7311 Lyons Road
Coconut Creek, FL 33073
ph: (954) 429-0056
Divine Liturgy every Saturday at 5Pm and Sunday at 10AM
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16).
Come and join us to the Divine Liturgy to acknowledge the most precious gift that we have ever received, and that we keep receiving every single day of our lives: God’s unconditional love for each and every one of us.
Come, because we need your prayers, and we will pray for you as well. Come and express solidarity to all Christian individuals and communities who have given courageous witness to Christ in all our Churches throughout the world and those who face trials and difficulties because the lack of religious freedom.
You are invited to strengthen your faith, increase your hope and be more mindful of God’s love and creation by participating in the beautiful Liturgies during the year.
His Resurrection is an expression and a description of the joy and fruits of Christ’s victory as crowned by His glorious Resurrection. As the Jewish Passover was celebrated to commemorate the exodus of the Jews from captivity, so also the Christian Pascha is an exodus from death to life and from the earth to heaven.
May heaven and earth rejoice at the witness of those who suffer opposition and even persecution for their faith in Jesus Christ. May the proclamation of his victorious resurrection deepen their courage and trust.
The risen Christ is journeying ahead of us towards the new heavens and the new earth, in which we shall all finally live as one family, as sons of the same Father. He is with us until the end of time. Let us walk behind him, in this wounded world, singing Alleluia.
In our hearts there is joy and sorrow, on our faces there are smiles and tears. Such is our earthly reality. But Christ is risen, he is alive and he walks with us. For this reason we sing and we walk, faithfully carrying out our task in this world with our gaze fixed on heaven.
We are called every day to live to the fullest and discover the Living Word, the risen Christ.
2. By sin we also live in darkness and we disfigure the image and likeness of God in us. That is why we pray to God in the second prayer of Vespers: “I entreat You: cleanse me in the waters of repentance. And through prayer and fasting, make me shine with light, for You alone are merciful.” Those who recount the lives of the Saints, especially of the hermits in the desert, always mention that their faces shone with light. This light is the Divine Light, the glory of God that filled the Temple of Solomon and that radiated from Christ on the Mount of Transfiguration. St. Paul says: “All of us, gazing on the Lord’s glory with unveiled faces, are being transformed from glory to glory into His very image by the Lord Who is Spirit.” (2 Cor. 3:18) The faces of the Saints were illumined by the radiant glory of Divine Life that filled their hearts.
3. The Lenten season is also a season of joy and a time of purification. In the third prayer of Vespers we pray: “Let us enter the season of the radiant Fast with joy, giving ourselves to spiritual combat. Let us purify our spirit and cleanse our flesh. As we fast from food, let us abstain also from every passion. Rejoicing in the virtues of the Spirit, may we persevere with love, so as to be worthy to see the solemn Passion of Christ our God, and with great spiritual gladness to behold His holy Resurrection.” This Lenten combat is first and foremost a spiritual combat. Our fasting from food has spiritual value only when it used as a weapon in the spiritual battle for our hearts. Fasting is not an end in itself but rather a most effective means in helping us attain liberation from the passions, a necessary condition for our sanctification.
By fully embracing the spiritual combat of Great Lent we prepare ourselves to celebrate with pure and radiant joy the Feast of the Resurrection. In the second hymn of the Orthros on the first day of the Fast, we pray: “Let us joyfully begin the holy season of abstinence. Let us shine with the bright radiance of the holy Commandments of Christ our God, with the brightness of love and the splendor of prayer, with the purity and the strength of good courage. Clothed in a garment of light, let us hasten to the holy third-day Resurrection that shines upon the world with the glory of eternal life.” When we live clothed “with the brightness of love and the splendor of prayer,” we can say that we are already living in the spirit of the Resurrection".
Above written by Archbishop Cyril Salim Bustros, Eparchy of Newton. Permission to use this quotation was obtained from Archbishop Cyril Salim Bustros, Eparchy of Newton.
Happy new year 2016.
We are all born, and we will all someday die. With this truth, the Church teaches us to end each day, with an examination of conscience. This devout practice leads us to thank God for the blessings and graces we have received, and to ask forgiveness for our weaknesses and sins".
We gather to remember all the prophets that revealed the promises from God; beginning with the Old the Voice and Will of God to bear witness of the living God in order to live our conversion towards God
You are invited to strengthen your faith, increase your hope and be more mindful of God’s love and creation by participating in the beautiful Liturgies during the year.
Address from pope Francis for Christmas. Dec 2014
Dear Brothers and Sisters,“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all consolation, who consoles us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to console those who are in any affliction, with the consolation with which we ourselves are consoled by God” (2 Cor 1:3-4).
The birth of the Son of God in our human flesh is an indescribable mystery of consolation: “For the grace of God has appeared for the salvation of all people” (Tit 2:11).
To the young I send a paternal embrace. I pray for your faithfulness, your human and Christian development, and the attainment of your hopes and dreams. I repeat to you: “Do not be afraid or ashamed to be Christian. Your relationship with Jesus will help you to cooperate generously with your fellow citizens, whatever their religious affiliation”
To the elderly I express my respect and esteem. You are the memory of your peoples. I pray that this memory will become a seed which can grow and benefit generations yet to come.
I wish to encourage all of you who work in the very important fields of charity and education. I admire the work you do, , in providing help to anyone who asks, without discrimination. Through this witness of charity you help support the life of society and you contribute to the peace for which the region hungers as if for bread. Education too is critical for the future of society. How important it is for promoting the culture of encounter, respect for the dignity of each person and the absolute value of every human being!
Dear brothers and sisters, you play a significant role in the Church and in the countries where you live. The entire Church is close to you and supports you, with immense respect and affection for your communities and your mission.We will continue to assist you.
I encourage you to continue to pray for peace in the Middle East. May those forced to leave their lands be able to return and to live in dignity and security. May humanitarian aid increase and always have as its central concern the good of each individual and each country, respecting their identity and without any other agendas.
May the Virgin Mary, the All-Holy Mother of God and our Mother, accompany you and protect you always with her tender love. To all of you and your families I impart my Apostolic Blessing, and I pray that your celebration of Christmas will be filled with the love and peace of Christ our Saviour
Excerpts of Letter of His Beatitude Gregorios III, Patriarch of Antioch and All the East,
Of Alexandria and of Jerusalem, For the Feast of the Nativity 2014
The Incarnation as Meeting
“For mine eyes have seen thy salvation which thou hast prepared before the face of all people; a light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.” (Luke 2: 30-32)
Thus exclaims the righteous Elder Simeon, when he takes in his arms the Lord of the universe at the close of the celebrations relating to the Nativity of Christ. Sometimes called the Presentation of the Lord, in the Greek tradition this feast is known as the Hypapante, meaning the Meeting of our Lord God and Saviour Jesus Christ in the Temple: it is primarily the meeting of God and man.
Feast of Meeting
Furthermore, this feast represents the meeting of the Old and New Testaments, or the meeting between Jesus’ infancy, or childhood, and the old age of Simeon and Anna, both advanced in years. It is also the meeting between the Law of the Old Testament and Grace in Jesus’ person, as the Apostle John says at the beginning of his Gospel, “For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.” (John 1: 17)
The term “meeting” is more popular than ever nowadays: meetings are organized at all levels. Unfortunately, they do not always bring us the benefits expected: that is because God is a stranger to these meetings. However, God continues going to meet humans, to fill their life with goodness, blessings, and happiness. That is precisely the meaning of the Christmas celebrations, of which this Feast of the Meeting of the Lord in the Temple marks the close.
Meeting: goal of the Incarnation
The Incarnation – this doctrine very difficult for Christians (and non-Christians, Jews and Muslims) – is the meeting of God with man and the meeting of man with God. God first encounters man through creation.
The Old and New Testaments, those holy books, are books of the covenant, meeting. The events of the Old Testament tell us about all God’s meetings with his people, his difficulties, setbacks, and the failures of many of these meetings, and the repeated calls that God made to meet his people.
Jesus: Master of Meeting
Jesus is the great master of meeting. It is he whom we meet. Let us go! For “We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ.” (John 1: 41) Messengers from Saint John the Baptist ask him, “Art thou he that should come? or look we for another?” (Luke 7: 20; Matthew 11: 3). And Saint Peter exclaims, “Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.” (John 6: 68)
“Follow me,” is an oft repeated saying in the Gospel. Jesus lets no occasion slip to meet human beings: great and small, disciples, children, old people, young people, the sick, Pharisees and other sinners and even the dead, whom he meets to raise. And the two disciples at Emmaus...
Jesus was walking on the paths of humanity, of all men and women: he goes to meet them. The examples are numerous, especially of unscheduled visits: the meetings with the Samaritan woman (John 4: 6-26), with the widow of Nain and the raising of her only son(Luke 7: 11-17), with Zacchaeus (Luke 19: 1-10)... Let us say rather that all those cited above were in the schedule of Jesus’ love.
Mary, Our Lady of Meeting
The whole Gospel is a call to meeting. Mary, at this Feast of the Meeting, delivers Jesus to humanity, the world, through the medium of Simeon. She gives Jesus to the world. She carried him in her womb. She gave birth to him in a cave. Now she delivers him to Simeon in the temple, meaning she gives him to the church.
That is the meaning of Marian iconography in the Byzantine Greek tradition. The Mother of God is never represented alone, but is always with Jesus whom she offers or shows to the world, calling people to meet him. That is why we insist on our faithful observing the very expressive Eastern tradition of iconography of the Mother of God which always represents her with her divine Son, Jesus Christ. Similarly, when their piety incites them to erect a little oratory in the street, or even a statue, we ask them always to let Mary be with her Son, Jesus. So, Mary draws believers to Jesus.
The Church is the People of God: people meet there
The Church is a meeting-place, and not one of shrinking inwards and isolation. It represents a constant call to meeting. Added to that internal ad intra mission of the Church, to “gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad” (John 11: 52), as did Jesus, must be added that of the ad extra mission, for the faithful to be light, salt and leaven in society.
Thus the Church shows the meaning of the faithful’s presence in society, because individuals have no meaning without society. Their value lies in their being in society.
Family: meeting place
Meeting happens in the family, which provides natural daily opportunities for meeting for its members. That is why we encourage our families to intensify opportunities and aspects of family meetings, in gladness, prayer, meditation, Gospel reading, and eating together, making trips and taking walks together, attending the Divine Liturgy together, and in taking part in parish activities.
Appeal for the discourse of meeting
Through this Christmas Letter, we are appealing to the whole world, Arab and other countries. We ask them to act on the basis of justice, law, forgiveness, dialogue and meeting, which is preferable to that of war, weapons and armament. We are making this call as Syrian Patriarch and addressing it to our dear Syrian government, states in the region and throughout the whole world. It is absolutely imperative to change our outlook and ways of dealing with disputes and interests. That is the real power of our Christian and Gospel faith values. For faith is part of the solution of problems and clashes of our countries in their diversity.
So we return to the values of the Incarnation, which we celebrate on Christmas Day: it is the mystery of meeting. Christians must highlight the values of our faith to resolve the problems of our countries. The world must find a way other than that of war.
Good wishes for the Feast: wishes for meeting
To you all, my dears, I send best wishes for this Feast of the divine Incarnation at the Feast of the Nativity, Feast of Meeting, of love, mutual enrichment, respect, compassion, pity and love.
We invite you to multiply the various sorts of meetings in your surroundings, especially families, to meet one another at meals, prayers, friendly gatherings, joyfully. Otherwise, our families will become islands, with everyone at his computer or mobile phone or using twitter. Thus we are in contact with those at a distance and neglect those closest to us. Our families need to meet continually. Our children need love from their parents, to meet them, just as parents need their children’s love.
“Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace.” God’s great desire becomes an encounter. Simeon invites us to this meeting. He has patiently waited a long time to see the Salvation of God. Saint Paul tells us of the long and painful wait, saying, “For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.” (Romans 8: 19)
Our Arab world is waiting, very much expecting the birth of a new world, especially in Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Palestine, in the expectation of seeing the end of years of war, pain, suffering, harshness, killing, death and destruction.
Our letter: meeting you all
To everyone everywhere, I wish the potential for meeting to increase in his or her life, that he or she may bring to others the joy of the Gospel and help them to meet in their turn Christ Jesus. Thus the new-born Child, God before the ages, will be for each person a Light to lighten his heart, as Saint Peter says in his Second Epistle, until “the day star arise in your hearts.” (2 Peter 1: 19)
“Lord, now lettest thou thy servant...” is the flame of hope, love, passion, happiness and joy. We pray for everyone to meet the Lord and Saviour in his or her life. We invite them to commemorate daily as do we, “our most holy, most pure, most blessed and glorious Lady, Mother of God and Ever-Virgin Mary, who offered her Son at the Temple, with all the saints, let us commend ourselves, and each other and all our life unto Christ our God .”
“Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace...” At the end of the Divine Liturgy and Vespers, every day we repeat this prayer, daily expecting the coming of God into our life here below, to bring us to life eternal, there to meet the Lord and be always with him.
Merry Christmas! Happy and holy 2015!
With my affection, blessing and prayer
+ Gregorios III
Patriarch d’Antioch and All the East,
“The meaning of time, of temporality,” he said, “is the manifestation of the mystery God and of His concrete love for us.”
Before Pentecost was a Christian celebration, it was an ancient Jewish observance. In the Old Covenant, in the Law of Moses, God commanded his people to bring some of the first grain harvested from their fields to Jerusalem be sacrificed as a burnt offering. This is the reason why Jews from so many distant countries were gathered in Jerusalem on this fiftieth day after Passover. Each Pentecost, the world’s first fruits were gathered and consecrated to the Lord. On one unique Pentecost, the Pentecost seven weeks after Jesus’ resurrection, Jews from every land were gathered by the Holy Spirit, and consecrated to God the Father, through Jesus Christ. By the end of Old Testament era, God had scattered the seeds of his chosen people across the world. On this Pentecost, the first fruits of his harvest are brought into his barn, the Church.
Pentecost can be seen as the beginning of the end of God’s project of salvation because we are now living in the world’s final era. And yet, Pentecost can also be seen as the start of a new divine project that will perdure forever. At the Tower of Babel, mankind endeavors to build a city reaching all the way to heaven. In other words, they attempt to become as gods while rejecting God. The Lord knows that this recurring human tendency leads to self-destruction, for both individuals and societies, so he thwarts their project by confusing their language. On Pentecost, God undoes Babel by allowing all peoples to understand the Apostles’ words, uniting and ennobling them. On this day, God begins in earnest to build up the Church, a new great city in communion with God that reaches all the way to heaven. Though heaven and earth pass away, this city of God, the Church, shall continue forever.
Open yourself to the Holy Spirit’s will. Ask him to give you new, powerful gifts. Give him permission to utilize you in the great project of salvation. And then, let us watch what he does through us
Pope Francis. Easter Messages.
“The message which Christians bring to the world is this: Jesus, Love incarnate, died on the cross for our sins, but God the Father raised him and made him the Lord of life and death. In Jesus, love has triumphed over hatred, mercy over sinfulness, goodness over evil, truth over falsehood, life over death.” This is why Christians tell everyone, he continued, to “come and see” that “love is more powerful, love gives life, love makes hope blossom in the wilderness.” (Easter 2014)
"Christ is our peace, and through him we implore peace for all the world”. In the first Urbi et Orbi message of his pontificate this Easter Sunday, Pope Francis invited people of all ages, from all walks of life to “ask the risen Jesus, who turns death into life, to change hatred into love, vengeance into forgiveness, war into peace”. (Easter 2013)
"No one has a greater love than the one who lays down his life for his friends. He gave it up for us. For you. For me. And He recovered it. And He is with us with his full life. Let him accompany you. He loves you! Easter is Jesus alive!" Pope Francis
Come to our church and celebrate that the message of peace and love from our Lord Jesus Christ is for you and for all mankind.
We thank pope Emeritus Benedict XVI for all his help and concern for the Eastern Churches and will keep him in our prayers.
¨The Year of Faith, which the Church is living, should arouse in the heart of each believer a greater awareness that the encounter with Christ is the source of true life and a solid hope¨ Benedict XVI
May grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. Amen
Thank your for your finnancial support that is appreciated and necessary to cover all our expenses and obligations. If you can't attend one weekend's Liturgy, mailing your contibution will help our church to cover our expensese.
Thank you, thank you for your generosity. May God pour abundant graces to you and your family.
Pope Francis emphasised in his visit to Turkey from Nov 28-30, 2014 the importance of reaffirming respect to the Orthodox “as an essential condition, accepted by both, for the restoration of full communion, which does not signify the submission of one to the other, or assimilation. Rather, it means welcoming all the gifts that God has given to each, thus demonstrating to the entire world the great mystery of salvation accomplished by Christ the Lord through the Holy Spirit. I want to assure each one of you here that, to reach the desired goal of full unity, the Catholic Church does not intend to impose any conditions except that of the shared profession of faith".
Both declared that "we are called to work together for the sake of justice, peace and respect for the dignity and rights of every person, especially in those regions where they once lived for centuries in peaceful coexistence and now tragically suffer together the horrors of war,"
These are signs of the deep bond between the sees of Rome and Constantinople, and the desire to overcome, in love and truth, the barriers that still separate us. Let us pray for the fruits of this fraternal encounter.
Advent is the season of special preparation for and expectation of the coming of Christ. It encourages us to examine our lives, to reflect on our need for God to enter our lives and to prepare earnestly for, and eagerly await the coming of Christ. He will come to us in the celebration of the Incarnation, in His continual coming in our daily living and in His final coming as our Lord to judge us all and to renew the Father’s creation. May your participation in the divine liturgy inspire you your renewal for the celebration of Emmanuel, God with us.
Our Holiness pope Benedict XVI encouraged the participation of the faithful in liturgical celebrations of other Catholic rites, thus opening themselves to the dimensions of the Universal Church. “We have thus enhanced the liturgical, spiritual and theological wealth of the Eastern Catholic Churches, as well as of the Latin Church”.
Come Holy Spirit, Give us the understanding to work for the unity of the Church!
With joy, we celebrate the pastoral visit of our Pope, Benedict XVI to Cyprus, “a bridge between East and West”, the Gate of Christianity, and the encounter with Cypriot Orthodox Archbishop, Chrysostomos II.
Let’s pray and work for the unity of Orthodox and Catholics so as disciples of Jesus the world might believe.
We reject the violence which cost the life of the Bishop from Turkey Luigi Padovese who while headed to the airport in Turkey to travel and meet our Pope was stabbed to death. May his martyrdom inspire all Christians to use the great commandment we received from our Lord:
To love our neighbors and to forgive those who don’t respect the sanctity of life.
Most. Rev. William Skurla, DD, Bishop of Passaic celebrated the Divine Liturgy at Our Lady of the Sign Church.
Everyone enjoyed his warm presence. Thank you Bishop William for coming. We'll be very pleased to have you back again in the future.
Troparion of Theophany (Epiphany At Your baptism in the Jordan, O Lord, worship of the Trinity was revealed. For the Father's voice bore witness to You, calling You His "beloved Son", and the Spirit in the form of a dove confirmed the truth of these words. O Christ God, Who appeared and enlightened the world, glory to You!
Let us join our Pope Benedict XVI who is praying for an increase in knowledge of and esteem for the Eastern Catholic Churches. His general intention is "that the Eastern Catholic Churches and their venerable traditions may be known and esteemed as a spiritual treasure for the whole Church."
We welcome our spiritual leader with affection, our venerable brother Archbishop William Charles Skurla of Pittsburgh of the Byzantines, Ruthenian Church who received on the Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul on June 29,2012 the Pallium from the hands of the servant of the servants Benedict XVI. May God grant Archbishop William a long life of service.
The tradition of blessing Easter baskets celebrates the joy of the Resurrection. The Easter meal breaks the six weeks of Lenten fasting with the sharing of blessed food on Easter morning. The foods represent fare abstained from during Lent: meat, butter, rich breads and more.
The foods in the baskets are foods that are especially significant to our faith. They are symbolic of Christ Himself, our true Passover.
A candle is usually inserted into the basket to represent Christ the Light of the World. The basket is covered with a linen cloth and brought to the church to be blessed.
Paska, a baked round loaf, often with decorative cross baked on top, is a symbol of Jesus Christ, the Bread of Life. Eggs, plain or decorated and hardboiled is a sign of rejoicing in the new life and the risen that is ours in Christ.
The Paschal Lamb, usually made from cake, bread or butter, is symbolic of the victory of Jesus Christ after his Resurrection. Butter or sugar represents the sweetness of God’s blessings. Meats (sausage, ham, bacon) are symbolic of abolishment of the “Old Law” in the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Horseradish and red beets reminds us of the bitter sufferings of our Lord. Salt, the fundamental seasoning and preservative, is symbolic of prosperity and justice.
On Easter Sunday the blessed foods are shared with family and friends. The colored eggs are exchanged with friends.
This old custom is indeed richly symbolic and beautiful and one in which the whole family can participate in and prepare.
When you ask God to bless your meal, you turn in thanking Him for the blessing He has given to your family and the gift of His only Son. Easter is a celebration of Jesus' victory over death and the hope of eternal life that He has given us.
May the grace and joy of the Risen Christ be with you all.
December 12- Celebration of St Nicholas. Dinner after Divine Liturgy.We thank all that were in this feast organized by the Guild, who gave a surprise to the small ones.
Our Lady of the Sign Guild held elections of officers, Sunday November 7, 2010
President: Rose Auer VicePresident: MaryAnn Gonzalez Secretary: Janice Carey RoseAuer (at) gmail.com
Please support them and participate in the different events they plan!
You, your friends and your family are invited to join us to worship God in community.
Copyright 2014 Our Lady of the Sign Catholic Church.
All rights reserved.
7311 Lyons Road
Coconut Creek, FL 33073
ph: (954) 429-0056