Sunday, September 30, 2012

October 1: Feast of the Protection of the Most Holy Theotokos (Pokrova)

Tomorrow is the Feast of the Intercession, or Protection ("Pokrova") of the Most Holy Theotokos.

NOTE: As announced today at the Divine Liturgy and in our weekly bulletin, the feast will be observed with a Divine Liturgy scheduled at 9AM on Saturday, October 6, 2012.

A brief explanation of the origin of the feast is included in the Menaion, or book of the fixed cycle of the saints, for the month of October:
On October 1, 911, during the reign of emperor Leo the Wise, there was an all-night vigil in the Blachernae church of the Theotokos in Constantinople. Standing near the rear of the church was St. Andrew the Fool for Christ, and his disciple Epiphanius. At four o’clock in the morning, the Theotokos appeared above the people with a veil spread over her outstretched hands, as if to protect them. She was surrounded by angels and saints. Seeing this, Andrew asked his disciple, “Do you see the Queen and Lady of all is praying for the whole world?
source: Byzantine Monthly Menaion - Volume 2: October [Metropolitan Cantor Institute, Byzantine Catholic Seminary, Pittsburgh, PA, 2005]
It is said the Theotokos protected the faithful in the church that morning, and the people of the capitol city of Constantinople, from the onslaught of an invading barbarian army.

The Marian para-liturgical hymn, We Hasten to Your Patronage (Pod Tvoj Pokrov Pribihajem) is most commonly associated with this feast.

In preparation for the observance of the feast at our parish, we will publish hymns and propers for the Divine Liturgy later this week.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Hymns & Propers: Eighteenth Sunday After Pentecost - September 30, 2012

Our outline of the hymns, propers and liturgical hymn selection (order of worship) for this Eighteenth Sunday After Pentecost - September 30, 2012 - is available on the For the Faithful resource page.

Epistle - 2 Corinthians 9:6-11
Gospel - Luke 6:31-36

Tone of the week = Tone 1

Also, as a reminder, we will be holding a chant group rehearsal before the Divine Liturgy in the choir loft from 10:15AM - 10:50AM. All interested in learning more about our blessed chant tradition are welcome to attend.

Hope to see you for another special Sunday morning at the Church of the Resurrection!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Chant Rehearsal - Everyone Welcome! (Sunday 9/30/2012)

Next Sunday - September 30, 2012 - we will have a short chant group rehearsal from 10:15AM-10:45AM in the choir loft, prior to the Divine Liturgy.

We will be covering different settings in the people's book, with an emphasis on litanies and harmonization of the responses.

In addition, we will be discussing possibilities for the upcoming holiday seasons (Christmas is just around the corner!).

All parishioners and guests are welcome to attend - please join us in the choir loft before Divine Liturgy.

While we would like to add members to the group, we are most interested first and foremost in promoting good congregational singing. So please don't be shy!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Propers & Hymns: Seventeenth Sunday After Pentecost - September 23, 2012

Tomorrow, September 23, 2012, is the Seventeenth Sunday After Pentecostanother "ordinary" Sunday in the long stretch between Pentecost and Lenten Triodion, with no major feast days or commemorations liturgically celebrated at the Divine Liturgy. However, it is worth noting that September 23rd is the minor feast of the Conception of the Holy Prophet, Forerunner, and Baptist, John.

Given that the Propers for the week are limited to those proper for Sunday in the tone of the week (Tone 8), we will not be posting propers, hymns and hymn selection (order of worship) for this week, concentrating instead on preparation for upcoming feast days (with the next one being the Protection of the Theotokos on October 1, 2012).

Epistle - 2nd Corinthians 6:16-7:1
Gospel - Luke 5:1-11

Tone of the week = Tone 8

We will announce an opening hymn just before the start of the Divine Liturgy.

Hope to see you tomorrow morning for a blessed Sunday of celebration and fellowship!

Friday, September 14, 2012

We Bow to Your Cross, O Lord

Today we celebrate the feast of the Exaltation of the Precious, Holy and Life-Giving Cross.

The Divine Liturgy will be celebrated in Smithtown at 7PM this evening.

Propers for the feast day Divine Liturgy are found on pages 253-258 of the Peoples' Book.

The hymn "Come Now All You Faithful" (pg. 13 of the Byzantine Catholic Hymnal) would be appropriate for this feast day, chanted during the Great Incensation.

NOTE: Instead of "Holy God" (the Trisagion), "We Bow to Your Cross" is chanted. It is likely that version "B" on page 33 will be used.

We bow to Your Cross, O Lord, and we glorify your Holy Resurrection!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Never forget (9/11) ...

We prayerfully remember all those who perished in the 9/11 terrorist attacks upon New York, Washington, DC and Pennsylvania, and all those who bravely acted to save countless others and defend us henceforth. May the Lord God grant to each of the fallen blessed repose, in the place where the just repose, where there is no pain, sorrow, nor mourning, but life everlasting. Eternal Memory!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Propers & Hymns - Sunday Before the Exaltation of the Holy Cross - September 9, 2012

Propers, hymns and hymn selection (order of worship) for this Fifteenth Sunday After Pentecost - September 9, 2012 - are available on the For the Faithful resource page.

Tomorrow is also Post-festive Day of the Nativity of the Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary, which we celebrated today (September 8th), so the propers will be carried over from the Feast, as explained below.

Further, it is the Sunday Before the Exaltation of the Holy Cross (Friday, September 14th), and this will also effect the propers for this Sunday.

Epistle - Galatians 6:11-18
Gospel - John 3:13-17

Tone of the week = Tone 6

During the Great Incensation, we will chant Joyfully, We Now Sing (Spivajme Veselo), a lesser-known  para-liturgical hymn traditionally associated with the Feast of the Nativity of the Theotokos. We acknowledge the work of Fr. David Mastroberte (ACROD) and thank him for his poetic English translation, borrowed here. The melodic theme of this hymn will also be embraced later in the celebration of this Divine Liturgy, with the Cherubic Hymn chanted to the same melodic pattern. This setting was inspired by the oeuvre of Cantor & Choir Director + Gabriel Zihal, of blessed memory, who fell asleep in the Lord on July 18th of this year.

NOTE: A handout will be distributed with both of these hymns before the Divine Liturgy tomorrow.

As a reminder, for a Sunday in the festal period of a Solemn Feast of the Theotokos:
  • the Troparion of the Feast is taken as well as the Troparion and Kontakion for Sunday in the tone of the week (Tone 6), immediately after the Sunday Troparion;
  • the Prokeimenon and Alleluia for the Sunday Before the Exaltation of the Holy Cross are taken instead of those for Sunday and the Feast,
  • the Magnification & Irmos for the Feast are chanted instead of It is truly proper (Dostojno jest'). Please note that we will take the Simple simple setting.
Hope to see you for another special Sunday morning at the Church of the Resurrection!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Happy *Byzantine* New Year!

Today begins the new Byzantine Liturgical Year, which runs from September 1st - August 31st.

It is the year 7521 by Byzantine reckoning!

On the first day of each liturgical year, we commemorate St. Simeon the Stylite, a monk who achieved fame for living 39 years on a small platform atop a pillar near Aleppo in Syria.
Troparion of St. Simeon the Stylite (Tone 1)
You became a column of endurance and rivaled the forefathers, O holy one, becoming like Job in your sufferings and like Joseph in your trials, like the bodiless angels, though you lived in the flesh. O Simeon, our holy father, intercede with Christ our God that He may save our souls.
For his incredible ascetic feat, he has the modern distinction of holding the all-time longest standing endurance record listed in the Guinness Book of World Records.