July 31, 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.

July 31 (OS August 18), 2022

7th Sunday after Pentecost

Tone 6

The Holy Fathers of the First Six Ecumenical Councils

Martyr Emilian of Silistra in Bulgaria (363); Martyr Hyacinth of Amastris (4th c.); Ven. Pambo, hermit of Egypt (386); Ven. John the Long-suffering of the Kyiv Caves (1160); Ven. Pambo, recluse of the Kyiv Caves (1241).

Fathers of the First Six Ecumenical Councils


(OCA) In the Ninth Article of the Nicea-Constantinople Symbol of Faith proclaimed by the holy Fathers of the First and Second Ecumenical Councils, we confess our faith in “One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.” By virtue of the catholic nature of the Church, an Ecumenical Council is the Church’s supreme authority, and possesses the competence to resolve major questions of church life. An Ecumenical Council is comprised of archpastors and pastors of the Church, and representatives of all the local Churches, from every land of the “oikumene” (i.e. from all the whole inhabited world).

 The Orthodox Church acknowledges Seven Holy Ecumenical Councils:

  • The First Ecumenical Council (Nicea I) (May 29, and also on seventh Sunday after Pascha) was convened in the year 325 against the heresy of Arius, in the city of Nicea in Bithynia under Saint Constantine the Great, Equal of the Apostles.
  • The Second Ecumenical Council (Constantinople I) (May 22) was convened in the year 381 against the heresy of Macedonias, by the emperor Theodosius the Great.
  • The Third Ecumenical Council (Ephesus) (September 9) was convened in the year 431 against the heresy of Nestorius, in the city of Ephesus by the emperor Theodosius the Younger.
  • The Fourth Ecumenical Council (Chalcedon) (July 16) was convened in the year 451, against the Monophysite heresy, in the city of Chalcedon under the emperor Marcian.
  • The Fifth Ecumenical Council (Constantinople II) (July 25) “Concerning the Three Chapters,” was convened in the year 553, under the emperor Justinian the Great.
  • The Sixth Ecumenical Council (Constantinople III) (January 23) met during the years 680-681, to fight the Monothelite heresy, under the emperor Constantine Pogonatos.

The fact that the Seventh Ecumenical Council (Nicea II) is not commemorated today testifies to the antiquity of today’s celebration. The Seventh Council, commemorated on the Sunday nearest to October 11, was convened at Nicea in the year 787 against the Iconoclast heresy, under the emperor Constantine and his mother Irene.

The Church venerates the Holy Fathers of the Ecumenical Councils because Christ has established them as “lights upon the earth,” guiding us to the true Faith. “Adorned with the robe of truth,” the doctrine of the Fathers, based upon the preaching of the Apostles, has established one faith for the Church. The Ecumenical Councils, are the highest authority in the Church. Such Councils, guided by the grace of the Holy Spirit, and accepted by the Church, are infallible.

The Orthodox Church’s conciliar definitions of dogma have the highest authority, and such definitions always begin with the Apostolic formula: “It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us...” (Acts 15: 28).

The Ecumenical Councils were always convened for a specific reason: to combat false opinions and heresies, and to clarify the Orthodox Church’s teaching. But the Holy Spirit has thus seen fit, that the dogmas, the truths of faith, immutable in their content and scope, constantly and consequently are revealed by the conciliar mind of the Church, and are given precision by the holy Fathers within theological concepts and terms in exactly such measure as is needed by the Church itself for its economy of salvation. The Church, in expounding its dogmas, is dealing with the concerns of a given historical moment, “not revealing everything in haste and thoughtlessly, nor indeed, ultimately hiding something” (Saint Gregory the Theologian).

A brief summary of the dogmatic theology of the First Six Ecumenical Councils is formulated and contained in the First Canon of the Council of Trullo (also known as Quinisext), held in the year 692. The 318 Holy Fathers of the First Ecumenical Council are spoken of in this Canon I of Trullo as having: “with unanimity of faith revealed and declared to us the consubstantiality of the three Persons of the Divine nature and, ... instructing the faithful to adore the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit with one worship, they cast down and dispelled the false teaching about different degrees of Divinity.”

The 150 Holy Fathers of the Second Ecumenical Council left their mark on the theology of the Church concerning the Holy Spirit, “repudiating the teaching of Macedonius, as one who wished to divide the inseparable Unity, so that there might be no perfect mystery of our hope.”

The 200 God-bearing Fathers of the Third Ecumenical Council expounded the teaching that “Christ, the Incarnate Son of God is One.” They also confessed that “she who bore Him without seed was the spotless Ever-Virgin, glorifying her as truly the Mother of God.

The 630 Holy Fathers of the Fourth Ecumenical Council decreed that “the One Christ, the Son of God... must be glorified in two natures.”

The 165 God-bearing Holy Fathers of the Fifth Ecumenical Council “in synod anathematized and repudiated Theodore of Mopsuestia (the teacher of Nestorius), and Origen, and Didymus, and Evagrius, renovators of the Hellenic teaching about the transmigration of souls and the transmutation of bodies and the impieties they raised against the resurrection of the dead.”

The 170 Holy Fathers of the Sixth Ecumenical Council “taught that we ought to confess two natural volitions, or two wills [trans. note: one divine, and the other human], and two natural operations (energies) in Him Who was incarnate for our salvation, Jesus Christ, our true God.”

In decisive moments of Church history, the holy Ecumenical Councils promulgated their dogmatic definitions, as trustworthy delimitations in the spiritual battle for the purity of Orthodoxy, which will last until such time, as “all shall come into the unity of faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God” (Eph. 4: 13). In the struggle with new heresies, the Church does not abandon its former dogmatic concepts nor replace them with some sort of new formulations. The dogmatic formulae of the Holy Ecumenical Councils need never be superseded, they remain always contemporary to the living Tradition of the Church. Therefore the Church proclaims:

The faith of all in the Church of God hath been glorified by men, which were luminaries in the world, cleaving to the Word of Life, so that it be observed firmly, and that it dwell unshakably until the end of the ages, conjointly with their God-bestown writings and dogmas. We reject and we anathematize all whom they have rejected and anathematized, as being enemies of Truth. And if anyone does not cleave to nor admit the aforementioned pious dogmas, and does not teach or preach accordingly, let him be anathema (Canon I of the Council of Trullo).

In addition to their dogmatic definitions, the Holy Fathers of the Ecumenical Councils exerted great efforts towards the strengthening of church discipline. Local Councils promulgated their disciplinary canons according to the circumstances of the time and place, frequently differing among themselves in various particulars.

The universal unity of the Orthodox Church required unity also in canonical practice, i.e. a conciliar deliberation and affirmation of the most important canonical norms by the Fathers of the Ecumenical Councils. Thus, according to conciliar judgment, the Church has accepted: 20 Canons from the First, 7 Canons from the Second, 8 Canons from the Third, and 30 Canons from the Fourth Ecumenical Synods. The Fifth and the Sixth Councils concerned themselves only with resolving dogmatic questions, and did not leave behind any disciplinary canons.

The need to establish in codified form the customary practices during the years 451-680, and ultimately to compile a canonical codex for the Orthodox Church, occasioned the convening of a special Council, which was wholly devoted to the general application of churchly rules. This was convened in the year 692. The Council “in the Imperial Palace” or “Under the Arches” (in Greek “en trullo”), came to be called the Council in Trullo. It is also called the “Quinisext” [meaning the “fifth and sixth”], because it is considered to have completed the activities of the Fifth and Sixth Councils, or rather that it was simply a direct continuation of the Sixth Ecumenical Council itself, separated by just a few years.

The Council in Trullo, with its 102 Canons (more than of all the Ecumenical Synods combined), had a tremendous significance in the history of the canonical theology of the Orthodox Church. It might be said that the Fathers of this Council produced a complete compilation of the basic codex from the relevant sources for the Orthodox Church’s canons. Listing through in chronological order, and having been accepted by the Church the Canons of the Holy Apostles, and the Canons of the Holy Ecumenical and the Local Councils and of the holy Fathers, the Trullo Council declared: “Let no one be permitted to alter or to annul the aforementioned canons, nor in place of these put forth, or to accept others, made of spurious inscription” (2nd Canon of the Council in Trullo).

Church canons, sanctified by the authority of the first Six Ecumenical Councils (including the rules of the Seventh Ecumenical Council in 787, and the Constantinople Councils of 861 and 879, which were added later under the holy Patriarch Photius), form the basis of THE RUDDER, or KORMCHAYA KNIGA (a canon law codex known as “Syntagma” or “Nomokanon” in 14 titles). In its repository of grace is expressed a canonical norm, a connection to every era, and a guide for all the local Orthodox Churches in churchly practice.

New historical conditions can lead to the change of some particular external aspect of the life of the Church. This makes creative canonical activity necessary in the conciliar reasoning of the Church, in order to reconcile the external norms of churchly life with historical circumstances. The details of canonical regulation are not fully developed for the various eras of churchly organization all at once. With every push to either forsake the literal meaning of a canon, or to fulfill and develop it, the Church again and again turns for reasoning and guidance to the eternal legacy of the Holy Ecumenical Councils, to the inexhaustable treasury of dogmatic and canonical truths.

Glory to Jesus Christ!


We'll celebrate Vespers (5:00 pm) and Divine Liturgy (7 am) for the feast of St Vladimir this Wednesday and Thursday.


After Liturgy on Sunday, we'll bless automobiles for the feast of the Prophet Elias.


I meet Monday evening with a group of Catholic and Protestant Christians that invited us to participate in an ecumenical prayer service for Thanksgiving. The service is tentatively scheduled for Monday. November 21, 6 pm at Queen of Peace Catholic Church, 401 S Owen Dr, Madison. If you are interested in helping with the event, please let me know.


The service is a good opportunity to let people in the Madison area know we are here. So please consider participating.


In Christ,


+Fr Gregory

This Week at Ss Cyril & Methodius


Wednesday, July 27

  • 1:00 PM-3:00 PM: Office Hours/Confessions
  • 5:00 PM: Vespers

Thursday, July 28 St Vladimir

  • 7:00 AM: Divine Liturgy

Saturday, July 30

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

Sunday, July 31

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

Looking Ahead

Wednesday, August 3

  • 11:00 AM-3:00 PM: Office Hours/Confessions

Thursday, August 4

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

Saturday, August 6

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

Sunday, August 7

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

Hymns After the Small Entrance


Resurrectional troparion, tone 6:

Angelic Hosts were above Thy tomb, / and they that guarded Thee became as dead,/ and Mary stood by the grave seeking Thine immaculate Body. / Thou didst despoil hades and wast not tempted by it. / Thou didst meet the Virgin and didst grant us life. / O Thou Who didst rise from the dead, O Lord, glory to Thee.

Troparion of the Holy Fathers, Tone 8:

Most glorified art Thou, O Christ our God, / Who hast established our holy fathers as luminous stars upon the earth, / and through them didst guide us all to the true Faith. // O Most merciful One, glory be to Thee.

Resurrectional Kontakion, Tone 6

Having by His life bestowing hand raised up all the dead out of the  dark abysses, / Christ God, the Giver of life, hath bestowed the Resurrection upon the fallen human race;/ for He is the Savior of all, // the Resurrection, and the Life, and the God of all.

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

Kontakion of the Fathers, Tone 8:

The preaching of the apostles and the doctrines of the fathers confirmed the one Faith of the Church. / And wearing the garment of truth, woven from the theology on high, // She rightly divideth and glorifieth the great mystery of piety. 

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

Theotokion, Tone 6:
O protection of Christians that cannot be put to shame, / O mediation unto the Creator unfailing, /disdain not the suppliant voices of sinners, / but be thou quick, O good one, to help us who in faith cry unto thee; / hasten to intercession and speed thou to make supplication, // thou who dost ever protect, O Theotokos, them that honour thee.

Sunday Readings

Epistle: Romans 15:1-7


Brethren, We then who are strong ought to bear with the scruples of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, leading to edification. For even Christ did not please Himself; but as it is written, “The reproaches of those who reproached You fell on Me.” For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope. Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be like-minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus, that you may with one mind and one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.


Therefore receive one another, just as Christ also received us, to the glory of God.


Gospel: Matthew 9:27-35


When Jesus departed from there, two blind men followed Him, crying out and saying, “Son of David, have mercy on us!”

And when He had come into the house, the blind men came to Him. And Jesus said to them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?”

They said to Him, “Yes, Lord.”

Then He touched their eyes, saying, “According to your faith let it be to you.” And their eyes were opened. And Jesus sternly warned them, saying, “See that no one knows it.” But when they had departed, they spread the news about Him in all that country.

As they went out, behold, they brought to Him a man, mute and demon-possessed. And when the demon was cast out, the mute spoke. And the multitudes marveled, saying, “It was never seen like this in Israel!”

But the Pharisees said, “He casts out demons by the ruler of the demons.”

Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.    


Communion Hymn
Praise the Lord from the heavens, praise Him in the highest!   Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!

III. The Course of Human Life

Sanctify our souls and bodies, and grant that we may worship you in holiness all the days of our lives

§17 In our time, as has never before been the case, children are exposed throughout their waking hours to a host of electronic devices and mass media, dedicated in large part to the promotion of unremitting material acquisition. As His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew stated in his 2016 Proclamation of Christmas: “A child’s soul is altered by the influential consumption of electronic media, especially television and the internet, and by the radical transformation of communication. Unbridled economics transforms them, from a young age, into consumers, while the pursuit of pleasure rapidly causes their innocence to vanish.” The Church and parents must remember always that desires are shaped in childhood, and with them character. It is a gross dereliction to allow children to become so absorbed in a world of fleeting materialist fascinations and trivial material appetites as to leave their deeper capacities for love, selflessness, reverence, generosity, joy in simple things, and indifference to personal possessions undeveloped. Christ called his followers to imitate the guilelessness of children, but much of late modern capitalist culture seeks to rob children of precisely this precious virtue, and to convert them instead into engines of sheer covetous longing. To protect children against this profound perversion of their created natures is one of the most urgent responsibilities incumbent upon adult Christians in the age of mass communication. St. John Chrysostom advises parents that they serve as “gatekeepers of the senses” for their children.[13] A gatekeeper is not a tyrant, as Chrysostom makes clear; but, in controlling a child’s access to the world, the gatekeeper endows him or her with the ability to govern his or her own appetites in later life. And this role of gatekeeping may be more important today than ever before, given how completely our senses can be overwhelmed by the incessant din and spectacle of modern mass media.

§18 In most pre-modern societies, the period of childhood was succeeded directly by adulthood, and with it in most cases a life of labor. In our time, increasingly, we have come to think of the transition between childhood and adulthood as an intermediate period, and not necessarily a brief one. Many young adults, for instance, wait some time before detaching themselves from their childhood households and setting out upon independent paths to discern their vocation, and in many cases wait even longer before marrying, having children, and establishing households of their own. As with all large social changes, this reality comes with both privileges and perils. The principal benefit of allowing the young a longer interval in which to discern what their own peculiar gifts and vocations might be is that it liberates them from too great a sense of fated careers. The principal danger is that, in some, this period of decision will become a habit of indecision, even procrastination, and therefore an unnaturally prolonged condition of dependency, immaturity, and uncertainty. Here the Church must be ready to offer counsel and encouragement to young adults: to urge them to advance into life with faith, but also to do so prudently and prayerfully, seriously seeking to discover the particular gifts God has given them for the work of transfiguring a fallen world and serving God’s justice and mercy among others. The Church must be acutely conscious that it is at this stage of human life that sexuality and the shape of sexual longing become special concerns, and in many cases a cause of consternation and even confusion. In itself, this is nothing new in the human condition, but ours is an age in which sexuality has become yet another area of life colonized by the logic of consumerism and the dynamics of the market. Sexuality has today, in fact, become as much a consumer strategy or consumer product—tantalizing in its fluidity and pervasiveness—as an innate dimension of human personality. The Church and the community of the faithful must offer young adults a vision of sexual relations as life-giving and transfiguring: an intimate union of body, mind, and spirit, sanctified by holy matrimony. The body is “a temple of the Holy Spirit within you” (1 Corinthians 6:19), and even in its sexual nature is called to exhibit the sanctity of God’s dwelling place.

For the Life of the World: Toward an Orthodox Social Ethos of the Orthodox Church

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.

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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