To message Archimandrite Kyril or to arrange a baptism or wedding please email the Parish Priest@bristol-orthodox-church.co.uk (Tel. 01179706302 or 07944 860 955).
For more see: CONTACTS
Every Saturday: 5.30 p.m. Vespers
Every Sunday: 10.30 a.m. Divine Liturgy
WEEKLY SERVICES & INFORMATION
5.30 p.m. Vespers
Sunday, 26th November. 25th Sunday after Pentecost.
10.30 a.m. Divine Liturgy
It is good practice to have phones turned off or in aeroplane mode during services .
Some selected saints (AND FEASTS) of the coming week
Our Parish’s 75th-anniversary service will be at Bristol Cathedral!
Tuesday 12th December
Moleben of Thanksgiving at 6:30 pm in the Eastern Lady Chapel, with a reception in the Chapter House afterwards.
For those who wish to donate to our Parish online, our Facebook fundraiser can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/donate/453504039824339/?fundraiser_source=external_url
Sermon for the Twenty-fifth Sunday after Pentecost
Archimandrite Kyril Jenner
Saint Paul tells us that “There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of us all, who is above all and through all and in all.” (Ephesians 4:4-6)
“There is one body and one Spirit”. These are given as statements of fact, not as merely something to be hoped for or aspired to. The “one body”, the “body of Christ”, (1 Corinthians 12:27) consists of all the members of the Church. Saint John Chrysostom elaborates this: “Now what is this one body? The faithful throughout the whole world, both those who are, and those who have been, and those who will be, and also those who before Christ’s coming pleased God, are ‘one body.’ ” (Homily 10 on Ephesians) For the inclusion of those who were before Christ we have our Lord’s own words. “Your father Abraham rejoiced that he was to see my day; he saw it and was glad.” (John 8:56) And “If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote of me.” (John 5:46) The Prophets also wrote of what they knew when they wrote about the One who was to come.
(We might, incidentally, note that at this season of the year the lists of Saints commemorated each day often include Prophets from the Old Testament as Saints of the Church.)
A body without a spirit is dead, just a corpse. To be a living body it needs a spirit. The Church, to be the living body of Christ, requires the presence of the Holy Spirit. Elsewhere Saint Paul tells us “by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body — Jews or Greeks, slaves or free — and all were made to drink of the one Spirit.” (1 Corinthians 12:13)
We are all called to “one hope”, that is to life in Christ, the forgiveness of sins, and eternal salvation. This unites us all in our life in this world. Saint John Chrysostom tells us “God has called you all on the same terms. He has bestowed nothing upon one more than upon another. To all he has freely given immortality, to all eternal life, to all immortal glory, to all brotherhood, to all inheritance. He is the common Head of all.” (Homily 11 on Ephesians)
We have one Lord – our Lord and God and Saviour Jesus Christ. He is the head of the Church. Without a head a body is dead. Without Christ as its head, the Church is dead. Following the one Saviour unites us all in a single fellowship with one another.
We profess one faith. We have one creed – one formal statement of our faith to which we all assent. We chant this creed at every Divine Liturgy. If we read all the daily services of the Church we would recite it morning and evening every day. This is another thing that unites us.
We have received one Baptism. Through Baptism we have united ourselves to Christ. We have mystically shared in his death and resurrection. We have made a covenant with Christ. Baptism also brings us into membership of the Church and so to union with one another.
This is a union of love – the love that comes from the “one God and Father of us all”. There is and can be only one true God. There is and can be only one creator of all that is. Having different “gods” makes no sense. As Saint John Chrysostom puts it: “can it be, that you are called by the name of a greater god, another, of a lesser god? That you are saved by faith, and another by works? That you have received remission in baptism, whilst another has not?” (Homily 11 on Ephesians)
We are united in God’s love for us. We should also be united in our love for God and in our love for one another. God showed his great love for us through our Lord Jesus Christ – by becoming human, teaching us the way, offering forgiveness of sins, dying on the Cross, and being raised from the dead. We need not only to accept that great love, but to share it with one another in our daily actions. Without that love for one another we effectively separate ourselves from the one body of Christ – his Church.
We sustain ourselves in unity with God and with one another by regular sharing in Holy Communion. Repenting of our sins we all approach the one Cup and receive from the one bread. Holy Communion unites us with one another as well as with God.
So let us pray that we may maintain our unity in the faith, and through our actions day by day bear witness to our faith and to God’s love for us.
Like all small communities we rely on the generosity of friends and well-wishers. If you would like to contribute to the continuation of our parish and the upkeep of our historic church building, you can make a donation here: