Please Remember in Your Prayers

Archpriest Vincent Saverino; Archpriest Michael Hatrak; Deacon Michael Bishop; Mat. Myra Kovalak; Mat. Klavdiya Burbelo; Kh. Frederica Mathewes-Green; Nun Elizabeth; Nun Magdalena; Mat. Natalia Kosich; Priest Gregory and 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; 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; John-Thomas Planinshek; Kenneth Pukita; William and Ann Ferkile; Sergei Krektyshev; Irina Kononova; Petr and Lyudmila Borodkin; Anthony Bakie; Svetlana & Aleksey; Nina; Alla; Anna; Alla; Raisa, Zinaida; Joseph Germano; Pavel, Vladimir, Valentina, Nina, and Maria; Maria Pappas; Bonnie Duke; Joseph Lacomy; Diana Radchenko; Aleksey & Lidia Potapov; Oleg and Andrei; Vitaliy, Tatiana, Olena & Nicholas Berchuk; Irena and Isabella; David, Selina-Sophia, John, Maryann, David, Joseph, Lisa Ann Eichelberger; Cynthia and Bill (Basil) Popomaronis; Andrei, Marina, Valentina and Vladimir; Archpriest Cezar, Mat. Christina, Cezara–Maria, Darius, Justina, Christian; Victoria Lardiero; Donela-Maria w/child; Richard Wright; Valentina Shultieva; Shanna, Stephen, Trent-Michael, Grant-Alexander, Adalynn Lisowsky; Julie Smith; Tayisia Solvieva; Lubov Pavuk.

 

 

ru

Bulletin

16th Sunday after Pentecost

Tone 7

September 3/16, 2018

 

Hieromartyr Anthimus, Bishop of Nicomedia, and those with him: Martyrs Theophilus, deacon; Dorotheos, Mardonius; Migdonius; Peter; Indes; Gorgonius; Zeno; the Virgin Domna, and Euthymius (302).Venerable Theoctistus (451), fellow-faster with St. Euthymius the Great. Blessed John "the Hairy," Fool-for-Christ at Rostov (1580); Transfer of the relics of Right-Believing Prince Peter (in monasticism David) and Princess Fevronia (in monasticism Ephrosyne) wonderworkers of Murom (1992); St. Phoebe, deaconess at Cenchreae near Corinth (1st c.); Hieromartyr Aristion, Bishop of Alexandria, in Syria (3rd c.); Martyr Basilissa of Nicomedia (309); Holy Hierarch Ioannicius II, first Patriarch of Serbia (1349); Synaxis of the Saints of Saratov; Synaxis of the New-Martyrs and Confessors of Kazakhstan; Hieromartyr Pimen Bishop of Vernensk, Sergius, Basil, Philip, Vladimir priests, Venerable-martyr Meletius (1918); Hieromartyrs Basil and Parthenius priests (1919); Hieromartyrs Andrew and Theophan priests (1920); Hieromartyrs Vladimir amd Michael priests (1921); Hieromartyr Nicholas priest (1923); Hieromartyr Euthymius priest with four martyrs (1924); Hieromartyr Romanus priest (1929); Hieromartyr Alexis and Elias priests (1937). The Pisidia Icon of the Mother of God (608).

 

 

Today’s Scriptural Readings:      

2 Corinthians 6: 1-10  /  Matthew 25: 14-30

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

 

 

This  Week’s  Liturgical  Calendar

Thursday, September 20th – 6:00 PM

Vigil Service in the Chapel

Friday, September 21st – 9:00 AM

Divine Liturgy in the Chapel

Nativity of the Theotokos

Saturday, September 22nd – 6:00 PM

Vigil Service in the Chapel

Sunday, September 23rd – 10:00 AM

Private Confessions start at 9:15 AM

Divine Liturgy in Church

 

 

Divine Services at Holy Trinity are live-streamed at 

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

 

 

Special Petitions for the Unity of the Orthodox Church

Again we pray to the Lord and our Savior to preserve the Orthodox Church abiding in the whole world in unity and right belief, and to grant her peace and tranquility, love and consent, let us all say, Lord, hearken and have mercy.

 

Again we pray to look upon the Holy Orthodox Church with the goodness of heart and with mercy, and to preserve her from divisions and schisms, from hostility and disorder, so her unity will not be diminished or shaken, but Thine Thrice-Holy name be glorified in her, let us all say, Lord, hearken and have mercy.

 

 

Please Join us for the Remembrance Meal – Today after Services

Today’s sponsors: Sisterhood

 

Panikhida –Today

Today, after Divine Liturgy we will serve a Panikhida for +Sandra Ann Wanner (3rd annual), and +John Vass (13th annual).  Please stay for the remembrance meal afterwards. May their memory be eternal.

 

Cleaning of Windows and Iconostasis

The scaffolding is tentatively scheduled to be disassembled during the week of October 1. Before it is removed, we need to clean the windows and the iconostasis. We will complete this much needed work on Friday evening, September 28th from 7:00 PM. Many volunteers are needed. Also, during the week of October 1, after the removal of the top level of the scaffolding we will be able to access the chandelier for cleaning as well. Please contact Michael Mickel 410-666-2870 mcmickel@verizon.net for more information. Thank you for your help. 

 

Your donations are needed

On the restorations thus far, we have spent $232,000 and expect to pay approximately $130,000 on outstanding invoices. We have collected $72,000 in donations. There is still much to do. Please make a donation. Thank you.

 

Phase II of Restorations – Summer 2018

In addition to your prayers, we sincerely need your generous donations. This Phase II of our restoration project will cost approximately $300,000. Please consider making a donation to cover the cost of particular elements of the project. Make a donation in memory of a loved one or in thanksgiving to God for His Blessings. To make a donation please contact Vadim Radchenko at 410-465-6172 vradchenko@comcast.net. For information of the progress of the restoration work, please contact Michael Mickel 410-666-2870 mcmickel@verizon.net. We sincerely appreciate your kind generosity and sincere dedication to our parish. Thank you. May God bless you.

 

Pantocrator (Christ the Lawgiver in the center of ceiling)                    $40,000

Marble faux finish                  $10,000

Four Evangelists (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John)                  (each)    $9,000

New lettering/trim                    $5,000

Border/Trim throughout the church                                                           $28,000

15 Large Stars  (each)                 $100

Symbols around Christ (Eagle, Man, Lion, Ox)                         (each)    $1,000

25 Medium Stars  (each)               $50

Two Seraphim (angels around Christ)                                         (each)       $500

20 Small Stars  (each)                   $25

 

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…

 

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.

 

Birthday / Anniversary Celebrations:  September 16-22

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

 

Special Vigil Candles in Church

September 16-22: Candles offered by Marie Vass for the repose of the soul of the servant of God: +John Vass. A $15 donation will keep all three candles lit for one week. Schedule your candle offering with Vadim Radchenko.


 

 

 

Russian Festival 2018 – October 19, 20, 21

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.

 

Saturday, Sept. 8th

Bread Baking

Sunday, Sept. 30th

Goluptsi (Stuffed cabbage)

Sunday, Sept. 9th

Vareniki – made 950

Saturday, Oct. 6th  

Bread Baking

Saturday, Sept. 15th

Bread Baking

Sunday, Oct. 7th

Baking Desserts

 

Sunday, Sept. 16th

Chicken Kotlety

Monday, Oct. 8th

Kolbasa (10 AM)

 

Saturday, Sept. 22nd 

Bread Baking

Sunday, Oct. 14th

Baking Tea Balls

 

Sunday, Sept. 23rd 

Vareniki

Wednesday, Oct 17th

Cooking All Day

 

Saturday, Sept. 29th 

Bread Baking

Thursday, Oct 18th

Cooking All Day

 

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

 

      1.   Soda / Water Donation Drive Underway ! Please help us reduce our Festival expenses…buy a few cases of soft drinks   (12 oz. cans) and bottled water (½ liter) 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. Thank you for your generosity !!!  

 

      2.   Festival Desserts Table We need donations of desserts to supply our desserts table. This year we ask your help to increase both the quantity and variety of items. We need your ideas on what new dessert items we can offer this year. Please contact Tania Masiuk for more information: 410-987-4850.

 

      3.   We are accepting ads for the 2018 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. Ad contract forms are available in church and the hall. Please contact Michael Mickel at 410-666-2870 or mcmickel@verizon.net for more information. 

 

      4.   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.  

      

      5.   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.

 

      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.   Russian Festival Meeting for ALL Captains – September 19.  The Russian Festival Committee will conduct a MANDATORY meeting for all captains of the festival on Wednesday, September 19th at 7:00 PM. Your input is crucial as we finalize plans and update you on changes. Menu prices will be discussed.

 

      8.   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.


 

 

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 – 2018

ü $ 50 

Rice    Luidmila Karnup

  ü $ 300

Wine   Yelena & Vadim Radchenko

ü $ 60 

String Beans   Alexandra Shultiyeva       

$ 300

Wine

$ 75 

Red Beets

$ 300 

Vodka – ½ of costs

$ 75 

Russian Candy

$ 300 

Vodka – ½ of costs

ü $ 100 

Cabbage   Yelena Shultiyeva       

$ 350 

Russian Beer – ½ of costs 

  ü $ 100 

Coffee Supplies   Marie Vass

$ 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 

Sauerkraut

$ 400 

Newspaper Ads

ü $ 200 

Turkey/Ham Materewicz/Sierakowski Families

$ 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

$ 600 

Bread    ½ of costs

$ 200 

Butter – ½ of costs

$ 600 

Bread – ½ of costs

$ 300 

Entertainment – ¼ of costs 

ü $ 600 

Wash Balalaika Soc.   Russ & Pat Disharoon

$ 300 

Entertainment – ¼ of costs

$ 600 

Wash Balalaika Soc. – ½ 

 $ 300 

Entertainment – ¼ of costs

$ 800 

Tent – ¼ of costs 

$ 300 

Entertainment – ¼ 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

ü $ 900

Icon of St. Seraphim of Uglich   Anonymous

$ 300 

Flour – ½ of costs

$ 1,000 

Stage – ½ of costs

$ 300 

Flour – ½ of costs

$ 1,000 

Stage – ½ of costs

 

 

 

 

 

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

Group #1 will clean this week Sept. 17-22: Adele Pastor (captain), Drew Pastor, Dan Walsh, Natalie & Andrei Burbelo. This group needs more members. Any volunteers??

 

Submit your 2018 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…

Archpriest Vincent Saverino; Archpriest Michael Hatrak; Deacon Michael Bishop; Mat. Myra Kovalak; Mat. Klavdiya Burbelo; Kh. Frederica Mathewes-Green; Nun Elizabeth; Nun Magdalena; Mat. Natalia Kosich; Priest Gregory and 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; 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; John-Thomas Planinshek; Kenneth Pukita; William and Ann Ferkile; Sergei Krektyshev; Irina Kononova; Petr and Lyudmila Borodkin; Anthony Bakie; Svetlana & Aleksey; Nina; Alla; Anna; Alla; Raisa, Zinaida; Joseph Germano; Pavel, Vladimir, Valentina, Nina, and Maria; Maria Pappas; Bonnie Duke; Joseph Lacomy; Diana Radchenko; Aleksey & Lidia Potapov; Oleg and Andrei; Vitaliy, Tatiana, Olena & Nicholas Berchuk; Irena and Isabella; David, Selina-Sophia, John, Maryann, David, Joseph, Lisa Ann Eichelberger; Cynthia and Bill (Basil) Popomaronis; Andrei, Marina, Valentina and Vladimir; Archpriest Cezar, Mat. Christina, Cezara–Maria, Darius, Justina, Christian; Victoria Lardiero; Donela-Maria w/child; Richard Wright; Valentina Shultieva; Shanna, Stephen, Trent-Michael, Grant-Alexander, Adalynn Lisowsky; Julie Smith; Tayisia Solvieva; Lubov Pavuk.

 

Next Council Meeting: Tuesday, October 2nd – 7:00 PM in the Church Hall

 

Fr. John Vass, Pastor  443-527-7067

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

Vacant Member-At-Large:                                                      

Natallia Makarava Sisterhood President:  443-625-8470

Michael Mickel, Cemetery Manager:        410-666-2870

 

 

Statement of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church concerning the uncanonical intervention of the Patriarchate of Constantinople in the canonical territory of the Russian Orthodox Church

 

The Statement was adopted at an extraordinary session of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church on 14 September 2018 (Minutes No. 69).

 

With profound regret and sorrow the Holy Synod the Russian Orthodox Church learned about the statement made by the Holy Synod of the Orthodox Church of Constantinople concerning the appointment of its two “exarchs” to Kiev. This decision was taken without an agreement with the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church and His Beatitude Metropolitan Onufry of Kiev and All Ukraine – the only canonical head of the Orthodox Church in Ukraine. It constitutes a flagrant violation of the ecclesiastical law and an intervention of one Local Church in the territory of the other. Moreover, the Patriarchate of Constantinople presents the appointment of the “exarchs” as a stage in the implementation of a plan aimed at granting “autocephaly” to Ukraine. This process, according to the statements of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, is irreversible and will be carried through.

 

Trying to justify the claims of the Throne of Constantinople for renewing its jurisdiction over the Kiev Metropolia, the Phanar representatives allege that the Kiev Metropolia has actually never been transferred to the jurisdiction of the Moscow Patriarchate. Such allegations are untrue and completely contradict the historical facts.

 

The Russian Orthodox Church and its first see – the Kiev Metropolia – constituted a whole for centuries, despite various political and historical tribulations which at times shattered the unity of the Russian Church. The Patriarchate of Constantinople, that originally had jurisdiction over the Russian Orthodox Church, consistently defended its unity until the middle of the 15th century, as was later reflected in the title of the Metropolitans of Kiev – “of All Russia.” And even after the Primatial see had been transferred from Kiev to Vladimir and then to Moscow, the Metropolitans of All Russia were stilled called Metropolitans of Kiev.

 

The temporary division of one Metropolia of All Russia into two parts was caused by the dire consequences of the Council of Ferrara-Florence and the beginning of the Unia with Rome, which the Church of Constantinople first accepted, and the Russian Church immediately rejected. In 1448 the Council of Bishops of the Russian Church, without the blessing of the Patriarch of Constantinople who was in the Unia at the time, elected St. Jonah as Metropolitan. At that moment the autocephalous life of the Russian Orthodox Church began. However, ten year later, in 1458, the former Patriarch of Constantinople, Gregory Mammas, who was in the Unia and lived in Rome, consecrated an independent metropolitan for Kiev – Gregory the Bulgarian, an Uniate, and submitted to him the territories which are now parts of Ukraine, Poland, Lithuania, Belarus and Russia.

 

By the decision of the Council of Constantinople of 1593, in which all four Eastern Patriarchs participated, the Moscow Metropolia was elevated to the status of Patriarchate. This Patriarchate united all Russian lands, as is evidenced by a letter sent by Patriarch Paisius of Constantinople to Patriarch Nikon of Moscow in 1654. In this letter Patriarch Nikon is called “Patriarch of Moscow, Great and Little Russia.”

 

The reunification of the Kiev Metropolia with the Russian Church took place in 1686. It was done in a form of the Act signed by Patriarch Dionysius IV of Constantinople and members of his Synod. The document says nothing about the temporary nature of the transfer of the Metropolia, contradicting the current groundless allegations of Constantinople’s hierarchs. No statements concerning the temporary transfer of the Kiev Metropolia can be found in Patriarch Dionysius’ other two Letters of 1686, addressed to the Moscow tsars and the Metropolitan of Kiev. On the contrary, the Letter sent by Patriarch Dionysius to the Moscow tsars in 1686 provides for the submission of all the Metropolitans of Kiev to Patriarch Joachim of Moscow and his successors. “From henceforth and forever more they shall recognize as most senior and first in rank the current Patriarch of Moscow as having received the office of bishop from him,” the Letter reads. The interpretations of the meaning of the abovementioned documents made by representatives of the Church of Constantinople have no justifications in the texts.

 

Until the 20th century none of the Local Orthodox Churches, including the Church of Constantinople, had disputed the jurisdiction of the Russian Church over the Kiev Metropolia. The first attempt to dispute this jurisdiction was made when the Patriarchate of Constantinople granted the autocephaly to the Polish Orthodox Church which at the time had an autonomous status within the Russian Orthodox Church. The Tomos of the Autocephaly of the Polish Church, granted by the Patriarchate of Constantinople in 1924 and unrecognized by the Russian Church, groundlessly states: “The original secession from our Throne of the Kiev Metropolia and its dependent Orthodox Churches of Lithuania and Poland, and their joining the Holy Church of Moscow did not at all occur in accordance with the canonical regulations.”

 

Regrettably, this is just one of the examples of the intervention of the Patriarchate of Constantinople in the canonical territory of the Russian Church in the 1920s and 1930s. At a time when the Russian Church was subjected to the atheistic persecutions unprecedented in its cruelty, the Patriarchate of Constantinople, behind its back and without its consent, took uncanonical actions against its parts – the autonomous Churches in the territory of the young states formed on the borders of the former Russian Empire: in 1923 it transformed the autonomous Churches in the territory of Estonia and Finland into its own metropolias, in 1924 granted the autocephaly to the Polish Orthodox Church[i], and in 1936 proclaimed its jurisdiction in Latvia. Besides, in 1931 Constantinople included in its jurisdiction the Russian émigré parishes in Western Europe without the consent of the Russian Orthodox Church and transformed them into its own temporary exarchate.

 

It was particularly unseemly of the Patriarchate of Constantinople to engage in attempts to depose the Holy Confessor Tikhon, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, canonically elected in 1917. Such attempts were made in the 1920s by the atheistic authorities which artificially created a Renovationist, modernistic schism in the Russian Church with the view of undermining the authority of the Orthodox Church among the faithful, “sovietizing” the Church and gradually destroying it.

 

In the 1920s the Renovationists were active in helping arrest the Orthodox bishops and clergymen, in informing on them and seizing their churches. Patriarch Gregory VII of Constantinople openly supported the Renovationists. His official representative to Moscow, Archimandrite Basilios (Dimopoulo), attended the Renovationist false councils, and in 1924 Patriarch Gregory himself called upon Patriarch Tikhon to abdicate the Patriarchal Throne.

 

In the same year of 1924 the Renovationists published excerpts from the minutes of the sessions of the Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, which they received from Archimandrite Basilios (Dimopoulo). According to an excerpt of 6 May 1924, Patriarch Gregory VII, “at the invitation of the church circles of the Russian population,” took upon himself the task, submitted for his consideration, “of conciliating the distempers and discords of recent times in the brotherly church by establishing a special patriarchal commission for this purpose.” The “church circles of the Russian population,” mentioned in the minutes, represented not the suffering Russian Church subjected at that time to severe persecutions by the theomachist authorities, but the schismatic groups which cooperated with those authorities and actively supported the persecution of the Holy Patriarch Tikhon initiated by those authorities.

 

The reasons why the Church of Constantinople supported the Renovationist schism and took the side of the communist regime in the fight against the Russian Church were openly explained by the abovementioned Archimandrite Basilios (Dimopoulo) in his letter sent on behalf of “all the proletariat of Constantinople” to one of the senior officials of the theomachist regime. “Having defeated all its enemies, overcome all the obstacles and gained strength, the Soviet Russia can now respond to requests of the proletariat of the Middle East who are well-disposed towards it, and thus to win even more of their favour,” the letter reads,  “It is up to you… to make the name of the Soviet Russia more popular in the East than it was earlier, and I fervently ask you, as a strong and firm government of a powerful nation, to do a great service to the Patriarchate of Constantinople, especially given that the Ecumenical Patriarch, recognized in the East as the head of all the Orthodox people, has demonstrated by his actions that he is well-disposed towards the Soviet authorities which he has recognized.” In his other letter to the same Soviet official Archimandrite Basilios explained what “service” he meant: it was to give back to the Patriarchate of Constantinople the building that had earlier belonged to Constantinople’s representation in Moscow and annually brought profit to the Patriarchate of Constantinople.

 

Having learned of Constantinople’s decision to send the “patriarchal commission” to the territory of the Russian Church, its only legitimate head, Patriarch Tikhon of All Russia, expressed his resolute protest against the uncanonical actions of his brother. The words that he said a hundred years ago are relevant now as well: “It troubled and surprised us greatly that the representative of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the head of the Church of Constantinople, without first contacting us as the legitimate representative and the head of the whole Russian Orthodox Church, interferes in the life and internal affairs of the autocephalous Russian Church… Sending any commission without contacting me as the only legitimate and Orthodox First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church, behind my back, is illegal. It will not be tolerated by the Russian Orthodox people and will bring not comfort but even greater distemper and schism into the life of the longsuffering Russian Orthodox Church.” The arrival of the “commission” would have meant not just an interference, but a direct intervention in the affairs of our Church, which is happening now.

 

At the cost of the blood shed by thousands of new martyrs, the Russian Church survived in those years, trying to cover with love this sad page in the history of its relationships with the Church of Constantinople. However, in the 1990s, a period of new ordeals for the Russian Church caused by great geopolitical tempests, the Church of Constantinople once again showed its unbrotherly behaviour to the full extent.

 

For instance, despite the fact that in 1978 Patriarch Demetrios of Constantinople made void the Tomos of 1923 concerning the transfer of the Estonian Orthodox Church to the jurisdiction of Constantinople, in 1996 the Patriarchate of Constantinople uncanonically spread its jurisdiction over Estonia. For that reason the Moscow Patriarchate was forced to temporarily break off the Eucharistic communion with it.

 

At that time the Patriarchate of Constantinople made first attempts to interfere in the Ukrainian church affairs. In 1995 Constantinople received in its jurisdiction the Ukrainian schismatic communities in the United States and in the countries of the Diaspora. The same year Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople gave a written promise to Patriarch Alexy that these communities would not “cooperate or have communion with other Ukrainian schismatic groups.”

 

The promise that representatives of the Ukrainian episcopate of the Patriarchate of Constantinople would not get in contact and concelebrate with the schismatics was not fulfilled. The Patriarchate of Constantinople took no steps to develop their canonical awareness and was drawn by them into an anti-canonical process of legitimizing the schism in Ukraine by means of establishing a parallel church structure and by granting the autocephalous status to it.

 

The position on the issue of autocephaly which the Patriarchate of Constantinople is expressing now contradicts completely the concerted position of all the Local Orthodox Churches, worked out as the result of the difficult discussions within the framework of the preparations for the Holy and Great Council and affirmed in the document on Autocephaly and the Means by Which It Is Proclaimed, signed by representatives of all the Local Churches, including the Church of Constantinople.

 

While no official request for autocephaly came from the episcopate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Bartholomew took into consideration the request coming from the Ukrainian government and schismatics, which completely contradicts his own position expressed until recently on repeated public occasions. For instance, in January 2001, in an interview for the Nea Ellada Greek newspaper he said, “Autocephaly and autonomy are granted by the whole Church through a decision of the Ecumenical Council. Since for various reasons the Ecumenical Council cannot be convened, the Ecumenical Patriarchate as the coordinator of all Orthodox Churches grants autocephaly or autonomy, provided that they give their approval.”

 

Lying behind Patriarch Bartholomew’s latest unilateral actions and statements are the ecclesiological notions alien to Orthodoxy. Recently, addressing the synaxis of hierarchs of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, Patriarch Bartholomew said that “Orthodoxy cannot exist without the Ecumenical Patriarchate,” that “the Ecumenical Patriarchate is, for Orthodoxy, a leaven ‘which leavens the whole lump’ (cf. Gal. 5.9) of the Church and of history.”  It is difficult to see in these assertions something other than an attempt to reform the Orthodox ecclesiology in accordance with the Roman Catholic model.

 

The Russian Orthodox Church was particularly grieved to learn about the recent decision of the Holy Synod of the Church of Constantinople to allow a second marriage for clerics. This decision constitutes a violation of the sacred canons (Canon 17 of the Holy Apostles, Canon 3 of the Council in Trullo, Canon 1 of the Council of Neocaesarea, Canon 12 of St. Basil the Great), as well as tramples on the pan-Orthodox accord and, in fact, rejects the results of the Council held in Crete in 2016, the recognition of which the Patriarchate of Constantinople actively tries to gain from the rest of the Local Churches.

 

The Patriarchate of Constantinople, in its attempts to assert authoritative powers in the Orthodox Church, which it has never had, is now interfering in the church life in Ukraine. In their statements the hierarchs of the Church of Constantinople go so far as to call Metropolitan Onufry of Kiev and All Ukraine “uncanonical,” based on the fact that he does not commemorate the Patriarch of Constantinople. Meanwhile, earlier, during the Synaxis of the Local Orthodox Churches in Chambésy in January 2016, Patriarch Bartholomew publicly called Metropolitan Onufry the only canonical Primate of the Orthodox Church in Ukraine. On the same occasion the Primate of the Church of Constantinople gave a promise that neither during the Council in Crete nor afterwards he would make any attempts to legalize the schism or to grant autocephaly to anybody on a unilateral basis.

 

We have to state with regret that this promise has now been broken. The unilateral, uncanonical actions of the See of Constantinople in the territory of Ukraine, committed while ignoring completely the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, indicate a direct support for the Ukrainian schism. It constitutes a great temptation among the millions-strong flock of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church that the Patriarchate of Constantinople, considering itself to be the Mother Church for the Ukrainian Church, gives to its daughter a stone instead of bread and a serpent instead of a fish (cf. Lk. 11:11).

 

The deep concern of the Russian Orthodox Church over the erroneous and distorted notions of the Church of Constantinople concerning the situation in Ukraine was personally conveyed by Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia to Patriarch Bartholomew on 31 August 2018. However, as the further developments showed, the voice of the Russian Church was not heard and in a week after the meeting the Patriarchate of Constantinople published the uncanonical decision regarding the appointment of its so-called “exarchs” to Kiev.

 

In this critical situation, when Constantinople has practically refused to resolve the matter by means of dialogue, the Moscow Patriarchate is forced to suspend the liturgical prayerful commemoration of the Patriarch of Constantinople and with profound regret to suspend the concelebration with hierarchs of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, as well as to break off the participation of the Russian Orthodox Church in the Episcopal Assemblies and in the theological dialogues, multilateral commissions and any other structures chaired or co-chaired by representatives of the Patriarchate of Constantinople.

 

In the event that the Patriarchate of Constantinople will continue to carry out its uncanonical activities in the territory of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, we will be compelled to completely break off the Eucharistic communion with the Patriarchate of Constantinople. All the responsibility for the tragic consequences of this division will lie personally with Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople and the hierarchs supporting him.

 

Being aware that the current situation puts in jeopardy the whole world Orthodoxy, we at this hour of hardship ask the Local Autocephalous Churches for support and call upon the Primates of the Churches to fully realize our shared responsibility for the fate of the world Orthodoxy and initiate a fraternal pan-Orthodox discussion on the church situation in Ukraine.

 

We call upon the plenitude of the Russian Orthodox Church to pray ardently for the preservation of the unity of the Holy Orthodoxy.

 

 

i – Impelled by a sincere desire to support the Orthodoxy, which is in minority and sometimes in rather difficult circumstances, the Moscow Patriarchate, on its turn, in 1948 granted the autocephalous rights to the Orthodox Church in Poland and confirmed the autonomous status of the Orthodox Church in Finland, granted by His Holiness Patriarch Tikhon in 1921, having agreed in 1957 to consign to oblivion all canonical disputes and misunderstandings between the Orthodox Church of Finland and the Russian Orthodox Church, to recognize the Archdiocese of Finland in its current status and to transfer the New Valamo Monastery to its jurisdiction, after which the prayerful and canonical communion was restored.

 

https://mospat.ru/en/2018/09/14/news163803/ 

 

 

 

Nativity of Our Most Holy Lady Mother of God and 

Ever Virgin Mary

 

Friday, 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 fore chosen 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!