The Dormition of the Theotokos

“Come, all you ends of the earth, let us praise the blessed passing of the Mother of God. She delivers her sinless soul into the hands of her Son; through her holy Dormition, the world is given new life.” (Stichera at the Litija)

The feast of the birth of John the Baptist is sometimes called the summer Christmas, so also the Dormition (falling-asleep) of the Mother of God might be called the summer Pascha. In both these feasts the cosmic change accomplished by the mystery of the Incarnation of the Son of God is seen in the lives of human beings, for in Christ the order of mortality is overturned. In the mystery of Mary’s falling-asleep, we see our sinfulness is over-written by the sinless one, who in obedience turns over her “sinless soul” to the incarnate God.

The Gospel today is a story not about Mary, the Theotokos, but about Mary of Bethany, but the words addressed by God to her sister Martha become iconic for all human beings: “Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her. (Luke 10:42)” What has she chosen? To sit at the feet of our Lord, to put Jesus at the center of her life, and to listen to him. This is Mary’s eternal mission, as she tells the stewards at the wedding in Cana: “Do whatever he (Jesus, her Son) tells you. (John 2:5)” This is the mystery the ends of the earth celebrate today, for it has transformed the meaning of human life, and “through he holy Dormition, the world is given new life.”

Meditation by Archpriest David Petras

St Maximus the Confessor

August 13 is the feast-day of St. Maximus. Because it is also the leave-taking of the Feast of the Transfiguration of our Lord, the liturgical commemoration is transferred to Saturday. Today Maximus is considered one of the “pillars of Orthodoxy,” and Fr. John Meyendorff called him “the father of Byzantine theology.” His accomplishments are many – he was martyred because of his faithful defense of the incarnation of our Lord, that he was truly human in every way (except sin) and had a human will. He had to live many years in exile.

[Maximus] has become much more respected in recent years, I think, because his theology has much to say to the modern world. His theology of deification calls us to see the world as more than “materialism,” only what we can see or hear or touch. He teaches us that there is more to our existence, a spiritual dimension that surpasses bodily passions and concerns. Reading Maximus, however, can be very difficult. He was committed to Greek literary and rhetorical styles, appearing in long. convoluted sentences. He also used the vocabulary of Neo-Platonism, which few can understand today. Many of his works have been translated into English, and his best are the Four Centuries on Love, his Commentary on the Our Father and his work on the Liturgy, The Church’s Mystagogy. All are found in the Paulist Press series “The Classics of Western Spirituality,”: Maximus Confessor: Selected Writings,” translated by George Berthold.

Today, we pray: “Taking its abode within your heart, the thrice-brilliant light made you a chosen vessel. It has revealed heavenly things in you, O blessed saint. You made deep and complicated ideas clear to us, and you preached the eternal Trinity to everyone, O Maximus.“ (Kontakion)

Meditation by Archpriest David Petras

Divine Liturgy for the coming week

Glory to Jesus Christ

Sunday, 8/13/17    10th Sunday after Pentecost —Venerable Father Maximus the Confessor
8:00 a.m.  For the people of the parish

Epistle: 1 Corinthians 4:9-16
Gospel: Matthew 17:14-23, Tone 1

Monday, 8/14/17   Transfer of the Precious Relics of Our Venerable Father Theodosius
8:00 a.m.   no special intention for the Divine Liturgy

Tuesday, 8/15/17    Dormition of the Mother of God – (Holy Day of obligation)
10:00 a.m.  Special Intention

Blessing of fragrant herbs and flowers

7:00 p.m.  For the people of the parish

Blessing of fragrant herbs and flowers

Wednesday, 8/16/17     Holy Martyr Diomedes
8:00 a.m.   no special intention for the Divine Liturgy

Thursday, 8/17/17    Holy Martyr Myron
8:00 a.m.   no special intention for the Divine Liturgy

Friday, 8/18/17    Holy Martyrs Florus and Laurus
8:00 a.m.   no special intention for the Divine Liturgy

Saturday, 8/19/17    Holy Martyr Andrew the General and companions
9:00 a.m.   no special intention for the Divine Liturgy

Sunday, 8/20/17    11th Sunday after Pentecost —Holy Prophet Samuel
9:00 a.m.  For the people of the parish
10:30 a.m.  God’s blessing & health for Anna Mazur requested by Stefania Sadiwsky

Epistle: 1 Corinthians 9:2:12
Gospel: Matthew 18:23-35, Tone 5

Parish announcements this week

Christ is in our midst!

1. VIGIL LIGHT: This week vigil light is offered to the honor of God in memory of Henriette Hartig who fell asleep in the Lord by Christopher Komondy

2. AFTER DIVINE LITURGY: Dear parishioners and guests, after each Divine Liturgy, coffee and hard rolls are available in the church hall.

3. FOOD DRIVE: Judy Ellis leads the mercy project which provides food items to the needy. A container is in our church vestibule for non-perishable food. This collection will be taken every week. Father Iura will distribute the food to those in need. Thanks for your generous support.

4. DORMITION BLESSING: Neither the tomb, nor death, could hold the Theotokos, who is constant in prayer and our firm hope in her intercessions. For being the Mother of Life, she was translated to life, by the One who dwelt in her virginal womb (Kontakion for the Dormition).

As part of our celebration of Dormition on Tuesday, August 15, we will bless herbs and flowers for use in the home. Please bring herbs and flowers to Divine Liturgy (10:00 a.m. and at 7:00 p.m.). As a point of liturgical fact, the Church asks God to bless herbs and flowers –and thus us– to remind all of us of the gifts God has given us for our sustenance, healing and beauty.

Holy Tradition educates us that all the Apostles, except St. Thomas who was late, were transported mystically to Jerusalem in order to be with the Mother of God – the Theotokos – as she reposed, and to given her a burial. When Thomas arrived the next day, the Apostles opened the tomb so that he could kiss Mary farewell. The opened tomb revealed that the body of the holy Virgin of Mother of God was missing, and filled with herbs and flowers. This event was a sure sign of her great purity and holiness.

What happens to Mary happens to all of us who imitate her holy life of humility, obedience, and love.

5. UKRAINIAN INDEPENDENCE DAY: Will be celebrated this year on Sunday, August 27, 2017. The Divine Liturgy will be celebrated at 10:00 a.m. A Proclamation Ceremony will take place on the New Haven Green at noon. The Annual Independence day picnic will commence at 1:00 p.m. at the Church Hall and Church garden. All are invited to attend. Saint Mary’s Ukrainian Orthodox Church will celebrate their mass at 10:00 a.m. and join us on the New Haven Green and at our picnic afterwards.

Blessing herbs and flowers on the Dormition, August 15

Neither the tomb, nor death, could hold the Theotokos, who is constant in prayer and our firm hope in her intercessions. For being the Mother of Life, she was translated to life, by the One who dwelt in her virginal womb (Kontakion for the Dormition).

As part of our celebration of Dormition on Tuesday, August 15, we will bless herbs and flowers for use in the home. Please bring herbs and flowers to Divine Liturgy (10:00 a.m. and at 7:00 p.m.). As a point of liturgical fact, the Church asks God to bless herbs and flowers –and thus us– to remind all of us of the gifts God has given us for our sustenance, healing and beauty.

Holy Tradition educates us that all the Apostles, except St. Thomas who was late, were transported mystically to Jerusalem in order to be with the Mother of God – the Theotokos – as she reposed, and to given her a burial. When Thomas arrived the next day, the Apostles opened the tomb so that he could kiss Mary farewell. The opened tomb revealed that the body of the holy Virgin of Mother of God was missing, and filled with herbs and flowers. This event was a sure sign of her great purity and holiness.

What happens to Mary happens to all of us who imitate her holy life of humility, obedience, and love.

Andriy Rabiy appointed new auxiliary bishop of archieparchy of Philadelphia

Today, the Holy Father appointed Father Andriy Rabiy as an auxiliary bishop of the archieparchy of Philadelphia of the Ukrainians. He was assigned Father Andriy Rabiy the titular see of Germaniciana; he is currently protosyncellus (Vicar General) of the same archieparchy.

The bishop-elect is the youngest US bishop.

Father Andriy Rabiy was born in Lviv, Ukraine on 1 October 1975. He transferred to the United States and received his priestly formation in the Ukrainian St. Josaphat Seminary in Washington. In 1999 he obtained a Bachelor’s degree in philosophy from the Catholic University of America, in 2002 a Master’s degree in theology from the Theological Studium of the Dominican Fathers of Washington; and in 2008 a licentiate in canon law from the Catholic University of America.

He was ordained a deacon on 15 November 1998 and a priest on 19 December 2001. He currently holds pastoral offices in the archieparchy of Philadelphia of the Ukrainians; he has served as protosyncellus, vice chancellor, member of the archieparchial college of consulters, member of the managing board of the Conference of Catholic Bishops of Pennsylvania, member of the archieparchial presbyteral council, and director of the centre for childhood and youth protection. (VIS)

Blessing fruits today

As the Apostles recognized, “it is good for us to be here”.

Fr. Iura blessed fruits for the feast of the Transfiguration.

Happy Sunday!