SAINT JOHN THE BAPTIST RUSSIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH

Events

February, 2020

SundayMondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFridaySaturday
      
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1, February
Great Vespers - 5:00 PM
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2, February
Divine Liturgy - 9:30 AM - Meeting of Christ in the Temple (Zacchaeus Sunday)
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8, February
Great Vespers - 5:00 PM
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9, February
Divine Liturgy - 9:30 a.m. - Publican and Pharisee (Fast-Free Week)
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15, February
Great Vespers - 5:00 PM
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16, February
Divine Liturgy - 9:30 AM - Prodigal Son
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22, February
Great Vespers
Memorial Saturday
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23, February
Divine Liturgy Sunday of the Last Judgment (Meatfare Sunday) at Holy Assumption
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29, February
Great Vespers at Holy Assumption

Great Vespers - 5:00 PM

Saturday, February 1, 2020 - 05:00 PM
Forefeast of the Meeting of Christ in the Temple  -  This year the Feast of the Meeting of Christ in the Temple falls on Sunday, February 1, that is also Zacchaeus Sunday. This wonderful story of a very short man who profoundly wanted to see Jesus when He was in his town is a reminder of how we should approach the Lenten period before the Resurrection of our Lord and Savior. One day Jesus came to his town and because Jesus always had a crowd around him, with great effort, Zacchaeus climbed a tree. The story of Zacchaeus is our first announcement of the approaching Great Lent and illustrates the desire and effort Zacchaeus exhibited to see Jesus. We too need to exhibit a desire and an effort to truly witness the Resurrection of Christ on Pascha. Come to church tomorrow and hear the entire story of how one man’s desire and effort to see Jesus brought him blessings. (Luke 19:1-10)

Divine Liturgy - 9:30 AM - Meeting of Christ in the Temple (Zacchaeus Sunday)

Sunday, February 2, 2020 - 09:30 AM
The Presentation of the Lord Into the Temple – The Mother of God with Joseph brought the infant Jesus to the Temple in Jerusalem. John the Baptist’s father, Zacharias, was the chief priest of the Temple. An old man named Simeon was directed to see Jesus in the temple that day by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit had told him, “that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.” Simeon, holding the child in his arms said, “Now lettest Thou Thy servant depart in peace, O Master, according to Thy word, for mine eyes have seen Thy salvation, which Thou hast prepared before the face of all peoples, a light of revelation for the Gentiles, and the glory of Thy people Israel.” This beloved hymn is sung each Vespers. There was in the Temple that day the pious woman Anna, who was a prophetess and a widow for 84 years. She served God with fasting and prayers night and day and recognized the Savior. Approaching the child, she glorified the Lord and spoke of Him to all those in Jerusalem who awaited the coming to earth of Christ the Saviour.

Great Vespers - 5:00 PM

Saturday, February 8, 2020 - 05:00 PM
Tomorrow, the Sunday of the Publican and Pharisee is the first pre-Lenten Sunday. It follows the Sunday of Zacchaeus. The story of the Publican and Pharisee is told by Jesus in the form of a parable. which is the way Jesus taught His teachings so that the people hearing would understand. The two men went in to pray and one of them, the Pharisee says to God, “God I thank You that I’m not like other men-extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. I fast 2 times a week and I give tithes of all that I possess.” The other man, a Publican who was a despised tax collector, did not even look up to heaven but, bowing his head cried softly, “God be merciful to me a sinner.” Jesus asked, “which one was forgiven and who was condemned?” This parable is teaching us “humility.” We live at a time when the sense of pride and self-righteousness permeates everything we do. Pray for humility since that begins the road to repentance. “When I think of the many evil things I have done, wretch that I am, I tremble at the fearful day of judgment. But trusting in Thy loving kindness, like David I cry to Thee; Have mercy on me O God, according to Thy great mercy”. (Luke 18:9-14)

Divine Liturgy - 9:30 a.m. - Publican and Pharisee (Fast-Free Week)

Sunday, February 9, 2020 - 09:30 AM
Divine Liturgy - Publican and Pharisee (Fast-Free Week)  -  Triodion – The Lenten Triodion is a liturgical book devoted to Great Lent. It contains hymns and biblical readings for every day of the Lenten season beginning with the Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee and ending with Vespers of Great and Holy Saturday. The Lenten period is a return to God and to His love. We sing: Let us fast; O faithful; from corrupting snares, from harmful passions, so that we may acquire life from the divine cross and return with the good thief to our initial home….. (Excerpt from Great Lent, Journey to Pascha by Alexander Schmemann.)

Great Vespers - 5:00 PM

Saturday, February 15, 2020 - 05:00 PM
Tomorrow, the third Sunday before Great Lent, is called the Sunday of the Prodigal Son. This story is told as a parable and it describes the actions of two sons. One stayed with his father at home and the other asked for his inheritance, received it and left to live a wasteful life. When his inheritance was gone and he was in need, he was given a job feeding swine. When he remembered that his father’s servants were treated well and with respect, he decided to go home. When he was still far off, his father was told that he was coming home. The father was so happy, he arranged for a welcoming feast and ran off to greet the son. The other son was saddened by the festivities since he had always obeyed his father. But the father, gently and with great love, told him that he would always be with him but that now his brother who was dead is alive again. The Kontakion for today is: I have recklessly forgotten Thy glory, O Father; and among sinners I have scattered the riches which Thou gavest me. And now I cry to Thee as the Prodigal: I have sinned before Thee, O merciful Father, receive me a penitent and make me as one of Thy hired servants.” In this parable the father represents God, and the prodigal son, the repentant sinner. When the repentant sinner returns to God with sincere repentance, humility and hope in His mercy, the Lord, as a compassionate Father, rejoices with his angels over the return of the sinner, forgives him all his sins, and returns to him all His mercy and gifts. (Luke 15:11-32)

Divine Liturgy - 9:30 AM - Prodigal Son

Sunday, February 16, 2020 - 09:30 AM
The third Sunday before Great Lent is called the Sunday of the Prodigal Son. This story is told as a parable and it describes the actions of two sons. One stayed with his father at home and the other asked for his inheritance, received it and left to live a wasteful life. When his inheritance was gone and he was in need, he was given a job feeding swine. When he remembered that his father’s servants were treated well and with respect, he decided to go home. When he was still far off, his father was told that he was coming home. The father was so happy, he arranged for a welcoming feast and ran off to greet the son. The other son was saddened by the festivities since he had always obeyed his father. But the father, gently and with great love, told him that he would always be with him but that now his brother who was dead is alive again. The Kontakion for today is: I have recklessly forgotten Thy glory, O Father; and among sinners I have scattered the riches which Thou gavest me. And now I cry to Thee as the Prodigal: I have sinned before Thee, O merciful Father, receive me a penitent and make me as one of Thy hired servants.” In this parable the father represents God, and the prodigal son, the repentant sinner. When the repentant sinner returns to God with sincere repentance, humility and hope in His mercy, the Lord, as a compassionate Father, rejoices with his angels over the return of the sinner, forgives him all his sins, and returns to him all His mercy and gifts. (Luke 15:11-32)

Great Vespers

Saturday, February 22, 2020 - 01:00 AM
Tomorrow is the second Sunday before Lent and is called Meat Fare Sunday or Sunday of the Last Judgment. This is the signal for all those who fast from meat until Easter to begin the meat fast. Read Matthew 25:31-46. Here is an account of the universal judgment. The needy are the intimate brethren of Christ. When you help “the least of these” you help Christ. Jesus identifies Himself with the poor and the outcast and invites all who are filled with love for others to join Him in His glory by helping those in need. The standard of judgment is uncalculated mercy toward the needy. The works produced by faith are very important, for a saving faith produces righteous works. When Christ comes to judge us, what will be the criterion of His judgment? The answer is in the parable and is LOVE and uncalculated mercy toward others. Christian love is the ability to see Christ in another person, whoever he is, and whom God in His eternal and mysterious plan, has decided to introduce into your life.

Memorial Saturday

Saturday, February 22, 2020 - 05:00 PM
Memorial Saturday

Divine Liturgy Sunday of the Last Judgment (Meatfare Sunday) at Holy Assumption

Sunday, February 23, 2020 - 09:00 AM
Today, the second Sunday before Lent, is called Meat Fare Sunday or Sunday of the Last Judgment. This is the signal for all those who fast from meat until Easter to begin the meat fast. Read Matthew 25:31-46. Here is an account of the universal judgment. The needy are the intimate brethren of Christ. When you help “the least of these” you help Christ. Jesus identifies Himself with the poor and the outcast and invites all who are filled with love for others to join Him in His glory by helping those in need. The standard of judgment is uncalculated mercy toward the needy. The works produced by faith are very important, for a saving faith produces righteous works. When Christ comes to judge us, what will be the criterion of His judgment? The answer is in the parable and is LOVE and uncalculated mercy toward others. Christian love is the ability to see Christ in another person, whoever he is, and whom God in His eternal and mysterious plan, has decided to introduce into your life.

Great Vespers at Holy Assumption

Saturday, February 29, 2020 - 06:00 PM
Great Lent is the time of repentance, the time of our reconciliation with God. Repentance is the beginning, and also, the condition of a truly Christian life. Our Church has set apart seven weeks as a special time of repentance and calls each Orthodox Christian to a special spiritual effort. The Church calls us to deepen our religious conscience, to increase and strengthen the spiritual contents of our life, to follow her in her pilgrimage towards renewal and rededication to God. The Great Lent begins on Monday, March 2 following Cheesefare Sunday, also called Forgiveness Sunday. On this Sunday we approach each other and penitently and honestly forgive each other. Our journey to Pascha starts with forgiveness to our family members, our friends and everyone we know. This Monday the fast now includes all dairy products until Pascha.

CALENDAR

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