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This day begins the liturgical cycle of the services of the Lenten Triodion. Metropolitan Kallistos Ware, in his introduction to that book, comments that repentance is more than regret or sorrow, but a positive transformation, which can only occur in the context of being poor in spirit:
Repentance is the door through which we enter Lent, the starting-point of our journey to Pascha. And to repent signifies far more than self-pity or futile regret over things done in the past. The Greek term metanoia means ‘change of mind’: to repent is to be renewed, to be transformed in our inward viewpoint, to attain a fresh way of looking at our relationship to God and to others. The fault of the Pharisee is that he has no desire to change his outlook; he is complacent, self-satisfied, and so he allows no place for God to act within him. The Publican, on the other hand, truly longs for a ‘change of mind’: he is self-dissatisfied, ‘poor in spirit’, and where there is this saving self-dissatisfaction there is room for God to act. Unless we learn the secret of the Publican’s inward poverty, we do not share in the Lenten springtime.
From the Lenten Triodion:
The Word who humbled Himself even to the form of a servant, showed that humility is the best path to exaltation. Every man, then, who humbles himself according to the Lord’s example, is exalted on high.
The Pharisee was exalted in his righteousness, and so he fell. The Publican was abased, defiled by many sins; yet he was exalted and, against all expectations, he was justified.
Though he was rich in virtues, foolish pride brought the Pharisee to poverty; but in the extremity of his need the Publican was justified through his humility. Let us also gain humility.
The Saviour and Master, ever leading us to divine exaltation, in His actions revealed to us the humility that raises us on high. For with His own hands He washed the feet of the disciples.
The crafty enemy lies in wait for the righteous and despoils them through vainglory, while he binds sinners fast in the noose of despair. But let us emulate the Publican and hasten to escape from both these evils.
Before all other deeds, remember about this great deed: that your children, innocent and pure children, take into their pure hearts the Law of God, the commandments of Christ, at least from the small amount of instruction that they can receive from you.
You have not yet forgotten the Law of God, so teach, teach your children, and then your family will become your house church. And the light of Christ from this house church will spread invisibly for you beyond the boundaries of your family.
The Light of Christ, His Divine Truth, will invisibly flow into the hearts and minds of all those who have dealings with you. It could be that the influence of your house church will go beyond its boundaries.
Then the eternal blessing of our Lord and God Jesus Christ, His Beginningless Father, and the All-Holy Spirit will be upon you. Article
The more we forgive, the more courage we gather within our heart which in turn makes it easier to forgive the next time, and the time after that, and seventy-times seven that follow. When we begin living according to a life in Christ, our world changes, we perceive those around us differently. We begin to see them as Christ sees them. Most importantly, we recognize the grace of Christ operative in our lives. We can then echo the words of Saint Paul, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Phillippians 4:13) and that includes forgiving everyone, even those who have wronged us greviously. Article
We celebrated Holy Theophany, and after, the Outdoor Blessing of the Waters.
Children and adults sang Christmas carols just before Christmas.
St. Nicholas came to visit Holy Cross!
We have photos from Pentecost, and the chrismations on Pentecost!
We have some photos from the services on Holy Friday!
We have some photos from the services of Pascha!
Palm Sunday was a festive celebration, with our yearly photograph of parish children after the procession.
On Soul Saturday, Father Christopher celebrated a teaching liturgy, teaching during the Proskomedia and the Divine Liturgy.
On the Sunday of Orthodoxy, we had a procession with icons, and took a photo of the children.
In the first week of Lent, parishioners gathered to pray the penitential Canon of St. Andrew.
We began Lent with the Rite of Forgiveness.
Thanks to Whitney for photos from the Outdoor Blessing of the Waters on the Sunday following Theophany.
Thanks to Sergey for photos from the John Luke's Baptism on the Sunday after Nativity!
Thanks to Sergey for many more photos from the baptisms and chrismations just before Nativity!
We have photos from the children's Nativity Play!
Our celebration of the Nativity of Christ began with a beautiful and joyous Vigil service.
We celebrated 5 baptisms and 11 chrismations on the Sunday before Nativity!
The first of 2017's Nativity Prefeast services began the final stage of prayerful preparation for Holy Nativity.
St. Nicholas visited Holy Cross this year again, and later, many parishioners and their children sang Christmas carols at Adams Farm Living and Rehabilitation, where our brother George of blessed memory used to live.
Father Christopher gathered together the parish children who are approaching the appropriate age and offered them some teaching about confession.
After so many years of hoping, researching, planning, preparing and praying, at last we had our first meeting with the builders, initiating the actual path toward building our new church!
For more, please see our Parish News, Photos and Videos page.