May 28, 2023
Sunday of the After-feast of Ascension
Commemoration of the Holy Fathers of the First Ecumenical Council
Today is the Sunday of the Holy Fathers of Nicea. This day commemorates the Holy Fathers who sat in council at Nicea, the first of the ecumenical councils. Through them we see the commitment to the immutable truth of God for all the faithful, especially those who lead in the faith. The men of this council bear special note by the significance of their creed, for it is the fundamental statement of orthodox Christology and an enduring guide to our faith. The events of the ascension and the scriptures of this day emphasize to us the nature and action of Christ, and the history of these fathers puts us in mind of the work of the Holy Spirit in the church, work proclaimed by the glorious events which we now anticipate in the preparation for Pentecost.
Acts of the Apostles 20:16-18, 28-36: In those days, Paul was determined to sail past Ephesus, so that he might not have to spend time in Asia; for he was hastening, if possible, to be at Jerusalem on the Day of Pentecost. And from Miletus he sent to Ephesus and called to him the priests of the church. And when they came to him, he said to them: “Take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you bishops, to shepherd the church of the Lord and God, which He purchased with His own blood. For I know that after my departure ravenous wolves will enter among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves will arise men speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them. Therefore, remain watchful, remembering that for three years I did not cease to admonish every one, night and day with tears. And now, brethren, I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified. I coveted no one’s silver or gold or apparel. You yourselves know that these hands ministered to my necessities, and to those who were with me. In all things I have shown you that by such laboring we ought to help the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how He Himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” And when he had spoken thus, he knelt down on his knees with them all, and prayed.
John 17:1-13: At that time, Jesus lifted up His eyes to heaven and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify Thy Son that the Son may glorify Thee, since Thou hast given Him power over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom Thou hast given Him. And this is eternal life, that they know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ Whom Thou hast sent. I glorified Thee on earth, having accomplished the work which Thou gavest Me to do; and now, Father, glorify Thou Me in Thy own presence with the glory which I had with Thee before the world was made. I have manifested Thy Name to the men whom Thou gavest Me out of the world; Thine they were, and Thou gavest them to Me, and they have kept Thy word. Now they know that everything that Thou hast given Me is from Thee; for I have given them the words which Thou gavest Me, and they have received them and know in truth that I came from Thee; and they have believed that Thou didst send Me. I am praying for them; I am not praying for the world but for those whom Thou hast given Me, for they are Thine; all Mine are Thine, and Thine are Mine, and I am glorified in them. And now I am no more in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to Thee. Holy Father, keep them in Thy Name, which Thou hast given Me, that they may be one, even as We are one. While I was with them, I kept them in Thy Name, which Thou have given Me; I have guarded them, and none of them is lost but the son of perdition, that the scripture might be fulfilled. But now I am coming to Thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they may have My joy fulfilled in themselves.”
Troparion of the Resurrection: When Mary stood at thy grave looking for thy sacred body, angelic powers shone above thy revered tomb, and the soldiers who were to keep guard became as dead men. Thou led hades captive and wast not tempted thereby. Thou didst meet the Virgin and didst give life to the world; O thou who art risen from the dead! O Lord, glory to thee.
Troparion of the Ascension: Thou hast ascended in glory, O Christ our God, and gladdened thy disciples with the promise of the Holy Spirit, having become confident of the blessing. Verily, thou art the Son of God, and Deliverer of the world.
Troparion of the Holy Fathers: Thou, O Christ, art our God of exceeding praise who didst establish our holy Fathers as luminous stars upon earth, and through them didst guide us unto the true Faith, O most merciful One, glory to thee.
Troparion of the Chains of St. Peter: O Holy Apostle, Peter, thou dost preside over the Apostles by the precious chains which thou didst bear. We venerate them with faith and beseech thee that by thine intercessions we be granted the great mercy.
Kontakion of the Ascension: When thou didst fulfill thy dispensation for our sakes, uniting the terrestrials with the celestials, thou didst ascend in glory, O Christ our God, inseparable in space, but constant without separation, and crying unto thy beloved, I am with you, and no one shall be against you.
UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE: All services listed on the calendar will be available through streaming and webcast. (Instructions can be found on the parish website.)
Sunday, May 28 (Sunday of the Holy Fathers of the First Ecumenical Council)