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Invitation - Special Christmas Concert 

 

“God-with-us!” Three short words that express the very heart of Christmas: the birth of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. We all know and love the classic Christmas carols, but have you heard the ancient songs of Eastern Orthodox Christmas? 

We invite you to a special Christmas Concert on Friday, December 5th. Our event will feature the St. Peter the Apostle Orthodox Church Choir from Fresno. Magnify the joy of your Christmastime with the living truths of ancient Christian melodies from the East. They beautifully express the great mystery of God’s love in Jesus Christ.

So, please join us on Friday, December 5th, at 7:30 pm for our concert, “God-with-Us!” Our location is the chapel of Mercy Outpatient Center at M Street at Bear Creek in Merced. Call us at 209-384-0673. This concert is free, though a freewill offering will be taken. Come, lift up your hearts and celebrate “God-with-Us!” — at St. Mary Magdalene Orthodox Church in Merced.

 

 

The Nativity Fast

November 15 thru December 24

Why fast before the Nativity?

We fast before the Great Feast of the Nativity in order to prepare ourselves for the celebration of Our Lord’s birth. As in the case of Great Lent, the Nativity Fast is one of preparation, during which we focus on the coming of the Savior by fasting, prayer, and almsgiving.

By fasting, we “shift our focus” from ourselves to others, spending less time worrying about what to eat, when to eat, how much to eat, and so on in order to use our time in increased prayer and caring for the poor. We learn through fasting that we can gain control over things which we sometimes allow to control us—and for many people, food is a controlling factor. 

While fasting from food, however, we are also challenged to fast from sin, from gossip, from jealousy, from anger, and from those other things which, while well within our control, we all too often allow to control us.

Just as we would refrain from eating a lot before going to an expensive restaurant for dinner—if we “ruin our appetite” we will enjoy the restaurant less—so too we fast before the Nativity in order to more fully feast and celebrate on the Nativity itself.

During the Nativity Fast, we are called upon to refrain from meat, dairy, fish, wine, and olive oil. At the same time, we are challenged, within this framework, to fast to the best of our ability, and to do so consistently. 

If we must modify the extent to which we fast within this framework, it is of course possible, but in every instance our fasting should be consistent and regular, for Christ does not see fasting as an option, but as a “must.” 

In Matthew Christ says, “WHEN you fast, do not be like the hypocrites,” not “IF you fast” or “IF YOU CHOOSE to fast.”

Fasting is wonderful, because it tramples our sins like a dirty weed, while it cultivates and raises truth like a flower.  (Look HERE and HERE for Fasting Rules in the Orthodox Church or on the Church Calendar for the fasting rule on a given date)



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 Who We Are 

 

     We are a family church of many cultures with intergenerational worship; we have a full liturgical life throughout the Church year, with many opportunities for joyful fellowship and enduring growth. Our vision is to “manifest the Kingdom of God by proclaiming and living the Orthodox Christian Faith.” Orthodox Christianity is for everyone — come and see!

 

     Located at the north end of California's San Joaquin Valley, St. Mary Magdalene Orthodox Church is dedicated to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to His promise of salvation to all mankind. The services of our mission-parish are located in the heart of Merced, in the beautiful Chapel at Mercy Medical Center's “Dominican Campus” on M Street, just south of Bear Creek. Committed to serving Christ and His Holy Church, the people of St. Mary Magdalene welcome and encourage all visitors to be our guests, especially those who are truly seeking the path of salvation. 

 




Saint Mary Magdalene
Orthodox Church

Archpriest David Thatcher
Sermons

Extending Liberation
Nov 2, 2014
The Power of God in Our Lives
Nov 9, 2014
Repentence is Offered to Us Freely
Nov 16, 2014
Choose or and click!

Go to  >>>>>>>        

 

 

 Read and Listen to Scripture:

 

 

  

Listen to the Weekday Gospels and Epistles

by clicking here ---> 

 

 

Schedule of Services

 

 

Sunday

8:00 AM -- Matins 

 

 9:40 AM -- Office of the Hours (precedes the Divine Liturgy)

 

10:00 AM -- Divine Liturgy (the main Sunday service) 

 

After services we gather for brunch and fellowship.

 

Thursday

7:00 - 9:00 PM - Office of Vespers

   and/or Bible Study: The Book of Ephesians

(Current schedule HERE )

 

Saturday

5:00 PM -- Office of Vespers, or Vigil

 (worship preparing us for the Lord’s Day)

 

 

 

Services for Feast Days

     St. Mary Magdalene Orthodox Church keeps a full schedule of services for the major feast days of the Church Year. On the eve of the Feast Day, we serve Vespers or Vigil. On the day of the Feast, we serve the Divine Liturgy (Holy Eucharist). The schedule for Feast Days is found on the Calendars & Schedule pageHERE.

Directions & Location

 

     St. Mary Magdalene Orthodox Church holds services at the Chapel of Mercy Outpatient Center (also called "Dominican Campus") located at 2740 M Street, Merced, CA 95340, between 27th Street and Bear Creek Drive.  The entrance to the chapel is from the Bear Creek Side (north side). Go to the Driving Directions page for a map and detailed directions. HERE.

 

 

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Today We Celebrate
The Holy Great Martyr James the Persian - 11/27/14

The Holy Great Martyr James the Persian (the Sawn-Asunder) was born in the fourth century into a pious Christian family, both wealthy and illustrious. His wife was also a Christian, and the couple raised their children in piety, inspiring in them a love for prayer and the Holy Scriptures. James occupied a high position at the court of the Persian emperor Izdegerd (399-420) and his successor Barakhranes (420-438). But on one of the military campaigns James, seduced by the emperor’s beneficence, was afraid to acknowledge himself a Christian, and so he offered sacrifice to idols with the emperor.

Learning of this, James’ mother and wife wrote him a letter, in which they rebuked him and urged him to repent. Receiving the letter, James realized the gravity of his sin. Faced with the horror of being cut off not only from his family, but also from God Himself, he began to weep loudly, imploring the Lord for forgiveness.

His fellow-soldiers, hearing him pray to the Lord Jesus Christ, reported this to the emperor. Under interrogation, St James bravely confessed his faith in the one True God. No amount of urging by the emperor could make him renounce Christ. The emperor then ordered the saint to be put to death.

They began to cut off his fingers and his toes one by one, then his hands and his feet, and then his arms and legs. During the prolonged torture St James offered prayers of thanksgiving to the Lord, Who had granted him the possibility of redemption from his sins by enduring these terrible torments. Finally, the martyr was beheaded. Christians gathered up the pieces of his body and buried them with great reverence.


 

The icon of St. Mary Magdalene at the top of each page used by permission of Maria Tsimboka, the iconographer,
and the K-W Gift Gallery, the North American distributor of this artist's work.





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