A Series of Articles for Ongoing Adult Christian Education to help
“strengthen the religious and moral life of our parishioners...”
The Sundays Following Pascha
The mission of our parish is to keep, practice, and proclaim the Word of God and strengthen the religious and moral life of our parishioners in accordance with the Holy Traditions and Canons of the Church in its fullness as faithful members of the Body of Christ. (Parish Mission Statement)
This installment of Orthodoxy 101 once again shares with you things you have heard before. As the church reminds us in the epistle reading for the second Sunday of Lent (St. Gregory Palamas), we need to “Pay Attention!” So the following information is presented to you, just in case you didn’t get it the first time...
The services of Holy Week are listed in another article in this issue of The Vineyard. So let us turn our attention to the period of time we call the “Pentecostarion.” The Sundays that follow Pascha until the week after Pentecost hold special meaning for us. Historically, this was the time of illumination for those who were newly baptized. In her wisdom, the Church repeats these lessons every year for all the faithful Orthodox Christians so that we will remember the importance of our salvation in Christ. The Sundays of the Pentecostarion focus mainly on scriptural personalities and a few historical events to reveal the reality of the resurrection and the significance of the teachings of the Church. We see them outlined in the information below:
St. Thomas - Servants & Witnesses of the Resurrection
Acts 5:1-20 - Many signs & wonders were done... John 20:19-31 - “Unless I see... I will not believe.”
Myrrh-bearing Women - Servants & Witnesses of the Resurrection
Acts 6:1-7 - Selection of the Deacons Mark 15:43-47; 16:1-8 - “He has risen, he is not here”
Paralytic Man - Significance of water and of baptism
Acts 9:32-42 - Peter heals Aeneas & Tabitha John 5:1-15 - healing at the pool at Bethesda
Samaritan Woman - Significance of water and of baptism
Acts 11:19-30 - The word is being spread... John 4:5-42 - The Samaritan woman
Man Born Blind - Significance of water and of baptism
Acts 16:16-34 - Paul and Silas & the slave girl... John 9:1-38 - Jesus heals him with clay made from his spittle.
Holy Fathers & 1st Ecumenical Council - Doctrine: Trinitarian Concepts: Creed
Acts 20:16-18:28-36 - Paul addresses the leaders of Ephesos John 17:1-13 - “and the Spirit gave them utterance...”
Pentecost - Inauguration of the Christian Church & coming of the Holy Spirit
Acts 2:1-11 - The coming of the Holy Spirit. John 7:37-52 - “No man ever spoke as this man (Jesus)”
All-Saints - “To Thee, O Lord and Author of all creation, the universe offers as first-fruits of nature the divinity-bearing Martyrs...”
Hebrews 11:33-12:2 - “Brethren, the saints, through faith...” Matthew 10:32-33, 37-38:19:27-30 - “he who acknowledges me before men.. I will acknowledge before my Father...”
The Church (1 Timothy 3:15) is “the pillar and ground of the truth.” If we follow the teachings of the Church, we will stay grounded in the Truth. Jesus said (John 14:6), “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.(NKJ)” As we practice the life of the Church, the light of truth will shine forth from us, the world will be illumined, and our mission as Orthodox Christians will be fulfilled.