Skip to Navigation

November 16, 2016 + On Understanding the Divine Services

by St. Nikodemos the Hagiorite, 1749-1809

[B]eware, brethren, the thought which the devil implants in some and which says: "you are unlettered and unlearned and do not understand what is said in church and so why do you submit to the Church in all things?" You are answered, brethren, by an abba in the Sayings of the Desert Fathers, who tells you: "It may be that you do not understand what is said in church, but the devil does and quakes and fears and flees. I mean that you, too, even if you do not understand all the words spoken in church, you will understand a lot of them and benefit from them". And I would add this: if you go often to church and hear divine words, the continuation of this is that, in time, you will understand what you – earlier – did not, as Chrysostom says, because God, seeing your willingness, will open your mind and illumine you to understand.

Χρηστοήθεια τῶν Χριστιανῶν, Rigopoulos Publications, Thessaloniki 1999, p. 305, footnote, from


The Apostle and Evangelist Matthew

Troparion, Tone 3

With zeal, you followed Christ the Master, who in His goodness, appeared on earth to mankind. Summoning you from the custom house, He revealed you as a chosen apostle: the proclaimer of the the Gospel to the whole world! Therefore, divinely eloquent Matthew, we honor your precious memory! Entreat merciful God that He may grant our souls remission of transgressions.

Kontakion, Tone 4

Casting aside the bonds of the custom house for the yoke of justice, you were revealed as an excellent merchant, rich in wisdom from on high. You proclaimed the word of truth and roused the souls of the slothful by writing of the hour of Judgment.

Readings and Inspiration from the Diocese of Charleston Homepage

Spiritual Notes of the Diocese of Charleston 11-16-16 (PDF) 491.5 KB