Source: Fr Lawrence Farley's blog - No Other Foundation
The importance of John the Baptizer may be gauged by the amount of paint and ink the Church spends on him. His portrait is painted and is found on every single icon-screen in all the churches, regardless of whether or not he is that church’s patron saint. And many hymns have been written to celebrate his life. Much ink is required for these hymns - he has many feasts. Fifty-seven feasts each year in fact: the feasts of his conception on September 23 (October 6 on the old calendar), his birth on June 24 (July 7 on the old calendar), his beheading on August 29 (September 11 on the o.c.), the synaxis celebrating his role as the Lord’s baptizer on January 7 (January 20 on the o.c.), the feasts of his relics on February 24 (March 9 on the o.c.) and May 25 (June 7 on the o.c.), and every Tuesday of the 52 weeks of the year, which celebrate him in the weekly liturgical cycle. That is a lot of feasts, requiring a lot of hymns.
On Friday, July 7, the feast of the Nativity of St John the Baptist, the Administrator of the Patriarchal Parishes in the USA, His Grace Bishop John of Naro-Fominsk led the Divine Liturgy in St John the Baptist Church in Little Falls, New Jersey. His Grace was co-served by a multitude of clergy from the neighboring area:
- Archpriest Igor Tarasov (Chancellor of the Patriarchal Parishes in the USA)
-Archpriest Emil Minkovich (Rector of Sts. Peter and Paul Church in Elizabeth, NJ)
-Archpriest John Kassatkin (Rector of Elevation of the Holy Cross Church in Hackettstown, NJ)
-Archpriest George Konyev (Rector of Three Saints Church in Garfield, NJ)
-Abbot Nicodemus Balyasnikov (Cleric of St. Nicholas Patriarchal Cathedral in New York City)
- Priest Aleksey Paranyuk (Dean of the Eastern States & Parish Rector)
- Priest Stephen Kaznica (Rector of Sts. Peter and Paul Cathedral in Passaic, NJ)
- Hieromonk Stephen (Bushman)
- Protodeacon Daniel Sudol (Cleric of Three Saints Church in Garfield, NJ
- Protodeacon Serge Arlievsky (Cleric of Holy Dormition Convent "Novo-Diveevo" in Nanuet, NY)
- Deacon Alexey Golubov (Cleric of St. Nicholas Cathedral)
- Deacon Andrew Massey (Cleric of Elevation of the Holy Cross Church)
- Deacon Nicholas DeGraaff (Cleric of Three Saints Church)
During the Divine Liturgy, prayers were offered for the clergy and parishioners of the parish that have since reposed. Special petitions for peace in the Ukrainian land were also intoned at the Augmented Litany.
At the conclusion of the Liturgy, His Grace congratulated Fr. Aleksey and the parishioners on the occasion of their patronal feast day. In turn, Fr. Aleksey thanked the hierarch for his archpastoral visit and shared prayer. The protodeacons then intoned the Polychronion for the clergy and parishioners of the parish. Through the presentation of Father Aleksey, Bishop John awarded a number of parishioners with Archpastoral Gramotas:
- Gregory Karol, parish president
- Andrew Miketzuk, choir director
- Eugene Kulick, long-time loyal parishioner and former mayor of Little Falls
- Barbara Preciado, tireless Sunday School teacher
- Marc Harris, altar server and maintenance crew member, who single-handedly restored our iconostasis.
After the service, a lenten luncheon was served in the parish hall under the guidance of Matushka Natalia Paranyuk and Fr Aleksey's mother, Maria.
Listen to the podcast talking about one aspect of the Feast of the Nativity of St John the Baptist.
We look to the gospel and epistle readings for this feastday, in order to give us wisdom and courage in meeting the challenges of our own. Luke 1: 1-80, 3:16-20, Malachi 4, Romans 13:11-14:4
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