Deisis (Novogorod)

We celebrate the death of Death!

Paschal Sermon of St. John Chrysostom
Archbishop of Constantinople

Descent into Hades

Is there anyone who is a devout lover of God?
Let him enjoy this beautiful bright festival!
Is there anyone who is a grateful servant?
Let him rejoice and enter into the joy of their Lord!

Are there any weary with fasting?
Let him now receive his wages!
If any have toiled from the first hour,
let him receive his due reward;
If any have come after the third hour,
let him with gratitude join in the Feast!
And he that arrived after the sixth hour,
let him not doubt; for he, too, shall sustain no loss.
And if any delayed until the ninth hour,
let him not hesitate; but let him come, too.
And he who arrived only at the eleventh hour,
let him not be afraid by reason of his delay.

For the Lord is gracious and receives the last even as the first.
He gives rest to him that comes at the eleventh hour,
as well as to him that toiled from the first.
To this one He gives, and upon another He bestows.
He accepts the works as He greets the endeavor.
The deed He honors and the intention He commends.

Let us all enter into the joy of the Lord!
First and last alike receive your reward;
rich and poor, rejoice together!
Sober and slothful, celebrate the day!

You that have kept the fast, and you that have not,
rejoice today for the Table is richly laden!
Feast royally on it, the calf is a fatted one.
Let no one go away hungry. Partake, all, of the cup of faith.
Enjoy all the riches of His goodness!

Let no one grieve at his poverty,
for the universal kingdom has been revealed.
Let no one mourn that he has fallen again and again;
for forgiveness has risen from the grave.
Let no one fear death, for the Death of our Savior has set us free.
He has destroyed it by enduring it.

He destroyed Hades when He descended into it.
He put it into an uproar even as it tasted of His flesh.
Isaiah foretold this when he said,
"You, O Hell, have been troubled by encountering Him below."

Hell was in an uproar because it was done away with.
It was in an uproar because it is mocked.
It was in an uproar, for it is destroyed.
It is in an uproar, for it is annihilated.
It is in an uproar, for it is now made captive.
Hell took a body, and discovered God.
It took earth, and encountered Heaven.
It took what it saw, and was overcome by what it did not see.
O Death, where is your sting?
O Hades, where is your victory?

Christ is Risen, and you, O Death, are annihilated!
Christ is Risen, and the evil ones are cast down!
Christ is Risen, and the angels rejoice!
Christ is Risen, and life is liberated!
Christ is Risen, and the tomb is emptied of its dead;
for Christ having risen from the dead,
is become the first-fruits of those who have fallen asleep.

To Him be glory and power
now and forever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

St. John Chrysostom (A.D. 347-407) was the Patriarch of Constantinople.


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Teachings of Christ

“I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26 ESV)

Feasts & Fasts

May
7 - Fourth Sunday of Pascha (Paralytic) Feast of Saints Cyril & Methodius
10 - Mid-Pentecost
14 - Fifth Sunday of Pascha (Samaritan Women at the Well)
21 - Sixth Sunday of Pascha (Man Born Blind)
22 - Victoria Day (Canada)
25- Feast of the Ascension of Our Lord, God, and Savior, Jesus Christ
28 - Seventh Sunday of Pascha (Holy Fathers of the First Ecumenical Council)
29 - Memorial Day (USA)

June
3 - Fifth All-Souls Saturday
4 - Pentecost - Descent of the Holy Spirit
5 - Feast of the Holy Trinity
11 - All Saints Sunday
12-28 - The Apostles' Fast
24 - Nativity of the Holy Glorious Prophet, Forerunner and Baptist John
29 - The Holy Glorious and All-Praised Leaders of the Apostles, Peter & Paul

Ascension

You ascended in glory, O Christ our God, * granting joy to Your disciples by the promise of the Holy Spirit; * through this blessing they were assured * that You are the Son of God * the Redeemer of the world! (Troparion, Tone 4)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and to the ages of ages. Amen.

When You fulfilled the divine plan for us * and united things on earth with things in heaven, * you ascended in glory, O Christ our God, * in no way departing from us but remaining inseparable, * and crying out to those who love You: “I am with you, and no one is against you.” (Kontakion, Tone 6)

Random Proverb

"My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments, for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you." (Proverbs 3:1,2 ESV)

This Week's Scripture

May 21, 2017
Sixth Sunday of Pascha (Blind Man)
- Matins: John 20:11-18 (Gospel 8)
- Liturgy: Acts 16:16-34, John 9:1-38

Sixth Week of Pascha
- Monday: Acts 17:1-15, John11:47-57
- Tuesday: Acts 17:19-28, John 12:19-36
- Wednesday: Acts 18:22-28, John 12:36-47

May 26, 2017
Feast of the Ascension of Our Lord
- Vespers: Isaiah 2:1-3, Isaiah 62:10-63:9, Zechariah 14:1,4,8-11
- Matins: Mark 16:9-20
- Liturgy: Acts 1:1-12, Luke 24:36-53

- Friday: Acts 19:1-8, John 14:1-11
- Saturday: Acts 20:7-12, John 14:10-21

May 28, 2017
Seventh Sunday of Pascha (Sunday of the Fathers of the First Ecumenical Council)
- Vespers: Genesis 14:14-20, Deuteronomy 1:8-11, Deuteronomy 10:14-21
- Matins: John 21:1-14 (Gospel 10)
- Liturgy: Acts 20:16-18, 28-36, John 17:1-13

Seventh Week of Pascha
- Monday: Acts 21:8-14, John14:27-15:7
- Tuesday: Acts 21:26-32, John 16:2-13
- Wednesday: Acts 23:1-11, John 16:15-23
- Thursday: Acts 25:13-19, John 16:23-33
- Friday: Acts 27:1-44, John 17:18-26
- Saturday (All Souls Saturday): Acts 28:1-31, John 21:15-25

June 4, 2017
Pentecost - Feast of the Descent of the Holy Spirit
- Vespers: Numbers 11:16,17,24-29, Joel 2:23-32, Ezekiel 36:24-28
- Matins: John 20:19-23
- Liturgy: Acts 2:1-11, John 7:37-52; 8:12

Pray Without Ceasing

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

Guard thyself then, O man; thou hast the signs of Antichrist; and remember them not only thyself, but impart them also freely to all. If thou hast a child according to the flesh, admonish him of this now; if thou hast begotten one through catechizing, put him also on his guard, test he receive the false one as the True. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work. I fear these wars of the nations; I fear the schisms of the Churches; I fear the mutual hatred of the brethren. But enough on this subject; only God forbid that it should be fulfilled in our days; nevertheless, let us be on our guard. And thus much concerning Antichrist.

St. Cyril of Jerusalem, Catechetical Lecture XV