Autumn in Emmaus
As part of its forty days of Divine Liturgies served during the Nativity Fast, St. Nicholas Orthodox Cathedral at 1607 West Union Blvd., Bethlehem, PA, has invited all Orthodox Christians of the Lehigh Valley and beyond to join them in Thanksgiving (Evcharistia) to God on Thursday, November 22, at 9am. The Liturgy will be served by Orthodox clergy of the Lehigh Valley.
To mark the beauty of this day of Thanksgiving, please read the following brief sermon from the departed Fr. Alexander Schmemann, who served his last Divine Liturgy on Thanksgiving in 1983 and preached this homily:
Everyone capable of thanksgiving is capable of salvation and eternal joy.
Thank You, O Lord, for having accepted this Eucharist, which we offered to the Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and which filled our hearts with the joy, peace and righteousness of the Holy Spirit.
Thank You, O Lord, for having revealed Yourself unto us and given us the foretaste of Your Kingdom.
Thank You, O Lord, for having united us to one another in serving You and Your Holy Church.
Thank You, O Lord, for having helped us to overcome all difficulties, tensions, passions, temptations and restored peace, mutual love and joy in sharing the communion of the Holy Spirit.
Thank You, O Lord, for the sufferings You bestowed upon us, for they are purifying us from selfishness and reminding us of the “one thing needed;” Your eternal Kingdom.
Thank You, O Lord, for having given us this country where we are free to Worship You.
Thank You, O Lord, for this school, where the name of God is proclaimed.
Thank You, O Lord, for our families: husbands, wives and, especially, children who teach us how to celebrate Your holy Name in joy, movement and holy noise.
Thank You, O Lord, for everyone and everything.
Great are You, O Lord, and marvelous are Your deeds, and no word is sufficient to celebrate Your miracles.
Lord, it is good to be here! Amen.
May Fr. Alexander’s memory be eternal!