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2016-12-04-Bulletin for Sunday

Holy Cross Melkite Catholic Church Bulletin. Sunday, December 4, 2016.  Tenth Sunday After the Holy Cross. Crippled Woman.

December 4. Commemoration of the Holy Great-Martyr Barbara and our Holy Father John the Damascene.
   Barbara was martyred under Emperor Maximianus. There are many legends concerning her. The only thing certain is that she was put to death by her own father Dioscorus, because of his hatred for the Christian religion.
   John the Damascene, or John of Damascus, descended from a noble ancestry. His father was one of the major attendants in the palace of the Omayads in the days of Khalif Abd-El-Malek (685-705). He was highly educated in matters of religion and government. He soon renounced his high estate to become a monk in the monastery of St. Sabas, near Jerusalem, where lived as a companion of Cosmas, who later became Bishop of Maiouma, and a saint like him. John and Cosmas rivalled in composing the most beautiful hymns and canons in honor of the Mother of God and of the saints. They were “like a lyre in the hands of the Holy Spirit.” John was ordained a priest by another John, the Patriarch of Jerusalem. He became a zealous defender of the holy icons, and was also the first to write down the theology of Orthodoxy in the form of systematic treatises, following the Aristotelian method. These treatises are still a source of inspiration and knowledge, as they had been at the time of their composition and ever since then. Scholasticism owes them much of its inspiration. John the Damascene died at the same monastery of St. Sabas at a very advanced age, probably on December 4, 749. His tomb is still an object of veneration and pilgrimage. Pope Leo XIII declared him a Doctor of the Universal Church. According to a legend recorded in the story of his life published in the tenth century, one of his hands was cut off by the Iconoclasts, but the Blessed Mother of God appeared to him and returned it to him in perfect health. 

End of the Year Giving Options: There are several ways to make end of the year donations to Holy Cross Church.
   1. Cash, Check, or Credit Card. Online donations may be made at: https://www.holycrossmelkite.org/donate
   Checks may be mailed to: Holy Cross Melkite Catholic Church. 451 West Madison Avenue. Placentia, CA 92870-4537
   2. Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT). A convenient way to make a donation is through an Electronic Fund Transfer directly to Holy Cross Church from a checking or savings account on a one-time or recurring basis. If you would like to set up automatic payments or electronic funds transfer (EFT) please contact us or visit: https://www.holycrossmelkite.org/parish/news/66-donate-through-your-bank
   3. Corporate and Foundation Relations. We welcome gifts and donations from Corporations and Foundations interested in collaborating with Holy Cross Church to fulfill their community involvement objectives.
   4. Property. Gifts of real property such as a home, vacation property, vacant land, farmland, ranch, or commercial property and tangible property such as works of art, jewelry, collections and other personal property may be given. You will be given a tax receipt based on assessed value.
   5. Securities. A gift of your securities, including stocks or bonds, is an easy way to make a gift. By making a gift of your appreciated securities, you can avoid paying capital gains tax that would otherwise be due if you sold these assets. For more information on how to give stocks or bonds, contact your broker or bank.
   6. Retirement Assets. We welcome all types of giving, including IRA’s. Contact your IRA Representative to learn more about how to transfer your contributions.
   7. Pledges. Pledges can be monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, or annually. Call the office for more details if you are interested in making your pledge to Holy Cross Church.
   8. Specific intentions. You may specifically support some of our ministries, such as Youth Ministry, Sunday School Ministry, Choir Ministry, Our Lady’s Society, or the Building Fund. Make checks, cash, or use EFT and make payable to Holy Cross Church with a memo towards which ministry you are supporting. 

Thank you for your generosity and your dedication to the future growth of Holy Cross Church. Deadline for the 2016 tax credits need to be in by December 31, 2016.

Saturday, December 10. 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Toys for Tots event at Holy Cross Church. This year Our Youth and Sunday School Children are going to host a toy giving away for the holiday. We have partnered with Toys for Tots to help distribute gifts to the less fortunate children in our community and in the neighborhood. Everyone is welcome to help. If you have any questions contact Rosemarie Nasr or Raidah Nesheiwat.

Saturday, December 17. 12:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Toys for Tots volunteer opportunity to help the needy. Toys for Tots requested our help in their facility to support efforts in California. Toys for Tots depends on the work of volunteers every year. We need a group of 30 people to help show Holy Cross Church’s support. If you have any questions contact Rosemarie Nasr and Raidah Nesheiwat.

Saturday, December 31, 2016. New Year’s Eve Party. This year we are having our Annual New Year’s Eve Celebration at Holy Cross Church. There will be great food, music, and dancing. Come celebrate the year with your friends and family at Holy Cross Church. $60 for adults and $30 for children (limited tickets available), mazza, dinner, music, babysitting, and Midnight Champagne included. You can purchase your tickets from Alia Qsar, Raidah Nesheiwat, Josephine Cantartzoglou, Suad Kazanji, Reem Maqatish, or contact the Church office at (714)  985-1710.

June 20 to June 30, 2017. St Anne Cathedral is organizing 10 days trip to The Holy Land from June 20 to June 30, 2017. Flyer and the registration form are available at the office. If you are interested, please complete the registration form and send back to Fr. Fouad Sayegh, St. Anne Melkite Catholic Cathedral, 11245 Rye St., North Hollywood, CA 91602 with a $400 deposit check made payable to St. Anne Cathedral. Should you have any questions, please contact either Fred Ashkar at 818-681-4975 or Andree Antoun at 818-515-0281

Holy Cross Youth Ministry Spiritual Event. “Living Everyday with Passion and Purpose” led by best-selling author Matthew Kelly. Saturday, December 3, 2016. 4:00 p.m. – 10:30 p.m. We will depart from Holy Cross Church at 3:00 p.m.
   You were created to live a life of passion and purpose! Are you ready to become a better version of yourself? How about the best-version-of-yourself? This is not your typical church event! This one day event has changed the lives of tens of thousands of young people throughout the world. This gathering invites us all to identify God’s voice in our lives and the specific purpose for which we have been created. Matthew inspires attendees to apply the genius of Catholicism to every aspect of our lives including prayer and spirituality, work, dating, marriage, personal finances, health and well-being, parenting, and community involvement. Matthew Kelly and musician Eliot Morris prepare a unique message inspired by God and the teachings of the Church that promises to radiate in your life. Consider this: most people take more time to plan their annual vacation than they do to discover the voice of God and His plan for their life. Please invite your friends. Parents are also encouraged to join us for this event.
   Doors will open an hour before the event. We recommend you arrive an hour prior to the event start time, to collect your event materials and find a seat. Every event attendee will receive an event bag, which contains a book, CD, journal, pen, and several other great resources. Please note, meals are not served during the breaks, feel free to pack a snack to enjoy during the breaks in public areas. Location: UCI Bren Center. 100 Mesa Road Irvine, CA 92697. For further information visit: www.DynamicCatholic.com/Irvine
   Cost: FREE. Holy Cross Church will cover the full $40 registration fee, which will covers the ticket, event bag, event materials, transportation, and parking. To register please contact the office at (714) 985-1710 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The Bishop’s Appeal. As we commemorate today the Holy and Great-martyr, Barbara, who lived in Syria in the 4th century, let us also remember our brothers and sisters in Syria and throughout the Near East who today, like St. Barbara, are persecuted and martyred for their faith in Christ.  Let us thank God for our religious freedom in the US and offer support to those who suffer for their Faith in the homelands of our Melkite Church by making a special gift to the Bishop’s Appeal. Ten percent of your gifts to the Appeal go to the persecuted and poor, both in the Mid-East and here at home.
Please give an end-of-year, tax-deductible gift to the Bishop’s Appeal. Give generously so the vital works of our Church can continue and grow. Appeal donation envelopes are available in the narthex. God bless you for your generosity.

November 15 is the traditional start of the Nativity Fast according. Some start this fast on December 10. During this time we fast from meat and dairy. In order for fasting to be effective, it must be accompanied with prayer and acts of mercy and love. St. John Chrysostom reminds us: “What good is it to fast from meat and dairy, if we devour and eat one another.” Please remember to love and forgive in this special time in which we prepare for the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ. The Fast will continue until the Christmas Eve Divine Liturgy, which will take place on Saturday, December 24 at 4:00 p.m. The Christmas Day Divine Liturgy will be on Sunday, December 25 at 11:00 a.m. Please take the opportunity now to mark your calendars. How can we truly celebrate Christmas if we skip out on Christmas Liturgy? The Christmas season is a very busy time and we have plans to be with friends and family, but let us set our priorities straight and schedule our gatherings around our prayer times. Can you imagine having a birthday party without celebrating the one whose birthday it is? That’s exactly what we do when we don’t attend Christmas Liturgy. Let us begin to change the secularization of Christmas and remember that Christ is the reason for the season.

The What, Who, Why, When, and Where of Fasting by Fr. Sebastian Carnazzo (www.steliasmelkite.org)
   With the Nativity Fast beginning on November 15th, I thought it would be good to review the "what, who, why, when, and where" of fasting!  During your breaks today, take a brief moment to read each one of these subjects and also take a minute to think about it.
   What: Fasting is the practice of eating less quantity of food or completely abstaining from food, or certain types of food, at certain times.
   Who: Christians have been fasting from the beginning. Jesus fasted (Matt 4:2), his disciples fasted (Matthew 6:16-18), and he said that his disciples would fast until his return (Matt 9:15).  Jesus taught that there are some evils that can only be done away with through prayer and fasting (Matthew 17:21). Hence, the early Church fasted during the time of the Apostles (Acts 13:3; 14:23) and has continued until today. Christians have always fasted. To what degree someone is able to fast or abstain from certain things depends on age and physical health, but there is no way out of it. If you are a Christian you should fast!
   Why: Many people think that fasting makes God happy because he likes to see us suffering. That's impossible. First of all, God desires your happiness. Second, God doesn't change.  You can't make him happy or sad. Whether you fast or not, it doesn't change God, it changes you. Think of it like spiritual exercises or calisthenics!  When you fast you choose not to eat certain things or at certain times. This strengthens your willpower.  The more you do this the stronger your willpower becomes. Then, when you encounter somethings that is evil, a temptation to sin, you have the strength to choose not to sin. Fasting does not change God, it changes you!
   When: From the early Church, Christians have been fasting weekly, during certain times in the year, and during periods of personal trial.  During the time of Jesus, Jews fasted on Mondays and Thursdays each week because, as far as can be discerned, they believed that Moses went up to get the Torah on the mountain on Thursday and came back down on Monday (Luke 18:12). Christians began fasting on Wednesdays and Fridays, because these are the days when Jesus was handed over (Wednesday) and crucified (Friday). This practice developed during apostolic times (Didache 8:1) and has continued to today. Over the first few centuries of the Church, larger fasting periods developed as well, of which there are four: The Great Fast in preparation for Pascha, the Apostles Fast, in preparation for the Feast of Peter and Paul, the Dormition Fast, in preparation for the Dormition, and the Nativity Fast, in preparation for the Nativity.   Finally, individual Christians, Christian Churches, Christian Communities, also sometimes fast during times of prayer in preparation for coming times of difficulty.
   Where: Fasting is something we do for our own spiritual development. As Jesus said, when we fast, we should go about our normal daily routine, and there should not be any indication to those outside that we are fasting (Matthew 6:16-18). Otherwise, we could easily fall into pride, and then the whole purpose of fasting, avoidance of sin, has been lost.  At home at meal time, when the whole family is fasting, meals are taken together and fasting is a united effort that strengthens the family bond and encourages each member to keep up the effort. This is like friends or family members committing to go out and exercise together each day. We can also do this when we are alone, taking a meal at lunch at the cafeteria, or even out to lunch with some co-workers, as long as we are careful not to draw any attention to ourselves. It is quite easy to choose a shrimp salad or vegetable soup without anyone taking notice. But be careful. If someone who is not keeping the Fast invites you to dinner, and you are inclined to go, if nothing else but to be polite, you should eat whatever is put before you (1 Cor 10:27). Remember, charity in all things!  And so even this can strengthen you. How so? If you have been keeping the fast without fail, and then sometime during the fast you are in a situation where you must break the fast for a moment, such as the above example, it can also keep you from falling into pride, since you cannot say to yourself at the end of the fast, "Look how strong you are!  You did it, you kept the Fast!  Wow, you must be really spiritual!" Remember, fasting is to help us avoid sin, and pride is the greatest sin of all!
Now, back to the What: From what do we abstain during this coming Nativity Fast?  Throughout the year it is customary on Wednesdays and Fridays to avoid alcoholic beverages, oil, and animal products (dairy, eggs and meat [including fish with a backbone]). During the Nativity Fast we continue this practice and also abstain from animal products on all days of the week. Saturdays and Sundays are exceptions, when fish is usually eaten as a lightening or relief from the weekly fast.
   More on all this later. In the meantime, start thinking about these things and, if married, talking with the family about how you will, as a family, keep the Nativity Fast. The above list is simply a customary guideline, not some sort of hard and strict rule.  Each person or family has its own needs, age of children, elderly, health, food allergies, and life situation. Remember, the purpose of fasting is to help you avoid sin. Fasting together is like exercising together. The benefits are myriad. May God bless you now and in a special way during this coming Nativity Fast as we prepare to celebrate the great gift of God in the Nativity of our Lord God and Savior in the Flesh!

Holy Cross Church Sunday School (Eastern Christian Formation). This year’s Sunday School started on Sunday, September 25, 2016. For more Sunday School events, check the Holy Cross Church calendar.
   Verse of The Week: Luke 2:14 "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom he is pleased!" 

How Catholic Schools Shape Children. They Teach, Nurture and Inspire Kids To Be Future Leaders. By Cathi Douglas. 11/15/2016. http://occatholic.com/how-catholic-schools-shape-children

Vocation Awareness. Notice in the Gospel that “religious” people did not have a correct understanding of what “religion” is all about. In the epistle, Saint Paul is speaking to Christians, church members (not pagans), about the need to grow in true “religion”, keeping the proper perspective. Our clergy has this mission to all of us today. Unfortunately, we are experiencing a lack of sufficient priests in the eparchy. Please encourage men in your parish to consider this vocation.

Vocation View. Saint Paul urges Christian readers to live a life of communion, in mutual love, and in the love that God has given us.  Jesus teaches us the importance and implications of that life of loving communion. Who shall preach and teach it to us today? Pray for an increase of vocations to the priesthood and monastic life and encourage possible candidates.

A Prayer for Vocations. O Lord God, in every age, You invite men and women to hear Your call to serve You and the Church. We bow before You now, asking that You call forth more persons to serve our Melkite Church in America. Give us priests, deacons, monks and nuns, who will lead and guide your holy people. By Your will, bless us with vocations so that we continue to be the church which You called us to be, centuries ago. Let all hear Your voice inviting them to care for and serve Your people. Strengthen us in being disciples of Jesus Christ, Your Only-begotten Son and fishers of men. Inspire in us the spirit and pride of Antioch, our holy heritage. We ask You, O Lover of mankind, to raise up men and women who appreciate what they have received from You and who want to be generous in their service, willing to offer their lives and all their gifts, to serve others, to give You glory, thanksgiving and worship, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, now and always and forever and ever. Amen.

The Melkite Eastern Catholic Community at Saint Kilian’s Roman Catholic Church. There has been an overwhelmingly positive turnout and great excitement for our monthly Divine Liturgy at Saint Kilian’s. Please remind everyone in the area to attend and invite your family and friends. In order to encourage the younger generation to take a leadership role and to be open to people of all backgrounds, the Divine Liturgy is in English. We will meet in the hall prior to the Divine Liturgy to get to know each other, review the hymns, and get everyone’s ideas on how we can build a healthy future on the solid foundation of faith.
   Meet in the hall at 6:00 p.m. and the Divine Liturgy in the Church will begin at exactly 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, December 11, 2016 at Saint Kilian’s. 26872 Estanciero Drive, Mission Viejo, CA 92691 (off Marguerite Parkway).
   2017 dates: Sunday, January 8, Sunday, February 12, Sunday, March 12, Sunday, April 2, Sunday, May 14, Sunday, June 11, Sunday, July 9, Sunday, August 13, Sunday, September 10, Sunday, October 8, Sunday, November 12, Sunday, December 10.
   We thank everyone who has called and showed exceptional excitement for our new outreach. If you live or know anyone who lives in the area surrounding Mission Viejo please give us their contact information so that we can keep everyone informed on upcoming events. We appreciate your assistance in helping us put together a list of those who live in the area. Please send contact details to the parish office at (714) 985-1710 or email a list of names to Father François at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
   “Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain” (Psalm 127:1).

Receive the emailed weekly Holy Cross Church Bulletin. If you or someone you known would like to receive the emailed weekly parish bulletin or homily please sign up at: https://www.holycrossmelkite.org/parish/mailing-list or contact the office at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (714) 985-1710. Please also let us know if you are on our list but have changed your email.

Do you want to be inspired and learn more about your Catholic Faith? Listen to Immaculate Heart Catholic Radio on 930am. For further information visit www.ihradio.com or call 1-888-887-7120. 

Thank you for your ongoing generous donations:
   Saturday, November 5 collection: $365.00.
   Sunday, November 6 collection: $3,028+$205 (candles) = $3233.
   Monday, November 7 building fund deposit: $2,669.14.
   Sunday, November 13 collection: $2,546+$137 (candles) = $2,683.
   Sunday, November 13 Mission Viejo collection: $710.
   Monday, November 14 building fund deposit: $3,020.
   Sunday, November 20 collections: Cash in basket $259 + $1,800 in 49 envelopes (average of $36.73 per envelope) + $187 (candles) = $2,246.
   Monday, November 21 building fund deposit: $1,230.50.
   Sunday, November 27 collections: Cash in basket $87 + $2,625 in 37 envelopes (Average of $70.95 per envelope) + $76 (candles) = $2788.
   Tuesday, November 29 building fund deposit: $1,638.27.

Sample Holy Cross Church Expenses.
   $227.86 paid on October 13, 2016 for Ascension Publishing Youth Program.
   $115.52 paid on October 19, 2016  for Ascension Publishing Youth Program.
   $145.42 paid on October 19, 2016 for Ascension Publishing Youth Program.
   $315.11 paid on October 20, 2016 for Ascension Publishing Youth Program.
   $131.33 paid on November 10, 2016 for AT&T Phone Services.
   $118.63 paid on November 14, 2016 for Photocopier Expense.
   $190.00 paid on November 17, 2016 for Dynamic Catholic Matthew Kelly Event.
   $46.58 paid on November 18, 2016 for BroadVoice Phone Services.
   $294.33 paid on November 29, 2016 for General Church Cleaning.

Orthros Gospel: 7.
Hymns:  
   Troparion of the Resurrection (Tone 4). The women disciples of the Lord, having learned from the angel the joyful announcement of the resurrection, and having rejected the ancestral sentence, proudly told the apostles:  “Death is despoiled. Christ God is risen, bestowing to the world great mercy.”
   Troparion of St. Barbara (Tone 8). Let us praise the most honorable Barbara: she thwarted the enemy’s power, and through the might and the strength of the cross, she was made free in her flight to God.
   Troparion of St. John (Tone 8). Guide of Orthodoxy, mirror of piety and exemplary behavior, bright star of the universe and adornment of pontiffs, you enlightened us all by your teachings.  O wise John, inspired by God and lyre of the Holy Spirit, intercede with Christ God that He may save our souls.
   Troparion of the Holy Cross (Tone 2). O Lord, save your people and bless your inheritance. Strengthen our Public Authorities in every good deed and protect your nation with your Cross.
   Kondakion of the Preparation for the Nativity of Our Lord (Tone 3). Today the Virgin is on her way to the cave where she will give birth in a manner beyond understanding to the Word who is, in all eternity. Rejoice, therefore, universe, when you hear it heralded: with the angels and the shepherds, glorify Him who chose to be seen as a new-born Babe, while remaining God in all eternity.

Epistle: Galatians: 3:23-4:5. Vincent Nakhoul will read today’s Epistle. Full reading below. If you would like to read the Epistle please contact the office.
Gospel: Luke 13:10-17. Full reading below.

If you would like to view or receive the daily Arabic or English Epistle and Gospel readings go to: http://www.melkites.org/en/readingsXML.htm

Today’s Divine Liturgy is celebrated for
   the repose of the souls of:
   Betty Hardiman (November 21, 2016), Therese Samaan Tadros (November 20, 2016), Emile Semaan (November 9, 2016), Dana Naber (October 31, 2016), Nabiha Shajrawi (October 21, 2016), Bertha Hatoum Nehme (October 22, 2016), Nabil Georges Abboudi (October 8, 2016), Mariam Saikaley Irani (October 7, 2016), Bahjat Hamoui (September 23, 2016), Adel Habib Srour (September 2, 2016), Youssef Machalani (September 1, 2016), Florence Walker (August 28, 2016), Georges Youssef Hajjar (August 4, 2016), Angele Abi-Khalil Mahfouz (July 20, 2016), Chafic Mikhael Hajjar (July 15, 2016), John Abdelahad Hannoush (June 29, 2016), Elias Jaber (May 15, 2016), Issa Michel Raffoul (April 29, 2016), Joseph Nourieh (December 4, 2015), Nicholas Kassouf (October 7, 2014), Ibrahim Doura (August 8, 2012), Wadih Nassar (November 23, 2008).
   the health, safety, and salvation of:
   Atalla Al-Assad, William Joubran Awad, Mark Bergeron, Stacy Bladdel, Becky Bode, Kevin Murphy, Isho Nissan, Linda Raya, Jack Raymond.
   For vocations to the priesthood, monastic life, and lay parish ministries.
   For peace in Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Palestine, Syria, and all the troubled regions around the world.

Scripture Memory:
“As many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. [28] There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:27-28).

“When Jesus saw the woman who had had a spirit of infirmity for eighteen years, He called her and said to her, ‘Woman, you are freed from your infirmity.’ [13] And He laid his hands upon her, and immediately she was made straight, and she praised God” (Luke 13:12-13).

Calendar:
Friday, December 2.

   11:00 a.m. Prayer Service for all the spiritual needs of our parishioners followed by a Spiritual Meeting led by Deacon Elias Kashou. Topic: Saint Barbara, Saint Nicholas, and the Saints of the month.

Saturday, December 3.
   12:30-3:30 p.m. Saints Nicholas Day Party for all the children at Holy Cross Church.
   4:00 p.m. – 10:30 p.m. (Departure from the Church at 3:00 p.m.) Holy Cross Youth Ministry Spiritual Event. “Living Everyday with Passion and Purpose” led by best-selling author Matthew Kelly. You were created to live a life of passion and purpose! Are you ready to become a better version of yourself? How about the best-version-of-yourself? This is not your typical church event! This one day event has changed the lives of tens of thousands of young people throughout the world. This gathering invites us all to identify God’s voice in our lives and the specific purpose for which we have been created. Matthew inspires attendees to apply the genius of Catholicism to every aspect of our lives including prayer and spirituality, work, dating, marriage, personal finances, health and well-being, parenting, and community involvement. Matthew Kelly and musician Eliot Morris prepare a unique message inspired by God and the teachings of the Church that promises to radiate in your life. Consider this: most people take more time to plan their annual vacation than they do to discover the voice of God and His plan for their life. Please invite your friends. Parents are also encouraged to join us for this event.
   Doors will open an hour before the event. We recommend you arrive an hour prior to the event start time, to collect your event materials and find a seat. Every event attendee will receive an event bag, which contains a book, CD, journal, pen, and several other great resources. Please note, meals are not served during the breaks, feel free to pack a snack to enjoy during the breaks in public areas. Location: UCI Bren Center. 100 Mesa Road Irvine, CA 92697. For further information visit: www.DynamicCatholic.com/Irvine
   Cost: FREE. Holy Cross Church will cover the full $40 registration fee, which will covers the ticket, event bag, event materials, transportation, and parking. To register please contact the office at (714) 985-1710 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

   5:00 p.m. Divine Liturgy in Arabic.

Sunday, December 4.
On the first Sunday of each month you may use your pink colored Building Fund Envelopes (or a specially marked envelope) and deposit it in the regular collection. Thank You for your continued generosity as we move closer to our parish goal of a new Hall and Church building.
   11:00 a.m. Divine Liturgy In English.
      -40th day memorial Divine Liturgy for Grace Aboody (October 24, 2016).
      -One year memorial Divine Liturgy for Joseph Nourieh (December 4, 2015).
      -One year memorial Divine Liturgy for Ibrahim Saba (December 5, 2015).
   12:15 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. Holy Cross Youth Ministry meeting. 

Wednesday, December 7.
   10:30 a.m. Eastern Catholic Pastoral Association (ECPA) meeting at Holy Cross Church.
   7:00 p.m. Festival Summary Meeting.

Friday, December 9.
   10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. Father François Beyrouti will give a talk to four grade 12 classes at Mater Dei Catholic High School.

Saturday, December 10.
   3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Toys for Tots event at Holy Cross Church. This year Our Youth and Sunday School Children are going to host a toy giving away for the holiday. We have partnered with Toys for Tots to help distribute gifts to the less fortunate children in our community and in the neighborhood. Everyone is welcome to help. If you have any questions contact Rosemarie Nasr or Raidah Nesheiwat.
   4:30 p.m. Confession.
   5:00 p.m. Vespers (Evening Prayer).

Sunday, December 11.
   9:45 a.m. Orthros (Morning prayer).
   11:00 a.m. Divine Liturgy.
   12:15 p.m. Eastern Christian Formation. Father François Beyrouti will explain the prayers and show them how the priest prepares the Korban prior to the beginning of the Divine Liturgy.
   12:15 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. Holy Cross Youth Ministry. Decision Point discussion. Led by Chantal Behnan.
   12:15 p.m. Falafel Luncheon for the whole parish organized by Our Lady’s Society. 

   6:00 p.m. Music practice and meeting to get to know each other before Melkite Divine Liturgy at Saint Kilian’s.
   6:30 p.m. Divine Liturgy. The Melkite Eastern Catholic Community at Saint Kilian’s Roman Catholic Church. 26872 Estanciero Drive, Mission Viejo, CA 92691.

Monday, December 12.
   10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. Father François Beyrouti will give a talk to three grade 12 classes at Mater Dei Catholic High School.

Thursday, December 15.
   Candlelight Christmas at Cornelia Connely School. 2323 West Broadway. Anaheim, CA 92804.
   5:00-9:00 p.m. Christmas Boutique.
   6:30 p.m. Carolers and Cider.
   7:00 p.m. Concert and Sing-a-long. 

Saturday, December 17.
   12:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Toys for Tots volunteer opportunity to help the needy. Toys for Tots requested our help in their facility to support efforts in California. Toys for Tots depends on the work of volunteers every year. We need a group of 30 people to help show Holy Cross Church’s support. If you have any questions contact Rosemarie Nasr and Raidah Nesheiwat.
   4:30 p.m. Confession.
   5:00 p.m. Vespers (Evening Prayer).

Sunday, December 18.
   9:45 a.m. Orthros (Morning prayer).
   11:00 a.m. Divine Liturgy.
   12:15 p.m. Holy Cross Youth Ministry Gift Exchange.
   12:15 p.m. Eastern Christian Formation Christmas play in the hall.

Wednesday, December 21.
   7:00 p.m. Homeless Persons’ Interfaith Memorial Service. National Day of Remembrance. In the Arboretum at Christ Cathedral. 13280 Chapman Avenue Garden Grove, Ca 92840. Each year, thousands of homeless men and women die on the streets of our nation due to illness, exposure or violence. Many from our very own community of Orange County. Please join us as we honor and acknowledge their lives as part of the human family. To provide the name of someone you know who has lost their life on the streets in Orange County (so they can be acknowledged in the service) or to RSVP, contact Esther Ramirez at (714) 282-6001 or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
   Organized by: Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange, Sisters of Saint Joseph (Orange), Our Father’s Table, Home Aid (Orange County). Participating: Most Reverend Kevin W. Vann, Pastor Cole Beshore, Bishop Murray Finck, Rev. Nichelle Madrigal, Dr. Muzammil Siddiqi, Dr. Jasjit Singh, Rabbi Frank Stern, Tom Thorkelson, Rev. Steve Tsichlis, Pastor Mark Whitlock.

Saturday, December 24.
   4:00 p.m. Divine Liturgy for the Vigil of Christmas. Christ is Born. Glorify Him. 

Sunday, December 25.
   11:00 a.m. Christmas Day Divine Liturgy. Christ is Born. Glorify Him.
   No Sunday School today. 

Saturday, December 31.
   New Year’s Party at Holy Cross Church. 

Sunday, January 1.
   On the first Sunday of each month you may use your building fund envelopes (or a specially marked envelope) and deposit it in the regular collection. Thank you for your continued generosity as we move closer to our parish goal of a new hall and church building.
   11:00 a.m. New Year’s Day Divine Liturgy.

Friday, January 6.
   7:00 p.m. Divine Liturgy for the feast of the Theophany (Baptism of our Lord) and the Great blessing of water.

Saturday, January 7.
   4:30 p.m. Confession.
   5:00 p.m. Vespers (Evening Prayer).

Sunday, January 8.
   9:45 a.m. Orthros (Morning prayer).
   11:00 a.m. Divine Liturgy.
   12:15 p.m.-1:15 p.m. Eastern Christian Formation/Sunday School will resume today for children in kindergarten to grade 8.
   12:15 p.m.-1:15 p.m. Youth Ministry spiritual discussion for all in grades 9-12. 

   5:45 p.m. Music practice in the Saint Kilian hall.
   6:30 p.m. Divine Liturgy. The Melkite Eastern Catholic Community at Saint Kilian’s Roman Catholic Church. 26872 Estanciero Drive, Mission Viejo, CA 92691.

Sunday, January 15.
   9:45 a.m. Orthros (Morning prayer).
   11:00 a.m. Divine Liturgy.
   12:15 p.m.-1:15 p.m. Eastern Christian Formation/Sunday School for children in kindergarten to grade 8.
   12:15 p.m.-1:15 p.m. Youth Ministry spiritual discussion for all in grades 9-12. 

Saturday, January 21.
   9:00 a.m.-10:30 a.m.  Prayer followed by a presentation on the history of the Melkite Catholic Church given by Father François Beyrouti at the Mission Basilica San Juan Capistrano Educational Center. 2nd floor, back entrance to 31520 Camino Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675. Organized by the Secular Franciscan Fraternity at Mission San Juan in commemoration of the week of prayer for Christian Unity. All are welcome.

At Holy Cross Church:
   4:30 p.m. Confession. 
   5:00 p.m. Vespers (Evening Prayer).

Sunday, January 22.
   9:45 a.m. Orthros (Morning prayer).
   11:00 a.m. Divine Liturgy.
   12:15 p.m.-1:15 p.m. Eastern Christian Formation/Sunday School for children in kindergarten to grade 8.
   12:15 p.m.-1:15 p.m. Youth Ministry spiritual discussion for all in grades 9-12.

Saturday, January 28.
   4:30 p.m. Confession. 
   5:00 p.m. Vespers (Evening Prayer). 

Sunday, January 29.
   9:45 a.m. Orthros (Morning prayer).
   11:00 a.m. Divine Liturgy.
   12:15 p.m.-1:15 p.m. Eastern Christian Formation/Sunday School for children in kindergarten to grade 8.
   12:15 p.m.-1:15 p.m. Youth Ministry spiritual discussion for all in grades 9-12. 

   3:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m. Prepare meal in the Holy Cross hall kitchen for Isaiah House Catholic Worker’s Women’s shelter.
   4:30 p.m. Carpool to Isaiah House (316 South Cypress Avenue, Santa Ana. http://occatholicworker.org).
   5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. Set up, serve meals, visit with the women, and clean up.

Friday, February 3.
   11:00 a.m. Prayer Service for all the Spiritual needs of our Parishioners followed by a Spiritual meeting led by Deacon Elias Kashou.

Saturday, February 4.
   5:00 p.m. Divine Liturgy in Arabic. 

Sunday, February 5. Sunday of the Pharisee and the Publican.
On the first Sunday of each month you may use your building fund envelopes (or a specially marked envelope) and deposit it in the regular collection. Thank you for your continued generosity as we move closer to our parish goal of a new hall and church building.
   9:45 a.m. Orthros (Morning prayer).
   11:00 a.m. Divine Liturgy.
   12:15 p.m.-1:15 p.m. Eastern Christian Formation/Sunday School for children in kindergarten to grade 8.
   12:15 p.m.-1:15 p.m. Youth Ministry spiritual discussion for all in grades 9-12.

Saturday, February 11.
   4:30 p.m. Confession.
   5:00 p.m. Vespers (Evening Prayer). 

Sunday, February 12. Sunday of the Prodigal Son.
   9:45 a.m. Orthros (Morning prayer).
   11:00 a.m. Divine Liturgy.
   12:15 p.m.-1:15 p.m. Eastern Christian Formation/Sunday School for children in kindergarten to grade 8.
   12:15 p.m.-1:15 p.m. Youth Ministry spiritual discussion for all in grades 9-12. 

   5:45 p.m. Music practice in the Saint Kilian hall.
   6:30 p.m. Divine Liturgy. The Melkite Eastern Catholic Community at Saint Kilian’s Roman Catholic Church. 26872 Estanciero Drive, Mission Viejo, CA 92691.

Saturday, February 18.
   4:30 p.m. Confession.
   5:00 p.m. Vespers (Evening Prayer). 

Sunday, February 19. Meat-fare Sunday.
   9:45 a.m. Orthros (Morning prayer).
   11:00 a.m. Divine Liturgy.
   12:15 p.m.-2:00 p.m. Annual Meat-fare Sunday Parish luncheon, Barbeque, events, and music.

Friday, February 24-Sunday, February 26.
   Religious Educators Congress. Theme “Embrace Trust.” Anaheim Convention Center. 800 West Katella Ave. Anaheim, CA. For further details go to: www.recongress.org
   We encourage all our parishioners to attend this conference which is the largest of it’s kind in North America. Holy Cross Church will cover the registration costs for all who would like to register.

Saturday, February 25.
   4:30 p.m. Confession.
   5:00 p.m. Vespers (Evening Prayer). 

Sunday, February 26. Cheese-fare Sunday.
   9:45 a.m. Orthros (Morning prayer).
   11:00 a.m. Divine Liturgy.
   12:15 p.m.-1:15 p.m. Eastern Christian Formation/Sunday School for children in kindergarten to grade 8.
   12:15 p.m.-1:15 p.m. Youth Ministry spiritual discussion for all in grades 9-12.

Friday, March 3.
   11:00 a.m. Prayer Service for all the Spiritual needs of our Parishioners followed by a Spiritual meeting led by Deacon Elias Kashou. 

Saturday, March 4.
   5:00 p.m. Divine Liturgy in Arabic. 

Sunday, March 5. Sunday of Orthodoxy.
On the first Sunday of each month you may use your building fund envelopes (or a specially marked envelope) and deposit it in the regular collection. Thank you for your continued generosity as we move closer to our parish goal of a new hall and church building.
   9:45 a.m. Orthros (Morning prayer).
   11:00 a.m. Divine Liturgy in English.
   12:15 p.m.-1:15 p.m. Eastern Christian Formation/Sunday School for children in kindergarten to grade 8.
   12:15 p.m.-1:15 p.m. Youth Ministry spiritual discussion for all in grades 9-12. 

Readings for Sunday, December 4, 2016.
Epistle: Galatians 3:23-4:5.
PROKIMENON (Tone 4)
Awesome in His saints is God, the God of Israel.
Stichon: In the churches, bless God, the Lord of Israel’s wellsprings.

A Reading from the Epistle of St. Paul to the Galatians.
Brethren, before the faith came, we were kept imprisoned under the Law, shut up from the faith that was to be revealed.  Therefore the Law has been our tutor unto Christ that we might be made holy by faith.  But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.  For you are all God’s children through faith in Christ Jesus. For all you who have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.  There is neither Jew nor Greek; there is neither slave nor freeman; there is neither male nor female.  For you are all one in Christ Jesus.  And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to the promise. (4: 1) Now I say, as long as the heir is a child, he differs in no way from a slave, though he is the master of all; but he is under guardians and tutors until the time set by his father.  So we too, when we were children, were enslaved under the elements of the world.  But when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, that he might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. 

ALLELUIA
I have waited, waited for the Lord, and He stooped toward me and heard my cry.
Stichon: He set my feet upon a rock; He made firm my steps. 

Gospel: Luke 13:10-17.  Tenth Sunday after the Holy Cross.
The Holy Gospel according to St. Luke the Evangelist.
At that time Jesus was teaching in one of their synagogues on the Sabbath.  And behold, there was a woman who for eighteen years had had a sickness caused by a spirit; and she was bent over and utterly unable to look upwards.  When Jesus saw her, He called her to Him and said to her, “Woman, you are delivered from your infirmity.” And He laid His hands upon her, and instantly she was made straight, and glorified God.  But the ruler of the synagogue, indignant that Jesus had cured on the Sabbath, addressed the crowd, saying, “There are six days in which one ought to work; on these therefore come and be cured, and not on the Sabbath.”  But the Lord answered him and said, “Hypocrites! Does not each one of you on the Sabbath loose his ox or ass from the manger, and lead it out to water? And this woman, daughter of Abraham as she is, whom Satan has bound, lo, for eighteen years, ought not she to be released from this bond on the Sabbath?”  And as He said these things, all His adversaries were put to shame; and the entire crowd rejoiced at all the glorious things that were done by Him. 

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Holy Cross Melkite Catholic Church.
451 West Madison Avenue, Placentia, CA 92870-4537
Telephone: (714) 985-1710.
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Parish Web site: www.HolyCrossMelkite.org
Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/HolyCrossMelkite
Youtube Page: www.youtube.com/HolyCrossMelkite
Twitter: https://twitter.com/HCMelkite

Pastor: Father François Beyrouti.
Electronic mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. - Cellular phone: (714) 914-1710
Pastoral Associate: Deacon Elias Kashou.
Office Manager: Tony Helo.
Parish Hall Rental: Hala Nakhoul (714) 920-6180.
Choir director: Reader Saad Tashman.
Sunday School / Eastern Christian Formation Program: Every Sunday after the Divine Liturgy from September-May. Pre-School to Grade 8.
Our Lady’s Society: Iman Lutfi (714) 595-7999. 

LITURGICAL SCHEDULE
SATURDAY: 4:30 P.M. Confession. 5:00 P.M. Vespers (Evening Prayer).
SUNDAY: 9:45 A.M. Orthros (Morning Prayer).  11:00 A.M. The Divine Liturgy.
ARABIC DIVINE LITURGY: 5:00 p.m. Saturday before the first Sunday of the month. In 2016: December 3.
ENGLISH DIVINE LITURGY: 11:00 a.m. First Sunday of the month. In 2016: December 4.
HOLY DAYS AND WEEKDAYS: Please check the bulletin.

THE HOLY MYSTERIES
   MYSTERIES OF CHRISTIAN INITIATION: The three Mysteries of Baptism, Chrismation and Holy Eucharist are always celebrated together in one ceremony. One month notice is required and one baptismal preparation meeting is required with the priest.
   MYSTERY OF HOLY CROWNING: Six month notice, an initial meeting with the priest, marriage preparation sessions, and a wedding license are required. You must be an active member of the parish.
   MYSTERY OF HOLY CONFESSION: Saturday at 4:30 p.m.
   MYSTERY OF HOLY ANOINTING: Available for anyone who is ill.
PLEASE NOTE: There is no charge for the celebration of the Sacramental Mysteries, however, it is appropriate to offer a gift of thanksgiving. Therefore the Parish Advisory Council suggests an offering of $200 for Baptisms; $500 for Weddings; $300 for Funerals; and $100 for a Memorial Service.

HALL RENTAL POLICY.
   MERCY-MEAL ON THE DAY OF THE FUNERAL: No charge for registered parishioners of Holy Cross Church who regularly use donation envelopes.
   MERCY-MEAL FOR THE 40th DAY OR OTHER MEMORIALS: $300.00 for parishioners.
   A PARTY WITH MUSIC, FOOD, AND DRINKS (up to 5 hours of use): $400.00 for parishioners + $100 insurance payable to the diocese. $500.00 for non-parishioners + $100 insurance payable to the diocese.
   A MEETING (Use of the chairs and tables only. No use of the kitchen, oven, or refrigerator). $75 / hour for parishioners. $100 for non-parishioners.
   ADDITIONAL CHARGE FOR A RENTAL OVER 5 HOURS: $100 / hour.

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