1 Saint Constantine & Saint Helen Sunday School Newsletter!. DIALOGUE WITH FATHER LAMBROS. An important lesson that we learn in the Church is that we exist always in relation to other people. We exist in relation to a community of brothers and sisters, parents, relatives, and friends, whose fellowship we cherish and seek, because they are so important to us, to the person that we really are. Just as we understand that we would not exist if it were not for the life that our parents gave us, so we understand that we cannot exist without the support of other people. We learn to live with other people, to interact with them, to create friendships, to laugh and cry with them, to integrate them in our lives, even to accept their ideas and views, especially when we have a difficult time accepting them, because they are different than our own ideas. Learning to live in a community in the company of others makes us aware that we are not the center of our own world, that we have to take into account all the others that are crossing our path. This is an excellent way to fight our self-centered way of being, to overcome our pride, to start seeing the world from a different perspective than our own, to accept differences, and not to expect everyone to behave like us in order to accept them. Just as we cannot exist without receiving support and love from others, so other people cannot exist without receiving our support. What a thoughtful act from the Sunday School children's part, to organize a fund raiser for our fellow human beings who are suffering from the devastation of the earthquake in Haiti. There can be no better way to show your support for the suffering part of humanity than what you have organized out of your love for the other. We are entering this special season in the life of our Church, that we call Lent. The Lent is a forty days journey that will lead us, through many spiritual adventures, to the Paschal light of the Resurrection of Christ. The greatest challenge that we face in this period is given to us from our pride, our ego, and our refusal to learn to accept, forgive and love the other person. We begin Lent by participating in the wonderful circle of forgiveness, in the Vespers of the Forgiveness Sunday, when at the end of the Vespers we all embrace each other and ask to be forgiven. How can God forgive our sins if we do not forgive the sins of others, or ask forgiveness from others when we have sinned against them? Let this Lent be a new way of understanding our life in the Church, of deepening our love for the other, of seeing ourselves as parts and members of the Body of Christ, which is the true mission of the Church in the world, that is, of making us aware that we live through our participation in His Body, as brothers and sisters, united by love in His Life, which is love. Father Lambros P.S. Don't forget that I wait anxiously for your questions. Feel free to ask me anything you want by writing to me. My address is: Volume 1, Issue 3 February 2010 Special points of interest: Lent is upon us! Puzzle page and fun A story for children about love (in Greek). Inside this issue: What s up with Lent? Puzzle: The Prodigal Son Ten Facts About by Anastasia Wright Presentation of our Lord Fun craft activity Please go on line if you want additional copies of our newsletter. org/index.php 5
2 Page 2 WHAT S UP WITH LENT? Saint Constantine We all know what comes of not preparing properly for things. If you do not prepare for a test, you will not do well. But what about spiritual preparation? I'm talking about more than being nice to your brother and going to church on Sunday (although both very good things to do). As we approach the Lenten season, there are things we can do to prepare ourselves for the Resurrection. The first place we should start is with our priest. He can help to point us in the right direction. But here are some things we should begin considering in the mean time: Prayer-All good things begin with prayer. Think about it this way; when we meet someone we like, we spend time talking with them. The more we talk with them the more we know them and the more we want to know. Prayer is a conversation with God. We should tell him our fears, ask him to guide us and thank him for our blessings. If you do not already have one, order an Orthodox prayer book to help you. The Orthodox Church offers an entire cycle of worship throughout the year. No time is that more evident than during Lent. We should go to the Divine Liturgy on Sunday but we should also go to the other liturgical services (Vespers, Compline, Salutations & Akathist Hymn, Pre-Sanctified Liturgy). But here is the really important part, we should not just "go" to the services we need to be active participants in the services. Ask your priest where you can get books for the services so that you can participate by reading, chanting and following along. Repentance/Confession-We know it is hard, but confession is necessary for spiritual growth. Do not look at it as going in with your shopping lists of sins and trying to rattle them off as quickly as possible. Instead look at it as an opportunity to fix your relationship with God through repentance. Repentance is accepting that we have done something wrong and (here's the hard part) committing to try very, very hard not fall into those sins again. of daily bible readings for the church calendar. This will help you in your journey through lent and throughout the year. Fast-We know what you are all thinking beans, greens and rice how does that make me a better Christian? Fasting is really about discipline. We discipline ourselves in other areas of our life (athletics, academic). We should be disciplining ourselves spiritually in what we do as well as in what we eat. Give-Take time during lent to give to those in need. You do not need money to do this. Ask yourself how can I give of my time, talents and treasure to give Glory to God? Through the guidance of our priest and teachers, we pray we can all count ourselves with the wise virgins prepared. But after the Paschal liturgy has been celebrated and the candles have all been blown out, ask yourself this is my spiritual candle still lit? Go to Church-We know some of us may think that church only occurs on Sunday. Wrong! Read the Bible-If you don't have one, get one immediately! Ask your priest for the list Excerpted by Kathryn Pantemis from the text by Melissa K. Bazos and Anne Nicole Kyritsis, Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. The Prodigal Son: Reading is from Luke 15:11-32 Across 3. Who saw him from a long way off coming home? 5. What did the son do with all his money? 7. 'I have against God and against you Father.' 8. What animals did he take care of while is was away from home? Down 1. What did his father prepare for him to celebrate his return? 2. What was the brother feeling when his brother returned? 3. What does God give us freely when we ask him through Confession? 4. What did his father do when he approached his son? 6. What did the son demand from his father before he left his home? Created by Puzzlemaker at DiscoveryEducation.com, sponsorship by Scotch. You can find the answers in the next edition of our newsletter in March 2010.
3 Volume 1, Issue 3 FEBRUARY 2 PRESENTATION OF THE LORD Many years before the coming of Christ there lived a very pious and saintly man called Simeon. He was one of the most intelligent Jewish scholars of his day. Simeon found himself praying for the day that the Saviour would come and deliver all Israel (and the world) from sin. Simeon waited for many years, and finally one evening as he knelt in prayer and heard the voice of God saying to him that he would not die until he had seen the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Simeon was filled with great joy and fervently prayed each day that the Messiah would come into the world. Holy Tradition tells us that Simeon was over 150 years old when the Promise of God was fulfilled. The Bible tells us that finally on February 2 nd, 40 days after the birth of Jesus Christ, the Virgin Mary brought the Christ child to the Temple for Presentation. It was common Jewish practice to bring the first-born male child to the Temple and offer him to the service of the Lord. It was here that Simeon waited patiently that day as he had done for so many years. The Virgin Mary presented the Christ child to Simeon, who took the infant child in his trembling hands and recited the following beautiful prayer which is recited in the Orthodox Church every evening during the Vesper services: Lord now let Your Servant go in peace according to your promise, because my eyes have seen Your salvation which You have prepared in the presence of all people, a light to the Gentiles, and for glory to Your people Israel. Page 5 This Jewish tradition of presenting children at the Temple is still practiced in the Orthodox Church. In fact, you too were presented by your parents to the Church on the 40 th day after your birth. We call this presentation being Churched. excerpted from Fr. George Poulos, "Lives of the Saints and Major Feast Days" Here s a question for you: Who is the woman standing behind Simeon in the icon of the Presentation? Read the scripture passage (Luke 2:22-40) to find out and send us your answer at FAMILY CRAFT: : MAKE YOUR OWN ICON : M Colour the icon, cut it out and make your own icon. You can use a frame or you can laminate it by using hodgepodge on a piece of plastic or wood.
4 Volume 1, Issue 3 Page 3 SUNDAY OF ORTHODOXY 1ST SUNDAY OF LENT The Sunday of Orthodoxy is the first Sunday of Great Lent. The dominant theme of this Sunday since 843 has been that of the victory of the icons. In that year the iconoclastic controversy, which had raged on and off since 726, was finally laid to rest, and icons and their veneration were restored on the first Sunday in Lent. Ever since, this Sunday has been commemorated as the "Triumph of Orthodoxy." The Sunday of Orthodoxy is commemorated with the Divine Liturgy of Saint Basil the Great, which is preceded by the Matins service. A Great Vespers is conducted on Saturday evening. The hymns of the Triodion for this day are added to the usual prayers and hymns of the weekly commemoration of the Resurrection of Christ. your pure image O Good One. Of Your own will You condescended to ascend upon the Cross in the flesh and delivered those you created from the bondage of the enemy. Wherefore, thankfully we cry out: When You came to save the world You filled all things with joy, O our Savior. Kontakion (Plagal Fourth Tone) The undepictable Word of the Father became depictable when He took flesh of you, O Theotokos; and when He had restored the defiled image to its ancient state, He suffused it with divine beauty. As for us, confessing our salvation, we record it in deed and word. Excerpt from web article on Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. Hymns of the Feast Apolytikion (tone one) O Christ our God, begging forgiveness of our sins, we venerate TEN FUN FACTS ABOUT... VALENTINE S DAY Column by Anastasia Wright... V 1. Valentine's Day, as we know it today, contains vestiges of both Christian and ancient Roman tradition. the favourite flower of the Roman goddess of love, Venus. Red also symbolizes strong feelings. 2. Some believe that Valentine's Day is celebrated in the middle of February to commemorate the anniversary of Valentine's death or burial which occurred around 270 A.D. 3. Others claim that the Christian church may have decided to celebrate Valentine's feast day in the middle of February in an effort to 'christianize' celebrations of the pagan Lupercalia festival. 4. Pope Gelasius declared February 14th to be the first Valentine's day 498 A.D. 7. Cupid means 'desire' in Latin. (He was also the son of Venus!) 8. Richard Cadbury was the first person to introduce giving boxes of chocolate on Valentine's day. (That's were the Cadbury brand of chocolate came from!) 9. Teachers receive the most Valentine's cards. 10. Valentine's day is the fourth holiday with the most candy sold. 5. Roughly 26% of the population celebrate Valentine's day. (20% say that it shouldn't even be celebrated!) 6. We normally give out red roses on Valentine's day because it was ST CONSTANTINE AND ST HELEN SUNDAY SCHOOL AND YOUTH GROUP NEWSLETTER PUBLISHING COMMITTEE Anastasia Calogeroupoulos Amelia Iatros Elena Iatros Melitsa Ioannou Kathryn Pantemis Anastasia Wright Please write to us, for any suggestions, comments or questions. We would be glad to publish any ideas. Thank you for your support.
5 Volume 1, Issue 3 Page 6 ΠΛΟΥΤΟΣ,, ΕΥΤΥΦΙΑ ΚΑΙ ΑΓΑΠΗ, Ε Μηα θμνά θαη έκα θαηνό μηα γοκαίθα θνόκηηδε ημκ θήπμ ημο ζπηηημύ ηεξ, όηακ λαθκηθά βιέπεη ηνεηξ γένμκηεξ, θμνηςμέκμοξ με ηηξ εμπεηνίεξ ηεξ δςήξ, κα ηεκ πιεζηάδμοκ ζηεκ είζμδμ ημο ζπηηημύ. Παν' όιμ πμο δεκ ημοξ γκώνηδε, ημοξ είπε: -Δεκ ζαξ γκςνίδς, όμςξ πνέπεη κα πεηκάηε. Πενάζηε, ακ ζέιεηε, κα θάηε θάηη. Αοημί ηεκ νςηάκε: - Ο άκηναξ ζμο είκαη ζημ ζπίηη; - Όπη, δεκ είκαη εδώ, απάκηεζε εθείκε. - Τόηε δεκ μπμνμύμε κα ένζμομε, ηεξ ιέκε μη γένμκηεξ. Όηακ επηζηνέθεη μ ζύδογμξ, ε γοκαίθα ημο πενηγνάθεη ημ πενηζηαηηθό. - Αξ ένζμοκ ηώνα πμο επέζηνερα! Η γοκαίθα βγαίκεη έλς κα πνμζθαιέζεη λακά ημοξ γένμκηεξ ζημ ηναπέδη, μηαξ θαη ήηακ αθόμε εθεί. - Δεκ μπμνμύμε κα ένζμομε όιμη μαδί, ηεξ ιέκε μη ηνεηξ γένμκηεξ Η γοκαίθα, έθπιεθηε, ημοξ νςηά γηαηί! Ο πνώημξ, ιμηπόκ, από ημοξ ηνεηξ ηεξ ελεγεί λεθηκώκηαξ κα ηεξ ζοζηήκεηαη: Είμαη μ Πιμύημξ, ηεξ ιέεη. Τεξ ζοζηήκεη, μεηά, ημκ δεύηενμ πμο είκαη ε Εοηοπία. Καη, ηέιμξ, ημκ ηνίημ πμο είκαη ε Αγάπε. Τώνα, ηεξ ιέκε, πήγαηκε ζημκ άκηνα ζμο θαη δηαιέληε πμημξ από ημοξ ηνεηξ μαξ ζα ένζεη κα θάεη μαδί ζαξ. Η γοκαίθα επηζηνέθεη ζημ ζπίηη θαη δηεγείηαη ζημκ άκηνα ηεξ αοηά πμο ηεξ είπακ μη γένμκηεξ. Ο άκηναξ εκζμοζηάδεηαη θαη ιέεη: -Τη ηοπενμί πμο είμαζηε! Να ένζεη μ Πιμύημξ! Έηζη ζα έπμομε όια όζα επηζομμύμε! Η ζύδογόξ ημο όμςξ δε ζομθςκμύζε: -Καη γηαηί κα μεκ έπμομε ηε πανά ηεξ Εοηοπίαξ; Η θόνε ημοξ πμο άθμογε από μηα γςκηά, ηόηε, ημοξ ιέεη: -Δε ζα'ηακ θαιύηενα κα θαιμύζαμε ηεκ Αγάπε; Τμ ζπίηη μαξ ζα είκαη πάκηα γεμάημ αγάπε! -Αξ αθμύζμομε αοηό πμο ιέεη ε θόνε μαξ, ιέεη μ ζύδογμξ ζηε γοκαίθα ημο. -Πήγαηκε έλς θαη πεξ ζηεκ Αγάπε κα πενάζεη ζημ ζπηηηθό μαξ. Η γοκαίθα βγαίκεη έλς θαη νςηά: -Πμημξ από εζάξ είκαη ε Αγάπε; Αξ ένζεη κα δεηπκήζεη μαδί μαξ. Η Αγάπε ηόηε λεθηκά κα πνμπςνά πνμξ ημ ζπίηη θαη μη δύμ άιιμη κα ημκ αθμιμοζμύκ! Έθπιεθηε ε γοκαίθα, νςηά ημκ Πιμύημ θαη ηεκ Εοηοπία: -Εγώ θάιεζα μόκμ ηεκ Αγάπε. Γηαηί ένπεζηε θη εζείξ; Καη απακημύκ θη μη ηνεηξ γένμκηεξ μαδί: - Ακ είπεξ θαιέζεη ημκ Πιμύημ ή ηεκ Εοηοπία, μη άιιμη δύμ ζα έμεκακ απέλς. Τώνα όμςξ πμο θάιεζεξ ηεκ Αγάπε, όπμο πάεη ε Αγάπε, πάμε θη εμείξ μαδί ηεξ!
6 Volume 1, Issue 3 Page 4 Τριώδιο Τι είναι ηο Τριώδιο; Τριώδιο είμαι ηο βιβλίο ηης Εκκληζιαζηικής Ακολοσθίας ηφμ ύμμφμ ποσ υάλλομηαι από ηημ Κσριακή ηοσ Τελώμοσ και Φαριζαίοσ, μέτρι και ηοσ Μ. Σαββάηοσ. Αποκριά: εηυμολογία, διάρκεια, προέλευζη Η ηνίηε είκαη ηεξ «Απόκρεφ». Η ηειεοηαία Κονηαθή ηεξ απμθνηάξ είκαη ε «Τσριμή» (ηονμθάγμο). ηειεηώκεη ηεκ Κονηαθή ημο Αζώημο. Η δεύηενε εβδμμάδα ιέγεηαη Κρεαηιμή ή ηης Κρεοθάγοσ ή Ολόκριγια. Η Κονηαθή ηεξ εβδμμάδαξ αοηήξ, ε Κονηαθή ηεξ Απόθνες, μκμμάζηεθε έηζη γηαηί ήηακ ε ηειεοηαία μένα ηεξ θνεμθαγίαξ (από + θνέαξ) όιεξ ηεξ πενηόδμο ημο Τνηςδίμο. Απμθνηά εηομμιμγηθά ζεμαίκεη μαθνηά από ημ θνέαξ (εθθιεζηαζηηθά). Είκαη ε πενίμδμξ πνμεημημαζίαξ ημο ακζνώπμο, ροπηθήξ θαη ζςμαηηθήξ, γηα κα βηώζεη ημ Θείμ Πάζμξ θαη ηεκ ακάζηαζε ημο Σςηήνα Χνηζημύ. H απμθνηά δηανθεί ηνεηξ εβδμμάδεξ θαη λεθηκάεη 60 μένεξ πνηκ ημ Πάζπα. Οκμμάδεηαη Τριώδιο. Η ιέλε πνμένπεηαη από ημ «ηνεηξ ςδέξ» πμο ζεμαίκεη μη ηνεηξ ύμκμη πμο ζοκεζίδμομε κα ιέγε ζηεκ εθθιεζία. Ξεθηκά ηεκ πνώηε Κονηαθή, πμο ακαθένεηαη ζημ Εοαγγέιημ ημο «Τελώμη και Φαριζαίοσ». Τε δεύηενε Κονηαθή, πμο ακαθένεηαη ζημ Εοαγγέιημ ημο «Αζώηοσ Υιού». Τμ ηέιμξ ηεξ απμθνηάξ είκαη ηεκ αογή ηεξ επόμεκεξ μέναξ: ε πνώηε μένα ηεξ Σαναθμζηήξ, πμο μκμμάδεηαη Καθαρά εσηέρα. Η ιέλε απμθνηά γεκηθά δειώκεη μιόθιενμ ημ πνμκηθό δηάζηεμα ηςκ ηνηώκ εβδμμάδςκ ημο Τνηςδίμο, πνηκ ανπίζεη ε πενίμδμξ κεζηείαξ πμο μδεγεί ζηε Μεγάιε Εβδμμάδα θαη ημ Πάζπα. Όηακ ιέμε "ακμίγεη ημ ηνηώδημ", εκκμμύμε όηη ανπίδμοκ μη απμθνηέξ. Η πνώηε εβδμμάδα ημο Τνηςδίμο ιέγεηαη θαη Προθφμή ή Προθφμέζιμη, επεηδή παιηά πνμθςκμύζακ, δειαδή δηαιαιμύζακ όηη άνπηδακ μη απμθνηέξ. Η εβδμμάδα αοηή ιέγεηαη θαη αμόλσηη ή απόλσηη, επεηδή ηόηε μη ροπέξ ηςκ πεζαμέκςκ βγαίκμοκ ζημκ Πάκς Κόζμμ. Η πνώηε εβδμμάδα Η ηνίηε εβδμμάδα ιέγεηαη Τσριμή ή ηης Τσροθάγοσ, επεηδή έηνςγακ γαιαθημθμμηθά πνμσόκηα. Από ηε Δεοηένα, μηα εβδμμάδα πνηκ ηεκ Καζανή Δεοηένα, άνπηδε ε απμπή από ημ θνέαξ θαη επηβαιιόηακ ε πνήζε ηονημύ θαη γαιαθηενώκ ζακ εκδηάμεζε άζθεζε μεηαλύ θνεμθαγίαξ θαη κεζηείαξ. Από ηεκ Καζανή Δεοηένα, αμέζςξ μεηά ηεκ Κονηαθή ηεξ Τονηκήξ, όιμη μη θακμκηζμμί ηεξ κεζηείαξ επακένπμκηαη ζε ηζπύ. Ωζηόζμ ε ειεύζενε πνήζε ημο θναζημύ μεηαηνέπεη αοηή ηε Δεοηένα ζε απμθμνύθςμα ηεξ απμθνηάξ.