Schedule for Holy Week and Pascha, 2010

…They took branches of palms and went out to receive him, shouting: “Hosanna!”  [Jn. 12:13]  (“Tropical Essence” by Darrell Hill)

Today:  Matins, Blessing of Palms, Divine Liturgy, Salmon BBQ

Monday:  6:00 pm Presanctified

Tuesday:  6:00 pm Presanctified

Wednesday:  7:00 pm Vigil & Unction

Thursday:  4:30 pm Vesperal Liturgy; 7:00 pm Vigil

Friday:  1:00 pm Vespers & Watch at the Tomb; 7:00 pm Vigil; Young Peoples’ Overnighter

Saturday:  10:00 am Liturgy & Chrismations; 11:00 pm Vigil & Procession

Sunday:  12:00 am Matins, Liturgy, Banquet; 1:00 pm Vespers & Picnic

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The Winter Pascha

Sketch made by St. Maria Skobtsova of Paris

“How proper it is that Christians should look toward the future…for the manger is situated on Golgotha and the Cross has already been raised in Bethlehem.”  (attributed to Dag Hammarskjold)

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A Reading from the Holy Gospel according to John

In the beginning was the Word: the Word was with God and the Word was God.  He was with God in the beginning.  Through all things came into being, not one thing came into being except through him.  Whta has come into being in him was life, life that was the light of men; and light shines in darkness, and darkness cannot overcome it…the Word was the real light that gives light to everyone; he was coming into the world.  He was in the world that had come into being through him, and the world did not recognize him.  He came to his own and his own people did not accept him.  But to those who did accept him he gave power to become children of God, to those who believe in his name…the Word became flesh, he lived among us, and we saw his glory, the glory that he has from the Father as only son of the Father, full of grace and truth.

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“Human beings are the crown of creation, the peak of the Holy Trinity’s creative acts.   Before creating Adam the three Persons took counsel together: “Let us make man in our own image, after our likeness.”  (Gen. 1:26)  The “Pre-eternal Counsel” of the Trinity was necessary…because being free and independent humanity would break the commandment and fall away from the bliss of Paradise.  The Son’s sacrifice on the Cross would then be the way for humans to return to God.  In creating human beings, God knew their subsequent destiny, for nothing is hidden from his gaze….  It is not God’s foreknowledge that determines the fate of humanity.  Sin was not built in to Adam’s nature: to sin or not depended solely upon his free will.  When w sin, God knows beforehand…God’s mercy is so great that he declares his eternal readiness to sacrifice himself in order to redeem us from the consequences of sin.”

— Archbishop Hilarion Alfeev, The Mystery of Faith, p. 58

“One should know that God foreknows all things but that he does not predestine them — because neither does he will evil to be done nor does he force virtue.”

— St. John of Damascus, Exact Exposition of the Orthodox Faith, 2:30

The formation of the human person was preceded by a counsel, and the future was sketched out by the Artist: what was to be, what type of prototype the likeness was to bear within itself, what it will exist for, what it will do after creation and what it is to have dominion over — all of this was foreseen by the Word…before the human person cold come into existence…. The Maker approaches the formation of the human person with a forethought so that his image could be assimilated to the prototypal beauty…”

— St. Gregory of Nyssa, On the Creation of Man, 3

“In the abundance of his grace, when the time had come, the Son and Word of God came forth from the bosom of the Father to a pure maid, the Virgin Theotokos.  He was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the Virgin Mary, and having become a human, he suffered for our sake, and rose on the third day, and ascended into the heavens, and sat at the right hand of the Majesty on High, and he will come gain to judge repaying each according to his works, and to his kingdom there is no end.  .  And foreknowledge of this was in God earlier, before Adam was created, before he was given form.  The Father said to the Son: “Let us make man in our image and in our likeness.”  And the Son said, “Let us create, O Father.  But behold, he will transgress.”  And the Father said to him “O my Only-begotten!  My Light!  My son and Word!  My Radiance and Glory!  If you trouble yourself over the creation, you shall be bound in duty to array yourself in the perishable flesh of humanity, and bound in duty to walk the earth, and to gather disciples, to surer, and to accomplish all things.”  And the Son answered, “Father, your will be done!”  And after this, Adam was created.

— Autobiography of Archpriest Avvakum, p. 42

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Isaiah 40:11

He shall feed His flock like a shepherd; and He shall gather the lambs with His arm, and carry them in His bosom, and gently lead those that are with young.

Matthew 11:28-30

Come unto Him, all ye that labour, come unto Him that are heavy laden, and He will give you rest. Take His yoke upon you, and learn of Him, for He is meek and lowly of heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

His yoke is easy, and his burden is light.

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Why lies he in such mean estate

Where ox and ass are feeding?

Good Christian, fear, for sinners here, the Silent Word is pleading.

Nails, spear shall pierce him through

The Cross be borne for me, for you.

Hail, hail, the Word-made-Flesh: the Babe, the Son of Mary.

…the manger is situated on Golgotha and the Cross has already been raised in Bethlehem…

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Lamentations 1:12

Behold, and see if there be any sorrow like unto His sorrow.

Isaiah 53:8

He was cut off out the land of the living: for the transgressions of Thy people was He stricken.

Psalm 16:10

But Thou didst not leave His soul in hell; nor didst Thou suffer Thy Holy One to see corruption.

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Myrrh is mine —

Its bitter perfume breathes the life of gathering gloom:

Sorrowing, sighing, bleeding, dying; sealed in the stone cold tomb.

Star of wonder, star of might, star with royal beauty bright

Westward leading, still proceeding, guide us to Thy perfect light.

…the manger is situated on Golgotha and the Cross has already been raised in Bethlehem…

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Isaiah 53:4-6

Surely He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows! He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon Him.

And with his stripes we are healed.

All we, like sheep, have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way, and the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all.

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I wonder as I wander, out under the sky,

How Jesus the Savior did come for to die

For poor ordinary folk like you and like I

I wonder as I wander, out under the sky.

…the manger is situated on Golgotha and the Cross has already been raised in Bethlehem…

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Isaiah 60:2-3

For behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people; but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and His glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.

Isaiah 9:2

The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light; and they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.

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This flow’r so small and tender,

With fragrance fills the air;

His brightness ends the darkness

That kept the earth in fear.

True God and yet true man.

He came to save his people

From earth’s dark night of sin.

…the manger is situated on Golgotha and the Cross has already been raised in Bethlehem…

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Job 19:25-26

I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth. And though worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God.

1 Cor. 15:20

For now is Christ risen from the dead, the first fruits of them that sleep.

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Today He who hung the earth upon the waters is hung upon the tree.

Today He who holds the whole creation in His hand is born of a virgin.

The King of angels is decked with a crown of thorns.

He Whose essence none can touch

is bound in swaddling-cloths as a mortal man.

He who wraps the heavens in a cloud is wrapped in the purple of mockery.

God who in the beginning fashioned the heavens lies in a manger.

He who freed Adam in the Jordan is slapped in the face.

He who rained manna on His people in the wilderness

is fed on milk from His mother’s breast.

The Bridegroom of the Church is affixed to the Cross with nails.

The Bridegroom of the Church summons the Wise Men.

The Son of the Virgin is pierced with a spear.

The Son of the Virgin accepts their gifts.

We worship Your Passion, O Christ! (3x)

We worship your Nativity, O Christ! (3x)

Show us also your glorious Resurrection!

Show us also your glorious Theophany!

(from Holy Friday & Nativity Eve)

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Revelation 5: 11-13

Worthy is the Lamb that was slain, and hath redeemed us to God by His blood, to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing. Blessing and honour, glory and power, be unto Him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb, unto the ages of ages. Amen.

Revelation 19:6; 11:15; 19:16

Hallelujah! for the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth.

The kingdom of this world is become the kingdom of our Lord, and of His Christ; and He shall reign for ever and ever.

King of Kings, and Lord of Lords.  Hallelujah!

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Good Christian folk, rejoice

With heart and soul and voice;

Now you need not fear the grave:

Jesus Christ was born to save!

Calls you one and calls you all

To gain the Everlasting Hall.

Christ was born to save!

Christ was born to save!

…the manger is situated on Golgotha and the Cross has already been raised in Bethlehem…

Christ is Risen!                                                                                                            Indeed he is Risen!