November 20-26, 2011

Jesse Tree Icon / First Sunday of Advent

Today: 8:30 am Matins; 9:30 am Divine Liturgy, Brunch

Monday: 6:00 am Entrance of the Theotokos Divine Liturgy

Tuesday: 6:00 pm Vespers

Wednesday: 7:00 pm Akathist of Thanksgiving & Compline

Thursday: 9:30 am Thanksgiving Divine Liturgy; NO Vespers

Saturday: 9:30 am Men’s Quiet Day; 6:00 pm Vespers

Sunday: 8:30 am Matins; 9:30 am Divine Liturgy, Brunch

Saturday, December 3: 10:00 am – 1:00 pm All-Parish Work Party

Monday, December 5, St. Nicholas: 6:00 pm Vespers, Litia & Refreshments St. Nicholas

Tuesday, December 6, St. Nicholas: 6:00 am Divine Liturgy

Saturday, December 10: 9:30 am – 2:00 pm Advent Quiet Day (hosted by the Fellowship of New Skete): The Advent of the Messiah from Hymnographers, Poets and Musicians of the Bible and the Church.

Saturday, December 24: 4:00 pm Vespers & Litia; 11:00 pm Nativity Vigil & Festal Divine Liturgy  (Note: there will be NO services on Christmas morning, December 25.)

Fr. Thomas Hopko writes (The Orthodox Faith / Worship): The main theme of the feast of Mary’s entrance to the Temple, repeated many times in the liturgical services, is the fact that she enters the Temple to become herself the living temple of God, thus inaugurating the New Testament in which are fulfilled the prophecies of old that “the dwelling of God is with man” and that the human person is the sole proper dwelling place of the Divine Presence. (Ezekiel 37:27; John 14:15-23; Acts 7:47; II Corinthians 6:11; Ephesians 2:18-22; 1 Peter 2:4; Revelation 22:1-4)

The fortieth chapter of Exodus about the building of the tabernacle is read at Vespers, together with passages from the First Book of Kings and the Prophecy of Ezekiel. Each one of these readings all end with exactly the same line, “for the glory of the Lord filled the house (tabernacle) of the Lord God Almighty.” (Exodus 40:35; I Kings 8:11; Ezekiel 44:4)

Once again on this feast, the Old Testament readings are interpreted as symbols of the Mother of God. This “glory of the Lord” is referred to the Mother of Christ and it “fills” her and all people after her who “hear the word of God and keep it” as the Gospel of the festal liturgy proclaims. (Luke 11:37-28) The epistle reading at the Divine Liturgy also proclaims this very same theme. (Hebrews 9:1-7)

Thus, the feast of the Entrance of the Theotokos into the Temple is the feast which celebrates the end of the physical temple in Jerusalem as the dwelling place of God. When the child Mary enters the temple, the time of the temple comes to an end and the “preview of the good will of God” is shown forth. On this feast we celebrate-in the person of Christ’s mother-that we too are the house and tabernacle of the Lord.