St. Elias Antiochian Orthodox Cathedral, Ottawa

Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America


SUNDAY OF THE MYRRH-BEARING WOMEN

THE SYNAXARION

On May 16 in the Holy Orthodox Church, we commemorate the Venerable Theodore the Sanctified, disciple of Pachomios the Great; Alexander, archbishop of Jerusalem; New-martyr Nicholas of Metsov; and Venerable Ephraim of Perekop, wonderworker of Novgorod.

On this day, the third Sunday of Pascha, we celebrate the feast of the holy Myrrh-bearing women. And we also commemorate Joseph of Arimathaea, the secret disciple, and Nicodemus, the disciple by night.

Verses
Christ is brought myrrh by the wise women disciples; And to them, I bring a hymn as myrrh in offering.

The women went to Christ’s tomb on Holy Pascha to anoint His body, only to discover it empty. We know the names of only eight of these women: Mary the Theotokos, the “mother” of James and Joses, who were the sons of Joseph the Betrothed from his previous marriage (Matt. 27:56 and Mark 15:40); Mary Magdalene; Mary, the wife of Cleopas; Joanna the wife of Chuza; Salome the mother of the sons of Zebedee; Susanna; and Mary and Martha, the sisters of Lazarus. Joseph was a rich and noble man, and a member of the Privy Council of Jerusalem. He dared to ask Pilate for the undefiled body of our Savior, which he took and buried in his own new tomb. Accompanying Joseph to the sepulcher was Nicodemus, a Jerusalemite who was one of the leaders of the Pharisees. Nicodemus brought 100 pounds of myrrh and aloes to scent and embalm the body of Christ.

By the intercessions of the holy Myrrh-bearers, Joseph of Arimathaea and Nicodemus, O God, have mercy on us. Amen.

 


 

THOMAS SUNDAY

THE SYNAXARION

On May 9 in the Holy Orthodox Church, we commemorate the Prophet Isaiah; Martyr Christopher of Lycia; and the translation to Bari of the relics of Nicholas the wonderworker, archbishop of Myra in Lycia.

On this day, the second Sunday of Pascha, we inaugurate the celebration of Christ’s Resurrection, and the occasion whereon the Holy Apostle Thomas touched the Savior’s side.

Verses
If the seals of the Virgin’s womb and of the grave did not hinder Thee, How could the seals of the doors hinder Thy might, O Savior?

This day is called New Sunday, Thomas Sunday or Anti-Pascha. The last term means “in place of Pascha” because Thomas did not immediately hear of Christ’s Resurrection and disbelieved it. We remember his doubt but do not repeat it. After this Sunday, the Church dedicates Sunday to the Resurrection.

As the Disciples were gathered together on the Sunday of the Resurrection, Jesus entered and greeted them in His usual way, saying, “Peace be unto you.” Then He showed them His hands, feet and side. Jesus ate before His Disciples and reassured them of His Resurrection. However, Thomas was not with them at that time, and insisted upon seeing the Savior’s scars—the print of the nails in His hands and feet, and the spear in His side—before he would believe that Jesus was risen. Eight days later Christ appeared again to the Disciples, this time with Thomas present. The Master told Thomas to see and feel. Then Thomas immediately cried out, “My Lord and my God!” But Jesus tells His Disciples, “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe.” This event also clearly illustrates the human and divine Natures of Christ.

By the intercessions of Thine Apostle Thomas, O Christ our God, have mercy on us. Amen.

Spiritual Nutrition

“Man is truly born, not when he is brought into the world by his mother, but when he comes to believe in the Resurrected Savior, Christ; for then he is born into immortality and eternal life, while the mother brings a child only into death, to the grave. The Resurrection of Christ is the mother of all of us, all of us Christians — the mother of all who are deathless. By his faith in the Resurrection of Christ, man is born anew, born into eternity..”

-St. Justin Popovich

“Man is worthy of being loved just because he’s in the image of God. It doesn’t matter at all if he’s good or bad, moral or sinful. Man is worthy of being loved for what he is. Christ loved and sacrificed Himself for sinful, corrupt people. ‘I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance’. We should be the same way: we should love everyone without making any distinctions. Just like the sun rises on everyone, intelligent and unintelligent, good and evil, beautiful and ugly, our love should be like the love of God – love that’s like the sun and shines on His whole creation without making distinctions”.

– St. Paisios the Athonite.

Baptisms

The meaning and purpose of baptism is for the child to be incorporated into the Body of Christ (the Church) by participating in the Lord’s death and resurrection. For those planning baptisms at St. Elias Cathedral, please check the requirements first.

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Weddings

The Orthodox wedding service is not simply a social “contract” between the man and the woman.  Rather, it is a complete joining of the husband and wife together in Christ.  For those planning weddings at St. Elias Cathedral, there are requirements to be followed.

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