Author Topic: St. Andrew: Lighting the way for Advent  (Read 10441 times)

J. Thomas Shelley

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Re: St. Andrew: Lighting the way for Advent
« Reply #90 on: November 29, 2015, 01:39:51 PM »
Yesterday and today a thick cover of clouds and fog shrouded the sunrise, and the forecast is not much better for the next three days.

Clearing skies are not expected in southern Pennsylvania until December 3, and by then the "sunrise spotlight" will have shifted beyond the Icon on the doorframe.

There might be better weather in the week following Theophany when it makes its second appearance.
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J. Thomas Shelley

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Re: St. Andrew: Lighting the way for Advent
« Reply #91 on: November 27, 2016, 07:42:19 AM »
A cold, frosty morning with crystal clear skies allowed the Icon to be bathed briefly at sunrise on this first Sunday of Western Advent; briefly because the pheonomena does not peak for a few days (but the brief illumination still quite fitting on this earliest-beginning and thus longest of Western Advents) and because the trees through which the sunlight shaft passes have gradually increased their girth, thus narrowing the gaps between them and decreasing the duration of the narrow beam.

There have been other changes in my life, of course, since this phenomena was first noted and this mediation was first published.   There was no longer the time needed for the Benedictus, but there was just time enough for the Troparia after Psalm 50(1) which follows the Gospel in Orthodox Matins:

Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.

Through the intercession of the Apostles,
O Thou Who are merciful
Blot away the multitude of our transgressions.

Both now and ever and unto ages of ages, Amen.
« Last Edit: November 28, 2016, 12:12:14 PM by J. Thomas Shelley »
Greek Orthodox-Ecumenical Patriarchate

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Served as a Lutheran Pastor October 31, 1989 - October 31, 2014.
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J. Thomas Shelley

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Re: St. Andrew: Lighting the way for Advent
« Reply #92 on: November 29, 2017, 07:54:05 AM »
Crystal clear skies allowed the Icon to be bathed in sunlight for those few fleeting minutes after sunrise.

While Western Advent has yet to begin, the Orthodox Nativity Fast is now entering its third week.   The First Canon of the Nativity has been sung at Matins for over a week; and just this past Sunday the Kontakion of the Nativity made its debut:

The Virgin cometh today to the cave to give birth,
Ineffably to bring forth the Word Eternal.
Therefore, rejoice O earth, at the message
With the Angels and shepherds give glory to Him
Who does appear as a tiny chlld;
He Who is from eternity God.
Greek Orthodox-Ecumenical Patriarchate

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J. Thomas Shelley

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Re: St. Andrew: Lighting the way for Advent
« Reply #93 on: November 27, 2018, 09:55:37 PM »
The Feast of the First-called Apostle is a couple of days away but already the first rays of sunrise are drawing closer, ever fleeting, this year more than ever because of a thick inversion layer of clouds leaving only the briefest of intervals between local sunrise and retreat into the thick darkness.

But this too resonates well with the 4th Ode of the Canon of the Nativity:

Rod of the stem of Jesse, O Christ;
You its flower blossomed forth
from the Virgin who Habakkuk prophetically once called
overshadowed dense mountain.
From her who knew not man You came incarnate
the immaterial God.
Glory to your power, O Lord!
Greek Orthodox-Ecumenical Patriarchate

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J. Thomas Shelley

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Re: St. Andrew: Lighting the way for Advent
« Reply #94 on: November 30, 2018, 10:53:03 AM »
The thick stratus inversion layer never parted this morning, which was just as well because I would not have been home to see it.

Orthros and Divine Liturgy began an hour earlier than normal today, the darkness of dawn outside matched by the darkness of the Six Psalms which begin every Orthros.

But the close of that service, the hinge on which turns the transition into the Great Doxology and the Divine Liturgy was positively brilliant, for it is on this day which "lights the way for Advent" that this Doxosticon is sung for the first time:


O Bethlehem, welcome the Mother-city of God.
For she is coming to give birth to the never-setting light.
Angels in heaven, marvel;
people on earth, give glory.
Magi from Persia, bring your triply precious gift.
Shepherds in the field, sing the Thrice-holy hymn.
Let everything that breathes praise the Lord who does all things.
Greek Orthodox-Ecumenical Patriarchate

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J. Thomas Shelley

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Re: St. Andrew: Lighting the way for Advent
« Reply #95 on: November 29, 2019, 12:32:44 PM »
Thick stratus clouds have obstructed the sunrise these past few days...finally clearing off this afternoon.

The question is whether the clouds will be few tomorrow morning...which may be the only opportunity (albeit perfectly timed) to observe the phenomena this year as the first round of wintry "mix" will arrive overnight Saturday and linger through Monday morning.

The weather may force a rare cancellation of the Sunday liturgy, making the St. Andrew's Day Orthros and Liturgy all the more important.

"Orthodox Advent" aka the Nativity Fast is accompanied with many Saints' Days, actually beginning with the week prior to the Fast:

November   8 - The Holy Archangels
November   9 - St. Nektarios of Pentapolis the Wonderworker
November 13 - St. John Chrysostom
November 21 - The Entrance of the Theotokos into the Temple
November 25 - St. Katherine the Great Martyr
November 30 - St. Andrew the First-called Apostle
December   4 - St. Barbara the Great Martyr and St. John of Damascus
December   6 - St. Nicholas of Myra
December 12 - St. Spyridon of Tremethios
December 20 - St. Iganatius of Antioch

Those are just the ones that are observed locally...there could be a service each and every day of the Fast.
« Last Edit: November 29, 2019, 12:40:08 PM by J. Thomas Shelley »
Greek Orthodox-Ecumenical Patriarchate

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Michael Slusser

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Re: St. Andrew: Lighting the way for Advent
« Reply #96 on: November 30, 2019, 11:42:05 AM »
Online this morning I found the message of Pope Francis to His Holiness Bartholomew I, Ecumenical Patriarch, for the Feast of Saint Andrew. http://press.vatican.va/content/salastampa/en/bollettino/pubblico/2019/11/30/191130c.html

Noteworthy is this quotation from the late Pope John Paul II:
Quote
During his visit to the Phanar, Pope Saint John Paul II declared that “the question we should ask ourselves is not whether we can re-establish full communion, but rather whether we have the right to remain separated” (Address to His Holiness Dimitrios I, Saint George at the Phanar, 30 November 1979). This question, which is only seemingly rhetorical, continues to challenge our Churches and demands that all the faithful respond with a renewal of both attitude and conduct.

Peace, and a blessed Advent season,
Michael
Fr. Michael Slusser
Retired Roman Catholic priest and theologian

J. Thomas Shelley

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Re: St. Andrew: Lighting the way for Advent
« Reply #97 on: November 30, 2019, 01:03:15 PM »

Noteworthy is this quotation from the late Pope John Paul II:
Quote
During his visit to the Phanar, Pope Saint John Paul II declared that “the question we should ask ourselves is not whether we can re-establish full communion, but rather whether we have the right to remain separated” (Address to His Holiness Dimitrios I, Saint George at the Phanar, 30 November 1979). This question, which is only seemingly rhetorical, continues to challenge our Churches and demands that all the faithful respond with a renewal of both attitude and conduct.

Peace, and a blessed Advent season,
Michael

On Holy Days like this when a Saint is universally commemorated the pain of separation is most acute.

Blessings to all who will light their first Advent candle at Vespers tonight!
Greek Orthodox-Ecumenical Patriarchate

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J. Thomas Shelley

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Re: St. Andrew: Lighting the way for Advent
« Reply #98 on: November 28, 2020, 04:48:18 PM »
Bump for the Vesperal beginning of Western Advent, A.D. 2020.

Sunday morning should be brilliantly bright in southern Pennsylvania. not so for the Feast.

May we who sit under the pall of pestilence and the dark death find blessings from Him Who is the Dayspring from on High:  A renewed hope, a deepened joy, and an abiding love.
Greek Orthodox-Ecumenical Patriarchate

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Weedon

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Re: St. Andrew: Lighting the way for Advent
« Reply #99 on: November 29, 2020, 10:21:24 AM »
Jesus calls us; o’er the tumult
Of our life’s wild, restless sea,
Day by day His sweet voice soundeth,
Saying, “Christian, follow me.”

As of old Saint Andrew heard it
By the Galilean lake,
Turned from home and toil and kindred,
Leaving all for His dear sake.

Jesus calls us from the worship
Of the vain world’s golden store,
From each idol that would keep us,
Saying, “Christian, love me more.”

In our joys and in our sorrows,
Days of toil and hours of ease,
Still He calls, in cares and pleasures,
“Christian, love me more than these.”

Jesus calls us; by Thy mercies,
Savior, make us hear Thy call;
Give our hearts to Thine obedience
Save and love Thee best of all.

The Hymn for St. Andrew’s day from The Lutheran Hymnal, #270.

Almighty God, by whose grace Thine apostle Saint Andrew obeyed the call of Thy Son Jesus Christ grant unto us to follow Him in heart and life; through the same Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, who liveth... etc.

Blessed Feast Day tomorrow!
William Weedon, Assistant Pastor
St. Paul Lutheran Church, Hamel IL
Catechist on LPR Podcast: The Word of the Lord Endures Forever
A Daily, Verse-by-Verse Bible Study with the Church, Past and Present
www.thewordendures.org

+Verbum Domini Manet in Aeternum

Coach-Rev

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Re: St. Andrew: Lighting the way for Advent
« Reply #100 on: November 30, 2020, 08:14:56 AM »
we will be observing St. Andrew tomorrow as well, at our STS retreat's Eucharist service.  (Yes, we are following all of the protocols the retreat center has asked of us in doing so).

I just finished the sermon for today (tomorrow), and truthfully, I think that St. Andrew may be the perfect example for pastors right now, who are often wondering if their ministry is having any positive impact whatsoever in our society. 
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