Dec. 4 The Holy Great Martyr Barbara; Our Venerable Father John of Damascus

Bulletin as of December 4 2023

The holy great martyr Barbara was raised by her pagan father who shut her away from the world because of her great beauty. Barbara came to realize that the soulless idols her father worshiped could not be responsible for the inexpressible beauty of the world outside her window. She decided to live her life as a virgin, dedicated to the Lord whom she learned about from other Christian maidens when her father at last gave her some freedom. When Barbara confessed herself a Christian, her father beat her and turned her over to the prefect of the city. Barbara was tortures mercilessly, and in the end, earned her crown of martyrdom after she was beheaded by her own father in the year 306.

Our venerable father John of Damascus was a priest celebrated for his holiness and learning. He strove diligently by his word and writings in favor of the veneration of Holy Images against the Emperor Leo III, the Isaurian. Having been made a monk in the monastery of St. Sabbas near Jerusalem, he composed sacred hymns and there reposed in the Lord. His body was buried on this day in 749.

Troparion – Barbara

Let us praise the honorable Barbara. She thwarted the power of the enemy and through the might and the strength of the cross, she was made free in her flight to God.

Troparion – John

Guide to Orthodoxy, teacher of piety and holiness, luminary for the world, inspired adornment of bishops, O wise John, Harp of the Spirit, you enlightened all by your teachings; intercede with Christ our God to save our souls. 

Kontakion – Barbara

O honorable and triumphant Barbara, you believed in the Holy Trinity and renounced the multiplicity of pagan deities. You fought for your faith with great courage and were not frightened by the threats of your persecutors, but instead declared in a clear voice: I adore one God in three Divine Persons. 

Kontakion – John

Let us praise John the hymnographer with song. He is an effective preacher and a teacher for the Church. Behind the armor of the cross he exposed the lies of heresey, and standing before God he obtains remission of sins for us.


2 Timothy 2: 20-26

Timothy, my son: In every large household there are vessels not only of gold and silver but also of wood and clay, some for distinguished and others for common use. The lesson is that if a person will but cleanse himself of evil things he may be a distinguished vessel, dedicated and useful to the master of the house and ready for every noble service. So, turn from youthful passions and pursue integrity, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord in purity of heart. Have nothing to do with senseless, ignorant disputations. As you well know, they only breed Quarrels, and the servant of the Lord must not be Quarrelsome but must be kindly toward all. He must be an apt teacher, patiently and gently correcting those who contradict him, in the hope always that God will enable them to repent and know the truth. Thus, taken captive by God to do his will, they shall escape the devil’s trap.


Luke 20: 27-44

At that time some Sadducees came forward (the ones who claim there is no resurrection) to pose this problem to Jesus: “Master, Moses prescribed that if a man’s brother dies leaving a wife with no child, the brother should marry the widow and raise posterity to his brother. Now there were seven brothers. The first one married and died childless. Next, the second brother married the widow, then the third, and so on. All seven died without leaving her any children. Finally the widow herself died. At the resurrection, whose wife will she be? Remember, seven married her.”

Jesus said to them: “The children of this age marry and are given in marriage, but those judged worthy of a place in the age to come and of resurrection from the dead do not. They become like angels and are no longer liable to death. Sons of the resurrection, they are sons of God. Moses in the passage about the bush showed that the dead rise again when he called the Lord the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. God is not the God of the dead but of the living. All are alive for him.”

Some of the scribes responded, “Well said Teacher.” They did not dare ask him anything else. Jesus said to them: “How can they say that the Messiah is the son of David? Does not David himself say in the psalms, ‘The Lord said to my lord: Sit at my right hand while I make your enemies your footstool’? Now if David accords him the title ‘lord,’ how can he be his son?”

Monday, December 4 –

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