Dear brothers and sisters,
I would like to thank all who contributed to Sunday’s Liturgy, in which we had the joy of welcoming sisters from Cheltenham and Bristol.
It was lovely to have George and Oswald back from Greece, where – together with Alexander – they bought the parish a beautiful icon of the holy wonderworkers of Evia: Saints David, Iakovos and John the Russian. We will sort a kiot in which to place the icon for veneration at next Sunday’s Liturgy.
It was a joy and a relief to be able to celebrate the Divine Liturgy on Sunday, after two weeks of simply communing from the reserved Holy Gifts, especially as it was the feast of the repose of St John the Theologian. Being able to honour St John in a sanctuary dedicated to his memory was a great blessing.
Having celebrated the dedication of St John’s, we look forward to our own altar feast less than a month away, when will celebrate the Divine Liturgy in St Mary Butetown on the day itself – 4thNovember, New Style – chanting the Hours at 10:30, with the Liturgy following at 11:00. We will also continue our celebration the feast the following Sunday, when we can all be together in St John’s, and I hope that we can coordinate food for a suitably festal parish lunch that day.
This coming Friday we are sadly unable to celebrate the Divine Liturgy for the feast of the Protecting Veil due to lack of somewhere to liturgize, but we will chant a moleben in honour of the feast in St Mary’s Church at 19:00 in the evening, followed by a spiritual talk, rather than catechesis.
I will also hear confessions on Friday and requests should reach me by Wednesday evening. May I ask anyone both confessing and coming to the service to indicate this, as I hope to have afternoon confessions for anyone not staying in the evening.
Sadly, I must raise one negative issue, after several complaints from parishioners regarding talking during services, with this being a matter ofrepeatoffenders.
Several people were talking during the moleben to St John, and it often transpires that some parishioners fail to understand that our Sunday worship is already under way with the commencing of the Hours. This is the payer of the Church, not a window for socialising until the ‘real’ service starts.
The matter is very simple…
We chant, ‘Let us lay aside all earthly cares.’ If you are unwilling to do this whilst in Church, you are in the wrong place at this time on a Sunday.
I look forward to next Sunday’s Liturgy, after which there will be a baptism at 14:00 – our third child baptism in the last month, with several more baptisms of rather older people yet to come.
May God bless you, and the week ahead of you.
In Christ – Hieromonk Mark