17th SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST — Tone 8. Glorification of St. Tikhon, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, Enlightener of North America (1989—Sept 26th O.S.). Holy Apostle James (Jacob), Son of Alphæus (1st c.).
Tone 8 Troparion (Resurrection)
You descended from on high, O Merciful One! You accepted the three day burial to free us from our sufferings!// O Lord, our Life and Resurrection, glory to You!
Tone 1 Troparion (St. Tikhon)
Chosen by God in a turbulent time, you glorified God in complete holiness, and attained greatness through humility, showing forth the power of God through simplicity and piety. You laid down your life for the Church and her people, O holy Confessor and Patriarch, Father Tikhon. Pray to Christ God with Whom you were also crucified, that He may save our souls!
Tone 8 Kontakion (Resurrection)
By rising from the tomb, You raised the dead and resurrected Adam. Eve exults in Your Resurrection,// and the world celebrates Your rising from the dead, O greatly Merciful One!
Tone 2 Kontakion (St. Tikhon)
A gentle manner adorned you: you showed kindness and compassion to those who repented; you were firm and unbending in confessing the Orthodox Faith, and zealous in loving the Lord. O holy Hierarch of Christ and Confessor Tikhon, pray for us that we may not be separated from the love of God,// which is of Christ Jesus, our Lord!
Tone 6 Kontakion (Steadfast Protectress)
Steadfast Protectress of Christians, Constant Advocate before the Creator; Do not despise the cries of us sinners, but in your goodness come speedily to help us who call on you in faith. Hasten to hear our petition and to intercede for us, O Theotokos, for you always protect those who honor you!
Tone 8 Prokeimenon (Resurrection)
Pray and make your vows / before the Lord, our God! (Ps. 75:10a)
V. In Judah God is known; His Name is great in Israel. (Ps. 75:1)
Tone 1 Prokeimenon (St. Tikhon)
My mouth shall speak wisdom; / the meditation of my heart shall be understanding. (Ps. 48:3)
2 Corinthians 6:16–7:1 (Epistle)
And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will dwell in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they shall be My people.” Therefore “Come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you.” “I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters, says the LORD Almighty.” Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
Hebrews 7:26-8:2 (Epistle, St. Tikhon)
For such a High Priest was fitting for us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens; who does not need daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for his own sins and then for the people’s, for this He did once for all when He offered up Himself. For the law appoints as high priests men who have weakness, but the word of the oath, which came after the law, appoints the Son who has been perfected forever. Now this is the main point of the things we are saying: We have such a High Priest, who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, a Minister of the sanctuary and of the true tabernacle which the Lord erected, and not man.
Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!
V. Come, let us rejoice in the Lord! Let us make a joyful noise to God our Savior! (Ps. 94:1)
V. Let us come before His face with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to Him with songs of praise! (Ps. 94:2)
V. The mouth of the righteous shall proclaim wisdom, and his tongue shall speak of judgment. (Ps. 36:31)
Luke 7:11-16 (Gospel)
Now it happened, the day after, that He went into a city called Nain; and many of His disciples went with Him, and a large crowd. And when He came near the gate of the city, behold, a dead man was being carried out, the only son of his mother; and she was a widow. And a large crowd from the city was with her. When the Lord saw her, He had compassion on her and said to her, “Do not weep.” Then He came and touched the open coffin, and those who carried him stood still. And He said, “Young man, I say to you, arise.” So he who was dead sat up and began to speak. And He presented him to his mother. Then fear came upon all, and they glorified God, saying, “A great prophet has risen up among us”; and, “God has visited His people.”
John 10:9-16 (Gospel, St. Tikhon)
I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep. But a hireling, he who is not the shepherd, one who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them. The hireling flees because he is a hireling and does not care about the sheep. I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own. As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd.
From a Sermon St. Tikhon Preached on the Sunday of Orthodoxy in San Francisco, California, February 23rd, 1903
Those who celebrate the day of Orthodoxy, the Orthodox people, must themselves preserve the Orthodox Faith solemnly, standing firmly in it. It is for us a rich treasure – we were born and brought up in it. And not only all of the important events in our lives are tied to it, but it also hastens to give us a blessing and help in every need and in every good undertaking, no matter how insignificant it may seem. It brings to us strength, joy, comfort, purification, and salvation.
The Orthodox Faith is also dear to us because it is the Faith of the Fathers. The holy Apostles suffered afflictions and labors for it, confessors and martyrs suffered for it, venerable fathers and ascetics shed tears and sweat for it, pastors and teachers fought for it, and our forefathers defended it, commanding to us to guard it better than the apple of our eye (Ps. 17:8 [16:8 LXX] ).
And what about us – their descendants? Are we keeping the Orthodox Faith, are we abiding by its Good News?…Without a doubt there exist true followers of Christ nowadays. “The Lord knoweth them that are His (2 Tim. 2:19). Even we have happened to meet sons of the Church who are obedient and compliant with its instructions, who honor spiritual pastors, who love the temple of God and its splendor, who diligently attend church services, who are striving to lead a pious life, who recognize their human weaknesses and sincerely repent of their transgressions.
While solemnly preserving the Orthodox Faith, revering it wholeheartedly, the Orthodox people must take care to spread it among those of other faiths. Christ the Savior said that having a lit candle, do not put it under a bushel but place it on a candlestick that it may give light to all (Matt. 5:15). And the light of the Orthodox Faith was not lit up to shine for a small circle of people. No, the Orthodox Faith is catholic – it remembers the commandment of its Founder: “Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15). We must share our spiritual heritage, our truth, our light, and our joy with others who are deprived of these blessings, but who are often seeking and desiring them.
…We live surrounded by those of other faiths; and amidst this sea of heterodoxy our Church is a saving island, the place to which some of those who swim in the sea of life direct themselves. “Come, hurry, help” we hear quite often from the heathen in far off Alaska, and more often here, from brethren not only in the flesh but at one time in the Faith (referring to Uniates – the Byzantine Rite Catholics whose ancestors shared the Orthodox Faith up until the Union of Brest-Litovsk in 1596)….
But who should care about spreading the Orthodox Faith, about multiplying the sons and daughters of children of the Orthodox Church? Pastors and missionaries, you will say. Yes, of course, they should, but should it be just they alone? The Apostle Paul wisely compares the Church of Christ with a body, and every member takes part in the life of the body (1 Cor. 12:12-27). This is how it should be in the Church life as well, “fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, the great body” of the Church “maketh increase unto the edifying of itself” (Eph. 4:16).
In the early days there were tortured not pastors only, but laymen as well – men, women, and even children – and heresies were fought by lay people as well. Accordingly, the spread of the Faith in Christ must be a matter that is dear to, close to, and cherished by each Christian; every member of the Church should take part in this actively and wholeheartedly.
From a Sermon St. Tikhon Preached in Chicago on March 16, 1903
…And do we realize that the Lord places on all of us a great mission to be the bearers of Orthodoxy in the non-Orthodox world, to be the light for the local people? And even if we realize this, do we live, then, in such a manner that others, seeing our good deeds, may glorify our Mother – the Holy Orthodox Church? Or perhaps due to our way of life, the very name of the Orthodox is slandered among the non-Orthodox? Perhaps we mix in our own calculations with the holy cause of Orthodoxy, bring in our own divisions, darken it with our own inventions? Every time, the “Glory of Orthodoxy” should lead us to reflect whether we “walk worthy of the vocation” (Eph. 4:1) of Orthodox Christians, and whether the kingdom of heaven might not be taken away from us and given to others – those who are worthier and who bring forth fruits (Matt. 21:43).
…Orthodox people,…love the Orthodox Faith “not with word of tongue, but with deed and truth” (1 John 3:18).
– Excerpts from Saint Tikhon of Moscow: Instructions & Teachings
We do everything we can to ensure that there’s not a moment of calm, so that the heart doesn’t feel isolated. But in the abode of the saints, calm and silence reign. Silence is considered a virtue and an advantage. God made humans in paradise in calm and peace. Christ became a human person in a boundless silence, not with the pealing of bells.
– Metropolitan Athanasios of Limassol
Whenever we go to pray, we’re always wanting something from God, never God himself. Can you call that a relationship? Is that the way we behave towards our friends? Do we look more towards what the friendship can give us, or do we love the friend? Does the same thing occur in our relationship with God?
– Metropolitan Anthony (Bloom) of Sourozh