- + ΙA’ Λουκά. 11th Sunday of Luke Orthros 8:45 am, Divine Liturgy 10:00 am
- Sunday School: Christmas Pageant
- Altar Boys: Team Luke – Nick Tavlarides C, Peter Vagelatos C, John Vagelatos, Roberto Cardenas, Panagiotis Batsaras, Vasili Lioulias.
- No Panagia’s Little Lambs
- Greek School Christmas Party (hall) 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm
- No Futsal game
- + Προ της Χριστού Γεννήσεως. Sunday before Nativity Orthros 8:45 am, Divine Liturgy 10 am
- Altar Boys: Team John – Anthony Mentas C, Yiani Roll C, Andrew Mentas, Kosta Georgakopoulos, Stamatis Zoumberakis, Ilias Zoumberakis, Joseph Best, Jacob Best.
- + Χριστούγεννα. Christmas. Orthros 10:00 am, Divine Liturgy 11:00 am
Saints and Feasts
11th Sunday of Luke – On the Sunday that occurs on or immediately after the eleventh of this month, we commemorate Christ’s forefathers according to the flesh, both those that came before the Law, and those that lived after the giving of the Law. Special commemoration is made of the Patriarch Abraham, to whom the promise was first given, when God said to him, “In thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed” (Gen. 22:18). This promise was given some two thousand years before Christ, when Abraham was seventy-five years of age. God called him and commanded him to forsake his country, parents, and kinsmen, and to depart to the land of the Canaanites. When he arrived there, God told him, “I will give this land to thy seed” (Gen. 12:7); for this cause, that land was called the “Promised Land,” which later became the country of the Hebrew people, and which is also called Palestine by the historians. There, after the passage of twenty-four years, Abraham received God’s law concerning circumcision. In the one hundredth year of his life, when Sarah was in her ninetieth year, they became the parents of Isaac. Having lived 175 years altogether, he reposed in peace, a venerable elder full of days.
Dionysius of Zakynthos – The holy hierarch, Saint Dionysius, who was born and reared on Zakynthos, was the son of pious and wealthy parents, Mocius and Paulina by name. In his youth he entered the ancient monastery of the Strophada Islands, which lie south of Zakynthos, and there he donned the monastic habit. Later, he was appointed Archbishop of Aegina, and adorned its throne for a considerable time. Thereafter he returned to his homeland. One incident in his life especially reveals to what virtue he attained. A man came to him in desperation, witnessing that he had committed a murder, and was being pursued by the slain man’s family. He asked Saint Dionysius to give him refuge.
The Saint agreed to this, upon learning that it was his own brother whom the man had slain, he said nothing, but concealing the agony of his grief, hid him. When the Saint’s kinsmen arrived at the monastery, he told them that the Murderer had gone by such and such a way. When they had departed, he admonished the man concerning the gravity of his sin, instructed him in repentance, and sent him off in peace having forgiven him his brother’s murder. According to local tradition, this man later returned and became a monk at this same monastery. Saint Dionysius reposed in peace in 1621, leaving behind his sacred and incorrupt relics as a treasure for his fellow citizens.
Daniel the Prophet & Ananias, Azarias, & Misail, the Three Holy Youths – The Prophet Daniel and the Three Children were all descended from the royal tribe of Judah. In the year 599 before Christ, in the reign of Joachim, who was also called Jechonias (I Chron. 3:16, and II Chron. 36:8), while yet children, these righteous ones were led away as captives into Babylon together with the other Jews by Nabuchodonosor. He singled them out from among the other captives to serve him, and renamed them thus: Daniel was named Baltazar; Ananias, Sedrach: Misail, Misach; and Azarias, Abednago. They were reared in the royal court, and taught the wisdom of the Chaldeans; and after the passage of three years, they surpassed all the Chaldean sages (Dan. 1). Thereafter, Daniel, being still a lad, interpreted that mysterious image seen by Nabuchodonosor in a dream, an image that was composed of different metals, but was shattered and ground to dust by a certain stone which had been hewn out of a mountain without the hand of man.
This vision clearly portrayed through the mountain the height of the Virgin’s holiness and the power of the Holy Spirit which overshadowed her. Through the image of the Stone, Christ was portrayed, Who was seedlessly born of her, and Who by His coming as the Godman would shatter and destroy all the kingdoms of the world, which were portrayed through the image; and He would raise them that believe in Him into His Heavenly Kingdom, which is eternal and everlasting (ibid. 2:31-45). Thereupon, he signified in prophecy the time of His appearance in the Jordan, the beginning of His preaching of the Gospel, the time of His saving Passion, and the cessation of the worship according to the Mosaic Law, (ibid. 9:14-27). He portrayed most excellently the majestic and dread image of His second coming, presenting by means of words, as with living colours, the fiery throne which shall be set, the Eternal Judge Who shall sit thereon, the river of fire that shall flow forth before Him, the calling to account before the impartial judgment seat, the opened books of each ones deeds, the thousands upon thousands of them that minister to Him, and the ten thousands of them that stand in His presence (ibid. 7: 9-10). Daniel (whose name means “God is judge”) was called “man of desires” by the Angels that appeared (ibid. 9:23), because he courageously disdained every desire of the body, even the very bread that is necessary for nourishment. Furthermore, he received this name because, in his longing for the freedom of those of his tribe, and his desire to know their future condition, he ceased not supplicating God, fasting and bending the knee three times a day. Because of this prayer he was cast into the den of lions, after he had been accused by his enemies as a transgressor of the decree issued through the proclamation of the king, that no one should worship or ask for anything from God or from men for thirty days, but only from the king. But having stopped the mouths of the lions by divine might, and appearing among them as though he were a shepherd of sheep, Daniel showed the impious the might of godliness (ibid. 6:1-23).
As for the Three Children, Ananias (“Yah is gracious”), Misail (“Who is what God is?), and Azarias (“Yah is keeper”), since they refused to offer adoration to Nabuchodonosor’s image, they were cast into the furnace of fire. They were preserved unharmed amidst the flames – even their hair was untouched – by the descent of the Angel of the Lord, that is, the Son of God. Walking about in the furnace, as though in the midst of dew, they sang the universal hymn of praise to God, which is found in the Seventh and Eighth Odes of the Holy Psalter. And coming forth therefrom, without even the smell of the fire on their clothes (Dan. 3), they prefigured in themselves the Virgin’s incorrupt giving of birth; for she, on receiving the Fire of the Godhead within her womb, was not burned, but remained virgin, even as she was before giving birth.
Therefore the Church celebrates the Three Children and Daniel on this day, on the Sunday of the Forefathers, and on the Sunday before the Nativity of Christ, since they prefigured and proclaimed His Incarnation. Furthermore, they were of the tribe of Judah, wherefrom, Christ sprang forth according to the flesh. The holy Three Children completed their lives full of days; as for the Prophet Daniel, he lived until the reign of Cyrus, King of Persia, whom he also petitioned that his nation be allowed to return to Jerusalem and that the Temple be raised up again, and his request was granted. He reposed in Peace, having lived about eighty-eight years. His prophetical book, which is divided into twelve chapters, is ranked fourth among the greater Prophets.
Memorial Service/Μνημόσυνo – Today we pray for the repose of the soul of the departed servant of God Dimitar Lalev Kalchev (6 years). May his memory be eternal.
Social Hour – Sponsored by Vili Kalcheva
Sunday School Christmas Pageant – On December 17, be sure to attend this very special annual Christmas tradition hosted by Sunday School. At 11:30am, the children will celebrate the miracle at Bethlehem with a pageant in church. Immediately after the pageant, brunch will be served in the Betty Reckas Cultural Center and everyone is invited to attend. Adults $15 and children $8.
Philoptochos Panagia’s Shut-in Tree – Christmas is the best time of the year to remember our elderly. This year we are asking for donations of Crossword & Regular Puzzles, Senior Coloring Books and Board Games. Please help us put a smile on their faces and show them that they are not forgotten!
New Year’s Eve Dinner/Glendi – The Assumption Greek Dance & Cultural Art School cordially invite you to attend our 2017 New Year’s Eve Dinner/Glendi on Sunday, December 31, 2017 at 8:00 pm. RSVP to Yota Batsaras. Call, text or e-mail. 714-806-8028, email@example.com. Adults & Teens $75, Children 12 & under $35; $75/$40 at the door.
Greek Dance/Diakonia – For the group’s our Diakonia project, they will be collecting money and donating it to the Sierra Club of Puerto Rico to purchase inflatable solar lights and straw water filters for the Island of Vieques. $80.00 Package includes: 3 lights and 2 straw filters. Deadline is December 17, 2017.
Bookstore – Come and visit our bookstore at the hall during coffee hour. You may also contact Zoe Falley at 714-366-0001 or Voula at the church office at 562-494-8929.
Panagia’s Pantry – We are collecting:
- Non perishable/canned foods
Jorge’s 3rd Week of Vacation – Jorge, our church custodian will be on his 3rd week of vacation from Saturday, 12/23 to Wednesday, 1/3/18.