Newsletter, 8th week after Pentecost

Services this week (8th week after Pentecost)

8th Sunday after Pentecost, Holy Heiromartyr Pancratius

  • Saturday, July 14: 6:00 PM Vigil
  • Sunday, July 15: 9:00 AM Divine Liturgy

Events

  • Monday, July 16th: Reader's Class, 7PM at the church. This week's topic is Vespers.

Name Days This Week

  • Tuesday: Alexandra Smith
  • Wednesday: Elizabeth Ash
  • Friday: Melian (Kyriake)

Many Years!

About the Vigil Service (from the Law of God by Fr. Seraphim Slobodskoy)
  
(continued from last week)

After the Resurrection troparia or the Magnification, the deacon repeats the Small Litany, which is followed by the singing of the Hymns of Ascent, alternately by two choirs. There are three antiphons for each of the eight tones (the eighth tone has four); one group being used on each Sunday, depending on the tone of the week. Other feast days the first antiphon of the fourth tone is used. The deacon then says the prokeimenon and the priest reads the Gospel.

At a Sunday service the reading from the Gospel concerns the Resurrection of Christ and the appearances of Christ to His disciples, while on other feasts the Gospel reading relates to the events being celebrated or to the saint being glorified.

On Sundays, after the Gospel, the solemn hymn in honor of the risen Christ taken from the Paschal Matins service is sung, "Having beheld the Resurrection of Christ, let us worship the holy Lord Jesus…"

The Gospel is then carried into the center of the church and the faithful proceed forward to venerate it. On other feasts the faithful venerate the festal icon, and the priest anoints them on the forehead with oil and distributes the bread blessed during the Litia.

After the hymn, "Having beheld the Resurrection…," the 50th Psalm is read as well as other hymns asking for the mercy of the Lord, the Theotokos and the Apostles. The deacon then reads the prayer for the intercession of the Saints, "Save, O God, Thy people…," and the priest exclaims, "Through the mercy and compassion…." The chanting of the Canon begins.

The canon is the name for a series of hymns which are composed according to a definite order. "Canon" is a Greek word which means "rule." A canon is divided into nine parts or odes. The first verse of each ode is called the irmos, which means "connection" or "link" and is chanted. With these irmosi all the rest of the canon is joined into one whole. The rest of the verses for each ode, called troparia, are now usually read, although they were originally chanted to the same melody as the irmos. The second ode of the canons is included only during Great Lent due to its penitential character.

The most noted composers of these canons were Sts. John of Damascus, Cosmas of Maiouma and Andrew of Crete, who wrote the penitential Great Canon used during Great Lent. The hymnography of these composers was inspired by the prayers and actions of some of the great Old Testament saints. Though in common practice they are now chanted only during Great Lent, each ode should be preceded by the Biblical ode upon which each Canon ode is based. The figures commemorated for each Biblical ode, which are found at the end of the Psalter, are the Prophet Moses (first and second odes); the Prophetess Anna, the mother of Samuel (third ode); the Prophet Habbakuk (fourth ode); the Prophet Isaiah (fifth ode); the Prophet Jonah (the sixth ode); the three Hebrew children (seventh and eighth odes); and the Priest Zacharias, the father of St. John the Forerunner (ninth ode).

Prior to the beginning of the ninth ode, the deacon proclaims: "The Theotokos and Mother of the Light, let us magnify in song," and proceeds to cense around the entire church. The choir then begins the Song of the Theotokos, "My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God My Saviour." Each verse of this hymn alternates with the singing of the refrain, "More honorable than the Cherubim, and beyond compare more glorious than the Seraphim, Who without corruption gavest birth to God the Word, the very Theotokos, Thee do we magnify." Following this hymn to the Theotokos, the choir continues with the irmos and troparia of the ninth ode of the canon.

Concerning the general content of the canons, the irmosi remind the faithful of the Old Testament period and events from the history of our salvation and gradually lead our thoughts to the Nativity of Christ. The troparia recount New Testament events and the history of the Church, presenting a series of verses or hymns glorifying the Lord and the Mother of God, and also honoring the event being celebrated, or the saint glorified on this day.

On major feasts each ode is concluded by a katavasia, a Greek word meaning "descent," and the deacon proclaims the Small Litany after the third, sixth and ninth odes.

(to be continued…)

Prayer Requests

"I was sick and you visited me." We have petitions for the sick, for travellers, and in general for those in need during the Liturgy; so, if you or someone you know needs prayer or would like a visit, please let Father Seraphim know.

Help with the Services

Helping with the services is an important ministry to God and to other members of the parish. We can always use help singing in the choir, reading the prayers and psalms, or assisting in the Altar during the Divine Liturgy. If you wish to help in the Altar, please speak to Father Seraphim. If you wish to help sing or read, please speak to Nicholas Park.

Our Sunday School

Raissa Dudar, Matushka Marina and Christina Newell are teaching a class for our youngest children during the sermon each Sunday. Nicholas Park and David Hawthorne are teaching a class for the older children after Trapeza, at roughly 12:30. If you would like to help with the program, please speak to Raissa, Nicholas, or Father Seraphim.

Our Bookstore

Please see and use our bookstore. We have books, icons, CD's, Pascha and Nativity cards, souveniers and other items. When you buy something, please put the following into the donation box, together with the payment: the item name and the dollar ($) amount of the payment. There are pads for your use for this purpose in the bookstore. If you wish to help maintain the bookstore, please speak to Nicholas Park.
       
Our Parish Library

Our parish library is an opportunity to pool our resources, given each of us access to spiritually profitable books, CD's and other items that we would not otherwise be able to afford. By borrowing from the library, you can have more resources to help you grow in the love of God, and by donating to the library, you can express your love for others by helping them to do the same. When you borrow from the library, please write the name of the book or CD on the clipboard, and return the items within four weeks. If you have materials to donate to the library, or if you wish to help maintain the collection, please speak to Nicholas Park

St. Juliana Sisterhood

All women are welcome to be members of our Sisterhood. To become one, please contact Raisa Dudar.

Mary needs Martha! – Cleaning the Church

An excellent opportunity open to both men and women to help maintain the beauty, warmth and hospitable atmosphere of our parish is to help clean the church. In addition to participating in our periodic clean-up days, you may also sign-up to help with one of the tasks that must be done on a weekly basis. The sign-up sheet is on the bulletin board in the kitchen. You may see Matushka Marina or Nicholas Park for more information.

Financial Stewardship

All Orthodox Christians should make financial contributions to the parish of which they are a part. Doing so enables the parish to be sustained financially, puts one in the position of being a benefactor to the Church, and is an important way to put Christ first in our lives. Our Lord says, “Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Our parish needs a larger monthly income; currently we are just able to meet our expenses, despite having cut these back to the bare minimum. May the Lord help us as we prayerfully consider our pledge to our church. Tithing (giving 10%) from one's income is a good foundation for personal giving with ample precedent in the life of the Church.

Our Building Fund

Every Orthodox community should build a temple to God’s glory. Given the condition of our current facility, it is important for us to move forward with our building plans. To make a contribution to the Building Fund, you can make out a check to St. Nicholas Orthodox Church, and write in the memo line, "Building Fund."

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