Memorial Saturday of the Holy Fathers of the First Ecumenical Council

Today we remember all pious and Orthodox Christians who have fallen asleep in the Lord, and also recall the dread Day of Judgment. May Christ our God be merciful to them, and to us.

Two Epistles (Acts 28:1-31, I Thess. 4:13-17) and two Gospels (JN 21:14-25, JN 5:24-30) are appointed to be read at Liturgy. The readings from Acts and the Gospel of St John, which began on Pascha, now come to an end. The book of Acts does not end, as might be expected, with the death of Sts Peter and Paul, but remains open-ended.

In his article “With all the Saints,” Fr Justin Popovich says that the Lives of the Saints are nothing less than a “continuation of the Acts of the Apostles.” Just as the book of Acts describes the works of Christ which the Apostles accomplished through Christ, Who was dwelling in them and working through them, the saints also preach the same Gospel, live the same life, manifest the same righteousness, love, and power from on High. As we prepare for the Sunday of All Saints, we are reminded that each of us is called to a life of holiness.

On this seventh Saturday of Pascha, St John Chrysostom’s “Homily on Patience and Gratitude” is appointed to be read in church. It is also prescribed to be read at the funeral service of an Orthodox Christian.