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

'Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day." (John 6:53-54 ESV)

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)

Saints and Martyrs

Adorned with the blood of Your Martyrs throughout the world, * as with purple and fine linen, * Your Church cries out to You through them: * "Send down Your compassions upon Your people. * Grant peace to Your commonwealth and great mercy to our souls." (Troparion - Tone 4)

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

As the first-fruits of nature to the Planter of Creation, * the whole world offers to You, O Lord, the God-bearing martyrs. * Through their prayers and the intercession of the Mother of God * preserve Your commonwealth, the Church, in profound peace, O Most Merciful One. (Kontakion - Tone 8)

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

There is nothing impossible unto those who believe; lively and unshaken faith can accomplish great miracles in the twinkling of an eye. Besides, even without our sincere and firm faith, miracles are accomplished, such as the miracles of the sacraments; for God's Mystery is always accomplished, even though we were incredulous or unbelieving at the time of its celebration. "Shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect?" (Rom. 3:3). Our wickedness shall not overpower the unspeakable goodness and mercy of God; our dullness shall not overpower God's wisdom, nor our infirmity God's omnipotence.

St. John of Kronstadt, My Life in Christ