Celebrating the Church’s Feasts

Dear brothers and sisters,

Having celebrated the memory of the Holy Great Princess, Olga last Sunday, and St Vladimir’s Day with a lovely Liturgy in Walsingham, on Thursday, it was a joy to celebrate the Baptism of Rus’ today, when we could be together as a community.

Thanks to all who made today’s well-attended Liturgy such a joyful occasion, continuing into such a lovely lunch celebrating not only the feast, but also Margarita’s nameday, yesterday.

Our kliros and oltarniky performed their obediences very ably, and we were blessed to have Father Luke with us, with his assistance with confessions being a tremendous help, given the number of communicants.

It also allowed clergy participation in lunch whilst I celebrated a memorial service for the servant of God, Nikolai, whose anniversary falls at this time, and for whose repose we ask your prayers. Memory Eternal! Вѣчная память!

As those in church are aware, we are trying to slow down Holy Communion, so that those communing have consumed the Holy Gifts before their mouths are wiped and they kiss the chalice.

None of us should be consuming the Holy Gifts whilst moving away from the chalice, but we often do so, having formed bad habits in crowded Liturgies, where we are not given sufficient time to consume the Gifts and are ushered on. We have no need to rush in St John’s and will not be doing so, since this is our meeting with the Saviour, who offers Himself to us in the Holy Mysteries and comes to dwell in us.

Again. May I remind all who have communicated that they should not leave the body of the church until the thanksgiving prayers are complete, unless their obediences require them to do so.

Our ‘holiday’ from catechesis continues, but we look forward to forthcoming baptisms, when James will be baptised in honour of St James the Faster and Tracey with the name Mary, for the Mother of God, whose Dormition we will be celebrating at the time of the baptism. We also look forward to Thomas’s baptism around the feast of the Protecting Veil of the Mother of God – a wonderful and beautiful feast.

May I ask those wishing to confess, on Friday to email me by Wednesday evening, and thanks to all who have been so prompt in their requests: otetzmark@hotmail.com

I wish you all a happy feast of St Seraphim, tomorrow, and encourage you all to pray the canons or akathist in his honour! We also celebrate other important feasts in the week ahead:

  • Tuesday – the Holy and Glorious Prophet Elias
  • Wednesday – the Holy and Glorious Prophet Ezekiel and St. Symeon of Emesa, the fool-for-Christ
  • Thursday – the Holy Myrrh-bearer and Equal-to-the-Apostles, Mary Magdalene
  • Friday – the Icons of the Most Holy Theotokos of Pochaev and “The Joy of All Who Sorrow” (with coins) of St. Petersburg
  • Saturday – the Holy Martyrs and Passion-bearers Boris and Gleb
  • Sunday – the The Dormition of the Righteous Anna, Mother of the Most Holy Theotokos – Liturgy variables: https://drive.google.com/file/d/18si1-PvB1kO1M3lcT3sMUBgb9rDmWlEa/view

Having enjoyed tea and pirozhky with Father Luke, on returning home, I will now settle down with a cup of tea and enjoy ‘Wimbledon in a cake’, as one of the desserts was described.

Thank you all for your constant labours and many kindnesses.

May God bless you all. S prazdnikom –

Hieromonk Mark

Posted in Uncategorized.