Sunday, October 30, 2022
Ss Cyril & Methodius Orthodox Church Ss Cyril & Methodius Orthodox Church
An Orthodox Christian community on the campus of UW-Madison
1020 Regent St
(Lower Level)
Madison, WI 53715

Weekly Services:

Vespers: 5:00 PM Saturday
Divine Liturgy: 9:30 AM Sunday

Confessions: before and after Saturday Vespers or by appointment.

Click above to send names of those to be commemorated at Liturgy.

October 30, 2022

20th Sunday after Pentecost (6th Luke);

Tone 3


Hieromartyr Zenobius and his sister Zenobia, of Aegae in Cilicia

A Letter to An Inquirer:
Sola Scriptura

Thank you for your email and question about the Orthodox Church’s understanding of sola scriptura. Let me see if I can answer this and your other questions.

Indulgences. We don’t and never have sold indulgences. Whether it’s biblically sound or not, I'll leave it to Catholics and Protestants to debate since it isn’t really something with which the Orthodox Church has ever concerned itself. What I can say is that we’ve never seen any need for such a practice. 

Sola Scriptura. Regarding sola scriptura, the short answer is that the Orthodox Church doesn’t believe that the Bible is the sole infallible source of authority for Christian faith and practice (sola scriptura). This doesn’t mean that we don’t see Scripture as the “rule of faith”; we believe and teach that Scripture is the standard of Christian faith and practice. We also believe that Tradition is the normative context within which to understand the Bible.

The slightly longer answer requires that we first determine what we mean by sola scriptura. While Luther used this phrase, he also recognized the importance of the church as the Bible's interpreter, the regula fidei (or “rule of faith” found in the creeds of the early councils) as the context within which to understand the Bible while also arguing that Scripture as the final authority in matters of faith and practice."The true rule is this,” Luther said, that “God's Word [i.e., the Bible] shall establish articles of faith, and no one else, not even an angel can do so."

Later Protestant thinkers adopted a more radical version of sola scriptura arguing that Scripture is self-authenticating, clear (“perspicuous”) to the rational reader, self-interpreting ("Scripture interprets Scripture"), and sufficient of itself to be the final authority of Christian doctrine. 

Radical Sola Scriptura. It’s worth noting that this more radical understanding of sola scriptura was not only meant to criticize Rome but Luther and the earlier reformers who held more or less to what we read in the Westminster Confession of Faith:

All things in Scripture are not alike plain in themselves, nor alike clear unto all; yet those things which are necessary to be known, believed, and observed, for salvation, are so clearly propounded and opened in some place of Scripture or other, that not only the learned, but the unlearned, in a due use of the ordinary means, may attain unto a sufficient understanding of them (Chapter 1, Section VII).

Early Anabaptists together with most contemporary Evangelicals would (I think) reject the Westminster Confession’s affirmation of "the ordinary means" (such as turning to pastors and teachers) for reaching an understanding of scripture.

Check With Others. Finally, I should note that I have greatly simplified the various Protestant views of sola scriptura. I am not an expert in the various streams of Protestant theology and it would probably be better for you to ask a Protestant or Evangelical minister to give you a more authoritative summary of how they understand Scripture and its role in Christian life.

I've gone on too long so let me stop here for now. In my next letter, I'll look at how the Orthodox Church understands the relationship between Scripture and Holy Tradition

In Christ,

Fr Gregory

This Week at Ss Cyril & Methodius


Wednesday, October 26

  • 11:00 AM- 3:00 PM: Office Hours

Thursday, October 13

  • 1:00-3:00 PM: Office Hours/Confessions 
  • 6:00 PM: OCF

Saturday, October 29

  • 4:00 PM: Confessions
  • 5:00 PM: Vespers 
  • 6:00 PM: Confessions 

Sunday, October 30

  • 9:00 AM: Hours/Pre-Communion Prayers
  • 9:30 AM: Divine Liturgy

Looking Ahead


Wednesday, November 2

  • 11:00 AM- 3:00 PM: Office Hours

Thursday, November 3

  • 1:00-3:00 PM: Office Hours/Confessions 
  • 6:00 PM: OCF

Saturday, November 5 (UW Home Game)

  • 4:00 PM: Confessions [canceled]
  • 5:00 PM: Vespers [canceled]
  • 6:00 PM: Confessions [canceled]

Sunday, November 6

  • 9:00 AM: Hours/Pre-Communion Prayers
  • 9:30 AM: Divine Liturgy

Glory to Jesus Christ!


Thank you everyone for your prayers and good wishes for Mtka Mary and me while we had Covid. We're both much better and looking forward to seeing everyone this weekend.


Recently, several young men have approached me to learn more about the Orthodox Church. With some, we meet face-to-face (or by video chat). Others email me. I thought you might find my emails about Orthodoxy and the five solas of the Reformation--sola scriptura (Scripture alone), solus Christus (Christ alone), sola fide (faith alone), sola gratia (grace alone), and soli Deo gloria (glory to God alone)--of interest. The first email is on sola scriptura with more answers coming over the next few weeks.


One more thing. Thanks to Elijah's Closet at St Tikhon's Seminary in PA, we received 6 new (to us) altar boy vestments. 


In Christ,


+Fr Gregory

Hymns After the Small Entrance


Tone 3 Troparion (Resurrection)

Let the heavens rejoice! Let the earth be glad! For the Lord has shown strength with His arm. He has trampled down death by death. He has become the first born of the dead. He has delivered us from the depths of hell, and has granted to the world//great mercy.


Tone 4 Troparion (Ss Cyril & Methodius)

In that ye share the ways of the apostles, * O divinely wise Cyril and Methodius, * ye teachers of the Slavic lands, * entreat the Master of all, * that He confirm all the Slavic nations * in Orthodoxy and oneness of mind, ** and granting peace to the world, may our souls be saved


Tone 4 Troparion (Martyrs)

As brother and sister united in godliness together you struggled in contest Zenóbius and Zenoa. You received incorruptible crowns and unending glory//and shine forth with the grace of healing upon those in the world.


Tone 3 Kontakion (Resurrection)

On this day Thou didst rise from the tomb, O Merciful One, leading us from the gates of death. On this day Adam exults as Eve rejoices; with the Prophets and Patriarchs//they unceasingly praise the divine majesty of Thy power.


Tone 3 Kontakion (Ss. Cyril & Methodius)

Let us honor the sacred pair, who translated divine scripture / pouring forth a fountain of divine knowledge from which we still draw today. / Now as you stand before the throne of the Most-high / we call you blessed, Cyril and Methodius, / as you fervently pray for our souls.


Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.


Tone 8 Kontakion (Martyrs)

Let us honor with inspired hymns the two martyrs for truth: the preachers of true devotion, Zenóbius and Zenoa; as brother and sister they lived and suffered together//and through martyrdom received their incorruptible crowns.


Now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.


Tone 6 Theotokion

O protection of Christians that cannot be put to shame, mediation unto the Creator most constant, O despise not the suppliant voices of those who have sinned; but be thou quick, O good one, to come unto our aid, who in faith cry unto thee: Hasten to intercession, and speed thou to make supplication, thou who dost ever protect, O Theotokos, them that honor thee.


Sunday Readings

Epistle: Galatians 1:11-19


Brethren, I make known to you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through the revelation of Jesus Christ.


For you have heard of my former conduct in Judaism, how I persecuted the church of God beyond measure and tried to destroy it. And I advanced in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries in my own nation, being more exceedingly zealous for the traditions of my fathers.


But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace, to reveal His Son in me, that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately confer with flesh and blood, nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me; but I went to Arabia, and returned again to Damascus.


Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and remained with him fifteen days. But I saw none of the other apostles except James, the Lord’s brother.


Gospel: Luke 8:26-39


Then they sailed to the country of the Gadarenes, which is opposite Galilee. And when He stepped out on the land, there met Him a certain man from the city who had demons for a long time. And he wore no clothes, nor did he live in a house but in the tombs. When he saw Jesus, he cried out, fell down before Him, and with a loud voice said, “What have I to do with You, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg You, do not torment me!” For He had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. For it had often seized him, and he was kept under guard, bound with chains and shackles; and he broke the bonds and was driven by the demon into the wilderness.


Jesus asked him, saying, “What is your name?”


And he said, “Legion,” because many demons had entered him. And they begged Him that He would not command them to go out into the abyss.


Now a herd of many swine was feeding there on the mountain. So they begged Him that He would permit them to enter them. And He permitted them. Then the demons went out of the man and entered the swine, and the herd ran violently down the steep place into the lake and drowned.


When those who fed them saw what had happened, they fled and told it in the city and in the country. Then they went out to see what had happened, and came to Jesus, and found the man from whom the demons had departed, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind. And they were afraid. They also who had seen it told them by what means he who had been demon-possessed was healed. Then the whole multitude of the surrounding region of the Gadarenes asked Him to depart from them, for they were seized with great fear. And He got into the boat and returned.


Now the man from whom the demons had departed begged Him that he might be with Him. But Jesus sent him away, saying, “Return to your own house, and tell what great things God has done for you.” And he went his way and proclaimed throughout the whole city what great things Jesus had done for him.



Communion Hymn

Praise the Lord from the heavens, praise Him in the highest!


Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!

By the age of 25, about 60% of those baptized as infants will no longer consider themselves members of the Orthodox Church. A parish on a university campus is an important witness not only to the surrounding community but also to high school age and younger parishioner. Establishing a parish on the campus of the University of Wisconsin-Madison helps remind young people that graduating high school doesn't mean "graduating" from the Church. Please consider joining those who have committed their time, treasure and talent in establishing an Orthodox community on the Isthmus. Help us reach your children and grandchildren with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

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