Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Happy Anniversary to a "New" Western Rite Church

Fr. Nicholas, Subdeacon Jerome, and Reader Kevin at Matins in their new building.

Today is the one-year anniversary of the dedication of the new church building that houses St. Gregory the Great Orthodox Church (part of the AWRV) in Washington, D.C. This evening, they will mark the occasion by having Vespers at 7:30 p.m. EST. This Sunday, May 11, they will celebrate Mass using the propers for the Anniversary of Dedication. Purchasing any building in the Washington metro area necessarily tests any congregation's determination and sense of financial sacrifice, even in the present market. God has rewarded them richly for both.

On St. Gregory's main website, you can see pictures of the building's transformation from this to this.

We're sending our best wishes and congratulations to Fr. Nicholas Alford, Kh. Rebecca, and all his wonderful parishoners. Feel free to send yours, too, or better yet, drop by and worship the Lord in our nation's capital. The building is located at 1443 Euclid St., NW in Washington, DC. Here's a map for 1443 Euclid St., NW, Washington, D.C.


Since I've Been Posting So Much St. Augustine Recently....

Wow, just...just wow.

A Rap about the Confessions of St. Augustine. Written and performed by Christ "MCG" Gehrz...with some help from puppets.


Now Augustine of Hippo dropped in three and fitty-four
Constantine had gone Nicene almost thirty years before
But Auggie grew up hatin' on the prayin'
See his momma was a Christian, but his daddy was a pagan

On the mean streets of Thagaste, A-Dawg's on a tear
They call him Del Monte 'cause he's gotta have the pear
Didn't even taste it but he's grinnin'
See, it's not about the Benjamins; it's all about the sinnin'

Yeah, and playa had his way wit all da ladies
Until the girl said, "Boo, chill - we're gonna have a baby"

Oh, Augustine!
(Or Augustine, Augustine)
(Yeah, he's lustin', he's lustin')
(But he's trustin', he's trustin')
God made us for himself
And our hearts'll find their rest in him

Went back to school in Carthage (the town the Romans flattened)
And holla! He's a scholah at philosophy and Latin
Told 'em all that "Cicero's da illest!"
Some Manicheans told him, "Son, you don't know what ill is!"

"What's goin' down's a battle, good and evil warrin'
The spiritual is admirable, the physical's abhorrent"
He thought they'd give him answers that were hidden
But when they said to give up sex, he said, "Oh no, you di'n't!"

Still, playa became a praya when he said
"Give me chastity and continence, Lord... but not yet!"

CHORUS: (repeat)

Took a job in It'ly and read up on the Plat'nists
Learned that evil's just the lack of good, and only good exists
A man in Milan named Ambrose tried to reach him
A. said, "I don't believe his words, but bro's da bomb at preachin'!"

Still he read the Holy Scripture and the picture started shiftin'
He prayed to God to save him from himself but he kept driftin'
Until he fell down weepin' at his knees
He heard the voice of children singin' "Take up and read"

And playa read Paul's playa-hatin' epistle
"Clothe yourself in Jesus Christ" hit him like a missile!

CHORUS: (repeat, 2x)
(Hat tip: Koinonia)

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Sunday, May 04, 2008

St. Augustine on Doubting Thomas

“But Thomas, one of the twelve, who is called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe. And after eight days, again His disciples were within, and Thomas with them. Then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you. Then saith He to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and put it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing. Thomas answered and said unto Him, My Lord and my God.” He saw and touched the man, and acknowledged the God whom he neither saw nor touched; but by the means of what he saw and touched, he now put far away from him every doubt, and believed the other. “Jesus saith unto him, Because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed.” He saith not, Thou hast touched me, but, “Thou hast seen me,” because sight is a kind of general sense. For sight is also habitually named in connection with the other four senses: as when we say, Listen, and see how well it sounds; smell it, and see how well it smells; taste it, and see how well it savors; touch it, and see how hot it is. Everywhere has the word, See, made itself heard, although sight, properly speaking, is allowed to belong only to the eyes. Hence here also the Lord Himself says, “Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands:” and what else does He mean but, Touch and see? And yet he had no eyes in his finger. Whether therefore it was by looking, or also by touching, “Because thou hast seen me,” He says, “thou hast believed.” Although it may be affirmed that the disciple dared not so to touch, when He offered Himself for the purpose; for it is not written, And Thomas touched Him. But whether it was by gazing only, or also by touching that he saw and believed, what follows rather proclaims and commends the faith of the Gentiles: “Blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.” He made use of words in the past tense, as One who, in His predestinating purpose, knew what was future, as if it had already taken place. But the present discourse must be kept from the charge of prolixity: the Lord will give us the opportunity to discourse at another time on the topics that remain.
St. Augustine of Hippo, "Homilies on the Gospel of John" (Tractate CXXI).

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