“Keep thy mind in hell and despair not” St Silouan

Tuesday
Jan222013

Newsletter 13 - January 2013

January 2013 Newsletter in PDF format.

 

Saturday
Dec012012

Newsletter 12 - December 2012

December 2012 Newsletter in PDF format

Tuesday
Nov062012

Newsletter 11 - November 2012

November Newsletter in PDF format.

Monday
Oct102011

Newsletter 9 – Sunday, 9th October 2011

17th Sunday after Pentecost:
Repose of Apostle and Evangelist John the Theologian

Troparion of the Sunday, Tone VIII —
Thou didst descend from on high, O Merciful One! / Thou didst accept the three-day burial to free us from our sufferings! / O Lord, our Life and Resurrection: glory to Thee!

Kontakion of the Sunday, Tone VIII —
By rising from the tomb, Thou didst raise the dead and resurrect Adam. / Eve exults in Thy Resurrection, / and the world celebrates Thy rising from the dead, O greatly Merciful One!

Repose of the Holy Apostle and Evangelist John the Theologian, Troparion in Tone II —
O beloved apostle of Christ God,/ haste thou to deliver a defenceless people./ He Who permitted thee to recline against His breast/ receiveth thee, prostrate in supplication./ Him do thou beseech, O theologian,/ that He dispel the gloom of the nations which doth beset us,// asking for us peace and great mercy.

Kontakion in Tone II —
Who can recount thy mighty works, O virgin apostle?/ For thou pourest out miracles and causest healings to flow forth;/ and thou prayest for our souls,// in that thou art a theologian and the friend of Christ.

Epistle 2 Corinthians 6:16-7:1
16
         And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said:"I will dwell in them And walk among them. I will be their God, And they shall be My people."
17
         Therefore Come out from among them And be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, And I will receive you."
18
         I will be a Father to you, And you shall be My sons and daughters, Says the LORD Almighty."
1
         Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

1 John 4:12-19 (Epistle, Apostle)
12
         No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us.
13
         By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit.
14
         And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as Savior of the world.
15
         Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.
16
         And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.
17
         Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world.
18
         There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.
19
         We love Him because He first loved us.

Gospel Luke 5:1-11
1
         So it was, as the multitude pressed about Him to hear the word of God, that He stood by the Lake of Gennesaret,
2
         and saw two boats standing by the lake; but the fishermen had gone from them and were washing their nets.
3
         Then He got into one of the boats, which was Simon's, and asked him to put out a little from the land. And He sat down and taught the multitudes from the boat.
4
         When He had stopped speaking, He said to Simon, "Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch."
5
         But Simon answered and said to Him, "Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless at Your word I will let down the net."
6
         And when they had done this, they caught a great number of fish, and their net was breaking.
7
         So they signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink.
8
         When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, "Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!"
9
         For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish which they had taken;
10
         and so also were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, "Do not be afraid. From now on you will catch men."
11
         So when they had brought their boats to land, they forsook all and followed Him.

John 19:25-27; 21:24-25 (Gospel, Apostle)
25
         Now there stood by the cross of Jesus His mother, and His mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.
26
         When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing by, He said to His mother, "Woman, behold your son!"
27
         Then He said to the disciple, "Behold your mother!" And from that hour that disciple took her to his own home.
24
         This is the disciple who testifies of these things, and wrote these things; and we know that his testimony is true.
25
         And there are also many other things that Jesus did, which if they were written one by one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written. Amen.

Calendar for October
Tuesday 11th October:
Venerable Schemamonk Kyrill and Schemanun Maria (1337), parents of St Sergius of Radonezh
Friday 14th October: THE PROTECTION OF OUR MOST HOLY LADY, THE MOTHER OF GOD AND EVER-VIRGIN, MARY

Sunday 23rd October:
Commemoration of the Fathers of the Seventh Ecumenical Council (787)
Monday 31st October:
Apostle and Evangelist Luke (1st)

Times of next Liturgies
Sunday 6th November
Hours and confession 10.30 Liturgy 11.00

Parish News
Parish Eastern European Food Fayre

The Parish of St Silouan are hoping to hold an Eastern European Food Fayre towards the end of November to raise valuable funds  for our church    We hope to have a Saturday fayre which will last approximately 4-5 hours. We would like to sell food of an Eastern European background (or any food people would be willing to contribute!) in a cafe-style setting to eat-in or to take-away. We need people to help by:

contributing food to sell

contributing any vital equipment for the day (napkins, plates, cutlery, tablecloths, decorations etc)

helping with setting up and clearing away

advertising posters in places of work/places of study

offering any help and support for this event, even if it is just 1 or 2 hours helping out at the fayre
All help will be most gratefully received as it is really necessary for our parish to raise funds to help our community expand and for the purchasing of necessary items for the church itself. There will be a board at the back of the church after liturgy for those who would like to sign up to help out at this annual event. Alternatively, please speak to Paula.

Life of St John the Evangelist

The Holy, Glorious All-laudable Apostle and Evangelist, Virgin, and Beloved Friend of Christ, John the Theologian was the son of Zebedee and Salome, a daughter of St Joseph the Betrothed. He was called by our Lord Jesus Christ to be one of His Apostles at the same time as his elder brother James. This took place at Lake Gennesareth (i.e. the Sea of Galilee). Leaving behind their father, both brothers followed the Lord.
The Apostle John was especially loved by the Savior for his sacrificial love and his virginal purity. After his calling, the Apostle John did not part from the Lord, and he was one of the three apostles who were particularly close to Him. St John the Theologian was present when the Lord restored the daughter of Jairus to life, and he was a witness to the Transfiguration of the Lord on Mount Tabor.

During the Last Supper, he reclined next to the Lord, and laid his head upon His breast. He also asked the name of the Savior's betrayer. The Apostle John followed after the Lord when they led Him bound from the Garden of Gethsemane to the court of the iniquitous High Priests Annas and Caiphas. He was there in the courtyard of the High Priest during the interrogations of his Teacher and he resolutely followed after him on the way to Golgotha, grieving with all his heart.

At the foot of the Cross he stood with the Mother of God and heard the words of the Crucified Lord addressed to Her from the Cross: "Woman, behold Thy son." Then the Lord said to him, "Behold thy Mother" (John 19:26-27). From that moment the Apostle John, like a loving son, concerned himself over the Most Holy Virgin Mary, and he served Her until Her Dormition.

After the Dormition of the Mother of God the Apostle John went to Ephesus and other cities of Asia Minor to preach the Gospel, taking with him his own disciple Prochorus, where the Apostle John preached incessantly to the pagans about Christ. His preaching was accompanied by such numerous and great miracles, that the number of believers increased with each day.

During this time there had begun a persecution of Christians under the emperor Nero (56-68). They took the Apostle John for trial at Rome. St John was sentenced to death for his confession of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, but the Lord preserved His chosen one.

After this, they sent the Apostle John off to imprisonment to the island of Patmos, where he spent many years. Proceeding along on his way to the place of exile, St John worked many miracles. On the island of Patmos, his preaching and miracles attracted to him all the inhabitants of the island, and he enlightened them with the light of the Gospel. He cast out many devils from the pagan temples, and he healed a great multitude of the sick.

The Apostle John withdrew with his disciple Prochorus to a desolate height, where he imposed upon himself a three-day fast. As St John prayed the earth quaked and thunder rumbled. Prochorus fell to the ground in fright. The Apostle John lifted him up and told him to write down what he was about to say. "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end, saith the Lord, Who is and Who was and Who is to come, the Almighty" (Rev 1:8), proclaimed the Spirit of God through the Apostle John. Thus in about the year 67 the Book of Revelation was written, known also as the "Apocalypse," of the holy Apostle John the Theologian. In this Book were predictions of the tribulations of the Church and of the end of the world.

After his prolonged exile, the Apostle John received his freedom and returned to Ephesus, where he continued with his activity, instructing Christians to guard against false teachers and their erroneous teachings. In the year 95, the Apostle John wrote his Gospel at Ephesus. He called for all Christians to love the Lord and one another, and by this to fulfill the commands of Christ. The Church calls St John the "Apostle of Love", since he constantly taught that without love man cannot come near to God.

In his three Epistles, St John speaks of the significance of love for God and for neighbor.
St John died when he was more than a hundred years old. He far outlived the other eyewitnesses of the Lord, and for a long time he remained the only remaining eyewitness of the earthly life of the Savior.
The Lord bestowed on His beloved disciple John and John's brother James the name "Sons of Thunder" as an awesome messenger in its cleansing power of the heavenly fire. And precisely by this the Savior pointed out the flaming, fiery, sacrificial character of Christian love, the preacher of which was the Apostle John the Theologian. The eagle, symbol of the lofty heights of his theological thought, is the iconographic symbol of the Evangelist John the Theologian. The appellation "Theologian" is bestowed by Holy Church only to St John among the immediate disciples and Apostles of Christ, as being the seer of the mysterious Judgments of God.

Tuesday
Oct042011

Newsletter 8 – Sunday, 25th September 2011

Patronal Feast of St Silouan of Mount Athos and Sunday before the Exaltation of the Cross

Venerable father Silouan of Mount Athos, Troparion in Tone IV
By thy prayers thou didst receive Christ as thy Master on the path of humility;/ and in thy heart the Holy Spirit witnessed unto thy salvation./ For this cause all people called to live in hope/ are now rejoicing and celebrating thy memory.// O holy Father Silouan, pray to Christ to save our souls.

Kontakion of the Venerable one in Tone VIII
During thy life on earth thou didst serve Christ, following His path/ and now in Heaven thou dost contemplate Him Whom thou hast loved;/ dwelling with Him as He promised to His elect,// O holy father Silouan, instruct us in the way that thou hast gone.

Troparion of the feast in Tone IV
Thy nativity, O Virgin Mother of God,/ hath proclaimed joy to all the world;/ for from thee hath shone forth Christ our God,/ the Sun of righteousness,/ Who hav­ing annulled the curse,/ hath given His blessing,// and having abolished death, hath granted us life everlasting.

Kontakion of the Feast in Tone IV
In thy holy nativity, O all-pure one, / Joachim and Anna are freed from the reproach of childlessness, / and Adam and Eve from mortal corruption. / And, delivered from sin, thy people celebrate it, crying out to thee:// A barren woman giveth birth to the Mother of God, who sustains our Life!

Epistle Galatians 6:11-18 Sunday before the Exaltation of the Cross
See with what large letters I have written to you with my own hand! As many as desire to make a good showing in the flesh, these would compel you to be circumcised, only that they may not suffer persecution for the cross of Christ. For not even those who are circumcised keep the law, but they desire you to have you circumcised that they may boast in your flesh.

But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but a new creation.

And as many as walk according to this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God. From now on let no one trouble me, for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.

Epistle Galatians 5:22-6:2 St Silouan of Mount Athos

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.

Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

Gospel John 3:13-17 Sunday before the Exaltation of the Cross
No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, “that whoever believing in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.  “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved”.

Gospel Luke 6:17-23 St Silouan of Mount Athos
And He came down with them and stood on a level place with a crowd of His disciples and a great multitude of people from all Judea and Jerusalem, and from the seacoast of Tyre and Sidon, who came to hear Him and be healed of their diseases, as well as those who were tormented with unclean spirits. And they were healed. And the whole multitude sought to touch Him, for power went out from Him and healed them all. Then He lifted up His eyes toward His disciples, and said:

“Blessed are you poor, for yours is the Kingdom of God.   
Blessed are you who hunger now, for you shall be filled.
Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh.
Blessed are you when men hate you, and when they exclude you, and revile you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of Man’s sake.

Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets”.

Calendar for September
Tuesday 27th September: THE UNIVERSAL EXALTATION OF THE PRECIOUS AND LIFEGIVING CROSS (Fast day)

Times of next Liturgies
Sunday 9th October Hours and confession 10.30 Liturgy 11.00
Sunday 6th November Hours and confession 10.30 Liturgy 11.00

Parish News

Parish Eastern European Food Fayre
The Parish of St Silouan is hoping to hold an Eastern European Food Fayre towards the end of November to raise valuable funds for our church and for necessary parish development.

We hope to have a Saturday fayre which will last approximately 4-5 hours. We would like to sell food of an Eastern European background (or any food people would be willing to contribute!) in a cafe-style setting to eat-in or to take-away. We need people to help by:

– contributing food to sell

– contributing any vital equipment for the day (napkins, plates, cutlery, tablecloths, decorations etc)

– helping with setting up and clearing away

– advertising posters in places of work/places of study

– offering any help and support for this event, even if it is just 1 or 2 hours helping out at the fayre

All help will be most gratefully received as it is really necessary for our parish to raise funds to help our community expand and for the purchasing of necessary items for the church itself. There will be a board at the back of the church after liturgy for those who would like to sign up to help out at this annual event. Alternatively, please speak to Paula.

Exaltation of the Cross
In the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost. 

We  have  been  keeping  these days the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross.  There is a passage in the Gospel in which the Lord says to us, «No  one  has  greater  love  than  he  who  gives  his  life  for his neighbour». And these words resolve the antinomy between the horror of the  Cross  and  the  glory of it, between death and the Resurrection. There  is nothing more glorious, more awe-inspiring and wonderful than to  love  and  to  be loved. And to be loved by God with all the life, with  all  the death of the Only-Begotten Son, and to love one another at  the  cost  of all our life and, if necessary, of our death is both tragedy and mainly victory. In the Canon of the Liturgy we say, «Holy, most  Holy art Thou and Thine Only-Begotten Son and Thine Holy Spirit! Holy  and most Holy art Thou because Thou hast so loved Thy world that Thou hast given Thine Only-Begotten Son that those who will believe in Him  do  not  perish  but  have  life  eternal, Who hath come and hath fulfilled  all that was appointed for our sakes, and in the night when He  was  betrayed  - no! - when He gave Himself up, He took bread, and brake it and gave it to His disciples ...» 

This  is  the  divine  love. At times one can give one's own life more easily  than  offer  unto death the person whom one loves beyond all - and  this  is what God, our Father has done. But it does not make less the  sacrifice  of Him who is sent unto death for the salvation of one person or of the whole world. 

And  so  when  we  think  of the Cross we must think of this strangely inter-twined  mystery of tragedy and victory. The Cross, an instrument of  infamous  death, of punitive death to which criminals were doomed, because Christ's death was that of an innocent, and because this death was a gift of self in an act of love - the Cross becomes victory. 

This is why Saint Paul could say, «It is no longer I, it is Christ Who lives  in  me  ...»  Divine  love filled him to the brim and therefore there was no room for any other thought or feeling, any other approach to  anyone apart from love, a love that gave itself unreservedly, love sacrificial, love crucified, but love exulting in the joy of life.  And when we are told in today's Gospel, «Turn away from yourself, take up  your  Cross,  Follow Me» (St Mark VIII: 34) - we are not called to something  dark  and frightening; we are told by God: Open yourself to love!  Do  not  remain a prisoner of your own self-centredness. Do not be,  in  the  words  of  Theophane the Recluse, like a shaving of wood which  is  rolled  around  its own emptiness. Open yourself up! Look - there  is so much to love, there are so many to love! There is such an infinity  of  ways in which love can be experienced, and fulfilled and accomplished...  Open  yourself  and love - because this is the way of the  Cross!  Not  the  way  which the two criminals trod together with Christ to be punished for their crimes; but the wonderful way in which giving oneself unreservedly, turning away from self, existing only for the other, loving with all one's being so that one exists only for the sake of the other - this is the Cross and the glory of the Cross. 

So, when we venerate the Cross, when we think of Christ's crucifixion, when  we  hear  the call of Christ to deny ourselves - and these words simply  mean:  turn  away  from yourself! take up your cross! - we are called  to  open  ourselves  to the flood of Love Divine, that is both death to ourselves and openness to God , and to each, and to all. 

In  the  beginning  of  the Gospel of Saint John we are told, «And the Word  was  with God». The Greek version says «Godwards». The Word, the Son had no other love, no other thought, no other movement but towards the  Beloved  One, giving Himself to Him Who gave Himself perfectly to Him.  Let  us  learn  the  glory  of  crucified  Love,  of  this  Love sacrificial  which is in the words of the Old Testament, stronger than death,  stronger  than  hell,  stronger  than all things because it is Divine  Life  conquering  us  and poured through us onto all those who need  to  be  loved  in  order to come to Life, to believe in Love and themselves  to become children of Love, children of Light, to inherit Life eternal. Amen.

Metropolitan Anthony of Sourozh

September 28, 1986