Archive for the ‘Local announcements for the St Nicholas parish family’ Category

10th week after Pentecost

Tuesday, July 31st, 2007

Services this week (10th week after Pentecost)

10th Sunday after Pentecost, Pochaev Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos

  • Saturday, July 14: 5:00 PM Reader's Vespers
  • Sunday, July 15: 10:00 AM Typica with Homily

Note: Fr. Seraphim will be on vacation this weekend!

Name Days

On Monday, Matushka Marina and Marina Vella both celebrate their name days. Also, Wednesday is the summer feast of St. Seraphim. Many years!

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 is teaching a class for the older children after Trapeza (when we have sufficient attendance), 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 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."

Share

9th Week after Pentecost

Monday, July 23rd, 2007

Services this week (9th weeks after Pentecost)

9th Sunday after Pentecost, Fathers of the 1st Six Ecumenical Councils

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


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


On Sundays, "Holy is the Lord our God" is then alternated with a few verses, and another special verse for the feast called the Exaposti-larion, or "Hymn of Lights," is chanted.

Then the Lauds or "Praises" (Psalms 148,149,150) are chanted, along with the verses for the "Praises," in which all of God’s creation is summoned to glorify Him: "Let every breath praise the Lord…." If it is a major feast special hymns in honor of the occasion are inserted between the final verses.

The Great Doxology follows the chanting of the Lauds. The Royal Gates are opened during the singing of the last hymn of the Lauds (the Sunday Theotokion) and the priest exclaims, "Glory to Thee Who has shown us the light." The doxology begins "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill among men. We praise Thee, we bless Thee, we worship Thee, we glorify Thee, we give thanks to Thee for Thy great glory…" In early Church practice the singing of this hymn just preceded the first light of dawn.

In the Great Doxology we give thanks to God for the light of day and for the bestowal of spiritual Light — the light of Truth, Christ the Saviour, Who has enlightened mankind with His teachings. The Doxology concludes with the chanting of the Trisagion and the singing of the festal troparion. The deacon then intones the Augmented and Supplicatory litanies.

Matins for an All-night Vigil concludes with the Dismissal. The priest turns to the faithful and says, "May Christ our true God (on Sundays, "Who rose from the dead" through the intercessions of His Most-pure Mother, of the holy, glorious, and all-praised Apostles, of the holy and righteous Ancestors of God Joachim and Anna, and of all the saints, have mercy on us and save us, for He is good and the Lover of mankind."

The choir responds with a prayer that the Lord preserve the Orthodox episcopate for many years, as well as the ruling hierarch and all Orthodox Christians. The last part of the All-night Vigil, the First Hour, follows. The service of the First Hour consists of the reading of three psalms and of various prayers, in which we request that God hear our voices in the morning and that He guide our hands during the course of the day. The First Hour concludes with the victorious hymn in honor of the Theotokos, "To Thee the Champion Leader…" The priest reads the Dismissal for the First Hour, and the All-night Vigil comes to an end.

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 is teaching a class for the older children after Trapeza (when we have sufficient attendance), 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 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."

Share

Newsletter, 8th week after Pentecost

Tuesday, July 17th, 2007

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."

Share

Newsletter, 7th week after Pentecost

Sunday, July 8th, 2007

Services this week (7th week after Pentecost)

The Holy, Glorious and All-Praised Leaders of the Apostles, Peter and Paul – Thursday, July 12th

  • Services to be announced, contingent on Father Seraphim's work schedule

7th Sunday after Pentecost, Deposition of the Robe of the Most Holy Theotokos

Events

  • Monday, July 10th: Choir Rehearsal, 7PM at the church. We will practice music from the Divine Liturgy.

Announcements

  • The Apostle's Fast ends on Thursday. Beginning Thursday, we may eat normally (with the exception of the usual Wednesday and Friday fasts).
  • We will have choir rehearsal on Monday, July 10th. We will practice music from the Divine Liturgy.
  • The next reader class will be on Monday, July 16th. We will study the service of Vespers.

Name Days

Paul Hickman celebrates his name day this Thursday. Many years!

This week in the life of the Church

The Feast of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul in on June 29 / July 12th, and marks the end of the Apostle's Fast. The following day is the Synaxis of all 12 Holy Apostles.

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

The second half of the All-night Vigil, Matins, is meant to remind us of the New Testament period: the appearance of our Lord Jesus Christ in the world for our salvation and His glorious Resurrection.

The beginning of Matins immediately reminds us of the Nativity of Christ. It begins with the doxology or glorification of the angels who appeared to the shepherds in Bethlehem: Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace, goodwill among men.

This is followed by the reading of the Six Psalms, selected from those by the Prophet David (3, 37, 62, 87,102 and 142) in which the sinful condition of mankind is depicted with all its weakness and temptations. The ardent expectation of mankind for their only hope, the mercy of God, is expressed here. Those praying in church should be listening with special attentiveness and reverence to these psalms.

After the Six Psalms the deacon proclaims the Great Litany. The choir follows the Litany with the loud and joyful chant of this hymn with its verses: "God is the Lord and hath appeared unto us; Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord." It is affirmed that God is Lord and has manifested Himself unto us, and He Who comes in the glory of the Lord is worthy of glorification.

The troparion or hymn that particularly honors and describes the feast or saint being celebrated follows, and then two kathismas are read, two of the twenty sections into which the Psalter is consecutively divided. The reading of the kathismas, as well as that of the Six Psalms, calls us to ponder our wretched, sinful condition and to place all our hope on the mercy and help of God. At the conclusion of each kathisma the deacon recites the Small Litany.

The Polyeleos, a Greek word meaning "much mercy," is then celebrated. The Polyeleos is the most festive and solemn part of Matins and the All-night Vigil, expressing the glorification of the mercy of God, which has been manifested to us by the coming to earth of the Son of God and His accomplishing our salvation from the power of the Devil and death. The Polyeleos begins with the triumphant singing of the verses of praise: Praise ye the name of the Lord; O ye servants, praise the Lord. Alleluia. Blessed is the Lord out of Sion, Who dwelleth in Jerusalem. Alleluia. O give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good, for His mercy endureth forever. Alleluia. O give thanks unto the God of heaven; for His mercy endureth forever. Alleluia.

With the chanting of these verses all the lamps and candles in the church are lit, the Royal Gates are opened, and the priest, preceded by the deacon holding a lit candle, comes out of the altar and goes around the church censing as a sign of reverence for God and His Saints.

On Sundays, after the chanting of these verses, special Resurrection troparia, joyful hymns in honor of the Resurrection of Christ, are sung. They describe how the angels appeared to the Myrrhbearing women when they came to the tomb of Christ and told them of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. On other great feasts instead of these Resurrection troparia, the Magnification, a short verse of praise in honor of the saint or feast of that day, is sung before its icon.


(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."

Share

5th and 6th weeks after Pentecost

Sunday, June 24th, 2007

Services this week (5th and 6th weeks after Pentecost)

5th Sunday after Pentecost, Holy Martyr Leontius


6th Sunday after Pentecost, Afterfeast of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist, and the Virgin-Martyr Febronia


Announcements

  • Wednesday, July 4th is a Fast Day!
  • We will have choir rehearsal on Monday, July 9th.
  • The next reader class will be on Monday, July 16th.
  • The feast of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul is coming up on Thursday, July 12th. We will have Vigil on the 11th and Liturgy on the 12th. This will mark the end of the fast.
  • Pravoslavie.ru is an excellent source for church news, edifying reading, and other materials in Russian. In recent news, you can find a photo-report of Metropolitan Laurus' visit to the Ukraine.

This week in the life of the Church

Saturday, June 30th is the commemoration of St. John of Shanghai and San Francisco.
Saturday, July 7th is the Nativity of St. John the Baptist .

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

During the chanting of the Theotokion the Royal Gates are opened, and the Vespers Entry is made; a candle bearer comes through the north door of the Sanctuary, followed by the deacon with the censer and finally the priest. The priest stops on the ambo facing the Royal Gates and after blessing the entry with the sign of the Cross, and the deacon's intoning of the words "Wisdom, let us attend!" the priest reenters the Altar together with the deacon through the Royal Gates and goes to stand next to the High Place behind the Holy Table.

At this time the choir chants a hymn to the Son of God, our Lord Jesus Christ: "O Gentle Light of the holy glory of the immortal, heavenly, holy blessed Father, O Jesus Christ: having come to the setting of the sun, having beheld the evening light, we praise the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit: God. Meet it is for Thee at all times to be hymned with reverent voices, O Son of God, Giver of Life. Wherefore, the world doth glorify Thee."

In this hymn the Son of God is called the Gentle Light that comes from the Heavenly Father, because He came to this earth not in the fullness of divine glory but in the gentle radiance of this glory. This hymn also says that only with reverent voices, and not our sinful mouths, can He be exalted worthily and the necessary glorification be accomplished.

The entry during Vespers reminds the faithful how the Old Testament righteous, in harmony with the promise of God that was manifest in prototypes and prophecies, expected the coming of the Saviour, and how He appeared in the world for the salvation of the human race.

The censer with incense used at the entry signifies that our prayers, by the intercession of our Lord the Saviour, are offered to God like incense. It also signifies the presence of the Holy Spirit in the church.

The blessing with the sign of the Cross shows that by means of the Cross of the Lord the doors into Paradise are opened again for us.

Following the chanting of the hymn "O Gentle Light…" we sing the prokeimenon, short verses taken from the Holy Scriptures. On Saturday evening, for the Vespers for Sunday, we chant, "The Lord is King; He is clothed with majesty."

After the chanting of the prokeimenon, on the more important feasts there are readings. These are selections from the Scriptures in which there is a prophecy or a prototype which relates to the event being celebrated, or in which edifying teachings are set forth, which relate to the saint commemorated that day.

Following the prokeimenon and readings the deacon intones the Augmented Litany, "Let us all say with our whole soul and with our whole mind, let us say." The prayer, "Vouchsafe, O Lord, to keep us this evening without sin…" follows, and at the conclusion of this prayer the deacon reads the Supplicatory Litany, "Let us complete our evening prayer unto the Lord…"

On great feasts after the Augmented and Supplicatory Litanies the Litia, or Blessing of Bread and Wine, is celebrated.

"Litia" is a Greek word meaning "common prayer." The Litia, a series of verses chanted by the choir followed by an enumeration of many saints whose prayers are besought, is celebrated in the western end of the church, near the main entrance doors, or in the Narthex, if the church is so arranged. This part of the service was intended for those who were standing in the Narthex, the catechumens and penitents, so they might be able to take part in the common service on the occasions of the major festivals.

At the end of the Litia is the blessing and sanctification of five loaves of bread, wheat, wine and oil to recall the ancient custom of providing food for those assembled who had come some distance, in order to give them strength during the long divine services. The five loaves are blessed to recall the feeding of the five thousand with five loaves of bread. Later, during the main part of Matins, the priest anoints the faithful with the sanctified oil, after they have venerated the festal icon.

After the Litia, or if it is not served, after the Supplicatory Litany, the Aposticha (Verses with hymns) are chanted. These are a few verses which are specially written in memory of the occasion.

Vespers ends with the reading of the prayer of St. Simeon the God-Receiver, "Now lettest Thou Thy servant depart in peace, O Master, according to Thy word, for mine eyes have seen Thy salvation, which Thou hast prepared before the face of all peoples; a light of revelation for the gentiles and the glory of Thy people Israel." This prayer is followed by the reading of the Trisagion and the Lord's Prayer, and the singing of the salutation of the Theotokos, "O Theotokos and Virgin, Rejoice!…," or the troparion of the feast, and finally the thrice-chanted prayer of the Psalmist: "Blessed be the name of the Lord from henceforth and for evermore." The 33rd Psalm is then read or chanted until the verse, "But they that seek the Lord shall not be deprived o'f any good thing." Then follows the priestly blessing, "The blessing of the Lord be upon you, through His grace and love for mankind, always, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages."

The conclusion of Vespers with the prayer of St. Simeon and the angelic salutation of the Theotokos indicates the fulfillment of the divine promise of a Saviour.

Immediately after the conclusion of Vespers during an All-Night Vigil, Matins begins with the reading of the Six Psalms.

(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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Newsletter, 4th Week after Pentecost

Monday, June 18th, 2007

Services this week (4th week after Pentecost)

4th Sunday after Pentecost, Martyrs of the Boxer Rebellion in China

Events

  • Saturday, June 23: 2:00 PM Church clean-up day. Please come help us clean the church!

Announcements

  • The choir rehearsal scheduled for Monday, June 25th has been postponed to Thursday, July 5th.
  • The next reader class will be on Monday, July 9th.
  • The feast of Sts. Peter and Paul is coming up on Thursday, July 12th.

Name days  

Kyriake (Melian) celebrates her name day on Wednesday. Many years!      

If we miss your name day, let us know, and we'll correct our records.

This week in the life of the Church

The Martyrs of the Boxer Rebellion in China are a wonderful example for us of devotion to Christ in modern times. Follow the link to read more about them.

About the Vigil Service (from the Law of God by Fr. Seraphim Slobodskoy)
  
The All-night Vigil is the divine service which is served on the evening prior to the days of specially celebrated feasts. It consists of the combination of Vespers, Matins and First Hour, during which both services are conducted with greater solemnity and with more illumination of the church than on other days.  

This service is given the name "All-night," because in ancient times, it began in the later evening and it continued through the entire night until dawn.  

Later, in condescension to the weakness of the faithful, this service was begun earlier, and certain contractions were made in the readings and chanting, and therefore it now does not last so long as it did. However, the former term "All-night" is preserved.    

Vespers recalls and represents events of the Old Testament: the creation of the world, the fall into sin of the first human beings, their expulsion from Paradise, their repentance and prayer for salvation, the hope of mankind in accordance with the promise of God for a Saviour and finally, the fulfillment of that promise.  

The Vespers of an All-night Vigil begins with the opening of the Royal Gates. The priest and deacon silently cense the Altar Table and the entire sanctuary so that clouds of incense fill the depths of the sanctuary. This silent censing represents the beginning of the creation of the world. In the beginning God created heaven and earth. And the earth was without form and void, and the Spirit of God hovered over the original material earth, breathing upon it a life-creating power, but the creating word of God had not yet begun to resound.  

Then the priest stands before the Altar and intones the first exclamation to the glory of the Creator and Founder of the world, the Most-holy Trinity, "Glory to the Holy, Consubstantial, Life-creating, and Indivisible Trinity, always, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages."  

Then he four times summons the faithful, "O come, let us worship God our King. O come let us worship and fall down before Christ, our King and our God. O come let us worship and fall down before Christ Himself, our King and our God. O come let us worship and fall down before Him." For All things were made by Him; and without him was not anything made that was made (John 1:3).  

In response to this summons, the choir solemnly chants the 103rd Psalm, which describes the creation of the world and glorifies the wisdom of God: Bless the Lord, O my soul. Blessed art Thou, O Lord, O Lord my God, Thou hast been magnified exceedingly… In wisdom hast Thou made them all… Wondrous are Thy works, O Lord… Glory to Thee, O Lord, Who hast made them all.  

During the chanting of this psalm the priest goes forth from the sanctuary and completes the censing of the entire church and the faithful therein, while a deacon precedes him bearing a lit candle in his hand.  

This sacred action not only reminds those praying of the creation of the world, but primarily of the blessed life in Paradise of the first human beings, when the Lord God Himself walked among them. The open Royal Gates signify that at that time the gates of Paradise were open for all people.  

Then man was deceived by the Devil and transgressed against the will of God and fell into sin. Because of their fall, mankind was deprived of blessed life in Paradise. They were driven out of Paradise and the gates were closed to them. To symbolize this expulsion, following the censing of the church and the conclusion of the chanting of the psalm, the Royal Gates are closed.  

Then the deacon comes out from the sanctuary and stands before the closed Royal Gates, as Adam did before the sealed entrance into Paradise, and intones the Great Litany:  

In peace let us pray to the Lord. Let us pray to the Lord when we have been reconciled with all our neighbors, so that we feel no anger or hostility towards them. For the peace from above, and for the salvation of our souls, let us pray to the Lord. Let us pray that the Lord send down upon us "from on high" the peace of Heaven and that He save our souls.  

After the Great Litany and the exclamation of the priest, certain selected verses are usually sung from the first three psalms of the Psalter:  

Blessed is the man that hath not walked in the counsel of the ungodly, that is, he who has not lived or acted on the advice of those who are irreverent and impious. For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous, and the way of the ungodly shall perish. For the Lord knows the life of the righteous and the life of the impious leads to ruin. The deacon then intones the Little Litany, "Again and again, in peace let us pray to the Lord…" After this litany the choir chants the verses of certain psalms that express the longing of man for salvation and Paradise: Lord, I have cried unto Thee, hearken unto me. Hearken unto me, O Lord… Attend to the voice of my supplication, when I cry unto Thee… Let my prayer be set forth as incense before Thee, the lifting up of my hands as an evening sacrifice. Hearken unto me, O Lord. During the chanting of these verses the deacon censes the church once more.  

This entire period of the divine service, beginning with the opening of the Royal Gates, through the petitions of the Great Ectenia and the chanting of the psalms, represents the miserable state of mankind to which it was subjected by the fall of our forefathers into sin. With the fall all the deprivations, pains and sufferings we experience came into our lives. We cry out to God, "Lord, have mercy" and request peace and salvation for our souls. We feel contrition that we heeded the ungodly counsel of the Devil. We ask God for the forgiveness of our sins and deliverance from troubles, and we place all our hope in the mercy of God. The censing by the deacon at this time signifies the sacrifices of the Old Testament and our own prayers as well, which we offer to God.  

Alternating with the chanting of the Old Testament verses of these psalms of "Lord, I have cried" are New testament hymns composed in honor of the saint or feast of the day.  

The last verse is called the Theotokion, or Dogmatikon, since it is sung in honor of the Mother of God, and in it is set forth the dogma on the incarnation of the Son of God from the Virgin Mary. On the twelve great feasts, instead of the Theotokion a special verse is chanted in honor of the feast.  During the chanting of the Theotokion the Royal Gates are opened, and the Vespers Entry is made; a candle bearer comes through the north door of the Sanctuary, followed by the deacon with the censer and finally the priest. The priest stops on the ambo facing the Royal Gates and after blessing the entry with the sign of the Cross, and the deacon’s intoning of the words "Wisdom, let us attend!" the priest reenters the Altar together with the deacon through the Royal Gates and goes to stand next to the High Place behind the Holy Table.

(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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Change in Service Times

Sunday, June 10th, 2007

As indicated in the newsletter, we will be changing our regular service schedule, because of the heat of summer. The new schedule is:

  • Saturday Vigil, 6 PM
  • Sunday Liturgy, 9 AM
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Newsletter, 3rd Week after Pentecost

Sunday, June 10th, 2007

Services this week (3rd week after Pentecost)

Events

  • Monday, June 11: 6:30 PM 1st Reader/Liturgics class for those interested in learning how to read in church.
  • Saturday, June 16: 4:00 PM Church Council Meeting to discuss our plans for the future – all are welcome!

Announcements

At Saturday's Church Council meeting, we will be discussing our plans for the future of our parish, including options for the use of our land, possibilities for building a church, and related topics. Please join us if you wish to be a part of this discussion.

This week in the life of the Church

Sunday, May 17th is important in a number of ways. We will continue our joyful celebration of the fruits of Pentecost by remembering all the saints who have shown forth in North America. In addition, this day is the commemoration of the New Martyrs of the Turkish Yoke.

Remember that on each and every day of the year, the church remembers the saints, and their lives provide inspirational and instructive examples for us, showing us how to live our new life in Christ, and proving that it really is possible to do so. There are links on our blog to the saints lives, as well as readings from Holy Scripture, for each day.

About the All-Night Vigil

On a separate blog post, we are serializing Fr. Victor Potapov's article about the structure and meaning of the All-Night Vigil service, in the hopes that it will help all of use come to better understand and appreciate this wonderful service.

Prayer Requests

"I was sick and you visited me." We have petitions for the sick, for travelers, 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.

We will hold a monthly liturgics class, for those interested in learning more about the structure of the services or how to read in church. Our first meeting will be this Monday, June 11th, at 6:30 PM.

We will be holding monthly choir rehearsals, God willing, beginning on Monday, June 25th at 6:30 PM.

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.

We will have a church clean-up day at 1:30 PM on Saturday, June 23rd. Please come, and help us beautify God's church!

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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1st – 2nd Week after Pentecost

Monday, June 4th, 2007

Services this week (1st and 2nd weeks after Pentecost)

  • Friday, June 8: 6:30 PM Molieban at our plot of land in McKinney
  • Saturday, June 9: 5 PM Vigil Service
  • Sunday, June 10: 10 AM Divine Liturgy, Sunday of All Saints of Russia

Map to the land: http://www.mapquest.com/maps/map.adp?address=Christian%20St%20%26%20S%20Chestnut%20St&city=Mckinney&state=TX&zipcode=75069&country=US&title=%3cb%20class%3d%22fn%20org%22%3eChristian%20St%20%26amp%3b%20S%20Chestnut%20St%3c%2fb%3e%3cbr%20%2f%3e%20%3cspan%20style%3d%22display%3ainline%3bmargin%2dbottom%3a0px%3b%22%20class%3d%22locality%22%3eMckinney%3c%2fspan%3e%2c%20%3cspan%20style%3d%22display%3ainline%3bmargin%2dbottom%3a0px%3b%22%20class%3d%22region%22%3eTX%3c%2fspan%3e%20%3cspan%20style%3d%22display%3ainline%3bmargin%2dbottom%3a0px%3b%22%20class%3d%22postal%2dcode%22%3e75069%3c%2fspan%3e%2c%20%20%3cspan%20style%3d%22display%3ainline%3bmargin%2dbottom%3a0px%3b%22%20class%3d%22country%2dname%22%3eUS%3c%2fspan%3e%3c%2fspan%3e&cid=lfmaplink2&name=&dtype=s

Announcements

God willing, we will begin choir rehearsals, liturgics classes for readers, and monthly clean-up days soon. These will be either on a weekday evening (probably Monday) or on a Saturday afternoon. If you are interested and have a preference among these times, please write to Nicholas.

On Friday evening, we will hold a Molieban to St. Nicholas for our parish. Everybody should try to attend this service, and add your prayers to ours. The service will be held at our new land in McKinney (see link to map above), and will be followed by "grilled zucchini" (as Father put it) at the rectory.

This week in the life of the Church

  • Wednesday, June 6: St. Symeon of the Wonderful Mountain. In his honor, we may use wine and oil.
  • Thursday, June 7: 3rd Finding of the Head of St. John the Baptist. In his honor, we may eat fish.

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.

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, 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. At the candle stand, we will soon provide is a booklet containing a pledge form where, after prayerful consideration, one can pledge to give a certain amount every month.

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. We have recently purchased a plot of land, and we will be meeting on June 19th to discuss our plans for the future. 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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Apostle’s Fast

Sunday, June 3rd, 2007

On the Monday after the Sunday of All Saints (tomorrow), we begin a fasting period, in accordance with the Lord's words, "when the bridegroom is taken away from them, then shall they fast." This fast is called the Apostle's Fast because it lasts until the Feast of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, on June 29 / July 12.

As is usual, the fast consists of abstinence from meat, fish, dairy products, eggs, olive oil, and wine (alcoholic beverages). On Saturdays and Sundays, as well as on Thursday June 7th (in honor  of St. John the Baptist), the fast is relaxed and we may consume fish, wine and oil. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, as well as on Wednesday June 6th (in honor of St. Symeon), we may use wine and oil.

More information about the fasting calendar can be found at http://days.pravoslavie.ru/ (Russian) and http://days.pravoslavie.ru/en/ (English)

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