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August Liturgical Texts Available for Download

Icons of the Dormition of the Theotokos, the patronal feast of St. Mary Antiochian Orthodox Church of Cambridge, MA, host parish of the 52nd Archdiocesan Convention.Icons of the Dormition of the Theotokos, the patronal feast of St. Mary Antiochian Orthodox Church of Cambridge, MA, host parish of the 52nd Archdiocesan Convention.The Liturgical Texts for August, blessed by His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph, are now ready for clergy and laity to download from the Online Liturgical Guide.

This month, the last of the Orthodox Christian liturgical calendar, features two of the twelve Great Feasts celebrated by the Church: the Transfiguration of our Lord, God and Savior Jesus Christ (August 6); and the Dormition, or Falling-Asleep, of the Most-Holy Theotokos, the Ever-Virgin Mary (August 15). Celebration of these two feasts are not limited to one day each, but are expanded to seven days after the Transfiguration, and eight days after the Dormition.

In preparation for the Dormition, many parishes sing the famous Paraklesis Service with the Little Supplicatory Canon to the Theotokos. Although this service can be offered at any time of the year, it is sung almost every night during the Dormition Fast (August 1-14) to implore the Mother of God to intercede with her Son for us to deliver us from all troubles. We have provided the entire text for this most beautiful service, in which we have included a thorough listing of saints from the Church of Antioch in "The Intercession" prayer.

The Icon of Christ Not Made by Hands, known as ‘The Holy Napkin.’The Icon of Christ Not Made by Hands, known as ‘The Holy Napkin.’On August 16, we celebrate the Icon of Christ Not Made by Hands, known as 'The Holy Napkin.' The Church teaches that our Lord Himself made an imprint of His face onto a cloth and sent it to a Prince Avgar of Edessa. It cured the prince of most of his leprosy, and the rest was cured during his baptism. Read the Synaxarion at Orthros for more on this fascinating story.

On August 30, we take leave of the commemoration of the Beheading of John the Baptist (August 29). This is one of four commemorations of saints that has a leave-taking like a Great Feast. The others are the Nativity of John the Baptist (June 24-25), the Apostles Peter and Paul (June 29-30) and the Great-Martyr Demetrios (October 26-27).

The Online Liturgical Guide, produced by the Department of Liturgics, provides the official, uniform word-for-word texts to be used for the divine services in all parishes across the Archdiocese. Should you have any questions, please email Subdeacon Peter Samore at service_texts@antiochianladiocese.org.