled, for the same reason. Do you see, O reader, how, in order to save one doubting soul, the Lord did not spare His own dignity, but condescended to bare His side? Neither should we despise even the least of our brethren. 

 

John 30–31. And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book. But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through His name. 

 

To what other signs is the Evangelist referring? To those that Jesus did after the resurrection, and not those before His crucifixion, as one might suppose. The Evangelist is speaking about the signs which Jesus did in the presence of His disciples only. The miracles before the Passion were performed in the presence of the multitude and revealed Jesus to all as the Son of God. The miracles after the resurrection were performed while He was alone with the disciples during the forty days: their purpose was to convince them that He was still the Son of man, with a human body, albeit one now incorruptible, more Godlike, and no longer subject to the laws of the flesh. Of the many miracles after the resurrection, only these are written. They are not described ostentatiously, to vaunt the glory of the Only-begotten, but simply, as the Evangelist says—that ye might believe. So what is the profit here, and to whom does it accrue? Certainly not to Christ, for what does He gain by our belief? It is we who gain. The Evangelist himself tells us that he wrote so that believing ye might have life through Jesus’ name. When we believe that Jesus rose from dead and lives, we win for ourselves eternal life. He arose, and is alive, for our sake. But whoever imagines that Christ is dead and did not rise from the grave has no life in him. Indeed, by thinking this he confirms and ensures his own eternal death and corruption. 

(Chrysostom Press)    http://www.pravoslavie.ru/english/70224.htm

 

 

The Holy and Glorious Apostle Thomas - He was one of the twelve Great Apostles. Through his doubt of the Resurrection of the Lord Christ, a new confirmation was given of that wonderful and saving event, for the risen Lord appeared again to His disciples, to convince Thomas. The Lord said to Thomas: Reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into My side; and be not faithless, but believing', and Thomas cried: 'My Lord and my God! (John 20). After the descent of the Holy Spirit, when the apostles cast lots to see who would go where to preach the Gospel, it fell to Thomas to got to India. He was somewhat saddened at having to go so far away, but the Lord appeared to him and comforted him. In India, St Thomas converted many, both rich and poor, to the Christian faith, and founded a Church there, making priests and bishops. Prince Misdaeus, the husband of Tertiana, whose wife and son Iuzanes Thomas baptized, condemned the Apostle to death, and sent five soldiers who ran him through with their lances, and thus the holy Apostle Thomas gave his soul into the hands of his Christ. Before his death, he, with the other apostles, was miraculously borne to Jerusalem for the funeral of the most holy Mother of God. Arriving late, he grieved bitterly and, at his request, the tomb of the Most Pure was opened, but the body was not there; the Lord had taken His Mother to His heavenly home. Thus St Thomas first, by his unbelief, confirmed the faith in the Resurrection of the Lord and then, by his late arrival, revealed to us the wondrous glorification of the Mother of God.

 

 

What is Radonitsa?

"On the Tuesday of St. Thomas week, according to the order instituted by our Holy Fathers, we call to remembrance, in Paschal joy, all those who have died from the beginning of the ages in faith and in the hope of resurrection and life eternal." Having previously celebrated the radiant feast of Christ's glorious Resurrection, the faithful commemorate the dead today with the pious intent to share the great joy of this Pascha feast with those who have departed this life in the hope of their own resurrection. This is the same blessed joy with which the dead heard our Lord announce His victory over death when He descended into Hades, thus leading forth by the hand the righteous souls of the Old Covenant into Paradise. This is the same unhoped-for joy the Holy Myrrh bearing Women experienced when discovering the empty tomb and the undisturbed grave clothes. In addition, this is the same bright joy the Holy Apostles encountered in the Upper Room where Christ appeared though the doors were closed. In short, this feast is a kindred joy, to celebrate the luminous Resurrection with our Orthodox forefathers who have fallen asleep. "There is evidence of the commemoration of the dead today in the writings of the Church Fathers. St. John Chrysostom mentions the commemoration of the dead performed on Tuesday of St. Thomas week in his "Homily on the Cemetery and the Cross." "Today, the faithful departed are remembered in Divine Liturgies, 'koliva' is prepared and blessed in the churches in memory of those who have fallen asleep, and the Orthodox graves in cemeteries are blessed by the priests and visited by the faithful. On this day alms are given to the poor. Furthermore, it should be noted that due to the great spiritual joy this jubilant commemoration bears, it is called in the Slavonic tongue, 'Radonitsa,' or Day of Rejoicing." From the "Synaxarion of the Lenten Triodion and Penecostarion" 

 

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