Sunday of the Fathers of the 1st Ecumenical Synod
† 7TH Sunday From PASCHA
“The same day, the seventh Sunday from Pascha, we celebrate 1st Ecumenical Council comprised by the Holy 318 Theophoric Fathers (325). Eutyches Bishop of Melitine; Martyr Eliconida (†244). Andrew fool for Christ († 936).
- Παρακαλεῖσθε ὅπως ἀποστείλετε τὰ ὀνόματα τῶν κοιμηθέντων συγγενῶν καὶ φίλων σας, διὰ μνημόνευσην εἰς τὸν Μνημόσυνον τοὺ Ψυχοσαββάτου 3 Ἰουνίου.
- Please submit the names of your departed loved ones, so that they will be commemorated on the Saturday of Souls June 3rd.
- On Sunday, June 4 we celebrate the Holy Pentecost. I would like to remind you that Orthros service on major feast days of our Lord is shorter. Kindly also note that the services for the day include
Vespers directly after Divine Liturgy
The Ascension of the Lord
Fr Alexander Schmemann
“The feast of the Ascension is the celebration of heaven now opened to human beings, heaven as the new and eternal home, heaven as our true homeland. Sin severed earth from heaven and made us earthly and coarse, it fixed our gaze solidly on the ground and made our life exclusively earth-bound. Sin is the betrayal of heaven in the soul. It is precisely on this day, on the feast of the Ascension, that we cannot fail to be horrified by this renunciation that fills the whole world. With self-importance and pride, man announces that he is strictly material, that the whole world is material, and that there is nothing beyond the material. And for some reason he is even glad about this, and speaks with pity and condescension, as he would of buffoons and boors, of those who still believe in some sort of “heaven.” Come on brothers, heaven is the sky, it’s just as material as everything else; there is nothing else, there never was and never will be. We die, we disappear; so in the mean-time, let’s build an earthly paradise and forget about the fantasies of priests. This in brief, but absolutely accurately, is the end result and high-point of our culture, our science, our ideology. Progress ends in the cemetery, with the progress of worms feeding on corpses. But what do you propose, they ask us, what is this heaven you talk about, into which Christ ascended? After all, up in the sky nothing of what you are speaking exists.
“Let the answer to this question come from John Chrysostom, a Christian preacher who lived six-teen centuries ago. Speaking about heaven, he exclaims: “What need do I have for heaven, when I myself will become heaven…” Let the answer come from our ancestors, who called the church “heaven on earth.” The essential point of both these answers is this: heaven is the name of our authentic vocation as human beings, heaven is the final truth about the earth. No, heaven is not some-where in outer space beyond the planets, or in some unknown galaxy. Heaven is what Christ gives back to us, what we lost through our sin and pride, through our earthly, exclusively earthly sciences and ideologies, and now it is opened, offered, and returned to us by Christ. Heaven is the kingdom of eternal life, the kingdom of truth, goodness and beauty. Heaven is the total spiritual transformation of human life; heaven is the kingdom of God, victory over death, the triumph of love and care; heaven is the fulfillment of that ultimate desire, about which it was said: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor has it entered into the heart of man, what God has prepared for those who love him” (1 Corinthians 2:9). All of this is revealed to us, all of this is given to us by Christ. And there-fore, heaven permeates our life here and now, the earth itself becomes a reflection, a mirror image of heavenly beauty. Who descended from heaven to earth to return heaven to us? God. Who ascended from earth to heaven? The man Jesus.
“St. Athanasius the Great says that, “God became man so that man could become God.” God came down to earth so that we might ascend to heaven! This is what the Ascension celebrates! This is the source of its brightness and unspeakable joy. If Christ is in heaven, if we believe in him and love him, then we also are there with him, at his banquet, in his Kingdom. If humanity ascends through him, and does not fall, then through him I also have access to ascension and am called to him. And in him, the goal, meaning and ultimate joy of my life is revealed to me. Everything, everything around us pulls us down. But I look at the divine flesh ascending to heaven, at Christ going up, “with the sound of a trumpet,” and I say to myself and to the world: here is the truth about the world and humanity, here is the life to which God calls us from all eternity.”
Sunday of the Holy Fathers of the 1st Ecumenical Synod
The heresiarch Arius was a Libyan by race and a protopresbyter of the Church of Alexandria. In 315, he began to blaspheme against the Son and Word of God, saying that He is not true God, consubstantial with the Father, but is rather a work and creation, alien to the essence and glory of the Father, and that there was a time when He was not. This frightful blasphemy shook the faithful of Alexandria. Alexander, his Archbishop, after trying in vain to correct him through admonitions, cut him off from communion and finally in a local council deposed him in the year 321. Yet neither did the blasphemer wish to be corrected, nor did he cease sowing the deadly tares of his heretical teachings; but writing to the bishops of other cities, Arius and his followers requested that his doctrine be examined, and if it were unsound, that the correct teaching be declared to him. By this means, his heresy became universally known and won many supporters, so that the whole Church was soon in an uproar.
Therefore, moved by divine zeal, the first Christian Sovereign, Saint Constantine the Great, the equal to the Apostles, summoned the renowned First Ecumenical Council in Nicaea, a city of Bithynia. It was there that the shepherds and teachers of the Church of Christ gathered from all regions in the year 325. All of them, with one mouth and one voice, declared that the Son and Word of God is one in essence with the Father, true God of true God, and they composed the holy Symbol of Faith up to the seventh article (since the remainder, beginning with "And in the Holy Spirit," was completed by the Second Ecumenical Council). Thus they anathematized the impious Arius of evil belief and those of like mind with him, and cut them off as rotten members from the whole body of the faithful.
Therefore, recognizing the divine Fathers as heralds of the Faith after the divine Apostles, the Church of Christ has appointed this present Sunday for their annual commemoration, in thanksgiving and unto the glory of God, un-to their praise and honor, and unto the strengthening of the true Faith.
The spiritual benefits in Church
† πρ. Συμεών Κραγιόπουλος—Symeon Kragiopoulos
Gradually, our efforts in Church yield some spiritual benefits. We gain in self-awareness and realize the presence of our weaknesses. If anything, whether we like it or not, little by little, the good impression we have of ourselves faints, once we acquire some knowledge of ourselves, some self-awareness. Therefore, although little aware of it, we become more humble, we repent, we believe, we trust more in God. We expect His grace, regardless of whether our faith seemingly diminishes and our hope decreases. Deep down, this work is taking place, and we have reason to believe that, eventually, some good will come out of it. Not just a part of it, but the whole soul should live according to the will of God.
Mon: Acts 21:8-14; John 14:27-15:7
Tues: Acts 21:26-32; John 16:2-13
Wed: Acts 23:1-11; John 16:15-23
Thurs: Acts 25:13-19; John 16:23-33
Fri: Acts 27:1-44; 28:1; John 17:18-26
Sat: I Thessalonians 4:13-17; John 21:14-25
Sun: Acts 20:16-18, 28-36; John 17:1-13
Resurrectional Hymn (6th tone)
Ἀγγελικαὶ δυνάμεις ἐπὶ τὸ μνῆμά σου, καὶ οἱ φυλάσσοντες ἀπενεκρώθησαν, καὶ ἵστατο Μαρία ἐν τῷ τάφῳ, ζητοῦσα τὸ ἄχραντόν σου σῶμα. Ἐσκύλευσας τὸν ᾅδην, μὴ πειρασθεὶς ὑπ᾽ αὐτοῦ, ὑπήντησας τῇ παρθένῳ, δωρούμενος τὴν ζωήν, ὁ ἀναστὰς ἐκ τῶν νεκρῶν, Κύριε δόξα σοι.
When the angelic powers appeared at Your grave, the soldiers guarding it feared and became as dead. And standing by the sepulcher was Mary who was seeking Your immaculate body. You devastated Hades, not afflicted by it. You went to meet the virgin, and granted eternal life. You resurrected from the dead. O Lord, glory to You.
Dismissal hymn of the Ascension
Ἀνελήφθης ἐν δόξῃ, Χριστὲ ὁ Θεὸς ἡμῶν, χαροποιήσας τοὺς Μαθητάς, τῇ ἐπαγγελίᾳ τοῦ ἁγίου Πνεύματος, βεβαιωθέντων αὐτῶν διὰ τῆς εὐλογίας, ὅτι σὺ εἶ ὁ Υἵός τοῦ Θεοῦ, ὁ λυτρωτὴς τοῦ κόσμου.
You ascended in glory, O Christ our God, having filled the Disciples with joy by promising to send them the Holy Spirit; and through Your blessing of them they became certain that You are the Son of God, the Redeemer of the world.
Dismissal hymn of the Holy Fathers
Ὑπερδεδοξασμένος εἶ, Χριστὲ ὁ Θεὸς ἡμῶν, ὁ φωστῆρας ἐπὶ γῆς τοὺς Πατέρας ἡμῶν θεμελιώσας, καὶ δι' αὐτῶν πρὸς τὴν ἀληθινὴν πίστιν, πάντας ἡμᾶς ὁδηγήσας, πολυεύσπλαγχνε, δόξα σοι.
Supremely blessed are You, O Christ our God. You established the holy Fathers upon the earth as beacons, and through them You have guided us all to the true Faith, O greatly merciful One, glory be to You.
Dismissal hymn of St. George
Ὡς τῶν αἰχμαλώτων ἐλευθερωτὴς καὶ τῶν πτωχῶν ὑπερασπιστής, ἀσθενούντων ἰατρός, βασιλέων ὑπέρμαχος, Τροπαιοφόρε Μεγαλομάρτυς Γεώργιε, πρέσβευε Χριστῷ τῷ Θεῷ, σωθῆναι τὰς ψυχὰς ἡμῶν.
Liberator of captives, defender of the poor, physician of the sick, and champion of kings, O trophy-bearer Great Martyr George, intercede with Christ God that our souls be saved.
Τὴν ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν πληρώσας οἰκονομίαν, καὶ τὰ ἐπὶ γῆς ἑνώσας τοῖς οὐρανίοις, ἀνελήφθης ἐν δόξῃ, Χριστὲ ὁ Θεὸς ἡμῶν, οὐδαμόθεν χωριζόμενος, ἀλλὰ μένων ἀδιάστατος, καὶ βοῶν τοῖς ἀγαπῶσί σε, Ἐγὼ εἰμι μεθ' ὑμῶν, καὶ οὐδεὶς καθ' ὑμῶν.
When you had fulfilled the dispensation for our sake, and united things on earth with the things in heaven, You were taken up thither in glory, O Christ our God, going not away from any place, but continuing inseparable, and to them that love You crying out, “I am with you, and there is, therefore, none against you.”