Publish-header
St. James Orthodox Church
Publish Date: 2017-05-21
Bulletin Contents
Jcblind1
Organization Icon
St. James Orthodox Church

General Information

  • Phone:
  • 770 639-3641
  • Street Address:

  • 1651 Horizon Parkway Suite 400

  • Buford, GA 30518


Contact Information




Services Schedule

Great Vespers - 5:30 PM Saturday; Orthros - 9:00 AM Sunday; Divine Liturgy - 10:00 AM Sunday

Confessions are available after Services, or contact Fr. Steven  

Tone 5 / Eothinon 8

Sixth Sunday of Pascha: Sunday of the Blind Man;

Equals-to-the-Apostles Constantine and Helen

Constantine, Prince of Murom, and his sons Michael and Theodore, the Wonderworkers

        WELCOME! WE WISH TO EXTEND A GRACIOUS WELCOME TO ALL WHO ARE VISITING TODAY!  A FRIENDLY REMINDER: Only Orthodox Christians who have properly prepared themselves through fasting, prayer, and recent confession may approach the Chalice to receive Holy Communion.


Past Bulletins


Hymns of the Day

Apolytikion of Great and Holy Pascha in the 5th Tone

Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death and upon those in the tombs, bestowing life.

Resurrectional Apolytikion in the 5th Tone

PAGE 97: Let us believers praise and worship the Word, co-eternal with the Father and the Spirit, born of the Virgin for our salvation; for he took pleasure in ascending the Cross in the flesh, to suffer death, and to raise the dead by his glorious Resurrection.

Apolytikion for Constantine and Helen in the 8th Tone

Constantine, who is thine apostle among kings, O Lord, having beheld with his own eyes the sign of thy cross in heaven, and like Paul having accepted thy call not from man, entrusted the reigning city to thy hands, delivering it with safety for all time by the intercessions of the Theotokos, O thou who art alone the Love of mankind.

Apolytikion for St. James in the 1st Tone

PAGE 26: As a disciple of the Lord, O righteous one, thou hast received the Gospel. As a Martyr thou art never turned away. As the Brother of God, thou hast boldness. As a hierarch thou canst intercede. Do thou intercede with Christ God that He save our souls.

Seasonal Kontakion in the 8th Tone

When thou didst descend into the grave, O Immortal, thou didst destroy the power of hades. In victory didst thou arise, O Christ God, proclaiming 'Rejoice' to the myrrh-bearing women, granting peace to thine apostles and bestowing resurrection of the fallen.
BACK TO TOP

Gospel and Epistle Readings

Epistle Reading

Prokeimenon. 4th Tone. Psalm 18.4,1.
Their voice has gone out into all the earth.
Verse: The heavens declare the glory of God.

The reading is from Acts of the Apostles 26:1, 12-20.

IN THOSE DAYS, King Agrippa said to Paul, "You have permission to speak for yourself." Then Paul stretched out his hand and made his defense: "I journeyed to Damascus with the authority and commission of the chief priests. At midday, O king, I saw on the way a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, shining round me and those who journeyed with me. And when we had all fallen to the ground, I heard a voice saying to me in the Hebrew language, 'Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me? It hurts you to kick against the goads.' And I said, 'Who are you, Lord?' And the Lord said, 'I am Jesus whom you are persecuting. But rise and stand upon your feet; for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to appoint you to serve and bear witness to the things in which you have seen me and to those in which I will appear to you, delivering you from the people and from the Gentiles-to whom I send you to open their eyes, that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.' "Wherefore, O King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision, but declared first to those at Damascus, then at Jerusalem and throughout all the country of Judea, and also to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God and perform deeds worthy of their repentance."


Gospel Reading

Sunday of the Blind Man
The Reading is from John 9:1-38

At that time, as Jesus passed by, he saw a man blind from his birth. And his disciples asked him, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?" Jesus answered, "It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be made manifest in him. We must work the works of him who sent me, while it is day; night comes, when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world." As he said this, he spat on the ground and made clay of the spittle and anointed the man's eyes with the clay, saying to him, "Go, wash in the pool of Siloam" (which means Sent). So he went and washed and came back seeing. The neighbors and those who had seen him before as a beggar, said, "Is not this the man who used to sit and beg?" Some said, "It is he"; others said, "No, but he is like him." He said, "I am the man." They said to him, "Then how were your eyes opened?" He answered, "The man called Jesus made clay and anointed my eyes and said to me, 'Go to Siloam and wash'; so I went and washed and received my sight." They said to him, "Where is he?" He said, "I do not know."

They brought to the Pharisees the man who had formerly been blind. Now it was a sabbath day when Jesus made the clay and opened his eyes. The Pharisees again asked him how he had received his sight. And he said to them, "He put clay on my eyes and I washed, and I see." Some of the Pharisees said, "This man is not from God, for he does not keep the sabbath." But others said, "How can a man who is a sinner do such signs?" There was a division among them. So they again said to the blind man, "What do you say about him, since he has opened your eyes?" He said, "He is a prophet."

The Jews did not believe that he had been blind and had received his sight, until they called the parents of the man who had received his sight, and asked them, "Is this your son, who you say was born blind? How then does he now see?" His parents answered, "We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind; but how he now sees we do not know, nor do we know who opened his eyes. Ask him; he is of age, he will speak for himself." His parents said this because they feared the Jews, for the Jews had already agreed that if anyone should confess him to be Christ he was to be put out of the synagogue. Therefore his parents said, "He is of age, ask him."

So for the second time they called the man who had been blind, and said to him, "Give God the praise; we know that this man is a sinner." He answered, "Whether he is a sinner, I do not know; one thing I know, that though I was blind, now I see." They said to him, "What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?" He answered them, "I have told you already and you would not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you too want to become his disciples?" And they reviled him, saying, "You are his disciple, but we are disciples of Moses. We know that God has spoken to Moses, but as for this man, we do not know where he comes from." The man answered, "Why, this is a marvel! You do not know where he comes from, and yet he opened my eyes. We know that God does not listen to sinners, but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does his will, God listens to him. Never since the world began has it been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a man born blind. If this man were not from God, he could do nothing." They answered him, "You were born in utter sin, and would you teach us?" And they cast him out.

Jesus heard that they had cast him out, and having found him he said, "Do you believe in the Son of man?" He answered, "And who is he, sir, that I may believe in him?" Jesus said to him, "You have seen him, and it is he who speaks to you." He said, "Lord, I believe": and he worshiped him.


BACK TO TOP

Saints and Feasts

Jcblind1
May 21

Sunday of the Blind Man

The Lord Jesus was coming from the Temple on the Sabbath, when, while walking in the way, He saw the blind man mentioned in today's Gospel. This man had been born thus from his mother's womb, that is, he had been born without eyes (see Saint John Chrysostom, Homily LVI on Matthew; Saint Irenaeus, Against Heresies, Book V:15; and the second Exorcism of Saint Basil the Great). When the disciples saw this, they asked their Teacher, "Who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?" They asked this because when the Lord had healed the paralytic at the Sheep's Pool, He had told him, "Sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee" (John 5:14); so they wondered, if sickness was caused by sin, what sin could have been the cause of his being born without eyes. But the Lord answered that this was for the glory of God. Then the God-man spat on the ground and made clay with the spittle. He anointed the eyes of the blind man and said to him, "Go, wash in the Pool of Siloam." Siloam (which means "sent") was a well-known spring in Jerusalem used by the inhabitants for its waters, which flowed to the eastern side of the city and collected in a large pool called "the Pool of Siloam."

Therefore, the Saviour sent the blind man to this pool that he might wash his eyes, which had been anointed with the clay-not that the pool's water had such power, but that the faith and obedience of the one sent might be made manifest, and that the miracle might become more remarkable and known to all, and leave no room for doubt. Thus, the blind man believed in Jesus' words, obeyed His command, went and washed himself, and returned, no longer blind, but having eyes and seeing. This was the greatest miracle that our Lord had yet worked; as the man healed of his blindness himself testified, "Since time began, never was it heard that any man opened the eyes of one that was born blind," although the Lord had already healed the blind eyes of many. Because he now had eyes, some even doubted that he was the same person (John 9:8-9); and it was still lively in their remembrance when Christ came to the tomb of Lazarus, for they said, "Could not this man, who opened the eyes of the blind man, have caused that even this man should not have died?" Saint John Chrysostom gives a thorough and brilliant exposition of our Lord's meeting with the woman of Samaria, the healing of the paralytic, and the miracle of the blind man in his commentaries on the Gospel of Saint John.


21_conshel
May 21

Constantine and Helen, Equal-to-the Apostles

This great and renowned sovereign of the Christians was the son of Constantius Chlorus (the ruler of the westernmost parts of the Roman empire), and of the blessed Helen. He was born in 272, in (according to some authorities) Naissus of Dardania, a city on the Hellespont. In 306, when his father died, he was proclaimed successor to his throne. In 312, on learning that Maxentius and Maximinus had joined forces against him, he marched into Italy, where, while at the head of his troops, he saw in the sky after midday, beneath the sun, a radiant pillar in the form of a cross with the words: "By this shalt thou conquer." The following night, our Lord Jesus Christ appeared to him in a dream and declared to him the power of the Cross and its significance. When he arose in the morning, he immediately ordered that a labarum be made (which is a banner or standard of victory over the enemy) in the form of a cross, and he inscribed on it the Name of Jesus Christ. On the 28th Of October, he attacked and mightily conquered Maxentius, who drowned in the Tiber River while fleeing. The following day, Constantine entered Rome in triumph and was proclaimed Emperor of the West by the Senate, while Licinius, his brother-in-law, ruled in the East. But out of malice, Licinius later persecuted the Christians. Constantine fought him once and again, and utterly destroyed him in 324, and in this manner he became monarch over the West and the East. Under him and because of him all the persecutions against the Church ceased. Christianity triumphed and idolatry was overthrown. In 325 he gathered the First Ecumenical Council in Nicaea, which he himself personally addressed. In 324, in the ancient city of Byzantium, he laid the foundations of the new capital of his realm, and solemnly inaugurated it on May 11, 330, naming it after himself, Constantinople. Since the throne of the imperial rule was transferred thither from Rome, it was named New Rome, the inhabitants of its domain were called Romans, and it was considered the continuation of the Roman Empire. Falling ill near Nicomedia, he requested to receive divine Baptism, according to Eusebius (The Life of Constantine. Book IV, 61-62), and also according to Socrates and Sozomen; and when he had been deemed worthy of the Holy Mysteries, he reposed in 337, on May 21 or 22, the day of Pentecost, having lived sixty-five years, of which he ruled for thirty-one years. His remains were transferred to Constantinople and were deposed in the Church of the Holy Apostles, which had been built by him (see Homily XXVI on Second Corinthians by Saint John Chrysostom).

As for his holy mother Helen, after her son had made the Faith of Christ triumphant throughout the Roman Empire, she undertook a journey to Jerusalem and found the Holy Cross on which our Lord was crucified (see Sept. 13 and 14). After this, Saint Helen, in her zeal to glorify Christ, erected churches in Jerusalem at the sites of the Crucifixion and Resurrection, in Bethlehem at the cave where our Saviour was born, another on the Mount of Olives whence He ascended into Heaven, and many others throughout the Holy Land, Cyprus, and elsewhere. She was proclaimed Augusta, her image was stamped upon golden coins, and two cities were named Helenopolis after her in Bithynia and in Palestine. Having been thus glorified for her piety, she departed to the Lord being about eighty years of age, according to some in the year 330, according to others, in 336.


BACK TO TOP

Upcoming Services, Events, and Information

Today: The HOLY FIRE is still available! 

Tuesday: Parish Council Meeting @ 6:30 PM 

Wednesday: Great Vespers of Ascension @ 6:30 PM; Catechumen Class @ 7:30 PM

Thursday: Hours & Divine Liturgy of Ascension @ 9:50 AM

June 4th, Pentecost Sunday, we will have a Sunday School/ parish outing at Bogan Park in Buford from 1 - 3 PM, immediately following the Vespers of the Holy Spirit. Everyone attend! 

Remember in your prayers those in need Nicholas, Tamara, Theodore, Aubrey, Elizabeth, Alexandra, Mary, Edward, James, Daren, Florence, Josephine, Pelagia, Tara, Lani, Douglas, Mary, Anastasia, Reader Miguel, Jesse, Timothy, Andrea, Patricia, Pasquale, Allyn, Robert, Jesse, Angelina, Kevin, Peter, Mary, Jude, Patricia, Jennifer, the catechumens, Thomas, Theophylact, Richard, Alexandra.

Why Do We Venerate Constantine the Great as a Saint?

The saints are those who let the mission God has given them truly define them. That is, a saint is someone who gives themselves and their lives entirely over the fulfillment of their mission, and in the process, their sins do not get in the way so that by the time they have died, they achieved at least the bare minimum required by God for their mission to be said to be fulfilled.  Because of the way they are free to choose how they realize their mission, they clearly make mistakes in its execution. Saints also are sinners who stumble along the path to God like the rest of us, and so even in the fulfillment of their mission, they can and likely will have many grave errors in its execution. Grace, however, perfects nature, and those who give themselves over to God in love, and seek to follow him in faith, will find that his grace will be able to take the mess they made of their mission and still allow it to be fulfilled. Thus, when we look to the lives of the saints, we find them to be all too human, with human faults, often acting in ways we disapprove. Their holiness affirms not their errors, but their person in Christ, and the mission which they fulfilled through grace.

 This, then, should help us understand why Constantine was not just Constantine, the first Christian emperor of Rome, but Saint Constantine the Great. He was far from perfect in the way he lived his life. There are serious questions which can be raised about many of his actions, for many of them we can easily say were vile, such as the way he is claimed to have treated his wife and son. He was a man of his time, and yet he transcended the time with his vision for a better Rome, and he did a lot to change the structure of society for the better. As we can reject, in an objective way, the thoughts and actions of people who lived in the past while understanding the subjective culpability changes due to the circumstances they found themselves in, so this certainly holds true with Constantine who was raised in a far more violent and unjust society than he was to help establish.

St. Constantine had a very particular mission. He was called to have Rome conquered by the power and sign of the cross. That is, he was called to transform Rome, and with Rome, the world, to take in the implications of the incarnation in history and use them for the creation of a better society. He was in the middle of a military campaign, we are told, when he started to pray to God, asking for God’s help. He was then given a revelation of his mission, where he is said to have seen the sign of the cross in the heaven and told by it he shall conquer his enemies.

The feast of St. Constantine therefore is a feast of the cross, of the victory of life over death, of love over hate, of grace over sin. Constantine served the mission given to him in many ways, key of which, was to call the Church itself to needful self-reflection, through the calling of the first ecumenical council, Nicea. Christians during the times of persecution were not able to come together and reason out their faith together, but thanks to Constantine, a new era of intra-ecclesial relations formed, starting the path by which the Church could better present itself and its teachings to all. But of course, Constantine was not able to oversee what was to come after his death; his mission was to start the needful changes in society; after him, God would send others, with missions of their own, to continue that work, a work which continues to be with us to this day.  Constantine fulfilled his mission and so justly is honored as a saint, despite whatever criticism can be rightfully pointed his way. Let us hope that we, too, can find our mission and fulfill it for the glory of God as well.

 

 

   If you have an announcement for the bulletin, please send an email to bulletin@stjamesorthodox.org by THURSDAY.

 St. James Orthodox Church is a mission of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America.

BACK TO TOP