Welcome to Saint Herman's, Hudson, Ohio

This blog is a partial compilation of the messages, texts, readings, and prayers from our small mission community. We pray that it will be used by our own people, to their edification. And if you happen by and are inclined to read, give the glory to God!

The blog title, "Will He Find Faith on the Earth?" is from Luke 18:8, the "Parable of the Persistent Widow." It overlays the icon of the Last Judgment, an historical event detailed in Matthew Chapter 25, for which we wait as we pray in the Nicean Creed.

We serve the Holy Orthodox cycle of services in contemporary English. Under the omophorion of His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph of the Bulgarian Patriarchal Diocese of the USA, Canada and Australia, we worship at 5107 Darrow Road in Hudson, Ohio (44236). If you are in the area, please join us for worship!

Regular services include:
Sunday Divine Liturgy 10AM (Sept 1 - May 31)
930AM (June 1 - Aug 31)
Vespers each Saturday 6PM

We pray that you might join us for as many of these services as possible!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

On the Feast of the Dormition

Concerning the Dormition of the Theotokos, this is what the Church has received from ancient times from the tradition of the Fathers. When the time drew nigh that our Savior was well-pleased to take His Mother to Himself, He declared unto her through an Angel that three days hence, He would translate her from this temporal life to eternity and bliss. On hearing this, she went up with haste to the Mount of Olives, where she prayed continuously. Giving thanks to God, she returned to her house and prepared whatever was necessary for her burial. While these things were taking place, clouds caught up the Apostles from the ends of the earth, where each one happened to be preaching, and brought them at once to the house of the Mother of God, who informed them of the cause of their sudden gathering. As a mother, she consoled them in their affliction as was meet, and then raised her hands to Heaven and prayed for the peace of the world. She blessed the Apostles, and, reclining upon her bed with seemliness, gave up her all-holy spirit into the hands of her Son and God.

The prayer offered by the Theotokos for "the peace of the world" was not a prayer for only those gathered at her side, but for the Church for all time, until her beloved Son would return.

May that peace of this glorious Feast be with and remain with you, filling your hearts with the joy of knowing that the path taken by the Mother of God today is prepared for those who also worship her Son in Spirit and truth and love.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The Dormition of the Theotokos in the Holy Land

On August 12, at Little Gethsemane, at the second hour of the night, the head of the Gethsemane church celebrates Divine Liturgy. With the end of Liturgy, at the fourth hour of the morning, he serves a short Molieben before the resplendent burial shroud, lifts it in his hands and solemnly carries it beyond the church to Gethsemane proper where the holy sepulcher of the Mother of God is situated. All the members of the Russian Spiritual Mission in Jerusalem, with the head of the Mission presiding, participate each year in the procession (called the "Litania") with the holy burial shroud of the Mother of God..

The rite of the Burial of the Mother of God at Gethsemane begins customarily on the morning of August 14. A multitude of people with Hierarchs and clergy at the head set off from the Jerusalem Patriarchate (nearby the Church of the Resurrection of Christ) in sorrowful procession. Along the narrow alley-ways of the Holy City the funeral procession makes its way to Gethsemane. Toward the front of the procession an icon of the Dormition of the Most Holy Theotokos is carried. Along the way, pilgrims meet the icon, kissing the image of the All-Pure Virgin Mary and lift children of various ages to the icon. After the clergy, in two rows walk the black-robed monks and nuns of the Holy City: Greeks, Romanians, Arabs, Russians. The procession, going along for about two hours, concludes with Lamentations at the Gethsemane church. In front the altar, beyond the burial chamber of the Mother of God, is a raised-up spot, upon which rests the burial shroud of the Most Holy Mother of God among fragrant flowers and myrtle, with precious coverings.

"O marvelous wonder! The Fount of Life is placed in the grave, and the grave doth become the ladder to Heaven..." Here at the grave of the All-Pure Virgin, these words strike deep with their original sense and grief is dispelled by joy: "Hail, Full of Grace, the Lord is with Thee, granting the world, through Thee, great mercy!"

Numerous pilgrims, having kissed the icon of the Dormition of the Most Holy Theotokos, following an ancient custom, then stoop down and go beneath it.

On the day of the Leave-taking of the feast (August 23), another solemn procession is made. On the return path, the holy burial shroud is carried by clergy led by the Archimandrite of Gethsemane.

There is an article in the "Journal of the Moscow Patriarchate", 1979, No. 3 regarding the rite of the litany and Feast of the Dormition of the Mother of God in the Holy Land.

Today flowers are blessed in church, and people keep them in their homes. During times of family strife or illness, the flower petals are placed in the censer with the incense, and the whole house is censed. See the Prayer at the Sanctification of any Fragrant Herbage.
PRAYER AT THE SANCTIFICATION OF ANY FRAGRANT HERBAGE
(The usual beginning)
Let us pray to the Lord.
Lord have mercy.
O Lord God Almighty, Who fill all things according to Your word, and Who commanded the earth to bring forth every fruit in its season and to give it to mankind for gladness and for life: All-good Master, bless and sanctify by Your Holy Spirit, this seed and various herbage brought into this holy temple; and cleanse from every defilement these, Your servants taking this herbage and seed, and fill their homes with every good fragrance, that these may become, for all that preserve them with faith, and cense with it, preservation and deliverance from every increase of enemies, and for the banishment of every illusion which comes from the action of the devil, whether by day or by night, as well as for the blessing of souls and bodies for Your faithful people, and for the blessing of their work, houses and other places. For all that take this herbage, let them receive for themselves protection of souls and bodies, and may the healing mystery of Your Grace be for our salvation. And in whatever place it may be put, or wherever it may be used, let it be received for a blessing; and may Your right hand shelter it, driving away every adverse power from here, to the glory of Your most-holy, majestic and worshiped Name: to Whom is due all glory, honor and worship, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.
The Priest shall sprinkle the herbage thrice with Holy Water pronouncing the usual formula of sprinkling and Sanctification.
Then shall he pronounce the Dismissal of the day.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

On the Feast of the Transfiguration of Our Lord

Saint Ephraim teaches that Moses and Elijah were speaking words to our Lord such as these:  They thanked Him that their words and those of their fellow Prophets had been fulfilled by His coming.  They offered Him worship for the salvation He had wrought for the world and all of mankind, that He had fulfilled the mystery they had only sketched with their divinely inspired words.

There was joy in all creation by this ascent of Tabor.  The Prophets rejoiced when they saw our Lord’s humanity, which they had not known.  The Apostles rejoiced when they saw the glory of our Lord’s divinity, which THEY had not known.  These joys were sealed by the Father’s voice, by Moses’ and Elijah’s appearance, and by the witness borne by the Apostles.  The authors of the Old Covenant meet the authors of the New.  Moses meets Simon Peter.  He who struck the rock which poured forth water meets the one whom our Lord calls the Rock, who walks on the water.  John the Theologian meets Elijah, joining the vision of the virgin in the Old with the documentation of virgin in the New.  The tent that Peter begs to raise is raised indeed by the building of the Church of our Lord.  The one who rode the chariot of fire rejoices with the one who will lean his head upon the breast of the Flame itself.  Tabor becomes a Church, and on it Jesus unites the two Covenants, which His Holy Church receives, and makes known to us that He is the giver of both.

May we be filled with His light, the uncreated Light, the Light which overcomes all darkness!


It’s a glorious Feast!