Feast of Theophany, Jan. 19, 2020
Sunday sermon on the reading of Sunday before the Nativity of our Lord - Matthew 1:1-25
O Lord our God, Source of life and immortality, Creator of all things, both visible and invisible. You have appointed seasons and years by Your power, and You direct all things by Your most-wise and most-gracious providence: We thank You for Your generous gifts, which You have given us during this passing year and our whole life.
And we ask You, O Most Compassionate Lord, to bless the coming new year with Your goodness. Grant us to grow stronger in faith and in love toward You and one another. Remember our parents and loved ones, those who have gone to their rest with hope and faith in the Resurrection, and grant health and length of days to those still living. Bless our children and our efforts in raising them to be good Christians and light of the world. Guide us as we strive to glorify You, our Good God, in our daily lives and in our communal worship. Teach us to be good servants to those in need around us, following the example that You Yourself have set for us.
Instruct all the nations and their leaders in the ways of justice and peace. Protect us from the evils of injustice, prejudice, exploitation, conflict, and war. Help us to put away mistrust, bitterness and hatred. Make us to end the storing and using of the devices of war. Unite us in the making and sharing of tools of peace against ignorance, poverty, disease, and oppression.
Also, we pray that You make Church schisms to cease. Send Your Holy Spirit to guide our hierarchs, that they may rightly teach the word of Your truth, and that they may bear witness to the unity of the Church in all their decisions. Preserve us, O Lord, from the Evil One and all his attempts to divide us, from the machinations of the governments, from the ambitions of fallen people, and from the sin of pride.
Throughout the new year and our whole life, count us worthy to always offer thanksgiving to You, the Father, Who has no beginning, together with Your Only-begotten Son, and Your Most Holy, Good, and Life-giving Spirit, God glorified in one Essence unto ages of ages.
Dear brothers and sisters,
Stephen Perry, a dear member of our parish family, has fallen asleep earlier today. May he rest in peace and rise in glory with our Lord Jesus Christ!
Visitation for Stephen will be on Sunday, Dec. 22, 2-7pm at
M. John Scanlan Funeral Home
781 Newark Pompton Tpke
Pompton Plains, NJ, 07444
A Panikhida (memorial service) will be served at 5pm during the visitation.
A Funeral Service will be held on Monday, Dec. 23, at 10am at the church. And Burial, right after the Funeral, at Laurel Grove Memorial Park, 295 Totowa Road, Totowa, NJ, 07512
You can read his obituary here.
If there is one secular holiday that Christians can totally sign up for, it is Thanksgiving Day. One of the most important things we do in our Christian life is give thanks to God, and give thanks to each other.
We do it first of all during the Liturgy. In fact, one of the names for Liturgy is Eucharist. Which comes from a Greek word that means thanksgiving.
We don’t have to wait for one special day in the year to give thanks. We do it every day. But to have one day as a reminder that all things belong to God, and give thanks to Him, isn’t a bad idea.
Below is a sermon that was delivered by the late Father Alexander Schmemann, who did a lot in terms of preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ on American soil.
He died in December 1983 from cancer. The last Liturgy he celebrated was on Thanksgiving Day that same year. And this was his last sermon. It’s in the form of a prayer, a thanksgiving prayer of a man, who knew his journey on this earth was coming to an end.
The sermon was edited slightly for the use in our parish, where Father Aleksey reads it every year the Sunday before Thanksgiving Day.
Here are the words of Father Alexander Schmemann:
Sunday sermon on the Gospel lesson from Luke 8:41-56
Unless otherwise specified, the articles here are posted by Father Aleksey, who has no sense of humor and is extremely straight forward.