Hymns & Readings:
Paschal Hymn: Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and upon those in the tombs bestowing life.
Tone 7 Troparion (from the Pentecostarion)
From the sealed tomb, You shone forth, O Life! Through closed doors You came to Your Disciples, O Christ God. Renew in us, through them, an upright spirit, by the greatness of Your mercy, O Resurrection of all!
Tone 8 Kontakion (from the Pentecostarion)
Thomas touched Your life-giving side with an eager hand, O Christ God, when You came to Your Apostles through closed doors. He cried out with all: “You are my Lord and my God!”
Tone 3 Prokeimenon
Great is our Lord, and abundant in power! His understanding is beyond measure!
Epistle: Acts 5:12-20
And through the hands of the apostles many signs and wonders were done among the people. And they were all with one accord in Solomon’s Porch. Yet none of the rest dared join them, but the people esteemed them highly. And believers were increasingly added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women, so that they brought the sick out into the streets and laid them on beds and couches, that at least the shadow of Peter passing by might fall on some of them. Also a multitude gathered from the surrounding cities to Jerusalem, bringing sick people and those who were tormented by unclean spirits, and they were all healed. Then the high priest rose up, and all those who were with him (which is the sect of the Sadducees), and they were filled with indignation, and laid their hands on the apostles and put them in the common prison. But at night an angel of the Lord opened the prison doors and brought them out, and said, “Go, stand in the temple and speak to the people all the words of this life.”
Gospel: John 20:19-31
Then, the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them, “Peace be with you.” When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. So Jesus said to them again, “Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.” Now Thomas, called the Twin, one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples therefore said to him, “We have seen the Lord.” So he said to them, “Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.” And after eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, “Peace to you!” Then He said to Thomas, “Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing.” And Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.
(Instead of “It is truly meet …,” we sing:)
The Angel cried to the Lady, full of grace: “Rejoice, O pure Virgin! Again, I say: ‘Rejoice, your Son is risen from His three days in the tomb! With Himself He has raised all the dead.’” Rejoice, O ye people!
Shine, shine, O new Jerusalem! The glory of the Lord has shone on you! Exult now, and be glad, O Zion! Be radiant, O pure Theotokos, in the Resurrection of your Son!
Praise the Lord, O Jerusalem! Praise your God, O Zion! Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!
For Further Reading:
The Resurrection: A Call to Awake
Because Adam introduced into the world
the sleep of death in sins,
the Wakeful one came down to wake us up
from being submerged in sin.
(Ephrem the Syrian, The Luminous Eye, p. 141)
Why Did the Early Church Grow So Fast?
Did you not hear that, in the time of our forebears, the number of those who believed was one hundred and twenty? Rather, before the one hundred and twenty believed, there were only twelve. And not all of the twelve persevered, but one of them, Judas, perished. And then eleven were all that were left. Still, from the eleven came the one hundred and twenty and from the one hundred and twenty came three thousand, and then five thousand. And then they filled the whole world with the knowledge of God. The reason for this growth was that they never left their gathering, They were constantly with one another, spending the whole day in the temple, and turning their attention to prayers and sacred readings. This is why they kindled a great fire, this is why their strength never waned, this is why the drew the whole world to them. We, too, must imitate them. (St. John Chrysostom, On the Incomprehensible Nature of God, p. 283)
Faith & Reason
The physical evidence that Thomas is invited to inspect is only a beginning, but, in human terms, perhaps an essential beginning for many on the road to faith. St. John the Theologian begins his first epistle by restating this evidence and its ultimate purpose: “That which was from the beginning, which we heard, which we saw with our eyes, which we observed, and which our hands touched, concerning the Word of Life...what we saw and heard we announced to you so that you might have fellowship with us as we have fellowship with the Father and his Son Jesus Christ” (I Jn. 1.1-3), author’s translation). The faith of Thomas was not born from a purely objective examination of empirical evidence. It could only emerge from the interface between a conscious acknowledgement of the evidence and an interaction between persons made initially possible through the senses. For the faith spoken so eloquently in Thomas’s declaration to Christ is not the affirmation of an idea or a fact, but a commitment of absolute trust in a Person. It is the necessary element, the sine qua non, for the journey toward union with the unknowable God, who yet through a relationship with his incarnate Word can be known. (Daniel B. Hinshaw, Touch and the Healing of the World, p. 111)
“Now I shall make all known to you and I shall prophesy to you, All-Holy, unblemished.
For fall and resurrection,
your Son is set, the life and the redemption and the resurrection of all.
The Lord has not appeared so that some may fall while others rise,
for the All-Compassionate does not rejoice at the fall of mortals.
Nor has he now come to make those who stand fall,
but rather he is here hastening to raise those who have fallen,
ransoming from death what he himself fashioned,
the only lover of mankind.
(St. Romanos, On the Life of Christ: Kontakia, p. 31)
St. Thomas; Faith & Seeing
Origen reminds his readers that doubting Thomas is not the only model of faith in the Scriptures. Faith is more than believing what was not seen with the eyes. Jesus said to his disciples, “Happy are your eyes for they see and your ears for they hear” (Matt. 13:16). His saying suggests that those who have seen with the eyes are happy, not just those who believed without seeing. Was not Simeon happy, asks Origen, when he saw the Christ child and “held God’s salvation in his arms.” Did he not say, “Lord, now let your servant depart in peace for my eyes have seen your salvation” (Luke 2:29-30). Origen concludes that “faith complemented by vision is far superior to faith through a mirror.” The disciples who saw Jesus alive after his death knew him by faith even though they could see him with their eyes. (Robert Louis Wilken, The Spirit of Early Christian Thought, p. 179)
Recent Posts on Fr Ted’s Blog
Holy Saturday, Pascha: Journey from Earth to Heaven, Holy Pascha (2019), Vespers of Pascha, Bright Monday, Bright Tuesday, Bright Wednesday, Bright Thursday, Bright Friday: All posts are related to Pascha, the Resurrection and Bright Week
Bell Ringing During the Pascha Season
As we did last year, any children who wish, may help ring a bell during the “Christ is Risen” at the beginning and end of liturgy until Ascension. Please have your child quietly meet in the center aisle to get a bell to ring.
Anyone who wishes to take home lilies is free to do so after liturgy today. They can be planted in gardens and will return to bloom next year!
Wednesday Adult Discussion Group
Our group will resume meeting this Wednesday, May 8. We are discussing Metropolitan Kallistos Ware’s book How Are We Saved? You can order your copy online. Please join us for the discussion when we meet again. You are welcome to attend even if you don’t have a copy of the book.
2nd Saturday Social Events & After-Vespers Potluck and Fellowship
In order to set aside time to strengthen our parish community and build friendships, the social committee is starting up regular get-togethers on the 2nd Saturday of each month. We’re planning these events either right before or right after vespers, so that people with different schedules, due to busy calendars or early bedtimes, can find some events to fit their needs. These monthly social events will be low key….think potluck suppers, board games, bonfires, etc. We’ve penciled in ideas from now until the end of the year, and we are excited to have another opportunity to spend time together. We would love some feedback from everyone on the types of things we can do together, so please see Alyson Turri, Erin Caldwell or Heather Weis if you have some thoughts. We can also do some bigger events during the year, like our annual Tom’s corn maze trip and possibly a canoeing trip if there is interest.
Our event on May 11th will be a simple potluck dinner after vespers….we can talk, the kids can play out back and just enjoy each other’s company. Building friendships with each other is such an important part of our faith and community, and we’re hoping that this becomes a natural part of the parish life.
Catechism/Inquirer’s Class Begins Wednesday, May 8
If you are interested in learning more about Orthodoxy or would like to prepare yourself to become a member of the Orthodox Church, please join our Catechism/Inquirer’s Class which begins Wednesday, May 8 at 6:30pm.
2019 Talent Show!
Can you play an instrument, do a neat trick, a spot on celebrity impression, a handstand while balancing a stack of plates? If so, please entertain us May 19 following coffee hour (exact date yet to be determined). A sign-up sheet is on the bulletin board in the coffee room. This is a fun afternoon for all, even if you don’t participate, so we hope to see you there! Please see Mary Schwaninger with questions.
St. Paul 2019 Mission Trip
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to leave the comfort of your home for a week and go someplace new and strange and spend time serving someone in need? Do you have an extra week this summer that you can spare to be the hands and feet of Jesus? We have an exciting opportunity for you! St. Paul’s is in the process of assembling a team to do a week of mission work this summer. We are considering an IOCC homebuilding trip in July or August. The final date will be selected once we know who is interested and what they can free up on their calendar. Please contact David Short as soon as possible with your interest or questions. Once we have a date selected and a team formed, we will begin fundraising activities and detailed planning.
Parish Council meets on Tuesday, May 21.
“Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them; and those who are ill-treated, since you also are in the body” (Hebrews 13:3). This month our donation will go to the Orthodox Christian Prison Ministry to support those involved in prison ministries, to bring the Gospel to those in jails and prisons throughout the country.
St. Paul Prayer Team
If you would like to submit prayer requests for the prayer team, forms can be found on the greeter’s table. Please place requests in the box on the greeter table or by email to email@example.com. If you would like to be a part of praying with the team - and pray daily for others in the parish, or if you have further questions please contact Mark Pearson.
This Week’s Schedule:
Monday, May 6
Righteous Job the Long-suffering (ca. 2000-1500 B.C.)
Readings: Acts 3:19-26, John 2:1-11
8:30am Matins 9am Office Hours
Tuesday, May 7
Repose of St. Alexis Toth, Confessor and Defender of Orthodoxy in America (1909).
Readings: Acts 4:1-10, John 3:16-21
Wednesday, May 8
Holy Apostle and Evangelist John the Theologian (98-117).
Readings: Acts 4:13-22, John 5:17-24
8:30am Matins 9am Office Hours 11am Adult Discussion Group 6:30pm Catechism/Inquirer’s Class
Thursday, May 9
Prophet Isaiah (8th c. B.C.)
Readings: Acts 4:23-31, John 5:24-30
Friday, May 10
Apostle Simon the Zealot (1st c.).
Readings: Acts 5:1-11, John 5:30-6:2
8:30am Matins 9am Office Hours
Saturday, May 11
Holy Equals-to-the-Apostles Cyril (869) and Methodius (885), First Teachers of the Slavs.
Readings: Acts 5:21-33, John 6:14-27
Sunday, May 12
3rd SUNDAY OF PASCHA — Tone 2. Myrrhbearing Women. Mother’s Day
Readings: Acts 6:1-7, Mark 15:43-16:8
Prosfora: Need volunteer
Altar Servers: V. Weis, D. Beleny
Greeter(s): D. Short, M. Brausch
Epistle: M. Pearson
Donut Sponsor(s): Helferich
Chapel Vacuum: T. Jacobs
Candle care: J. Elash
Counters: B. Garber, J. Elash
9:00am Hours: M. Pearson
9:30am Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom
11:30am Fellowship Hour: Team 2
11:45am Church School/Youth Group
Upcoming Dates to Remember:
May 19 Talent Show
June 6 Ascension
June 9 Anniversary Announcement
June 16 Pentecost
June 24-28 Vacation Church School at Annunciation