Sunday, February 5, 2023

Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee

Beginning of the Lenten Triodion here for more

January  2023

As we begin the New Year it is fitting that we celebrate the day of the feast of Theophany, the Baptism of our Lord, and it is not out of place to remember another baptism: that baptism which was performed over each of us Orthodox Christians, that baptism at which each of us, or by the mouth of our godparents, gave a promise to God that we would always renounce Satan and his works and would always unite ourselves with Christ. This is especially fitting for us to always remember. The solemn rite of the Great Sanctification of Water is performed. Its center, its main part, one could say, is the prayer where the Lord is glorified and the grace of the Holy Spirit is called down upon the water being sanctified. This prayer begins with the words: “Great art Thou, O Lord, and marvelous are Thy works, and there is no word sufficeth to hymn Thy wonders.” Whoever has been at a service of the mystery of Baptism and was listening, knows that the prayer at the sanctification of the water in which a man will be baptized begins with these same words, and the first part of this prayer is completely the same, both at the Great Sanctification of Water and at the service of Baptism. And only later, in the last part, does the prayer at the Baptism change, as applicable to this mystery, when a new human soul will be baptized. And so, it would not do us any harm to remember those vows given at Baptism on behalf of each of us. When a person is baptized as an adult, that person makes the vows on his own behalf; but if he is baptized as an infant, his godfather or godmother—his “sponsors,” as the Church calls them, say these vows for them. And so these vows, in which a Christian has promised God to renounce Satan and all his works and to join himself, to unite himself with Christ, these vows are not only forgotten by some people, but many in general know nothing about them or about the fact that these vows were pronounced for them and that they ought to think a little about how they must fulfill these vows. What if on the last day of the human race on earth, which is that day of the Dread Judgment, it turns out that a man (or his sponsors for him) made vows, and he does not even know what the vows were and what was promised? What will happen to the soul of such a man? Think about what it means to renounce Satan and all his works and to join oneself to Christ. If we made a vow to renounce Satan and all his works, then, in fulfilling it, we ought to strive not to stifle our soul with distractions, but to reject them and to remember how it says in Luke, “One thing is needed”—only one thing is necessary—and to remember that we must join ourselves with Christ, that is, not only to fulfill His commandments, but also to unite ourselves with Him. It is good to think about this, that on this day of the great feast; think and pray that the Lord send you firm faith and the commitment to fulfill these vows that were made, and not to be swallowed up by the distractions of the world and lose the union with Christ, this commitment with Christ was a promise to join yourself for ever to Him. May our good Lord give us the strength and wisdom to fulfill our baptismal vows throughout this year of 2023.

Fr. Mikel Bock


Today's Saints >


Regular Services

Saturday: Vespers, 5:00 pm

Sunday: Divine Liturgy, 9:00 am



1614 E. Monte Vista Rd.

Phoenix, Az 85006


Phone / Email

Fr. Mikel: 907-444-8545

Church: 602-253-9515


Directions To Saints Peter & Paul



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Visit of Metropolitan Tikhon - 11/03/2019

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Parish News


Feb 4th, Sat:  5:00 pm Vespers

Feb 5th Sun: 8:40 am Hours/Divine Liturgy

Feb 8th Wed: No Class

Feb 11th Sat: 3:00 pm Readers and Servers Class

5 pm Vespers


Feb 12th Sun: 8:40 am Hours/Divine Liturgy


Feb 15th Wed: 6:00 pm Class

Feb 17th Fri: 6:00 pm Vespers

Feb 18th Sat: 8:40 am Hours/Divine Liturgy/Panikhida

5:00 pm Vespers


Feb 19th Sun: 8:40 am Hours/Divine Liturgy **Last day to eat meat until Pascha**


Feb 22nd Wed: 6:00 pm Class

Feb 25th Sat: 5:00 pm Vespers

Feb 26th Sun: 8:40 am Hours/Divine/Forgiveness Vespers **Last day to eat fish and dairy until Pascha**

Feb 27th Mon: Great Fast begins

9:00 am Lenten Matins

6:00 pm Compline & Great Canon


Feb 28th Tue: 9:00 am Lenten Matins

6:00 pm Compline & Great Canon


Mar 1st Wed: 9:00 am Lenten Matins

5:30 pm 9th Hour & Typica

6:00 pm Presanctified Liturgy


Mar 2nd Thu: 9:00 am Lenten Matins

6:00 pm Compline & Great Canon


Mar 3rd Fri: 8:30 am 9th Hour & Typical

9:00 am Presanctified Liturgy

6:00 pm Small Compline W/Canon to St Theodore


Mar 4th Sat: 8:40 am Hours/Divine Liturgy

5:00 pm Vespers

The Mission of The Orthodox Church in America, the local autocephalous Orthodox Christian Church, is to be faithful in fulfilling the commandment of Christ to “Go into all the world and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit…”

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The Holy Scripture is a collection of books written over multiple centuries by those inspired by God to do so. It is the primary witness to the Orthodox Christian faith, within Holy Tradition and often described as its highest point. It was written by the prophets and apostles in human language, inspired by the Holy Spirit, and collected, edited, and canonized by the Church.

Daily Readings >

Holiness or sainthood is a gift (charisma) given by God to man, through the Holy Spirit. Man's effort to become a participant in the life of divine holiness is indispensable, but sanctification itself is the work of the Holy Trinity, especially through the sanctifying power of Jesus Christ, who was incarnate, suffered crucifixion, and rose from the dead, in order to lead us to the life of holiness, through the communion with the Holy Spirit.

Today's Saints >

Saints Peter & Paul Orthodox Church
1614 E Monte Vista Road
Phoenix, Arizona 85006