Sunday of the Blind Man

On May 20th, on Sunday of the Blind Man, Rector of St. George Church, priest Igor Tarasov celebrated the Divine Liturgy.
After the Gospel lesson Fr. Igor lectured on the Liturgy. He discussed the conclusion of the Eucharistic canon. Following the invocation of the Holy Spirit upon the Gifts and after the Gifts are being sanctified, the priest continues the Eucharistic canon by commemoration of the Saints, living members of the Church and those who fell asleep. Since the sacrifice of the Liturgy is “on behalf of all and for all”, the priests commemorates different kinds of members of the Body of Christ: living, departed and the Saints in heaven. That prayer is said in a low voice but it is interrupted by a loud commemoration of the Most Holy Mother of God. The congregation responds to that exclamation with a hymn in honor of the Theotokos. In the usual time it is a very known hymn “It is truly meet…”. On the holy days or some other occasions we use some other, substitute hymns. During that singing of the hymn the priest continues to commemorate the Saints: St. John the Baptist, the holy Apostles, the Saints whose memory is celebrated on that day. Then the living and the dead are being also commemorated. At the end the priest exclaims: “Among the first, remember o Lord, our great lord and father…, the Patriarch of Moscow…” Thus, the Church hierarchy is being remembered. The congregation responds: “And each and everyone”. The priest finishes the commemoration with the blessing of the people, asking that the mercy of God be always with them. The people respond: “And with your spirit”. In this manner the faithful ask God to bless the priest with the grace necessary for the functioning of his office, ministry and for his dignity.
At the end of the Liturgy Fr. Igor reminded that on that very day the Church commemorates the Apparition of the Sign of the Cross in Jerusalem which took place in 351 AD. At that time in the 4th century the Church was suffering from the dangerous heresy of Arianism. The first Christian emperor, St. Constantine, died and his successor, emperor Constantius, became a supporter of the heresy. At that point the Sign of the Cross appeared in the sky over Jerusalem. Many people saw it. It was shining brightly and shimmering with all the rainbow colors. This event was recorded by the historians. Many Jews and Gentiles converted to Christian faith due to that miraculous sign. Fr. Igor further preached that such an event teaches us that people who have the true and firm faith may be able to see with the spiritual eyes. “Today’s Sunday of the Blind Man presents us a story about a person who was born blind but received his sight from Jesus. That man acquired both physical and spiritual sight, for he became able to see both the world around him and the Lord of that universe. He worshipped Christ. But the Pharisees being able to see physically, were blind spiritually, for they did not recognize Jesus as their Messiah. In our times, there are a lot of people who are unable to see Jesus as the Lord and Savior. And even if they would witness a sign like an apparition of the Cross in the sky, they would probably refuse to believe. You need not just physical vision to believe. If you have a spiritual vision, then you are able to see the signs of God’s presence in many things. Take the nature. If you explore it having faith you will see the Creator and His wisdom. Science along with faith is a great thing. But science without faith is a perfect evil. Therefore, let us cherish and keep the true faith and attempt to acquire and preserve the spiritual sight, not to be blind spiritually,” – said our Rector.
After the service, due to a gorgeous weather, Fr. Igor and parishioners enjoyed our common trapeza outside of the church, under the shadow of the old trees.