The healing of the sick holds a central place not only in the Divine Liturgy, but also in the communal spiritual life of the faithful. After the recitation of the Lords Prayer (Our Father …”), and before the sanctification of the Precious Body and Blood of Christ, the celebrant Priest offers this prayer: “Oh Master … heal the sick, You, the physician of our souls and bodies.” There is also a repeated petition, prayed for all Christians: For … (their) health and for (their) salvation …” In addition to these brief petitions, which we hear throughout the holy Services (in particular the Supplication Service for the Sick”), there is also the Sacrament of Holy Unction, which the Church reserves for serious situations. St James, the Brother of the Lord, gives us encouragement: “Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the Church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up” (James 5:14-15). This does happen! The Lord brought healing to those who came to Him with faith (like the paralytic in todays Gospel reading), and continues to do so today through Holy Unction. It has been confirmed by the countless cases of sick people who received healing through the Sacrament. I can also personally testify to this, as I too was saved with Holy Unction.

In the Divine Liturgy (as well as all other Holy Services), prayers for Orthodox Christians are repeatedly offered.    This Sunday is also called the Sunday of Orthodoxy. What is Orthodoxy, and what does it mean to be Orthodox?

Our Church is known as “the Orthodox Church,” but its official title, as written in the Creed, is: One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.  The word “Orthodox” is nowhere to be found, so where did this new title come from?

There are three main petitions that are addressed to God during the Divine Liturgy: a) that the Lord gives us the grace to worship the Triune God with complete faith and love; b) that we may come to Holy Communion with purity and repentance, receiving the Body and Blood of Christ; and c) that we will be found worthy of the Kingdom of Heaven (see the ending of the Second Prayer of the Faithful).

One of the fundamental tenets of the Christian faith (as stated in our Creed) is that the Lord will one day return "in glory to judge the living and the dead.” This teaching is rooted in the Scriptures (like all Church teachings), and the Lord Jesus Christ Himself spoke of His return. What He did not reveal was when this would happen, so we must be careful to ignore the false “prophets” who appear from time to time, announcing the day of the Second Coming of Christ. These “prophecies” bring only strife and turmoil.

"For the completion of the remainder of our lives … in repentance…" 

One of the most important petitions that are addressed to God during the Divine Liturgy (and in all other holy Services), is for repentance and forgiveness of our sins. These prayers of the Church are modeled on the prayer the Lord Himself gave us: Our Father … and forgive our trespasses” (Matthew 6:9&12). What is being asked for here is to be freed from our sins. Other examples of this are beautifully expressed in Psalm 50 (51), which is recited at least four times a day, along with such prayers and supplications as: For the completion of the remainder of our lives in peace and repentance, let us ask the Lord”; We also pray for …the forgiveness and the remission of sins …” We also have the period of Triodion and Holy Great Lent, which includes the hymn Oh You Giver of life, open up the gates of repentance …” The chanting of this hymn, following Psalm 50 (51) during Sunday Matins, calls our souls to repentance.

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Schedule of services on May 2021

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