English translation by Igor Radev

Beijing - At the Orthodox parish of the Dormition of Most Holy Mother of God on the grounds of the Embassy of the Russian Federation in PRC in the city of Beijing during the entire first week of Great Lent, Divine Services were celebrated in the Red Fangzi building. On an invitation from the parishioners, priest Alexy Kiselevich from Shanghai arrived.

February 19-22—on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of the first week, the evening service was celebrated accompanied with the reading of the Great Canon of Repentance by St Andrew of Crete. The services were attended by the employees of the Russian Embassy in the People's Republic of China as well as by the Orthodox believers living in Beijing.

Simultaneously, this week in China was marked by mass celebration of the Chinese New Year, causing the evening services in the Red Fangzi to be held under the unceasing noise of firecrackers and fireworks.

On Tuesday during the first week, the regular class was held dedicated to Lent of the adult Sunday School. Fr Alexy was invited to the class where he addressed the various questions of those participating in the School concerning the importance of fasting in the life of the faithful.

On Friday evening of the first week, Fr Alexy also heard confessions. On Saturday, on the commemoration day (February 17/24) of St Theodore the Tyron and the Iveron Icon of the Mother of God, a Divine Liturgy was celebrated during which sixty people received Holy Communion. This week, many children attended the Services. In the first week, Fr Alexy performed the Sacrament of Baptism on two children of Russian Embassy employees.

After the Divine Service on Saturday, the faithful were given decorated editions of a children's Bible. The Service was followed by a tea serving with some fast keeping cakes.

Unfortunately, Orthodox Chinese still do not have an opportunity of observing Church prayers due to the lack of a church building in Beijing.

Keeping with the tradition of marking the beginning of Lent with good deeds, this week in the Orthodox community of Beijing donations were being gathered for an orphanage in Moscow district.

www.orthodox.cn


Teachings of Christ

“If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel's will save it. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? For what can a man give in return for his soul?" (Mark 8:34-37 ESV)

Theophany

When You were baptized in the Jordan, O Lord, * worship of the Trinity was revealed, * for the Father's voice bore witness to You, calling You His “beloved Son”, * and the Spirit in the form of a dove confirmed the certainty of these words. * O Christ God, * Who appeared and enlightened the world, glory to You! (Troparion, Tone 1)

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

You have appeared to the whole world today, * and Your light, O Lord, is signed upon us, * who with knowledge sing praise to You: * "You have come, and You have appeared, O Unapproachable Light." (Kontakion, Tone 4)

Random Proverb

"The woman Folly is loud; she is seductive and knows nothing." (Proverbs 9:13 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

Let not us who would be Christians expect anything else than to be crucified....for to be Christian is to be crucified in this time and in any time since Christ came for the first time. His life is the example and warning to us all. We must be crucified personally,mystically; for trough crucifixion is the only path to resurrection, if we would rise with Christ, we must be humbled with him even to the ultimate humiliation, being devoured and spit forth by the uncomprehending world.... We must be crucified outwardly in the eyes of the world, for Christ's kingdom is not of this world and world cannot bear it, even a single representative, even for the single moment.

Fr Seraphim Rose