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November Liturgical Texts Available for Download

Altar servers process in front of an icon of the Archangel Michael at St. Michael Church in Van Nuys, CA.Altar servers process in front of an icon of the Archangel Michael at St. Michael Church in Van Nuys, CA.Saints who healed and refused payment, the first bishop of the missionary church that would become the Antiochian Archdiocese, the bodiless hosts that protect us, 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.

On the first day of the month, we commemorate Ss. Cosmas and Damian of Mesopotamia in Asia Minor. These "unmercenary" saints received no money for the medicine they practiced and the healings they performed. They are not to be confused with Ss. Cosmas and Damian of Rome (July 1) who were also unmercenaries.

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, November 8.

And that day happens to be the feast of the Archangels. The Orthodox Church celebrates Raphael – the namesake of the first bishop of Brooklyn – Michael, Gabriel and all the bodiless powers of heaven that minister directly to God the Father and protect us on earth who are called to be heirs of salvation (Heb. 1:14).

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 in the same manner to properly receive Him.

On the fourth Thursday in November, Americans celebrate Thanksgiving 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 service_texts@antiochianladiocese.org.