September 11th has always been a special day for our parish. On this day we celebrate (as paradoxical as it may sound) the beheading of our Patron Saint John the Baptist. His death is an example for us of how to deal with authorities or society that slowly turns away from Christ. St John opposed the adulterous union of Herod with Herodias because it was unlawful, but he did not revolt or rebel. St John remained steadfast in righteousness and truth, even to his death. And we, imitating the great Forerunner, should put Christ ahead any law because there is only one truth in the world - Jesus Christ. And to keep this fresh in our minds, we should read the holy Scriptures every day.
Also today we prayed for our students and teachers at the beginning of the new school year. We asked the Lord that He "open the hearts, minds, and lips of His servants, that they may receive the power of His law, and, with success, come to know the useful teachings which shall be taught them, to the glory of His most-holy Name, to the profit and building up of His Holy Church, and that they may understand His good and perfect will." After the prayer everyone was blessed with the Holy Water.
During the Liturgy we commemorated all those who died during the terrorist attacks 15 years ago. At the end of the Liturgy "Memory eternal" was sung to them.
On Sunday July 31, the Sixth Sunday after Pentecost, the Adminstrator of the Patriarchal Parishes in the USA, His Grace Bishop John of Naro-Fominsk celebrated the Divine Liturgy in St. John the Baptist Church in Little Falls, NJ. Concelebrating with His Grace were rector of St George Russian Orthodox Church in Bayside, Queens and Dean of the Eastern States, Archpriest Igor Tarasov, newly-appointed rector of St John's Priest Aleksey Paranyuk and Deacon Mark Rashkov, cleric of St Nicholas Cathedral in New York City.
At the conclusion of the Liturgy, Bishop John delivered a sermon on the Sunday's Gospel reading and officially introduced Fr Aleksey to the parish.
Interaction between Bishop John and the parishioners continued in the parish refectory during which a festive meal in honor of His Grace's visit was held.
[Courtesy of: The Patriarchal Parishes of the Russian Orthodox Church in the USA - www.mospatusa.com]