SAINT JOHN THE BAPTIST RUSSIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH

CHRIST IS BORN! GLORIFY HIM!

Dec 29, 2021
CHRIST IS BORN!      GLORIFY HIM!

Christ is Born! Glorify Him!

 

After Easter and Pentecost, Theophany, on January 6,  is considered the third greatest feast of the Orthodox church, more so even than Christmas. It commemorates the baptism in the Jordan River by John the Baptist. The Holy Trinity was revealed to the world. The Father spoke saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” The Holy Spirit was seen in the form of a dove, hovering over the waters. And John the Baptist bore witness saying, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.”

 

“Blessed is He that comes in the name of the Lord!   We bless you from the House of the Lord!   God is the Lord and has revealed Himself to us!” (The Introit of the Little Entrance)

 

The blessing of our homes during the season of Theophany is a long-standing tradition of our Holy Orthodox Church, carrying with it beautiful and meaningful significance. It is customary for the parish priest to visit the homes of his faithful, bringing with him the “blessings of the Jordan.” Through the priest’s solemn prayers, we rededicate our homes to their original purpose: to be a place where a family is guided along the path of righteousness by Jesus Christ. Orthodox Christians must remember that all things must be done for the glory of the Lord. This is why our homes, where we spend much of our time, must be blessed and sanctified on a regular basis, enabling us to fight off Satan’s temptations.

 

When a home is blessed, the priest brings everything needed for the blessing: Holy water, a “kropilo” (brush for the holy water), bowl for the water. the candle and a Theophany icon; however, many homes supply a bowl, candles and the family Theophany icon. The family should provide the priest with a list of all family members, living and deceased, so their names can be commemorated during the service. Place the bowl and icon and lit candle on a table. All radios and televisions should be off. The priest will bless all rooms of the house except the bathrooms. It is good for children to carry a candle or bowl with the Holy Water and “lead” the priest throughout the house. An elder member of the house may also do this. For scheduling an appointment for your house blessing, please call Father Maryan at the rectory.

 

Memorial Saturdays this year are: February 26, March 19, April 2, June 11, and October 22. Please give Father a list of the names of your departed loved ones to be remembered at these services.

 

Happy Birthday to all those celebrating their birthday in January. Among those are: Stephen Fabian, January 3; Joyce Cifaldi, January 6; Bob Czech, January 8; Ken Baron and Helen Rahnefeld, both on January 11; Joseph Pecoraro, January 13; Barbara Kary, January 18; Nicholas Alexander Silvestre, January 22; and Chris Baron on January 23.

 

Helen Baron, our coordinator for the food pantry, wants to thank everyone for their generous support in supplying food and money throughout the Holiday season. Many grateful families and individuals, who otherwise would have had an empty table, sat down to a wonderful dinner due to the help provided by those who care. However, the need is persistent so please continue your support and help re-stock the now empty shelves. Thank you for your help.

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Great Vespers with Litya - 5 PM

Prayer is the raising of the mind and heart to God in praise and thanksgiving to Him and in supplication for the good things that we need, both spiritual and physical. The essence of prayer is therefore the spiritual lifting of the heart towards God. (From The Art of Prayer)