November 25, 2010 - Thanksgiving and St. Katherine
Happy Thanksgiving! Today is not only Thanksgiving Day; it is
also the feast of the Holy Great Martyr Katherine, and the leavetaking
of the Feast of the Entrance of the Theotokos into the Temple. So many
overlapping reasons for joy and giving thanks this day!
Schmemann celebrated his last Divine Liturgy in this world on
Thanksgiving day in 1983, at St. Vladimir's Seminary. At that Liturgy,
he gave the following short sermon, in the form of a prayer, which were
his last public words:
Thank You, O Lord!
Everyone capable of thanksgiving is capable of salvation and eternal joy.
Thank You, O Lord, for having accepted this Eucharist, which we offered
to the Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and which filled our
hearts with the joy, peace and righteousness of the Holy Spirit.
Thank You, O Lord, for having revealed Yourself unto us and given us the foretaste of Your Kingdom.
Thank You, O Lord, for having united us to one another in serving You and Your Holy Church.
Thank You, O Lord, for having helped us to overcome all difficulties,
tensions, passions, temptations and restored peace, mutual love and joy
in sharing the communion of the Holy Spirit.
Thank You, O Lord, for the sufferings You bestowed upon us, for they are
purifying us from selfishness and reminding us of the "one thing
needed;" Your eternal Kingdom.
Thank You, O Lord, for having given us this country where we are free to Worship You.
Thank You, O Lord, for this school, where the name of God is proclaimed.
Thank You, O Lord, for our families: husbands, wives and, especially,
children who teach us how to celebrate Your holy Name in joy, movement
and holy noise.
Thank You, O Lord, for everyone and everything.
Great are You, O Lord, and marvelous are Your deeds, and no word is sufficient to celebrate Your miracles.
Lord, it is good to be here! Amen.
I give thanks to God for St. Nicholas Church and for each one of you. May the Lord enable us always to
live in a spirit of gratitude, and with our hearts filled with the "joy, peace and righteousness of the Holy Spirit"!
Baptism This Saturday - Remember that Evangeline Tolosa will be
baptized this Saturday, Nov. 27, at 3pm. All are invited for the
baptism and the reception that will follow.
Creative Arts Festival coming - St. Nicholas day is coming, and
along with it, our annual St. Nicholas "Creative Arts Festival". This
year's theme is "St. Nicholas the Wonderworker." How has St. Nicholas
touched your life, and/or the lives of others, through the miracles God
has worked through him? Everyone is encouraged to submit art projects,
poetry, etc., by Sat., Dec. 4. Short speeches are also encouraged. The
festival will take place following Liturgy on Sunday, Dec. 5. Price of admission for the festival: 1 can or box of non-perishable food for the needy.
Stewardship Sunday - Dec. 5 will also be our stewardship Sunday this year. See the stewardship mailing you will be receiving soon.