Dear brothers and sisters,
Recently, our community has been blessed with some wonderfully festive Liturgies – for the Forerunner, for the Holy Chiefs of the Apostles, Peter and Paul, and yesterday for the Royal Martyrs.
On these occasions we have been pleased to celebrate the namedays of the faithful, and we very pleased that Nicholas could be with us yesterday, on his first nameday, having been baptised by Father Luke in honour of the Holy Tsar-Martyr on Lazarus Saturday, (on the same day that we baptised George in the sea), after a long and thorough catechumenate.
As well as congratulating him, we would like to thank him for reading the Hours, the Apostol and thanksgiving prayers – of which he was not forewarned. Many Blessed Years!
We were also very happy to welcome Isaiah, one of the catechumens from the Llanelli Parish, and were glad for yesterday’s addition to our catechumens with Thomas’s quiet admittance to the catechumenate in the porch of St John’s, whilst the parish shared trapeza in the church.
We are now looking forward to James’s baptism in Chippenham in a fortnight, adding to the number of our Wessex faithful, and to Tracey’s baptism in St Nicholas on the Eve of the Dormition, at which time she will take the baptismal name of Mary, in honour of Our Lady, the Mother of God, and her feast.
Last Saturday saw a wonderful Cheltenham Liturgy, and next Saturday sees the celebration of the feast of Venerable Anthony of the Kiev Caves at the Urdd Centre in Llangrannog, on the Cardigan Coast, currently housing refugees from Ukraine. We hope to commence the Hours at 10:00 and Liturgy at 10:30, but given that this is a new setting we are keeping a slightly open mind. Directions may be found here:
Looking forward to next Sunday’s Liturgy, at 11:00, we celebrate more namedays, with the feast of the Holy Equal to the Apostles, Great Princess Olga, and the variables for the feast may be found at ‘Orthodox Austin’, as usual:
May I ask for confession requests by Wednesday evening please, as this is something of a challenging week, given a concentration of activities? I have already had a chance to confirm some confessions with parishioners.
Wishing you a sensible and cautious few days, and looking forward to seeing parishioners at the cooler end of the week.
In Christ – Hieromonk Mark