University Road, Clifton, Bristol BS8 1SP

 CONTACTS:

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

UpComingREV | UU Taos

REGULAR:  (please see our Calendar for all services)

Saturdays: Vespers 5.30pm in English.

Sundays: Divine Liturgy 10.30am in English with some Slavonic and Romanian.  We recite the Lord’s Prayer in the languages of those present.

Monday, 1st. August

Feast of the Procession of the Holy Cross.

Beginning of the Dormition Fast.

 

Friday, 5th. August

Forefeast of Transfiguration

6.30 p.m. Vespers

 

Saturday, 6th. August Fish, wine and oil

FEAST OF THE TRANSFIGURATION OF THE LORD

9.00 a.m. Divine Liturgy

Bring grapes and first fruits to be blessed: (The sixth Ecumenical Council, celebrated in Constantinople (680-681), prescribed that the new “wheat and grapes” were to be blessed in church on the feast of the Holy Transfiguration (canon 28).

Sunday, 7th August         EIGHTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST

Afterfeast of The Transfiguration

10.30 a.m. Divine Liturgy

 

Sunday, 14th. Aug. NINTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST

Forefeast of The Dormition

(Dormition Fast: wine and oil)

10.30 a.m. Divine Liturgy

 

Monday, 15th. Aug. FEAST OF THE DORMITION

Afterfeast of The Transfiguration

9.00 a.m. Divine Liturgy

 

THIS WEEK’S SELECTION OF SAINTS’ DAYS

Sunday, 7th:

Martyr Dometios (Persia, 363)

St Pimen (Poimen) ‘the Much Ailing’ (Kievan Near Caves 1110)

Monday, 8th:

St Myron, bishop (Crete c350)

Tuesday, 9th:

Apostle Matthias

St Herman (German) of Alaska)

Wednesday, 10th:

Martyr and Deacon Laurence; Bishop of Rome and martyr Sixtus; and martyred deacons Felicissimus and Agapitus (Rome 258)

Thursday, 11th:

Virgin martyr Susanna, and Martyr Gaius, Bishop of Rome (295-6)

St Bláán (Blane), bishop in Bute, confessor (Scotland, 590)

Friday, 12th:

Martyrs Aniketos and Photios (Nicomedia 305-6)

Saturday, 13th:

Martyr Hippolytus of Rome and those with him (c235)

St Radegunda, queen of the Franks (587)

St Tikhon, bishop of Voronezh, wonderworker of Zadonsk (1783)

 

 

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Sermon for the Eighth Sunday after Pentecost

Archimandrite Kyril Jenner

Matthew 14:14-22

Today’s Gospel reading is the story of what is usually described as the feeding of the five thousand. That description can be seen as implying that five thousand people were fed. If we look at the text, however, we find that five thousand was the number of men present. There were women and children there as well. Counting the men was simply an easy way of counting the number of families present.

If we ask what actually happened, then the answer is that we do not know and cannot now know. There are, however, lessons that can be learnt from the story as told. One plausible explanation that has been put forward for what happened is that some of the people there had food with them. When the crowd saw the example of the Disciples in sharing what little they had, then others were moved to share what they had brought with those around them, with the result that there was enough for everyone and a little left over. This is a message that we should take notice of. We should not be greedy and try to keep everything for ourselves. When we have more than enough and others have less then we must try to share things out equitably. God has provided us with what we have, and we must take care to use it in his service, so that we can bring a little of God’s love to those around us.

Another approach to this story is to look at the symbolism. In this event Christ is still near the beginning of his work on earth. He blesses bread, breaks it, and shares it with the people. At the end of his life we have another occasion, at the Last Supper, when Christ again blesses bread, breaks it, and shares it with his Disciples, whilst telling them that this spiritual food is for all people. So the feeding of the five thousand is a foretaste of the Last Supper, and so a foretaste of the sacred meal that we have gathered here to share.

The use of five loaves reminds us of the five books of the Law of Moses. Christ came to give us a new Law in fulfilment of the old Law. He gave us the law of love. In the preparation office before the Divine Liturgy we use five loaves to remind us of this. The number of loaves has varied as different times, but for a long time has settled on the five, so that we can remember that a small amount is sufficient for God to use to provide for many people.

The two fish have a double symbolism. When two of anything occur in the Gospels it is often a reference to the fact that Christ has two natures – he is fully divine and fully human. So here we see the work of the one person, the second person of the Holy Trinity: God made flesh in our Lord Jesus Christ. The fish is also symbolic of Christ. The five letters of the word for “fish” in Greek are an acronym, spelling out the initial letters of the phrase: “Jesus Christ, God’s Son, Saviour”. This led to a picture of a fish being a secret code used among Christians to recognise one another during the first century or so of the life of the Church.

Saint Theophylact spells out the link from this Gospel reading to Holy Communion: “Jesus withdrew to a desert place, to the nations who were desolate without God, and he healed the sick in soul and then fed them. If he had not forgiven our sins and healed our sicknesses by Baptism, then he could not have nourished us by giving us the most pure Mysteries, for no one partakes of Holy Communion who has not first been baptized.” (Explanation of the Holy Gospel According to Saint Matthew, Chapter 14)

Let us pray that we may share with thanksgiving in what Christ offers us in the Mystery of Holy Communion and that we may share with one another what he has given us materially in his love for mankind.

 


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