St Nicholas Orthodox Church Southbridge Massachusetts

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During Great Lent of 2020 the COVID 19 pandemic has closed many of our churches completely and left others doing services with only a priest and deacon/reader.

Since Orthodoxy literally sings it liturgies, we are posting beautiful hymns and thoughtful reflections on this page and updating them frequently.

Dear Parish Family,

Below is the link to yesterday's Divine Liturgy. Stay well and God Bless you all!

Father John

The Divine Liturgy from St. Nicholas Orthodox Church, Southbridge MA
Dear Parish Family,
Below is the link to the Liturgy at St Nicholas on Sunday, October 4, 2020.

We will NOT be open next Sunday as Fr John has to be away.
We will RESUME posting our online Liturgies on Sunday, October  18, 2020.

Dear Parish Family,
Here is the link to Sunday’s Divine Liturgy at St Nicholas Southbridge, MA.

Dear Parish Family,
We will be closed on Sunday, September 6, 2020. Liturgy will resume on September 13.

We will also resume videoing the Liturgy on September 13th. Our loyal video person, Dan Dono (also our Parish Council president), has had to take a couple of weeks to recover from surgery. He will be back with us on Sept 13.

Our choir director, Emily Daly, and her boyfriend, Stephen Pye, made a four part harmony recording (in video mode) of one of the settings of the Trisagion (Holy God).  
As we move forward, I hope to bring you additional recordings of our liturgical music and add slide shows to them.  Its especially nice to hear familiar voices singing and it would be wonderful to add parish photos and icons to the mix.

Dear Parish Family,
Below is the link to yesterday’s liturgy and sermon.
God Bless you all and stay well.

Video Link to Liturgy and sermon
Sermon topic: “All of creation rejoices in you, O full of grace!” Why Orthodox venerate the Mother of God and what this has to say about the role of women in the Church.

Dear Parish Family and Friends,

Here is the link to the Divine Liturgy for Sunday August 9, 2020:

Dear Parish Family and Friends,

Due to very slow internet in my part of Worcester today, we are very late publishing our Liturgy for Sunday August 2, 2020.
Here is the link :

Link to the Liturgy and sermon for Sunday July 26 at St Nicholas Orthodox Church, Southbridge, MA
(Sermon Topic: God's persistence vs human resistance.)

Liturgy & Sermon 07 12 2020 St Nicholas Southbridge

The sermon topic this week contrasts the godless "heaven on earth" proposed by the communists who murdered the Russian Imperial family on July 17, 1918 with the true Kingdom of God. Any system or ideology based in division and hatred (left, right, or otherwise) proceeds from the mind of the great divider and hater of humankind, the devil. Only the Christian virtues of forgiveness, mercy, and love can overcome division and fear. Our constant struggle must be against returning hatred for hatred, violence for violence, injustice for injustice. The meekness and humility of the last Tsar and his family in the face of the ever-increasing torments of their captors is what makes them saints. Nicholas II was an inept Tsar but, in the end, he and his family became models of the Orthodox Christian way.

It is Meet and Right (Hymn to the Theotokos) Byzantne Chant

Before Thy Cross: Kievan melody

What is the Orthodox perspective on Original Sin? What is Original Sin? How does it affect theology in general and what is the difference between the Eastern Orthodox approach and the Roman Catholic and Protestant understanding? Watch our latest video with Fr. Panayiotis, Ph.D. as he answers these questions and discusses the teachings of St. Augustine and St. John Chrysostom.

Video about St. Isaac of Syria, a desert monastic who became the Bishop of Nineveh. The great luminary of the life of stillness, he became a monk at a young age. He was consecrated Bishop of Nineveh but after five months received permission to return to solitude. He spent many years far south of Nineveh in the mountainous regions of Beit Huzaye, and lastly at the Monastery of Rabban Shabur. He wrote his renowned and God-inspired Ascetical Homilies toward the end of his long life of monastic struggle, about the end of the seventh century. The fame of his Homilies grew quickly, and about one hundred years after their composition they were translated from Syriac into Greek by two monks of the Monastery of Mar Sabbas in Palestine, from which they spread throughout the monasteries of the Roman Empire and became a guide to the hesychasts of all generations thereafter.

Sunday, July 5, 2020  Divine Liturgy and sermon  (“Orthodox Patriotism”)

Sunday June 28 2020
Divine Liturgy and Sermon:

Sunday of All Saints of North America June 21 2020 Divine Liturgy and Sermon

Divine Liturgy: The Sunday of All Saints June 14 2020

Pentecost 2020
Divine Liturgy at St Nicholas Orthodox Church Southbridge MA – Albanian Archdiocese/Orthodox Church in America  

A beautiful rendition of the Cherubimic hymn by a trio from Sochi, Russia

Sunday May 31 2020 The Sunday after Ascension (Divine Liturgy with sermon from St. Nicholas Southbridge MA)

Sunday May 24 2020 The Sunday of the Man Born Blind (Divine Liturgy with sermon from St Nicholas Southbridge)

Dear Parish Family,

Below are the links to the Divine Liturgy at St Mary’s OCA Cathedral and St Tikhon’s Monastery.

Matins and Divine Liturgy for the Sunday of the Samaritan Woman from St Mary’s Cathedral (OCA), Minneapolis, MN

Hours and Divine Liturgy for the Sunday of the Samaritan Woman from St. Tikhon’s Monastery, Waymart, PA

I will upload my homily later today.
I will also be sharing with you our plans for a very limited opening of our parish in a letter later today. With God’s help, our first liturgy since March will be held next Sunday. Because of the strict limitations on gatherings with will be a very small start, but signs of the dawn are finally showing after this very long night of the plague.

I'm sharing this version of "Let God Arise" for the sheer Paschal exultation of the singers. The swirling of the chandeliers is a custom from the monasteries of the Holy Mountain on Mt Athos in Greece. In the midst of a year without Lent and with the Paschal season fleeing fast, it’s good to hear the joy.
With God's help, we may be able to open for extremely limited attendance services soon. I have submitted a petition to reopen ASAP. While it will not be anywhere near normal, the Liturgy will be done again at St Nicholas Church after two months. I will keep you posted as we move ahead.

Dear Parish Family,
Here is the Matins and Divine Liturgy for the Sunday of the Paralytic (4th Sunday in the Paschal Season) from St. Mary's Cathedral in Minneapolis (OCA).
The Sunday homily will be posted later than usual today.
We have had a death in our family. My beloved brother in law, James Monahan, passed away unexpectedly last night. Please pray for his soul and for the consolation of his wife, Christina, his son Nicholas and family. May his memory be eternal!

Divine Liturgy for the Sunday of the Holy Myrrhbearing Women. From St Mary's OCA Cathedral in Minneapolis.
St Mary's has been offering beautiful services in English.

Matins and Divine Liturgy for St Thomas Sunday from St Mary's (OCA) Cathedral in Minneapolis. The choir is very good and the readings are clear.

The  wonder-full story of St. George. It is easy to debunk the lives of the saints as fairy tales or "baptized" pagan myths. This story, though, seems especially apropos after Holy Week. There is an intense "realism" in it. People are named. Events happen. In some ways it is a virtual replay of Moses vs Pharaoh. Well worth reading.

Absolutely beautiful! Listen to it during this Bright Week! From St Mary OCA parish in Minneapolis

The Agape Vespers on Pascha from our dear friends at St Michael's parish in Southbridge. God bless Father John Downie and his faithful few who were able to do these services. (Fr. John's diocese is under a different jurisdiction and Archbishop Nicolae permitted services within the strict guidelines set down by the state).

The Paschal Liturgy from the nuns of Holy Transfiguration Monastery, Ellwood City PA. In English

The Paschal Liturgy from St Tikhon's Monastery, Waymart, PA.  In English with Metropolitan Tikhon.

The Matins of Holy Saturday with Lamenations from St. Tikhon's Monastery in Pennsylvania:

The Lamentations service from Holy Transfiguration monastery in Ellwood City. The melodies for the stasis will be familiar to anyone from our parish. All in English.

The Vespers Service (taking down from the cross) and Lamentations from St. Tikhon's monastery, with the Metropolitan

The Matins of Holy Friday from the nuns at Holy Transfirguration in Ellwood City, PA

The late Archbishop Job singinging the 15th Antiphon during the Mattins of Holy Friday (The singing of the 12 gospel readings and antiphons on Holy Thursday evening)

The 12 Gospel readings from last night at St Tikhon's monastery in Pennsylvania. Metropolitan Tikhon is presiding.

A very clear rendition of the hymn of Kasiane, the woman fallen in sin. Sung at the Matins of Holy Wednesday.

The first of the Bridegroom Matins (Palm Sunday evening) from the nuns at Holy Transfiguration monastery Ellwood City, PA.

For those who have a basic idea of the Orthodox services (and for those who love the beauty of our services), this is the Bridegroom Matins for Holy Monday in Slavonic from St Elizabeth's monastery in Belorus. The singing is beautiful.

Attached below is the Palm Sunday Liturgy from St George Albanian Orthodox Cathedral in Boston. It is in English and Albanian. The first couple of minutes show the filmer in gloves and mask but from there this video is quite clear. They will be broadcasting the Liturgy for Pascha starting 8 PM on Saturday April 18 (next Saturday). We will stream and broadcast it as we are able.

The hymn "Rejoice O Bethany", in English. Done by the Boston Byzantine Choir.

The troparion of Lazarus Saturday sung in the many languages of the Orthodox Church, including English (several times). Accompanied by images of icons, people in church, processions. A reminder of the springtime of hope this feast anticipates.

This is a beautiful rendition of the Akathist for the Lord's Passion. It is in Church Slavonic, but the icons presented parallel the hymn.

The hymn of Kassiane, to woman who wept at Jesus' feet and wiped them with her hair.
In English, by the nuns at Holy Transfiguration, Ellwood City  in the traditional Byzantine mode

The Passion Service at St Elizabeth's convent in Minsk, Belorus

Here is a link to the story of St. Mary of Egypt

The nuns of Holy Transfiguration Monastery in Elwood City, PA are livestreaming services on their Facebook page. These services are recorded so that they can be watched later. They are in ENGLISH and the nuns' singing is very lovely.

A "Holiday Choral" by a mixed choir from St. Elizbeth's convent, Belorus

A beautiful setting of "Holy God", and "O Lord of Hosts be with us" from St Elizabeth's Convent in Belorus

The Paraklesis Service to the Mother of God in English: This is a beautifully sung rendition of the Paraklesis hymn to the Mother of God in English. This service is sung both in praise and repentance. It is one of the services recommended by the Holy Synod of Bishops during the pandemic. It is always appropriate in any season to praise the one who gave birth to God in the flesh.

A movie about St Mary of Egypt for the 5th Sunday in Lent

Fr John's homily for Sunday March 29, 2020

His Holiness Orthodox Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia Cyril was deeply moved by the repentance-calling Chant "Let my prayer arise" during Lent Divine Liturgy (The Liturgy of  Presanctified  Gifts) that is served only during Great Lent.

The singing of the Akathist hymn in English. The hymn is sung  on Friday evenings during Lent. It is sung on the 5th Friday in the Russian Churches.

A Russian Orthodox Youth Choir singing a penetential hymn

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