Friday, April 22, 2016

Looking Towards Holy Week: Two Festal Articles

General Sharing-Looking Towards Holy Week: Two Festal Articles-and Scripture Readings: Sharing from Subdeacon Ilarion Marr: Lazarus Saturday and the Entry of Our Lord Into Jerusalem

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Dan Everiss

Mon, Apr 18, 2016 at 11:21 AM
Comment: I hope that these two icons remain stable, and not become transient and disappear!

For Lazarus Saturday:

This excellent and indispensable book [635 pages] \may still be available from Matushka Irina - ask her - at Holy Trinity Church 25-36 37th Street, Astoria NY 11103 - or online at

Bishop of Cyprus
The Jewish feast of the Passover drew near; and with it, the last days of the life of Jesus Christ on earth occurred. The malice of the Pharisees and Jewish leaders reached its peak. Their hearts hardened from envy, love of power, and other vices, and they did not want to accept the simple and compassionate teachings of Christ. They awaited a convenient occasion to seize the Saviour and put Him to death; and now, the time for them had arrived. The power of darkness set in, and the Lord was being betrayed into the hands of men.
At this time in the village of Bethany, Lazarus, the brother of Martha and Mary, was ill. The Lord loved Lazarusand his sisters and often visited this blessed family.
When Lazarus fell ill, Jesus Christ was not in Judea. The sisters sent to Him, saying, "Lord! The one whom You love is ill."
But when Jesus Christ heard it He said, "This illness is not unto death; it is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified by means of it."
The Saviour stayed two days longer in the place where He was. Then, He said to the disciples, "Let us go into Judea again. Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I go to awaken him." Jesus Christ spoke to them about the death of Lazarus, and the disciples thought that He was talking about usual sleep; and since sleep at a time of illness was a good sign of recovery, they said, "Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he should recover."
Then, Jesus Christ told them plainly, "Lazarus is dead; and for your sake, I am glad I have not been there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him."
When Jesus came to Bethany, Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. Many of the Jews from Jerusalem had come to Martha and Mary to console them.
Martha first heard that Jesus was coming and hurried to meet Him. Mary, in deep grief, sat in the house. When Martha met the Saviour, she said, "Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died. And even now, I know that whatever You ask from God, God will give You."
Jesus Christ said to her, "Your brother will rise again."
Martha said to Him, "I know that He will rise again in the resurrection at the last day (that is, in the general, resurrection at the end of the world)."
Then, Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me, though he die, yet shall he live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?"
Martha said to Him, "Yes, Lord; I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, Who is to come into the world." When she had said this, she quickly went home and quietly said to her sister Mary, "The Teacher is here and is calling for you."
Mary, as soon as she heard this joyful news, rose quickly and went to Jesus Christ. When the Jews who were with her in the house consoling her saw Mary rise quickly and go out, they followed her supposing that she was going to the tomb to weep there. The Saviour had not yet come to the village but was still in the place where Martha had met Him.
Mary, when she came where Jesus was, fell at His feet saying to Him, "Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died."
When Jesus Christ saw her weeping and the Jews who came with her also weeping, He was deeply troubled in spirit and said, "Where have you laid him?"
They said to Him, "Lord, come and see." Jesus Christ wept.
When they came to the tomb of Lazarus, it was a cave, and the entrance was blocked up with a stone. Christ said, "Take away the stone."
Martha said to Him, "Lord! By this time there will be an odour, for he has been dead for four days."
Jesus said to her, "Did I not tell you that if you would believe, you would see the glory of God?" So they took away the stone.
Then, Jesus lifted His eyes to Heaven and said to God His Father, "Father, I thank Thee that Thou hast heard Me. I know that Thou hearest Me always, but I have said this on account of the people standing by Me that they may believe that Thou hast send Me."
When He had said this, He cried with a loud voice, "Lazarus, come forth." The dead man came out, His hands and feet bound with bandages, and his face wrapped with a cloth, as the Jews dressed the dead.
Jesus said to them, "Unbind him and let him go." Then, many of the Jews, who had been there and seen this miracle, believed in Jesus Christ. But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done. The enemies of Christ, the chief priests and the Pharisees were troubled and fearing that all the people would believe in Jesus Christ, gathered a council and decided to kill Jesus Christ. Word of this great miracle began to spread all over Jerusalem. Many Jews went to the home of Lazarus to see him and having seen believed in Jesus Christ. Then, the chief priests and scribes plotted to kill Lazarus. But Lazarus, after his resurrection by the Saviour, lived a long time and was later a bishop on the island of Cyprus.
Note: See the Gospel of John 11:1-57 and 12:9-11.
This great miracle of the Saviour, the raising of Lazarus, is commemorated by the Holy Orthodox Church on theSaturday of the sixth week of the Great Fast (the eve of Palm Sunday).

Soon after the raising of Lazarus, six days before the Jewish Passover, Jesus Christ made a triumphal entry into Jerusalem to show that He was the true Christ the King and was going to death voluntarily.
When they drew near to Jerusalem, coming to the village of Bethpage, at the Mount of Olives, Jesus Christ sent two of His disciples saying to them, "Go into the village opposite you; and immediately, you will find a donkey tied and a colt with her on which no one has ever sat. Untie it and bring it to me. If any one says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord needs it’."
The disciples went away and found it as He had told them. They brought the donkey and the colt and put their garments on the colt, and Jesus sat on it.
In the meantime in Jerusalem, they learned that Jesus, the One Who raised Lazarus from the dead after four days, was coming to Jerusalem. Crowds of people, gathered from everywhere for the feast of the Passover, went to meet Him. Many took off their outer garments and spread them on the road before Him. Others cut palm branches, carried them in their hands and spread them on the road. And all the people, who went before and who followed, cried out with joy, "Hosanna (Salvation) to the Son of David! Blessed is He Who comes in the name of the Lord;" — that is, worthy of praise is the One Who comes in the name of the Lord, sent from God. "King of Israel! Hosanna in the highest!"
When He drew near to Jerusalem, the Saviour looked upon it with sorrow. He knew that the people would reject Him, their Saviour, and that Jerusalem would be destroyed. Jesus Christ wept over it and said, "If you have known, even you, at least in this day, the things which belong unto your peace! but now they are hid from your eyes;" — that is, you stubbornly close your eyes to all of God’s favour bestowed on you. "For the days shall come upon you when your enemies will cast up a bank about you, and surround you, and hem you in on every side, and dash you to the ground, you and your children with you, and they will not leave one stone upon another because you did not know (did not want to acknowledge) the time of your visitation (the time when the Lord visited you)."
When Jesus Christ entered Jerusalem, the entire city was stirred, saying, "Who is this?"
The crowds answered, "This is the prophet Jesus from Nazareth of Galilee," and told them about how He had called Lazarus forth from the tomb and raised him from the dead.
Jesus entered the Temple and again, as in the first year of His teaching, drove out all who sold and bought in the Temple, saying to them "It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a den of robbers."
The blind and the lame came to Him in the Temple, and He healed them. The people, seeing the wonderful things Jesus Christ did, began to praise Him even more. Even little children being in the Temple cried out, "Hosanna to the Son of David."
The chief priests and the scribes were indignant and they said to Him, "Do you hear what they are saying?"
Jesus Christ said to them, "Yes, have you never read: ‘Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings hast Thou perfected praise’?" (Ps. 8:3). Jesus Christ taught daily in the Temple; and when evening came, He went out of the city. The chief priests and the scribes and the principal men of the people sought an opportunity to destroy Him, but they could not, for all the people were very anxious to hear Him.
Note: See the Gospels of Matthew 21:1-17; Mark 11:1-19, Luke 19:29-48; John 12:12-19.
The triumphant Entry of the Lord into Jerusalem is celebrated by the Holy Orthodox Church on the last Sunday before the bright feast of Pascha. This is one of the great feasts, and it is also called Palm Sunday because on this feast during the All-night Vigil service, or at Matins, blessed branches of palms, pussy willows, or other early spring growth are distributed to the faithful. In ancient times, the king was met with green branches when he was returning in triumph after victory over his enemies. And we holding in our hands the branches of the first blossoms of spring glorify the Saviour as the Victor over death because He raised the dead and on this very day entered Jerusalem to die for our sins and to rise again thereby saving us from eternal death and eternal torment. The branches serve for us then as a symbol of the victory of Christ over death and should remind us of the future resurrection of all of us from death.

For Palm Sunday, The Entry of Our Lord into Jerusalem:


Fish, Wine and Oil is permitted on this holy day
**Prayer Before Reading Scripture: 
O Lord Jesus Christ, open Thou the eyes of my heart, that I may hear Thy word and understand and do Thy will, for I am a sojourner upon the earth.  Hide not Thy commandments from me, but open mine eyes, that I may receive the wonders of Thy law.  Speak unto me the hidden and secret things of Thy wisdom.  On Thee do I set my hope, O my God, that Thou shalt enlighten my mind and understanding with the light of Thy knowledge, not only to cherish those things which are written, but to do them; that in reading the lives and sayings of the saints I may not sin, but that such may serve for my restoration, enlightenment and sanctification, for the salvation of my soul, and the inheritance of life everlasting.  For Thou art the enlightenment of those who lie in darkness, and from Thee cometh every good deed and every gift. Amen
Saint John Chrysostom**
Two Troparions of the Feast 
In the First Tone
In confirming the common Resurrection, O Christ God, Thou didst raise up Lazarus from the dead before Thy Passion.  Wherefore, we also, like the children bearing the symbols of victory, cry to Thee, the Vanquisher of death: Hosanna in the highest; blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.
In the Fourth Tone
As by baptism we were buried with Thee, O Christ our God, so by Thy Resurrection we were deemed worthy of immortal life; and praising Thee, we cry: Hosanna in the highest; blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.
Kontakion in the Sixth Tone 
Being borne upon a throne in heaven, and upon a colt on the earth, O Christ God, Thou didst accept the praise of the angels and the laudation of the children as they cry to Thee: Blessed is He that cometh to recall Adam.  

The Entry of the Lord into Jerusalem [Palm Sunday]

Gospel Reading for Matins [Saturday evening]:  
Saint Matthew 21:1-11, 15-17
King James Version (KJV 1611)
21 And when they drew nigh unto Jerusalem, and were come to Bethphage, unto the mount of Olives, then sent Jesus two disciples,
Saying unto them, Go into the village over against you, and straightway ye shall find an ass tied, and a colt with her: loose them, and bring them unto Me.
And if any man say ought unto you, ye shall say, The Lord hath need of them; and straightway he will send them.
All this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying,
Tell ye the daughter of Sion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass.
And the disciples went, and did as Jesus commanded them,
And brought the ass, and the colt, and put on them their clothes, and they set Him thereon.
And a very great multitude spread their garments in the way; others cut down branches from the trees, and strawed them in the way.
And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest.
10 And when He was come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, Who is this?
11 And the multitude said, This is Jesus the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee.

15 And when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that He did, and the children crying in the temple, and saying, Hosanna to the son of David; they were sore displeased,
16 And said unto Him, Hearest thou what these say? And Jesus saith unto them, Yea; have ye never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise?
17 And He left them, and went out of the city into Bethany; and He lodged there.
The Epistle of Saint Paul to the: 

Philippians 4:4-9

King James Version (KJV 1611)
Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.
Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.
Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.
The Holy Gospel according to: 

Saint John 12:1-18

King James Version (KJV 1611)
12 Then Jesus six days before the passover came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, which had been dead, whom He raised from the dead.
There they made Him a supper; and Martha served: but Lazarus was one of them that sat at the table with Him.
Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment.
Then saith one of His disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, which should betray Him,
Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor?
This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein.
Then said Jesus, Let her alone: against the day of My burying hath she kept this.
For the poor always ye have with you; but Me ye have not always.
Much people of the Jews therefore knew that He was there: and they came not for Jesus' sake only, but that they might see Lazarus also, whom He had raised from the dead.
10 But the chief priests consulted that they might put Lazarus also to death;
11 Because that by reason of Him many of the Jews went away, and believed on Jesus.
12 On the next day much people that were come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem,
13 Took branches of palm trees, and went forth to meet Him, and cried, Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord.
14 And Jesus, when He had found a young ass, sat thereon; as it is written,
15 Fear not, daughter of Sion: behold, thy King cometh, sitting on an ass's colt.
16 These things understood not His disciples at the first: but when Jesus was glorified, then remembered they that these things were written of Him, and that they had done these things unto Him.
17 The people therefore that was with him when he called Lazarus out of his grave, and raised him from the dead, bare record.
18 For this cause the people also met Him, for that they heard that He had done this miracle.

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