2148 Michelson Dr, Irvine, CA 92612

Spe­cial con­tent intend­ed for the home­page of the Most Holy Theotokos Ser­bian Ortho­dox Church

Fate, Fortune and God’s Will

April 22, 2019 | Highlight, News & Events

A lec­ture by: Michael Prav­i­ca, Ph.D. Pro­fes­sor of Physics Uni­ver­si­ty of Neva­da Las Vegas

Abstract: In this talk, I will focus on the nature of probability/chance in a uni­verse dom­i­nat­ed by the Heisen­berg uncer­tain­ty prin­ci­ple, Fer­mi-Dirac and Bose (i.e. quan­tum) sta­tis­tics and the mean­ing of unique­ness as a human being/child of God. I will touch on the nature of free will via the quan­tum com­pass of the soul and how we must align our moral/spiritual com­pass­es to the Holy Spir­it to choose the order­ing field of love and uni­ty instead of the dis­or­der­ing field of chaos. Con­trary to the behav­ior of ordi­nary par­ti­cles such as elec­trons, God gives each of us a spe­cial unique­ness via this spir­i­tu­al com­pass (our soul) that tran­scends the laws of our phys­i­cal uni­verse, and thus, each of has a unique tra­jec­to­ry and pur­pose as we seek to ful­fill God’s Will.

Divine Litur­gy:
When: June 2, 2019, 1PM (after Litur­gy)
Where: Parish Cen­ter at 2148 Michel­son Dr, Irvine, CA 92612

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Easter Celebration & Schedule of Services

April 17, 2019 | Father Blasko, Highlight

Dear Broth­ers and Sis­ters:

Please view the fly­er for East­er cel­e­bra­tion with reser­va­tion por­tion for the ban­quet. I kind­ly ask you to send in your reser­va­tions as soon as pos­si­ble. Here bel­low is the Sched­ule of ser­vices:

Also, please plan on com­ing & attend­ing the Annu­al meet­ing on Palm Sun­day April 21st!


Since the ear­ly days of the Church, there has been a cycle of ser­vices cel­e­brat­ed dur­ing Holy Week and Pascha.

April 20th Lazarus Sat­ur­day Div. Litur­gy at 9:00 AM

Ves­pers ser­vice and vrbica at 5 PM Please bring chil­dren @ 4:45 PM for pro­ces­sion with Vrbica and Bells

April 21stCVETI ENTRANCE OF OUR LORD INTO JERUSALEM:Divine Litur­gy at 10:00am: This litur­gy her­alds the end of the Great Fast and the begin­ning of Holy Week as Christ tri­umphant­ly enters into Jerusalem. The tra­di­tion, as the tropar states and the icon shows, is for a pro­ces­sion of palms led by the chil­dren. So begins our jour­ney into Holy Week. Dur­ing Holy Week, we fast from meat, poul­try, dairy prod­ucts, eggs, fish, wine and oil.

April 21st — Bride­groom Matins at fol­low­ing Annu­al meet­ing pm:Known in the Church as The End, the imagery here is about the Last Judg­ment. It relates the deep anguish of Christ as He pre­pares for His Pas­sion. The ser­vices tell us to be ever vig­i­lant for we do not know when God will come. These ser­vices are a tri­umph of the escha­to­log­i­cal (last days) imagery in the Church.

April 22nd — VelikiPoned­e­qak Great and Holy Mon­day Pre­sanc­ti­fied Litur­gy at 10:00am:
The read­ings from Exo­dus dur­ing these ser­vices tell of the Passover which pre­cedes the Passover (Pascha) of Christ.

April 22nd — Bride­groom Matins at 7:00 pm.

April 23rd — Velik­i­U­torak Great and Holy Tues­day Pre­sanc­ti­fied Litur­gy at 10:00 am

April 23rd — Bride­groom Matins at 7:00 pm

April 24th — VelikaSre­da Great and Holy Wednes­day Pre­sanc­ti­fied Litur­gy at 10:00 am

April 24th — VelikaSre­da Great and Holy Wednes­day Holy Unc­tion at 7pm, at St. Steven Ser­bian Ortho­dox Cathe­dral at 1621 West Gar­vey Ave., in Alham­bra. For Holy Unc­tion there should be more priests serv­ing, there­fore, all of us Ser­bian priests gath­er togeth­er at the Cathe­dral to per­form this Holy Sacra­ment for all the Faith­ful. This ser­vice relates to the event when the har­lot anoints Christ and is for­giv­en. On this day we cus­tom­ar­i­ly anoint the peo­ple with Holy Oil as a sign of heal­ing and remis­sion of sins.

April 25th — Veli­ki ^etvr­tak Great and Holy Thurs­day: Holy Ves­pers Litur­gy of Holy Thurs­day at 10:00am: This solemn Litur­gy com­mem­o­rates the First Eucharist also known as Red Thurs­day. The dark­ness of the week is bro­ken slight­ly because of the impor­tance of the Eucharis­tic event. Tra­di­tion­al­ly the priest pre­pares the reserve sacra­ment of the year. The pas­sion of Christ is now close.

April 25th — Veli­ki ^etvr­tak — Great and Holy Thurs­day Matins of Holy Fri­day Thurs­day evening at 7:00pm. The ser­vice, com­mon­ly known as “The Twelve Gospels“as the Church, remem­bers the betray­al and cru­ci­fix­ion of Christ by read­ing the twelve Gospel accounts. A cli­mat­ic point of Holy Week empha­siz­ing the real­i­ty of actions.

April 26th — VelikiPetak — Great and Holy Fri­day Roy­al Hours at 10:00am: Known as Roy­al because there is a Gospel read­ing and the Emper­or would attend this ser­vice. It recounts the entire Gospel and Pas­sion of Jesus Christ.

April 26th — Veli­ki Petak — Great and Holy Fri­day Ves­pers at 4:00pm: Remem­ber­ing the cru­ci­fix­ion and death of Christ. There is a solemn pro­ces­sion as the bur­ial shroud (plash­tan­i­ca) is brought out to the peo­ple. Christ is laid in the tomb and our vig­il of the Res­ur­rec­tion begins.

April 26th — Like every year, please bring chil­dren for col­or­ing of eggs from 5 — 7 PM

April 26th — Veli­ki Petak — Great and Holy Fri­day Matins of Holy Sat­ur­day on Fri­day evening at 7:00pm: Known as the Prais­es of the Lamen­ta­tions, the ser­vice begins the Sab­bath as Christ lays in rest in the tomb. Often seen as a funer­al ser­vice for Christ, in fact it is a com­mem­o­ra­tion of the law and love of God towards His peo­ple.

April 27th — Veli­ka Sub­o­ta — Great and Holy Sat­ur­day and The Annu­ci­a­tion Ves­per­al Litur­gy of Holy Sat­ur­day at 10:00am: The death of Christ is linked with the cre­ative acts of God. It is here that Christ descends into Hell and breaks the doors. The ser­vice inau­gu­rates the paschal cel­e­bra­tion as the ser­vice is bright and uplift­ing. The tomb is revealed as a place of life.

April 27th — Velika­Sub­o­ta Vaskrsno jutrewe- Great and Holy Saturday:The Ser­vices of the Great and Holy Pascha Sat­ur­day evening start­ing at 11:30pm: The Joy of Joys, Hol­i­day of Hol­i­days, cel­e­brat­ing Christ’s Res­ur­rec­tion. The ser­vice begins with noc­turn antic­i­pat­ing the Res­ur­rec­tion. The pro­ces­sion fol­lows at mid­night announc­ing the Res­ur­rec­tion to the world. We then cel­e­brate the Paschal matins.Baskets will be blessed after Ruser­recional Matins on Pascha night and again fol­low­ing Divine Litur­gy on Sun­day.

April 28th — “VASKRSEWE HRISTOVO” — PASCHA CELEBRATION, Divine Litur­gy at 10:00am at Parish Cen­ter, 2148 Michel­son Dr., Irvine. This is the Great and Joy­ous Litur­gy cel­e­brat­ing the Pascha of our Lord.The Parish cel­e­brates the Res­ur­rec­tion with a feast and events for the chil­dren and adults. Ban­quet will be held after the Divine Litur­gy at St. Mark Anti­ochi­an Church. See the detailed infor­ma­tion lat­er in this Newslet­ter. Ser­bian Music and enter­tain­ment will be pro­vid­ed by Pagani­ni Orches­tra.

April 29th — Vaskrsni poned­e­qak -Bright Week. The Divine Litur­gy will be held at 10:00 am.

April 30th — Vaskrsni utorak -Bright Week (on Tues­day -no Litur­gy here — there will be Litur­gy @ the Monastery in Escon­di­do) and on Mon­day, April 16th, the Divine Litur­gy will be held at 10:00 am.

Also, dear Broth­ers and Sis­ters: One Ser­bian Lady is look­ing for a domes­tic job to take care of an elder­ly per­son or chil­dren. If you know of any­one who needs such a work­er please let me know.

Wish­ing you all a blessed remain­der of Holy Great Lent,

With love in Christ,

Fr. Blasko

Pascha Celebration 2019

April 15, 2019 | Highlight, News & Events

Come and cel­e­brate the Res­ur­rec­tion of our Lord and Sav­ior Jesus Christ! Ser­bian food and danc­ing.

Divine Litur­gy:
When: April 28, 2019, 10 AM — 12 PM
Where: Parish Cen­ter at 2148 Michel­son Dr, Irvine, CA 92612

Ban­quet & Music:
When: April 28, 2019, 12 PM
Where: St. Mark Anti­ochi­an Ortho­dox Church at 17840 Sky Park Cir­cle, Irvine, CA 92614

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Fifth week of Great Lent: the Sacrament of Penitence

April 14, 2019 | Great Lent, Highlight, Wisdom

It is easy to go to con­fes­sion. When we stand before the priest, there is usu­al­ly a list of sins avail­able. We can look at it and be remind­ed of our sins. An expe­ri­enced priest will be able to help us by sug­gest­ing pos­si­ble sins that we may have com­mit­ted. At the end of con­fes­sion the priest asks us: do we repent of our sins? Note the ques­tion, dear brethren! We are not asked: have you con­fessed your sins? But — do you repent of your sins?
Fr Ros­tislav She­niloff | 03 April 2009

And so, dear brethren, we have reached the fifth Sun­day of the Great Lent. Today the Holy Church offers us St. Mary of Egypt as a supreme exam­ple of repen­tance. Not every­one is able to under­stand why, pre­cise­ly, the Church has cho­sen her. “She led a most sin­ful life,” – they say, – “she was a ter­ri­ble sin­ner.” But such words can be said only by those who have not yet come to under­stand the sacra­ment of pen­i­tence.

Let us care­ful­ly con­sid­er this extra­or­di­nary sacra­ment. Let us first look at how it is revealed to us in the exam­ple of the ven­er­a­ble Mary. St. Mary of Egypt led a dis­solute way of life. Arriv­ing in Jerusalem, even there she con­tin­ued to engage in debauch­ery. But when she want­ed to go into the church and ven­er­ate the Lord’s pre­cious Cross, she was barred from enter­ing. Grad­u­al­ly she under­stood why that was hap­pen­ing and began weep­ing bit­ter­ly. Catch­ing sight of an icon of the Moth­er of God, she prayed to it, repent­ed her way of life and vowed, under the guid­ance of the Holy Vir­gin, to reform her life.

At first glance it may seem an easy thing to do. How­ev­er, let us think, dear brethren: how many of us have tru­ly repent­ed our sins? The Church calls us to pen­i­tence and com­mu­nion. And so we go, and we con­fess our sins, and we par­take of the Holy Mys­ter­ies. But… dur­ing con­fes­sion, do we tru­ly repent? or do we only list our sins?

It is easy to go to con­fes­sion. When we stand before the priest, there is usu­al­ly a list of sins avail­able. We can look at it and be remind­ed of our sins. An expe­ri­enced priest will be able to help us by sug­gest­ing pos­si­ble sins that we may have com­mit­ted. At the end of con­fes­sion the priest asks us: do we repent of our sins? Note the ques­tion, dear brethren! We are not asked: have you con­fessed your sins? But – do you repent of your sins? And when we answer: yes, I repent, – we must feel com­plete remorse in our hearts and tru­ly repent, repent in the same way that Mary of Egypt repent­ed her sin­ful life.

At least once in our life­time we receive encour­age­ment towards pen­i­tence. Mary of Egypt was barred from enter­ing the church. She under­stood the rea­son and spent the fol­low­ing 47 years in pen­i­tence. For us the doors of the church are not closed; how­ev­er, we close them our­selves. “How is that?” – you may well ask. – “I go to church, I con­fess, I take com­mu­nion.” Dear brethren! If we, know­ing that a ser­vice is going on in church, go out to amuse our­selves instead, or sit around the house in idle­ness, or if we, hav­ing tak­en com­mu­nion, imme­di­ate­ly begin to pass judg­ment on oth­ers and com­mit anew the sins that we have just con­fessed, – we close the doors of the church upon our­selves. Even if we enter the church phys­i­cal­ly, our con­stant and unre­pent­ed sins bar from our souls the grace, the puri­ty, the com­fort which we expect to receive in church.

We must under­stand the sacra­ment of pen­i­tence and immerse our-selves ful­ly in it. After St. Mary of Egypt real­ized her sins and her guilt, the Holy Vir­gin led her out of soci­ety into the desert, where she became com­plete­ly immersed in repen­tance and spent many years in this spir­i­tu­al labor. For her absolute repen­tance, her soul was total­ly healed and she ascend­ed to a lev­el of absolute sanc­ti­ty. When the ven­er­a­ble Zosi­mas found her in the desert, she was wait­ing for him. She had become like the angels.

St. Mary actu­al­ly con­fessed only three times in her life: the first time – before the icon of the Moth­er of God, when she became aware of her sins; the sec­ond time – in church before her depar­ture for the desert; and the last time – to the elder Zosi­mas, when she recount­ed her life to him. But she repent­ed for 47 years. Through her pen­i­tence she so puri­fied her soul, returned both her soul and her body to such a par­adis­al state, that she lay dead in the desert for a whole year, untouched by cor­rup­tion, or beasts, or the burn­ing sun, or the windswept sands, and when the elder Zosi­mas found her, a lion came out of the desert and helped bury her. Thus the Lord Him­self glo­ri­fied her and gave her to us as an exam­ple of supreme repen­tance.

Five weeks of the Great Lent have passed already, dear brethren. Let us ask our­selves: have I begun to repent as Mary of Egypt once repent­ed? Have I become aware of my sins? Have I tru­ly under­stood them and have I repent­ed of them with a sin­cere inten­tion of reform­ing myself? Let us not come to con­fes­sion sim­ply to list our sins, dear brethren, but let us come and repent of them in all earnest­ness, let us puri­fy our hearts, so that we could tru­ly sing: “The angels sing in the heav­ens of Thy Res­ur­rec­tion, O Christ our Sav­iour, and may we on earth glo­ri­fy Thee with a pure heart.” Amen.


Message on the Commencement of Holy and Great Lent 2019

March 14, 2019 | Highlight, News & Events

To the cler­gy, monas­tics and faith­ful of our God-pro­tect­ed Dio­cese

This Sun­day we look to for­give­ness as we enter the holy jour­ney of Great Lent. For­give­ness is tru­ly a “break­through” of the King­dom into this fall­en world. The Church gives us the gift of Great Lent so that we can find true renew­al in Christ. Only a repen­tant heart is on the path to the return to uni­ty and love.

As the sacred hymnog­ra­phy of the Church urges us, all the ascetic elements—fasting, absti­nence, fru­gal­i­ty, restric­tion of per­son­al desires, intense prayer, alms­giv­ing, and confession—are essen­tial to the peri­od of Great Lent. They are pre­con­di­tions for our Eucharis­tic com­mu­nion with God and move­ment of love, and the reunion and har­mo­ny with oth­ers. Just as the sac­ri­fice on the Cross takes its mean­ing from the Res­ur­rec­tion, so all our Lenten effort find their ful­fill­ment in Holy Com­mu­nion.

How­ev­er, for all too many today, the fast is only iden­ti­fied with eat­ing cer­tain foods and avoid­ing cer­tain oth­ers. This has unfor­tu­nate­ly annulled the oth­er impor­tant fasts which are found in the tra­di­tion of our faith and which demon­strate the cre­ative nature of Chris­t­ian fast­ing. In our tra­di­tion, we find four types of fast­ing: a com­plete abstain­ing from food, abstain­ing from food until mid-after­noon; eat­ing less in order to save mon­ey for the pur­pose of alms­giv­ing, and abstain­ing not from food, but from one’s favorite activ­i­ties. What mat­tered was the rea­son for fast­ing, not its dura­tion, which was direct­ly depen­dent on that rea­son. Also, the real mean­ing of fast­ing lay not in the type of food, but on absti­nence. Unfor­tu­nate­ly, very often, deli­cious and lux­u­ri­ous foods are wel­comed by some as a form of fast­ing, pro­vid­ed they do not con­tain the pro­hib­it­ed non-lenten ingre­di­ents. With such prac­tices, wealthy Chris­tians are enabled to be iden­ti­fied as good, for they can “fast” for months on end by eat­ing var­i­ous types of expen­sive meals, while poor­er Chris­tians are not so, for they can­not afford such expen­sive cui­sine.

Anoth­er quandary for our actu­al under­stand­ing of fast­ing is the real­i­ty of those who iden­ti­fy as veg­e­tar­i­ans and veg­ans. What shall the Church sub­scribe to the vast num­ber of those who nev­er eat meat any­way? Accord­ing to Church rules con­cern­ing fast­ing, such peo­ple already fast all the time. So, our cur­rent under­stand­ing of fast­ing deprives them of the pos­si­bil­i­ty to be, from time to time, engaged in this com­mon lenten ini­tia­tive of the Church, because the Church already views them as fast­ing from par­tic­u­lar foods all the time.

There­fore, in invit­ing you to the “opened are­na of virtues” from our Epis­co­pal seat, I want to encour­age you this year, as you fast, to prac­tive benev­o­lence in the form of alms­giv­ing. This is an oppor­tu­ni­ty to reach out to oth­ers with the very love of Christ in con­crete ways as for exam­ple, alms­giv­ing to the poor and those in need. In this case, true fast­ing (Lent) will become the oppo­site of pleonex­ia (greed, avarice), i.e., an inhu­man approach which leads the con­tem­po­rary glob­al com­mu­ni­ty into a spir­i­tu­al cri­sis.

May His grace be with you dur­ing these cel­e­brat­ed sea­sons and feast.

Giv­en this Day of For­give­ness March 10th, 2019 at Alham­bra, Cal­i­for­nia

With love and bless­ings in Christ,

Bish­op Max­im

Istochnik Choir Seeking New Members

March 6, 2017 | Highlight, News & Events

If you like to sing and would like the oppor­tu­ni­ty to learn more about our fun- lov­ing group with a zest for life and all things MUSIC… come join us on these open dates:

When: March 18 at 2:30pm, April 1 at 2:30pm
Where: Church hall at 2148 Michel­son Dri­ve, Irvine, CA

Or you can con­tact Mila direct­ly at : pucke@cox.net

For more infor­ma­tion on the Istochnik Choir, click here.