Saint Mary Magdalene Orthodox Church
Proclaiming & Living the Holy Orthodox Faith
in the California Central Valley

RESCHEDULED  FOR JANUARY  26th

 

St. Mary Magdalene's new  Iconostasis is being built NOW for installation later this month.  Please excuse the mess in our nave during the iconostasis installation and altar remodel.

 

Synaxis of the Holy New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia

Celebrated Jan 26

On the Sunday closest to January 25, the Church commemorates the Synaxis of the Holy New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia, remembering all those Orthodox Christians who suffered for Christ at the hands of the godless Soviets during the years of persecution. These include the royal Passion Bearers Tsar Nicholas II and his family, and the Grand Duchess Elizabeth. Countless thousands of martyrs, both clergy and laity also suffered, some of whose names are known, as well as millions of simple believers whose names have been lost to history.

It is estimated that the number of the New Martyrs of Russia, who were glorified by the Russian Orthodox Church at the Jubilee Council of 2000, far exceeds that of all the martyrs who died for Christ during the first three centuries of Christianity. The Russian Church lost millions of its sons and daughters, not only at the hands of external enemies, but also those of their own country. Among those who were murdered and tortured in the years of persecution were countless Orthodox: laity, monks, priests, and bishops, whose only “crime” was their unshakable faith in God.

In the long history of the world, never have so many new heavenly intercessors been glorified by the Church in such a way (more than one thousand New Martyrs were numbered among the saints). Among those who suffered for their faith were some who labored in America before the Russian Revolution: St. Tikhon, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia (April 7); St. Alexander Hotovitzky (Dec. 4); St. John Kochurov (Oct. 31).

The Deeper Meaning in the Blessing of Homes

     The tradition of blessing homes is of special beauty and significance. It is not simply a sentimental custom without meaning, nor is it a custom whose meaning we have forgotten. This tradition was usually attached to a special event in our parish – the parish nameday or some other holy celebration. In some cases*, it was done at the time of the feast of the Lord’s Baptism – reminding us of not only our baptisms, but also of the need of baptizing the world in which we live, including what we might call “my world” – ‘my personal space.’

     When an Orthodox Christian believer moves into a new home, he dedicates it not only as the abode of a follower of Christ, but also as a shining example to the community of good clean Christian life. He asks that God, the source of all goodness and the Giver of every perfect gift, bless his house and all that is within it; he recalls that Jesus Christ, His Son, came to bring Salvation to it, even as He brought Salvation to the house of Zacchaeus, the house of Mary and Martha and Lazarus, and the house of Saint John the Evangelist when He sent his holy Mother to live with him; he prays that the Holy Spirit may abide in it, guiding those who dwell in it in the Paths of righteousness. And he brings into his home holy icons of the Savior and his Mother, and of the saints and of holy events. He brings candles and incense blessed in church. This blessing at the establishment of a house is usually celebrated by the priest in the presence of the entire family, or by the head of the household if the priest is unavailable.

     On the Feast of the Parish or the Feast of Theophany we rededicate our home for its original purpose, just as we must periodically rededicate our life to Christ. We do it especially on this Feast because this is the day on which we remember in the Church Year the coming of Christ who began His Ministry when He descended into Jordan to be Baptized by Saint John the Forerunner and Baptist. He enters again into our lives reminding us that we must “repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand.”  Read the Original Article HERE 

 

Don't Forget!  

Schedule your home blessing with Fr. Lawrence

Sign-up sheet in church narthex

 

 


An Introduction to the

Orthodox Christian Church

Adapted from: John Meyendorff. The Orthodox Church

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Daily Readings: 

Epistle, Gospel  HERE 

 Saints, Icons  HERE


An Invitation to Worship

 

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California Central Valley



Fr. Lawrence Gaudreau
Fr. Lawrence Gaudreau
Fr. Lawrence Gaudreau

About Our Church

 

 

     We are a family church of many cultures with intergenerational worship; we have a full liturgical life throughout the Church year, with many opportunities for joyful fellowship and enduring growth. Our vision is to “manifest the Kingdom of God by proclaiming and living the Orthodox Christian Faith.” Orthodox Christianity is for everyone — come and see!

 

     Located at the north end of California's San Joaquin Valley, St. Mary Magdalene Orthodox Church is dedicated to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to His promise of salvation to all mankind. The services of our mission-parish are located in Atwater.

 

     Committed to serving Christ and His Holy Church, the people of St. Mary Magdalene welcome and encourage all visitors to be our guests, especially those who are truly seeking the path of salvation.  

   Feel more at home in Orthodox worship

Do you want to read a good article?

12 Things I Wish I'd Known...

First visit to an Orthodox Church

 

 

Listen to a discussion of the article:

 

Ancient Faith Ministries Podcast:

Discussion: "12 Things I Wish I'd Known..."

Part I   (53 min)               Part II  (50 min)

Part III (51 min)             Part IV  (52 min)

 

 

 


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