We would like to thank all our parishioners, friends for their support and all of our donors for their generous contributionsand making this years’ festival a great success!
Θέλουμε να ευχαριστήσουμε όλους ανεξαιρέτως, ενορίτες και φίλους, που εργάστηκαν με μεγάλη προθυμία για το Φέστιβαλ της ενορίας μας, καθώς επίσης και όσους γενναιόδωρα πρόσφεραν το δώρο τους για το Φέστιβαλ. Ευχόμεθα ο Πανάγαθος Θεός, δια των Πρεσβειών του Αγίου Αθανασίου, να χαρίζει υγεία, χαρά και ευτυχία σε όλους.
Our Sunday morning obligation does not involve simply “going to Church.” It means that we “attend the Divine Liturgy.” It is not merely a matter of being present at another Church service.
The Divine Liturgy is not just the Sunday service. It is more than a prayer service. It is a sacramental participation in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. When we are present at the Liturgy we are offered the blessings and gifts of God’s Love that flow from Christ’s sacrifice of Calvary. We find ourselves at the Holy Communion service at which the gifts of bread and wine are consecrated upon the altar and offered up, as the Precious Body and Blood of Christ, for the remission of our sins and for everlasting life. It is the Lord’s Supper at which we are invited to participate and to receive of the living Body and Blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.
(The service isVespers and DivineLiturgy of Saturday evening sungby anticipation, on Saturday morning.)
Psalms are read and Resurrection hymns are sung which tell of Christ’s descent into Hades. “Today Hades cried out groaning” is the hymn’s description of the resurrection of Adam and the conquering of death. Thus this day’s celebration is called “First Resurrection.” Most of the readings of this day are from the Old Testament on the prophecies and promise of the conquering of death. On this day, the Divine Liturgy of St. Basil is officiated. Apostle Paul exhorts the faithful: “We were buried, therefore, with him by baptism unto death, so we, too, might walk in newness of life.” (Romans 6:4)
After the reading of the Epistle, the priest follows the custom of tossing of laurel, saying: “Arise, O God, and judge Thou the earth: for Thou shall take all heathen to Thine inheritance.” The Cherubic hymn of this day is: “Let all mortal flesh keep silence and stand with fear and trembling…”, a thoughtful hymn of adoration and exaltation. The Divine Liturgy ends with the Communion Hymn: “So the Lord awaked as one out of sleep, and He is risen to save us.”
The readings are from Romans 6:3-11 and Matthew 28:1-20.
It consists of psalms, hymns, and readings dealing with the death of Christ, in contrast to His divinity, and in expectation of His Resurrection. One of the hymns relates: “He who holds all things is raised up on the Cross and all creation laments to see Him hang naked on the Tree.” The thoughtful and well-written Odes, sung by the choir, compare the Compassion of God and the cruelty of man, the Might of God and the moral weakness of man. The Odes picture all Creation trembling when witnessing its Creator hung by His own creatures: “Creation was moved…with intense astonishment when it beheld Thee hung in Golgotha.” The Odes remind us of the vision of Isaiah, who saw Christ, “the unwaning light of the manifestation,” and cried aloud, “The dead indeed shall arise and all those on earth shall rejoice.” During this service, the Body of Christ is carried in procession around the church. In some parishes, the entire flower-bedecked Sepulcher, symbolizing the Tomb, is carried in the procession.
The entire congregation joins in singing the three parts of the “Hymns of Praise” (there are approximately 300 hymns, but only a few are sung). After these hymns are sung, the priest sprinkles the Sepulcher and the whole congregation with fragrant water. There is a simultaneous praise of both the Crucifixion and Resurrection of Christ with their purpose of the redemption of man.