Good preparation for this coming Sunday!
Prepare to "hear" St Basil's Liturgy this Sunday!
In profound relationship to the prayers of the Liturgy revealing the Church’s belief in the Holy Trinity, we f...ind Saint Basil’s unrivaled expression of the divine “economy” (in Greek oikonomia) throughout. This refers to God’s providential dispensation/design toward His creation - culminating in the salvation of the world - in and through the Incarnation, Death, Resurrection and Glorification of our Lord Jesus Christ. If I were asked to present to an interested inquirer the most compelling and succinct expression of the divine economy as taught and proclaimed by the Orthodox Church, I would definitely refer this person to the long Anaphora Prayer of Saint Basil’s Liturgy beginning where the Thrice-holy left off: “With these blessed powers, O Master who lovest mankind….”
Today we commemorate the uncovering of the relics of St Tikhon of Moscow. Just weeks before this joyous event in 1992, Protopresbyter Daniel Hubiak, together wi...th Matushka Dunia, had arrived in Moscow as the Orthodox Church in America’s first Representative to the Russian Orthodox Church. Little did they realize at the time that they would be witnesses to the recovery of Saint Tikhon’s relics on that cold February afternoon.
Both Father Daniel and Matushka Dunia wrote first-hand accounts of the discovery of Saint Tikhon’s relics, now enshrined in the Donskoy Monastery’s main cathedral.
We offer them here.
Account of Matushka Dunia Hubiak
It is Saturday, February 22, 1992, in Moscow. Father Dan and I are living at the Danilovsky Hotel. We arrived in Moscow a month ago for Father Dan to begin his new assignment as Representative of the Orthodox Church in America to the Russian Orthodox Church (The Moscow Patriarchate).
Because no church was yet designated as our Representation Church, Father Dan would call Father Matfey Stadniuk on Saturday mornings to be told where he was to be for the Vigil and Divine Liturgy that weekend (usually at the Patriarchal Cathedral). This Saturday morning (February 22) Father Matfey could not be reached. Finally, around noon he answered the phone and told Father Dan to be at the Donskoy Monastery for a special service at 2:00 p.m.
The receptionists at the hotel (who were always very helpful) ordered a car and driver for us, and off we were to the Donskoy Monastery. Upon our arrival at the main gate of the monastery, a mass of people, including clergy of all ranks, was gathering. A sense of excitement permeated the scene.
What could all of this mean?
We arrived at the winter church and saw more people, clergy and TV cameras! Father Dan was separated from me to join the clergy – I was left behind. At that time, a month after arriving in Moscow, my linguistic ability was almost nonexistent, so I was unable to ask anyone anything. So I stood there, trying to not get squeezed trying to see. We were standing around what looked like a crypt in the vestibule.
Patriarch Aleksy entered and began the service. More and more people crowded into the space, and again I was pushed to the side, unable to see. However, I could still hear, and to my astonishment I discovered that we were standing at the tomb of the recently canonized Saint Tikhon, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia – in many ways OUR Patriarch whom we commemorate as “the Enlightener of North America.”
The Molieben service began and the coffin was opened. I made my way to a side of the area and found a chair on which I stood. When the reality dawned on me as to what was taking place, I was very much moved and could hardly see because of my tears.
After most of the crowd had pushed and shoved its way to the side, I was able to look down and found the Mantia still intact with the eagles on the shoulders and at the hem.
Father Dan was given a piece of wood from the casket.
Just think! If Father Dan had not reached Father Matfey, who was in his office all of two minutes, we would have missed this once in a lifetime experience!
Account of Father Daniel Hubiak
At the end of the meeting of the Permanent Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church, His Holiness, Patriarch Aleksy was informed that the grave of Saint Tikhon had been found in the smaller Cathedral of Our Lady of the Don in the Donskoy Monastery. The Patriarch immediately went to the site and arranged for the opening of the casket at a special service at 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 22, 1992.
The top of the simple wooden casket was removed, revealing the mantia which covered the body of the saint. Two gold brocaded emblems on the mantia were shining as new. His Holiness said that the green patriarchal mantia was special in that it was one of only three made with that material and special style. The stones in the cross of the Saint’s miter glistened as camera lights flashed.
A Molieben was sung. Patriarch Aleksy spoke of the significance of this discovery and stated that a crypt will be made for the Saint’s relics.
The discovery of the Saint’s grave was miraculous. Three different rumors pointed to the improbability of ever finding the remains of the Saint. One version had it that the remains of the Saint had been cremated, another that he was buried in an unmarked grave in one cemetery, another that his remains were in another, unidentified cemetery. The Church had no plans of trying to find the grave.
A fire at the smaller Cathedral of Our Lady of the Don made it necessary to undertake an extensive renovation of the church. In the process of this renovation, a grave marker was found, but there was no body under the stone. It was thought that perhaps the burial place was to one side or another of the stone. A search of the area proved fruitless. But under the stone was a large heating pipe that appeared to be intact. An archeological expert examined the site and noticed that in fact the pipe, not detectable to the untrained eye, had indeed been disturbed. The pipe was removed and beneath it, covered by earth, was a grave vault. The vault was opened and the casket of Saint Tikhon was discovered there. On the casket was a plaque identifying it as the casket of the Saint. Those who buried the Saint took special pains to keep his body and his burial place secure and safe.
The finding of the Saint’s grave was a miracle. The presence of the Representative of the OCA at the opening of the grave was another sign of God’s providence. By chance I had called Father Matrfey Stadniuk to discuss the schedule of services for the weekend. He was in his office for only for a few minutes – and that was when I called. He told me to be at the Donskoy Monastery for a Molieben. It appears that the person who was to have informed me simply forgot to do so.
An Act of the Opening of the Grave was signed by the Patriarch, the hierarchs, clergy and lay persons present. My name and my wife’s name appear on the document. I obtained a piece of wood from the top of the Saint’s casket.
O Holy Father Patriarch Tikhon, pray unto God for us!
Seth was always told the truth could be found going back to the Golden Age 400 years before. Going back was the right idea, he missed it by 1000+ years.
Why did Caleb freak out when presented with the most captivating phenomenon ever? For the same reason he freaked out when he met Jacki. It was all too good to be true.
His family owned wineries. As a lifelong expert, Brian takes this earthly substance as seriously as humanly (and divinely) possible.
First of four in a series called "Dudes in Robes," featuring interesting personalities who all share a deeper purpose.
Theophany, River Blessings, and Baptisms http://www.orthodoxchattanooga.com/…/theophany-river-blessi…
Who shall I be at Christmas?
Shall I be as old Israel, caught in captivity and under the domination of powers and attitudes and thoughts alien to the person who...m God has chosen me to be?
Shall I be as the scribes and priests and Pharisees, so caught up in my own expectations and my own sense of how things ought to be, my own sense of knowing what is right that I am not open to the One Who is coming?
Shall I be as Herod, threatened by not being the main character in the story, hurting and wounding and killing the souls of others in my rage and resentment?
Shall I be as the wise men from the East, unsure of what exactly is occurring but having seen the sign of hope as from afar, making the difficult journey and bringing whatever I have in worship to the One Who is born?
Shall I be as the shepherds, hearing the Gospel of great joy out in the fields, struck in fear and astonishment at what I am hearing, yet hastening to see what has been spoken?
Shall I be as Mary’s kinswoman Elizabeth, with what is within me leaping at the presence of the Lord of glory even as He is yet unseen, even as I do not understand Him, even as His mother has come to me.
Shall I be as Joseph, given this Gospel in words that seem to make no sense in a situation that makes no sense in a world that surely will not understand, called to be faithful in serving one who is serving the Lord Who serves us all?
Shall I be as the Virgin Mary, given a great task by God, asked to give up myself, asked to give up what is most precious and intimate as a dwelling place for the Lord of glory Himself, asked to remain forever pure, asked to become a place of prayer for all who come to me?
And shall I be as Christ, for there is nothing but Christ and nothing after Christ, for He is my hope, for He is my longing, for He is the One Who has come to redeem me? And to be like Him—that is my all. There is nothing else. As I kneel at the manger, as I go to see a beautiful newborn babe, there, I meet God. And there I become for Him whatever He wants. There I become His own child, His own brother, His own family, His own.
At Christmas, I will be His own, for He has made Himself my own.
To the Christ Who is born for us be all glory, honor and worship, with His Father and the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.
Original here: https://blogs.ancientfaith.com/…/who-shall-i-be-at-christm…/
For inspiration for this sermon, I owe a debt to this piece by Metropolitan Georges (Khodr) of Mount Lebanon: “Who Shall I Be at Pascha?” http://araborthodoxy.blogspot.com/…/met-georges-khodr-who-s…
Jesus lay as an infant in the cavern in the reign of Caesar Augustus that He might lay in the tomb under Pontius Pilate. He was hounded by Herod that He might b...e caught by Caiaphas. He was buried in baptism that He might descend into death through the Cross. He was worshipped by wisemen that the whole of creation might adore Him in His triumph over death. The Pascha of His Cross was prepared by the Pascha of His Coming. The Pascha of His Resurrection was begun by the Pascha of His Incarnation. The Pascha of His Glorification was foretold by the Pascha of His Baptism. This is what Christians celebrate each year in what Father Alexander Schmemann was the first to call "the Winter Pascha."
8th Day Prayers and Home Blessing http://www.orthodoxchattanooga.com/…/8th-day-prayers-and-ho…
Preparing to meet Christ: