This year ST. JOHN's FEASTDAY will be celebrated on Saturday, July 1 – mark your calendars!

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Services are conducted DAILY at the Cathedral:
Liturgy at 8:00 am, Vespers & Matins at 6:00 pm.


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Holy Virgin Cathedral - Joy of all Who Sorrow - San Francisco, CA - Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia
Sunday of All Saints

My dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:

Last Sunday, we had the great joy of witnessing the descent of the Holy Spirit onto the Apostles through which the Church of Christ was established on earth. This Sunday, the Church is revealing the great moral and spiritual power that was brought into the world by the Holy Spirit by celebrating the memory of all saints, who through the Holy Spirit, were able to ascend to great spiritual heights. It was the power of the Grace of the Holy Spirit which transformed the apostles, simple, timid, and uneducated men, into spiritual giants. The martyrs, supported by Grace, were able to survive unspeakable tortures in their desire to remain faithful to the Lord . The monastic ascetics through Grace overcame all human limitations and achieved incredible, humanly impossible feats in their desire to grow in love to God. In fact, anything, big or small, that we attempt to do to get closer to our Savior is only possible when the Holy Spirit strengthens us. (continue)

 
Pentecost

My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
 
This Sunday, June 8, is a major Church Holiday, the Pentecost. It is the day when we will witness the descent of the Holy Spirit on the apostles gathered in Jerusalem. This will mark the completion of God's plan to save people from sin and death and reconcile them with God. By the Holy Spirit's entry into our world, Christ's Church is founded on earth and empowered with Grace. In our pursuit of Salvation, we receive this Grace through the mysteries (sacraments) of the Church. Grace empowers us to be able to resist the devil and overcome our sinfulness. It also enables us to live a righteous and pious life according to the commandments given to us by our Savior.

God created man in His image and likeness for a blessed eternal life because He wanted to share His divine love. But, God knew that people could only be truly blessed if they had the ability to freely choose whether or not they desire to be in communion with Him. Therefore, He gave people a wonderful gift, a free will. This is a great gift but also one that has great consequences. Freely accepting God's love enables a person to live with God in his heart which makes a person experience great blessedness. However, each person is free to reject God's love and separate himself from God. This separation, though, brings great misery.

Our forefather, Adam, rejected God's love and became separated from Him. Since we are his children, we are born in this state of separation. And being damaged by sin, we are unable by our own efforts to reestablish communion with God. This is why our Savior had to die and resurrect. He became a human being, and through His dying and resurrecting, He destroyed the power that the devil and sin have over people.

As our Savior, Jesus offers to give us the power to also free ourselves from the control of the devil. After ascending to Heaven, He is sending down to earth the Holy Spirit who is the source of God's power, called Grace.  We can freely receive His Grace through the mysteries of the Church. We can then use the Grace to resist evil and live in a holy way. If we do this, we show God our love for Him. And He responds by entering into our hearts to live with us. In this way, communion with God is reestablished and we enter into a blessed life with Him for eternity.

What an incredibly loving God we have! And what a glorious holiday are we celebrating this Sunday! Let us all gather in Church to greet and welcome the Holy Spirit into our world and into our hearts. Please remember that the services schedule on Sunday has been adjusted. The early liturgy will begin at 7:00 AM and the late liturgy will begin at 9:00 Am. After the late liturgy, a vesper service will begin with special beautiful prayers to the Holy Spirit which we listen to on bent knees. And let us freely accept the Grace offered to us by our Savior through the Holy Spirit and live from that day forward truly holy lives that will open to us the doors to Paradise.

With Love in Christ,
Archpriest Serge Kotar

 
Sunday of the Samaritan Woman

My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:

We have passed the midpoint of our celebratory period of the Resurrection of our Lord and are now approaching the Pentecost, when our Savior, after leaving our world, will send down to us the Holy Spirit. In this Sunday's Gospel reading, our Savior reveals to us the great gift that we will receive through the coming of the Holy Spirit. (continue)

 
Thomas Sunday

My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ.  ХРИСТОС ВОСКРЕСЕ!

I greet you with the completion of the first week in our celebration of Pascha. I pray that this week and especially the Pascha night services were a time of spiritual joy and and celebration for you. Since Pascha is a celebration of victory over death, the Church dedicates the second Tuesday of Pascha, called Radonitsa, as a day that we go to the cemetery to greet our deceased relatives with the holiday. However, since many of us cannot take the time off from work to do this, the church allows us to do this this coming Sunday. Nonetheless, since on Sunday there is an overwhelming amount of people at the cemetery, if you are able to go on Tuesday instead of Sunday, you will have a much easier time getting a priest to do the service at the grave-sites of your loved ones. (continue)

 
Maintenance and Repairs

Dear all,
Soon we will be celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Glorification of St. John. We have recently surveyed our cathedral properties and are doing a few touch ups and minor repairs.

During the past two years we have been able to balance our budget. That is a difficult task as we have more clergy and other staff on payroll than any other ROCOR parish in the world. We have services seven days a week, at least two services a day. We keep the Cathedral open from dawn to dusk four days a week to provide opportunities to visit, pray, enjoy the iconography and frescoes and just to peacefully meditate. We are able to provide all within the parameters of regular income.

Today we are faced with an extraordinary problem. The areas above the main roof line need repairs. The cupola areas, the five crosses need refinishing, and so on. We have an engineers report and estimates for repairs are $250,000. But as I said, our budget is balanced and there is no surplus with which to attend to these needs while they are relatively minor. We did much of same and similar work in 2002 and it held up. But with a 50 year old building and the salt sea air, erosion is ever-present. We ask that you share this cost with us.


Thank you
 
In the photo- the Cross above the main entry was renewed recently and the Parish activity building to the right received new paint in April.

 
Last Sunday of Great Lent

My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:

One of the greatest mysteries about our Savior and His nature is that Jesus Christ is God-man. He is at the same time a true man and the true God. This dual nature is so difficult to comprehend that it resulted in the appearance of all of the early heresies that tore apart the Church during the first centuries of Her life. Men, damaged by arrogant pride, tried to explain in human terms what is unexplainable. This mystery cannot be explained, but it must be accepted on faith.

During this coming weekend, we will be witnessing two major and monumental events in the life of our Savior when, through His actions, we will see that Jesus Christ is in fact both a human being and God. On Friday evening, we will travel with Him to a town just outside of Jerusalem called Bethany. A family consisting of two sisters and a brother  who are especially dear to Jesus' heart  live there. A tragedy has occurred, and the brother has died. Before his death, his sisters had summoned Jesus to come and heal Him, but Jesus did not. He waited until after the death because He was planning to demonstrate to the world through His greatest miracle that He was without doubt the true Savior, therefore, God. (continue)

 
Расписание Страстной Седмицы и Пасхи
Holy Passion Week and Pascha Schedule in both languages (pdf)

 

 
St. Mary of Egypt

My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:

Great Lent is a time when the Church especially calls to examine our spiritual lives. It is a time for our repentance. But repentance is hard work, and often we become discouraged. No matter how hard we try to break away from our bad habits and passions, we keep failing. Then we might even start to believe that because of our many and continual spiritual defeats, we are beyond salvation, that God will not forgive us. We lose sight of the fact that God wants our salvation. We stop believing that there is no sin or passion that He will not forgive and help us overcome in time if we are sincerely repenting. To encourage us in our perseverance, the Church on the fifth Sunday of Great Lent gives us a magnificent example of true repentance and great heights achieved by a great sinner. This example is given to us by St. Mary of Egypt. Every Orthodox Christian must read the life of this great saint. You can find her life on Wikipedia. Her life is too long to be given here; therefore, I will summarize only a few  important moments and urge you to read the complete life as compiled by St. Sophrony of Jerusalem. (continue)

 
Fourth Sunday of Great Lent

My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:

As we approach the fifth week of Great Lent, the Church continues her care for our spiritual growth by reminding us who our greatest enemy is in our pursuit of salvation. The Church not only reveals his identity but also shows us how we can best defeat him. This crucial information is found in the Gospel reading on Sunday. (continue)

 
Sunday of the Holy Cross
My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ: 

Through God's mercy and Grace, we are approaching the midpoint of our journey to the joyous celebration of Pascha. This Sunday is called the Sunday of the Cross, as near the end of the vigil on Saturday evening, the Cross is brought out and placed in the middle of the church for veneration. It will remain there the entire fourth week of Great Lent. For those who had faithfully begun fasting from the beginning of Great Lent and maybe at this point are starting to grow weak, seeing the cross is a wonderful reminder and encouragement. We are half way there and if we just strengthen our will a bit more, we will very soon be celebrating. For those who have not yet begun to fast, seeing the cross is a stern reminder that it is imperative to begin to fast without delay, before Great Lent is completely past us. We cannot celebrate the holiday in a worthy manner not having prepared ourselves through the fast.

Seeing the cross is also a reminder to us of what a Christian life according to the Cross consists of. The Gospel reading we will hear on Sunday describes to us what the Lord expects of us in order for us to live such a life. The Gospel reading is as follows: (continue)
 
Почитателям Блаженной Матроны Московской

В кафедральный собор передана великая святыня - частица мощей Блаженной Матроны Московской. Для достойного принятия этой святыни заказан художественный киот в который будет вставлен мощевик. С благословения архиепископа Кирилла проводится СБОР на киот. Пожертвования можно либо оставить у свечного стола, либо лично передать прот. Петру Перекрестову.
 
Miraculous Healing of the Paralytic

My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:

The Savior blesses us to begin the third week of Great Lent with the details of a wonderful healing done by Him from which we can receive an important spiritual lesson.

The Disciples Pick Corn on the Sabbath Mark 2:23-28
1 And again he entered into Capernaum after some days; and it was noised that he was in the house.
2 And straightway many were gathered together, insomuch that there was no room to receive them, no, not so much as about the door: and he preached the word unto them.
3 And they come unto him, bringing one sick of the palsy, which was borne of four.
4 And when they could not come nigh unto him for the press, they uncovered the roof where he was: and when they had broken it up, they let down the bed wherein the sick of the palsy lay.
5 When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee.
6 But there were certain of the scribes sitting there, and reasoning in their hearts,
7 Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? who can forgive sins but God only?
8 And immediately when Jesus perceived in his spirit that they so reasoned within themselves, he said unto them, Why reason ye these things in your hearts?
9 Whether is it easier to say to the sick of the palsy, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and take up thy bed, and walk?
10 But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (he saith to the sick of the palsy,)
11 I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house.
12 And immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went forth before them all; insomuch that they were all amazed, and glorified God, saying, We never saw it on this fashion. (continue)

 
Sunday of Orthodoxy 2014
 
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