St. George Weekly Update
Christ Is Risen from the dead, by death He has trampled upon death and to those in the tombs, He is bestowing Life!
Christ Is Risen! Truly He Is Risen!
May 2nd - May 9th
Christ Is Risen!
Renewal Week (or Bright Week) is fast-free.
Great and Holy Pascha Sunday, May 2nd:
12:30pm Agape Vespers
Renewal Monday, May 3rd:
Celebration of our Parish Feast Day! 9:30am Orthros & Liturgy for St. George
Saturday, May 8th:
5pm Great Vespers, confessions heard following
Sunday of Thomas, May 9th:
Mother's Day, 8:30am Orthros & Divine Liturgy
Christ Is Risen! Truly He Is Risen!
Reflection from His Eminence Metropolitan Gerasimos for Great and Holy Pascha
Beloved Brothers and Sisters in the Lord,
Christ is Risen! Χριστός Ανέστη!
This short phrase – just three words in English, and two in Greek – changed the world. It started as a spark but soon grew into a bright torch, as the news spread from a small group of His followers, shared from person to person, and then from country to country, to all corners of the world. As the risen Jesus told the disciples when he appeared unto them
“Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation”
The message, “Christ is Risen!” transforms us individually when we allow this great mystery to permeate our minds and our hearts. It is a message of hope and victory over darkness. As a message of light, it is brighter than the sun. And it is a message that the world needs more than ever. The past year has demonstrated the fear of darkness, from illness and death of the pandemic to the social unrest we have witnessed. But the Resurrection points us toward the light. Christ emerged from a guarded and sealed tomb. We do not have to live in darkness.
At the Resurrection service, your priest emerged from the darkness of the sanctuary with the Paschal candle ablaze and proclaimed,
“Come receive the light, from the unwaning light.”
Jesus Christ is the light that cannot be extinguished. It is a light that can only be and must be shared.
As you heard hymns in the Paschal matins, I hope you noticed how often the words for new – καινὸς or νεὸς are used. The Resurrection of Christ makes all things new. The prophet Isaiah wrote,
“For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; and the former things shall not be remembered or come into mind.”
(Isaiah 65:17). We too become new. As Saint Paul wrote,
“if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, the new has come”
(2 Corinthians 5:17). The Resurrection of Christ points to a new way of being for the world and for each and every one of us.
My beloved brothers and sisters in the Lord, because they have been filled with the new light of the Resurrection, over the centuries, Christians have dared to become agents of hope and reconciliation in the world, serving the needs of their neighbors and overcoming all forms of division and hatred. Our confidence in the resurrection and the promise of new creation is what motivates to work to overturn the darkness in the world. The resurrection requires us to forgive one another. As we sing in the Doxastikon of Pascha,
“Let us forgive all things in the Resurrection.”
The same hymn calls us to embrace one another, even those who hate us. When we allow the light of Christ’s Resurrection to enter into our hearts, that light will fill all aspects of our lives, and all manner of division and enmity can be overcome.
The Resurrection of Christ made evident to the world that darkness, hate, and death would not have the final say. God’s love was and is ultimately triumphant, granting each one of us eternal life and mercy. May your Paschal celebration be joyous and may the Risen Christ shine in your hearts.
Χριστός Ανέστη! Christ is Risen!
Archiepiscopal Encyclical on the Feast of
Great and Holy Pascha
Prot. No. 105/2021
May 2, 2021
Unto the Most Reverend and Right Reverend Hierarchs, Pious Priests and Deacons, the Monks and Nuns, Presidents and Members of Parish Councils, Honorable Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, Members of Leadership 100, the Day and Afternoon Schools, Philoptochos Societies, the Youth, Greek Orthodox Organizations, and the entirety of the Christ-named Plenitude of the Holy Archdiocese of America.
My Beloved Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Ἰδοὺ σκοτία καὶ πρωΐ … (ΕΩΘΙΝΟΝ Ζ', Ἦχος βαρὺς )
Behold the darkness yet the dawn… (EOTHINON VII, Grave Mode)
How far we have come since Easter of last year! Those were dark days, when our passing of the light of the Resurrection had to be virtual, even if no less heartfelt. But as we all know, it is always darkest before the dawn. Thus, we behold in the hope of the recovery of our world from the pandemic, the glimmer of the dawning of faith and confidence for our collective future. This year, we will celebrate our Holy Pascha – perhaps not in the fullness of the pre-pandemic days, but certainly with a greater degree of freedom and in-person community. But let this not be an excuse for relaxing our vigilance. Our responsibility to be our brothers’ and sisters’ keeper and guardian abides.
Our anticipation of the rising of the Sun of Righteousness is within our hearts, like the little sun that Saint Symeon the New Theologian speaks of, which dawned inside of him. The darkness of night that is dispelled at first gradually gives way, shade by shade, until the brilliant solar orb overpowers the horizon. Every other star fades in the light of the one. This is also how the fullness of God Almighty overwhelms every shadow in our souls. Like a sleepless night of worry and troubled thoughts, the dark night of the soul can be very long indeed. But as the Psalmist says,
“joy comes in the morning”
(Psalm 29:5, LXX). And in the dawning of the Day of the Lord, every concern of this world pales before the glory of the world to come.
The Resurrection of our Lord is the triumph of light over darkness, of good over evil, of love over hate, and of life over death. Moreover, it is the dawn of a new humanity, the potential of every human being to become divine. As Saint Athanasios the Great says: “For He became a human being, so that we might made divine” (Αὐτὸς γὰρ ἐνηνθρώπισεν, ἵνα ἡμεῖς θεοποιηθῶμεν). The Lord did not rise from the dead only for Himself. He arose so that we might rise with Him, in this life and the next.
Therefore, my beloved Faithful, let us embrace the dawn that rises within us. Let us live in the light of Christ, a light filled with love and compassion for every creature. A light that passes no judgment on anyone. A light that is clear and transparent with honesty and humility. Let us witness to the truth that indeed: Christ is risen from the dead, by death trampling down upon death, and to those in the tombs He has granted life!
Χριστὸς Ἀνέστη! Ἀληθῶς Ἀνέστη!
Christ is Risen! Truly He is Risen!
Archbishop of America
Epistle and Gospel readings For Pascha Sunday
Acts of the Apostles 1:1-8
In the first book, O Theophilos, I have dealt with all that Jesus began to do and teach, until the day when he was taken up, after he had given commandment through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. To them he presented himself alive after his passion by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days, and speaking of the kingdom of God. And while staying with them he charged them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said, "you heard from me, for John baptized with water, but before many days you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit."
So when they had come together, they asked him, "Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom of lsrael?" He said to them, "it is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has fixed by his own authority. But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the end of the earth."
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God; all things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came for testimony, to bear witness to the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to bear witness to the light.
The true light that enlightens every man was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world knew him not. He came to his own home, and his own people received him not. But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God; who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth; we have beheld his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father. (John bore witness to him, and cried, "This was he of whom I said, 'He who comes after me ranks before me, for he was before me.'") And from his fullness have we all received, grace upon grace. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
Click below to access recent homilies
from Father Jeffrey
Mark your calendars: The blessing of the Church land on Rosser Street has been moved to Sunday, May 23rd. More details will be announced soon.
Christ Is Risen! Truly He Is Risen!
on Sunday, May 2 at 9:57AM