On November 21, on the 22nd Sunday after Pentecost, as well as feast of the Synaxis of the Holy Archangel Michael and All the Bodiless Powers, our Parish family gathered for a beautiful celebration.
Before the usual Sunday service our Rector, Archpriest Igor Tarasov performed the Holy Sacrament of Marriage of Emilian Suric and Phoebe Ching-Huei Li. Then the Hours and Divine Liturgy were served as scheduled.
After the readings from the Sacred Scripture the Rector preached a homily. He was speaking about the two miracles performed by our Lord Jesus Christ described in the Sunday Gospel lesson, as well as about the meaning of the celebrated feast dedicated to the Bodiless Powers, the Holy Angels.
Fr. Igor pointed out that both miracles from the Gospel lesson concern women (Lk. 8, 41-56). Healing of the woman with an issue of blood and resurrection of the 12-year-old girl, the daughter of Jairus, revealed that our Savior came to free the human kind from the sin of the forefathers. These particular miracles showed that the Lord Jesus came to save the women from the results of the sin of Eve. Those results included special pains and sorrows all the women suffer because of the original sin. The issue of blood that woman from today’s Gospel had was not the regular flow the women have each month. But it still reminds about the special kind of sorrows women undergo due to the original sin. As to the resurrection of the 12-year-old girl, here we see the result of the original sin effecting both men and women: the human beings are mortal. The Lord came to save us from the sin of Adam and Eve.
Further the Rector underlined that the first woman, Eve, was tempted to sin by the devil. And the devil is a fallen Angel. Celebrating feast of the Bodiless Powers, we have to speak of that. The first chapter of the Scripture says, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Gen. 1, 1). The “heavens” means the invisible, spiritual world, the Holy Angels. But some of them led by Lucifer rose up against God. The warfare in the spiritual world took place and the rebellious Angels were thrown down from heaven. The Holy Angels faithful to God were led by Archangel Michael. Thus we honor them celebrating feast of their Synaxis. But the fallen Angels became the evil spirits. They are jealous of human beings being created in God’s image while they have to be thrown from heaven. Therefore, the devil tempted the first men. And he was successful. From that time the warfare between God and Satan is taking place also in our human hearts, as Dostoevsky pointed out. And the Holy Angels of God who are the serving spirits assist us in that fight. Especially it concerns our Guardian Angels given to each baptized person.
Fr. Igor also referred to the second Gospel lesson which spoke of the Apostles being joyful that the demons obey them in the name of Christ (Lk. 10, 16-24). With Christ evil spirits can be defeated. And Jesus Himself recalled that He “saw Satan fall like lightening from heaven” (Lk. 10, 18). But He said to the Apostles, “Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven” (Lk. 10, 20). In Christ we become worthy of heavenly paradise lost by our ancestors. If we are baptized, our names become written in heaven and we may be there with the Holy Angels. However, we have to become worthy of that because not everyone baptized ends up in heaven. Our pious and godly life, our spiritual efforts with the assistance of the Holy Angels may lead us to the heavenly abode of God and of the Bodiless Powers.
During the Litany of Fervent Supplication, Fr. Igor proclaimed a petition beseeching the Lord to spare the faithful from the outbreak of the disease.
The choir performed the magnification of Archangel Michael and the Bodiless Powers, as well as other festal hymns during preparation for Holy Communion.
Following the dismissal of the Liturgy the Rector made the announcements regarding the upcoming Thanksgiving Day and the Nativity Fast which follows after that. He also spoke about the importance to behave appropriately in the temple during special solemn times of the Liturgy. Unfortunately, sometimes piety and solemnity of such moments is disturbed by unnecessary movements, sounds or actions. The Rector called the faithful to have the fear of God and a pious attitude during the Divine Liturgy.
After the Liturgy the Rector performed the memorial Litia for the newly-departed Vitaliy Malyshev on the 40th day of his passing.
After finishing all the services, the Rector and parishioners had a sumptuous luncheon enjoying delicious meals, including the Thanksgiving turkey.