Parish Bulletin - St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral

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Parish Bulletin - St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral
Holy Apostle Andrew
28th Sunday after Pentecost
December 13, 2015
Parish Bulletin
O ur C lergy T each
the I mportance of
C onfession
On Saturday, December 5, Fr. Serge and Fr. Seraphim took on the important task of confessing
the students, parents, and teachers of St. Alexander Nevsky Parish School. The following day,
the students represented the school by attending the Divine Liturgy and partaking of Holy
Communion together in their school uniforms. Our school strongly emphasizes these vital aspects
of Orthodoxy. Russian grammar, history, and literature come second to educating our future
generations about their Orthodox Faith.
Nevsky’s Café baking Pirozhki for Diocesan Monasteries
Thanks in no small part to the full kitchen of volunteers that
answered the call on Monday and Wednesday, Nevsky’s Café was
able to begin its program of community service by sending 350
lenten pirozhki into Manhattan to feed our Synod of Bishops, who
convened on Tuesday, and also the faithful celebrating the feast
day of the Kursk Root Icon of the Mother of God on Thursday.
This week, we will be continuing our mission on Saturday and
Wednesday, so that we can send shipments of fresh pirozhki to
feed our monastic communities, as a small token of appreciation
for those who are, in the words of Metropolitan Hilarion, “the
foundation of our Church… where prayer never ceases and where
the monastics are praying for us all.” Volunteers are encouraged
to fill out commemoration slips, so that their loved ones can be
commemorated in monasteries across our Diocese.
The Nativity Fast
The Nativity Fast began on November 28th and
will last for six weeks – almost as long as Great
Lent. However, Nativity Fast has a different and
entirely unique character. Lent in our minds is
usually associated with penitence, sorrow, weeping
over one’s sins, cleansing the soul in preparation for
the forthcoming great event or sacrament. During
the Nativity Fast, all concepts concerning lent –
except for the last one, i.e. purification of the soul –
are eclipsed by two dominant characteristics. These
are – humility and internal joy.
Why does the Church urge us to use this lenten
period to bring our souls into a state of complete
humility? Because the coming holiday, though so
joyous and so great, is completely enveloped in
the spirit of humility. The Apostle Paul explains
to us that in the holiday, “God on high descended
upon earth, in order to draw us up into heaven.”
But in order to achieve this, the Lord “diminished
Himself, taking on the image of a servant, and was
likened to man.” We are all servants of God, i.e. we
have all been created, and in order to become like
man, the Lord had to diminish, lessen, exhaust, in
other words – humble His Divinity. And all of this
the Lord did for us, in order to save us from death
and the power of the devil, so that man – the crown of God’s creation – would not perish. In like manner
we, too, should honor and thank our Creator and Savior. We should diminish our pride, lessen our selfglorification, exhaust our selfishness, and only then – through total humility – will we find that ascending
road into heaven, into the Heavenly Kingdom, which the Lord opened up for us in His descent to earth.
In the Holy Land, in the town of Bethlehem, where the Lord was born in a humble manger almost 2,000
years ago, a majestic church now stands over the site of His birth. This church is distinguished by its
entrance doors, which were made so low, that an average adult has to stoop in order to go in. This was done
deliberately, to constantly remind us of the need for spiritual humility before the greatness of the event that
took place here.
At the same time, The Nativity Fast is also a time of joy. During Great Lent, for example, the Church so gives
itself over to penitence, that with the exception of two major feasts – the Annunciation and the Entrance of
the Lord into Jerusalem – which are both directly tied to paschal events, there is hardly any commemoration
of the feasts of major saints, since a holiday spirit would interfere with the purpose of this lent.
The entire Nativity Fast, on the other hand, beginning with the feast of the Entrance into the Temple of the
Most Holy Theotokos, is studded with the feasts of major saints like glittering diamonds: the Holy GreatMartyress Catherine, the Holy Apostle Andrew the First-Called, the Holy Great-Martyress Barbara, the
Great Hierarch Nicholas, Venerable Herman of Alaska, and many others, as though indicating to us that
the presence of all these saints and all this rejoicing has become possible only because the Lord has come
down to earth and has opened the way to heaven. Thus throughout this entire period the Church strongly
urges us to prepare for the coming joy with the words of the Christmas canon: “Christ is born – glorify
Him! Christ cometh from heaven – meet ye Him! Christ is on earth – be ye exalted!”
Bishop Peter of Cleveland Leads Cathedral’s Lesser Patronal Feast
On Saturday the 5th and Sunday the 6th of December, the 27th Sunday after Pentecost and the feast day of the repose of the
Holy Right-Believing Great Prince Alexander Nevsky, His Grace Peter, Bishop of Cleveland, Administrator of the Diocese of
Chicago & Mid-America, paid an archpastoral visit to our parish. At the invitation of His Eminence, Metropolitan Hilarion,
Bishop Peter led the divine services for the cathedral’s patronal feast day.
At the All-Night Vigil on Saturday evening and Divine Liturgy on Sunday morning, His Grace was co-served by our
cathedral clergy.
Upon completion of the Liturgy, Bishop Peter addressed the faithful with a sermon. Fr. Serge then greeted His Grace, thanking
him on behalf of the clergy and faithful for his archpastoral visit – Bishop Peter’s first visit to St. Alexander Nevsky Diocesan
Cathedral in the hierarchal rank. Fr. Serge asked him to relay best wishes to Archbishop Alypy of Chicago and to all of the
brethren of our neighboring Diocese, and presented His Grace with an icon of St. Alexander Nevsky in memory of his visit.
After the service, a bountiful lenten luncheon was provided for the distinguished guest, the clergy, parishioners, and guests.
S piritual F ilms
to be
S hown
at
N evsky ’ s C afé
Beginning on December 2nd, we will be showing Orthodox films on a large screen
in Nevsky’s Café. Specific movie times will be published in the weekly bulletin
and on the parish website. Generally, we will try to schedule the showings on
Wednesday nights after the completion of the moleben and akathist. Admission
is $3.00 per person and free for children. All films will be shown in Russian with
English subtitles, unless otherwise noted.
December 23rd at 7:00 PM: Pop (“The Priest,” or “By the Rivers of Babylon;” 2009)
A Russian historical feature film, “The Priest” relates the history of one of the least known episodes
of the Second World War – the work of the Pskov Orthodox Mission. From August 1941 to February
1944, priests from the Baltics rejuvenated Church life in the German-occupied territories from Pskov
to Leningrad.
Attention Parents!
This coming September 2016, the parish school
will be offering a preschool program for children
4 years old. Registration will begin in April. For
more information, check our school website
(stalexanderparishschool.org), starting January,
or contact us by phone at (732) 966-6140.
The Parish School is looking for qualified
teachers in all levels and subjects for the next
school year. For more information, please
contact Matushka Lubov Lukianov by e-mail at
[email protected]
www.StAlexanderParishSchool.org
New Holiday Inventory
Furnished room available
for rent in Manchester, NJ,
for a responsible, organized,
non-smoking woman.
For more information,
please contact
Sonya at (848) 525-7712.
Holiday Food Drive
The Lord has graced
us with many blessings,
and it is our duty as
Christians to help those
in need. Please drop
off canned goods (no
glass) in the foyer of the
Parish Hall. Thank you
and God bless you for
your generosity!
Editorial Director: Ksenia Lukianov • Translation and editing: Rdr. Gregory Levitsky and Tatiana Veselkina.
Writer: Michael Kazmierczak • Photo credits: Media Office of the Eastern American Diocese
200 Alexander Avenue Howell, New Jersey 07731 | 732.364.3330 | [email protected] | www.Nevskys.com
Metropolitan Hilarion, Rector | Archpriest Serge Lukianov, Dean