November Liturgical Texts Available for Download
The first bishop of the missionary church that would become the Antiochian Archdiocese, the archbishop who gave the Orthodox Church its primary liturgy, a Great Feast of the Theotokos, and a major American holiday fill the celebrations of the Orthodox Church in the month of November. The Liturgical Texts to guide us through services on these holy days, blessed by His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph, are now ready for download from the Online Liturgical Guide.
Each year on the first Saturday of November we commemorate St. Raphael Hawaweeny. He said of himself: "I am an Arab by birth, a Greek by primary education, an American by residence, a Russian at heart, and a Slav in soul." His multicultural influences and love of Jesus Christ helped him become the "Good Shepherd of the Lost Sheep in America." The Archdiocese celebrates St. Raphael close to the date of his birth, the feast of the Archangels, November 8.
Born in Antioch in 347, St. John Chrysostom—whom we commemorate on November 13—initially ran from his priestly ordination, but was eventually led back to receive that grace. Later, Emperor Arcadius chose John as Archbishop of Constantinople, but John was so beloved in Antioch that he had to be sneaked out at night to avoid a revolt of the people. He extended the Church's charitable works, wrote a rite for the Divine Liturgy still in use today, put heretics to shame, interpreted the Scriptures with his golden mind and tongue, and left to the Church many precious books of sermons, still extant.
On November 21, six days into the Fast for the Nativity of our Lord, God and Savior Jesus Christ, we celebrate the Entrance of His Mother, the Most Holy Theotokos, into the ancient temple in Jerusalem. From the tender age of three, the Virgin Mary lived in purity in the temple, fed by an angel for nine years in preparation for receiving the incarnate God in her womb. This is why Orthodox Christians fast for 40 days leading up to Christmas, preparing our souls and bodies in the same manner to properly receive Him. (Synaxarion from Orthros)
On the fourth Thursday in November, Americans celebrate Thanksgiving Day and count their blessings from God. Orthodox Christians can best celebrate this holiday in the Divine Liturgy around the Eucharist, which literally means "to give thanks." Liturgical Texts for this day include Great Vespers and Divine Liturgy variables which contain hymns of thanksgiving, as well as the popular Akathist "Glory to God for All Things."
The Online Liturgical Guide, produced by the Department of Liturgics, provides the official, uniform word-for-word texts to be used for the divine services in all parishes across the Archdiocese. Should you have any questions, please email Subdeacon Peter Samore at firstname.lastname@example.org.