Greetings! Saint Nicholas Orthodox Church is the R.O.C.O.R. parish for the greater Springfield and Western MA and Northern Connecticut area since c.1952 under the authority, blessing, and protection of His Emminence NICHOLAS, Metropolitan of Eastern America and New York, First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad.
Our services are primarily in English with some Church Slavonic. We follow the Julian Calendar liturgically as is the tradition of the Russian Orthodox Church. Our parishioners come from throughout the Pioneer Valley & northern Connecticut. Visitors are always welcome—please have a glance at our schedule of services and come visit St. Nicholas Orthodox Church now located just over the Massachusetts border in Enfield, CT.
Saturday Vigil 6:00pm
Sunday Divine Liturgy 9:30 am
Hours 9:10 am,
Holy Communion preparatory prayers 8:30am
* unless otherwise announced
Vigil 6:30 pm Great Vespers with Litia, Matins, First Hour
Divine Liturgy 7:00am,Third & Sixth Hours at 6:40am
1. SAINT MELETIUS, ARHCBISHOP OF ANTIOCH
Meletius, this great and holy man, was an exceptional interpreter and protector of Orthodoxy. His entire life was dedicated in a struggle against the Arian heresy which did not recognize the Son of God as god and blasphemed the Holy Trinity. On three occasions, Meletius was banished and exiled from his archepiscopal throne to Armenia. The struggle between the Orthodox and the heretics was waged so bitterly that on one occasion, when St. Meletius was preaching to the people in Church concerning the Holy Trinity in unity, his personal deacon, a heretic, raced toward him and covered his mouth with his hand. Not being able to speak with his mouth covered, Meletius spoke in signs. Namely, he raised his clenched hand in the air, opening at first his three fingers and showed them to the people. After that, he closed his hand and raised up one finger. He participated in the Second Ecumenical Council [Constantinople 381 A.D.], where Emperor Theodosius showed him special honor. At this Council, God revealed a miracle through His hierarch. Namely, when Meletius was propounding the dogma of the Holy Trinity to Arius, at first he only raised three fingers, separately one by one, and after that folded them into one. At that moment, before all those present, a light shown like lightening from his hand. At this Council Meletius confirmed Gregory the Theologian on the patriarchal throne in Constantinople. Earlier, however, Meletius had ordained Basil the Great to the deaconate and baptized John Chrysostom. After the close of the Council, St. Meletius completed his earthly life in Constantinople. His relics were translated to Antioch.
2. SAINT ALEXIS, METROPOLITAN OF MOSCOW
Alexis was a great hierarch of the Russian Church at the time of the burdensome bondage of the Russian people under the Tartars. Once as a child, he was hunting birds and, asleep in a dream, he heard a voice: "Alexis, why do you labor in vain? I will make you a fisherman of men." At age twenty he was tonsured a monk and in time became the Metropolitan of Moscow. Twice he went among the "golden horde" of the Tartars: the first time to mitigate the wrath of Khan Verdevir against the Russian people and the second time, at the invitation of the Khan Amurat, to heal his wife of blindness. She was blind for three years but her sight was restored when Alexis prayed over her and anointed her with holy water. Following a very laborious and fruitful life, Alexis died in the year 1378 A.D. in his eighty-fifth year and took up habitation in the courts of the Lord.
3. THE VENERABLE MARIA
Maria was a young woman with indomitable courage. After the death of her mother, her father desired the monastic tonsure. Maria did not wish to be separated from her father and they both agreed to journey to a monastery for monks: Maria with cropped hair and in masculine attire, appeared as a young man. Her father died and Maria was tonsured a monk and received the name Marius. In the proximity of the monastery, there was an inn and the daughter of the innkeeper was attracted to Marius, the alleged monk. After unsuccessfully pursing Marius, the innkeeper's daughter accused Marius of illicit sexual relations with her, for she had become pregnant with someone else and had given birth to a son. Maria did not defend herself and was banished from the monastery with ridicule. With someone else's child in her arms, Maria lived for three years in a grove belonging to the monastery enduring hunger, frost and every difficulty and deprivation. Meanwhile, the innkeeper's daughter went insane and soon after that Maria also died. Only after her death was it discovered that the "monk Marius" was a woman. The deranged daughter of the innkeeper, as soon as she touched the body of St. Maria, was healed and after that acknowledged her terrible sin. St. Maria died and took up habitation in eternal joy in the year 508 A.D.
4. SAINT ANTHONY, PATRIARCH OF CONSTANTINOPLE
At first, Anthony was a great ascetic of exceptional charity and later was patriarch during the reign of Emperor Leo the Wise (889 A.D. 912 A.D.). He tonsured his father a monk and founded a monastery over the relics of St. Callia.
5. ST. CALLIA
Callia was generous toward the poor out of pure Christian charity both as a maiden and later as a married woman. Callia's husband was a wealthy but miserly man. Once, when he returned from his business trip, he saw that his wife had distributed his wealth to the poor and then killed her. But God glorified this charitable soul in this manner: many who were ill were healed by her relics. Convinced of this, the Patriarch Saint Anthony, built a monastery over her relics.
HYMN OF PRAISE
THE HOLY TRINITY
THE HUMAN AND DIVINE NATURE OF CHRIST
Oneness and Threeness, One and Three,
Christ God He is and He is man; one and both,
The greatest and most wonderful, these two mysteries are,
The key of life and being; in them is concealed
Holy Threeness and Oneness, the eternal flame,
Flame eternal; Three torches but one flame.
Oneness and Threeness, one and three
Christ God He is and He is man; one and both.
St. John Chrysostom cites the following example from the life of St. Meletius, which demonstrates the immense nobility of this great hierarch. "It would be unjust to omit that which occurred during the banishment of Meletius from Antioch. When the governor sat in the coach, and with the saint seated beside him, he began to drive with great speed through the square. From all sides, the citizens hurled stones as hail at the head of the governor, for they could not be parted from their hierarch easily and were prepared to part with life rather than part with this saint. But what did this blessed man do? Seeing the stones flying, he covered the head of the governor with his cloak. Thus, he shamed his adversaries by his enormous meekness and, by this, he taught a lesson to his followers as to what kind of forgiveness we should show toward those who offend us; that it is not enough to refrain from doing them any evil but rather, with all our power, to remove any danger that threatens them." Concerning the external appearance of Meletius, Chrysostom further says: "In truth, the greatest satisfaction was to see his holy face. Not only when he taught or preached but also when men simply looked at him, he was in such a position to instill into the soul of the spectators every virtue.
To contemplate the Lord Jesus as an Ascetic:
1. How He fasted not to subdue His All-pure Body, but in order to give us an example;
2. How He fasted for my sake;
3. How I need to fast for the sake of my salvation and for the sake of His love.
About the wondrous visit of the Son of God
"I came from the Father and have come into the world. Now I am leaving the world and giving back to the Father"(St. John 16:28).
Brethren, these words are of crucial importance for us. For of all things in this world, it is most important to know: Is there a God and is there life after death? These words are more precious than all the pearls in the world, more precious than the sun and more precious than the stars, for these words were spoken by Him Who is the most reliable and the most truthful witness. In truth, these words are the source of the greatest joy for us immersed in despair and, after despair, death. These words witness that there is a God and that there is life after death. "I came from the Father" before all else, this means that God exists from Whom the Lord Jesus came: "And I am going back to the Father" and this means that God the Father exists to Whom the Son of God returns. At the same time, both of these quotations mean that eternal life exists and that death does not mean our annihilation. The Lord spoke these words just before His death.
O sweet and wonderful tidings! That which the heart of all men and nations throughout all ages dimly envisioned, the Lord witnessed as face as truth.
And further, these words confirm the unity of the Father and the Son as well as the divinity of our Lord and Savior. My brethren, God visited us, the Most-High God Himself; Holy, Mighty and Immortal God. That is the culmination of our comfort and our joy.
O Lord Jesus, Son of God, the true witness of all that is good for which our hearts yearn day and night, sanctify us, strengthen us and make us immortal.
To You be glory and thanks always. Amen.
Restricted Fund: Formal entry porch with Cross, Cupola at main entry doors leading to parking lot.
If necessary, St. Nicholas Liturgical services will utilize the parish Hall in addition to the Nave of the Church providing an expanded area for worship.
If by necessity church attendance is not possible, you may participate in liturgical services at home using the following resources for texts, and sites for internet broadcast- streaming of services. Our chuch does not stream services.
Sites where to find streaming services:
Slavonic & English