Saint Andrew’s vespers will be on Friday 12/12/2014 at 6:30pm. HG Bishop David will bless us during vespers and will do the veneration for Saint Andrew’s relic.
Also the church has blessed surprise for everyone. Please come and take its blessing.
Saturday we will have liturgy from 9am to 11am
Hope to see you all there.
Why Do We Venerate the Relics of the Saints?
The veneration of the relics of the martyrs and saints originates from Divine Revelation through the Holy Scriptures. In the Old Testament, for example, God made the holy relics of the righteous work miracles such as the relics of Elisha which resurrected a man from the dead. From that time, the tomb and bones of the Prophet Elisha were venerated throughout Judea.
In the New Testament, the human body was elevated to sublime and divine heights through the Incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ. As we address Christ in the Liturgy of St. Gregory, “You blessed my nature in Yourself.” Together with the soul, the body is raised up at the Last Day and receives eternal life. This was made possible only through our Lord’s Resurrection, by which He conquered death and its power over us, and His Ascension, by which He raised the human body to the holy of holies. Thus, through His Lifegiving work, our Lord Jesus Christ truly elevated the nature of the human body. For this reason, we struggle in this world to have communion with Him so that our bodies may be temples of the Holy Spirit, the Living God, worthy of the eternal habitations.
In light of this, we venerate the bodies of the saints which served as temples of the Holy Spirit full of grace. It is not uncommon to see the fruits of a saint’s righteousness in the state of their bodies after their departure from this vale of tears. For example, the body of Abba Pishoy which came in contact with our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, lies incorrupt in his church in Wadi El Natrun. For many days, the body of the saintly patriarch, Abba Kyrillos VI, emitted a sweet and fragrant odor after his departure.
Moreover, God willed that, in many cases, not only does a saint’s body manifest Divine Grace, but also his clothing and personal articles. Thus, the handkerchiefs of St. Paul the Apostle cast out demons whereas the shadow of St. Peter healed the sick. In the Old Testament, it was the mantle of Elijah that struck and separated the waters of the Jordan River. Even after Elijah’s miraculous ascent into the heavens, his disciple, Elisha, struck the river with the very same mantle to divide the waters again.
From these examples, it is clear that our veneration of the relics of the saints is not the result of a morbid fascination with bodies and bones, but rather, an acknowledgement that these saints lived righteous lives and that God, in His ineffable love, allowed their relics to manifest the Divine Grace they struggled for in their lives.
Thus, when we venerate the relics of the saints, we worship God and contemplate the righteous example of these saints in our struggle to imitate them.
Glory to You, O Lord, now and forever, Amen.