A MESSAGE FROM OUR PRIESTyear known as the Great Lent. This is opportunity par excellence to develop...

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In This Issue Priests Message Stewardship Philoptochos News GOYA News PTO News Greek School News Sunday School News Our Faith Greek Parade Festival News Announcements Καλή Σαρακοστή Και Καλό Πάσχα «Φωνὴ βοῶντος ἐν τῇ ἐρήμῳ, Ἑτοιμάσατε τὴν ὁδὸν Κυρίου» (Ματθ. Γ:3) With the help of God, we have been found worthy to enter into this blessed period of the year known as the Great Lent. This is opportunity par excellence to develop and cultivate our spiritual strength and spiritual life, as well as to prepare for the Feast of Feasts,”, the Resurrection. This period is a spiritual journey, with its destination the Holy Pascha, during which we receive a taste of the joy that comes from the unwaning light.The first step in this journey is repentancemetanoia. True repentance is a complete change of mindset, a complete change of the way that we think and exist, from an ego-centrical and individualist being to a communal person. Of course, this requires the wish to change. In fact, we must truly desire repentance, and we must realize that it is really a change from our sinful ways, and for that reason, we should not even consider returning to our sinful ways, but rather, move towards holiness, in order to live the new life,in the light of the Resurrection. Saint Paul writes: We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life(Romans 6,4). So, with the celebration of Pascha, during which we celebrate the Resurrection of Christ, we should also celebrate our own resurrection and new life. The second step of our journey is our participation in the sacramental life of the Church. Through our participation, we allow the Holy Spirit to work in our lives. At the same time, we live our lives closer to Christ, closer to His footsteps here on earth. The best beginning for our commencement in living life in the mysteries of the Church is through our participation in the sacrament of Holy Confession. There, before the icon of our Lord, our soul is cleansed with the power of the Holy Spirit and the counsels of the spiritual father, which are for the development of the soul. Through the Sacrament of Confession, the Grace of God is employed and man is redeemed,as Saint Paisios of the Holy Mountain used to say. Unfortunately, as he once said, Mankind has grown away from the mystery of confession and for this reason it is drawing in its ideas (logismoi) and passion. How many come and ask for me to help them with some type of problem, and they never confess nor even attend the church services! I ask them, Do you go to church at all?’ ‘No,they tell me. Have you ever confessed?’ ‘No. I came for to make me well.But how? You must repent for your mistakes, to confess, to attend church, to receive Holy Communion, when you have the blessing from your spiritual father, and I shall pray for you to be well. You forget that there is the other life and that we must prepare for it?’ ‘Look, father, these things that you say, churches, the other life, etc., they do not concern me. These are fairy tales. I have been to magicians, witches, spiritual counselors, and they could not make me well. I learned that you can make me well.Well, now! You speak to them about confession, the future life, and they tell you that these are all fairy tales,and from the other side, help me, I take pills.Eh, how, with some magical method they are going to be well? Many, while they have problems that cause them to sin, do not go to their spiritual fathers so that they can help them, but rather end up confessing to a psychologist. They tell their stories, they are advised about their problems, and if they have to pass the rived, they are thrown in and are either drowned or they come out on the other side, but whereWhereas, when they go to the spiritual father, the cross from one side to the other, going over the bridge, easily…” When we have cleansed our souls, we are in a position to participate in the Sacrament par excellence, Holy Communion. In the Holy Eucharist we live the events of the world to come, or, in other words, life in Paradise. With these means, we shall live in Christ, in the new life.With these means, we shall live the Resurrection. Then, Great Lent, Holy Week and the Resurrection will all have a deeper meaning in our lives. Praying that the period of Great Lent will be blessed for each of you, I remain, With love in Christ, Archim. Nektarios Cottros A MESSAGE FROM OUR PRIEST

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Transcript of A MESSAGE FROM OUR PRIESTyear known as the Great Lent. This is opportunity par excellence to develop...

  • March/April 2019 Page 1

    In This Issue

    • Priest’s Message

    • Stewardship

    • Philoptochos News

    • GOYA News

    • PTO News

    • Greek School News

    • Sunday School News

    • Our Faith

    • Greek Parade

    • Festival News

    • Announcements

    Καλή

    Σαρακοστή

    Και

    Καλό Πάσχα

    «Φωνὴ βοῶντος ἐν τῇ ἐρήμῳ, Ἑτοιμάσατε τὴν ὁδὸν Κυρίου» (Ματθ. Γ:3)

    With the help of God, we have been found worthy to enter into this blessed period of the year known as the Great Lent. This is opportunity par excellence to develop and cultivate our spiritual strength and spiritual life, as well as to prepare for the “Feast of Feasts,”, the Resurrection. This period is a spiritual journey, with its destination the Holy Pascha, during which we receive a taste of the joy that comes from the “unwaning light.”

    The first step in this journey is repentance… metanoia. True repentance is a complete change of mindset, a complete change of the way that we think and exist, from an ego-centrical and individualist being to a communal person. Of course, this requires the wish to change. In fact, we must truly desire repentance, and we must realize that it is really a change from our sinful ways, and for that reason, we should not even consider returning to our sinful ways, but rather, move towards holiness, in order to live the “new life,” in the light of the Resurrection. Saint Paul writes: “We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life” (Romans 6,4). So, with the celebration of Pascha, during which we celebrate the Resurrection of Christ, we should also celebrate our own resurrection and new life.

    The second step of our journey is our participation in the sacramental life of the Church. Through our participation, we allow the Holy Spirit to work in our lives. At the same time, we live our lives closer to Christ, closer to His footsteps here on earth. The best beginning for our commencement in living life in the mysteries of the Church is through our participation in the sacrament of Holy Confession. There, before the icon of our Lord, our soul is cleansed with the power of the Holy Spirit and the counsels of the spiritual father, which are for the development of the soul. Through the Sacrament of Confession, “the Grace of God is employed and man is redeemed,” as Saint Paisios of the Holy Mountain used to say. Unfortunately, as he once said, “Mankind has grown away from

    the mystery of confession and for this reason it is drawing in its ideas (logismoi) and passion. How many come and ask for me to help them with some type of problem, and they never confess nor even attend the church services! I ask them, ‘Do you go to church at all?’ ‘No,’ they tell me. ‘Have you ever confessed?’ ‘No. I came for to make me well.’ ‘But how? You must repent for your mistakes, to confess, to attend church, to receive Holy Communion, when you have the blessing from your spiritual father, and I shall pray for you to be well. You forget that there is the other life and that we must prepare for it?’ ‘Look, father, these things that you say, churches, the other life, etc., they do not concern me. These are fairy tales. I have been to magicians, witches, spiritual counselors, and they could not make me well. I learned that you can make me well.’ Well, now! You speak to them about confession, the future life, and they tell you that these are all ‘fairy tales,’ and from the other side, ‘help me, I take pills.’ Eh, how, with some magical method they are going to be well?

    Many, while they have problems that cause them to sin, do not go to their spiritual fathers so that they can help them, but rather end up confessing to a psychologist. They tell their stories, they are advised about their problems, and if they have to pass the rived, they are thrown in and are either drowned or they come out on the other side, but where… Whereas, when they go to the spiritual father, the cross from one side to the other, going over the bridge, easily…”

    When we have cleansed our souls, we are in a position to participate in the Sacrament par excellence, Holy Communion. In the Holy Eucharist we live the events of the world to come, or, in other words, life in Paradise.

    With these means, we shall live in Christ, in the “new life.” With these means, we shall live the Resurrection. Then, Great Lent, Holy Week and the Resurrection will all have a deeper meaning in our lives.

    Praying that the period of Great Lent will be blessed for each of you, I remain,

    With love in Christ, Archim. Nektarios Cottros

    A MESSAGE FROM OUR PRIEST

  • Page 2 March/April 2019

    Very Reverend Father Nektarios Cottros, Priest

    ST. GEORGE GREEK ORTHODOX CHURCH ΕΛΛΗΝΙΚΗ ΟΡΘΟΔΟΞΟΣ ΕΚΚΛΗΣΙΑ ΑΓΙΟΥ ΓΕΩΡΓΙΟΥ

    Parish Ministries

    The Voice of St. George Published bi-monthly by the

    St. George Greek Orthodox Church, 1101 River Rd, Piscataway, NJ 08854

    Tel.: 732-463-1642 Fax: 732-699-9309

    E-mail: [email protected]

    Editor in Chief: Alexandra Avgitidis Committee Members: Eleni Apostolakis, Katerina Makridaki-Rompos Periodical postage paid at Kilmer, NJ 08817, Permit # 379. The Voice of St. George is produced entirely in-house. Past issues can be found on the internet at www.stgeorgepiscataway.org Subscription is free for the members of St. George Greek Orthodox Church. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to St. George GOC, 1101 River Road, Piscataway, NJ 08854

    Philoptochos Society - “St. Barbara”

    Virginia Theokas, President

    Anna Sullivan, 1st Vice President

    Eleni Lyssikatos, 2nd Vice President

    Georgia Peterson, Rec. Secretary

    Despina Fottis, Corr. Secretary

    Georgia Kouridakis, Treasurer

    Evangelia Manolakis, Asst. Treasurer

    Sunday School

    Lemonia Malahias Miko,

    Paul Stevens, Maggie Stavrianidis

    Greek School Committee

    Panos Georgopoulos, Superintendent

    George Petrantonakis, Vassilis Keramidas,

    Demetris Arhontoulis. John Papanastasiou,

    Kosmas Kasimatis

    Greek School

    Toula Karamarkos, Principal

    Sofia Amaxopoulos, Teacher

    Katerina Kourti, Teacher

    Chrisoula Plias, Teacher

    JOY/HOPE & Love & Faith

    Christen Heiden, Anna Lorino

    Parent Teacher Organization

    Irene Kehayas Drakopoulos

    Lorena Hantsoulis

    Maria - Regina Caputo

    Niki Urciuoli

    GOYA

    Dimitrios Karandrikas, President

    Angela Polos, Vice President

    Antonis Kalogridis, Treasurer

    Stella Petrou, Corresponding Sec.

    Ourania Gargalidis, Recording Sec.

    Alexandra Sirimis, Historian

    GOYA Advisors:

    Rita Polos, Head Advisor

    Sandy Kalogridis, Head Advisor

    George Kostis, Effie Vlahos, Eleni

    Apostolakis, Demetrius Kambitsis,

    Athinoulla Bizos, Eleni Arapakis-Gallou,

    George Hadjiloucas

    Church Organizations

    Church Committees GET INVOLVED

    We need your help! Sign Up, Make a Difference, Have Fun! Call the Church Office 732.463.1642

    Annual St. George Dinner Dance Bookmobile Capital Improvements Choir Elections Events/Fund Raising Greek Festival Greek Independence Day Parade Greek School Historic Committee House & Grounds

    Insurance Library Memorial Fund Parking – Rutgers New Parking Lot Public Relations Religious Artifacts Stewardship Sunday School Technology Services Voice of St. George

    Parish Council President

    George Athanasopoulos

    1st Vice President / Administration

    George Psyllos, CPA

    2nd Vice President / Operations Constantine Apostolakis

    Secretary Stefanie Sgourakis

    Treasurer Michael Sirimis, CPA

    Members Dimitra Bairaktaris

    John Blazakis Maria Kaouris-Christodoulatos

    Peter Combates George Demos Jr.

    Basil Fottis Nicholas Koumarianos Konstantino Petrakis Stephanie Sgourakis

    Dean Solomos George Zalokostas

    To Our St. George Parishioners

    The above ministries are the lifeblood of our parish and perform many activities to promote the growth of our church. Your participation in these organizations makes our community more spiritually complete.

  • March/April 2019 Page 3

    ECCLESIASTICAL

    SCHEDULE OF SERVICES

    Matins 9:00 a.m. Divine Liturgy 10:00 a.m. Weekday Services 8:30 a.m. unless otherwise specified

    ΕΚΚΛΗΣΙΑΣΤΙΚΟ

    ΕΟΡΤΟΛΟΓΙΟ

    Όρθρος 9:00 π.μ. Θεία Λειτουργία 10:00 π.μ. Καθημερινές ώρες 8:30 π.μ., εκτός εάν αναγράφεται άλλως

    APRIL

    Monday 1 Great Compline 7 pm Wednesday 3 Pre-sanctified Liturgy 8:30 am Friday 5 Pre-Sanctified Liturgy 8:30 am 4th Salutations 7 pm Sunday 7 4th Sunday of Lent Monday 8 Great Compline 7 pm Wednesday 10 Pre-sanctified Liturgy 7 pm Friday 12 Pre-sanctified Liturgy 8:30 am Akathist Hymn 7 pm Sunday 14 5th Sunday of Lent Monday 15 Great Compline 7 pm Wednesday 17 Pre-sanctified Liturgy 8:30 am Friday 19 Pre-Sanctified Liturgy 8:30 am Saturday 20 Saturday of Lazarus Sunday 21 Palm Sunday Monday 22 Holy Monday 8:30 am Pre-sanctified & 7 pm Tuesday 23 Holy Tuesday 8:30am Pre-sanctified & 7 pm Wednesday 24 Holy Wednesday 8:30 am, 3:00 pm & 6:30 pm Thursday 25 Holy Thursday 7 am & 7 pm Friday 26 Holy Friday 9 am Great Hours, 3 pm & 7 pm Saturday 27 Holy Saturday 9 am & 11 pm Sunday 28 Easter Sunday 11 am Monday 29 Saint George Feast Day

    ΑΠΡΙΛΙΟΣ

    Δευτέρα 1 Μέγα Απόδειπνο 7 μ.μ. Τετάρτη 3 Προηγιασμένη Λειτουργία 8:30 π.μ. Παρασκευή 5 Προηγιασμένη Λειτουργία 8:30 π.μ. Β΄ Χαιρετισμοί 7 μ.μ. Κυριακή 7 Δ΄ Κυριακή Νηστειών Δευτέρα 8 Μέγα Απόδειπνο 7 μ.μ. Τετάρτη 10 Προηγιασμένη Λειτουργία 8:30 π.μ. Παρασκευή 12 Προηγιασμένη Λειτουργία 8:30 π.μ. Ακάθιστος Ύμνος 7 μ.μ. Κυριακή 14 Ε΄ Κυριακή Νηστειών Δευτέρα 15 Μέγα Απόδειπνο 7 μ.μ. Τετάρτη 17 Προηγιασμένη Λειτουργία 8:30 π.μ. Παρασκευή 19 Προηγιασμένη Λειτουργία 8:30 π.μ. Σάββατο 20 Σάββατο του Λαζάρου Κυριακή 21 Κυριακή των Βαϊων Δευτέρα 22 Μεγάλη Δευτέρα 8:30 Προηγιασμένη & 7 μμ Τρίτη 23 Μεγάλη Τρίτη 8:30 Προηγιασμένη & 7 μμ Τετάρτη 24 Μεγάλη Τετάρτη 8:30 πμ, 3:00 μμ & 6:30 μμ Πέμπτη 25 Μεγάλη Πέμπτη 7πμ/7μμ Παρασκευή 26 Μεγάλη Παρασκευή 9πμ Μεγάλαι Ώραι/3μμ/7μμ Σάββατο 27 Μεγάλο Σάββατο 9πμ & 11μμ Κυριακή 28 Κυριακή του Πάσχα 11πμ Δευτέρα 29 Αγίου Γεωργίου

    ΜΑΡΤΙΟΣ

    Σάββατο 2 Α΄ Ψυχοσάββατο Κυριακή 3 Κυριακή της Αποκρεώ Σάββατο 9 Β΄ Ψυχοσάββατο Κυριακή 10 Κυριακή της Τυροφάγου Μέγας Εσπερινός 7 μ.μ. Δευτέρα 11 Μέγα Απόδειπνο 7 μ.μ. Τρίτη 12 Προηγιασμένη Λειτουργία 8:30 π.μ. Μέγα Απόδειπνο 7 μ.μ. Τετάρτη 13 Προηγιασμένη Λειτουργία 8:30 π.μ. Μέγα Απόδειπνο 7 μ.μ. Πέμπτη 14 Μέγα Απόδειπνο 7 μ.μ. Παρασκευή 15 Προηγιασμένη Λειτουργία 8:30 π.μ. Α΄ Χαιρετισμοί 7 μ.μ. Σάββατο 16 Γ΄ Ψυχοσάββατο Κυριακή 17 Κυριακή της Ορθοδοξίας Δευτέρα 18 Μέγα Απόδειπνο 7 μ.μ. Τετάρτη 20 Προηγιασμένη Λειτουργία 8:30 π.μ. Παρασκευή 22 Προηγιασμένη Λειτουργία 8:30 π.μ. Β΄ Χαιρετισμοί 7 μ.μ. Κυριακή 24 Β΄ Κυριακή Νηστειών Δευτέρα 25 Ευαγγελισμός της Θεοτόκου 9 π.μ. Μέγα Απόδειπνο 7 μ.μ. Τετάρτη 27 Προηγιασμένη Λειτουργία 7 μ.μ. Παρασκευή 29 Προηγιασμένη Λειτουργία 8:30 π.μ. Γ΄ Χαιρετισμοί 7 μ.μ. Κυριακή 31 Σταυροπροσκυνήσεως

    MARCH

    Saturday 2 A΄ Saturday of Souls Sunday 3 Meatfare Sunday Saturday 9 B’ Saturday of Souls Sunday 10 Cheesefare Sunday Forgiveness Vespers 7 pm Monday 11 Great Compline 7 pm Tuesday 12 Pre-Sanctified Liturgy 8:30 am Great Compline 7 pm Wednesday 13 Pre-sanctified Liturgy 8:30 am Great Compline 7 pm Thursday 14 Great Compline 7 pm Friday 15 Pre-sanctified Liturgy 8:30 am 1st Salutations 7 pm Saturday 16 3rd Saturday of Souls Sunday 17 Sunday of Orthodoxy Monday 18 Great Compline 7 pm Wednesday 20 Pre-sanctified Liturgy 8:30am Friday 22 Pre-sanctified Liturgy 8:30am 2nd Salutations 7 pm Sunday 24 2nd Sunday of Lent Monday 25 Annunciation 9 am Great Compline 7 pm Wednesday 27 Pre-sanctified Liturgy 7 pm Friday 29 Pre-sanctified Liturgy 8:30 am 3rd Salutations 7 pm Sunday 31 Sunday of the Veneration of the Cross

    Baptisms January 06 Κωνσταντίνα Daughter of Gerasimos and Dora Hionis Godparent: Zoe Makropoulos

    OUR PARISH — OUR PEOPLE

    Chrismations January 10 Carol Gussis

    Koumbaros: John Blazakis

    Funerals

    May Their Memory Be Eternal January 7 Mary Catherine Captain

    January 17 Carol C. Gussis

    The Easter Calendar will also be mailed separately. Το Ημερολογιο του Πασχα θα ταχυδρομηθει ξεχωριστα.

  • Page 4 March/April 2019

    ALTAR BOYS SCHEDULE FOR MARCH - APRIL 2019

    Sunday, March 3 Group 9 Sunday, April 7 Group 5 Sunday, March 10 Group 1 Sunday, April 14 Group 6 Sunday, March 17 Group 2 Saturday, April 20 Group 7 Sunday, March 24 Group 3 Sunday, April 21 Groups 8 & 9 Sunday, March 31 Group 4

    HOLY WEEK SCHEDULE

    Σύν Θεῷ, ἀξιωθήκαμε νὰ εἰσελθῶμεν εἰς τὴν εὐλογημένην περίοδον τῆς Μεγάλης Τεσσαρακοστῆς. Ἡ Μεγάλη Τεσσαρακοστή εἶναι ἡ κατ᾽ἐξοχήν εὐκαιρία διὰ τὴν ἀνάπτυξην τῶν πνευματικῶν δυνάμεων μας καὶ τῆς προετοιμασίας διὰ τὴν μεγίστην ἑορτήν τῆς Ἀναστάσεως. Ἡ περίοδος αὔτη εἶναι μία πορεία πνευματική μὲ προορισμό τὸ Πανάγιον Πάσχα, τὴν «ἑορτήν ἑορτῶν,» εἰς τὴν ὁποίαν παίρνουμε μίαν γεύσην τῆς χαρᾶς τοῦ «ἀνεσπέρου φωτός.»

    Τό πρῶτο βῆμα τῆς πορείας μας εἶναι ἡ μετάνοια. Ἡ μετάνοια εἶναι ἡ ἀλλαγή τῆς νοοτροπίας μας, ἡ ἀλλαγή τῆς ὑπάρξεώς μας ἐκ τῆς ἐγωκεντρικῆς καὶ ἀτομικῆς, εἰς τὴν προσωπικήν κοινωνικήν. Βεβαίως, προϋποθέτει ὁ,τί ὑπάρχει ἡ θέλεσις. Μάλιστα, πρέπει νὰ θέλουμε τὴν μετάνοιαν, καὶ πρέπει νὰ ξέρουμε ὅτι ἡ μετάνοια εἶναι, ὄντως, μία ἀλλαγή καί ὅ,τί δέν πρέπει νὰ ἐπιστρέψουμε ποτέ εἰς τὴν ἀμαρτίαν ἀλλά εἰς τὴν ἁγιότητα νὰ βαδίσουμε, ἵνα ζήσουμε τὴν καινήν ζωήν. Ὁ Ἅγιος Παῦλος γράφει «συνετάφημεν οὖν αὐτῷ διὰ τοῦ βαπτίσματος εἰς τὸν θάνατον, ἵνα ὥσπερ ἠγέρθη Χριστὸς ἐκ νεκρῶν διὰ τῆς δόξης τοῦ πατρός, οὕτω καὶ ἡμεῖς ἐν καινότητι ζωῆς περιπατήσωμεν» (Ρωμ. 6,4). Ἔτσι, λοιπόν, μέ τὸ Πάσχα, ὅθεν ἑορτάζουμε τὴν Ἀνάστασιν τοῦ Χριστοῦ, πρέπει νὰ ἑορτάζουμε μαζί μὲ ἐκεῖνο τὸ μέγιστο γεγονός τῆς ἱστορίας καὶ τὴν δικήν μας ἀνάστασιν και τὴν καινήν ζωήν.

    Τό δεύτερο βῆμα τῆς πορείας μας εἶναι ἡ συμμετοχή μας εἰς τὴν μυστηριακήν-λειτουργικήν ζωήν τῆς Ἐκκλησίας. Διά τῆς συμμετοχῆς μας εἰς αὐτὴν, ἀφήνουμε τὸ Ἅγιον Πνεῦμα νὰ λειτουργεῖ εἰς τὴν ζωήν. Ταυτοχρόνως, ζοῦμε πιό ἔντονα τὰ βήματα τοῦ Χριστοῦ εἰς τὴν γῆν. Ἡ καλύτερη ἀρχή διὰ τὴν σωστήν συμμετοχήν μας εἰς τὴν μυστηριακήν ζωήν εἶναι τὸ Μυστήριον τῆς Ἐξομολογήσεως. Ἐκεῖ, ἐνώπιον τῆς εἰκόνας τοῦ Χριστοῦ, καθαρίζεται ἡ ψηχή μας, μὲ τὴν χάριν τοῦ Ἁγίου Πνεύματος καὶ μὲ τὰς πατρικάς συμβουλάς τοῦ ἐξομολόγου ἱερέως, αἱ ὁποίαι εἶναι πρός τὴν πνευματικήν ἀνάπτυξην τῆς ψυχῆς. Διά τοῦ Μυστηρίου τῆς Ἐξομολογήσεως, «ἐνεργεῖ ἡ Χάρις τοῡ Θεοῡ καὶ λυτρώνονται» ὁ ἄνθρωπος, ὅπως ἔλεγε ὁ Ὅσιος Παϊσιος ὁ Ἁγιορείτης. Ἀτυχῶς, ὅπως εἶπε μία φορά ὁ ὅσιος γέροντας, « Ἔχουν ἀπομακρυνθῆ οἱ ἄνθρωποι ἀπό τὸ μυστήριο τῆς ἐξομολογήσεως, γι’ αὐτό καὶ πνίγονται ἀπό τοὺς λογισμούς καὶ τὰ πάθη. Πόσοι ἔρχονται καὶ ζητοῦν νὰ τοῦς

    βοηθήσω σὲ κάποιο πρόβλημα τους, καὶ οὔτε ἐξομολογούνται οὔτε ἐκκλησιάζονται! «Ἐκκλησιάζεσαι καθόλου;», τοῦς ρωτάω. «Ὄχι», μοῦ λένε. «Ἐξομολογήθηκες καμμιά φορά;». «Ὄχι. ἦρθα νὰ μὲ κάνης καλά». «Μά πῶς; Πρέπει νὰ μετανοήσης γιὰ τὰ σφάλματά σου, νὰ ἐξομολογήσαι, νὰ ἐκκλησιάζεσαι, νὰ κοινωνᾶς, ὅταν ἔχης εὐλογία ἀπό τὸν πνευματικό σου, καὶ ἐγώ θὰ κάνω προσευχή νὰ γίνης καλά. Ξεχνᾶς ὅτι ὑπάρχει καὶ ἄλλη ζωή καὶ πρέπει νὰ ἐτοιμασθοῦμε γιὰ ‘κεί;». «Κοίταξε, πάτερ, αὐτά ποὺ λές, ἐκκλησίες, ἄλλη ζωή κ.λπ., ἐμένα δὲν μὲ ἀπασχολοῦν. Αὐτά εἶναι παραμύθια. Ἔχω πάει σὲ μάγους, σὲ μέντιουμ καὶ δὲν μπόρεσαν νὰ μὲ κάνουν καλά. Ἔμαθα ὅτι ἐσύ μπορεῖς νὰ μὲ κάνης καλά». Ἄντε τώρα! Τοῦς μιλᾶς γιὰ ἐξομολόγηση, γιὰ τὴν μέλλουσα ζωή, καὶ σοῦ λένε «αὐτά εἶναι παραμύθια», καὶ ἀπό τὴν ἄλλη μεριά: «Βοήθησέ με, παίρνω χάπια». Ἔμ πῶς, μὲ μαγικό τρόπο θὰ γίνουν καλά;

    Καὶ βλέπεις, πολλοί, ἐνῶ ἔχουν προβλήματα ποὺ τὰ προκάλεσαν οἱ ἀμαρτίες τους, δὲν πηγαίνουν στὸν πνευματικό ποὺ μπορεῑ νὰ τοῦς βοηθήση θετικά, ἀλλά καταλήγουν νὰ ἐξομολογοῦνται στοὺς ψυχολόγους. Λένε τὸ ἱστορικό τους, τοῦς συμβουλεύονται γιὰ τὰ προβλήματά τους καὶ, ἄν ἔχουν νὰ περάσουν να ποτάμι, τους ρίχνουν μέσα και ἤ πνίγονται ἤ βγαίνουν, ἀλλά ποὺ βγαίνουν… Ἐνῶ, ἄν πάνε νὰ ἐξομολογηθοῦν στὸν πνευματικό, θά περάσουν στὴν ἄλλη ὄχθη ἀπό τὴν γέφυρα ἄνετα...»

    Ἐφ΄ὅσον ἔχουμε καθαρίσει τὰς ψυχάς μας, τότε εἴμαστε εἰς θέσιν νὰ συμμετάσχουμε εἰς τὸ Μυστήριον τῶν Μυστηρίων, δηλαδή εἰς τὴν Θεῖαν Κοινωνίαν. Εἰς τὴν Θεῖαν Εὐχαριστίαν, ζοῦμε, εἰς τὸ νῦν, τὰ ἔσχατα, δηλαδή τὰ γεγονοτα τοῦ μέλλοντως, τουτέστι ἡ ζωῆ εἰς τὸν Παράδεισον.

    Μέ αὐτά, θά ζοῦμε ἐν Χριστῶ, ἐν τῆ καινῆ ζωῆ. Μέ αὐτά, θὰ ζοῦμε καὶ τὴν Ἀνάστασιν. Τότε, ἡ Μεγάλη Τεσσαρακοστή, Μεγάλη Ἐβδομάδα καὶ τὸ Πάσχα θά ἔχουν σημασία εἰς τὴν ζωήν μας.

    Ἐπί δὲ τούτοις, εὐχόμενος Καλή καὶ Εὐλογημένη Τεσσαρακοστή εἰς ὅλους, διατελῶ

    Μετ’ἀγάπης ἐν Χριστῶ,

    +Ἀρχιμ. Νεκτάριος

    ΜΗΝΥΜΑ ΤΟΥ ΙΕΡΕΑ ΜΑΣ

    Holy Monday, April 22, 7:00 pm Group 1 Holy Friday, April 26, 3:00 pm Groups 6

    Holy Tuesday, April 23, 7:00 pm Group 2 Holy Friday, April 26, 7:00 pm Groups 7 & 8

    Holy Wednesday, April 24, 3:00 pm Group 3 Holy Saturday, April 27, 9:00 am Group 9

    Holy Wednesday, April 24, 7:00 pm Group 4 Holy Saturday, April 27, 11:00 pm Groups 1 & 2

    Holy Thursday, April 25, 7:00 pm Group 5 Easter Sunday, April 28, 11:00 am Group 3

  • March/April 2019 Page 5

    Holy Week is one of the most spiritually rewarding experienc-es in Orthodox Christian Liturgical worship. During this most sacred time, we re-enter the biblical/historical event and relive those awesome days that changed the world. We enter Palm Sun-day with Jesus. We talk with Him “through the valley of the Shad-ow of death.” We crucify those passions and sinful acts, deeds and thoughts in the Golgotha. We stand at His graveside and remem-ber that without Jesus there is only darkness, emptiness and des-pair. With Him there is light, fullness and hope! At Pascha we herald His Glorious Resurrection because we, too, will be resur-rected, first, to newness of life here and now, second, to eternity.

    But the only way this is going to be accomplished is if we take our faith and our Holy week services seriously. Our church will be packed on Palm Sunday morning, Holy Friday evening and Holy Saturday midnight But these will be momentary feelings of spirit-uality and newness of life. In order for those feelings and that spirituality to permeate throughout our souls we should come to church again on Palm Sunday evening, when the Bridgegroom (Nymphios) will be appearing, Holy Monday evening and Holy Tuesday evening and walk with Jesus on that trek to Golgotha. We must all come as a body and soul. Holy Thursday evening, one of the most crucial and moving services, we must come and

    relive the scriptural passages that will relate to us once again why Jesus suffered so much for us all. We must experience His cruci-fixion from up close, not from afar, where it is safe and noncom-mittal. We must mortify that part of our life that keeps us from committing ourselves fully and completely to Him. Then, and only then, will our Holy Friday and Pascha and the words “Hristos Anesti” have full meaning and help carry us through the rest of the year.

    HOLY WEEK SERVICES

    WE ENCOURAGE YOU TO COME FOR CONFESSION

    Confession is a very important Sacrament of the Orthodox Church and has been a part of Christian life since the biblical times, when our Lord Jesus Christ bestowed the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles and commanded them to use this Grace for the forgiveness of sins. If you have not been to Confession for some time, and you would like to take advantage of this bless-ing, during this special and very important time of our Church this year, please call Fr. Nektarios to schedule an appointment. Nobody should go through Lent without the benefit of Confession.

    ΣΑΣ ΠΑΡΟΤΡΥΝΟΥΜΕ ΝΑ ΕΡΘΕΤΕ ΓΙΑ ΕΞΟΜΟΛΟΓΗΣΗ

    Για μια ακόμη φορά σας υπενθυμίζουμε ότι κατά την περίοδο της Μεγάλης Εβδομάδος θα πρέπει να συμπεριλάβετε και το Μυστήριο της Θείας Εξομολόγησης στο πρόγραμμα της θρησκευτικής σας ζωής. Ο Άγιος Ιωάννης στην πρώτη του επιστολή μας λέει: «Εάν λέμε ότι δεν έχουμε αμαρτίες, εξαπατούμε τον εαυτό μας και δε λέμε την αλήθεια. Εάν εξομολογηθούμε των αμαρτιών μας, τότε και ο Κύριος θα είναι επιεικής και θα μας συγχωρέσει τις αμαρτίες μας».

    Κατά τη Μεγάλη Εβδομάδα ο πατήρ Νεκτάριος θα είναι διαθέσιμος για εξομολόγηση έπειτα από ραντεβού. Επωφεληθείτε από αυτή την προσφορά και καλέστε στο γραφείο της Εκκλησίας για να κλείσετε ένα ραντεβού για εξομολόγηση.

    LENTEN CONFESSION ENCOURAGED

    “Lord Jesus Christ

    Son of God, have

    MerCy on Me a sinner”

    “Κύριε Ιησού Χριστέ Υιέ Θεού,

    Ελέησόν με Τον αμαρτωλόν»

    http://www.clipartkid.com/holy-week-cliparts/https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwin6LGC64_SAhWZ2YMKHYnkD7AQjRwIBw&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ocf.org%2FOrthodoxPage%2Ficons%2Fclip_in.html&psig=AFQjCNFvqydyNzH247jmZ0f39goqJHUqpg&ust=1487170222945949

  • Page 6 March/April 2019

    Definition of Christianity One day, a person complained to his priest that the Church and Christianity is one continual “give, give, give.” To which the priest replied, “Thank you very much for the finest defini-tion of Christianity I have ever heard. You’re right, Christianity is all about a constant “give, give, give.” God giving His only Son to the world to show His un-conditional love. His Son Jesus giving His life on the cross to for-give our sins and de-stroy death. Then our Lord’s disciples giving all they had to make sure God’s Good News of love was preached to all people everywhere. They not only gave away their homes and businesses, but even gave up their lives as martyrs in gratitude to God!

    It is by offering our blessings back to God that He will be able to continue His forgiving, healing, liberating, em-powering, transfiguring, loving ministry through the Church.

    Ορισμός του Χριστιανισμού Μια μέρα, ένας άνθρωπος παραπονέθηκε στον ιερέα του ότι η Εκκλησία και ο Χριστιανισμός είναι ένα συνεχές «δώστε, δώστε, δώστε». Στην οποία ο ιερέας απάντησε: «Σας

    ευχαριστώ πολύ για τον καλύτερο ορισμό του Χριστιανισμού που έχω ακούσει ποτέ. Έχετε δίκιο, ο Χριστιανισμός πρόκειται για ένα σταθερό "δώστε, δώστε, δώστε". Ο Θεός δίνει στον μοναδικό του Υιό τον κόσμο, για να δείξει την αγάπη του χωρίς όρους. Ο Υιός Του δίνει τη ζωή Του στο σταυρό για να συγχωρήσει τις αμαρτίες μας και να καταστρέψει τον θάνατο. Τότε, οι μαθητές του Κυρίου μας, έκαναν ό,τι έπρεπε για να βεβαιωθούν ότι το Ευαγγέλιο της αγάπης θα δοθεί σε όλους τους ανθρώπους παντού. Δεν έδωσαν μόνο τα σπίτια και τις επιχειρήσεις τους, αλλά ακόμη και εγκατέλειψαν τη ζωή τους ως μάρτυρες με ευγνωμοσύνη στον Θεό!

    Πρέπει να προσφέρουμε τις ευλογίες μας πίσω στο Θεό, ώστε να μπορέσει να συνεχίσει το έργο της συγχώρεσης, θεραπείας, απελευθέρωσης, ενδυνάμωσης, μετάμορφωσης και αγάπης, μέσω της Εκκλησίας.

    Fr. Anthony M. Coniaris

    STEWARDSHIP

    STEWARDSHIP REQUIREMENTS

    Any person may give any amount for Stewardship. However, to be considered a member in good standing, to participate in the sacraments of Baptism or Wedding, and to have one vote in the General Assembly, the following minimums must be met:

    • $400 for single adult or husband and wife (age 18-64): one vote (if both the husband and wife pay $400); ($800 total, both may vote)

    • $300 for a married senior couple (Age 65+): one vote (if both the husband and wife pay $300); ($600 total, both can vote)

    • $250 for single senior and college student (age 18-24, must show proof of attending college full time)

    • Greater than the required contributions: those who have been blessed financially, should consider a greater contribution.

    ΑΠΑΙΤΗΣΕΙΣ ΕΚΟΥΣΙΑΣ ΕΙΣΦΟΡΑΣ

    Ο καθένας μπορεί να προσφέρει ό,τι μπορεί. Όμως, για να θεωρηθείτε κανονικό μέλος, να μπορείτε να πάρετε μέρος στα Mυστήρια της Βάπτισης και του Γάμου και να έχετε δικαίωμα μίας ψήφου στην Γενική Συνέλευση, απαιτούνται οι κάτωθι ελάχιστες εισφορές:

    • $400 ανά ανύπαντρο άτομο ή οικογένεια (18-64 ετών): μία ψήφος (εάν ο σύζυγος και η σύζυγος πληρώσουν $400 έκαστος (σύνολο $800) ψηφίζουν και οι δύο)

    • $300 ανά ηλικιωμένο ζευγάρι (άνω των 65 ετών): μία ψήφος (εάν ο σύζυγος και η σύζυγος πληρώσουν $300 έκαστος (σύνολο $600), ψηφίζουν και οι δύο)

    • $250 για μόνους ηλικιωμένους και φοιτητές (18-24 ετών, πρέπει να αποδείξουν ότι είναι φοιτητές): μία ψήφος

    • Πέραν του καθορισμένου ποσού: όσοι έχουν ευλογηθεί με οικονομική ευχέρεια, θα πρέπει να προσφέρουν περισσότερο από ό,τι καθορίζεται ανωτέρω.

  • March/April 2019 Page 7

    Big

    ger

    & B

    ette

    r Th

    an

    Eve

    r!

    Eat,

    Dri

    nk

    & B

    e M

    erry

    At

    Ou

    r O

    utd

    oo

    r Ta

    vern

    a!

    46TH ANNUAL

    Greek

    Festival

    St. George Greek Orthodox Church

    1101 River Road Piscataway, NJ

    Phone: 732.463.1642 www.gocnj.org

    Directions • I-287 to Route 18 River Road South

    or 1 Block West of Rutgers Stadium

    4 Big Days - Rain or Shine

    May 16, 17, 18 & 19, 2019 Thursday 12 noon - 10:00 pm

    Friday 12 noon - 11:00 pm

    Saturday 12 noon - 11:30 pm

    Sunday 12 noon - 7:00 pm

    Live Music & Entertainment

    Bouzoukia - Greek Folk Dancing - Singing

    RELIGIOUS TOURS

    Also in our Community Center…

    Gift & Novelty Shops * Pastry Shop * Arts & Crafts and as always our Food Take Out Order Booth

    (email your order to our online orders Department [email protected])

    Free Admission on Thursday, May 16, 12 noon - 10 p.m.

    Donation: $2 - Children Under 12 Free

    Free Parking & Shuttle Bus Available

  • Page 8 March/April 2019

    ST. GEORGE GREEK ORTHODOX CHURCH 1101 River Rd., Piscataway, NJ 08854

    50-50 CASH RAFFLE 1st Prize………………. 25% 2nd Prize………………. 15% 3rd Prize……………….. 10%

    Winner need not be present No substitution of the offered prize will be made.

    Distribution of prizes dependent on ticket sales

    Drawing: Sunday, May 19, 2019 5:00pm

    St. George Church Festival Community Center – AHEPA Hall

    Proceeds to Benefit St. George Greek Orthodox Church General Fund

    Donation: $5.00 ea.

    ID# 393-1-17580 Raffle License # RA 1352

    Additional Raffle Books available by contacting the Church Office (732) 463-1642.

    We need your help!

  • March/April 2019 Page 9

    46th Annual Greek Festival

    Our 46th Annual Festival will be held on May 16th, 17th, 18th and 19th. As always, this is the weekend directly following Mother’s Day. The Festival Committee will be meeting on Thursdays (schedule below) during the months of March, April and May. Meetings will be held from 7:00 to 9:00 pm, with the exception of Holy Week. We welcome all parishioners who are interested in supporting this year’s festival to attend the meetings. Our goal is to reach out to the local community to solicit advertising of businesses who wish to sell their services. Examples would be banks, mortgage, insurance, and realtors. As with prior years, we are always in the need for help prior, during, and after the festival. As always, no help will ever be turned away. We are always open to suggestions and ideas. Please do not hesitate to share them with the Festival Committee. Below is the calendar with all the cooking dates for the kitchen and the bakery. We will be baking and cooking in March, April and May. As always, we again are seeking out everyone’s help. This is our community’s biggest Fund Raiser. Help is needed! Please call me at 732-433-0661 to volunteer for any of these Departments: Advertising, Food Preparation, Kitchen, Loukoumades, Coffee Shop, Bakery, Salads, Gyro, Souvlakia, Take-out, Bar, Set-up and Clean-up. The more people who get involved, the easier the activities and the more fun we will have. We cannot depend upon the same people year-in and year-out.

    The Festival is a vital fundraiser for our church. Please show your stewardship by helping at this year’s Festival. It only takes a few hours a day of everyone’s time in order to make a difference. This is a great event in which to get involved, gather with your fellow church members and show our Greek hospitality. We will have Festival sign-ups after church on Sundays in March and April.

    We look forward to seeing everyone at this year’s Festival.

    George Athanasopoulos, Chairman

    John Lyssikatos, Co-Chairman

    Constantine Apostolakis, Co-Chairman

    Festival Meeting Calendar April 4, 11

    May 2 and 9

    *** Dolmadakia preparation and wrapping will take place at the Cretan

    House (1152 Raritan Ave, Highland Park, NJ 08904)

    2019 ANNUAL FESTIVAL

    PREPARATION SCHEDULE

    Tyropites March 26 10 am

    Koulourakia April 2 10 am

    Kourambiedes April 9 10 am

    Melomakarona April 16 11 am

    Keftedes May 1 9 am

    Diples May 7 10 am

    Mousakas May 14 9 am

    Dolmadakia (prep.) May 14 9 am***

    Pastitsio May 15 9 am

    Dolmadakia (wrap) May 15 9 am***

    https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwiakIqersbZAhVRmVkKHc9lD9cQjRx6BAgAEAY&url=https%3A%2F%2Fen.wikipedia.org%2Fwiki%2FGreek_Orthodox_Church_of_St._George_(Piscataway%2C_New_Jersey)&psig=AOvVaw2xZljN

  • Page 10 March/April 2019

    Notice To All ParishionersThe St. George annual festival is our largest

    fundraiser of the year we need YOUR help to make it even bigger and better than last year!

    Volunteers Needed

    Want to be a part of the committee? Join us at our next scheduled meetings on April 4,8, May 2,

    9 at 7pm

    Donations

    Food and supply procurement has become more and more difficult which makes us spend more

    money and drags our profit down. We encourage all parishioners to donate product or submit a

    monetary donation to help offset the expenses of the festival. A product donation list will be

    circulated

    Sponsorships

    Do you have your own business and want to advertise your services during our festival? We have sponsorship opportunities at 5 different

    levels. Get your business visible to approximately 15K people that attend!

    Please contact George Athanasopoulos (732-433-0661) or John Lyssikatos at [email protected] with your interest in any of the

    above and they can direct you

  • March/April 2019 Page 11

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    Xronia Polla and continued health, joy and peace to all. Our annual Vasilopita Luncheon was a beautiful and wonderful success again this year! Father Nektarios presided over the prayer and cutting of the Vasilopita and pieces were distributed to the people representing all the organizations of the church. Kosta Apostolakis was the lucky person to find the gold lira in his piece. We thank Dr. Panos Stavrianidis for donating the gold lira, which he does so generously every year ! Thank you to Anna Kalogridis,

    Christina Petrantonakis and Despina Fottis for chairing the event and to all the ladies who so willingly gave of their time and talents to set up the AHEPA Hall. Most importantly, the Philoptochos thanks you the members of our community who attended and donated so generously to help support the children of Saint Basil Academy. This was one of our most successful years of monetary donations. We thank you so very much ! The delicious luncheon would not have been possible without the shopping, preparation, cooking and donations of Nick Koumarianos, George Athanasopoulos and Manny Manioudakis. Without these dedicated and hardworking men and women we would not have been able to have such a successful event.

    On Sunday, March 17, 2019, the first Sunday of Great Lent and Orthodox Sunday, the Philoptochos will have a memorial service and koliva in honor and memory of our deceased members. Following the Divine Liturgy, we invite the community to join us in the AHEPA Hall for a delicious Lenten meal prepared and served by our ladies, chaired by Nicki Kopanakis and Anna Stevens. Again, all your generous donations will be sent to benefit the Hellenic College/Holy Cross Theological School in Brookline, MA. We welcome the entire community to join us in beginning the Lenten season in preparation of Easter. Also, on this day, we ask all the ladies to either renew their membership in the Philoptochos, or if you are not yet a member to join us and help with the wonderful and important missions of our organization. Please join us at our next meeting, Saturday, March 23, 2019 at 11:30 a.m.

    Can you believe another Saint George Festival will soon be here? Cooking and baking will begin on Tuesday, February 19th. Come join us to help, learn, and enjoy the comradery, and also help the festival be another huge success. We need your help, it is a lot of work, BUT a lot of fun!!

    Spring will soon be upon us and we will be preparing for the beautiful and solemn celebration of the Holiest Holiday of Easter, Pascha, in the Greek Orthodox Church. Saint Barbara Philoptochos Ladies Society wishes everyone a spiritual and Great Lent and Kalo Pascha.

    PHILOPTOCHOS UPCOMING EVENTS

    • Philoptochos Lenten Luncheon, Sunday, March 17, after Liturgy

    • General Philoptochos Meeting, Sat., March 23, 1:30 p.m.

    • General Philoptochos Meeting, Sat., April 13, 11:00 a.m.

    • Philoptochos Easter Tsoureki Bread Sale, Saturday, April 20 and Sunday, April 21, 2019.

    Χρόνια πολλά και σας ευχόμαστε υγεία, ευτυχία και ειρήνη.

    Το ετήσιο γεύμα μας για τη Βασιλόπιτα ήταν υπέροχο και για άλλη μία φορά στέφθηκε με επιτυχία! Ο πατέρας Νεκτάριος είπε την καθιερωμένη και έκοψε τη Βασιλόπιτα, κομμάτια της οποίας δόθηκαν σε αντιπροσώπος όλων των οργανισμών της εκκλησίας. Ο Κώστας Αποστολάκης ήταν ο τυχερός που βρήκε τη χρυσή λίρα στο κομμάτι του. Ευχαριστούμε τον Δρα Πάνο Σταυριανίδη για τη δωρεά της ως άνω λίρας, την οποία δωρίζει με τόση γενναιοδωρία κάθε χρόνο! Ευχαριστούμε τις κυρίες Άννα Καλογρίδη, Χριστίνα Πετραντωνάκη και Δέσποινα Φώττη, οι οποίες ήταν υπεύθυνες για το γεύμα, καθώς και όλες τις κυρίες που εθελοντικά προσέφεραν το χρόνο και τη δεξιοτεχνία τους προκειμένου να προετοιμάσουν και στολίσουν την αίθουσα ΑΧΕΠΑ. Κυριότερα, η Φιλόπτωχος θα ήθελε να ευχαριστήσει όλα τα μέλη της κοινότητάς μας που συμμετείχαν και συνείσφεραν οικονομικά προκειμένου να βοηθήσουν τα παιδιά της Ακαδημίας του Αγίου Βασιλείου. Φέτος συγκεντρώσαμε περισσότερα χρήματα από ποτέ, και σας ευχαριστούμε πολύ! Το γευστικότατο γεύμα δε θα μπορούσε να πραγματοποιηθεί χωρίς τα ψώνια, προετοιμασία, μαγείρεμα και δωρεές των κκ. Νίκου Κουμαριανού, Γιώργου Αθανασόπουλου και Εμμανουήλ Μανιουδάκη. Χωρίς αυτούς τους αφοσιωμένους και σκληρά εργαζόμενους άνδρες και γυναίκες, δε θα μπορούσαμε να έχουμε ένα τόσο επιτυχημένο γεγονός.

    Την Κυριακή 17 Μαρτίου 2019, την πρώτη Κυριακή της Σαρακοστής και Ημέρα της Ορθοδοξίας, η Φιλόπτωχος θα τελέσει επιμνημόσυνη δέηση και κόλλυβα εις μνήμη των απολεσθέντων μελών μας. Ακολούθως της Θείας Λειτουργίας, προσκαλούμε την κοινότητα στην αίθουσα ΑΧΕΠΑ για να απολαύσει ένα νόστιμο Νηστίσιμο γέυμα προετοιμασμένο και σερβιρισμένο από την κυρίες μας, με υπεύθυνη την κα Νίκη Κοπανάκη και την κα Άννα Στίβενς. Για μία ακόμη φορά, όλες οι γενναιόδωρες δωρεές σας θα σταλούν προς όφελος του Ελληνικού Κολλεγίου/Θεολογική Σχολή Τιμίου Σταυρού στο Brookline της Μασσαχουσσέτης. Προσκαλούμε όλη την κοινότητα να έρθει, καθώς ξεκινάμε τη Νηστίσιμη περίοδο. Επίσης, αυτή την ημέρα, προσκαλούμε όλες τις κυρίες να ανανεώσουν τη συνδρομή τους προς τη Φιλόπτωχο, ή να εγγραφούν σε αυτή, προκειμένου ο οργανισμός μας να μπορέσει να συνεχίσει το σημαντικό του έργο. Η επόμενη συνάντησή μας θα πραγματοποιηθεί το Σάββατο 23 Μαρτίου 2019 στις 11:30 π.μ.

    Το πιστεύετε ότι πλησιάζει ο καιρός του Φεστιβάλ; Ξεκινήσαμε τις προετοιμασίες την Τρίτη 19 Φεβρουαρίου. Ελάτε να μας βοηθήσετε και να περάσετε όμορφα, καθώς και συνεισφέρετε ώστε αυτό το φεστιβάλ να είναι ακόμα μία τεράστια επιτυχία. Χρειαζόμαστε τη βοήθειά σας, είναι πολλή δουλειά, ΑΛΛΑ περνάμε πολύ όμορφα!!

    Η Άνοιξη είναι προ των πυλών, και σύντομα θα προετοιμαστούμε για το Πάσχα στην εκκλησία μας. Η Φιλόπτωχος της Αγίας Βαρβάρας εύχεται σε όλες και όλους καλή Σαρακοστή και Καλό Πάσχα!

    ΠΡΟΓΡΑΜΜΑ ΔΡΑΣΤΗΡΙΟΤΗΤΩΝ ΦΙΛΟΠΤΩΧΟΥ

    • Νηστίσιμο Γεύμα, Κυριακή 17 Μαρτίου 2019 μετά τη Θ. Λειτουργία

    • Γενική Συνάντηση, Σάββατο 23 Μαρτίου 1:30 μ.μ.

    • Γενική Συνάντηση, Σάββατο 13 Απριλίου 11 π.μ.

    • Πώληση Τσουρεκίων, Σάββατο 20 Απριλίου και Κυριακή 21 Απριλίου

    LADIES PHILOPTOCHOS SOCIETY “ST. BARBARA”

  • March/April 2019 Page 15

    Remember to direct your United Way donation to the St. George Needy Cases Fund

    United Way Reference Number 032224

    PARTICIPATE IN THE UNITED WAY PROGRAM! It’s that time of the year when corporate management will be asking their employees to participate in the 2019/2020 United Way program. Consequently, since our parishioners are participants in that program, we ask that they and their many friends consider our St. George Needy Cases Fund be earmarked for their contribution. In the past several years the St. George Needy Cases Fund has benefited dramatically and this has allowed the Philoptochos to assist those in need. The Ladies Philoptochos Society extends its appreciation and thanks to our many St. George parishioners who have taken the initiative to arrange for their United Way deductions to be sent to the St. George Needy Cases Fund. We are most grateful to all for their continued support.

    All donations to the Memorial Fund are greatly appreciated. As we all know, we have a beautiful Memorial Tree located in the Memorial Room of the Community Center. Anyone wishing to purchase a leaf ($350), a dove ($2,000), or a stone ($1,500) in memory of a loved one, “May their memory be eternal,” please contact either John Stroumtsos or Fr. Nektarios by calling the church office 732.463.1642.

    ST. GEORGE MEMORIAL FUND

    PHILOPTOCHOS

    LENTEN LUNCHEON,

    SUNDAY,

    MARCH 17, 2019

    AHEPA HALL

    Hosted by Saint Barbara Philoptochos Ladies Society

    All donations to benefit Hellenic College/ Holy Cross Seminary

    Easter Tsoureki Bread Sale

    April 20th and April 21st, 2019

    To order your bread early, please call:

    Koula Athanasopoulos (732) 469-6298

    Evangelia Manolakis (732) 390-8647

    https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwiNlv_XutzgAhXhRd8KHXGeBAsQjRx6BAgBEAU&url=http%3A%2F%2Fclipart-library.com%2Flenten-dinner-cliparts.html&psig=AOvVaw3rDCXHcHeLb0taZOqOpaFl&ust=1551375616723357https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwjgksu0u9zgAhULMd8KHSjGA1sQjRx6BAgBEAU&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.pinterest.ca%2Ftristonturner%2F&psig=AOvVaw3ie54pIQBzt3kDzpTwnYGL&ust=1551375813433685

  • Page 16 March/April 2019

    Continuing through the busy months our GOYAns aren’t letting the cold stop them from keeping up the hard work!

    Our sports team’s dedicated time during the season lead them all the way to playoffs!

    The first round of games took place on January 12th at Toms River church and fortunately our girls volleyball and senior boys basketball teams won to advance to the championship games.

    These games were held the next day, January 13th at Asbury Park church. Our players worked together on the court bringing home 1st place for the girls team and 2nd place for the boys team. As well as our Junior boys basketball team who also won 1st place during their games held on January 26th. We are so proud of all our athletes and thankful for our coaches who dedicated their time to our champs! However the competition is never done, our senior basketball and volleyball teams went up against the churches in the northern division during the finals that were held on February 16th.

    Another special congratulations to our dancers who performed at the Hellenic Folk Dance Festival, put together by our Metropolis in Annapolis, Maryland during the weekend of January 18th-20th. We are so proud of our dancers for representing our church. The GOYAns would like to thank their dance instructors for choreographing a beautiful routine with dances from the region of Thrace. With all of the generous donations for our parish members, are GOYAns were dressed in new, handmade costumes from the region.

    A special thank you to:

    ● AHEPA

    ● Georgia Peterson

    ● John and Sandy Kalogridis

    ● Mike and Helen Sirimis

    ● Elpi and Stephanie Arhontoulis

    ● Kasimis Family

    ● Charlie and Virginia Theokas

    ● Stephanie Sgourakis

    ● John and Georgia Papanastasiou

    ● Evangelos Giannos Family

    ● Jimmy and Rita Polos

    ● Demetrius Kambitsis

    ● Christine Demos.

    May God bless them all

    We are so grateful for our GOYAns and their families who donated to our Super Bowl bake sale on February 3rd. With all our your support it was a huge success for our GOYA!

    On February 15th our GOYA had the opportunity to host the annual Valentines Day Dance for all the GOYAs of the Metropolis. We hosted around 400 kids and the night was full of music, dancing, and a lot of fun. We are so blessed that our GOYAns can come together during these events to make new friends and make memories that will last them a lifetime.

    After the busy weeks of practices our GOYAns competed in the Sights and Sounds competition that took place in Westfield on March 3rd. At this event our talented GOYAns had the opportunity to show off their musical and artistic abilities through the sights which include: painting, photography, handicraft, literature etc. As well as the sounds: Greek dance, Greek play, singing groups and band. Our GOYAns and our instructors dedicated a majority of their time practicing to represent our St. George community. Our community had to opportunity to watch these performances at our home show on February 24th. We are so proud of our skilled youth!

    Also we are having our annual lamb raffle, so make sure you contribute and buy a ticket to hopefully become a lucky winner! The winners will be announced on Palm Sunday.

    The Championship Tournament was

    held at St. George in Clifton. Congratulations

    to the Jr. Boys basketball team for taking 1st

    place overall in the tournament! State

    Champs! Congratulations to all our

    teams! We are all very proud of the kids for

    all their hard work this season! Thank you

    coaches and parents for your dedication to our

    GOYA.

    Alexandra Sirimis, Historian

    G.O.Y.A. — GREEK ORTHODOX YOUTH ASSOCIATION

  • March/April 2019 Page 17

    Meet at church lot 11:00 am Bus leaves 11:30 am sharp!

    Adults $15 / College students $10 / GOYA - Sunday & Greek School students free / Complimentary Lunch provided

    Let’s show how proud we all are of our St. George community!

    Church attire is required to participate. (No sneakers or jeans will be

    allowed if you are marching with the church)

    Children who would like to be on the float must be 5 years old or older and dressed in their Greek costumes.

    No parents will be allowed on the float. Reservations: George Rodoussakis (732) 371– 2008 or

    Sophie Exarchakis (732) 723-9088

  • Page 18 March/April 2019

    SUNDAY SCHOOL

    Dear Parents and Members of our St. George Community,

    We hope your year 2019 is filled with hope, joy and love.

    On behalf of Archimandrite Nektarios and the teaching staff, we

    would like to thank you for your support in providing an

    Orthodox Christian foundation of faith and values to your

    children. We would like to express our deep gratitude to our

    volunteer organization for all their efforts, dedication and

    perseverance.

    Some highlights of the activities conducted these past two

    months follow.

    Epiphany: All children celebrated the Epiphany of our

    Lord, Jesus Christ by attending part of the Divine Liturgy and

    by being blessed with holy water from the Great Sanctification.

    Participated in the tradition of the Vasilopita

    Three Holy Hierarchs celebration: On 27th of January we

    participated in the celebration of the Three Holy Hierarchs that

    was sponsored by the PTO. Our students who placed ‘first’ in

    the 2018 Saint John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival (i.e.,

    George Bizos and Maria Bourodimos) had an opportunity to

    share their works (speech) with our Saint George-Piscataway

    community.

    In each issue of the Voice of Saint George we present a

    summary of the curricula followed by several grades. Today we

    will present the curriculum of Grades 4, 5 and 6.

    Grade 4: ‘Growing with God’– The fourth-grade program

    is devoted to helping children learn to use and appreciate the

    Bible. They are also introduced to examples of living the

    sacramental life – attending services, fasting, praying, observing

    feast days, helping others, etc. By the end of the year, the

    children will know how to refer to the Bible in time of doubt

    and fear. They will also learn to recite the prayer ‘O Heavenly

    King’ which they will proudly recite during the Divine Liturgy

    of an upcoming Sunday.

    Grade 5: ‘God Calls Us’ – This class concentrates on

    stories of the heroes of the Faith who have responded to God’s

    call. Through these examples of faith, loyalty, self-sacrifice,

    obedience, love, justice and social responsibility, students learn

    to respond to God in terms of their faith and morality. The

    students of this grade also learn to recite the ‘Nicene Creed’;

    they will proudly recite this prayer in front of our congregation

    on an upcoming Sunday.

    Grade 6: ‘The Scribe – Searching for Jesus Christ in the

    Old Testament’ - The children in this class are presented with

    the most important aspects of the Old Testament as they relate

    to the New Testament. The children also memorize the Ten

    Commandments and discuss their relevance in our times. They

    will proudly recite them in front of our congregation on an

    upcoming Sunday. When passing by their classroom, you will

    hear lively discussions and many questions from our students.

    The students of all grades read the Epistle and Gospel

    passages recited by Father Nektarios during the Divine Liturgy.

    They also attend the Divine Liturgy once a month, attend

    hymnology classes twice a month, as well as discuss the lives of

    the Saints and Feast Days celebrated that week. The overall

    curriculum followed by all grades was developed by the Greek

    Orthodox Archdiocese of America Department of Religious

    Education. Additionally, all our children participate in the

    many projects carried out throughout the year.

    We encourage all parents to bring your children to us each

    Sunday. Each lesson of a given week builds on that for the

    following week, and thus the importance of your children’s’

    presence must be emphasized. For your valuable feedback,

    please contact me at [email protected]

    Respectfully in Christ,

    St. George Catechism Staff

    Photographs of our students from the Christmas Pageant – 2018 (the children either read or recited the story of the ‘Birth

    of Jesus’ in both the English and Greek languages)

  • March/April 2019 Page 19

    Γιορτάσαμε και φέτος την καθιερωμένη εορτή των Τριών Ιεραρχών και των Ελληνικών Γραμμάτων. Το Σάββατο 26 Ιανουαρίου, το σχολείο μας έλαβε μέρος στη γιορτή αυτή την οποία οργάνωσε η Ιερά Μητρόπολη της Νέας Ιερσέης, στον Ιερό Ναό του Αγίου Αθανασίου στο Paramus Νεας Ιερσέης. Τα παιδιά μας σημείωσαν μεγάλη επιτυχία με τα ποιήματά τους και εμείς ως δάσκαλες νοιώσαμε περήφανες για τους μαθητές μας!

    Την Κυριακή 27 Ιανουαρίου, τιμήσαμε τους Τρεις Ιεράρχες και τα Ελληνικά Γράμματα στην δική μας κοινότητα, αρχίζοντας με αρτοκλασία από τον Σύλλογο Γονέων. Μετά την Θεία Λειτουργία, ο Σύλλογος πρόσφερε γεύμα προς τιμή των δασκάλων του Ελληνικού και Κατηχητικού σχολείου. Εν συνεχεία, παιδιά του ελληνικού μας σχολείου εξύμνησαν το έργο των Τριών Ιεραρχών με ομιλία και ποιήματα.

    Στις 11-15 Μαρτίου θα γίνουν τα δεύτερα διαγωνίσματα και την επόμενη εβδομάδα, 18-22 Μαρτίου, θα δωθούν οι έλεγχοι στου γονείς και θα ενημερωθούν επίσης για την πρόοδο των παιδιών τους.

    Τον Μάρτιο, όπως κάθε χρόνο, γιορτάζουμε επίσης την Εθνική μας Γιορτή, της 25ης Μαρτίου. Η εορτή αυτή θα γίνει το Σάββατο 23 Μαρτίου, στις 11 η ώρα. Στη γιορτή αυτή λαμβάνουν μέρος μαθητές της τετάρτης, πέμπτης και έκτης τάξης. Σας περιμένουμε όλους, ώστε μαζί να καμαρώσουμε τα παιδιά μας και να τιμήσουμε την Εθνική μας γιορτή!

    Ευχόμαστε σε όλους, Καλή Σαρακοστή και Καλό Πάσχα!

    Με εκτίμηση,

    Οι Δασκάλες του Ελληνικού Σχολείου

    Once more, we honored the Feast of the Tree Hierarchs and the Greek Letters Day. On Saturday, January 26th His Grace Evangelos, Metropolitan of New Jersey, organized the celebra-tion of the Three Hierarchs and Greek Letters at St. Athanasios church, Paramus New Jersey. Our school was among the many schools participating in the celebration. The children proudly represented our community with beautiful poems.

    On Sunday, January 27th, we celebrated the feast in our church with the blessing of the Loaves (Artoclasia), followed by a Luncheon offered by our P.T.O. in honor of our Greek and Sunday School teachers. One of our students delivered a beautiful speech on the importance of the Feast and the great contribution of the Three Hierarchs to Greek Education. Oth-er students recited poems relevant to the teaching of the Three Hierarchs.

    On March 11th to 15th, the mid-term examinations will be administered. The following week of March, the parents-teachers conference will be held where the report- cards will be handed out.

    In March, we also celebrate an important day, the March 25th Greek Independence Day. A program will be presented by our school. This year it will celebrated on Saturday, March 23rd, at 11 a. m.

    We wish everyone a Happy Lent and Happy Easter!

    Sincerely,

    The Teachers of the Greek School

    ΕΛΛΗΝΙΚΟ ΣΧΟΛΕΙΟ — GREEK SCHOOL

    ΚΑΛΟ ΠΑΣΧΑ

    HAPPY EASTER

  • Page 20 March/April 2019

    The support from the St. George families and friends of our community has been very influential in making our events a success for the children of our community. Among many ways, the individuals and families of our community have shown support by attending our events, donating necessary items, and volunteering their time. Everyone’s generosity has not gone unnoticed. The PTO is sincerely thankful and blessed to have the support of this great community.

    On January 27th, the celebration of the Three Hierarchs and “Greek Letters” was a very joyous tribute to the teachers of our Greek School and Religious Education School. Congratulations to all of the students who recited poems, essays, and speeches. You all did a wonderful job and we are all proud of your successes. We would like to extend a special thank you to all of the Greek and Sunday School teachers and administrators who helped us coordinate the program. In addition, we would like to thank Very Reverend Father Nektarios for the menu selection and grocery shopping, Mr. George Athanasopoulos for the preparation of our delicious meal, all our Chef helpers in the kitchen the day of, and Mr. Kostas Hantsoulis for the microphone setup. We had a tremendous turnout! Thank you to all of the attendees for your support.

    On February 9th, the PTO hosted the St George Community Ice skating event held at Roosevelt Park Outdoor Family Rink in Edison, NJ. Thank you to all the families that joined us for a magical night on the ice!!! Fun to see families and friends enjoying a winter night together. We received tremendous support for the event and we would like to extend our deepest gratitude to those who skated and to the Polos Family that helped coordinate the event.

    On Sunday, March 3rd we will have our annual Apokriatiko Glendi. Our theme is the St. George Western Night for this year. Come dressed in your Western wear and

    join us for dinner, desserts, learn to Line Dance. We will have Greek and American DJ music, entertainment performances and shows by our St George Dancers. Come get your reservations in for this fun Western Night Glendi!!

    Upcoming Events

    In March, our Easter Lambathes Fundraiser and Chocolate Fundraiser will begin. The Greek School will have the Greek Independence Day program on March 23rd.

    In April, please lookout for more information on the Myrofores for Palm Sunday, Holy Thursday and Holy Friday services. On Saturday, April 20th the PTO will host the Easter Lenten Communion Breakfast following church services. Everyone in the community is welcome to join. The children will color Easter eggs as part of the festivities.

    On Easter Sunday, April 28th, following the Agapi service, the children and their families will enjoy an Easter Egg Hunt. Volunteers to help setup for the Easter Egg Hunt would be greatly appreciated.

    PTO Dropbox: For your convenience, all PTO correspondence can be submitted in our "PTO" drop box located beneath the silver mailboxes at the back of the church entrance

    For the most up-to-date information on upcoming PTO events, please visit the PTO bulletin board. A big portion of our fundraisers goes into planning trips, future events, and Greek and Sunday School expenses. We thank the community for your continued support. If you have any questions or would like to volunteer, you may email the PTO at [email protected]

    God Bless, St. George PTO

    P.T.O. — PARENT TEACHER ORGANIZATION

  • March/April 2019 Page 21

  • Page 22 March/April 2019

    In the year 626, the Byzantine Empire was experiencing political turmoil. The emperor Phocas had recently been overthrown by a young general, Heraclius, and the empire had been invaded by both the Persians to the East and the Avars to the West.

    Wars with the Persians in the East had been ongoing since the time of Justinian in the early 500s, with the Persian Emperor Khosroes not allowing Byzantine trade through the Persian Empire and threatening to invade. The Avars, a people of Tartar origin, were also being paid off since the time of Justinian to protect the borders of Byzantium. When the payments stopped during the reign of the Emperor Justin they turned against Byzantium.

    And so in 626 the Persian and Avar leaders coordinated to draw Heraclius and the army away from Constantinople and then send their remaining forces to lay siege to the city. And so Constantinople found itself under siege with the majority of its army away fighting the Persians.

    The Byzantine defenders had roughly 10,000 men to defend the city walls (mostly dismounted cavalry troops) against a force of over 50,000 Avars and Persians. The Avars had moored their fleet just outside the city and had moved up siege towers to the Theodosian walls.

    The defense of the city thus fell to Patriarch Sergius and the magistrate Bonus. Although an inexperienced military leader, the Patriarch was nonetheless a man of immense faith and courage. Every day he would parade the icon of the Virgin Mary around the walls of the city and proclaim that God was on the side of the defenders.

    Throughout July and into August, the besiegers continually assaulted the walls of the city. Every successive wave was beaten back by the defenders and the Avars suffered such heavy losses that they were not even able to collect their dead and wounded. On August 4 they launched a massive assault and managed to occupy the outer suburbs of the city, burning down many houses and the church of Theotokos of Blachernae.

    On August 7, they launched one final land and sea assault. The Byzantine navy sallied forth and destroyed their entire fleet. Patriarch Nikephoros writing on the siege at a later date, mentions that the sea became red from the blood. Theodore Syncellos writes that the sea near Blachernae was covered with dead bodies and empty boats floating aimlessly.

    The sources tell us that the King of the Avars looked up at the walls of the city while his fleet was being destroyed and saw a woman in shining garments with a face full of light – this was undoubtedly the Theotokos. The Avars and Persians were forced to retreat and their land forces were defeated in battle by Emperor Heraclius shortly afterwards.

    In celebration, the Patriarch ordered that an all-night vigil be held to give thanks to the Panagia where the city chanted the Akathist Hymn – 24 verses long starting with the letters of the Greek alphabet.

    The Akathist Hymn was penned around this time by an unknown writer – either the Patriarch himself or another priest of the city.

    The words of the hymn are as follows:

    O Champion General, we your City inscribe to you the prize of victory as gratitude for being rescued from calamity,

    O Theotokos. But since you have invincible power, free us from all kinds of perils so that we may cry out to you:

    Rejoice, O Bride unwedded.

    *** Το έτος 626, η Bυζαντινή αυτοκρατορία βίωσε πολιτική

    αναταραχή. Ο Aυτοκράτορας Φωκάς είχε πρόσφατα ανατραπεί από έναν νέο στρατηγό, τον Ηράκλειο, και η αυτοκρατορία είχε εισβληθεί τόσο από τους Πέρσες στην Ανατολή όσο και από τους Αβάρους στη Δύση.

    Οι πόλεμοι με τους Πέρσες στην Ανατολή συνεχίζονταν από την εποχή του Ιουστινιανού στις αρχές της δεκαετίας του '50, με τον περσικό αυτοκράτορα Χοσρόη να μην επιτρέπει το βυζαντινό εμπόριο μέσω της Περσικής αυτοκρατορίας, και να απειλεί να εισβάλει. Οι Αβάρες, ένας λαός της καταγωγής του Ταρτάρου, πληρώνονταν, επίσης από την εποχή του Ιουστινιανού, για να προστατεύσουν τα σύνορα του Βυζαντίου. Όταν οι πληρωμές σταμάτησαν κατά τη διάρκεια της βασιλείας του αυτοκράτορα Ιουστίνου, στράφηκαν εναντίον του Βυζαντίου.

    Έτσι, το 626 οι ηγέτες των Περσών και των Αβάρων συντονίστηκαν για να τραβήξουν τον Ηράκλειο και τον στρατό από την Κωνσταντινούπολη και στη συνέχεια να στείλουν τις υπόλοιπες δυνάμεις τους για να ασκήσουν πολιορκία στην πόλη. Και έτσι η Κωνσταντινούπολη βρισκόταν υπό πολιορκία με την πλειοψηφία του στρατού της μακριά να αγωνίζεται με τους Πέρσες. Οι βυζαντινοί υπερασπιστές είχαν περίπου 10.000 άνδρες για να υπερασπιστούν τα τείχη της πόλης (κυρίως αποσυναρμολογημένα ιππικά στρατεύματα) ενάντια σε μια δύναμη άνω των 50.000 Αβάρων και Περσών. Οι Αβάρες είχαν αγκυροβολήσει το στόλο τους ακριβώς έξω από την πόλη και είχαν μετακομίσει πύργους πολιορκίας στους Θεοδόσιους τοίχους Ως εκ τούτου, η υπεράσπιση της πόλης έπεσε στον Πατριάρχη Σέργιο και στον Διοικητή Μπόνους. Αν και ένας άπειρος στρατιωτικός ηγέτης, ο Πατριάρχης ήταν παρ 'όλα αυτά ένας άνθρωπος με τεράστια πίστη και θάρρος. Κάθε μέρα παρέτασε την εικόνα της Παναγίας γύρω από τα τείχη της πόλης και διακύρηττε ότι ο Θεός ήταν στην πλευρά των υπερασπιστών

    Όλο τον Ιούλιο και τον Αύγουστο, οι πολιορκητές επιτίθεντο συνεχώς στα τείχη της πόλης. Κάθε διαδοχικό κύμα

    THE HISTORY BEHIND THE AKATHIST HYMN: THE SIEGE OF CONSTANTINOPLE IN 626

  • March/April 2019 Page 23

    επίθεσης αντιμετωπίστηκε από τους υπερασπιστές, και οι Αβάρες υπέστησαν τόσο μεγάλες απώλειες που δεν ήταν ακόμη σε θέση να συγκεντρώσουν τους νεκρούς και τους τραυματίες. Στις 4 Αυγούστου ξεκίνησαν μια τεράστια επίθεση και κατόρθωσαν να καταλάβουν τα εξωτερικά προάστια της πόλης, καίγοντας πολλά σπίτια και την εκκλησία της Θεοτόκου της Βλαχέρνας.

    Στις 7 Αυγούστου, ξεκίνησαν μια τελευταία επίθεση ξηράς και θάλασσας. Το βυζαντινό ναυτικό έτρεξε και κατέστρεψε ολόκληρο το στόλο του. Ο Πατριάρχης Νικηφόρος γράφοντας για την πολιορκία αργότερα, αναφέρει ότι η θάλασσα έγινε κόκκινη από το αίμα. Ο Θεόδωρος Σύνγκελος έγραφε ότι η θάλασσα κοντά στη Βλαχέρνα καλύπτονταν από νεκρά σώματα και άδειες βάρκες που επέπλεαν άσκοπα.

    Οι πηγές μας λένε ότι ο βασιλιάς των Αβάρων κοίταξε στα τείχη της πόλης, ενώ ο στόλος του καταστράφηκε και είδε μια γυναίκα με λαμπερά ενδύματα με πρόσωπο γεμάτο φως - αυτό ήταν αναμφίβολα η Θεοτόκος. Οι Αβάροι και οι Πέρσες

    αναγκάστηκαν να υποχωρήσουν και οι χερσαίες δυνάμεις τους νικήθηκαν στη μάχη του αυτοκράτορα Ηρακλείου λίγο αργότερα.

    Κατά τη διάρκεια εορτασμών, ο Πατριάρχης διέταξε να πραγματοποιηθεί μια ακολουθία προκειμένου να ευχαριστήσει την Παναγία, όπου η πόλη έψαλλε τον Ακάθιστο Ύμνο, ο οποίος αποτελείται από 24 στίχους, αρχίζοντας από τα γράμματα του ελληνικού αλφαβήτου.

    Ο Ακάθιστος Ύμνος δημιουργήθηκε γύρω σε αυτή την εποχή από έναν άγνωστο συγγραφέα - είτε τον ίδιο τον Πατριάρχη είτε έναν άλλο ιερέα της πόλης. Τα λόγια του ύμνου είναι τα εξής:

    Τῇ ὑπερμάχῷ στρατηγῷ τὰ νικητήρια, ὡς λυτρωθεῖσα τῶν δεινῶν εὐχαριστήρια,

    ἀναγράφω σοι ἡ πόλις σου, Θεοτόκε• ἀλλ' ὡς ἔχουσα τὸ κράτος ἀπροσμάχητον, ἐκ παντοίων με κινδύνων

    ἐλευθέρωσον, ἵνα κράζω σοί• Χαῖρε Νύμφη ἀνύμφευτε.

    Jim Speros

    The solemnities of Great Week are preceded by a two-day festival commemorating the resurrection of Lazaros and the triumphant entry of Christ into Jerusalem. These two events punctuate Christ’s ministry in a most dramatic way (Jn 11.1-12,19). By causing the final eruption of the unrelenting hostility of His enemies, who had been plotting to kill him, these two events precipitate Christ’s death. At the very same time, however, these same events emphasize His divine authority. Through them Christ is revealed as the source of all life and the promised Messiah. For this reason, the interlude which separates Great Week from the Great Fast is Paschal in character. It is the harbinger of Christ’s victory over death of the inrush of His kingdom into the life of the world. The Saturday of Lazaros is counted among the major feasts of the Church. It is celebrated with great reverence and joy. The event of the raising of Lazaros is recorded in the Gospel of John (11.1-45). The hymnography of the feast interprets the theological significance of the event. Accordingly, the resurrection of Lazaros is viewed as a prophecy in action. It prefigures both the resurrection of Christ, as well as the general resurrection of all the dead in the end times. The hymns of the feast also emphasize the biblical truth that the resurrection as such, is more than an event. It is a person, Christ Himself, who bestows eternal life now upon all who believe in Him, and not at some obscure future time (Jn 11.25-26). In addition, the resurrection of Lazaros occasioned the disclosure of Christ’s two natures, the divine and the human. He manifested His divine power by His foreknowledge of the death of Lazaros and by the final outcome, the miracle of his resurrection. Also, in the course of the dramatic events Jesus displayed deep human emotions. The Gospel records His deep feelings of love, tenderness, sympathy and compassion, as well as distress and sadness. The narrative reports that He sighed from the heart and wept (Jn 11.5, 33, 35, 36, 38). The Entry into Jerusalem. At the outset of His public ministry Jesus proclaimed the kingdom of God and announced that the powers of the age to come were already active in the present age (Lk 7.18-22). His words and mighty works were

    performed “to produce repentance as the response to His call, a call to an inward change of mind and heart which would result in concrete changes in one’s life, a call to follow Him and accept His messianic destiny. The triumphant entry of Jesus into Jerusalem is a messianic event, through which His divine authority was declared. Palm Sunday summons us to behold our king: the Word of God made flesh. We are called to behold Him not simply as the One who came to us once riding on a colt, but as the One who is always present in His Church, coming ceaselessly to us in power and glory at every Eucharist, in every prayer and sacrament, and in every act of love, kindness and mercy. He comes to free us from all our fears and insecurities, “to take solemn possession of our soul, and to be enthroned in our heart,” as someone has said. He comes not only to deliver us from our deaths by His death and resurrection, but also to make us capable of attaining the most perfect fellowship or union with Him. He is the king, who liberates us from the darkness of sin and the bondage of death. Palm Sunday summons us to behold our king: the vanquisher of death and the giver of life. Palm Sunday summons us to accept both the rule and the kingdom of God as the goal and content of our Christian life. We draw our identity from Christ and His kingdom. The kingdom is Christ - His indescribable power, boundless mercy and incomprehensible abundance given freely to man. The kingdom does not lie at some point or place in the distant future. In the words of the Scripture, the kingdom of God is not only at hand, it is within us. The kingdom is a present reality as well as a future realization (Mt 6.10).

    Alkiviadis C. Calivas

    SATURDAY OF LAZAROS & PALM SUNDAY

    https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwihq8vG7vDgAhVGmuAKHe9yCHIQjRx6BAgBEAU&url=https%3A%2F%2Forthodox.net%2Fredeemingthetime%2F2011%2F04%2F15%2Flazarus-saturday-the-entrance-into-holy-week-and-the-pr

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    George & Barbara Abadiotakis

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