“O Lord, save Thy people and bless Thine inheritance, granting to Thy people victory over all their enemies, and by the power of Thy Cross preserving Thy commonwealth.” Troparia of the Cross
Dear followers of Christ,
Glory to Jesus Christ! Glory for ever.
August is full of feasts. On August 1st, we process with the Cross around the church and sing “O Lord save Thy people and bless Thine inheritance”. August is also the month we celebrate the Dormition of the Theotokos. The Fast goes from August 1st to August 15th. It is a very strict fast just like Lent. There will be many services, please check the bulletin and church calendar.
Why do we fast? Here is what Daniel Manzuk wrote: “The purpose of fasting is to bring us more in line with another Mary, the sister of Lazarus, and away from their sister Martha, who in the famous passage was “anxious and troubled about many things.” Fasting is intended to bring us to the realization of “the one thing needful.” It is to help us put God first and our own desires second, if not last. As such it serves to prepare us to be instruments of God’s will, as with Moses in his flight from Egypt and on Mt. Sinai, as well as our Lord’s fast in the wilderness. Fasting turns us away from ourselves and toward God. In essence it helps us become like the Theotokos, an obedient servant of God, who heard His word and kept it better than anyone else has or could.”
Please, remember to dress ourselves and our children modestly in church during the summer. Shorts are not allowed in church, specially for those serving on the altar. You can bring a change of clothes with you if you are planning to go somewhere.
For the Feast of the Dormition of the Theotokos, Fr. George is looking for people to decorate the Epitaphios of the Theotokos and to donate the flowers. There will be a procession around the church and lamentation service. Many of you were sad for not being able to attend the Holy Friday procession with the Epitaphion of Christ, here is an opportunity to do a procession with the Theotokos. You can bring candles to the church and light them during the procession.
We will have Holy Unction on Friday August 13th at 7 PM.
Daniel Manzuk continues: “Fasting, in its full sense (abstaining from food and desires) accomplishes this. Less time in leisure or other pursuits leaves more time for prayer and reflection on she who gave us Christ, and became the first and greatest Christian. In reflecting on her and her incomparable life, we see a model Christian life, embodying Christ’s retort to the woman who stated that Mary was blessed because she bore Him: blessed rather are those who hear His word and keep it. Mary did this better than anyone. As Fr. Thomas Hopko has stated, she heard the word of God and kept it so well, that she of all women in history was chosen not only to hear His Word but give birth to it (Him). So while we fast in contemplation of her life, we are simultaneously preparing ourselves to live a life in imitation of her. That is the purpose of the Dormition Fast.”
Most Holy Theotokos Save Us.