St. Irene of Chrysovalantou Orthodox Church
Church of the Genuine Orthodox Christians - Greater Detroit Metro Area
Divine Liturgy starts Sunday at 10:15 AM - Orthros at 8:30 AM - Vespers Saturday at 7:30 PM
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (586) 707- 2918
GREAT AND HOLY WEEK, 2017
Friday, 25 March/7 April ANNUNCIATION
Thursday 7:30 PM Vespers
Friday 8:30 AM Orthros, Divine Liturgy
Small Compline 7:30 PM
Saturday, 26 March/8 April LAZARUS SATURDAY
8:30 AM Orthros, Divine Liturgy
7:30 PM Great Vespers
Sunday, 27 March/9 April PALM SUNDAY
8:30 AM Orthros, Divine Liturgy,
7:30 Bridegroom (Nymphiou) Matins
Monday, 28 March/10 April 7:30 Bridegroom Matins
Tuesday, 29 March/11 April 7:30 Bridegroom Matins
Wednesday, 30 March/12 April 6 PM Holy Unction
7:30 Matins of Great Thursday
Thursday, 31 March/13 April GREAT THURSDAY
8:30 AM Vesperal Divine Liturgy
6 PM Matins of Great Friday: the Twelve Gospels
Friday, 1/14 April GREAT FRIDAY
8:30 AM Great Hours
1 PM Vespers, the Taking Down from the Cross (Apokathelosis)
7 PM Matins of Great Saturday, the Burial of Christ (Epitaphios Threnos)
Saturday, 2/15 April GREAT SATURDAY
8:30 AM Vesperal Divine Liturgy
11 PM Midnight Office
Sunday, 3/16 April GREAT AND HOLY PASCHA
Midnight - Matins and Divine Liturgy
1 PM Agape Vespers
Christ is Risen!
As Holy Pascha of 2017 approaches, we find the world around us in greater darkness than ever. Many great truths of our Holy Faith can enlighten us in the present darkness, to instruct us how to think and how to act; here I shall speak of two: the absolute sovereignty of God and the restoration of justice by the atoning death of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
Because of the ancestral sin committed by our first parents and inherited by all of their descendants, every man born into this world suffers from the delusion that his ego is the center and source of reality. Every man forgets constantly and habitually that he is created, and that there is an almighty and uncreated God Who is both the source and the goal of his life. Unconsciously every man instinctively thinks that his will and his desires should control everything around him. Yet daily he fails to bend reality to his will. Thus he becomes frustrated, angry, and resentful – life is not cooperating with him. Only when he realizes, by the grace of God, that God alone is sovereign over all creation and over his own life in particular, will he have peace.
Everything in the universe is under God's absolute sovereignty, including devils and evil men. God does not desire that they do evil, but in foreknowledge of the evil they will commit, He plans everything for the salvation of those who believe in Him. As St. Paul says in Romans, "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28)." The greatest evil ever committed - deicide, the judicial murder of the God-Man - has already occurred, and out of this greatest evil God has already brought the greatest good, our eternal salvation through the Resurrection of Christ. In the light of the Resurrection, we can freely submit our wills unreservedly to God's sovereignty over our lives, and we will have peace.
Man's injustice to man also causes us frustration and anger. Why is society controlled by an evil elite? Why is evil glorified and virtue derided? Why are criminals rewarded and honest people punished? Why do I suffer for doing right while other people get away with doing evil? Thinking about these things too much can actually drive someone crazy. But let us remember two things: There will always be injustice in this world, and no man born into this world is naturally just in the eyes of God.
What is justice? Ultimately, it is the order and balance in the universe which reflects the order and balance within God Himself, Who created all things. Due to the ancestral sin, every man is born into this world out of balance, out of order. Only the Perfect Sacrifice of the God-Man on Golgotha could and did restore the order, the justice, between God and man. Only those baptized into Christ, only those with faith in Christ, only those with the grace of Christ, can be right in the eyes of God, because their rightness is not from themselves but from His Son. Until the end of the world, the Kingdom of Man, which is inherently and irreparably unjust, will continue on its doomed course alongside the Kingdom of God, which is inherently and indefectibly just, and the Kingdom of God will triumph, beyond all doubt. Our task is not to fix this world but to stay in God's Kingdom on earth, which is the Church, and to repent of our injustices, by which we lose grace, and to do justice by the grace of Christ.
By the power of Our Lord's Sacrificial Death and Resurrection, may we endure to the end and be saved!
No One Will Escape God's Justice
Christ truly came to earth the first time in order to save the world, but the second time He will come no longer to save, but to judge the world. Moreover, the measure of this Judgment, as He Himself said, will be the word uttered by Him: "The word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day (John 12.48)," that is: he who does not observe the teaching brought by Christ the Savior to the earth will be subjected to condemnation at the Terrible Judgment. To whom could this not be clear? Only to a mind that is ill intentioned! But how can one distort that which is said so clearly in the Sacred Scriptures?
“’Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye shall see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth shall mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen (Revelation 1.7)." “Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his works (Revelation 22.12) says the Lord Himself.
What could be clearer or more comprehensible than these words? And so there will undoubtedly be the Terrible Judgment, and there will be the reward of each according to his works, and there will be hell and the everlasting torments for the impenitent sinners. This will be demanded by the Highest Divine Justice, which is so clearly felt and whose inexorable necessity is recognized by every human heart that is uncorrupted, not poisoned by lying pseudo-wisdom.
- Archbishop Averky, "Will There Be a Dread Judgment?"