Dear Brothers and sisters:
This week was the last part of the “twelve days of Christmas”, with The Eve of Theophany on Friday, Jan 5/18, and Theophany the next day, on Saturday. I hope you enjoyed the fast free period. As I have told you before, we have a unique opportunity as Orthodox Christians who follow the fasts. When a period is fast free, we certainly notice it, and even our “not fasting” will remind us of God. Those in the world who do not fast have no reason to particularly notice how delicious certain foods are.
What Happened? A short review of last week.
Monday, Jan 1/14 was the Feast of the Circumcision and St Basil the Great. This was the namesday of Vasyl Hurt and Vasily Newell.
Tuesday, Jan 2/15 we held Vespers and discussed afterwards the Troparion and Kontakion for the feast of Theophany and its prefestival. The session is worth a listen and can be found at http://feeds.feedburner.com/OrthodoxChristianCatecheticalTalks. On this page, you may listen to and subscribe to the latest catechetical talks at St Nicholas. All catechetical talks are available at http://www.orthodox.net/catechism. This day was also the date of the commemoration of St Seraphim of Sarov, my patron. I was also able to visit five men in prison; I am visiting them twice a month. I have baptised two: Demetrius and John, and two others, Robert and Williiam, will become catechumens soon.
Wednesday Jan 3/16 we had Divine Liturgy, at its regular time of 9 AM (see the front page for our Wednesday liturgy schedule, this one, being the 3rd Wednesday of the month, is always at 9AM and led by Jelena. Most of the hymns were in Slavonic, with very beautiful Serbian melodies. I consider Serbian melodies to be in between Greek and Russian (sounding somewhat like each), and our parish is fortunate to have such variety in our sacred music. I am also pleased to announce that we have had EXPONENTIAL GROWTH in our weekday liturgy attendence, which has DOUBLED in 1 week (from 2 to 4!). Perhaps we will have eight at the next liturgy?
Thursday Jan 4/17 was the namesday of Genevieve Park (Genevieve of Paris)
Friday, Jan 5/18 was the Eve of Theophany, and at 7 AM we celebrated the Hours, Typika, Vespral Divine Liturgy of Basil the Great, and first Great Blessing of the Waters. I would dearly love to talk to you all sometime about the OT and NT readings – all about water in some fashion.
Saturday, Jan 6/19 is THEOPHANY. Divine Liturgy at 10AM, followed by the Great Blessing of the Waters.
Sunday, Jan 7/20 is the Sunday after Theophan, and the Synaxis of The Prophet, Forerunner and Baptist John. A past audio homily for this day can be found at http://www.orthodox.net/sermons/feasts-of-the-savior-theophany-04_2003.mp3.
Tuesday Jan 8/21 we will have Vespers at 6:30 PM, followed by another talk about some aspect of the church’s prayer. I keep making up each weeks teaching the week before, and would like to get a schedule out, to have at least a little organization. We will be talking about the church’s prayer for a while yet, and I am open to topics. If you have something you want me to talk about, please let me know.
Wednesday, Jan 9/22 we will have Divine Liturgy at 9 AM. Riassa will be the main reader.
Theophany resources, including a sermon by St John Maximovitch and St John Chrysostom are at http://www.orthodox.net/theophany/index.html