Welcome to St. Michael's Antiochian Orthodox Christian Church. Thank You for visiting our Website. Every Sunday, Please join us for fellowship in the main hall following Divine Liturgy.
All pages listed above that have a downward arrow are a drop down window with multiple pages. Hover over the downward arrow with your cursor and the other pages will appear.
Divine Liturgy Every Sunday at 10:00am CLICK HERE to view the St. Michael's calander
...is to tend to the flock of our Lord Jesus Christ and to spread the Good News of Christ to those outside the flock. The mission is to be accomplished by:
Living a full and liturgical and sacramental life
Proclaiming the Orthodox Christian Faith to all people
Providing effective charitable and social programs
Establishing strong spiritual leadership and educational resources
To join the "Bell-ringer Team" pleasespeak to Lisa Tereshko
ORTHODOX CHRISTIANS AND ABORTION
by Fr. John Garvey
The Orthodox Church is opposed to the practice of abortion, a practice which is increasingly common in our society. How are we to respond--individually and as a Church—to a practice many of our fellow Americans regard as nothing more than a matter of choice? What are the Orthodox roots of opposition to abortion? How should Orthodox respond to the pressing moral issue of abortion?
EARLY CHRISTIAN OPPOSITION TO ABORTION
The World in which Christianity first appeared was familiar with abortion. Jews opposed it, which perplexed the ancient Romans; they found Jewish opposition to abortion irrational. (One example the Romans offered was the complication that new offspring caused if you had already drawn up a will... couldn’t the Jews understand how inconvenient a new child was in a case like this?)... CLICK HERE to read complete article
Great Lent Begins in 6 weeks
Nativity (St. Philip’s Fast) - Nov. 15 through Dec. 24 Meatfast - Monday after the Sunday of Last Judgment through Cheesefare Sunday Great Lent & Holy Week - 1st Mon. of Great Lent through Great and Holy Sat’day Apostles’ (Peter & Paul) Fast - June 11 through June 28 Dormition (Theotokos) Fast - Aug. 1 through Aug. 14
Afterfeast of the Nativity of Christ to Theophany Eve - Dec. 25 through Jan. 4 The week following the Sunday of the Publican & Pharisee - 2nd Week of the Lenten Triodion Bright ‘Month’ (Antiochian) - The 40 days after Pascha until Holy Ascension Trinity Week - The week after Pentecost until the Saturday before All Saints Sunday
The Wednesdays and Fridays of the Year, except for Fast-Free WeeksThe Eve of Theophany - January 5 The Beheading of St. John the Baptist - August 29 The Elevation of the Cross - September 14
On the Calendar will be found notations concerning Fasting days and seasons. Where there is no indication of a fast given, this means that all foods may be eaten (except during Cheesefare Week, when meat is forbidden for every day). Where the notation Fast Day is found, this means that a strict fast is observed, in which no meat, eggs, dairy products, fish, wine or oil are to be eaten.
These rules are dependent on the Church’s cycle of feasts and fasts, and are contained in the Typikon, mainly in Chapters 32 and 33, repeated in appropriate places of the Menaion and Triodion. In general, except where otherwise noted, all Wednesdays and Fridays (Mondays also, in some monasteries) are kept as days of fasting (an exception being during the Fast Free periods), as well as the four canonical fasting periods (Great Lent, the Apostles’ Fast, the Nativity Fast and the Dormition Fast), and certain other days, including the Eve of Theophany, the Beheading of St. John the Baptist, and the Elevation of the Cross. We note here that there are many local variations in the allowances of wine and oil (and sometimes fish), such as on patronal feast days of a parish or monastery, or when the feast of a great Saint (or Saints) is celebrated which has particular local or national significance.
While most Orthodox Christians are perhaps aware of the general rules of fasting for Great Lent, the rules for the other fasting periods are less known. During the Dormition Fast, wine and oil are allowed only on Saturdays and Sundays (and sometimes on a few feast days and vigils). During the Apostles’ Fast and the Nativity Fast, the general rules are as follows (from Chapter 33 of the Typikon):
“It should be noted that in the Fast of the Holy Apostles and of the Nativity of Christ, on Tuesday and Thursday we do not eat fish, but only oil or wine. On Monday, Wednesday and Friday, we eat neither oil nor wine…. On Saturday and Sunday we eat fish. If there occur on Tuesday or Thursday a Saint who has a [Great] Doxology, we eat fish; if on Monday, the same; but if on Wednesday or Friday, we allow only oil and wine… If it be a Saint who has a Vigil on Wednesday or Friday, or the Saint whose temple it is, we allow oil and wine and fish… But from the 20th of December until the 25th, even if it be Saturday or Sunday, we do not allow fish.”
Concerning the rules of fasting during the Great Lent, we quote the article, “The Rules of Fasting,” contained in The Lenten Triodion, translated by Mother Mary and Archimandrite Kallistos (Ware), Faber & Faber, London, 1978, pp. 35-37:
What “precisely do the rules of fasting demand? Neither in ancient nor in modern times has there ever been exact uniformity, but most Orthodox authorities agree on the following rules:
During the week between the Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee and that of the Prodigal Son, there is a general dispensation from all fasting. Meat and animal product may be eaten even on Wednesday and Friday.
In the following week… the usual fast is kept on Wednesday and Friday. Otherwise there is no special fasting.
In the week before Lent, meat is forbidden, but eggs, cheese and other dairy products (as well as fish) may be eaten on all days, including Wednesday and Friday.
On weekdays (Monday to Friday inclusive) during the seven weeks of Lent, there are restrictions both on the number of meals taken daily and on the types of food permitted; but when a meal is allowed, there is no fixed limitation on the quantity of food to be eaten.
On weekdays in the first week, fasting is particularly severe. According to strict observance, in the course of the five initial days of Lent, only two meals are eaten, one on Wednesday and the other on Friday, in both cases after the Liturgy of the Presanctified. On the other three days, those who have the strength are encouraged to keep an absolute fast; those for whom this proves impracticable may eat on Tuesday and Thursday (but not, if possible, on Monday), in the evening after Vespers, when they may take bread and water, or perhaps tea or fruit-juice, but not a cooked meal. It should be added at once that in practice today these rules are commonly relaxed. At the meals on Wednesday and Friday xerophagy is prescribed. Literally this means ‘dry eating’. Strictly interpreted, it signifies that we may eat only vegetables cooked with water and salt, and also such things as fruit, nuts, bread and honey. In practice, octopus and shell-fish are also allowed on days of xerophagy; likewise vegetable margarine and corn or other vegetable oil, not made from olives. But the following categories of food are definitely excluded:
oil (i.e., olive oil) and wine (i.e., all alcoholic drinks).
On weekdays (Monday to Friday inclusive) in the second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth weeks, one meal a day is permitted, to be taken in the afternoon following Vespers, and at this one meal xerophagy is to be observed.
Holy Week. On the first three days there is one meal each day, with xerophagy; but some try to keep a complete fast on these days, or else they eat only uncooked food, as on the opening days of the first week. On Holy Thursday one meal is eaten, with wine and oil (i.e., olive oil). On Great Friday those who have the strength follow the practice of the early Church and keep a total fast. Those unable to do this may eat bread, with a little water, tea or fruit-juice, but not until sunset, or at any rate not until after the veneration of the
[Plashchanitsa] at Vespers. On Holy Saturday there is in principle no meal, since according to the ancient practice after the end of the Liturgy of St. Basil the faithful remained in church for the reading of the Acts of the Apostles, and for their sustenance were given a little bread and dried fruit, with a cup of wine. If, as usually happens now, they return home for a meal, they may use wine but not oil; for on this one Saturday, alone among Saturdays of the year, olive oil is not permitted.
The rule of xerophagy is relaxed on the following days:
On Saturdays and Sundays in Lent, with the exception of Holy Saturday, two main meals may be taken in the usual way, around mid-day and in the evening, with wine and olive oil; but meat, animal products and fish are not allowed.
On the Feast of the Annunciation (March 25) and Palm Sunday fish is permitted as well as wine and oil, but meat and animal products are not allowed….
Wine and oil are permitted on the following days, if they fall on a weekday in the second, third, fourth, fifth or sixth week: [First and Second Finding of the Head of St. John the Baptist (Feb. 24), Repose of St. Raphael (Feb. 27), Holy Forty Martyrs of Sebaste (Mar. 9), Forefeast of the Annunciation (Mar. 24), Synaxis of the Archangel Gabriel (Mar. 26), Repose of St. Innocent (Mar. 31), Repose of St. Tikhon, Patriarch of Moscow (Apr. 7), Holy Greatmartyr and Victorybearer George (Apr. 23), Holy Apostle and Evangelist Mark (Apr. 25), as well as the Patronal Feast of the church or monastery].
Wine and oil are also allowed on Wednesday and Thursday of the fifth week, because of the vigil for the Great Canon. Wine is allowed-and, according to some authorities, oil as well-on Friday in the same week, because of the vigil for the Akathist Hymn.
It has always been held that these rules of fasting should be relaxed in the case of anyone elderly or in poor health. In present-day practice, even for those in good health, the full strictness of the fast is usually mitigated…. On weekdays-except, perhaps, during the first week or Holy Week, it is now common to eat two cooked meals daily instead of one. From the second until the sixth week, many Orthodox use wine, and perhaps oil also, on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and less commonly on Mondays as well. Permission is often given to eat fish in these weeks. Personal factors need to be taken into account, as for example, the situation of an isolated Orthodox living in the same household as non-Orthodox, or obliged to take meals in a factory or school [lunchroom]. In cases of uncertainty each should seek the advice of his or her spiritual father [emphasis mine].”
The following statement is extremely important to consider when we speak of fasting and fasting rules in the Church. “At all times it is essential to bear in mind that ‘you are not under the law but under grace’ (Rom. 6:14), and that ‘the letter kills, but the spirit gives life’ (2 Cor. 3:6). The rules of fasting, while they need to be taken seriously, are not to be interpreted with dour and pedantic legalism; ‘for the kingdom of God is not food and drink, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit’ (Rom. 14:17).”
The Christian Religion and its accompanying Faith in Christ give meaning and understanding to the overwhelming, awesome mystery of our very brief lives as we sojourn on this magnificent planet that has existed for countless aeons.
The Eastern Orthodox Christian Faith is a major world religion that has been considered the most beautiful world religion. Widely known landmarks such as the magnificent Hagia Sophia (Holy Wisdom) in Constantinople (Istanbul), the Church of St. Mary Magdalene on the slopes of the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, the colorful Intercession of the Theotokos (St. Basil the Beatific) on Beautiful (Red) Square in Moscow, St. Catherine’s Monastery on Mt. Sinai, Egypt, the Annunciation Church in Milwaukee, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, the new, golden multi-domed church near the Eiffel Tower in Paris and the jewel of
St. Nicholas Church at the footprints of the World Trade Twin Towers are world renowned.
Do we know and appreciate the depth and expanse of our faith to be able to share it with the ever-growing and increasing “nones” (no religious affiliation) of our country? If we are neither a tribal, ethnic group that excludes strangers nor a drive-thru express lane, feel-good religion that requires little sacrifice and less commitment, then what are we?
Our BOOKSTORE offers many titles to help you answer this question and continue your lifelong journey to the Kingdom of God.
Come down the hall and take a look at what is here for you.
(Fellowship of Orthodox Christians United for Service)
FOCUS Pittsburgh is collecting clothes (clean and in good condition, please) for the very, very needy people (many homeless) in the Hill District neighborhood of the city. Clothing including coats, jackets, sweaters, trousers, shirts, blouses and other tops, shoes, handbags, gloves, scarves, etc., are all gratefully received and appreciated.
There is a drop-off area at the top of the stairs at the main entrance for those who would contribute. The contact people for this project are Marilyn Elias and Miriam Yazge.
You May Find the Text of the Divine Liturgy beginning on the bottom page 91 of the Service Book (gold embossed cross on the reddish brown cover) or in the green-spiral-bound book; sheet music can be found in the 8.5” x 11” large, spiral-bound booklet.
At the Kiss of Peace,our practice is for each of us to greet the person to our right and left with the bowing of our head, hands held in a prayerful clasp or crossed on the chest, while offering each other the Christian greeting, “Christ is in our midst!” and responding, “He is and shall be!”
Please remember that Holy Communionis reserved for those Chrismated Orthodox Christians who have appropriately prepared themselves through prayer, fasting and Confession to receive the Holy Mysteries of the Church. The bread (anti’doron, which means ’in place’ of the gifts) which we share after Communion and at the end of the Liturgy is for all.
Being mindful we are in church, let us always remember to…
...be quiet and attentive.Let us sing, pray, stand., sit, kneel and respond where responses are indicated. Let us not talk, look around, text message, play games, etc. Especially let us work at this in the Communion line and when in line to venerate the Cross and depart. If we cannot hear the post-Communion prayers being chanted during our departure, we are way too noisy.
...refrain from eating, drinking or chewing gum (most obviously and especially if you will be receiving Holy Communion).
...stay put. Except in rare cases, there are few of us who cannot stay in one location for two hours (usually less, for most of us).
Please go to the main St. Michael's Facebook page to view the new 360 degree picture of our beautiful church. Please share with all of your Facebook friends.
Print and Read January 22nd 2017 Weekly Bulletin...CLICK HERE
HOUSE BLESSINGS BEGIN on the Feast of Theophany, Thursday, January 6. To make an appointment to have your home blessed during the days that follow, contact Fr. John (call, text, email) or the Church office.
Schedules/Calendars are being compiled for a number of our Ministry Teams:
Holy Bread, Greeters, Ushers, Fellowship (Coffee) Hour. If you have certain dates that you would like, please contact Debbie in the church office. We would also invite and encourage new participation in any of the above Ministry Teams, so that the opportunity to help is spread among many, rather than a few.
Watch here for the date and time of the next meeting of AMEN at Bean and Baguette at 250 W.Otterman Street, Greensburg, PA 15601 at 9:00am.
Some 2017 dates to mark or highlight on your calendar:
Great Lent begins on Monday, February 27
Our next Red Cross Blood Drive is Saturday, March 11
Holy Pascha is Sunday, April 16
Our trip to PNC Park is Thursday, August 17
OCTOBER 2016 WAS STEWARDSHIP MONTH But you may still return your PLEDGE CARD for 2017.
You should have received a personal thank you note by now, but if you have not received yours, that most likely means we have not received your pledge card (it’s never, ever, ever too late to submit it).
Thank you for your continuing support St. Michael’s.
2016 may be passed but it is still possible to make a donation for tax year 2016.
Simply deliver your check to St. Michael’s, but be sure it is dated for the end of December, 2016.
THE 2017 PRAYER VIGIL FOR LIFE will take place at the National Mall in Washington, DC on
Thursday, January 26, at 5:30 PM.
THE 2017 MARCH FOR LIFE RALLY will take place at the National Mall in Washington, DC on Friday, January 27 at 12:00 pm.
A delegation of hierarchs from the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America will be participating. Details may be found at:
Please make note that Excela Health has notified us and asked us to inform our parishioners that they have implemented a new policy and will no longer be notifiying area clergy when someone is admitted to any of their facilities. This is due to the HIPAA law and for the protection of the patients.
If you know of anyone that has been admitted to the hospital and would like to inform Fr. John, you will now have to contact the church office or Fr. John yourself, as Excela Health will no longer be doing so.
THANK YOU to Nick Papas,our iconographer, for the latest addition (donation) to the beautification of our church. In the hallway near the downstairs steps you may now behold two angels holding a scroll with no writing on it (yet). Tom Abraham has agreed to spearhead an effort to compile the names of all who have been members here at St. Michael’s from the days of our founding to the present and to display the names of the departed members on this large scroll.
Anyone who would like to support “Food on the Hill” in whatever capacity you would like should contact Dan Davis or Gus Flizanes.
"Food On The Hill" WEATHER CANCELLATION POLICY - When weather causes Hempfield or Greensburg Salem School District to close for the day; "Food On The Hill" will NOT serve lunch that day! Please refer to TV & Radio Newscasts when in doubt. Thank You!
We are seeking new members who would be interested in learning how to prepare the Memorial Wheat. We have a group of women who currently fulfill this important function and are willing to teach anyone who may be interested in becoming part of this ministry team. For more information, contact Val Flizanes or call the church office.
The big chest you see as you come through the main entrance of our church, is a simple way to help our hungry neighbors. Just bring in a few cans of food or other unperishables when you come to church and you will making a difference for someone.
Please check that the goods you bring are “reasonably” close in time to the expiration date. (While we know the food lasts longer than that date, it is not always easy to tell how much longer.)
I.nternational O.rthodox C.hristian C.harities
It is unfortunate that IOCC is one among many charitable organizations that are never lacking for work. A glance around our globe supplies us with sufficient evidence of human beings who are suffering horrendously and are in dire need of help and aid in their affliction. IOCC has proven itself to be one of the most effective deliverers of that aid.
One statistical bit of evidence of IOCC’s efficiency is the fact that every $1 that is donated to IOCC in charitable contributions is leveraged and matched by $7 in funding from the governments, philanthropic foundations and other sources that support IOCC. That means your $1 becomes $8. Your $10 become $80. Your $100 become $800.
For information on IOCC and how to become part of the worthwhile work being done, visit www.iocc.org.
Please CLICK HERE for the form to provide us with your information. Or, see the form on the new back page of the weekly bulletin. We want to serve you better and we need your help. Please understand that we will protect yur privacy from the standpoint of the church. We will not show or distribute your email address!
CLICK HERE For Daily and Other Special Orthodox Prayers and More
CLICK HERE for phone and email information of your parish council members