Morning Prayer

O God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hast raised us from our beds, and has gathered us together at the hour of prayer, give us grace in the opening of our mouths, and accept the thanks that we give according to our ability, and teach us Your commandments. For we know not how to pray as we should, if You, O Lord, by Your
Holy Spirit, does not lead us. Wherefore, we pray to You , pardon and forgive, whatever sins we have committed until this present hour, in word, in deed, or in thought; for if You will remember our transgressions, O Lord, Lord, who shall stand? For with You is deliverance. For You are holy, a helper, and the strong defender of our life, and our song shall always be of You Blessed and glorified is the might of Your Kingdom, of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.
Psalm 62
O God, You are my God; Early will I seek You; my soul thirsts for You; my flesh longs for You in a dry and thirsty land where there is no water. So I have looked for You in the sanctuary, to see Your power and Your glory. Because Your lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise You. Thus I will bless You while I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name. My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness, and my mouth shall praise You with joyful lips. When I remember You on my bed, I meditate on You in the night watches. Because You have been my help, therefore in the shadow of Your wings I will rejoice. My soul follows close behind You; Your right hand upholds me. But those who seek my life, to destroy it, shall go into the lower parts of the earth.
They shall fall by the sword; they shall be a portion for jackals. But the king shall rejoice in God; Everyone who swears by Him shall glory; But the mouth of those who speak lies shall be stopped.
I meditate on You in the night watches. Because You have been my help, therefore in the shadow of Your wings I will rejoice. My soul follows close behind You; Your right hand upholds me.


4th Sunday of Lent

Prayer and Fasting: weapons for souls

Today is the fourth Sunday of Lent, dear friends, and we celebrate the memory of our venerable father John of Sinai, author of the Ladder (The Ladder of Divine Ascent). We are slowly ascending towards Holy and Great Friday and the Sunday of Pascha, and our Church is preparing us as Christ prepared his disciples and Apostles for His voluntary Passion.
The Holy Gospel according to St Mark, transports us to Mount Tabor. Jesus and His three well-known disciples have gone up the mountain where He was transfigured before them and they saw, as much as they were able to, the glory of His Divine nature, so that they could get strength and have courage also during the hour of His Passion. They came down from the mountain and found the rest among many people and a sick person, who was possessed, whose father came to Jesus because the Apostles were not able to heal him and complained to Him. Jesus was saddened and called them all “a faithless generation”. He was saddened at finding Himself among faithless people, among people who had no trust in Him and people who did not understand Him. The father shouted and said: “The Apostle could do nothing, so if you can, do something”.
Prayer – because what that father did was also prayer, even though it was weak and fainthearted – does great good for people, always, especially during great difficulties and problems. Our lives too have become extremely difficult today and we need God’s presence, His love and His protection. We get God’s strength through prayer, as well as through fasting, especially now in the period of Holy and Great Lent. It is through prayer that we rise to the Lord and leave behind all concerns. Through fasting even our bodies become light and can rise too. Our bodies become spiritual and through fasting can also avoid illness and torment and many other things. The Church which appointed fasting, is omniscient, even from a medical and scientific perspective.
Christ shows His concern for the possessed man. He asked how long he had been suffering and his father replied: “Since he was a child, so if you can, do something”. And Jesus said to him: “If you have faith, I can do everything”. And then, seeing that crowds were assembling and as He does not like conceit and exhibition, he ordered the demon to depart. Let people say that there is no demon and that demons are a philosophical explanation of evil. It would be great if this was true. There are demons and they torment us and only Christ and the Church can liberate us from them. So, He ordered the demon to depart. And after it had screamed loudly and quivered and tormented his possessor, it departed. The child fell down and many thought that he had died. Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up. That’s what Jesus does. After prayer and fasting we give Him our hand and He gives us His. And so we build a relationship with Him, we communicate with Him and gain strength. He then gave the child to his father.
Our youth today can be demonized and can shake and fall and die, many times literally. Only Christ and the holy Church can help them.
Finally, His Apostles asked Him, when they were alone with Christ, why they were not able to get rid of the demon. The Lord did not rebuke them for their faithlessness and difficulties. Jesus does not reprimand, we do. But he told them that this type of demon does not depart in any other way other than with prayer and fasting. Prayer and fasting then are the most powerful weapons in our lives.
Finishing the Gospel, Jesus made a second forewarning of His Passion, telling them that He would be crucified, given over to the hands of the people, not the hands of demons who are the worst, but into the hands of people who He befriended who would kill Him, but that He would rise on the third day. He told them of the Resurrection so that they could have courage.
Every time we have a problem and we are crucified, Christ gives us a window to look towards the future, the optimistic future, to the Light and the Resurrection.
Christchurch 29/3/2009

Prayer of St.Ephraim the Syrian.

O Lord and Master of my life, deliver me
from the spirit of indolence, meddling,
vain ambition, and idle talk.

Grant to me, Your servant, the spirit of
prudence, humility, patience, and love.

Yea, Lord and King; grant me, that I may see
my own faults, and to not judge my brother,
for You are blessed to the Ages of Ages. Amen.


Elder Arseniou mboka of Romania,the flowers growing dont burn from the sun nor do they die,winter and summer the Grave is always in bloom with the sweet smell of the flowers.


Program of Holy Services March 2010

Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of New Zealand
Holy Church of the Dormition of Virgin Mary, Christchurch
Program of Holy Services March 2010
1 M Eudokia the Martyr of Heliopolis ,Andonina the New Martyr
Great Compline 6:00 – 7:30 pm
2 T Hesychios the Martyr .Our Holy Father Nicholas of Plana

3 W Eutropios, Kleonikos, Vasiliskos, Zenos, & Zoilis the Martyrs. Theodoretos the Holy Martyr of Antioch
9th Hour, vespers and Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts 9:00 – 12:00 am
4 T Gerasimos the Righteous of Jordan. Paul & his sister Juliana and their Companions

5 F Konon the Gardener. Theodore the Recruit
3rd Salutation to Theotokos 7:00 – 8:15 pm
6 S 42 Martyrs of Amorion in Phrygia. Finding the Precious Cross by St. Helen
Great Vespers 6:00-6:45 pm
7 S Sunday of 3rd of Lend, the Veneration of the Holy Cross. The 7 Hieromartyrs of Cherson. Lavrentios of Megara, the Righteous
Matins, Divine Liturgy and Procession of the Precious Cross 9:00 – 11:45 a.m.
8 M Theophylaktos, Bishop of Nicomedea. Hermas the Apostle of the 70
Great Compline 6:00 – 7:30 pm
9 T 40 Martyrs at Lake Sebaste. Caesarios the Righteous

10 W Kodratos the Martyr & his Companions. Anastasia of Alexandria
9th Hour, vespers and Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts 9:00 – 12:00 am
11 T Sophronios, Patriarch of Jerusalem. Theodora the Righteous

12 F Theophanes the Confessor. Symeon the New Theologian
4th Salutation to Theotokos 7:00 – 8:15 pm
13 S Removal of the relics of Nicephoros, Patriarch of Constantinople. Pouplios the Martyr, Bishop of Athens
Great Vespers 6:00-6:45 pm
14 S 4th Sunday of Lend. St. John Climacus, Benedict the Righteous of Nursia, Euschemon the Confessor, Bishop of Lampasakos
Matins, Divine Liturgy 9:00 – 11:45 a.m.
15 M Agapios the martyr & his Companions. Manuel the New Martyr of Crete
Great Compline 6:00 – 7:30 pm
16 T Savinos the Martyr of Egypt. Christodoulos the Wonderworker of Patmos

17 W Alexios the Man of God. Saint Patrick, the Enlightener of Ireland.
9th Hour, vespers and Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts 9:00 – 12:00 am
Small Compline and the Great Canon of Saint Andreou of Creta. 5:30 – 7:00 pm
18 T Cyril, Patriarch of Jerusalem. Trophimos & Eukarpion, Monk-martyrs of Nicomedea

19 F Chrysanthos & Daria the Martyrs. Demetrios the New Martyr
The Akathist Hymn. 6:30 – 8:00 pm
20 S The Akathist Hymn. Righteous Fathers slain at the Monastery of St. Savas.
Saint Cuthbert the Wonderworker, Bishop of Lindisfarne

21 S Sunday of St. Mary of Egypt. James the Confessor. Thomas I, Patriarch of Constantinople.
Matins, Divine Liturgy 9:00 – 11:45 a.m.
22 M Basil the Holy Martyr of Ancyra. Kalliniki & Vassilisa the Martyrs
Great Compline 6:00 – 7:30 pm
23 T Nikon the Holy Martyr & his 200 Companion Martyrs. Anatolios & Protoleon the Martyrs converted by the martyrdom of St. George
24 W Forefeast of the Annunciation of the Theotokos. Saint Tikhon, Patriarch of Moscow. Great Vespers 6:00-6:45 pm
25 T Annunciation of the Theotokos
Matins, Divine Liturgy 9:00 – 11:45 a.m.
26 F Synaxis in honor of the Archangel Gabriel. 26 Martyrs in Crimea

27 S Lazarus Saturday. Matrona of Thessaloniki. Paul, Bishop of Corinth
Matins, Divine Liturgy 9:00 – 11:45 a.m.
Great Vespers 6:00-6:45 pm
28 S Palm Sunday. Hilarion the New. Herodion the Apostle of the 70
Matins, Divine Liturgy 9:00 – 11:45 a.m.
Divine Service of the Bridegroom (Nymfios). 6:00 – 7:30 pm
29 M Great and Holy Monday. Mark, Bishop of Arethusa. Martyr Cyril the Deacon and Those with him.
Divine Liturgy of the Presanctified 9:00 – 11:00 am
Great Compline 5:00 – 6:00 pm
Divine Service of the Bridegroom (Nymfios) 6:00 – 7:30 pm
30 T Great and Holy Tuesday . John Climacus the Righteous, author of The Divine Ladder of Ascent
Sosthenes Apollos, Cephas, Caesar, & Epaphroditos, the Apostles of the 70
Divine Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts 9:00 – 11:00 am
Great Compline 5:00 – 6:00 pm
Divine Service of the Bridegroom (Nymfios) and Hymn of Kassiani 6:00 – 7:30 pm.
31 W Great and Holy Wednesday. Hypatios the Wonderworker. Innocent, Enlightener of Siberia & Alaska
Divine Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts 9:00 – 11:00 am
The Sacrament of the Holy Unction 5:00 – 7:00 pm