19th Sunday after Pentecost


On October 31, on the 19th Sunday after Pentecost, as well as on the feast of the Holy Apostle and Evangelist Luke, St. George Church opened its doors after the three week break. On that Sunday our Rector, Archpriest Igor Tarasov came to serve the Divine Liturgy after his return from Ukraine.

After the reading from the Holy Gospel Fr. Igor preached the following homily:

“Dear brothers and sisters in Christ! Today we celebrate the 19th Sunday after Pentecost. And today’s Gospel reading contains very famous parable about the Sower who went to sow his seed. The seed falls to the different ground, and in most of the cases it did not produce any fruit. Our Lord Jesus Christ Himself explained that parable to His disciples saying what it means. We easily learn that the seed is the Word of God which is sown by the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the Sower of the Word. Now, the grounds are different types of people, different types of human souls. And the Lord tells us what kind of souls He is talking about. In one case they hear the word but the devil comes and takes the word away. In another case people have no root for the word and fall away at the time of temptation. In the third instance the people are too busy with their daily cares, riches or pleasures, so they cannot grow the seed of faith. Only in the fourth example Jesus talks about some “good ground”, about those who are successful”.
“In today’s Gospel we are given four different way of receiving the Word. Three of them are inappropriate, failing. Only one is right and appropriate. It looks like a multiple choice question where one answer is correct while three others are not. How can we find the right answer?”
“The right answer is given in today’s Gospel in the following simple words: “But that on the good ground are they, which in a noble and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.” (Lk. 8, 15)”.
“First of all, we have to possess a “noble and good heart”. A “noble heart” is an honest heart. We don’t have to make dishonest excuses for our failings, we have to be honest about ourselves. And a “good heart” is a kind heart, a heart willing good things. If our hearts are not noble, honest and kind, the seed of the God’s Word may be taken from us, devoured by the demons”.
“Secondly, we have to “keep the word”. It means that we should not fall into careless excitement, we must cultivate the seed of God, giving moisture to it, so that it puts out roots and develops. It is achieved by obeying the Commandments”.
“Finally, so that the seed of God is not choked with the thorns and weeds of our passions, we must “bring forth fruit with patience”. We cannot expect fast and wonderful progress because we have so many earthly cares. We have to be patient and persevere”.
“Usually we look at the lives of the holy people, the Saints who were able to achieve those different Christian virtues. Today we celebrate feast of the Holy Apostle and Evangelist Luke. Let’s see how he was able to receive the seed of the Word of God and to bring forth its fruit”.
“St. Luke was one of the 70 Apostles, not one of the 12. Later he became an assistant to the Holy Apostle Paul. He was not a Jew, like most of the Apostles, but a Gentile, probably a Greek. St. Luke was a physician. In today’s second Epistle lesson St. Paul mentions him as “the beloved physician” (Col. 4, 14). He also could be a lawyer because he helped St. Paul in different legal tasks. In addition, St. Luke was an artist: he painted the first icons. A number of the holy and miraculous icons of the Theotokos were written by Luke. Among those images are the icon of Our Lady of Vladimir and the Iveron Icon. Thus he was very talented and educated. He used his gifts to serve God and the Church. And St. Luke is known as the author of one of the Holy Gospels, the Gospel of Luke, as well as the author of the book of the Acts of the Apostles”.
“It is obvious that Holy Apostle Luke had a noble and good heart, that he kept the Word of God in that heart and that he brought forth the fruit in patience. After the martyrdom of St. Paul, Luke went to preach in different places, mostly in Greece. He lived a long life in labors, in sowing the Word of God, he himself became a sower of that sacred seed, like other Holy Apostles. “Their line has gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world” – says the Scripture about them and we sing it today in honor of them (Ps. 18, 5). Finally, being an old man, he was martyred, hanged on an olive tree”.
“Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, the soul of this Saint became a good ground for the seed of divine Word”.
“Dear brothers and sisters in Christ! Let us learn to be successful in receiving the seed of the Word of God in our hearts and to bear its fruit. Let us imitate the Saints in that important task and let us be a good ground for the divine Word to be received, grown and multiplied”.

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 nicely performed Psalm 33 and a hymn in honor of the Most Holy Theotokos during preparation for Holy Communion.

After the dismissal of the Liturgy the Rector expressed his joy about being back in the parish and thanked the parishioners for their prayers offered for his safe return. He also made some announcements.

Following the service the Rector and parishioners enjoyed delicious meals and a nice company during the coffee hour.

Our Parishioner, Vitaliy Malyshev, passed away

We announce with a deep sorrow that our parishioner, Vitaliy Malyshev, fell asleep in the Lord on October 14, on the feast of the Protection of the Most Holy Mother of God.
Vitaliy, the father of our Sacristan and altar server Andrew, will be remembered by St. George Parish family as a pious parishioner, a good father and grandfather, and a very nice and intelligent person. He was known as a gifted architect who built a church in Moscow region and was working on the projects of renovation of our temple of St. George.

Burial service for the newly-departed servant of God Vitaliy was held in our parish temple on October 19.
In the absence of our Rector, the burial was performed by Archpriest Alexander Golubov, cleric of St. Nicholas Cathedral in New York, a long-time fiend of the Malyshev family. He was co-served by his son, Deacon Alexey.

С глубоким прискорбием извещаем, что 14 октября, в праздник Покрова Пресвятой Богородицы, спочил в Бозе наш прихожанин Виталий Малышев.
Виталий, отец нашего пономаря и алтарника Андрея, останется в памяти членов приходской семьи святого Георгия как благочестивый прихожанин, прекрасный отец и дед, а также очень приятный и интеллигентный человек. Он был известен как даровитый архитектор, построивший храм в Московской области и работавший над проектами обновления нашего храма святого Георгия.

Чин отпевания новопреставленного раба Божия Виталия состоялся в нашем храме 19 октября.
В отсутствие настоятеля погребение совершил клирик Свято-Николаевского собора и давний друг семьи Малышевых, протоиерей Александр Голубов. Ему сослужил его сын, диакон Алексий.

Sunday after the Exaltation. Celebration of the Rector’s Name Day


On October 3, on the Sunday after the Exaltation, St. George Parish family had a beautiful service. In addition to Sunday celebration, we also honored our Rector, Archpriest Igor Tarasov on his past name day (October 2). Fr. Igor headed the Divine Liturgy. He was co-served by Deacon Alexey Golubov, cleric of St. Nicholas Cathedral in New York, who decorated our service with his beautiful voice.

After the Gospel lesson beautifully proclaimed by the deacon, the Rector preached the following homily:

“Dear Father, dear brothers and sisters in Christ! Sunday after the Exaltation of the Precious and Life-giving Cross gives us a clear direction what a follower of our Lord should do. This makes certain sense. We have celebrated feast of the Exaltation, the cross is exalted and venerated in the church. We have revived again the holy passion and death of the Lord. Now, after all this is accomplished, the Gospel lesson gives us a rule our Savior wished to leave for us.  It is as follows: if we want to go after our Lord Jesus Christ we must deny ourselves, take up the cross and follow Him”.
“That means that we must make a certain effort, to do some work and to undergo difficulties and sufferings. The way of the Christ’s follower is not easy. On the contrary, it is hard and painful. Let us see what it implies”.
“First of all, according to the words of our Lord, we have to deny ourselves. That means that we have to renounce our pride, selfishness and a desire for our own advantage. If someone wants to go on a journey, he would not take many things with him, but he would be satisfied with having something most important. And if a soldier is called to go to war, he is not taking all his belongings with him. In order to accomplish something a person needs dedication to the cause and renunciation of things which may cause an obstruction. Many people give up a lot of things in order to achieve earthly goals: to acquire an education, to become someone, to get a high position. If it is possible to do for the achievements which are temporary, why it should not be appropriate to achieve eternal glory?”
“The second thing is to take up the cross and follow Christ. If we prefer not to take the cross, we will suffer any way. Then it is worth to listen to Christ and to follow in His steps carrying our cross”.
“Dear Father, dear brothers and sisters! After doing those two things, we will have a relief and a reward. When our Lord died on the cross, His sufferings ended, He was relieved. And after three days He rose up from the dead. This was His reward. If He, being without sin, had to go through sufferings in order to enter into His glory, how can we, being corrupted and weakened by sin, achieve such a glory without being purified in temptations and made strong in sufferings? What lives within us now is Adam of old along with his passions and evil desires. How can we take off the old man and clothe in a new one without pain and sufferings? We have to take up a cross and “crucify our flesh with its passions and desires” (Gal. 5, 24), “put to death your members which are on the earth” (Col. 3, 5), to die in a mystical way and to have a life hidden in Christ”.
“This is the teaching of the Cross, a teaching so needed and important that the Church does not limit herself with proclaiming it, wishes us to use many other signs to remember about it, first of all the image of the cross which we encounter everywhere in our religious life”.
“Today we commemorate Holy Great Martyr Eustachius, or Eustace, along with his family. He was a Roman general, a pagan. His pagan name was Placidas. While hunting in the country one day, he was converted to the faith of Christ through the apparition of an uncommonly majestic stag, between whose antlers he saw the Cross of Christ, and through which the Lord spoke to him with a human voice. Upon returning home, he learned that his wife had also had a vision in which she was instructed to become a Christian. So, they both were baptized. The family was then subjected to such trials as biblical Job endured. Their servants died, all their goods were stolen, and on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem they were scattered abroad, each not even knowing if the others were still alive. By the Providence of God, they were united again after many years, and returned to Rome in glory. Later they were martyred for Christ. That was their way of the Cross, the following in the steps of Christ”.
“If today we also wish to honor the yesterday’s Saint, my personal heavenly patron, Holy faithful prince Igor, we should recall that his life was also bearing of the cross. He endured many sufferings and persecutions from his own people. And finally he was brutally murdered when he already renounced his power as a prince, when he became a humble monk. Wickedness and hostility drove the people to seize the monk and to murder him. That was St. Igor’s way, his way of the cross. And such was the way of every Christian Saint. All of them were taking their crosses and followed Christ.”
“Dear Father, dear brothers and sisters! Let us listen to the words of Jesus and let us deny ourselves, take up the cross and follow Him”.

The choir prayerfully performed hymns of the Exaltation of the Cross before Holy Communion.

After the dismissal of the Liturgy the church Warden, Olga Roussanow had a speech in Russian and on behalf of our parishioners congratulated the Rector on the occasion of his past name day. Traditional Polychronion was proclaimed to Fr. Igor.

Our celebration continued on the church grounds where our wonderful cooks prepared a festal luncheon. The clergy and our parishioners enjoyed delicious meals, a nice company and beautiful sunny weather. A toast was raised on behalf of the Rector celebrating his name day. In addition, Moses Dunetz proclaimed a greeting to Fr. Igor in English on behalf of all parishioners.