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  Exceptional new book on Serbian Christian Heritage in Kosovo and Metohija, its heartland in medieval times and through Ottoman domination, is intended to introduce to a wide reading public the oldest and richest treasury of Serbian medieval history and culture.  


Sunday, April 24, 2016

The Entrance of our Lord Jesus

Christ into Jerusalem

VERSE: I love the Lord because He has heard the voice of my supplication.
REFRAIN: Through the prayers of the Theotokos, O Savior, save us.
VERSE: Because He inclined His ear to me, therefore I will call on Him as long as I live.
REFRAIN: Through the prayers of the Theotokos, O Savior, save us.
VERSE: Glory to the Father and to the Son and the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.
REFRAIN: Through the prayers of the Theotokos, O Savior, save us.

VERSE: I kept my faith even when I said, “I am greatly afflicted!”
REFRAIN: O Son of God who sat upon the foal, save us who sing to Thee: Alleluia!
VERSE: What shall I render to the Lord for all the things He has given me?
REFRAIN: O Son of God who sat upon the foal, save us who sing to Thee: Alleluia!
VERSE: Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen. Only-begotten Son and immortal Word of God...

VERSE: O give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, for His mercy endures forever!
PALM SUNDAY TROPARION - TONE ONE: By raising Lazarus from the dead before Thy Passion, Thou didst confirm the universal resurrection, O Christ God! Like the children with the palms of victory, we cry out to Thee, O Vanquisher of Death: Hosanna in the highest! Blessed is He that comes in the name of the Lord!
VERSE: Let the house of Israel say: For He is good, for His mercy endures forever!


Wisdom, let us be attentive! Blessed is He that comes in the name of the Lord! We bless you from the house of the Lord! God is the Lord and has revealed Himself to us!


When we were buried with Thee in Baptism, O Christ God, we were made worthy of eternal life by Thy Resurrection! Now we praise Thee and sing: Hosanna in the highest! Blessed is He that comes in the name of the Lord!

Sitting on Thy throne in Heaven, carried on a foal on earth, O Christ God! Accept the praise of angels and the songs of children, who sing: Blessed is He that comes to recall Adam!

HYMN TO THE THEOTOKOS (REPLACES “IT IS TRULY MEET”): God is the Lord and has revealed Himself to us! Celebrate the feast and come with gladness! Let us magnify Christ with palms and branches, singing: Blessed is He that comes in the name of the Lord!


The Prokimenon in the 4th Tone: Blessed is He that comes in the name of the Lord! God is the Lord and has revealed Himself to us!

Palm Sunday: Philippians 4: 4-9
Brethren, rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue, and if there is anything praiseworthy - meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.

The Alleluia Verses: O sing to the Lord a new song, for the Lord has done marvelous things! All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God!


Palm Sunday: John 12: 1-18 At that time, six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus was who had been dead, whom He had raised from the dead. There they made Him a supper; and Martha served, but Lazarus was one of those who sat at the table with Him. Then Mary took a pound of very costly oil of spikenard, anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil. But one of His disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, who would betray Him, said, “Why was this fragrant oil not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?” This he said, not that he cared for the poor, but because he was a thief, and had the money box; and he used to take what was put in it. But Jesus said, “Let her alone; she has kept this for the day of My burial. For the poor you have with you always, but Me you do not have always.” Now a great many of the Jews knew that He was there; and they came, not for Jesus’ sake only, but that they might also see Lazarus, whom He had raised from the dead. But the chief priests plotted to put Lazarus to death also, because on account of him many of the Jews went away and believed in Jesus. The next day a great multitude that had come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, took branches of palm trees and went out to meet Him, and cried out: “Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! The King of Israel!” Then Jesus, when He had found a young donkey, sat on it, as it is written: “Fear not, daughter of Zion; behold your King is coming, sitting on a donkey’s colt.” His disciples did not understand these things at first, but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things were written about Him and that they had done these things to Him. Therefore the people, who were with Him when He called Lazarus out of the tomb and raised him from the dead, bore witness. For this reason the people also met Him, because they heard that He had done this sign.

For April 11/24 by St. Nikolai Velimirovic: The Hieromartyr Antipas, Bishop of Pergamum in Asia Minor

Antipas is mentioned in the Book of Revelation as, Antipas, my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth (Revelation 2:13), that is, in the city of Pergamum. The inhabitants of this city lived in the darkness of idolatry and in extreme impurity. They were slaves to passions. They were slanderers, tyrants and incestuous people. In other words, they were the servants of Satan. Here among them lived Antipas, “as a light in the midst of darkness, as a rose among thorns and as gold in the mire.” In this city, he who captured and killed a Christian was deemed good and just. The totality of their pagan belief consisted of soothsaying, interpretation of dreams, serving demons and extreme perversion. Being frightened of Antipas as of fire, the demons appeared to the soothsayers in a dream and confessed how afraid they were of Antipas—and how, because of him, they had to depart from the city. The pagan priests assembled a large number of people against Antipas and interrogated him, trying to force him to deny Christ and worship idols. Antipas said to them: “When your so-called gods, lords of the universe, are frightened of me, a mortal man, and must flee from this city, do you not recognize by this that your faith is a delusion?” The saint spoke to them further about the Christian Faith as the One, True, Saving Faith. They became as enraged as wild beasts and dragged the aged Antipas to the temple of Artemis, before which stood an ox cast in bronze. They heated the bronze ox and hurled the servant of God inside. From within the fiery ox, St. Antipas glorified God with thanksgiving, like Jonah in the belly of the whale or the Three Youths in the fiery furnace. Antipas prayed for his flock and for the entire world, until his soul parted from his weakened body and ascended among the angels into the Kingdom of Christ. He died in torments and was crowned with unfading glory in the year 92.

The Holy Martyrs Processus and Martinian

Processus and Martinian were jailers in the Roman prison where the Apostles Peter and Paul were imprisoned. Hearing the words and witnessing the miracles of the apostles, they were baptized, and released the apostles from prison. The apostles left Rome, but the Lord appeared to Peter on the way. “Lord, where are you going?” Peter asked. The Lord answered: “I’m going to Rome, to be crucified a second time.” Ashamed, the apostles returned to Rome, where they were apprehended and slain. Also slain with the apostles were these two brave martyrs, Processus and Martinian.

HYMN OF PRAISE: Saint Antipas
In a fiery ox as in a luminous temple,
Antipas, the Christian, does not suffer loneliness:
In his pure heart the Lord abides.
The fire does not burn him, nor is he afraid of it.
For Christ the saint patiently endures all,
And his prayers to Christ ascend from the fire:
“O All-powerful Christ, King of all ages,
For these sufferings, a hundredfold thanks be unto Thee!
Let burn with fire all that is sinful in me,
That I may be more precious according to heavenly worth.
I pray to Thee, O Savior, protect my flock
In this town, in this awful dung!
May my blood strengthen them in the Faith,
And may their hearts be fixed on Thee.
And for the heathen, also, I pray to Thee, O Blessed One:
Tear them away, once and for all, from demonic lies.
I pray for all sinners who mock Thy law:
Direct them to serve none but Thee.
Behold, all is in the power of Thy holy will.
Finally, I further pray: may it be better for the Church!”

“There can be no rest for those on earth who desire to be saved,” says St. Ephraim the Syrian. The struggle is unceasing, be it external or internal. The adversary acts at times visibly, through men and other things, and at other times invisibly, through thoughts. At times the adversary appears openly and behaves brutally and cruelly like an enemy and, at other times, under the guise of a flattering friend, he seduces by shrewdness. That which occurs in battle between two opposing armies also occurs to every man individually in battle with the passions of this world. Truly, “there can be no rest for those on earth who desire to be saved.” When salvation comes, rest also comes.


Contemplate the resurrected Lord Jesus:

1. How Simon Peter and the other disciple ran quickly to the tomb to confirm the news of the Resurrection;

2. How one after the other entered the tomb and saw the linen clothes and the napkin;

3. How they both saw and believed, and then witnessed; and how, for their witness, they died.

HOMILY on the two Adams: the death-creating and the life-giving

For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive (I Corinthians 15:22).

In Adam, life is sown in shame; in Christ, life is raised in glory. Sin is from Adam and justice is from Christ. Weakness and death come from Adam, and strength and life come from Christ. Thus, in Adam we all die. And thus, in Christ we shall all be brought to life. That one is the earthly man; this one is the heavenly man. That is the bodily man and this is the spiritual man. Christ did not resurrect for His sake but for our sake, just as He did not die for His sake but for our sake. If His Resurrection does not signify our resurrection, then His Resurrection is bitterness and not sweetness. Where, then, would the love of God be? Where, then, would the meaning of our miserable earthly experience be? What, then, would be the purpose of Christ’s coming to earth? Where Adam ends, Christ begins. Adam ends up in the grave, and Christ begins with the Resurrection from the grave. Adam’s generation is the seed underground that rots and decays, that does not see the sun. It does not believe that it can emerge from beneath the earth to blossom into a green plant with leaves, flowers and fruit. Christ’s generation is a green field upon which wheat grows, turns green, puts forth leaves, blossoms and bears much fruit. “In Adam” does not only mean that we will die one day; rather it means that we are already dead—dead to the last one. “In Christ” does not only mean that we will revive one day, but rather that we are already alive—that the seed in the ground has already begun to germinate and to break through to the light of the sun. The complete expression of death is in the grave, but the complete expression of eternal life is in the Kingdom of God. The mind of the sons of Adam is in accordance with death, reconciled with being in a state of decay, and it sinks even deeper into the ground. The mind of the sons of Christ rebels against death and decay, and strives all the more, so that a man burgeons toward the light, with the help of the grace of God. O resurrected Lord, sober the minds of all the sons of men, that they would flee from darkness and destruction and reach out toward light and eternal life, which is in Thee. To Thee be glory and praise forever. Amen.


Lenten Prayer of
St. Ephrem

O Lord and Master of my life, take from me the spirit of sloth, despair, lust of power, and idle talk.

But give rather the spirit of chastity, humility, patience, and love to Thy servant.

Yea, O Lord and King, grant me to see my own transgressions, and not to judge my brother, for blessed art Thou, unto ages of ages. Amen. 

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