Dear friends in Christ,
Christ is born! Glorify Him!
As we continue our celebration of the Nativity of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ over these twelve days of Christmas, I would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas!
This is our third Christmas since Holy Cross parish was received into the Orthodox Church. How time flies!
We don't celebrate Christmas during Advent, but rather we prepare for it. Christmas is the best time of the year, and the celebration continues on into next week. Monday, January 18 (NS) is the twelfth day of Christmas, with the Feast of Epiphany on Tuesday, January 19. In the Eastern Rite the Baptism of Christ is celebrated on Epiphany (called Theophany in the East), but in the Western Rite the coming of the Wise Men or Magi is commemorated, with the Baptism of Christ commemorated on the Second Sunday after Epiphany. We will celebrate the Feast of Epiphany with the Liturgy of the Holy Eucharist on Tuesday, January 19, at 12:10 PM. I'll be looking forward to seeing you there.
A new website for our ROCOR Western Rite Communities is up, and it is outstanding! Although the website is not yet complete and will be a work in progress for some time, it is already packed with helpful information that you can use for personal edification and education, and to share with others as an outreach with the fulness of the Orthodox Catholic Faith. On the home page you will find a question and answer catechism written by St. Philaret (Drozdov) of Moscow and first published in 1830. On the home page you will also find an Ordo Calendar for the year 2016. I hope that you will visit this new website and share it with others. Please be sure to check back often as it is still a work in progress. Here is the link:
Today is the Feast Day of St. Seraphim of Sarov. St. Seraphim is one of the most beloved saints in the history of the Church. Our bishop, Metropolitan Hilarion (Kapral), has delivered a sermon on the life of St. Seraphim of Sarov that I know you will find both inspiring and helpful in your Christian life. Please take a few minutes to read it. Here is the link:
Please remember those most in need and bring a food donation with you to church this Sunday for our parish food bins. The weather is frigid in our area. As I write this the "Real Feel" in Omaha is only 3 degrees because of the wind chill. The high on Sunday is forecast to be only 4 degrees in Omaha. Many people will have to choose between heat and food. We can help to lift some of the burden this winter. Thank you!
There will be no Christian Education this Sunday. Christian Ed will resume on Sunday, January 31 at 8:45 AM.
Next week we will celebrate the Liturgy of the Holy Eucharist three times: Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday. That means that if we are properly prepared we can receive the Blessed Sacrament of Holy Communion three times this week. What a blessing!
We will celebrate the Liturgy of the Holy Eucharist for the Feast of Epiphany on Tuesday, January 19, at 12:10 PM.
Our normal mid-week celebration of the Liturgy of the Holy Eucharist will be on Wednesday at 12:10 PM.
Receiving Holy Communion in the midst of the week will change your week. Making it a habit will change your life. Our Lord Jesus Christ bids us to come to Him: "Come unto Me, all ye that travail and are heavy laden, and I will refresh you (St. Matthew 11:28).
Sunday Matins is at 9:15 AM, followed by the Liturgy of the Holy Eucharist, commonly called the Divine Liturgy or Holy Mass, at 10:00 AM, with fellowship and refreshments after the Liturgy. This coming Sunday is the Second Sunday after Christmas and the last Sunday of our Christmas celebration. Come and share in the Christmas joy.
The Orthodox Church is the oldest Church in the world. The Orthodox Church is the original Church founded by Jesus Christ Himself. These are indisputable facts of history. We are an unchanging Church with an unchanging message for an ever-changing world. Visitors are always welcome. We are a faithful and friendly church, and we have a place for you. I hope to see you on Sunday!
Fr. Victor Novak+
Holy Cross Orthodox Church
7545 Main Street
Ralston, Nebraska 68127