St. Nicholas of Myra - Anchorage

The St. Nicholas of Myra Byzantine Catholic Church gathers for liturgy while having to adhere to a 15 person capacity limit. (Article and Photo by Taylor Clark)

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Under the latest Anchorage Emergency Order, churches and other types of gatherings are once again put on capacity limits. Mayor Ethan Berkowitz said that the vast majority of churches are complying or working with the muni to figure out a way to hold services. One following the mandates the best they can while still holding services is the St. Nicholas of Myra Byzantine Catholic Church, led by Father Joseph Wargacki.

Under the order, 15 people are allowed at indoor gatherings. On Sunday’s liturgy, there were 11 adults, five children, and one infant present in the main chapel, including people helping with the service. Father Wargacki said they’re doing what they can to keep folks safe, but the number of people inside at one time can fluctuate.

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Teachings of Christ

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied." (Matthew 5:6 ESV)

Holy Forefathers

Through faith, O Christ, you justified the Forefathers, * betrothing through them in advance the Church of the gentiles. * The Saints exult in glory, * for from their seed came forth a glorious fruit: * she who gave birth to You without seed. * Through their prayers, O Christ God, have mercy on us. (Troparion, Tone 2)

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

You did not honor a hand-depicted image, O thrice-blessed ones, * but defended by the undepicted Being you were glorified in a trial by fire. * And, standing in the midst of unbearable flame, you called upon God: * “Hasten, O Compassionate One, and speed to our help, * for You are merciful and You can do whatever you will.” (Kontakion, Tone 6)

(Second Sunday Before Christmas)

Saint Nicholas of Myra

The truth of your deeds has revealed you to your flock, * as a rule of faith, an image of meekness, and a teacher of abstinence. * Therefore, you attained the heights through humility, * and riches through poverty. * O Father and Hierarch Nicholas, * pray to Christ God that our souls may be saved. (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.

In Myra, You were shown to be a servant of the sacred things, O Holy Nicholas, * for, fulfilling the Gospel of Christ, you, O Venerable, laid down your life for your people, * and saved the innocent from death. * Therefore, you were sanctified as a great initiate of the grace of God. (Kontakion, Tone 3)

Random Proverb

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

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

I saw the snares that the enemy spreads out over the world and I said groaning, "What can get through from such snares?" Then I heard a voice saying to me, "Humility."

St. Anthony the Great