The Meaning of our Divine Services, part ten: Divine Liturgy, “The Epistle and Gospel Readings”


DSC 0534Up until the eighth century, the daily readings commenced with Old Testament readings, both from the Torah (first five books of the Bible) and from the Prophets. The Church, in creating a liturgical calendar of readings from Scripture, followed the Jewish Temple practice. We can witness Christ participating in this liturgical cycle of readings in the Gospel of Luke: “And He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up: and He entered, as his custom was, into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read. And there was delivered unto Him the book of the prophet Isaiah” (Luke 3:16-17). When Christ simultaneously read and fulfilled this prophecy of Isaiah, He was reading the Prophecy that was appointed for the day. As the Church came to recognize the four different Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, as well as the Apostolic epistles also as Scripture, those readings were integrated into the cycle of readings, with the exception of The Revelation (or Apocalypse) of St. John, which was finally accepted into the New Testament canon only after the cycle of what we now call the New Testament readings was established.


The Meaning of our Divine Services, part eleven: Divine Liturgy, “The Litanies”


DSC 0537A series of litanies immediately follows the homily: the Litany of Fervent Supplication, which consists of petitions made directly to the Lord, most of which only occur during this part of the Divine Liturgy, the Litany for the Departed, which is not done on Sunday (the Day of Resurrection), the Litany for the Catechumens, and the first and second Litanies of the Faithful, which commence the Liturgy of the Faithful.


The Role of the Priest in the Parish in Secular Society by Fr. Nicholas Ceko

The Role of the Priest in the Parish in Secular Society
by Fr. Nicholas Ceko

cross-smConsidering myself to be still among the youngest of the brethren, and hence less experienced then many, I approached this subject with fear and trembling ... not as much because I knew that this paper was going to be presented before the Bishop and my brother priests, but more so because, as are all things, it is presented before God, who is the one to whom we must answer for our every word. In thinking about this enormous topic, I drew from my experience growing up in this country and serving the Church in my adult life in various capacities for now 20 years. This includes my work as a lay person as well as my service to the Church as a priest. The seriousness of this subject is one which causes the most fear, because more and more each day I am convinced that the influence of what is commonly called secularism on the work of the priest and parish is greater and greater. Having heard the presentation of Fr. Petar Jovanovic on this subject, I have chosen to focus my presentation on The Work of the Priest and Pastoral Ministry in our contemporary American secular society. The question I hope to address is: How did the parish, and hence the role of the priest get to be what it is during century in the United States - What some have called the Missionary period - which was the bringing together of "our people" who fled their homes after the catastrophe of what befell the "old country."


The Role of the Priest in the Parish in Secular Society by Fr. Petar Jovanovic

The Role of the Priest in the Parish in Secular Society
by Fr. Petar Jovanovic


The service of the priest is compared to a shepherd in the Holy Bible. In the story of the good shepherd, our Lord Jesus Christ teaches what is the nature of the pastor's service and what is the mission of the flock which the pastor serves. The shepherd who is concerned with and takes care of his flock is extolled. A good shepherd watches over his flock, he worries about finding grazing areas, he is not as an employee, he is also worried about the sheep from another flock, and he is ready to give his life for his flock. The shepherd's life belongs totally to his flock, he knows his sheep by name, and they recognize him. Because of a close relationship between the shepherd and his flock, the shepherd doesn't utilize force to drive his flock in front of him rather they follow him. When he releases his sheep, he goes before them and the sheep follow, because they recognize his voice. (John 10:10-18)
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