Sunday, November 19, 2017 UTC

NOV 15 – DEC 24: PHILLIP’S FAST

20120502_St_Philip_Bethsaida  The Phillip’s Fast may be observed voluntarily, partially, or in its entirety. 

Minimum fast is no meat on Fridays.

Abstinence is to be observed on all Wednesdays and Fridays and forbids the use of meat, permitting dairy and egg products.

Strict abstinence is abstention from meat, dairy, eggs, fish, wine and oil. 

The Ascetic fast guidelines are: Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays are strict fast days: abstain from meat, dairy, eggs, fish, wine, oil. Tuesday and Thursdays: wine and oil are permitted. Saturdays and Sundays: fish, wine and oil are permitted. Exceptions: Nov 16th- Apostle Matthew, Nov 21st- Feast of the Entrance of the Theotokos, Nov 30th- Apostle Andrew, Dec 5th- Venerable and God-bearing Father Sabbas, Dec 6th- St Nicholas, Dec 8th- Maternity of Holy Anna, Dec 12th- Our Lady of Guadalupe, Dec 13th- Martyrs Eustratius, Auxentius, Eugene, Mardarius, and Orestes and Virgin Martyr Lucy. On these days fish, wine and oil are also permitted.

 

Please remember that abstaining from food during this period of preparation does us no good if we do not also, as St John Chrysostom teaches us, fast with:

…the eye and the ear and the feet and the hands and all the members of our bodies

Let the hands fast by being free of avarice.

Let the feet fast, by ceasing to run after sin.

Let the eyes fast, by disciplining them not to glare at that which is sinful.

Let the ear fast, by not listening to evil talk and gossip.

Let the mouth fast from foul words and unjust criticism.

For what good is it if we abstain from birds and fishes, but bite and devour our brothers?

On November 14, Eastern Christian communities are celebrating the Feast of St. Philip, the Apostle, which also marks the beginning of the traditional St. Philip’s Fast, 40 days before the Great Feast of the Nativity of Christ.  According to legend, St. Philip the Apostle called down the wrath of God upon those who were torturing him to death. As a penance for presuming on the vengeance of God, it was revealed to him by an angel that he would not enter paradise until forty days after his death. Philip then sent word to the other living Apostles and begged them to fast for forty days after his death. Phillip is known as the patron saint of bakers and hatters.

To count the long days until Christmas, Eastern Christians have a number of beautiful customs. A candle holder in the shape of a six-pointed Star of David holds six red candles to be lit for each week before Christmas and one white Christ candle in the center to be lit on Christmas Eve. A 40-day Advent Calendar gives children a surprise for each day before Christmas.  A “St. Philip’s Chain” is made out of strips of paper containing  good deeds or prayers offered by children during the fast. At the end of the fast, it can be used to decorate the Christmas Tree.

NOV 18 – 19, NOV 22: 24TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST & COMMEMORATION OF ST. CECELIA (NOV 22ND)

ACF2D2CNOV 18: GREAT VESPERS/DIVINE LITURGY  – 4:00 PM; NOV 19: MATINS – 7:00 AM, DIVINE LITURGY – 10:30 AM; NOV 20: VESPERS/DIVINE LITURGY – 6:30 PM; NOV 22: DIVINE LITURGY (SN) – 6:00 PM.

The Gospel Reading comes from Luke 12: 16-21 about a Certain Rich Man. We are taught – thoughts that exclude God; thoughts so centered in self, in self-ambition and self-enjoyment, leave God out.  This kind of person is laying up treasure for himself, “and is not rich toward God.” To be rich toward God means – whatever you have, or do not have . . . you do have God in your life, with all the attending blessings of fellowship with Him, through Jesus Christ. Whether you have worldly success or financial ease or not – you can be rich toward God.

On November 22nd each year we celebrate St. Cecilia’s Day. St. Cecelia is the patron saint of music and musicians. Born in Rome, Italy during the 2nd century, she was pious from youth, and was known for her deep faith as well as her love for music. According to tradition, St. Cecilia gave glory to God and expressed her faith by singing religious hymns as she lay dying a martyr’s death.

 

NOV 20 & 21: FEAST OF ENTRANCE OF THE THEOTOKOS

Entrance_of_the_Theotokos_into_the_Temple NOV 20: VESPERS/DIVINE LITURGY- 6:30 PM; NOV 21: DIVINE LITURGY – 11:00 AM.

The Feast of the Entrance into the Temple of Our Most Holy Lady the Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary is celebrated on November 21 each year. The Feast commemorates when as a young child, the Virgin Mary entered the Temple in Jerusalem. The Entrance of the Theotokos into the Temple signifies her total dedication to God and her readiness for her future vocation as the Mother of the Incarnate Lord. This is a feast of anticipation.