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

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly." (John 10:10 ESV)

Feasts & Fasts

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

Pentecost

Blessed are You, O Christ our God, * Who has shown the fishermen to be all wise, * by sending down to them the Holy Spirit, * and through them You have caught the whole world in Your net. * O Lover of Mankind, glory to You. (Troparion - Tone 8)

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

When the Most High descended, confusing tongues, * He divided the nations; * but when He distributed the tongues of fire, * He called all to unity; * and, with one voice, * we glorify the Most Holy Spirit. (Kontakion - Tone 8)

Random Proverb

"He who commits adultery lacks sense; he who does it destroys himself." (Proverbs 6:32 ESV)

This Week's Scripture

June 18, 2017
Second Sunday After Pentecost
- Matins: Mark 16:1-8 (Gospel 2)
- Liturgy: Romans 2:10-16, Matthew 4:18-23

Third Week After Pentecost
- Monday: Romans 7:1-13, Matthew 9:36-10:8
- Tuesday: Romans 7:14-8:2, Matthew 10:9-15
- Wednesday: Romans 8:1-13, Matthew 10:16-22
- Thursday: Romans 8:22-27, Matthew 10:23-31
- Friday: Romans 9:6-19, Matthew 10:32-36; 11:1
- Saturday: Romans 3:28-4:3, Matthew 7:24-8:4

June 25, 2017
Third Sunday After Pentecost
- Matins: Mark 16:9-20 (Gospel 3)
- Liturgy: Romans 5:1-10, Matthew 6:22-33

Fourth Week After Pentecost
- Monday: Romans 9:18-33, Matthew 11:2-15
- Tuesday: Romans 10:11-11:2, Matthew 11:16-20
- Wednesday: Romans 11:2-12, Matthew 11:20-26
- Thursday: Romans 11:13-24, Matthew 11:27-30
- Friday: Romans 11:25-36, Matthew 12:1-8
- Saturday: Romans 6:11-17, Matthew 8:14-23

July 2, 2017
Fourth Sunday After Pentecost
- Matins: Luke 24:1-12 (Gospel 4)
- Liturgy: Romans 6:18-23, Matthew 8:5-13

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

For to despise the present age, not to love transitory things, unreservedly to stretch out the mind in humility to God and our neighbor, to preserve patience against offered insults and, with patience guarded, to repel the pain of malice from the heart, to give one's property to the poor, not to covet that of others, to esteem the friend in God, on God's account to love even those who are hostile, to mourn at the affliction of a neighbor, not to exult in the death of one who is an enemy, this is the new creature whom the Master of the nations seeks with watchful eye amid the other disciples, saying:"If, then, any be in Christ a new creature, the old things are passed away. Behold all things are made new" (2 Cor. 5:17). 

St. Gregory the Great