Assumption Greek Orthodox Church 15625 S. Bell Road – Homer Glen, Il 60491 708-645-0652 Fr. Sotirios Dimitriou, Protopresbyter Sunday December 22, 2019 Forefeast of the Nativity of Our Lord and Savior, Jesus St. Anastasia the Great Martyr,SS. Chrysogonos, Theodota, Evodias, & Eutychianus, the Martyrs The opening of the gates of the Great Church of God Epistle Reading:Hebrews 11:9-10; 32-40Gospel Reading: Matthew 1:1-25 Services This Week Tuesday, December 24th – Christmas Eve Services. Vesperal Liturgy of St. Basil 6:00 p.m. (Communion.) Wednesday, December 25th – Nativity of our Lord- Orthros 8:30 a.m., Divine Liturgy 9:30 a.m.
The Coffee Hour is hosted by the Zervakis Family in Memory of their loved ones.May their memories be eternal. We Would Like to Welcome All Visitors to Our Community Today! When receiving Holy Communion, we ask that you kindly come up, row by row and follow the direction of the Parish Council Member.
Resurrectional Apolytikion in the Second Tone Ὅτε κατῆλθες πρὸς τὸν θάνατον, ἡ Ζωὴ ἡ ἀθάνατος, τότε τὸν ᾅδην ἐνέκρωσας τῇ ἀστραπῇ τῆς Θεότητος, ὅτε δὲ καὶ τοὺς τεθνεῶτας ἐκ τῶν καταχθονίων ἀνέστησας, πᾶσαι αἱ Δυνάμεις τῶν ἐπουρανίων ἐκραύγαζον·Ζωοδότα Χριστὲ ὁ Θεὸς ἡμῶν δόξα σοι. When Thou didst descend unto death, O Life Immortal, then didst Thou slay Hades with the lightning of Thy Divinity. And when Thou didst also raise the dead out of the nethermost depths, all the powers in the Heavens cried out: O Life-giver, Christ our God, glory be to Thee. Apolytikion of Forefeast of the Nativity Fourth Tone Ετοιμάζου Βηθλεέμ, ήνοικται πάσιν η Εδέμ, Ευτρεπίζου Εφραθά, ότι τό ξύλον τής ζωής, εν τώ Σπηλαίω εξήνθησεν εκ τής Παρθένου, Παράδεισος καί γάρ, η εκείνης γαστήρ, εδείχθη νοητός, εν ώ τό θείον φυτόν, εξ ού φαγόντες ζήσομεν, ουχί δέ ως ο Αδάμ τεθνηξόμεθα, Χριστός γεννάται, τήν πρίν πεσούσαν, αναστήσων εικόνα. Be thou ready, Bethlehem, Eden hath opened unto all. Ephratha, prepare thyself, for now, behold, the Tree of life hath blossomed forth in the cave from the Holy Virgin. Her womb hath proved a true spiritual Paradise, wherein the divine and saving Tree is found, and as we eat thereof we shall all live, and shall not die as did Adam. For Christ is born now to raise the image that had fallen aforetime. Apolytikion of Sunday before Nativity Second Tone Μεγάλα τὰ τῆς πίστεως κατορθώματα! ἐν τῇ πηγὴ τῆς φλογός, ὡς ἐπὶ ὕδατος ἀναπαύσεως, οἱ ἅγιοι τρεῖς παϊδες ἠγάλλοντο, καὶ ὁ Προφήτης Δανιήλ, λεόντων ποιμήν, ὡς προβάτων ἐδείκνυτο, Ταὶς αὐτῶν ἱκεσίαις, Χριστὲ ὁ Θεός, ἐλέησον ἡμᾶς. Great are the accomplishments of faith. In the fountain of flame the three Holy Youths rejoiced as though they were resting by the waters. And the Prophet Daniel showed himself to be a shepherd to the lions, as though they were sheep. Through their prayers O Christ our God, save our souls.
Apolytikion of Synaxis of John the Forerunner in the Second Tone Μνήμηδικαίουμέτ' ἐγκωμίων, σοὶδὲἀρκέσειἡμαρτυρίατοῦΚυρίουΠρόδρομε, ἀνεδείχθηςγὰρὄντωςκαὶΠροφητῶνσεβασμιώτερος, ὅτικαὶἐνῥείθροιςβαπτίσαικατηξιώθηςτὸνκηρυττόμενον. Ὅθεντῆςἀληθείαςὑπεραθλήσας, χαίρωνεὐηγγελίσωκαὶτοὶςἐνἅδῃ, Θεὸνφανερωθένταἐνσαρκί, τὸναἴροντατὴνἁμαρτίαντοῦκόσμου, καὶπαρέχονταἡμῖντὸμέγαἔλεος. The memory of the just is celebrated with hymns of praise, but the Lord's testimony is sufficient for thee, O Forerunner; for thou hast proved to be truly even more venerable than the Prophets, since thou was granted to baptize in the running waters Him Whom they proclaimed. Wherefore, having contested for the truth, thou didst rejoice to announce the good tidings even to those in Hades: that God hath appeared in the flesh, taking away the sin of the world and granting us great mercy. Apolytikion of Dormition of the Theotokos in the First Tone Εν τή Γεννήσει τήν παρθενίαν εφύλαξας, έν τή Κοιμήσει τόν κόσμον ού κατέλιπες Θεοτόκε, Μετέστης πρός τήν ζωήν, μήτηρ υπάρχουσα τής ζωής, καί ταίς πρεσβείαις ταίς σαίς λυτρουμένη, εκ θανάτου τάς ψυχάς ημών. In birth, you preserved your virginity; in death, you did not abandon the world, O Theotokos. As mother of life, you departed to the source of life, delivering our souls from death by your intercessions. Seasonal Kontakion in the Third Tone ἩΠαρθένοςσήμερον, τὸνΠροαιώνιονΛόγον, ἐνΣπηλαίῳἔρχεται, ἀποτεκεῖνἀπορρήτως. Χόρευεἡοἰκουμένηἀκουτισθεῖσα, δόξασονμετὰἈγγέλωνκαὶτῶνΠοιμένων, βουληθένταἐποφθῆναι, παιδίοννέον, τὸνπρὸαἰώνωνΘεόν. On this day the Virgin cometh to the cave to give birth to * God the Word ineffably, * Who was before all the ages. * Dance for joy, O earth, on hearing * the gladsome tidings; * with the Angels and the shepherds now glorify Him * Who is willing to be gazed on * as a young Child Who * before the ages is God. St. Paul's Letter to the Hebrews 11:9-10; 32-40 - BRETHREN, by faith Abraham sojourned in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise. For he looked forward to the city which has foundation, whose builder and maker is God. And what more shall I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets - who through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, received promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched raging fire, escaped the edge of the sword, won strength out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. Women received their dead by resurrection. Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, that they might rise again to a better life. Others suffered mocking and scourging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were tempted, they were killed with the sword; they went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, ill-treated - of whom the world was not worthy - wandering over deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. And all these, though well attested by their faith, did not receive what was promised, since God had foreseen something better for us,that apart from us they should not be made perfect. The Gospel Reading - Matthew 1:1-25 - The book of the Genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.Abraham was the father of Isaac, and Isaac the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers, and Judah the father of Perez and Zerah by Tamar, and Perez the father of Hezron, and Hezron the father of Ram, and Ram the father of Amminadab, and Amminadab the father of Nahshon, and Nahshon the father of Salmon, and Salmon the father of Boaz by Rahab, and Boaz the father of Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of Jesse, and Jesse the father of David the king. And David was the father of Solomon by the wife of Uriah, and Solomon the father of Rehoboam, and Rehoboam the father of Abijah, and Abijah the father of Asa, and Asa the father of Jehoshaphat, and Jehoshaphat the father of Joram, and Joram the father of Uzziah, and Uzziah the father of Jotham, and Jotham the father of Ahaz, and Ahaz the father of Hezekiah, and Hezekiah the father of Manasseh, and Manasseh the father of Amos, and Amos the father of Josiah, and Josiah the father of Jechoniah and his brothers, at the time of the deportation to Babylon. And after the deportation to Babylon: Jechoniah was the father of Shealtiel, and Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel, and Zerubbabel the father of Abiud, and Abiud the father of Eliakim, and Eliakim the father of Azor, and Azor the father of Zadok, and Zadok the father of Achim, and Achim the father of Eliud, and Eliud the father of Eleazar, and Eleazar the father of Matthan, and Matthan the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom Jesus was born, who is called Christ.So all the generations from Abraham to David were fourteen generations, and from David to the deportation to Babylon fourteen generations, and from the deportation to Babylon to the Christ fourteen generations. Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child of the Holy Spirit; and her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. But as he considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit; she will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins." All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: "Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and his name shall be called Emmanuel"(which means, God with us). When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he took his wife, but knew her not until she had borne a son; and he called his name Jesus. THE MEANING OF CHRISTMAS Every year on December 25th, Christians all over the world receive with joy and cheer the child of Bethlehem.Some two thousand years ago, in a world torn by torment, war and corruption, in a world whose people had abandoned the ways and the will of their Maker and turned to greed and gluttony, in a world darkened by immorality and devoid of hope and enlightenment.. came the incarnate Lord to save His people. As a pauper among princes, as a beggar among the wealthy, as an unknown among the famous, He came to seek His lost sheep....His children. We today, who are celebrating the anniversary of His birth, are the descendants of the people He saved.We are the ones who possess His written Word...we are the ones who read and speak of His example...we are the ones who profess to be Christians...we are the ones who preach brotherly love and peace! Why, then, the war?...the torment?....the greed?...the gluttony?...and the endless hatred? A new birth is what we need; a rededication of ourselves to God our Maker; a sincere return to love and peace...peace of soul and peace of mind. Let us repent and rejoice; let us forgive and cheer; let us love and jubilate because, in the words of Isaiah:"Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government shall be upon His shoulder, and His name shall be called wonderful; Counselor; The Mighty God; the Everlasting Father; the Prince of Peace." And let us also recall the words of St. John Chrysostom on the celebration of the birth of the Lord, in inviting the people to approach the Holy Altar for communion:"Wherefore I especially welcome andlove this day, and desire to make you partakers in my affection.I pray and implore you all to come with zeal and alacrity, every man first purging his own house, to behold our Lord wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger; for if we come with faith we shall, indeed, behold Him lying in the manger; for this Table supplies the place of the manger, and here also the body of the Lord will lie, not wrapped in swaddling clothes, but invested on all sides by the Holy Spirit." "Let us now go even unto Bethlehem and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known to us,"(Luke 2;15), commented the shepherds after the departure of the Herald Angels.Let us join the shepherds on this voyage.But how far is Bethlehem?How far is an hour?It all depends on the way you travel.If you travel by horse and buggy, one hour equals 12 miles.If you drive by car, an hour is about 50 miles.an if you fly by jet, one hour can be 700 miles. How far is it to Bethlehem?It all depends on the way we travel. If we travel to Bethlehem in the spirit of self-righteousness and pride, we will never get there.There is nothing there to appeal to the haughty hearty.If we have a big head and a proud heart, we will never get to Bethlehem. If we travel in the spirit of materialism, if Christmas is going to be only the three T's--toys,(tinsel and turkey) if Christmas will be a Festival of Getting instead of a Festival of Giving our hearts to God, in exchange for His Son, we will never get even to the outskirts of this little village.For Bethlehem is the birthplace of Him who came at Christmas to give men things that the eyes of the body cannot see and to grant them blessings which no wealth can by. But if we travel in the spirit of humble faith and joyful adoration, we shall get there. Let us go to Bethlehem, dressed not in the tattered robes of our own pride, selfishness or greed, but clad only in the royal robes of righteousness spun for us in a Manger and dyed red on Calvary. Community News Sunday School and Greek School…The children of our schools will participate in a short Christmas program immediately following the Divine Liturgy. Fellowship Hour…Each week, we all enjoy the fellowship hour immediately following the Divine Liturgy.In order for us to continue enjoying each other’s company every Sunday, we are in need of hostesses or even hosts to sponsor the fellowship. Also, the free will offering tray which is placed on the table for coffee has been neglected.All are asked, or rather, encouraged to make a small donation for the coffee.If you were to go to Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts or even a restaurant for a cup of coffee, it would cost you at least $1.50 to $2.00.Thus, we are kindly asking you to donate at least a $1.00 to the basket.Money that is collected each week is used to buy coffee and paper supplies. IN THE HOSPITAL, LET FATHER KNOW!In order to assist Father in his pastoral duties, please inform him if you or a family member has been hospitalized.Our hospitals DO NOT have a policy of informing the church if they have a parishioner as their patient. ADDRESS CHANGED?Please help us keep our membership and mailings as accurate as possible by notifying Father of address, name or phone number changes.Thank you for your assistance. Stewardship Appeal… At this time, we would like to thank everyone for their continued support of our Stewardship Program. Many of you have completed your form already, and we thank you.If you have not completed your 2019 Stewardship form, you are kindly asked to do so.Please remember, your pledge is important to the daily operations of our Church. Forms are available in the Church Office.If you have any question concerning your pledge, please see Father Sam. Metropolis Launches new website!Explore our new Metropolis of Chicago website. ….. Learn more about Orthodoxy, the Metropolis and its ministries. Discover ways to get involved. Experience navigation made easy.https://chicago.goarch.org Parish Servant Leadership Award - We received direction from the Metropolis of Chicago to take nominations for the Parish Servant Leadership Award. This is a new initiative from the Metropolis to recognize outstanding leaders in our community. The criteria for this award include excellence in service, leadership, and innovation all in the name of service to our Church. Winners of this award will be recognized by the Metropolis at a banquet in May, 2020.Complete information can be found here on the Metropolis Website: https://chicago.goarch.org/servant-leadership-awards Going Green Collection Program…Our parish will be participating in the recyclable program, but we are not going to be collecting plastic bottles and papers.Instead the recyclables we are collecting are clothing, blankets and shoes.A GOIN’ GREEN Drop of box is placed on the Church grounds that will be visible to not only our parishioners but also to the general public.This is an opportunity for our parish to give back to the community at large and to participate at recycling goods that will help those who are less fortunate than us.So now, when we have clothes, blankets, coasts or shoes that we don’t need anymore, we can bring them to Church and drop them off in the GOIN’ GREEN Drop box.For more information about this program, please see Fr. Sam