Re: Choir Cues for 21st Sunday after Pentecost, November 14, 2021

Philip Sokolov

Dear Matushka,

Christ is in our midst!

It is my name day, yes, thank you!

This does come up from time to time, so it is worth digging into. Let us not be hasty. This Troparion is the one appointed for November 14, Apostle Philip of the Twelve, at least according to the Slavonic Typikon and Menaion presently published by the Church of Russia:

"The whole world is splendidly adorned: Ethiopia dances, graced as with a crown, having been enlightened by thee; and she radiantly celebrates thy memory, O divinely eloquent Philip, for thou didst teach all to believe in Christ and didst fittingly finish the course of the Gospel; wherefore, the land of Ethiopia boldly entreats God. Beseech Him to grant us great mercy."

This is the Troparion which I grew up praying, and which is sung as far as I know throughout Russia; I'm sorry but I'm not sure if it is new or old or ancient, and whether it is used in other lands.

In Acts chapter 8, Apostle Philip the Deacon of the Seventy preaches in Samaria, where he baptizes Simon Magus. Then, on the road from Jerusalem to Gaza, he baptizes a eunuch from Ethiopia, but immediately "the Spirit of the Lord caught up Philip" and he "was found at Azotus, and passing on he preached the gospel to all the towns till he came to Caesarea." So he did not evangelize Ethiopia, as far as I can discern. Here is his Troparion (October 11):

"Thine apostolic grace filled Samaria with wonder, O Philip, and thy God-proclaiming words brought to understanding the eunuch, who through faith attained the unattainable; and he was baptized and rendered glory unto God, from Whom do thou ask grace and great mercy for us as well, O apostle."

Whereas, from what I understand, Philip of the Twelve DID preach in Ethiopia (the "borders of the Candaci" or the "cities of the Candace") itself, according to the Lives of the Saints as they have come down to us, a tradition recorded as early as the 4th Century in the apocryphal Acts of Philip. That work does not mention the episodes with Simon or the eunuch, so I don't suppose we can assume there was confusion.

Of course, confusion is possible; I'll bet the two saints got tired of being confused for each other during their life on earth. I hope Apostle Philip of the Twelve has grown to love his beautiful Troparion!

In Christ,
--Reader Philip Sokolov

---------- Original message ---------
From: Betsy Tumbas <betsytumbas@...>
Date: Sat, Nov 13, 2021 at 2:22 PM
Subject: Re: [ChoirCues] Choir Cues for 21st Sunday after Pentecost, November 14, 2021
To: <>

Greetings in the Lord!

Happy Namesday?

I remember being quite confused while trying to prepare the music for the choir the last time Nov. 14th fell on a Sunday. I was informed that this Philip (the Holy Apostle Philip) is not the same as the Philip who baptized the Ethiopian eunuch (Apostle Philip of the Seventy, One of the Seven Deacons).

So, with all due respect, I believe you have provided the wrong Troparion.

Yours in Christ,

Mat. Betsy

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