Saints Peter & Paul Orthodox Church

109 Grand Street, Jersey City, NJ 07302

The Universal Exaltation of the Precious and Life-Giving Cross

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September 13th Tuesday 6:30 PM Great Vespers

September 14th Wednesday 9:30 AM Divine Liturgy

The Elevation of the Venerable and Life-Creating Cross of the Lord: The pagan Roman emperors tried to completely eradicate from human memory the holy places where our Lord Jesus Christ suffered and was resurrected for mankind. The Emperor Hadrian (117-138) gave orders to cover over the ground of Golgotha and the Sepulchre of the Lord, and to build a temple of the pagan goddess Venus and a statue of Jupiter.

Pagans gathered at this place and offered sacrifice to idols there. Eventually after 300 years, by Divine Providence, the great Christian sacred remains, the Sepulchre of the Lord and the Life-Creating Cross were again discovered and opened for veneration. This took place under the Emperor Constantine the Great (306-337) after his victory in the year 312 over Maxentius, ruler of the Western part of the Roman empire, and over Licinius, ruler of its Eastern part. In the year 323 Constantine became the sole ruler of the vast Roman Empire.

In 313 he had issued the Edict of Milan, by which the Christian religion was legalized and the persecutions against Christians in the Western half of the empire were stopped. The ruler Licinius, although he had signed the Edict of Milan to oblige Constantine, still fanatically continued the persecutions against Christians. Only after his conclusive defeat did the 313 Edict of toleration extend also to the Eastern part of the empire. The Holy Equal of the Apostles Emperor Constantine, having gained victory over his enemies in three wars with God’s assistance, had seen in the heavens the Sign of the Cross, and written beneath: “By this you shall conquer.”

Ardently desiring to find the Cross on which our Lord Jesus Christ was crucified, St Constantine sent his mother, the pious Empress Helen (May 21), to Jerusalem, providing her with a letter to St Macarius, Patriarch of Jerusalem.

Although the holy empress Helen was already in her declining years, she set about completing the task with enthusiasm. The empress gave orders to destroy the pagan temple and the statues in Jerusalem. Searching for the Life-Creating Cross, she made inquiry of Christians and Jews, but for a long time her search remained unsuccessful.

Finally, they directed her to a certain elderly Hebrew by the name of Jude who stated that the Cross was buried where the temple of Venus stood. They demolished the pagan temple and, after praying, they began to excavate the ground. Soon the Tomb of the Lord was uncovered. Not far from it were three crosses, a board with the inscription ordered by Pilate, and four nails which had pierced the Lord’s Body (March 6).

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Nativity of the Most Holy Theotokos

The Nativity of the Theotokos is one of the Twelve Great Feasts of the Orthodox Church, celebrated on September 8.

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The Holy Virgin and Theotokos Mary was born to elderly and previously barren parents by the names of Joachim and Anna, in answer to their prayers. Orthodox Christians do not hold to the Roman Catholic doctrine of the Immaculate Conception of Mary, in which it is supposed that Mary was preserved from the ancestral sin that befalls us all as descendents of Adam and Eve, in anticipation of her giving birth to the sinless Christ. The Orthodox believe that Mary indeed received the ancestral sin, having been conceived in the normal way of humanity, and thus needed salvation like all mankind. Orthodox thought does vary on whether Mary actually ever sinned, though there is general agreement that she was cleansed from sin at the Annunciation.

On the eve of the feast, Vespers is served and contains three Old Testament readings that have New Testament meaning. In Genesis 28:10-17, Jacob’s Ladder which unites heaven and earth points to the union of God with men which is realized most fully and perfectly in Mary the bearer of God. “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven!” In Ezekiel 43:27-44:4, the vision of the temple with the door to the East perpetually closed and filled with the glory of the Lord, symbolizes Mary. And in Proverbs 9:1-11, Mary is also identified with the “house” which the Divine Wisdom has built for herself.

Divine Liturgy is served on the day on the feast. The epistle reading is from Philippians 2:5-11, and speaks of “Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.” The gospel reading is taken from Luke 10:38-42 and 11:27-28 together; this reading is also always read on all feasts of the Theotokos. In it, the Lord says, “blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it!”

September 7 – Wednesday
Great Vespers 6:30 pm

September 8 – Thursday
The Divine Liturgy 9:30 am

The Holy Transfiguration of our Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ

Commemorated on August 6

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Discourse on the Holy Transfiguration of Our Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ

of Saint Gregory Palamas, Archbishop of Thessalonica

For an explanation of the present Feast and understanding of its truth, it is necessary for us to turn to the very start of today’s reading from the Gospel: “Now after six days Jesus took Peter, James and John his brother, and led them up onto a high mountain by themselves” (Mt.17:1).

First of all we must ask, from whence does the Evangelist Matthew begin to reckon with six days? From what sort of day is it? What does the preceding turn of speech indicate, where the Savior, in teaching His disciples, said to them: “For the Son of Man shall come with his angels in the glory of His Father,” and further: “Amen I say to you, there are some standing here who shall not taste death, until they have seen the Son of Man coming in His Kingdom” (Mt.16:27-28)? That is to say, it is the Light of His own forthcoming Transfiguration which He terms the Glory of His Father and of His Kingdom.

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Welcome!

Welcome to Saints Peter and Paul Orthodox Church in Jersey City, New Jersey, We are Orthodox community serving Northeastern New Jersey in the Diocese of New York and New Jersey of the Orthodox Church in America (OCA). We warmly welcome all who are searching for a church that is in unchanging continuity with the Church of the Apostles and where they may find the purity of the Apostolic Faith.

Father Joseph Lickwar 201.434.1986 and (FAX) 201.434.1210
Email ‘josephlickwar@gmail.com’
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Calendar

September 30, 2016
  • Protection of the Most Holy Theotokos - Great Vespers
    Starts: 6:30 pm
    Ends: September 30, 2016 - 7:00 pm

    Description:

    Protection of the Most Holy Theotokos. The Protection of the Mother of God is one of the most beloved feast days on the Orthodox calendar among the Slavic peoples.

October 1, 2016
  • Divine Liturgy
    Starts: 9:30 am
    Ends: October 1, 2016 - 10:30 am

    Description:

    Protection of the Most Holy Theotokos

  • Great Vespers
    Starts: 5:00 pm
    Ends: October 1, 2016 - 6:00 pm

October 2, 2016
  • Divine Liturgy
    Starts: 9:30 am
    Ends: October 2, 2016 - 11:00 am

    Description:

    Sunday Orthodox Liturgy

  • Choir Rehearsal
    Starts: 11:00 am
    Ends: October 2, 2016 - 12:00 pm

October 8, 2016
  • Great Vespers
    Starts: 5:00 pm
    Ends: October 8, 2016 - 6:00 pm

October 9, 2016
  • Divine Liturgy
    Starts: 9:30 am
    Ends: October 9, 2016 - 11:00 am

    Description:

    Sunday Orthodox Liturgy

  • Church School (Children)
    Starts: 10:45 am
    Ends: October 9, 2016 - 11:15 am