The Week Leading Up to… Sunday, July 7th, 2013

The Second Sunday After Pentecost

On the Second Sunday after Pentecost, the Resurrection Day following the commemoration of All Saints, it is traditional in Orthodox cultures to remember all the Saints who have lived and shone forth in the Life in Christ in one’s own native land. Below is an icon of the (known and publicly glorified) saints of North America. Surely there are many more unknown; may God raise up many more!

All Saints of North America
icon from oca.org

The Epistle
Galatians 3:23-4:5 (St. Kyriake, same as 15th Thursday after Pentecost)
God is wonderful in his saints.
Bless God in the Congregations.

Brethren, before faith came, we were confined under the law, kept under restraint until faith should be revealed. So that the law was our custodian until Christ came, that we might be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under the custodian; for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.
I mean that the heir, as long as he is a child, is no better than a slave, though he is the owner of all the estate; but he is under guardians and trustees until the date set by the father. So with us; when we were children, we were slaves to the elemental spirits of the universe. But when the time had fully come, God sent forth his Son to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoptions as sons.

The Gospel
Matthew 4:18-23 (2nd Sunday after Pentecost)

At that time, as Jesus walked by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon who is called Peter and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Immediately they left their nets and followed him. And going on from there he saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets, and he called them. Immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed him.
And he went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and preaching the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every infirmity among the people.

On this day, we commemorate: Great-martyr Kyriaki of Nicomedia; Hieromartyr Evangelos, bishop of Tomi (Constanta) in Romania; New-martyr Polycarp; Venerable Thomas of Mt. Maleon; Eudokia, princess of Moscow

Thou didst endure courageously on the path of Christ, being stricken with tortures and having thy body torn, O Kyriake the Glorious martyr and Victorious struggle-bearer; for thou hast completed thy struggle in splendor and grandeur. Thou didst make haste through martyrdom to be near to Him Who doth distribute shining rewards of victory to those who proclaim Him publicly that He is God, and who complete in the struggle lawfully.

Click here to read the lives of saints commemorated on this day

During the regular Sundays of the Church year, we each Sunday move through a repeating cycle of eight Tones, with different music and hymns for each tone, which celebrate the resurrection of Christ. This Sunday falls on Tone 1. Here is the Sunday troparion (hymn) of the Resurrection for this Sunday:

The stone being sealed by the Jews *,

and thy pure body being guarded by the soldiers,

thou didst rise on the third day, O Savior, granting life to the world.

Wherefore, the heavenly powers acclaimed thee, O Giver of life,

crying, Glory to thy Resurrection, O Christ! Glory to thy kingdom!

Glory to thy gracious providence, O thou only Lover of mankind.

Click here to listen to this troparion being sung, and here for sheet music.

* This refers to the story in Matthew 28:11-15, in which the stone in front of the tomb of Jesus was ordered sealed by agreement between “the elders” and “the soldiers” to ensure that the body of Jesus could not be secreted away by His disciples. “The Jews” refers to this segment of the leadership; “The Jews” not referring to the whole people of Israel, but a certain segment (the same construct is used in verse 15 of this passage from Saint Matthew’s Gospel: ” …So they took the money and did as they were directed. And this story has been spread among the Jews to this day”).

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