The coming weekend: the feast of St Seraphim of Sarov

Dear brothers and sisters, 

A thankyou to all who made Sunday such a sociable gathering, as we congratulated our two Olga’s on their nameday. Thank you to each of our Olgas for the refreshments served in the churchyard. I hope that, weather permitting, we can organise some refreshments each week, as the late start to Liturgy means that it is quite late when we break our communion fast. 

Our choir, though only a trio on some Sundays, continues to expand its repertoire, and we had the blessing of a new two-part chant-melody cherubic hymn, having had a beautiful Georgian melody the previous Sunday.  

I would like to thank Aleksandra for taking up my request to introduce the old chant melodies now being used to the antiphons, and for organising the chanting of Agni Parthene (O Pure Virgin) at the end of the moleben to honour the the Mother of God and her Troeruchitsa and Kazan Icons, at the end of Sunday’s Liturgy. The request was only made at vespers, on Saturday, but as always, the chant materialised, with no fuss.  

The Byzantine melodies that have been introduced into Liturgy have been a prayerful addition to parish worship and have been most welcome. It was, of course, the sisters from Minsk who introduced us to Slavonic Byzantine and Georgian chant and it is good that we have followed this by chanting the Byzantine melodies ourselves. 

This Sunday will be greatly blessed by the feast of St Seraphim of Sarov, one of our most beloved Orthodox saints – loved by all Orthodox people. May I encourage those able to do so to bake festive loaves and make koliva/kutya to honour St Seraphim, so that these offerings may be blessed and shared at the end of Liturgy, when we will gather at St Seraphim’s icon to pray and chant festal hymns. 

The variables of vespers may be found here –

… and those for Liturgy, here –

Our weekend will start with our Saturday evening service at 16:30. However, whether we celebrate vespers or compline will largely depend on how many people need confessing, as the last few weeks have seen a significant number wishing to confess, ready for communion on Sunday.

As usual, will those requiring confession on either Sunday email Deacon Mark asap : 

Sunday will see the usual schedule of services with the Hours at 11:00, and the Divine Liturgy once confessions have finished. 

Finally, greetings to you all, as we celebrate the feast of St Vladimir, the Equal to the Apostles, and the Baptism of Rus.

In Christ – Hieromonk Mark

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