On June 6 of this year the Orthodox Church celebrated great feast of the Ascension of the Lord. St. George parish had a nice celebration on this day. Our Rector, Archpriest Igor Tarasov served the Divine Liturgy.
After the Gospel lesson the Rector preached a homily in Russian. He explained that Ascension of Jesus Christ into heaven cannot be compared to the “ascension” of the first man into space in 1961. Our traveling by airplanes or flights into the outer space are only lifting upon the earth and in this earthly and visible world. Our Lord ascended into heaven meaning He passed over to the spiritual, invisible world, heaven which is the abode of God. The Son of God was there before His human birth and He returned there after accomplishing His mission of salvation.
The Lord also is waiting for us to join Him in heaven since all of us will have to leave this earthly world. Therefore, we need to prepare for that making all possible efforts to be worthy of heaven. We need to prefer heavenly, spiritual things and despise and avoid things which are inferior, passionate and sinful. Living in this inferior world does not mean adhere to all the passions and sins of this world. We do respect and follow certain laws and rules of the earthly life but we should avoid the evil things of this world.
After the Liturgy dismissal the Rector and the altar server performed the rite of Glorification in front of the festal icon singing the troparion, kontakion and magnification of the feast.
Following the service the Rector preached a short sermon in English to stress the main thoughts of his Russian homily and congratulated the parishioners on the occasion of the great feast.