St. Peter Newsletter — August 12, 2014

Dormition Liturgy on Friday, August 15 at the Holiday Inn at 6:30pm

The Dormition of the Mother of God

We will hold the Liturgy for the Dormition of the Theotokos at the Holiday Inn on Friday, August 15 starting at 6:30pm.

How should we prepare?

If you can do it, try not to eat anything until after the Liturgy. This would be considered the hard fast. If that is too difficult, eat a light breakfast (no meats) and skip lunch. If that is too difficult, eat a light breakfast and a light lunch, just enough to keep your energy up.

Of course if you have medical needs, those needs overrule everything (needing to eat because of medication for example). In that case just do your best.

Fasting is to help us focus our interior lives on God. We have degrees of fasting because it is a discipline that is learned one step at a time. To get to third base, we start by getting to first base.

Medical needs suspend the disciplines if fasting would be detrimental to our health. In those cases we make up for it by strengthening our interior lives by other means. Praying more would be one such way.

A fasting period for the Dormition is prescribed from August 1 to August 15 (like the Lenten Fast). If we have neglected this fasting period, now would be a good time to begin.

About the Dormition

From: Greek Orthodox Archdiocese

The Holy Scriptures tell us that when our Lord was dying on the Cross, He saw His mother and His disciple John and said to the Virgin Mary, “Woman, behold your son!” and to John, “Behold your mother!” (John 19:25-27). From that hour, the Apostle took care of the Theotokos in his own home.

Along with the biblical reference in Acts 1:14 that confirms that the Virgin Mary was with the Holy Apostles on the day of Pentecost, the tradition of the Church holds that she remained in the home of the Apostle John in Jerusalem, continuing a ministry in word and deed.

At the time of her death, the disciples of our Lord who were preaching throughout the world returned to Jerusalem to see the Theotokos. Except for the Apostle Thomas, all of them including the Apostle Paul were gathered together at her bedside. At the moment of her death, Jesus Christ himself descended and carried her soul into heaven.

The Dormition of the Mother of God

Following her repose, the body of the Theotokos was taken in procession and laid in a tomb near the Garden of Gethsemane. When the Apostle Thomas arrived three days after her repose and desired to see her body, the tomb was found to be empty. The bodily assumption of the Theotokos was confirmed by the message of an angel and by her appearance to the Apostles.

Read more on the Antiochian Archdiocese website or the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese website.

The Sunday Scripture Readings

The Gospel Reading

Ancient Cover for the Bible

(For the Tenth Sunday of Matthew)

The Reading from the Holy Gospel according to St. Matthew. (17:14-23)

At that time, a man came up to Jesus and kneeling before Him said, “Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is an epileptic and he suffers terribly; for often he falls into the fire, and often into the water. And I brought him to Thy disciples, and they could not heal him.”

And Jesus answered, “O faithless and perverse generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him here to me.” And Jesus rebuked him, and the demon came out of him, and the boy was cured instantly.

Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?”

Jesus said to them, “Because you have no faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you. This kind never comes out except by prayer and fasting.”

As they were traveling together through Galilee, Jesus said to them, “The Son of man is to be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill Him, and He will rise on the third day.”

The Epistle Reading

(For the Tenth Sunday after Pentecost)

Let Thy mercy, O Lord, be upon us. Rejoice in the Lord, O ye righteous.

The Reading from the First Epistle of St. Paul to the Corinthians. (4:9-16)

Brethren, God has exhibited us Apostles as last of all, like men sentenced to death; because we have become a spectacle to the world, to angels and to men. We are fools for Christ’s sake, but you are wise in Christ. We are weak, but you are strong. You are held in honor, but we in disrepute.

To the present hour we hunger and thirst, we are ill clad and buffeted and homeless; and we labor, working with our own hands. When reviled, we bless; when persecuted, we endure; when slandered, we try to conciliate; we have become, and are now, as the refuse of the world, the off scouring of all things. I do not write this to make you ashamed, but to admonish you as my beloved children.

For though you have countless guides in Christ, you do not have many fathers. For I became your father in Christ Jesus through the Gospel. I urge you, then, be imitators of me.