Newsletter 3 – September 2020

Looking Ahead in September:

September 12Leave-Taking of the Feast of the Nativity of the Theotokos – (For Byzantine Christians each Great Feast is celebrated liturgically more than one day.) Usually, it will be for eight days.  The Nativity of the Theotokos, however, is celebrated four days.  On the leave-taking day most of the same prayers are repeated from the day of the celebration itself.  On September 12, therefore, most of the hymns, verses, and antiphons are taken from September 8.

The Troparion* (Hymn) for the Feast:

Your Nativity, Mother of God, heralded joy to the whole universe, for from you rose the Sun of Justice, Christ our God.  Taking away the curse, He imparted the blessings, and by abolishing Death, He gave us everlasting life.

September 14Feast of the Exaltation of the Precious and Life-Giving Cross – This day calls for a strict fast.  For those unfamiliar with the fasting regiment of Melkites, suffice it to say, for now, one might consider eating no meat on this day.  Please see the webpage under upcoming Events:, for more information about the feast.

The Troparion (Hymn) for the Feast:

O Lord, save Your people and bless Your inheritance.  Grant victory to our country over its enemies; and preserve Your community by the power of Your Cross (sung or said three times).

September 21 – Leave Taking of the Feast of the Exaltation of the Precious and Life-Giving Cross.

September 23Conception of the Honorable and Glorious Prophet, the Forerunner, John the Baptist

The Troparion (Hymn) for the Commemoration

Joy to you, O barren one unable to give birth!  Behold, you conceive today the one who is really a Torch of the Sun, who will enlighten the whole world that suffered from blindness.  Rejoice, O Zechariah, and cry out in all confidence: “The one who will be born is a Prophet of the Most High!”

September 24Commemoration of the Holy Protomartyr Thecla, the Equal of the Apostles

The Troparion (Hymn) for the Commemoration

Your ewe-lamb, O Jesus, cries out to You in a loud voice: “O my Bridegroom, I long for You and I struggle in my quest for You.  I am crucified with you and buried with you in Your Baptism.  I suffer for Your sake in order to reign with You; I die for You in order to live with You.”  Accept her as an immaculate victim, since she is immolated for Your love.  Through her intercession, O Merciful One, save our souls.

September 26Commemoration of the Passing of the Apostle and Evangelist, John the Theologian

The Troparion (Hymn) for the Commemoration

Apostle beloved of Christ God, hasten to deliver a people that lack any other defense: for He accepted that you lay your head on His breast.  He will also accept your prayer.  Pray Him, then, O Theologian, that He may disperse haughty nations, and beg that He may grant us peace and abundant mercy.

*Troparion is a Greek word that means basically “hymn” or a stanza(s) of liturgical poetry.  They are central to any Byzantine liturgy and serve as a thematic hymn that will appear in all the liturgies of that day, which begins at Vespers.