Bulletin for Sunday, January 6, 2019

Sunday, January 6, 2019
The Sunday of the Divine Epiphany of our Lord and God Jesus Christ

We are pleased to welcome you to worship with us today.  Please note that only Orthodox Christians who have prepared themselves with prayer, fasting and a recent confession may approach to receive Holy Communion.  Everyone is welcome to reverence the cross and to partake of the blessed bread at the dismissal. Please introduce yourself to our pastor, and ask him about membership in the Orthodox Church.

Today’s Hymns and Readings

Troparion of Epiphany – Tone 1
By thy baptism, O Lord, in the River Jordan, worship to the Trinity hath made its appearance; for the voice of the Lord did come forth to thee with the testimony, naming thee His beloved Son; and the Spirit in the likeness of a dove, confirming the truth of the word.  Wherefore, O thou who didst appear and lighted the world, O Christ, glory to thee.

Entrance Hymn – Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord.  The Lord is God and hath appeared unto us. O Son of God, who was baptized by John in the Jordan, save us who sing unto thee, Alleluia.

Troparion of Epiphany – Tone 1

Kontakion of Epiphany – Tone 4
Today thou hast appeared to the universe, O Lord, and thy light hath been shed upon us, who praise thee with knowledge, saying, Thou has come and appeared, O unapproachable Light.

Instead of the Trisagion Hymn (“Holy God…”), “As many of you as have been baptized into Christ have truly put on Christ.  Alleluia.”

Epistle – Titus 2:11-14; 3:4-7 (Epiphany)

Prokeimenon.  Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
Verse.  Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.

MY SON TITUS:  The grace of God has appeared for the salvation of all men, training us to renounce irreligion and worldly passions, and to live sober, upright, and godly lives in this world, awaiting our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all iniquity and to purify for himself a people of his own who are zealous for good deeds.  

Declare these things; exhort and reprove with all authority.  Let no one disregard thee.

But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of deeds done by us in righteousness, but in virtue of his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal in the Holy Spirit, which he poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that we might be justified by his grace and become heirs in hope of eternal life.

Gospel - St. Matthew 3:13-17 (Epiphany)

AT THAT TIME, Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him.  John would have prevented him, saying, I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?”  But Jesus answered him, “Let it to be so now; for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.”  Then he consented. And when Jesus was baptized, he went up immediately from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and alighting on him; and lo, a voice from heaven, saying, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”

The rest of the Divine Liturgy of St. Basil the Great

On “Especially…” Ninth Ode of the First Canon – Tone 2 – Verily all tongues are at a loss to praise thee properly; and every mind, even though transcending the world, is distracted in thy praise, O Theotokos.  But because thou art good, accept our faith, having known our divine longing. Wherefore, since thou art the aider of Christians, we do magnify thee.

Communion Hymn – “The grace of God our Savior hath appeared to all men.  Alleluia.”

Instead of “We have seen the true light…” Troparion of the Epiphany, Tone 4

Next week’s homework:   
Ephesians 4:7-13 (Sunday after Epiphany)
Matthew 4:12-17 (Sunday after Epiphany)


This morning we are honored and blessed to welcome our father in Christ, Most Reverend Archbishop JOSEPH, Metropolitan of New York and of all North America, to St. Mary’s Church to preside at this Hierarchical Epiphany Divine Liturgy and to bless the waters.  We are also pleased to welcome Rev. Deacon John El Massih.  Many years!

Mission Statement - The mission of St. Mary’s Antiochian Orthodox Church of Brooklyn, NY, is to love and worship God through participation in the liturgical life of the Church, and to live and teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  We carry out this mission through education, outreach, fellowship, and works of mercy with love for each other, our neighbors, and our diverse world.

TODAY, JANUARY 6 - We pray for the repose of the souls of the servants of God Fred Arida, Dr. Hickmet Arida, Economous Faried Farkouh, Khouria Wassila Farkouh, Anna Habib, Gabriel Hamatie, Mary Hamwi, Olga Kalaf, Robert Malouf, Madeleine Malouf, Rose Merhige, Sally Renieri, Ronald Sadaka, Melia Saydah, Edward Saydah, Edward Shoucaire, Anne Marie Smatt, Demetri Zayat, and Nazli N. Zayat.  Memory eternal!

Albert Absey offers Prayers of Oblation in celebration of the wedding of Dana Wizeman and Dudley Poston on New Year’s Day.  Many years!

Deacon Farid and Aline Farkouh offer Prayers of Oblation for the repose of the souls of the servants of God V. Rev. Fr. Faried and Khouria Wasilla Farkouh.  Memory eternal!

NEXT SUNDAY, JANUARY 13 – We will pray for the repose of the souls of the servants of God Eli T. Abdallah, Juad Arida, Pearl Arida, Nora and Kalel Ballan, Samia Arida, Adele Azeez, Mary Fadool, Ameenie Freije, Edward Ghazal, Emily Ghazal, Pauline Haddad, James Hamod, Maria Hindelly, Tofeek Kaidy, Leila M. Khouri, George John Nahas, Edma Saab, Madeleine H. Salamy, Alberta Samaha, Alexander Trabolsi, Nora Trefz, and Emil Tweel.  Memory eternal!

POST-COMMUNION PRAYERS – As the faithful approach to reverence the cross, receive a blessing and a piece of antidoron (holy bread) at the dismissal, a reader will read the Post-Communion Prayers of Thanksgiving.  Please greet each other quietly as we reverently hear these prayers.

HOLY BREAD – Because we are ordering more bread, and the cost has gone up slightly, we will now ask for a donation of $50/week.  Donors are welcome for January and succeeding months.

TODAY’S USHERS – Members of the Parish Council will serve as ushers.  Please allow the Church School students, teachers and volunteers to receive Holy Communion first so that they can proceed to their classes and begin in a timely fashion.   The ushers will assist us in proceeding row by row so that we can distribute Holy Communion “decently and in order.”

POINSETTIAS – Please feel free to take home a poinsettia after today’s Divine Liturgy.  The church would appreciate any free will offerings.

FOR THE INFIRM – Please remember our ailing brethren in your daily intercessions, especially, Clair Banat (Norwegian), Lorraine Diahy, and Khalil Eid (Hamilton Park), Louis Savarese (Haym Salomon Home), George Arbeeny, Charlie Bryant, Albert Castley (FL), Nadim Dahdouh, Robert Forcina, Mary Ganim, Susan Hadad, Louise Hamwi, Malak Karkenny, George Khoury, Jr., Victor Khoury, Loulou Malouf, Alfred Nahas, Elena Paris, Leon Smatt, Marie Tashji, Claudette Teen, Jim Thompson (NJ), Marianne Trabulsi (PA), and Rose Zrake (at home).  If a member of your family is in the hospital or recuperating at home, please call the church office and let us know as soon as possible.

CHRISTMAS FLOWER OFFERINGS – We gratefully receive the offerings of Albert Absey, Naziha and Bassam Aldaia, Trisha Aznavoorian, Joan Bacon, Violette Bastajian, Marie and Charles Bryant, Rhonda Byrnes, Christopher Castley, Sandra and Robert Coogan, Katherine and Hassan Dagher, Gloria Darzi, Barbara Deeb, Fr. Michael and Laila Ellias, Anita and John Eyd, Dr. Alice Farkouh, Mary Ganim, Josette and John Generale, Marianne Hindelly, George Khoury, Lily and Paul Lang, Razan and Sam Maalouf, Anne and Sabry Mackoul, Robert Mackoul, Carol Makhoul, Linda Mantia, Renee and Theodore Najjar, Kathryn and Dr. George Nassoor, Dr. Amer and Chaza Rafiaa, Marian Russo, Wade and Andrea Saadi, Roland Salloum, Wanda Salloum, Brenda Samman, Barbara and Dennis Shawah, Hiam Sukkarieh, Irene Tashji, Marie Tashji, Marilyn Tulaney, Jessica Zaher,  Karl Zarr and Marie Zarr.

CANNED FOOD DRIVE AND WINTER COAT DRIVE – Teen SOYO has placed large containers in the narthex for their Canned Food and Winter Coat Drives.  The Coat Drive includes gloves, hats, socks, blankets and sweaters, and will continue into January.  Thank you for your support.

PARISH WEBSITE – Did you know that we post the weekly bulletin on the web?  Simply go to www.smaoc.squarespace.com/bulletin, and view the bulletin at home.  Also, find us on Facebook.

PLEASE MAKE SURE all cell phones and pagers are turned off in church.


    Sunday, January 6        Metropolitan JOSEPH presides at Epiphany

                    Ladies’ Epiphany Luncheon

    Saturday, January 12        Great Vespers, 5:00 PM

    Monday, January 14        Parish Council, 7:30 PM   

FROM THE FATHERS – “Do you see, beloved, how many and how great blessings we would have lost, if the Lord had yielded to the exhortation of John, and declined baptism?  For the heavens were shut before this; the region above was inaccessible. A reconciliation took place of the visible with the invisible; the celestial orders were filled with joy; the diseases of earth were healed; secret things were made known; those at enmity were restored to amity.  For you have heard the word of the evangelist, saying, the heavens were opened to Him on account of three wonders. For when Christ the Bridegroom was baptized, it was meet that the bridal-chamber of heaven should open its brilliant gates. And in like manner also, when the Holy Spirit descended in the form of a dove, and the Father’s voice spread everywhere, it was meet that the gates of heaven should be lifted up.  And, lo, the heavens were opened to Him; and a voice was heard, saying, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”

  • St. Hippolytus of Rome

When Thou, O Lord, were baptized in the Jordan, worship of the Trinity was made manifest.  For the voice of the Father bare witness unto thee, and called thee His beloved Son. And the Holy Spirit, in the form of a dove, confirmed these words.  O Christ our God, who has appeared to us and has enlightened the world, glory to thee!

- Troparion of the Feast of Epiphany, Tone 1


Blessing of Homes

The blessing of homes during the season of Theophany is a long-standing tradition of our Orthodox Church.  Following the Great Blessing of Water, it is customary for the priest to visit the homes of the faithful, bringing with him the “blessings of the Jordan.”  Through the solemn prayers, we rededicate our home to be a place where a family is guided by Jesus Christ.  Since this is the time in our Church Year when we remember the coming of Christ and the beginning of His ministry, when He descended into the Jordan to be baptized by St. John the Forerunner, it is fitting that the Lord enter our homes and our hearts now.  It reminds us that we must “Repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand.”  (Matthew 4:17)  This is why our homes must be blessed and sanctified on a regular basis.  

When the priest comes for the house blessing, please use these guidelines:

Have as many family members as possible present for the appointment.

  1. Set up a place for prayer in the dining room or kitchen with an icon and candle.

  2. Print a list of the first names of all family members, making a distinction between the living and the departed.

  3. Turn off the television, radio, stereo, computer or any other distraction.

  4. Make the priest aware of any special needs or issues you may have.

  5. Tell the priest about any family members who are ill or in need of a visit.

Either complete the form below and return it to the office, or call the office at (718) 238-8008.  The Church also blesses homes between Holy Pascha and Pentecost and between the Feast of the Cross and October 1.


Dear Father Michael:

I/we would like to have you bless my/our home in 2019.

Name:  _________________________________  Phone: _____________________________

Address:  ____________________________________________________________________

Best Season:        Between Epiphany (January 6) and Great Lent (March 10)

(Please circle one)    Between Holy Pascha (April 28) and Pentecost (June 16)

            Between the Feast of the Cross (September 14) and October 1

Best Day:    Mon    Tue    Wed    Thu    Fri    Sat    Sun    (Please circle)

Best Time:    ________________    AM    PM

PLEDGE REMINDER – As we begin the new calendar year we remind our faithful to consider prayerfully their commitment for the year ahead.  There is a pledge card in the January offering envelopes, and there are pledge cards in the back of the church. And always remember to include St. Mary’s in your will or estate plan!  Thank you.

ICON EXHIBIT – The Sheen Center for Though and Culture, 18 Bleecker Street in Manhattan, will present a free Mosaic Icon Exhibition by Ukrainian artist Oksana Prokopenko from now until January 18, 2019 from 9 AM – 9 PM.  For more information go to www.oksanapro.com.   

2019 CHURCH CALENDARS – The Church Calendars for 2019 are now available in the “narthex.”

RESTORATION PROJECT UPDATE – We remind our faithful parishioners that we will celebrate all divine services in Couri Hall.  We anticipate that the restoration of the church will take approximately six months. As we stated in our letter to the parish, we will need to make alternative arrangements in the event of baptisms, weddings, and funerals.

As usually happens in projects of this nature, the Church has run into unbudgeted expenses which the Parish Council will discuss after the first of the year.  These expenses make it vitally important that everyone does what he or she can to bring this project to a successful conclusion.  If you have not yet made a pledge or contribution toward this project, please find a pledge card on the table at the back of the hall, or see any Parish Council member.  The pledge card will provide an opportunity to make a one-time donation or a pledge for payment over a period of four months. To date the following friends and families have made pledges or donations towards this project:

Renee Abate, Rose Abdallah, Albert Absey, Fadi Albishara and Ann Nardone, Beverly and Alexander Araman, Dr. Kenneth and Euginia Arida, Sandra Arida, Michele Ateyeh, Angela and Christopher Athineos, Kenneth Azar, Michael and Maria Azar, Joan Bacon, Diana and Timothy Bittar, Charles and Marie Bryant, Nancy Collette, Drs. Gregory and Amal Dalack, Michael Nassif Dalack, Gloria Darzi, Barbara Deeb, Janice Deeb, Fr. Michael and Laila Ellias, John and Anita Eyd, Peter Elkas, Deacon Farid and Aline Farkouh, Diana Finger, Alice Carolyn and David Furer, Gary Gagnone, Marc and Helen Galloway, Mary Ganim, Josette and John Generale, Dr. and Mrs. Ronald Ghiz, Dr. George Haddad, Nissar Haddad, Gregory Hamaty, Lola Hamra, Edward Hanna, Marianne Hindelly, Gloria and Kenneth Jabara, Lina and Sam Kaiami, Joyce Katen, Anthony Kirshy, Shelly and Patricia Kaufman, George Khoury, Jr., Dr. Nidal and Christine Khoury, Debbie and Robert Mackoul, Sabry and Anne Glynn Mackoul, Rafik Mahab, Carol Makhoul, Michael and Corrine Mallia, Linda Mantia, Denise and Christopher McBride, Edith Tadross O’Donnell, Dr. Amer and Chaza Rafiaa, Marian Russo, Karen Sadaka, Theodore Sadaka, Audrey and Charles Sahadi, Louise Sahadi, Linda and George Salamy, Victor and Joyce Samaha, Louis Saverese, Caroline and Peter Schneirla, Gladys Schroeder, Dennis and Barbara Shawah, William and Nadia Soued, Anthony Speer, Karen and Matthew Spolar, Hiam Sukkarieh, Michael Tadross, Irene Tashji, Marie Tashji, Marilyn and Michael Tulaney, Gisele and George Wardi, Henry Wardi, Jeffrey Zahka, Gale Zarr, Marie Zarr, Malakie and Richard Zogob, Cindy and Gregory Zrake, and Rose Zrake.

ESTATE PLANNING – Have I included St. Mary’s Church in my estate plan?

A Parish of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America