Front Page November 2 Bulletin

Troparion of the Persian Martyrs in the Second Tone: Blessed is the earth that drank thy blood, O prizewinners of the Lord, and holy are the tabernacles that received thy spirits; for in the stadium ye triumphed over the enemy, and ye proclaimed Christ with boldness. Beseech him, we pray, since He is good, to save our souls.

Kontakion of the Theotokos in the Second Tone: O protection of Christians that cannot be put to shame, mediation unto the Creator most constant, O despise not the suppliant voices of those who have sinned; but be thou quick, O good one, to come unto our aid, who in faith cry unto thee: Hasten to intercession, and speed thou to make supplication, thou who dost ever protect, O Theotokos, them that honor thee.

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Prokeimenon (Psalm 103.24,1) O Lord, how magnificent is your works.  You have made all things in wisdom.  Bless the Lord, O my soul.

Section from the Epistle of St. Paul to the Galatians (2:16-20)

Brethren,  you know that a man is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ, and not by works of the law, because by works of the law shall no one be justified. But if, in our endeavor to be justified in Christ, we ourselves were found to be sinners, is Christ then an agent of sin? Certainly not! But if I build up again those things which I tore down, then I prove myself a transgressor. For I through the law died to the law, that I might live to God. I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me; and the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Alleluia Verses (Psalm 44:4, 7) Tone 4:  Draw your bow and prosper and reign, for the cause of truth and meekness and justice. You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness.

The reading from the Holy Gospel according to St. Luke (16:19-31) 

The Lord said,  “There was a rich man, who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day.  And at his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus, full of sores, who desired to be fed with what fell from the rich man’s table; moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.  The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died and was buried; and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes, and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus in his bosom.  And he called out, `Father Abraham, have mercy upon me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am in anguish in this flame.’  But Abraham said, `Son, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner evil things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish.  And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who would pass from here to you may not be able, and none may cross from there to us.’  And he said, `Then I beg you, father, to send him to my father’s house, for I have five brothers, so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.’  But Abraham said, `They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.’  And he said, `No, father Abraham; but if some one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’  He said to him, `If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be convinced if some one should rise from the dead.'”

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Holy Oblations are offered today by Sarah & Amber Asaly and Christine Nassif for Michael & May Asaly on the occasion of their wedding Anniversary and anniversary blessing, by Abe, Diana, Michael, Mary-Anne, Tania, Aida and Stevie Khamis for Katrina on the occasion of her 21st birthday, and by Cherine Elzakhem and family for the soul of Jamal Jean (John) Al Hachem, who recently passed away in Lebanon.

Coffee Hour today is given by the Asaly Family.

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Please remember in your prayers: Odette Chade, Maha Kureh, Darlyne Dibs, Eleanor Wackeen, Sleiman Aldada and the suffering people of West Africa, Palestine, Syria, Lebanon Egypt, Iraq and everywhere afflicted with disease and violence.

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Ushers serving this week: Sleiman Aldada & Elyas Khury

Ushers serving next week: Dimitri Kort & Randy Dabbah.

Altar boys serving Today: Andrew Khamis, Paul Rodriguez,  Alex Turk, Jay Skaff,

Altar boys serving Next Week: James Bahbah, Peter Williams, Nicholas Bahou, Youssef Youssef

Church Etiquette

  • Please be on time for services; those arriving late should not approach the Chalice for Communion.
  • To receive Communion, one must be a baptized/chrismated Orthodox Christian who has prepared by prayer, fasting, alms giving, and regular confession.
  • Confessions are heard on Sunday mornings during Orthros and during the week by appointment.
  • Men, women, and children: please dress modestly for services.
  • Please remove lip balm or lipstick before receiving Communion or kissing the holy icons, Chalice, or Gospel.
  • If you wish to stand for the entire service, please do so in the back or the aisle so as not to block the view of others who may need to sit. When seated, we should refrain from a posture of relaxation (e.g., crossing legs or arms).
  • Pledges, Tithes, Donations: Giving 10% of one’s income is God-pleasing, as are all gifts offered by a pious and cheerful giver with a humble heart. Membership forms, renewed annually, are located in the Hall.
  • Children are welcome! Yet, if they interfere with the prayers of the faithful, we all may need a break.

Quote from the Saints

“A believer in Christ needs only to realize his weaknesses and sins and ask forgiveness, and God’s love cleanses and heals all the wounds of sin.” — Abbot Nikon of Russian

Canned Food Drive

As we all know, unemployment is still high. All relief agencies are seeing more needs and at the same time donations are down. In light of this, the ongoing canned food collection of our parish is a small but important way to help. Please try to bring something to go in the collection barrel every week.

Good Samaritan Fund

Several years ago, St. Mark Church established a fund for assisting those in need, both within our parish and in the general community. From time to time we ask for contributions to the Good Samaritan Fund, and this is one of those times. If you are in need of assistance or you are aware of someone in our parish that needs financial assistance, please speak with Fr. Michael.


Hall Renovation Bake Sale: Proceeds from today’s sale will go towards a “facelift” of our Church Hall.

Many thanks and blessings to Gisele Awayjan and her committee for our wonderful Wine and Food event last night. Fr. John Finley was our “guide” last night, and we welcome him at Liturgy this morning.

SOYO Fundraiser: Pies will be delivered by Thanksgiving..   Apple, Pecan and Pumpkin – Yum! Please see form included in this bulletin to order your pies.

SAVE THE DATE! By the grace of the Holy Spirit, we are prayerfully

anticipating the upcoming Enthronement of His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph. Since many will not be able to attend the event in New York, we are blessed to announce an official West Coast Diocese event celebrating the Enthronement on Saturday, January 31, 2015 in Los Angeles, California, with the proceeds to benefit Camp St. Nicholas and Youth Education Programs. We are praying for enthusiastic participation by all churches in the Diocese to honor our beloved Metropolitan Joseph. This is the only celebration taking place on the West Coast – do not miss this historic celebration in the life of our Archdiocese. Please note that there will be a Commemorative Program Book that will include memorable images from the actual enthronement. Ticket and program book information will be available shortly. For further information, contact co-chairs: Rose Samore: or Jasminka Gabrie:

 “No Debt Building Campaign”

Our sanctuary remodel and expansion is progressing and we hope to move into the new sanctuary by the end of November. In order to complete this work with little or no debt, we have embarked on a “No Debt” Campaign. So far we have pledges and donations totaling $75,880 Thanks to those who have made these pledges. Please consider your “No Debt” contribution today!

This Week

Wednesday November 5, No Vespers (Fr Michael is traveling)

Next week

Sunday November 9th, Ladies Guild Pre Thanksgiving Luncheon. Please see Flyer included for more information.

Monday November 10th, 6:30 p.m. Parish Council Meeting

Wednesday November 12th, 6:30 p.m. Daily Vespers

Friday November 14th, Vespers, Ask Abouna Teen Session, Dinner and Movie
sign up with Jay Skaff for something to bring for dinner

 Upcoming Services & Events

Saturday November 15th, Advent Begins

Sunday November 16th, Ladies Guild Meeting after Church. Please ladies grab your coffee and join us.

Upcoming Humanitarian Events ‏

Dec 7th FOCUS OC Valencia Inn St. Nicholas Day, hosted by Sunday School

Jan 4th Red Cross Blood Drive


Our Ladies Guild buys scrip from many and various stores and Restaurants (see list included in this Bulletin) at a 3 to 10% discount. When you buy the scrip, which is accepted just like cash at the issuing store, the Parish benefits. You pay no more for these goods and services and are making a donation to our parish.  You can purchase this scrip from Saeda Turk at the coffee hour.


Saint of the Day

Akindynos, Pegasios, Aphthonios, Elpidephoros, & Anempodistos of Persia (November 2)

These Martyrs contested in Persia about the year 330, in the reign of Sapor (Shapur) II, King of Persia (325-379). Acindynus, Pegasius, and Anempodistus, Persian Christians, confessed Christ before the King, and were put to many torments. Aphthonius and Elpidephorus, drawn to the Faith of Christ through the Martyrs, were beheaded with another 7,000. Saints Acindynus, Pegasius, and Anempodistus were at last burned to death. Two churches were dedicated in their honour in Constantinople. As is often the case in church hymns, there is a play on the meanings of the Saints’ names here. Acindynus means “unimperilled”; Pegasius is derived from pegazo–“to gush forth”; Aphthonius is derived from aphthonos-“abundant”; Elpidephorus means “hope-bearing”; Anempodistus means “unhindered.” These are all Greek translations of their Persian names.

November 2, 2014 21ST Sun 5th of Luke

Mark the Evangelist, October 30

apostle Mark

Commemorated on October 30





St. Mark’s name was John in Hebrew, but he is remembered by the Roman name of Mark, a name given to him after his acceptance of Christianity. His socially prominent family was among the first to recognize Jesus Christ as the Messiah, and although there is no mention of his father in Scripture, the fact remains that his mother, Mary, was deeply devoted to Jesus and turned her more than adequate house into a headquarters for the New Faith movement. As such the house of Mary was transformed into a church since the services that were held there, although not the elaborate liturgies that were to come later, were held for the express purpose of worshiping Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

St. Mark knew the great joy of worshiping the living Jesus and of sharing the responsibility of introducing Him to a spiritually darkened world, acting in concert with the most venerated men in Christianity–the disciples and Apostles of the Master.

St. Mark’s mother opened her doors to all comers and it is generally accepted that hers was the house to which the disciples went, the ‘upper room,’ where they gathered after the Ascension. It was in this house that the disciples received the Holy Spirit at Pentecost (Acts 2:1) and it was to this now sanctified dwelling that Peter turned after being released from Herod’s prison by an angel of the lord. This holy corner of Jerusalem, “Where many were gathered together in prayer” (Acts 12:12), was the scene of the Last Supper of the Savior and after the Ascension and Pentecost the holiest house in the world.

St. Mark preached the word of Christ in many areas, notably in Egypt, Lybia and Pentapolis where his commanding oratory won converts in such great numbers that he was later to become the first Bishop of Alexandria, a city where Christianity took hold despite all manner of pagan resistance. During the reign of Tiberius, St. Mark’s fiery preaching won him not only respect but the envious wrath of pagan dissenters who harassed him at every turn without once diminishing his enthusiasm or shortening his stride for Jesus Christ.

It was during this crusading period in Alexandria that St. Mark found time to compose the Gospel which is part of the New Testament and which reflects his firm resolve and quiet courage. He is also the composer of a Divine Liturgy still used by the Orthodox Church on special feast days and upon which are based the liturgies of St. James, St. Basil, and St. John Chrysostom.

His incessant preaching brought him equally incessant harassment which finally erupted into hostility that made good the threats on his life by the pagan rabble. St. Mark was en route to his Cathedral of Alexandria when he was set upon by a frenzied mob of idol worshippers who pelted the holy man with rocks and dragged him through the streets to be cast into a cell. On April 25 he died for Christ of his wounds.

~ (from Orthodox Saints, volume 2 by George Poulos)



Holy Protection of our Most Holy Lady, the Theotokos

protectionCommemorated on October 28
The Holy Protection of our Most Holy Lady, the Theotokos and Ever-virgin Mary, that is, her sacred veil (skepi) kept in the treasury of the sacred temple of Blachernae; and we also remember how the righteous Andrew, the Fool for Christ’s sake, beheld it spread out above and covering all the pious.


The Church has always glorified the most holy Mother of God as the Protectress and Defender of the Christian people, entreating, by her intercessions, God’s loving-kindness towards us sinners. Two events are celebrated on this day: the first in tenth-century Constantinople, the second in twentieth-century Greece. On October 1, 911, while Slavic armies threatened the Queen of Cities, the Blachernae Church of the Theotokos held a crowded all-night vigil. Before daybreak, the most holy Mother of God appeared above the people with a veil spread over her outstretched hands, as though to protect them with this covering. Seeing this vision, St. Andrew, the Fool-for-Christ, gestured towards it and asked his disciple, Epiphanios: “Do you see how the Queen and Lady of all is praying for the whole world?” Epiphanios replied: “Yes, Father; I see it and stand in dread.” The Slavic armies stayed away. Ironically, in the twelfth century, the Orthodox Church of Russia began to celebrate the Protection on October 1, even though its ancestors—who had not yet embraced Orthodoxy—were looming near Constantinople.

Before daybreak on October 28, 1940, the Italian ambassador to Greece, representing Italian dictator Benito Mussolini, went to Greek general Ioannis Metaxas with an ultimatum. Italy wanted full control of Greece to occupy “strategic locations”; otherwise it would brutalize the country. General Metaxas shouted “Okhi!” meaning “No!” Thus, Greece was plunged into the Second World War, as Italy burst through, and then Nazi Germany eventually, wreaking havoc and horrors on the Greek people. In 1952, the Orthodox Church of Greece transferred its celebration of the Protection to October 28 in conjunction with “Okhi Day” as a testament to the rejection of European aggression and as a day of national remembrance. The Orthodox Church of Antioch can utilizes this transfer in order to more fully celebrate its sons, Ananias of the Seventy and Romanos the Melodist, on October 1.


Both dates recognize the Ever-virgin’s constant defense whenever we prayerfully seek her protection and shelter in distress and strife. While the Orthodox Church marks one date or the other for the commemoration of the Protection, we must ask the Theotokos to extend her protection and intercession every day of our life.

By the intercessions of the Most Holy Theotokos, O Christ God, have mercy on us. Amen.

Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America