Dear friends in Christ,
Sunday, December 13, is a big day in the life of our Church. It is the Feast Day of St. Andrew the Apostle and the First Sunday in Advent. St. Andrew's Day is the beginning of the new Church Year.
When you come to church on Sunday you will immediately notice some seasonal changes. The liturgical colour will change from the green that we have been using through the long Trinity-tide to royal purple as we prepare for the coming of the King of Kings.
We will be beginning a new adult Christian Education class on Sunday. Our parish librarian will be teaching on the themes of Advent and Christmas. This class begins at 8:45 AM, and you will not want to miss it!
Matins (Morning Prayer) follows Christian Ed at 9:15 AM. With Advent season there will be a beautiful new Canticle and a new Office Hymn. The Liturgy of the Holy Eucharist follows Matins at 10:00 AM. The Advent Hymns and Propers will prepare our hearts for the Feast of the Nativity of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ (Christmas Day). Our Processional Hymn will be a great favorite at Holy Cross parish that dates back well over a thousand years: O Come, O Come Emmanuel. The Holy Eucharist is the greatest gift that Christ could give us. Jesus Himself said, Take, eat, this is My Body, and drink ye all of this, for this is My Blood.
This Sunday marks the beginning of a new Church year. If you have not been coming regularly to church or have not been going to church at all, Advent is a time for new beginnings. If you have not been living a serious Christian life, Advent is a time for deeper conversion. If you have left the Church, Advent is a time to return home and start again. If you have been living a serious Christian life, Advent is a time for you to grow ever closer to our Lord who gave Himself for our salvation. Jesus is the reason for the Advent and Christmas seasons. Come and be blessed. The Orthodox Christian Church welcomes you!
Please remember those who are struggling to feed themselves or their family and bring a food donation for our parish food bins with you on Sunday. Thank you!
At Holy Cross parish we always seem to be behind the times. Why do we refuse to change with society? G. K. Chesterton put it very well when he said, "[True] Christianity is always out of fashion because it is always sane; and all fashions are mild insanities... The Church always seems to be behind the times, when it is really beyond the times; it is waiting till the last fad shall have seen its last summer. It keeps the key of a permanent virtue." Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever, and so is His Body the Church. The Orthodox Church was established by Jesus Christ Himself in AD 33. It is the Body of which He is the Head, and His Church is ever the same, proclaiming an unchanging message to an ever changing world. Do not settle for a substitute. Insist on the original. The Orthodox Church welcomes you!
Sunday Christian Ed is at 8:45 AM, followed by Matins at 9:15, and the Liturgy of the Holy Eucharist at 10:00 AM, with fellowship and refreshments after the Liturgy. We are a faithful and friendly congregation and we have a place for you. See you on Sunday!
V. Rev. Victor Novak
HOLY CROSS ORTHODOX CHURCH
7545 Main Street
Ralston, Nebraska 68127