May 2007 Messenger
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Vol. VIII, No. 5
May 2007

Христос Воскресе! Воистину Воскресe!


Christ is Risen! Truly He is Risen!

Regular Services

                               Saturday Night Vigil Service:

                               Sunday Morning Divine Liturgy:

                               Wednesday Akathist:

                               Friday Small Compline:

Services for the Ascension of our Lord (Great Feast)

                               Vigil: Wednesday, May 3/16,

                               Divine Liturgy: Thursday, May 4/17,

Note: Those who receive Holy Communion on the preceding Sunday may also receive on Ascension. Those who make their Confession at Ascension may receive Holy Communion on the following Sunday.

               Ascension and Pentecost are Great Feasts, and Orthodox Christians are expected to prepare for and receive Holy Communion on these days. On Ascension we no longer greet one another with “Christ is risen.” Between Ascension and Pentecost we do not use the prayer “O Heavenly King”. There is no fasting the week after Pentecost.




Parish News

Ø      We had record attendances this year for Holy Week services and Pascha. 84 people attended Pascha and over fifty received Holy Communion! Glory to God!

Ø      Thank you to everyone who contributed so generously to the annual collection for the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in Jerusalem. $715 was collected. God bless you all!

Ø      Congratulations to the newly baptized Michael Damiano and his godparents Marcus Bursik and Andrea Sullivan. Many years!

Ø      The parish council will meet on Sunday, May 20 (n.s.), at coffee hour.

Ø      The Hellenic Orthodox Church of the Annunciation is holding its annual Greek Festival on June 1-3 this year.

Ø      The Council of Orthodox Churches of the Niagara Frontier is sponsoring the annual “Walk for Missions” on Sunday, June 24. This year all proceeds will go to the local mission team going to Kodiak, Alaska, this summer. Please watch for flyers and and pledge sheets.

Ø      On Ascension Day, Thursday, May 17, our Russian Orthodox Church Abroad will officially enter into full communion with the Moscow Patriarchate. Since some of the faithful are not comfortable with hearing the name of the Patriarch of Moscow at divine services, Bishop Gabriel is granting a grace period of five years to not commemorate the Patriarch of Moscow by name.

Ø      On Pentecost Sunday, May 27, we will serve Vespers with the Kneeling Prayers immediately after Divine Liturgy. After this service we resume making prostrations in church on non-festal weekdays. The week after Pentecost is fast-free.

Ø      On Tuesday, May 29, at , we will serve a pannychida marking the fortieth day since the repose of our brother in Christ and parish founder, Alexander Balabasz. Memory eternal!

Name Days This Month

v      April 21/May 4: Theodore Tkaczevski (Hieromartyr Theodore of Perge in Pamphylia)


Многая Лета!             Many Years!

April 21, 2007:

New York: Epistle of the Synod of Bishops to the God-loving Flock

SYNOD OF BISHOPS: April 21, 2007


Epistle of the Synod of Bishops to the God-loving Flock


Dear in Christ fathers, brothers, sisters, loyal children of the Russian Church Abroad:


Christ is risen!


“As the sun outshines the stars,” writes bishop Gregory of Nyssa, “so does Holy Pascha surpass all other church celebrations.” The church refers to “the Beautiful Pascha”, “the Feast of feasts and the celebration of celebrations.” Blessed Metropolitan Anthony profoundly explained that, if every feast is a mystery, then the Feast of feasts, Pascha, is the mystery of mysteries. The first Christians called Pascha “the Day of the Lord”, for it embraces with its light the whole Universe, “the seen and the unseen worlds,” the worlds of the living and the dead. Everyone tries to come to church on the day of Pascha in order to greet the mysterious holy joy. The best expression of Christians’ Paschal joy lies in the celebratory words: “Christ is Risen!” – “Indeed He is Risen!”


The Pascha of the Lord is the cornerstone of the new, true life of the world. Pascha forever confirmed faith in the eternity of life. The Apostle Paul wrote that “If Christ did not rise, then our faith is in vain.” Is it not for this reason that our heart trembles and glows with the fire of life, seeing the “eternal joy” and feeling the authentic celebration of the church day “which the Lord hath made”?


How can one become worthy of the great holiness of Pascha? How can one live Pascha in all its fullness? How can one cleanse oneself of sins and passions in order that one may with a clean heart, together with the angels, glorify the Resurrection of Christ, bow to Him, as the only One who is Holy and Without Sin, the One who defeated death and gave “those in the tombs” eternal life? How should one spend these bright days, leading to the reestablishment of peace and unity of the Local Russian Orthodox Church, which will occur on the feast of the Ascension of the Lord? How can one prepare for these events?


“Come close to God,” writes the apostle James, “and He will come close to you.” Bishop Tikhon of Zadonsk teaches that “When one prays with all one’s strength and all one’s heart, one’s heart will be filled with God’s love.” It is necessary to have constant heartfelt prayer, to participate in the mysteries of the church, to have the correct manner of life, to fulfill the tenants of the faith, to actively do good. Let us turn our hearts to Christ and ask Him for forgiveness of all of our sins that prevent us from “partaking of the feast of faith and receiving the riches of holiness.” Let us fight our weaknesses, work within the laws of Christ, “be active for the faith, which at one time was committed to the saints,” in order to attain the Life-giving Christ in our hearts.


We call on the God-loving clergy and flock to pray in this bright state that the forthcoming visit to Russia by the delegation of the Russian Church Abroad goes well and serves for the benefit of the entire Russian Orthodox Church. It is necessary that the prayerful preparation for the coming celebrations in Moscow take place not only in private prayers, but among everyone together in church at Holy Liturgy. Therefore, the Synod of Bishops has adopted the following petition to be pronounced during the Litany of Great Supplication starting today and continuing until the 6th Sunday of Pascha: “Bless oh Savior the good intentions, of thy servants, the Most Reverend Metropolitan Laurus, First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad, and his companions, and accept their prayers, grant them a spirit of wisdom and reason, place in their hearts a spirit of fear of Thee, a spirit of piety and zealousness for the glory of Thy Holy Name, in order that they may in a well-pleasing manner fulfill the task of building up the unity of the Holy Russian Church, as one Body of Christ. Grant them safe travel in the air and a safe return, hear and have mercy.”


In this we again and again underline that our Church does not intend to step away from the path our fathers taught us, to change anything in its complete rejection of any false teachings, such as “ecumenism,” which distort the purity of the Orthodox Confession of Faith. On the contrary, beloved in Christ, by the will of God we are now receiving the opportunity to meekly, but without any stepping away from the Truth of the Holy Fathers, provide feasible help to our Orthodox people and to warn them about all manner of “liberal” and “syncretistic” interpretations of the words of Christ and the dogma of the One, Holy and Apostolic Church.


The prayer “Receive Ye the Body of Christ, taste ye of the fountain of immortality,” which usually accompanies those communing from the chalice, during the Paschal period is sung before its appearance, as if calling all to come forward. For this reason, let us come frequently to the communion of the Holy Mysteries of Christ during these bright days. Then our Pascha on earth will be unto us a foreshadowing of the future Pascha, “opening the gates of Heaven for us.” Such a celebration of Pascha will help us to resurrect together with the Man-loving God and to prepare in a proper manner for the coming reestablishment of full brotherly relations within the Local Russian Orthodox Church. Amen.


Truly Christ is Risen!


With Paschal joy in the Risen Christ,


Metropolitan Laurus of Eastern America and New York

First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia

Archbishop Mark of Berlin and Germany

Archbishop Hilarion of Sydney, Australia and New Zealand

Archbishop Kyrill of San Francisco and Western America


къ боголюбивой паствѣ.

Возлюбленные о Господѣ отцы, братіе, сестры, вѣрныя чада Русской Зарубежной Церкви,

Христосъ Воскресе!


«Какъ солнце превосходитъ звѣзды, – говоритъ святитель Григорій Нисскій, – такъ и Святая Пасха превышаетъ собой всѣ другія церковныя торжества». Она названа Церковью «Пасхой красной», «праздникомъ праздниковъ и торжествомъ изъ торжествъ». Блаженнѣйшій Митрополитъ Антоній проникновенно объяснялъ, что если каждый праздникъ есть таинство, то праздникъ праздниковъ – Пасха, есть таинство таинствъ. Первые христіане именовали Пасху «Днемъ Господнимъ», ибо она обнимаетъ своимъ свѣтомъ всю Вселенную, «видимый міръ и невидимый», землю живыхъ и мертвыхъ. Въ день Пасхи всѣ стремятся придти въ храмъ, чтобы встрѣтить таинственную, священную радость. Лучшее выраженіе пасхальной радости христіанъ – торжествующія слова: «Христосъ Воскресе!» – «Воистину Воскресе!»


Пасха Господня есть краеугольный камень новой, совершенной жизни міра. Пасха навсегда утвердила вѣру въ безсмертіе жизни. «Если Христосъ не воскресъ, то тщетна вѣра ваша», – говоритъ апостолъ Павелъ. Не отъ того ли трепещетъ наше сердце, пылаетъ огнемъ жизни, видя это «веселіе вѣчное», чувствуя подлинное торжество церковнаго дня, «егоже сотвори Господь»?

Какъ же стать достойными великой святыни Пасхи, какъ жить ею во всей полнотѣ, какъ очистить себя отъ грѣховъ и страстей, чтобы чистымъ сердцемъ вмѣстѣ съ ангелами прославить Воскресеніе Христа, поклониться Ему, какъ Единому Святому и Безгрѣшному, побѣдившему смерть и даровавшему «сущимъ во гробехъ» вѣчную жизнь? Какъ провести эти свѣтлые дни, ведущіе насъ къ возстановленію мира и единства въ Помѣстной Русской Православной Церкви, которое совершится въ праздникъ Вознесенія Господня? Какъ подготовиться къ этимъ событіямъ?


«Приблизьтесь къ Богу, – говоритъ апостолъ Іаковъ, – и Онъ приблизится къ вамъ». Святитель Тихонъ Задонскій наставляетъ: «Когда со всей крѣпостью и усердіемъ помолишься, сердце исполнится Божественной любовью». Нужна постоянная сердечная молитва, участіе въ таинствахъ церковныхъ, необходимъ подвигъ жизни, исполненіе правилъ вѣры, активное добродѣланіе. Обратимъ наше сердце ко Христу и испросимъ у него прощенія всѣхъ нашихъ согрѣшеній, препятствующихъ намъ «насладиться пиромъ вѣры и воспринять богаство благости». Будемъ бороться противъ своихъ слабостей, трудиться въ заповѣдяхъ Христовыхъ, «подвизаться за вѣру, однажды преданную святымъ» (Іуд. 1, 3), чтобы обрѣсти въ сердцѣ Христа Жизнодавца.

Въ такомъ свѣтломъ состояніи призываемъ боголюбивые клиръ и паству молиться о томъ, чтобы предстоящій визитъ въ Россію делегаціи Русской Зарубежной Церкви прошелъ благополучно, съ пользой для всей Русской Православной Церкви. Молитвенное подготовленіе къ приближающимся торжествамъ въ Москвѣ необходимо совершать не только въ частныхъ молитвословіяхъ, но и всѣмъ вмѣстѣ въ храмѣ за Божественной литургіей. Посему, Архіерейскій Синодъ принялъ слѣдующее прошеніе для возглашенія отъ сегодняшняго дня до Недѣли 6-ой по Пасхѣ на сугубой ектеньи: «Благое намѣреніе, Спасе, рабовъ твоихъ господина нашего Высокопреосвященнѣйшаго Митрополита Лавра, Первоіерарха Русскія Зарубежныя Церкве, со спутники его благослови, и молитву ихъ пріими, даждь имъ духа премудрости и разума, вложи въ сердца ихъ духъ страха Твоего, духъ благочестія и ревности о славѣ имене Твоего святаго, во еже благоугодно совершити имъ дѣло устроенія единства святыя Церкве Россійскія, яко единаго Тѣла Христова, скорое и безбѣдное по воздуху превожденіе устрояя и благополучное во свояси возвращеніе милостивно даруя, всещедрый Господи, услыши и помилуй».


При этомъ мы вновь и вновь подтверждаемъ, что наша Церковь не намѣрена отступать отъ заповѣданнаго нашими отцами пути, измѣняя что-либо въ своемъ полномъ непріятіи какихъ-либо ложныхъ ученій, наподобіе «экуменизма», искажающихъ чистоту Исповѣданія Православной Вѣры. Напротивъ, возлюбленные о Господѣ, – волею Божіей мы получаемъ теперь возможность съ кротостью, но и безо всякаго уклоненія отъ Святоотеческой Истины, оказать посильную помощь нашему православному народу – и предостеречь его от всякаго рода «либеральныхъ» и «синкретическихъ» истолкованій Слова Христова и догмата о Единой, Святой и Апостольской Церкви.

Стихъ: «Тѣло Христово пріимите, источника безсмертнаго вкусите», который обычно сопровождаетъ причастниковъ къ чашѣ, въ пасхальное время поется еще до ея явленія, какъ бы всѣмъ повелѣвая приступить. Поэтому, будемъ прибѣгать къ частому пріобщенію Святыхъ Христовыхъ Таинъ въ эти свѣтлые дни. Тогда Пасха наша на землѣ будетъ для насъ предзнаменованіемъ будущей Пасхи, «двери райскія намъ отверзающей». Такое празднованіе Пасхи поможетъ намъ совозстать Человѣколюбцу Богу и надлежащимъ образомъ подготовиться къ предстоящему возстановленію въ Помѣстной Русской Православной Церкви полноты братскаго общенія. Аминь.

Воистину Воскресе Христосъ!


Съ пасхальной радостью о Христѣ Воскресшемъ,


+ ЛАВРЪ, Митрополитъ Восточно-Американскій и Нью-Іоркскій,

Первоіерархъ Русской Зарубежной Церкви.

+ МАРКЪ, архіепископъ Берлинскій и Германскій.

+ ИЛАРІОНЪ, архіепископъ Сиднейскій и Австралійско-Новозеландскій.

+ КИРИЛЛЪ, архіепископъ Санъ-Францисскій и Западно-Американскій.

+ МИХАИЛЪ, епископъ Женевскій и Западно-Европейскій.

+ ГАВРІИЛЪ, епископъ Манхеттенскій.


6/19 апреля 2007 г.

Some reminders about venerating icons

Vladyka Gabriel instructs us that icons should not be venerated by kissing one’s own hand and then touching the icon. Not every icon is accessible for veneration.

Never venerate an icon while wearing lipstick. Lipstick should not be worn to church.

Always bow twice before venerating an icon and then once after, for a total of three bows. This also applies to venerating the Cross and the Gospel at confession.

Never kiss the person’s face. Kiss the right foot, if visible. Otherwise, kiss the right hand. On an icon of the Holy Napkin, we kiss the Lord’s hair. Remember that only Judas presumed to kiss the Lord’s face.

If you have already venerated the icons when you entered the sanctuary at Divine Liturgy, then you should not do so again right before Holy Communion is served.

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