Sunday before the Exaltation. Nativity of the Most Holy Mother of God


On September 22, on the Sunday before the Exaltation, our parish had a beautiful celebration. In addition we observed feast of the Nativity of the Most Holy Mother of God transferred to Sunday. The Divine Liturgy in our temple was served by the Rector of St. George Church, Archpriest Igor Tarasov.

After the Gospel lesson he preached a homily in Russian. The Rector pointed out that the holy parents of the Theotokos, Joachim and Anna, are an example of living a devout and righteous life without an immediate or fast-coming reward from God. Sometimes people tend to think that if they are good Christians and keep the Commandments, God should bless them all the time and reward them for their pious life. Very often it is not working that way. It is important to understand that God will certainly bless us for our fidelity and devotion, but it is not going to happen right away. It is crucial that it will happen and affect our eternal life.

The choir beautifully performed the hymns of the Nativity of the Theotokos during preparation for Holy Communion.

Following the Liturgy dismissal the Rector and the altar servers performed the rite of glorification in front of the festal icon singing the troparion, kontakion and magnification of the feast. Then the Rector preached a brief sermon in English addressing the ideas of his Russian homily and made some announcements.

His Grace, Bishop Matthew is going to visit our Parish

Dear Parishioners and Friends of St. George Church!

Our Archpastor, the Interim Administrator of the Patriarchal Parishes, Most Rev. MATTHEW, Bishop of Sourozh, is going to visit our Parish on Saturday, September 28.
His Grace will head our Great Vespers service at 6 PM.
Following the service our parishioners will have an opportunity to welcome the Bishop in our small community.

Дорогие прихожане и друзья храма святого великомученика и Победоносца Георгия!

Наш архипастырь, Временно Управляющий Патриаршими приходами в США, Преосвященнейший МАТФЕЙ, Епископ Сурожский посетит наш приход в субботу, 28 сентября.
Его Преосвященство возглавит служение Великой вечерни в 18 часов.
После службы наши прихожане будут иметь возможность приветствовать архиерея в нашей небольшой общине.

13th Sunday after Pentecost. Beheading of St. John the Baptist


On September 15, on the 13th Sunday after Pentecost, St. George Parish held a nice celebration. In addition to the Sunday observance we celebrated feast of the Beheading of St. John the Baptist that had been transferred to that day. Our Rector, Archpriest Igor Tarasov served the Divine Liturgy. After the readings from the Scripture he preached the following homily in English:

“Dear brothers and sisters! Today’s Gospel lesson tells us a parable about vineyard and about evil vinedressers (Mt. 21, 33-42). The story was addressed to the leaders of the Jews, to those who did not accept Jesus as their Messiah and who wished to destroy Him.”
“The meaning of this parable is quite simple. The landowner is God the Father. He planted a vineyard which is Israel, the holy nation of God. The vinedressers are the leaders entrusted with the care of God’s people. According to the parable they did not wish to give the owner His share of grapes. God sent His servants to them. Those servants are the Prophets, sent by God in the times of the Old Testament to proclaim His will. The vinedressers beat and killed the servants. The Jewish leaders persecuted the Prophets and really killed some of them.”
“Today we observe Beheading of St. John the Baptist. He was one of those servants whom God was sending to His chosen people. The fate of the Holy Forerunner John was the same as of the other Prophets.”
“Since those servants of God were mistreated and not listened, God sent His onlybegotten Son. The Jewish leaders might honor the Son of God, our Lord Jesus Christ. But in their envy and impiety they murdered the Son as well. He was led out of the holy city of Jerusalem and crucified, just as the landowner’s son in the parable was cast out of the vineyard and killed.”
“Thinking of that parable and about the martyrdom of St. John the Baptist we may reflect upon the prophetic mission of the Holy Church and its servants. “A servant is not greater than his master”, says the Lord (Jn. 15, 20). Being servants of the Lord, the bishops and priests may share the same destiny as our Lord Jesus Christ who was crucified. And moreover, they can share the same destiny as the Prophets, as St. John the Baptist.”
“A Prophet is not someone who sees the future and predicts it. He is a man of God who proclaims God’s will to the people. St. John the Baptist taught the people to repent because the Messiah was coming. He also boldly said to the king that he was breaking the Commandments. Same thing happens to the good and conscientious priests if they teach the faithful appropriately. People may like it or not, but the servants of the Church are called to preach to them.”
“If people listen to the Church and its servants, they become blessed. If not, they may be condemned. In the course of history many priests were persecuted for their service to the Church and faithful. Nowadays they are often not persecuted but ignored.”
“It is our duty to listen to the servants of God and thus to listen to Christ Himself. Thus we could become good vinedressers who would render the Master the fruits in their seasons (Mt. 21, 41).”

After the dismissal of the Liturgy the Rector preached a sermon in Russian explaining the main ideas of his English homily. He also congratulated our parishioner Moses Dunetz on the occasion of his past name day. Traditional Polychronion (“Mnogaia leta!”) was proclaimed.

After the liturgical service the Rector and parishioners enjoyed delicious meals and a nice company at the trapeza table.


12th Sunday after Pentecost


On September 8, on the 12th Sunday after Pentecost, as well as feast of the Encounter of the Icon of Our Lady of Vladimir, we had a nice celebration at our parish temple. The Rector of St. George Church, Archpriest Igor Tarasov served the Divine Liturgy.

After the Gospel lesson the Rector preached a homily in Russian. He was interpreting the assigned reading from the Gospel of Matthew (Mt. 19, 16-26). He pointed out that the first important thing for our salvation is to keep the Commandments. This is sufficient to enter the Kingdom of God, as our Lord stated. Only if we are not breaking the God’s law, we may consider more heroic ways of piety. Some people wish to be very advanced in their devotions but forget to do the basics of spiritual life – to keep the Commandments. On the other way, our sinful nature makes us very unsuccessful in keeping the God’s law. All of us violate it, at least sometimes. Thus we cannot be saved without divine grace. This is why the Lord says: “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible” (Mt. 19, 26). We cannot be saved without God and His help.

At the Litany of Fervent Supplication the Rector added a petition for health and recovery of our parishioner Raisa who had been hospitalized that morning.

The choir nicely performed hymns dedicated to the Mother of God and Her Icon of Vladimir during preparation for Holy Communion.

11th Sunday after Pentecost


On September 1, on the 11th Sunday after Pentecost St. George Parish family had a beautiful celebration at our temple. Our Rector, Archpriest Igor Tarasov served the Divine Liturgy. After the Gospel lesson he preached a homily in Russian and English languages. An English version of that homily is as follows:

“Today’s Gospel reading tells us a parable about a merciful king and an unmerciful lender. That lender himself owed the king a lot of money, and the king forgave his debt. But that lender did not wish to forgive a very small debt to his fellow servant.”
“This lesson makes us think that all of us are in debt to God. It was not up to us to be born and it was not up to us to receive different gifts or talents we have in our life. Everyone has his own mind, his own heart and we look at the world from our own perspective. But everyone is using what the Lord has given to him. And the Lord is merciful and condescending to us. He loves us so much that He overlooks our shortcomings and forgives our sins. And He took our transgressions upon Himself.”
“Sometimes we are evil and we should be punished for our evil deeds, but the Lord takes those sins upon Himself. Sometimes we are unfair and should be rewarded accordingly, but the Lord takes that responsibility upon Himself. Sometimes we are hypocritical, lying, deceiving and should be justly reprimanded, but the Lord forgives us and allows us to live and to enjoy another day. He is never demanding that we pay for all our misdeeds. He only demands that we should be merciful to each other as He is merciful to us. He wishes that we would forgive our debtors as He forgives us our debts.”
“Instead of doing what God wishes, we do the opposite. We do not forgive. We hold grudges. We want revenge. We demand the debts to be paid. Thus we block our way to God.”
“Today we are called to pray for the preservation of God’s creation, for the environment. It is a similar situation. God gave us this earth, the whole nature He created. He entrusted that to us. He granted it free of charge. We only need to take care of the nature, to cultivate the earth, to preserve the animals and plants. What do we do? We abuse it, we demand a lot from it; we destroy the animals and plants; we devour all the resources because of our greed and wickedness. God gave us for free and we demand a gain from it. Thus we are now being punished for that by natural disasters and polluted air, water and nature. We finally realized that and the Church wishes us to offer our prayers for the nature and preservation of God’s creation.”
“We are unmerciful and we block our way to God. That is why we need to hear the Holy Gospel that tells us a parable about an unmerciful lender. That story tells us that a man owed the king a lot of money, like millions of dollars. The king forgave that huge debt. But that man met his fellow servant who owed him a small amount, like fifty dollars, and did not want to want – not to forgive – he did not want to wait! He put that poor debtor in prison. The king found out about that and punished the wicked servant.”
“Thus, dear brothers and sisters, we heard a simple and very much comprehendible parable. We receive forgiveness from God free of charge. God forgives any our transgression or filthiness if we sincerely repent. But He asks one thing: He forgives us, so we could forgive others. Therefore, if we don’t forgive, if we are unmerciful, we will have to be punished. Today the Gospel says: “And his master was angry, and delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all that was due to him” (Mt. 18, 34). In our case, what kind of torturers we will face? We will face the demons in hell that will torment and torture us for our sins. This is a horrible perspective. This is a terrible thing. But the Lord delivers us from those torments of hell if we forgive others their trespasses.”
“Dear brothers and sisters! Let us pray that the all-compassionate Lord may be merciful to us again and to grant us a spirit of mercy and forgiveness, so we could forgive others their faults. May He grant us the spirit of care for God’s creation entrusted to us, so we could preserve the nature. May He bless us with those gifts, so we may be forgiven by Him Whom glory and honor forever!”

Since on the first Sunday of September the Russian Church holds a special day of prayer for the preservation of God’s creation, during the Litany of fervent supplication the Rector offered special petitions for that cause, as well s special prayer after that Litany.

The choir was prayerfully singing the hymns of the Dormition which postfeast was still celebrated.

After the dismissal of the Liturgy the Rector offered a prayer for the schoolchildren who begin their new school year. He blessed our children and wished them a successful study and acquiring of knowledge.

Following the Liturgy the Rector performed the Baptism of an adult willing to join the Church.

After the services the Rector and parishioners enjoyed delicious meals and a nice company at the trapeza table.