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Bulletin-December 22, 2019. Sunday Before the Nativity of our Lord. The Genealogy of Christ.

Holy Cross Melkite Catholic Church Bulletin.
Sunday, December 22, 2019. Sunday Before the Nativity of our Lord. The Genealogy of Christ.
Tuesday, December 24, 2019. Paramony of the Nativity of our Lord.
Wednesday, December 25, 2019. Feast of the Nativity According to the flesh of our Lord, God and Savior Jesus Christ.

Nativity of our Lord to Theophany of Christ Liturgical Schedule:
-Tuesday, December 24. 4:00 p.m. Christmas Eve Nativity Divine Liturgy. Hymns and procession before Divine Liturgy. Christ is Born. Glorify Him.
-Wednesday, December 25. 11:00 a.m. Christmas Day Nativity Divine Liturgy. Christ is Born. Glorify Him.
-Saturday, January 4. 5:00 p.m. Divine Liturgy in Arabic.
-Sunday, January 5. 11:00 a.m. Divine Liturgy in English.
-Monday, January 6. 7:00 p.m. Theophany Divine Liturgy followed by the Great Blessing of the Water.

Last Sunday For the Christmas Boutique: Sunday, December 22, 2019. Starts at 12:30 p.m. Following the Divine Liturgy. Desserts, Christmas gift baskets, handmade accessories, mugs, crochet hats, homemade organic jam, and many more items. All proceeds will go directly to Church projects.

New Year’s Eve Party at Holy Cross Church December 31, 2019. 8:00 p.m. 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. $65 for adults and $40 for children (ages 3 to 11), $50 for young adults. Limited tickets available.
You can purchase your tickets from Nelly Fattouch, Nadia Saikali, Josephine Cantartzoglou, or contact the Church office at (714) 985-1710.

Pre-Christmas fast: November 15 is the traditional start of the Nativity Fast. 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 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 (Matthew 4:2), his disciples fasted (Mt. 6:16-18), and he said that his disciples would fast until his return (Mt. 9:15). Jesus taught that there are some evils that can only be done away with through prayer and fasting (Mt. 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 (Mt. 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!

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: holycrossmelkite.org/donate
-Checks may 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: 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 growth of Holy Cross Church. Deadline for 2019 tax credits is December 31, 2019.

Axios! Axios! Axios! He is Worthy! He is Worthy! He is Worthy! Congratulations, prayers, and best wishes to Father Thomas J. Davis, who was ordained to the Holy Priesthood on December 1, 2019, by the grace of the Holy Spirit at the hand of His Grace, Bishop Nicholas, at St. Ann Melkite Catholic Church in Danbury, CT. May Christ, the High Priest, abundantly bless Father Thomas, his wife Joanne, and his children, and may Our Lord prosper the works of Fr. Thomas’s priestly ministry.

Father François Beyrouti’s Homilies. You can listen and subscribe to the homilies on YouTube.com/MelkiteTV or these podcasts: Apple’s iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, and TuneIn + Alexa, Google Podcast, and iHeart Radio podcasts.
If you would like to receive the emailed weekly parish bulletin or homily please sign up on our website (HolyCrossMelkite.org) or contact the office. Most recent homilies by Father François Beyrouti:
-“How to Shop at the Bible Pharmacy.” December 15, 2019.
-“Are you a Rooster or a Compass?” December 8, 2019.
-“The Bad News of the Gospel.” November 24, 2019.
-“Not so Nice Jesus.” November 17, 2019.
-“Is the Bible Real?” November 10, 2019.
-“How to Find Information and Formation in the Bible.” October 27, 2019.
-“Don’t Evangelize Before Doing This.” October 20, 2019.
-“How to See the Spiritual Life?” October 13, 2019.
-“I’m in Love.” October 6, 2019.

Hymns: (See our Church’s website for Audio Recordings: holycrossmelkite.org/Melkite-hymns)
Sunday December 22:
Troparion of the Resurrection (Tone 3). Let all in heaven rejoice and all on earth be glade, for the Lord has exerted power with His arm: By death He has trampled upon Death and has become the firstborn from the dead. He has delivered us from the bosom of Hades and has granted to the world great mercy.
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.

Tuesday December 24:
Troparion of Paramony (Tone 4). At that time, since Mary was of the house of David, she registered with the Venerable Joseph in Bethlehem. She was with child, having conceived virginally. Her time was come and they could find no room in the inn, but the cave seemed a joyful palace for the Queen. Christ is born to renew the likeness that had been lost of old.
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.

Wednesday December 25:
Troparion of the Nativity (Tone 4) (Three times). Your Nativity, O Christ our God, has shed the light of knowledge upon the world. Through it, those who had been star-worshipers learned through a star to worship You, O Sun of Justice, and to recognize in You the One Who rises and Who comes from on high. O Lord glory to You!
Hypakoi of the Nativity (Tone 8). O Little Child lying in a manger, by means of a star, heaven has called and led to You the Magi, the first-fruits of the Gentiles, astounded to behold, not scepters and thrones, but extreme poverty. What, indeed, is lower than a cave? What is humbler than swaddling clothes- and yet the splendor of your divinity shone forth in them resplendently. O Lord, glory to You!
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 Nativity (Tone 3). Today the Virgin gives birth to the One Who surpasses all essences, and the earth offers a cave to God, the Inaccessible One. Angels sing His glory together with the shepherds: for to us is born a Child, God in all eternity.

Epistle: If you would like to read the Epistle please contact the office.
Sunday, December 22: Hebrews 11:9-10: 32-40.
Tuesday, December 24: Hebrews 1:1-12.
Wednesday, December 25: Galatians 4:4-7.

Gospel:
Sunday, December 22: Matthew 1:1-25. Full reading below.
Tuesday, December 24: Luke 2:1-20. Full reading below.
Wednesday, December 25: Matthew 2:1-12. Full reading below.

Today’s Divine Liturgy is celebrated for the repose of the souls of:
Samira Alasmar (December 21, 2018). One year memorial.
Brother David Whelan, OSB (December 14, 2019), Fuad (Fred) Harb (December 13, 2019), Andre Saikaly (December 12, 2019), Archimandrite Frank Milienewicz (December 11, 2019), Baby Isaac Montes (December 9, 2019), George Farrah Kashou (November 14, 2019), Archimandrite Joseph Francavilla (November 13, 2019), Father Basil Foote, OSB (November 11, 2019), Mona Afara (November 10, 2019).
the health, safety, and salvation of:
Tony Hawa, Carmen Kassouf, Lizbeth Lira and family, Father Saba Shofany, Elias George Abou Zeid.
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:
Sunday December 22:
“By faith Abraham sojourned in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise. [10] For he looked forward to the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God” (Hebrews 11:9-10).

“An angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, ‘Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit; [21] she will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.’ [22] All this took place to fulfil what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: [23] ‘Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and his name shall be called Emmanuel’ (which means, God with us)” (Matthew 1:20-23).

Tuesday December 24:
“For to what angel did God ever say, ‘Thou art my Son, today I have begotten thee?’ Or again, ‘I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son?’ [6] And again, when he brings the first-born into the world, he says, ‘Let all God's angels worship him.’ [7] Of the angels he says, ‘Who makes his angels winds, and his servants flames of fire"” (Hebrews 1:5-7).

“An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. [10] And the angel said to them, "Be not afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which will come to all the people; [11] for to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. [12] And this will be a sign for you: you will find a babe wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger." [13] And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, [14] "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom he is pleased!" (Luke 2:9-14).

Wednesday December 25:
“When the time had fully come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, [5] to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. [6] And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, ‘Abba! Father!’ [7] So through God you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son then an heir” (Galatians: 4:4-7).

“When wise men saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy; [11] and going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh” (Matthew 2:10-11).

The Melkite Eastern Catholic Community at Saint Kilian’s Roman Catholic Church. Invite your family and friends and remind everyone in the area. 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 January 19, 2020, at Saint Kilian’s. 26872 Estanciero Drive, Mission Viejo, CA 92691 (off Marguerite Parkway).
2020 dates: January 19, February 16, March 15, April 19, May 17, June 21, July 19, August 16, September 20, October 18, November 15, December 20.
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).

Choir practice at Holy Cross Melkite Catholic Church every Sunday at 9:55 a.m.-10:45 a.m. “Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs with thankfulness in your hearts to God” (Colossians 3:16). Please join our choir practices to review the regular hymns of the Divine Liturgy and learn new ones. Everyone is welcome.

Holy Cross Youth Ministry Spiritual Meetings take place every Sunday following the Divine Liturgy for all those in grades 9-12.

Holy Cross College Ministry. We are planning social and religious activities to build our College Community at Holy Cross Church. For further details contact the office or see calendar for event details (holycrossmelkite.org/ministries/college-ministry).

Holy Cross Young Adults Ministry for ages 21-35. We are planning social and religious activities to build our Young Adults Community at Holy Cross Church. Feel free to bring your friends and family. See calendar for event details, visit Holycrossmelkite.org/ministries/young-adults, or contact the office.

Isaiah House Women’s Shelter Volunteer Opportunity. Next date: Saturday, January 25, 2020. Holy Cross Church prepares and serves a meal for the women at Isaiah House (316 South Cypress Avenue, Santa Ana) every month. If you or your family would like assist on those days or if you would like to sponsor a Saturday to prepare food at your home, serve the food with your family, and enjoy a meal with those in need please contact the office.
Schedule: 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.
2020 dates: Saturday, January 25, Saturday, February 29, Sunday, March 29, Saturday, April 25, Sunday, May 31, Saturday, June 27, Saturday, July 25, Sunday, August 30, Saturday, September 26, Saturday, October 24. If you would like to sponsor or volunteer for this event, please contact the Church office.

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 View. In today’s Gospel we see a long list of many people who were needed to make Christ present in the world. Often they were not even aware that they were directly involved in the process. Saint Paul speaks of generations of people who acted in faith to bring about the day of Christ’s coming. Christ becomes “incarnate” in our world today through our parishes, through us, who are “the body of Christ.” The Church is our church. We need priests to alert us to that mission, to help direct us in the business of “ongoing incarnation of Christ in the modern world. Pray for an increase of vocations in our eparchy.

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 men and women to serve our Melkite Catholic 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. Please contact the office if you are not registered or did not receive your envelopes. Thank you.

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

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.

Thank you for your ongoing generous donations:
-Thursday, December 19 Building Fund deposit: $28,139. Charity deposit: $10,000.
-Sunday, December 15 collection. $1,130 in 34 envelopes (average $33 per envelope) + $285 loose plate + $115 candles = $1,530.
-Wednesday, December 11 Building Fund. $2,495 + $20 Memorial. Charity: $300.
-Sunday, December 8, 2019 collection: $1,283 in 27 envelopes (average $48 per envelope) + $329 loose plate + $400 Baptism = $2,012. Mission Viejo collection: $2,215 in 9 envelopes (average $246 per envelope) + $225 loose plate = $2,440.
-Thursday, December 5, 2019 Building Fund deposit: $4,296 + $39 Coffee = $4,335. Charity deposit: $100.
-Sunday, December 1, 2019 collection. $1,895 in 27 envelopes (average $69 per envelope) + $196 loose plate = $2071.
-Sunday, November 24, 2019 collection. $1,393 in 35 envelopes (average $40 per envelope) + $363 loose plate = $1,756 + $139 candles = $1,895.

Total deposits in the past four months: August: $26,398, September: $23,105, October: $33,026, November: $20,315, December $53,541.

Sample Holy Cross Church Expenses:
$76.30 paid on December 12, 2019. Photocopier services.
$258.85 paid December 10, 2019. Our Sunday Visitor envelopes.
$56.14 paid December 10, 2019. SoCal Gas Company.
$484.42 paid December 9, 2019. So Cal Edison.
$94.89 paid December 2, 2019. Sparkletts.
$200.00 paid December 2, 2019. Landscaping service.
$300.00 paid December 2, 2019. Cleaning service.
$118.63 paid December 2, 2019. Photocopier lease.
$9,934.00 paid November 27, 2019. Catholic Mutual Group Insurance.

Calendar:
Saturday, December 21.
10:00 a.m. Children’s preparation for the Christmas play.
1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Toys for Tots toy distribution at Holy Cross Church for needy families in the community. Please contact the office if you are able to help set up and distribute the gifts.
4:30 p.m. Confession.
5:00 p.m. Vespers (Evening prayer).

Sunday, December 22.
9:45 a.m. Orthros (Morning prayer).
9:55 a.m.-10:45 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. Children’s Christmas Play and Christmas program. Christmas brunch.
12:15 p.m. Christmas Boutique. Every Sunday until December 22, 2019.

Tuesday, December 24 (Christmas Eve. Nativity of our Lord).
4:00 p.m. Christmas Eve Nativity Divine Liturgy. Hymns and procession before Divine Liturgy. Christ is Born. Glorify Him.

Wednesday, December 25 (Christmas Day, Nativity of our Lord).
11:00 a.m. Christmas Day Nativity Divine Liturgy. Christ is Born. Glorify Him.

Saturday, December 28.
No confession.
5:00 p.m. Vespers (Evening prayer).

Sunday, December 29.
9:45 a.m. Orthros (Morning prayer).
9:55 a.m.-10:45 a.m. Choir practice.
11:00 a.m. Divine Liturgy.

Tuesday, December 31.
New Year’s Eve Party at Holy Cross Church December 31, 2019. 8:00 p.m. 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. $65 for adults and $40 for children (ages 3 to 11), $50 for young adults. Limited tickets available. You can purchase your tickets from Nelly Fattouch, Nadia Saikali, Josephine Cantartzoglou, or contact the Church office at (714) 985-1710.

Saturday, January 4.
9:00 a.m. Holy Cross Church in collaboration with St. Martin de Porres Pro-Life ministry. Join your friends in Christ as we pray the rosary in front of Planned Parenthood to end abortion. Rosary begins at 9:00 am. We meet at 700 S. Tustin Ave in Orange. For further information, please contact the office. We look forward to the day when our powerful prayers will close the doors of Planned Parenthood.
5:00 p.m. Divine Liturgy in Arabic.

Sunday, January 5.
9:45 a.m. Orthros (Morning prayer).
9:55 a.m.-10:45 a.m. Choir practice.
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.

Monday, January 6.
7:00 p.m. Theophany Divine Liturgy followed by the Great Blessing of water.

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

Sunday, January 12.
9:45 a.m. Orthros (Morning prayer).
9:55 a.m.-10:45 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.

January 18-25, 2020 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. 2020 theme: “They Showed Us Unusual Kindness” (Acts. 28:2). For resources, visit: vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_councils/chrstuni/sub-index/index_weeks-prayer.htm

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

Sunday, January 19.
9:45 a.m. Orthros (Morning prayer).
9:55 a.m.-10:45 a.m. Choir practice.
11:00 a.m. Divine Liturgy.

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.

Readings for Sunday, December 22, 2019.
Epistle Hebrews 11:9-10; 32-40.
Prokimenon: Blessed are You, O Lord, God of our fathers, and Your name is worthy of praise and glorious forever.
Stichon: For You are just in all You have done to us, and all Your works are true and Your ways right.

A Reading from the Epistle of St. Paul to the Hebrews.
Brethren, by faith, Abraham lived in the Land of the Promise as in a foreign land, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the co-heirs of the same promise, for he was looking for the city with fixed foundations, of which city the architect and builder is God. And what more shall I say? For time will fail me if I tell of Gideon, Barac, Samson, Jephthe, David and Samuel and the prophets, who by faith conquered kingdoms, wrought justice, obtained the fulfillment of promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of sword, recovered strength from weakness, became valiant in battle, routed foreign armies. Women had their dead restored to them though resurrection. Others were tortured, refusing to yield for their release in order to obtain a better resurrection. Others again suffered mockery and blows, even chains and jailings. They were stoned, cut to pieces, put to the question, killed by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, distressed, afflicted (of whom the world was not worthy), wandering in deserts, mountains, caves and holes in the ground. And none of these, despite the positive witnessing of faith, received what was promised, for God has something better in store for us, so that they were not to reach their final perfection without us.

ALLELUIA (Tone 4)
O God, our ears have heard, our fathers have declared to us the deeds You did in their days, in the days of old.
Stichon: The just cried out, and the Lord heard them, and He delivered them from all their trials.

Matthew 1:1-25 (Genealogy of Christ)
The Holy Gospel According To St. Matthew the Evangelist.
The book of the origin of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the son of Abraham. Abraham begot Isaac, Isaac begot Jacob, Jacob begot Judah and his brethren. Judah begot Perez and Zarah whose mother was Thamar. Perez begot Hezron, Hezron begot Ram. And Ram begot Amminadab, Amminadab begot Nahshon, Nahshon begot Salma. Salma begot Boaz of Rahab. Boaz begot Obed of Ruth, Obed begot Jesse, Jesse begot David the King. And David the King begot Solomon of the former wife of Uriah. Soloman begot Rehoboam, Rehoboam begot Abijah, Abijah begot Asa. And Asa begot Jehoshaphat, Jehoshaphat begot Joram, Joram begot Azariah. And Azariah begot Jotham, Jotham begot Ahaz, Ahaz begot Ezechiah. And Ezehchiah begot Manasseh, Manasseh begot Amon, Amon begot Josiah. And Josiah begot Jeconiah and his brethren at the time of deportation to Babylon. And after the deportation to Babylon, Jeconiah begot Shealtiel, Shealtiel begot Zerubbabel. And Zerubbabel begot Abiud, Abiud begot Eliakim, Eliakim begot Azor. And Azor begot Zadok, Zadok begot Achim, Achim begot Eliud. And Eliud begot Eleazar, Eleazar begot Matthan, Matthan begot Jacob. And Jacob begot Joseph, the husband of Mary, and of her was born Jesus, Who is called Christ. So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations. And from David to the deportation to Babylon fourteen generations; and from the deportation to Babylon to Christ, fourteen generations. Now the origin of Christ was like this. When Mary His mother had been betrothed to Joseph, she was found, before they came together, to be with child by the Holy Spirit. But Joseph her husband, being a just man and not wishing to expose her to reproach, was thinking of putting her away privately. But while he was considering these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Do not be afraid, Joseph, son of David, to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is begotten in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she shall bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus; for He shall save His people from their sins.” Now all this came to pass that what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet might be fulfilled, “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son; and they shall call his name Emmanuel;” which is interpreted, “God with us.” So Joseph, arising from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him, and took Mary to be his wife. And he did not know her till she brought forth her firstborn son. And he called His name Jesus.

Readings for Tuesday, December 24, 2019.
Epistle Hebrews 1: 1-12.
PROKIMENON (Tone 7): The just shall rejoice in the Lord and place his hope in Him. All those with an upright heart shall be praised.
Stichon: O God, hear my voice when I pray to You; save my life from the dreadful enemy.

Reading from the Epistle of St. Paul to the Hebrews
Brethren, God Who in many places and at many times in the past spoke to the fathers through the prophets, has last of all spoken to us in these days through His Son, Whom He appointed heir of all things, by Whom also He made the world — Who being the brightness of His glory and the image of His substance, and holding up all things by the word of His power, has brought about man’s cleansing from sin and been enthroned at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become so much superior to the angels as He has inherited a more excellent name than they. For to which of the angels has He ever said, “You are My Son, I this day have begotten you (Ps. 2: 7)”? And again, “I will be to Him a Father, and He shall be to Me a Son”? And again, when He brings the firstborn into the world, He says, “And let all of God’s angels adore Him (2 Kgs. 7: 14).” And of the angels indeed He says, “He makes spirits His messengers and flaming fires His attendants (Ps. 96: 7).” But of the Son, “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, and a scepter of equity is the scepter of Your kingdom (Ps. 103: 4). You have loved holiness and hated iniquity; therefore God, Your God, has anointed You with the oil of gladness above Your fellow men (Ps. 44: 7-8).” And, “You in the beginning, O Lord, did found the earth, and the heavens are works of Your hands. They shall perish, but You shall continue; and they shall all grow old as does a garment, and as clothing shall You change them, and they shall be changed. But You are the same and Your years shall not fail (Ps. 101: 26-28).

ALLELUIA (Tone 6)
Happy the one You have chosen and adopted: He shall dwell in Your courts.
Stichon: And His name shall survive forever and ever.

Gospel: Luke 2:1-20 (Birth of our Lord)
In those days, a decree went forth from Caesar Augustus that a census of the whole world should be taken. This first census took place while Cyrinus was governor of Syria. And all were going, each to his own town, to register. And Joseph also went from Galilee out of the town of Nazareth into Judea to the town of David, which is called Bethlehem (because he was of the house and family of David) to register, together with Mary his espoused wife, who was with child. And it came to pass while they were there, that the days for her to be delivered were fulfilled. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped Him in swaddling clothes, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. And there were shepherds in the same district living in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood by them and the glory of God shone round about them, and they were very much afraid. And the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which shall be to all the people; for today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you, Who is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign to you: you will find an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace and good will among men.” And it came to pass, when the angels had departed from them into heaven, that the shepherds were saying to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.” So they went with haste, and they found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in the manger. And when they had seen, they understood what had been told them concerning this Child. And all who heard marveled at the things told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept in mind all these things, pondering them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all that they had heard and seen, even as it was spoken to them.

Readings for Wednesday, December 25, 2019.
Epistle of the Feast Galatians: 4:4-7.
Prokimenon (Tone 8): Let all on earth worship and sing praise to You, sing praise to Your name.
Stichon: Shout joyfully to God, all you on earth; sing praise to the glory of His name

Reading from the Epistle of St. Paul to the Galatians:
Brethren, 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. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba, Father!” So that one is no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, an heir also of God through Jesus Christ

Alleluia (Tone 1)
The heavens declare God’s glory, and the firmament proclaims the work of His hands.
Stichon: Day pours out the word to day, and night to night imparts knowledge.

Gospel of the Feast: Matthew 2:1-12 (Visit of the Magi)
When Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, in the days of King Herod, behold, Magi came from the East to Jerusalem saying, “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.” But when King Herod heard this, he was troubled, and so was all Jerusalem with him. And gathering together all the chief priests and Scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. And they said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea; for thus it is written by the prophet, ‘And you, Bethlehem, of the land of Judah are by no means least among the princes of Judah; for from you shall come forth a leader who shall shepherd my people Israel.” Then Herod summoned the Magi secretly, and carefully ascertained from them the time when the star had appeared to them. And sending them to Bethlehem he said, “Go and make careful inquiry concerning the Child, and when you have found Him, bring me word, that I too may go and worship Him.” Now they, having heard the king, went their way. And behold, the star they had seen in the East went before them, until it came and stood over the place where the Child was. And when they saw the star they rejoiced exceedingly. And entering the house, they found the Child with Mary His mother, and falling down they worshipped Him. And opening their treasures, they offered Him gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they went back to their own country by another way.

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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.
Parish Hall Rentals: Hala Nakhoul (714) 920-6180.
Choir Directors: Saad Tashman and Lupe Ojeda.
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 2020: January 4, February 1, February 29, March 28, May 2, June 6, July 4, August 1, September 5, October 3, October 31, December 5.

ENGLISH DIVINE LITURGY: 11:00 a.m. First Sunday of the month. In 2020: January 5, February 2, March 1, March 29, May 3, June 7, July 5, August 2, September 6, October 4, November 1, December 6.

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: $150 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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