The Triumphal Entry of the Lord into Jerusalem

Palm Sunday marks the beginning of Holy Week

“Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest”

This is wonderful feast day make us distinctive from other denominations with the beauty of holy traditions of the Eastern Orthodox Church as we follow the historic Julian calendar.

On April 21, 2019, with the blessings of His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church outside Russia, the parishioners of St. Sergius of Radonezh Orthodox Church Sargodha Pakistan started the Holy Week with the solemn celebrations of Palm Sunday.

Procession and Blessing of the Palm Branches: The parishioners gathered around in the circle, where palms were blessed by Fr.Joseph Farooq who led the procession. The Pakistani orthodox worshipers joyfully chanted the Psalms and the Troparion to the feast of Palm Sunday holding the palm branches and proceeded towards the place of worship where Divine Liturgy was celebrated.

Divine Liturgy: With the blessings of God we had a Palm Sunday Divine Liturgy; it is a true joy for the faithful as they receive the Holy Communion, the Body and Blood of Christ. During the Divine Liturgy special prayers were offered for peace in suffering land of Pakistan and Middle East and other parts of the world, we also offered prayers for the health and many blessed years of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and all Russia, His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, for the Orthodox clergy and orthodox faithful all over the world.

Sermon: Fr. Joseph preached the homily told the faithful that it is the beauty of orthodox traditions to begin the spiritual preparation for Holy Pascha with Great Lent and holy fasting; he further said that Russian Orthodox Church teaches us the practicality of forgiveness, repentance and our day to day spiritual journey with our Savior, the Risen Lord Jesus. In his preaching Father Joseph Farooq also shared about the importance of Lazarus Saturday in the Eastern Orthodox Church as the Raising of Lazarus and the Entry of the Lord into Jerusalem has strong connection.

Towards the end of the preaching Fr. Joseph humbly directed the faithful: “Prepare yourself and be strong in your faith as the evil forces of the world threatening the peace and bring huge damage to the humans.

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Funds are distributed from the ROCOR Fund For Assistance and directly distributed to the mission in Pakistan.

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Funds are distributed from the ROCOR Fund For Assistance and directly distributed to the mission

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GREAT LENT IN PAKISTAN

THE MOST IMPORTANT FASTING SEASON IN THE EASTERN ORTHODOX CHURCH

The season of Great Lent is the time of preparation for the Bright Feast of the Resurrection of Christ!

With the blessings of His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion, First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad, March 11, 2019 on Clean Monday Evening Blessed Lenten Journey Started by Eastern Orthodox Christians in Pakistan. The ROCOR community in Pakistan entered in the Great Lent Season with full devotion and passion and from last six years the Pakistani Orthodox Christians are well acquainted about Orthodox Fasting Rules and they are strictly observed fasting taught by Russian Orthodox Church. On Clean Monday 11March, 2019 the parishioners and choir of St. Sergius of Radonezh Orthodox Church Sargodha Pakistan chanted the Canon of St. Andrew of Crete by following the sacred traditions of Russian Orthodox Church.

The Great Lent is the most important fasting season in the Eastern Orthodox Christianity which prepares Orthodox Christians for the Glorious and Bright and Joyous Feast of the Resurrection of Lord and Saviour. Clean Monday is the first full day of fasting and Great Lent is the most important fasting season in the church year in Orthodox Christianity. Right after the Forgiveness Sunday, it is the beauty of the Eastern Orthodox Church to start a Lenten Journey. The forgiveness Sunday symbolizes to leave behind sins and asking for forgiveness of sins, any transgression of word, thought or pride.

During the Holy Season of Lent, we are asked to focus more intently on which means donating money or goods to the poor and performing other acts of charity. The Russian Orthodox Church outside Russia (ROCOR) is firmly established in Pakistan and humbly needs your generous support. May our Lord Jesus Christ cleanse our hearts and strengthen us spiritually during the blessed and holy lent.

Saint Michael the Archangel Orthodox Mission in Pakistan wishes all of you a blessed Great Lent Season. May God give you strength and fortress during the Lent so that we all are prepared for Bright and Glorious Resurrection of our Lord and Savior!

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The Forgiveness (Cheesefare) Sunday

The Sunday before Great Lent March 10, 2019

On Sunday March 10, 2019, with the blessing of His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion, First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad, the ROCOR faithful attended the Divine Liturgy with passion and great reverence. Father Joseph Farooq taught the faithful that on “Forgiveness Sunday”, the Church teaches us that before we enter the Lenten Season, that there can be no true fast, no genuine repentance, no reconciliation with God, unless we are at the same do not have reconciliation and complete harmony with our brothers and sisters.

Sermon on the Sunday of Forgiveness:

After the Divine Liturgy Fr.Joseph Farooq preached the homily and ask the parishioners; May God forgive us all as we forgive one another and the Sunday of forgiveness helps us to enter in the Great Lent Season with purity of heart and with good faith. He told the faithful that we all sin, and sin completely separates us from God and for our reunion every Orthodox Christian needs repentance and true repentance make us humble bring us closer to God and to our brothers and sisters.

Further Fr. Joseph Farooq told the faithful that on this Sunday we also meditate on two important about themes:
1-Commemoration Adam’s expulsion from Paradise,
2-And to accentuate our need for forgiveness before the Great Holy Lent and in the Eastern Orthodox Churches”.

It is important that during the Great Lent Season we must abstain from certain foods and we try to strengthen our spiritual life by reading the life of holy saints, following the sacred traditions of Eastern Orthodox Church and your daily family prayer at your homes. Being an Orthodox Christian it is our first and utmost important duty to deny pride and self-egoism and we must live a very simple and spiritual life as we learn from the teachings of Church Fathers, Pious Monks and Holy Saints.

Father Joseph preached and told the faithful that the importance of Sacrament of Confession before the Holy Communion and the Sunday of Forgiveness also helps the Orthodox families to learn and make the habit of their life to participate in the Sacrament of Confession and our true devotion for the holy sacraments prepare all of us in our journey towards heaven.

To end the preaching Fr. Joseph reminds the faithful about the prayer of the Publican: “God, be merciful to me, a sinner” (Lk. 18. 13) as we know, this prayer of the Publican leads us to make a part of our daily life the Jesus’ prayer. This prayer enables us to make our strong connection with God as the Publican pray to God and help us to seek repentance and forgiveness of sins. “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy upon me a sinner,”

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THE BLESSED FEAST OF THE NATIVITY OF CHRIST IN PAKISTAN

Merry Christmas!
Christ is Born! Glorify Him!

With the blessing of His Eminence Metropolitan HILARION, Archbishop of Eastern America and New York, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia. On January 7, 2019 the Russian Orthodox Believers outside Russia in Pakistan celebrated Christmas according to the Orthodox Traditions and Faith. They participated in all religious activities with joy and spiritual passion. The ROCOR believers attended all the religious services on New Year and on Christmas Day. On January 7, 2019 after the Divine Liturgy, ROCOR Believers in Pakistan had festival meal.

Pastoral Visits before the Feast of the Nativity of Christ:

During the Nativity Fast Season I had very busy pastoral schedule and with missionary devotion and spirit I visited ROCOR faithful far and wide, wherever our flock reside, helping them to purify both soul and body to experience the radiant wonder of the Nativity of Christ in Pakistan.

Presence of Russian Orthodox Church in Pakistan since 2012:

With the blessing of His Eminence Metropolitan the Russian Orthodox Church outside of Russia was founded in the year 2012 and mission work is flourishing rapidly by the Divine Mercy of our Heavenly Father and under kind protection of the Most Holy Theotokos. Since 2012 we are working devotedly and preaching the holy orthodoxy in Pakistan though we have meager financial sources. We do not have the land for the worship and we celebrate the Divine Liturgy and other feast days in open place under the tents.

Thanks to Kind Donors:

I most humbly extend my heartfelt thanks to all our kind donors who have generously contributed with pure heart for the Christmas gifts, ration for widows and warm clothes and gifts for the children. May God bless their humble donation and charity for the poor.
Special Prayers and Intercessions during the Festive Divine Liturgy:
On Christmas day during the Divine Liturgy special prayers were offered for peace in in Pakistan and peace and harmony in the world, we also offer prayers for the health of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and all Russia, for His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, for the Orthodox clergy and orthodox faithful all over the world. Festive lunch was served among the faithful.

Nativity Epistle of His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion:

I am grateful to His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion, who shared his special Christmas Message and greetings with ROCOR Community in Pakistan.

Humble Request:

I have dedicated the Year 2019, that God willing we shall be able to buy a land and build the first Holy Russian Orthodox Church in Pakistan and school for Orthodox and Non-Orthodox Christian Children. I earnestly pray to God that He may provide us the kind and generous donors for the completion of this sacred project. May the Most Holy Mother of God pray for us, only through Her intercessions we all are saved!!
For queries about the Russian Orthodox Church outside Russia in Pakistan, kindly contact:fr.joseph.rocpk@gmail.com

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Feast of Saint Nicholas of Myra

The Wonderworker Known for his abundant mercy and generosity for the poor!

With the blessing of His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion, First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad, the feast of Saint Nicholas of Myra joyfully began with a Moleben of thanksgiving, with festive Divine Liturgy on Sunday December 16, 2018.

On this day Fr. Joseph preached about the life of Saint Nicholas of Myra the wonderwork he told the faithful that Saint Nicholas was very humble and generous, known for his abundant mercy to all, his beneficence toward the poor, and his advocacy for those unjustly accused and imprisoned. As a pious hierarch, Saint Nicholas was always concerned for the welfare and the spiritual well-being of his flock. He was known for His Deeds of kindness as well as for working miracles on Behalf of those in needs. Saint Nicholas Continues to intercede with Christ, our Merciful Lord, for the Salvation of those who seek his prayers and powerful intercession. He is known as the Patron of Sailors and of Children, and also of the Russian land. We venerate his memory, hoping to follow his good example, and asking him to pray for the salvation of our souls.

Father Joseph also shared with the faithful that Saint Nicholas of Myra help us during the blessed season of the Nativity Fast to intensify our spiritual lives in order to prepare our souls and bodies for the Feast day “Christmas!
Faithful Venerate the Icon Saint Nicholas of Myra and ask help from the Holy Saint for their families and Christmas Needs:

After the sermon, people were given time to light the candles in front of the icon of Saint Nicholas of Myra the Wonderworker. The faithful were asked to pray from Saint Nicholas in these blessed days of Nativity Fast. Each family was given an icon of Saint Nicholas as a blessing to keep at their homes.

Humble Request to the generous donors:

With blessings of His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, I humbly request you to support the mission’s work in Pakistan. Every year the ROCOR Mission in Pakistan distributed rations and warms clothes among widows and the needy orthodox families and small gifts to orthodox children to share happiness, joy and blessings of Christmas. This year again with the blessings of God I wish to repeat this event again. Following the teaching of Saint Nicholas of Myra that is abundant mercy and generosity for the poor, please support the mission and share your Christmas joys and happiness with your orthodox brothers and sisters in Pakistan.

Congratulations! “The feast of Saint Nicholas of Myra the Wonderworker!

Saint Nicholas of Myra pray for us~ Amen~

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THE FEAST OF THE HOLY ARCHANGEL MICHAEL AND THE BODILESS POWERS

Every Year 21 November: the feast day is the day of joy and blessing for ROCOR Family in Pakistan

Father Joseph Farooq

With the blessing of His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, on November 21, 2018, the feast of Saint Michael the Archangel joyfully celebrated in Pakistan.

The solemnity and liturgical dimension of the Feast of Saint Michael the Archangel has very close spiritual association with the orthodox faithful in Pakistan because the ROCOR Mission is named after and registered, “St. Michael the Archangel Orthodox Mission in Pakistan.”

Solemn Procession and Festive Divine Liturgy:

The solemn celebration opened with the procession followed by the festive Divine Liturgy. The prayers were offered for the health and many good years of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and all Russia Shepherd of the Russian Orthodox Church, His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad (Ruling Bishop of Pakistan), for the Orthodox clergy and faithful, peace, unity, brotherhood and solidarity throughout the world. The faithful entered the place of worship holding banners and icon of St. Michael the Archangel.

The banners were displaying the following theme:

The national flags of Pakistan and Russian Federation and in the center the Icon of Holy Archangel Michael; it shows our spiritual unity with the Mother Church and protection of the Archangel and Bodiless Powers of Heaven.

Sermon and Teaching:

After the Divine Liturgy, Fr. Joseph delivered a sermon about the work and sacred responsibilities of the Holy Archangel Michael and the other bodiless Hosts of Heaven. Fr. Joseph told faithful that the Holy Archangel Michael is the head of the entire heavenly host, and explained the icon. Fr. Joseph said that Holy Archangel Michael holding a sword in his right hand depicts that he crushed Lucifer, and the palm branch in his left hand signifies that he is the guardian of the Orthodox faith and a fighter against heresy. The Holy Archangel Michael, one of the highest angels, remains faithful to the Creator. Further, Fr. Joseph told the faithful that we must follow the true traditions of holy Orthodoxy in our daily lives and always remain faithful to the Russian Orthodox Church, because these days holy Orthodoxy is being attacked from all sides by schismatic and heretic forces. We must condemn the forces of the devil, and follow the example of the holy archangel of God Michael and his entire heavenly host, who battle against dark forces.

Asking Help and Protection:

After the sermon time was given to the faithful to light candles and humbly ask the help and protection in silence from St. Michael the Archangel for their families and to thank God for our Orthodox faith.

Joys and blessings of the feast day:

In Pakistan, Christian communities hardly get the chance for celebrations, where they can express their joys and happiness. Christians are extremely crushed, facing sufferings and persecutions, so I personally experienced and keenly observed that the feast days celebrated in the Orthodox Church with her unique traditions fill the hearts of people with true joy and blessings of the Heavenly Father.

The faithful shared the festive lunch at the end of the feast. I am also grateful to the generous donors and well-wishers of the Orthodox Mission in Pakistan.

On the completion of 6 years and the presence of St. Michael the Archangel Orthodox Mission in Pakistan, I extend my heartfelt gratitude to His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad for his blessings, encouragement and pastoral care.

Humble request:

Saint Michael the Archangel Orthodox Mission in Pakistan needs your generous support for the construction of first Russian Orthodox Church in Pakistan as we are celebrating Divine Liturgy in tents, faithful homes and in open area.

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The Universal Exaltation of the Precious and Life-giving Cross of Jesus

Holy Cross Procession in Pakistan

And He, bearing His cross, went out to a place called the Place of a Skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha (John 19:17)

With the blessing of His Eminence Metropolitan HILARION, Archbishop of Eastern America and New York, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, the parishioners of Saint Sergius of Radonezh Orthodox Church Sargodha Pakistan participated in the Divine Liturgy and venerated the Precious and Life-Giving Cross of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

The solemn celebration opened with the procession of the Holy Cross followed by the festive Divine Liturgy. The special prayers were offered for the health and blessed good years of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and all Russia Shepherd of the Russian Orthodox Church and His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad.

We also offered prayed for the peace and harmony for the canonical Orthodox Church of Ukraine and for the health and protection of His Eminence Metropolitan Onufry of Kiev. We humbly said prayers for the orthodox clergy and faithful, peace, unity, brotherhood and solidarity throughout the world.

Fr. Joseph in his homely shared about the Historical and Theological background of the commemoration of the “The Universal Exaltation of the Precious and Life-giving Cross of our Lord and Saviour and Veneration of the Holy Cross in the Eastern Orthodox Church. Further he told the faithful that the Orthodox Christians all over the world venerate the Precious and Life-Giving Cross of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ with true passion for their salvation and to defeat the evil forces of the world.

In preaching Father Joseph told the faithful that in Pakistan and all over the world Orthodox Christians are proud of their faith and the Holy Cross of Jesus is strengthening their faith and give them courage to face the challenges of life with vim and vigor in all the circumstances. Further, he emphasized that in our sufferings and persecutions Saint Paul helps us to understand the love of God which is manifested through the Holy Cross of Jesus.

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)

Homily by St. John Chrysostom, Concerning the Cross and the Thief:
“We are able to see Christ’s inexpressible love for man not only from the cross itself but also from the words which He spoke whilst upon the cross. At the very time when He was nailed and they were mocking Him, deriding Him and spitting upon Him, He said: “Father, forgive them for they do not know what they do” (Luke 23:34)

“O most precious and life-giving Cross of the Lord, help us with our Holy Lady, the Virgin Theotokos, and with all the Saints throughout the ages” Amen!

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