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2017-12-03-bulletin-for-sunday

Holy Cross Melkite Catholic Church Bulletin. Sunday, December 3, 2017.
Fourteenth Sunday after the Holy Cross.

December 3. Commemoration of the Holy Prophet Sophonias.
Sophonias also lived towards the end of the seventh century before Christ, and his prophesies covered about the same events as those foretold by Nahum and Habacuc: the destruction of the kingdom of Israel, the fall of Jerusalem. He also predicted the conversion of the gentiles, the perdition of sinners, the glorification of the saints and the general judgement.

December 22, 2017. 7:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m. Ugly Sweater Party at Holy Cross Church Hall, all are welcome. There will be music, pizza, and salad for a $10 entry. Come support your Youth Group in this very joyful gathering.

December 31, 2017. 8:00 p.m. New Year’s Eve Party at Holy Cross Church hall. There will be great mazza, a Middle Eastern dinner, a variety of music, dancing, a raffle, midnight champagne, and so much more. Come celebrate the year with your friends and family at Holy Cross Church. $60 for adults and $30 for children (limited tickets available). 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.

An article covering a speech Father François gave on November 8, 2017
PLACENTIA NEWS-TIMES. OCREGISTER.COM/PLACENTIA. NEWS. A3
WHAT A DAY. The right message for the right job. Gayle Carline, Contributing Columnist.
Although I am not a morning person, I do love going to breakfasts that honor our community, like the recent one acknowledging our fine members of the police, fire and emergency medical services departments.
As long as they serve coffee, I have a good time.
I also attended the Placentia Community Prayer Breakfast, held at the Placentia Round Table Women's Club, in conjunction with the Placentia Rotary Club. The event started at 7 a.m., an hour that I am not fond of.
Oh, I am usually stumbling around by then, but I don't like it.
I woke up in plenty of time to get ready, if I didn't have a cast on my arm. Necessity has made me a mother of invention, so I've had to find new ways to dress myself, and even brush my teeth.
Still, I was only 10 minutes late, certain that people were in casual conversation mode. I was wrong. As I found my seat and picked up my cup to get coffee, I heard Karen Mangold starting the program.
Even in my pre-coffee haze, I appreciated their desire to stay on schedule and be considerate of everyone's busy day.
Our speaker was Father Francois Beyrouti of Holy Cross Melkite Catholic Church. He was a friendly man and a passionate speaker, who compared a simple road sign, "No Right Turn on Red When Children Are Present," to a wise piece of advice: Do not turn when anyone is present. He encouraged us to stop in our daily hustle and look at the other people around us, acknowledging the leaders and the followers, the needy and the generous.
He reminded us to keep doing what Placentia does best — work as a team to improve everyone's lives.
I don't know how each speaker, each year, manages to say what I need to hear, but I'm glad they can read my mind. Last year's speaker soothed my postelection fears of unending national division by reminding me to keep praying, keep rejoicing and always be thankful in everything.
For a time, everywhere I looked, people were less open, less willing to help each other, and more focused on "getting theirs." I worried about what kind of people we were becoming. All I could do was be kinder, speak softer and open more doors.
It wasn't easy, and I didn't always succeed.
Then I began to notice how our community "buzz" on social media was assisting people. A lost pet? We'll help you find it. Day care? Here are options. My favorite was when folks noticed a homeless woman living on a neighborhood street. There was no shaming, just comments of "who can we call to help this lady?"
She got the help she needed.
After that came catastrophes. Hurricanes, fires, shootings.
Each time, I saw people rise up to help. Thankfully, they weren't in Placentia, but I was still proud to see my fellow Americans donating their time and money to heal the wounds.
Father Beyrouti said the right words at the right time. We are a community, and we have a commitment to look after each other.
Placentia is not just a city made up of isolated residents, easily turned into an "us versus them" divisiveness.
In Placentia, there is no them. There's only us — all of us, together.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * ** * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * ** * * * * * * * * *
Longtime Placentia resident Gayle Carline (gaylecarline.com) tracks those moments that shape her days as a wife, mom, computer wizard and horsewoman. E-mail her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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 products. 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 during this special time of preparation for the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ. The Fast will continue until Christmas Eve.
The Christmas Day Divine Liturgy will be on Monday, 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 the 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. With the Nativity Fast beginning on November 15, 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.
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!

We have been very blessed this year with many donors who have helped in so many ways, such as donations for the festival, Wine and Dine Fundraiser, 2018 calendar, and materials and labor for the minor renovations (backlot cleanup, lighting, paint, painting materials, room fans, brick work, roof maintenance, A/C maintenance, refrigerator maintenance, flowers around church, fencing, counter tops, tile flooring, and so much more). Thank you for your generosity and your dedication to the future growth of Holy Cross Church.

We are currently painting and putting tiles in the classrooms to create a clean and up to date look for our entire facilities. We need to purchase 5, 65” T.Vs. and wall mounts for the classrooms. The televisions cost approximately $650 and the walmounts are approximately $50. We would greatly appreciate if you are able to make a partial or total donation for one item. Please contact the Church office to discuss.

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.
-Credit card donations may be made at the office or online at: www.holycrossmelkite.org/donate
-Checks may be be brought in personally or mailed to: Holy Cross Melkite Catholic Church. 451 West Madison Avenue. Placentia, CA 92870-4537
2. Monthly Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT). A convenient way to make donations is through an Electronic Fund Transfer directly to Holy Cross Church from a checking or savings account on a one-time or monthly basis. If you would like to set up automatic payments or electronic funds transfer (EFT) please call us or visit: 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, commercial property, or 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 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, bank, or the Church office.
6. Retirement Assets. We welcome all types of giving, including IRA’s. Contact your IRA Representative to learn more about how to transfer 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 2017 tax credits need to be in by December 31, 2017.

AXIOS! AXIOS! AXIOS! Congratulations, prayers, and best wishes to Father Deacon Oliver Black who was ordained to the Holy Diaconate in Christ on Sunday, 12 November, at Holy Transfiguration Church in McLean, Virginia, at the hand of His Grace, Bishop NICHOLAS. Deacon Oliver is the son of Father Deacon David Black who serves at Holy Transfiguration Church. May Christ, the High Priest, bless Deacon Oliver, his family, and his ministry of service as he continues his preparation for the Holy Priesthood.

On 26 November, the Knights of Columbus will joined the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Catholic Relief Services, Aid to the Church in Need, and CNEWA in sponsoring a day of prayer for persecuted Christians. This day will begin a week of awareness and education on the issue of Christian persecution concluded on 2 December.
His Grace, Bishop NICHOLAS, ask the clergy to announce this effort and to join in prayer for our persecuted brothers and sisters. For more information and resources see the USCCB link below: www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/global-issues/middle-east/christians-in-the-middle-east/index.cfm

Choir practice. Please join our choir practice every Sunday at 10:00 a.m. at Holy Cross Melkite Catholic Church to review the regular hymns of the Divine Liturgy and learn new ones. Everyone is welcome.
The choir practice for the Melkite Eastern Catholic community at Saint Kilian’s Roman Catholic Church (26872 Estanciero Drive, Mission Viejo, CA 92691) will be at 7:00 p.m. on the second and fourth Thursdays of the month. The upcoming choir practice is on December 14th. Parish center. Room 6.

Why should I or my children be in a choir?
Reason #1: Learn about the Divine Liturgy! Those in a choir do not sing at the Divine Liturgy, they sing the Divine Liturgy. During the course of the year, you learn the order of the Divine Liturgy, the structure of the liturgical seasons, and the biblical sources of the words we pray. As your understanding deepens you become more and more aware of your own mission to bring Christ to the world.
Reason #2: Make great friends! The choir not only prepares notes and rhythms for the Divine Liturgy, they also practice collaboration, devotion, and service. In rehearsal, theological concepts are discussed as well as the order of the Divine Liturgy. You will make strong Catholic friendships that will last a lifetime. How many activities can claim that?
Reason #3: Free Music Lessons! You will receive expert training in diction, vocal technique, and music theory. Annual tuition in a regional treble choir costs about $1,000. Private voice lessons can easily cost more than $2,000 per year. These experiences are certainly valuable. Make sure you do not miss the exceptional musical training offered at Holy Cross Church!

Our Eastern Christian Formation (Sunday School) program for all children up to grade 8 re-started on September 24, 2017. Please contact the office if you would like to register your children or would like to teach our wonderful children. (714) 985-1710. The registration form is available at: holycrossmelkite.org/ministries/ecf

The Melkite Eastern Catholic Community at Saint Kilian’s Roman Catholic Church. Please invite your family and friends and remind everyone in the area to join us. We will meet in the hall at 5:45 p.m. to review the hymns and the Divine Liturgy will begin in the Church at exactly 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, December 10, 2017 at Saint Kilian’s. 26872 Estanciero Drive, Mission Viejo, CA 92691 (off Marguerite Parkway).
2017 dates: Sunday, December 10.
2018 dates: Sunday, January 14 (Visit of Bishop Nicholas Samra), Sunday, February 4 (first Sunday of February), Sunday, March 11, Sunday, April 8, Sunday, May 13, Sunday, June 10, Sunday, July 15, Sunday, August 12, Sunday, September 9, Sunday, October 14, Sunday, November 11, Sunday, December 9.
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. 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).

Holy Cross Youth Ministry Spiritual Meetings take place every Sunday following the Divine Liturgy.

Holy Cross Young Adults Group. We are going to plan social and religious activities to build our Young Adults Community at Holy Cross Church. Come join our life changing group. Feel free to bring your friends and family. Ages 21-35. Meet at Holy Cross Church every first Sunday of the month after the Divine Liturgy.

Listen to Melkite audio links on our parish website at holycrossmelkite.org/Melkite-hymns
We uploaded many Melkite hymns for the Divine Liturgy and other important services. To practice or become more familiar with our beautiful liturgical hymns you can listen or download them by visiting the above link.

Vocation Awareness. In today’s Gospel, the blind man called out for God’s help and power because he was eager to be able to see reality and wanted to both see and understand. In the epistle, Saint Paul tells us that we must continue to battle against darkness. Seeing the truth and boldly acting on it through faith gives us true vision. We need priests to help us as Christians to maintain our proper vision of all things in the perspective faith. Please pray for and personally encourage vocations to the priesthood and religious life.

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.

Your Sunday donation envelopes are mailed to you every two months. These envelopes are dated with your envelope number on the back. The next mailout also contains the Novemer and December Church calendar. Please contact the office if you are not registered or did not receive your envelopes. Thank you.

Receive the emailed weekly Holy Cross Church Bulletin and Homily. If you or someone you known would like to receive the emailed weekly parish bulletin or homily please sign up on our website or email or call the office. Please also let us know if you are on our list but have changed your email. To read past homilies visit: holycrossmelkite.org/parish/homilies

A family is looking for somone to help with housework and shopping for their elderly family member. Aproxamatly, 60 hours a month in Anaheim. Inquireies should call Hanan at (714) 717-8901.

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

Thank you for your ongoing generous donations:
-Wednesday, November 1 building fund deposit: $1,590.
-Saturday, November 4 collection: $590 in 8 envelopes (average of $73.75 per envelope) + $98 cash = $688
-Sunday, November 5 colletion: $2,490 in 30 envelopes (average of $83 per envelope) + $135 cash + $53 candles = $2,678
-Wednesday, November 7 building fund deposit: $3,631.
-Sunday, November 12 Mission Viejo collection: $415 in 9 envelopes (average of $46.11 per envelope) + $108 cash = $523.
-Sunday, November 12 collection: $2,632 in 47 envelopes (average of $56 per envelope) + $173 cash + $91 candles = $2,896.
-Wednesday, November 15 building fund deposit: $1,377.
-Sunday, November 19 collection: $1,730 in 42 envelopes (average of $41.19 per envelope) + $102 cash + $57 candles = $1,889.
-Wednesday, November 22 building fund deposit: $110.
-Sunday, November 26 collection: $1,755 in 39 envelopes (average of $45 per envelope) + $190 cash + $137 candles = $2,082.
-Wednesday, November 29 building fund deposit: $1,400.

Total deposits in the past three months: September: $19,530; October: $19,674, November: $18,874.

Sample Holy Cross Church Expenses:
$690.00 paid on October 11, 2017 for boundary staking and property Survey.
$307.32 paid on October 11, 2017 for OSV envelopes mailout.
$146.86 paid on October 17, 2017 for bulletin Printer Paper.
$161.19 paid on October 23, 2017 for Republic trash services.
$363.56 paid on October 26, 2017 for cleaning services.
$200.00 paid on November 2, 2017 for gardening services.
$56.80 paid on November 2, 2017 for Sparkletts water.
$161.19 paid on November 20, 2017 for Republic trash services.
$47.68 paid on November 27, 2017 for timer replacement.
$200.00 paid on November 27, 2017 for gardening services.

Hymns: (See our Church’s website for Audio Recordings: holycrossmelkite.org/Melkite-hymns)
Troparion of the Resurrection (Tone 1). While the stone was sealed by the Jews and soldiers were watching your sacred body, You rose, O Savior, on the third day, giving life to the world. Wherefore, O Giver of life, the powers of heaven cried out: Glory to your resurrection, O Christ. Glory to your kingdom, glory to your Plan of redemption, O You who alone are the Lover of mankind.
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: Ephesians 5:8-19. Annalee Maayah will read this Sunday’s epistle. Full reading below. If you would like to read the Epistle please contact the office.
Gospel: Luke 18:35-43. Full reading below.

Today’s Divine Liturgy is celebrated for
the repose of the souls of:
Deacon Thomas Burke (November 26, 2017), Sister Virginia Joseph (November 15, 2017), Maysa (Abou Hanna) Sayegh (November 14, 2017), Patricia Crane Wilder Fitzmaurice (November 2, 2017), Helen Tomey (October 29, 2017), Sherwood Gehris (October 25, 2017), Marcelle Khoury (October 21, 2017), Ramzi Tawil (February 1, 2017), Boutros Ibrahim (November 22, 2012), Isam Karim Hattar, Issa Alsalem Nesheiwat, Ibrahim Doura, Wadeh Nassar, Suhaila Elassal, Chukr Elassal, Mitri Al Shaini, Rayya Al Shaini.
the health, safety, and salvation of:
Michael Bergeron, Griffith Family, Tahani Gammoh, Leila Hilo, Paul Liles, Archimandrite Frank Milienewicz, Linda Raya, Andre Saikaly, Marie Semaan, Florence Shaib, Samira Taweel.
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:
“For once you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord; walk as children of light [9] (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), [10] and try to learn what is pleasing to the Lord” (Ephesians 5:8-19).

“‘What do you want me to do for you?’ He said, ‘Lord, let me receive my sight.’ [42] And Jesus said to him, ‘Receive your sight; your faith has made you well.’ [43] And immediately he received his sight and followed him, glorifying God; and all the people, when they saw it, gave praise to God” (Luke 18:35-43).

Calendar:
Friday, December 1.
7:00-10:00 p.m. Seniors night. Holy Cross Church hall. Join us for a game of cards, backgammon, other activities, and socializing.

Saturday, December 2.
5:00 p.m. Divine Liturgy in Arabic. Fr. Gabriel Azar will preside.

Sunday, December 3.
On the first Sunday of each month you may use your building fund envelope (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).
10:00 a.m. Choir practice.
11:00 a.m. Divine Liturgy in English. Fr. James Barrand will preside. Fr. Barrand will bless the wheat after the Divine Liturgy. Annalee Maayah will read today’s Epistle.
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.
12:15-1:30 p.m. Young Adults Group for ages 21-35.
12:15 p.m. Celebration of the feast day of Saint Barbara the Great Martyr with boiled wheat (sleeka/amh).
We eat boiled wheat on the feast of Saint Barbara because wheat is a sign of the death and resurrection of the martyrs and all Christians, whose death is like a seed that is planted and is then born to new life in Jesus.
Our Lord also told us: “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit” (John 12:24). That is why at funerals and memorials boiled wheat is sometimes distributed. We also eat boiled wheat on the feast of Saint Barbara because she was persecuted and killed for her faith in Jesus but the memory of her martyrdom lives on.
According to tradition, Saint Barbara disguised herself in many different characters to escape the Romans who were persecuting her. While fleeing, Saint Barbara also ran through a freshly planted wheat field, which grew instantly to cover her path. This miracle is recreated symbolically today by planting wheat seeds (or chick peas, barley grains, beans, lentils) in little pots on Saint Barbara’s feast day. The seeds germinate and grow up to around 6 inches in time for Christmas. The shoots are then used to decorate the nativity scene and placed below the Christmas tree. Another tradition also mentions that when she was captured, only wheat was available for her to eat.
12:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. Religious Education Christmas Program Rehearsal.

Saturday, December 9.
   9:00 a.m. – 11 a.m. Religious Education Christmas Program. In youth room.
   12:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. Toys for Tots volunteer opportunity to help the needy. Toys for Tots requested our help in their Irvine facility (OC Toy Collaborative Warehouse- 8014-B Marine Way Irvince, Ca 92618) 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 Raidah Nesheiwat (714) 603-9307.
   4:30 p.m. Confession.
   5:00 p.m. Vespers (Evening prayer).

Sunday, December 10.
9:45 a.m. Orthros (Morning prayer).
10:00 a.m. Choir practice.
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.
12:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. Religious Education Christmas Program.

5:45 p.m. Music practice in the 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.

Thursday, December 14.
7:00 p.m. Choir practice for the Melkite Eastern Catholic community at Saint Kilian’s Roman Catholic Church. 26872 Estanciero Drive, Mission Viejo, CA 92691. Parish center. Room 6. Second and fourth Thursdays of each month.

Friday, December 15.
8:00 p.m. St. John Neumann Church invites you to its Christmas Concert and bid “Buon viaggio!” to our parish and children’s choirs for their upcoming trip to the Vatican and sing for Pope Francis on New Year’s Day. A raffle event will also be held on concert night wherein winner can join this 10-day choral pilgrimage to Italy for free. Tickets are available at www.sjnirvine.org or call 949-559-4006.

Saturday, December 16.
12:00 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 collaborated 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 Raidah Nesheiwat (714) 603-9307.
2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Dress rehearsal for Christmas Play. In Hall.
4:30 p.m. Confession.
5:00 p.m. Vespers (Evening prayer).

Sunday, December 17.
9:45 a.m. Orthros (Morning prayer).
10:00 a.m. Choir practice.
11:00 a.m. Divine Liturgy.
Chirstmas Play presented by the Sunday School Children.
12:15 p.m.-1:15 p.m. Youth Ministry spiritual discussion for all in grades 9-12.

Monday, December 18.
7:00 p.m. Solemn Vespers. Christ Cathedral Arboretum in preparation for the ordination of Bishop-elect Thanh Thai Nguyen as auxiliary bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange on December 19.

Tuesday, December 19.
2:00 p.m. Ordination Mass at St. Columban (10801 Stanford Avenue. Garden Grove, CA), for Bishop-elect Thanh Thai Nguyen as auxiliary bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange on December 19.

Friday, December 22.
7:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. Ugly Sweater Party, all are welcome. There will be music, pizza, and salad for a $10 entry. Come Support your Youth Group in this very joyful gathering.

Saturday, December 23.
4:30 p.m. Confession.
5:00 p.m. Vespers (Evening prayer).

Sunday, December 24. Sunday Before the Nativity of our Lord.
9:45 a.m. Orthros (Morning prayer).
10:00 a.m. Choir practice.
11:00 a.m. Divine Liturgy.

Monday, December 25. Solemnity of the Nativity of our Lord. Christmas Day.
11:00 a.m. Christmas Day Divine Liturgy. Christ is Born. Glorify Him.

Saturday, December 30.
4:30 p.m. Confession.
5:00 p.m. Vespers (Evening prayer).

Sunday, December 31.
9:45 a.m. Orthros (Morning prayer).
10:00 a.m. Choir practice.
11:00 a.m. Divine Liturgy.
8:00 p.m. New Year’s Eve Party at Holy Cross Church hall. There will be great mazza, a Middle Eastern dinner, a variety of music, dancing, a raffle, babysitting, midnight champagne, and so much more. Come celebrate the year with your friends and family at Holy Cross Church. $60 for adults and $30 for children (limited tickets available). 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.

2018.
Friday, January 5.
7:00-10:00 p.m. Seniors night. Holy Cross Church hall. Join us for a game of cards, backgammon, other activities, and socializing.

Saturday, January 6.
5:00 p.m. Divine Liturgy in Arabic, followed by blessing of Theophany water.

Sunday, January 7.
On the first Sunday of each month you may use your building fund envelope (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).
10:00 a.m. Choir practice.
11:00 a.m. Divine Liturgy in English, followed by blessing of Theophany water.
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.
12:15-1:30 p.m. Young Adults Group for ages 21-35.

Saturday, January 13.
10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Bishop Nicholas Samra. Spiritual talk. Stewardship, ministries, prayer.

Sunday, January 14.
9:45 a.m. Orthros (Morning prayer).
10:00 a.m. Choir practice.
11:00 a.m. Divine Liturgy. Bishop Nicholas Samra. Visit to Holy Cross Church.
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 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.

Monday, January 15.
6:30 p.m. Orthodox-Catholic dinner. Hosted at Holy Cross Melkite Catholic Church.

Sunday, January 21.
9:45 a.m. Orthros (Morning prayer).
10:00 a.m. Choir practice.
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.

Sunday, January 28.
9:45 a.m. Orthros (Morning prayer).
10:00 a.m. Choir practice.
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, February 2.
7:00-10:00 p.m. Seniors night. Holy Cross Church hall. Join us for a game of cards, backgammon, other activities, and socializing.

Readings for Sunday, December 3, 2017.
Epistle of the Fathers: Ephesians 5:8-19.
PROKIMENON (Tone 1)
May Your kindness, O Lord, be upon us, for we have hoped in You.
Stichon: Exult, you just, in the Lord; praise from the upright is fitting.

Reading from the Epistle of St. Paul to the Ephesians.
Brethren, walk as children of light (for the fruit of the spirit is in all virtue and holiness and truth), testing what is well pleasing to the Lord, and have nothing to do with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. For of the things that are done by people in secret, it is shameful even to speak; but all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light: for all that is made manifest is light. Thus there is a saying, Awake, sleeper, and arise from among the dead, and Christ will enlighten you. (Is.26: 19) See to it, therefore, brethren, that you walk with care, not as unwise but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. Do not become foolish, then, but understand what is the Lord’s will. And do not be drunk with wine, for in that is wantonness; but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and chanting in your hearts to the Lord.

ALLELUIA (Tone 1)
O God, You granted me retribution and made peoples subject to me and saved me from my raging enemies.
Stichon: Therefore I will proclaim You, O Lord, among the nations, and I will sing praise to Your name.

Gospel: Luke 18:35-43
The Holy Gospel According To St. Luke The Evangelist.
At that time when Jesus came close to Jericho, a certain blind man was sitting by the wayside, begging; but hearing a crowd passing by, he inquired what this might be. And they told him that Jesus of Nazareth was going to pass. And he cried out, saying, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” And those who went in front angrily tried to silence him. But he cried out all the louder, “Son of David, have mercy on me.!" Then Jesus stopped and commanded that he should be brought to him. And when he came close, he asked him, saying, “What would you have me do for you?” And he said, “Lord, that I may see!” And Jesus said to him, “Receive your sight, your faith have saved you.” And at once he received his sight and followed him, glorifying God. And all the people upon seeing it gave praise to God.

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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: HolyCrossMelkite.org
Facebook Page: Facebook.com/HolyCrossMelkite
YouTube Page: 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.
Administrative Assistant: Rosemarie Nasr.
Parish Hall Rentals: 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 p.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 2017: December 2.

ENGLISH DIVINE LITURGY: 11:00 a.m. First Sunday of the month. In 2017: December 3.

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, MERCY-MEAL FOR THE 40th DAY OR OTHER MEMORIALS: $200.00 for registered parishioners of Holy Cross Church who regularly use donation envelopes.
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.
DAMAGE/CLEANING DEPOSIT: $200.00. Refundable if the hall is left in the condition it was given to you.
SECURITY FEE: $125 charge will be added to cover security for 5 hours.
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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