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Iconography and Hand painted icons

“Thy Name is ointment poured forth” (Song of Sol. 1). Saint Dimitry of Rostov

Κύριε Ιησού Χριστέ, ελέησον με.
Lord, Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy upon me!
Господи Иисусе Христе, Сыне Божий, помилуй мя грешнаго.
Señor Jesucristo, Hijo de Dios, ten piedad de mi, que soy un pecador.

By Saint Dimitry of Rostov

Εὐαγγελισμὸς τῆς Θεοτόκου_Благовещение Пресвятой Богородицы_The Annunciation89When the Archangel Gabriel descended from heaven and appeared to the most pure Virgin Mary, he made known that her Son would be called thus; whereupon, she consented to the tidings and cried, “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word” (Luke 1). And immediately, the Word of God assumed flesh and took up His dwelling in her immaculate, most sacred womb. At His circumcision, the Name disclosed by the herald before the Virgin conceived was formally given to Christ the Lord to announce the coming of our salvation. Jesus means salvation, as the same angel explained to Joseph in a dream, saying, Thou shalt call His Name Jesus, for He shall save His people from their sins (Matt. 1). Similarly, the Apostle Peter declared, There is none other Name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved (Acts 4). The saving Name of Jesus was reserved by the pre-eternal counsel of the Holy Trinity for our salvation, and on this day the righteous Joseph brings it forth like a priceless pearl from heaven’s treasury, so that it may be used to redeem the whole human race. In it are revealed the hidden and secret things of God’s wisdom (Ps. 50). It shines on the world like the sun, as the prophet tells us: “To you that fear My Name shall the Sun of Righteousness arise.” It fills creation with the fragrance of myrrh, as it is written: “Thy Name is ointment poured forth” (Song of Sol. 1). It is poured out and no longer hidden. So long as myrrh is kept enclosed in a jar, its aroma is trapped, but when the seal is broken fragrance fills the air. Similarly, while Jesus’ Name remained spoken only in pre-eternal counsels, its power remains unknown, sealed as it were, in a jar. When the infant’s blood was spilled during circumcision, however, it descended from heaven to earth like the sweet-smelling myrrh of grace. Now every tongue confesses that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Phil. 2)…

How sweet is this precious Name to those that seek and love Jesus Christ! Jesus is their sole desire, their only delight. How beloved is this all-holy Name to Jesus’ servants and prisoners, captives of His love! Jesus is in their thoughts, Jesus is upon their lips. With the heart they believe in Jesus unto righteousness; with the mouth they confess Jesus unto salvation (Rom. 10). Whether they are sitting or walking – whatever they may be doing – Jesus is before their eyes.

Homily on the Circumcision of the Lord (excerpt),By Saint Dimitry of Rostov, The Great Collection of the Lives of Saints, Vol. 5, Chrysostom Press, 2002.

Prayer of Elder Sophrony
O Eternal Lord and Creator of all things, in your inscrutable goodness you have called me into this life and have given me the grace of baptism and the seal of the gift of the Holy Spirit. You have instilled in me the desire to seek your face. Hear my prayer!
I have no life, no light, no joy, no strength, no wisdom without you, O God. Because of my unrighteousness, I dare not lift my eyes in your presence. But I obey you who said: Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. (Mark 11) Truly, truly I say to you, if you ask anything of the Father He will give it to you in my name. Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full. (John 16)
Therefore I now dare to approach you. Purify me from all stain of flesh and spirit. Teach me to pray rightly. Bless this day which you give to me, your unworthy servant.

In your boundless goodness, O Lord God, show me your will and grant me to walk in your sight without sin.

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