Parish Newsletter: 30 January 2023

Dear brothers and sisters,

Yesterday’s Liturgy brought a great contrast to our Hierarchical Liturgy, the previous weekend, most notably in the drop to our more usual Liturgy numbers of just over forty – though Nazareth House Chapel swallows that up in its vastness.

We were glad to welcome visitors, who mostly (though coincidently) travelled from Pontypridd. We hope that they will return to share Liturgy with us soon.

The parish was greatly blessed to have two deacons for the Divine Liturgy, with Father Avraamy’s ministrations greatly enriching our celebration. Having served as a deacon for twenty years, with thirteen of those being in the Svyatogorsk-Dormition Lavra, he brings great and very welcome experience to our parish.

I was also greatly appreciative of his pastoral help yesterday, spending time with refugees facing many challenges in their new life in the valleys. It was a blessing that his first Liturgy serving as an assistant cleric of the parish coincided with the visit of a family who hopefully benefitted from a long talk with him (as a fellow refugee), helped by his words and prayers. To Hierodeacon Avraamy – many years!

This is a prompt to point out that there have been problems with the door from the street – the family in question having arrived just as Mass ended and our final set up began, but not being able to get into the building they returned later, when the latch worked and the door fortunately opened! This has happened quite a few times over the last three or four weeks, with some first time visitors going to reception or giving up. The door is always unlocked for the 9:30 Mass and the handle may need turning several times. We have reported this, but the problem continues, so Deacon Mark will attack the latch with WD40 before next Liturgy to ensure the handle turns properly and the latch raises.

As announced at the end of Liturgy, there will be a local pilgrimage to Llandaff Cathedral on Saturday 25thFebruary, to pray before the relics of St Teilo, whose feast falls a few days earlier, whilst I am serving in Walsingham.

A moleben will be served at 10:00 in the Chapel of St Teilo, at the end of the righthand South Aisle, with time to explore the cathedral and a visit to St Teilo’s Well around the corner after the service. It has been suggested that those able to stay may wish to retreat to the Black Lion pub at midday. Tracy has kindly agreed to take on the role of pilgrimage coordinator, as we get pilgrimages under way. It would be useful for us to know how many people are able to join us for this small beginning to our pilgrimage-year, so parishioners are invited to email Tracy: t_sbrain@icloud.com

Having discussed the use of Capel-y-ffin, the smallest church in the principality, with Father Richard Williams at Hay-on-Wye, we intend to make a pilgrimage to the Black Mountains, in honour of St David, on Saturday 18th March.

St David’s foundation at Llanthony, nearby, has been a place of March pilgrimage for many years. However, the darkness, intense cold and dampness of the virtually disused parish church make it an inhospitable place for Liturgy. Capel-y-ffin slightly further up the the Afon Honddu and the valley promises a lighter and more liturgically-hospitable place of worship: a very special place, close to the site of the monastery founded by the eccentric romantic, Father Ignatius of Llanthony in the 19th century.

Father Richard has suggested that we visit Hay-on-Wye after Liturgy, as he would be glad to welcome us at St Mary’s where I hope he will tell us about the early saints Eigen and Eigion who vie for the dedication of one of the churches of the benefice at Llanigon. Details will be confirmed after the pilgrimage has been discussed with Vladika Irenei.

The final pilgrimage note, is to point out that there are still places available for the diocesan pilgrimage to the Holy Land, led by Bishop Irenei, and taking place between 31st July and 12th August. Details may be found at:

https://orthodox-europe.org/content/diocesan-holyland-pilgrimage-2023/?fbclid=IwAR0o5jbnyGeSTt03kciN70pP9YToLKTiIteUXK4pQiCMpB6GU9iGEKDKtl8

I am very happy that some parishioners have registered for the pilgrimage, and I greatly look forward to visiting the shrines of the Holy Land – God-willing – not only with our bishop, but with brothers and sisters of the parish.

In Cardiff, we need to hold a parish AGM, and given the length of Liturgies during the Great Fast, Sunday 19th February will allow us to give three weeks notice, as per the statutes of parishes of the ROCOR. On that Sunday we will hold our parish general meeting after Liturgy, and will ensure that we have refreshments available to see us through to the end of the AGM. No elections are due during this meeting, but the matter of subscription is a priority, so that an electoral-roll is in place for any future voting. If you have any items for the agenda, please email Deacon Mark who acts as the parish administrator: rmfisher@ntlworld.com

This week, I will hear confessions on Thursday afternoon and Friday morning, so may I ask for requests by 13:00 Wednesday lunchtime to allow time to contact those requiring a slot?

I wish to keep Saturday as free as possible, so that we can concentrate on the celebration of Great Vespers at 17:00. Church will be open for set up from 16:00.

Please don’t be shy in requesting house blessings, as I hope to get around some of the Cardiff homes of the parish this week, and next weekend, as well as heading further afield and venturing into England – at the ‘eastern end’ of the parish! Also, please remember that there is Theophany Water in Church, so if you have not yet taken any, please bring bottles to collect it.

I continue to ask your prayers for my health. Though the concerns of last autumn are happily behind me, I continue to suffer from oedema and continuing fatigue. Your prayers, in union with those of the saints and angelic-hosts, make an immense difference. We must never be tempted to think otherwise, however dysfunctional our spiritual lives may seem. Joined with the voices of the saints and bodiless powers of heaven, and with one another, even our feeble requests have power and force. Is not even the greatest and most powerful flood anything other than hundreds of thousands of single drops of rain!

In your prayers, we also ask for the remembrance of the newly departed servants of God, the Priest Stephen, Nikolai and Aleksandr, as well as for Stuart-Michael whose fortieth day has just passed, and for the Reader Paul and Joanna who reposed at the turning of the year. May their memories be eternal.

We also ask your prayers for Mirela, whose baby is very obviously imminently due. Having partaken of the Holy Mysteries at yesterday’s Liturgy, may the grace of the Lord’s Most Pure and Holy Body and Blood fortify her in the days ahead!

May God bless you all!

In Christ – Hieromonk MarK

Christmastide News

Dear brothers and sisters,

Christ is Born! S prazdnikom!

I hope that you are all maintaining the joy and momentum of the feast.

On Saturday, we will celebrate our Christmastide service in Cheltenham, with the Liturgy in the United Reformed Church, Deep Street, GL52 3AW. Confessions will be heard from 09:15, and the Hours and Liturgy will commence at 10:00.

Saturday is the feast of the Circumcision of the Lord and of St Basil, so we will celebrate the longer Liturgy of St Basil, rather than that of St John Chrysostom. The variables may be found at orthodoxaustin: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1YIpcyDDp3HzIusCyVlYsKFmSxd2TSPXG/view

We resume parish life in Nazareth House on Sunday, with the Hours, followed by the Liturgy at 10:40. This will be the feast of St Seraphim of Sarov, one of our most loved saints, and being together for the feast will be a great blessing. Variables: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Ssx9ksPehNn0o4Wm5xRbkP_WGxmyKAez/view

Remember that we are in a fast free period until 18 January, when we fast for the Forefeast of the Theophany. As soon as I have confirmation for the Theophany Liturgy time, I will share it with you. The vesperal Liturgy and first blessing of Jordan will take place in Father Luke’s home chapel at 10:00 on 18 January.

As announced, His Grace, Bishop Irenei will be making a hierarchical visitation to Cardiff on 21 and 22 January, and plans are underway regarding ‘practicalities’, with Menna having agreed to coordinate sisterhood activities, especially arranging a reception in St John’s, where we now hope to also celebrate the Sunday Liturgy during Vladika’s visit. We will be in touch over the next few days regarding catering and coordinating food.

Deacon Mark has set up a new Whatsapp group just for the parish, rather than the wider ROCOR presence in South Wales, and anyone wishing to be added to it should contact him or Menna. After the splendour of the Christmas table, it is clear that there is no need for concern regarding having enough food for the faithful!

This week, I am hoping to have a quiet time, as I’m not feeling too well, but I shall come to Cardiff to hear confessions on Thursday. If you wish to make your confession, please email me by midday on Wednesday. As Norman and Georgina will be in St Mary’s on Thursday, we shall have confessions there, as its centrality makes in more convenient for many parishioners.

Please maintain the joy of the Nativity through your prayers and spiritual celebration, not simply through the welcome festive fare after the Nativity Fast. The icon corner should be our favoured place in these festive days, not the larder, the kitchen or the dining table! Please feast on spiritual food first.

May God bless you all.

In Christ – Hieromonk Mark

The Week Ahead

Dear brothers and sisters,

As usual, our Sunday Liturgy was a joyous gathering, bringing people from yet further away from Cardiff, with new faces from Bourton-on-the-Water – adding Oxfordshire to the English counties from which worshippers ‘commuted’ across the Bridge to Wales.

We were also very pleased to have some of the faithful from our Romanian sister parish join us, sharing the communion of the Lord’s Body and Blood. Congratulations to all who partook of the Holy Mysteries!

Trapeza was a lively gathering, and it was lovely to see such animated conversation and so many happy faces, with new visitors being welcomed and engaged by our parish regulars.

Having discussed the arrangements for the brother of one of our young Hereford parishioners, we can now look forward to our next baptism, and hope that this will be in Nazareth House, where the Sisters look forward to welcoming us back: praise God! I look forward to discussing practicalities with Sister Anna later in the week.

This Friday is the feast of the Kazan Icon, and we will celebrate the Divine Liturgy in the Church of St Mary, North Church Street, Butetown, commencing the Hours at 10:30 and the Liturgy at 11:00. We will have a bring and share lunch after the Liturgy, so you are invited to bring food to share in the community hall.

We will continue our celebration of the Kazan Icon when we are all together on Sunday 6th November, when we will serve a special moleben at the end of Liturgy, praying especially for the parish as we prepare to move back to Nazareth House and resume parish life in Cathays. As usual, the Hours and Liturgy will commence at 11:00.

As explained by Deacon Mark, it is important that even those requiring Sunday confession give notification, as time is so limited. Once we are back in Cathays, this will be less of a problem, though time will always be something of a challenge, given the vast areas from which the faithful travel.

As for this week, may I have requests for confessions by Wednesday? Those who have confessed for this weekend may commune this Friday.

If needed, I shall hear some confessions in St Alban’s on Thursday, and I will be able to hear some brief confessions on Friday before Liturgy.

I shall depart for a few days in Somerset after next Sunday’s Liturgy, hoping to spend some time with some of our Wessex faithful in their own part of the world.

I ask you to continue to remember me in your prayers, as medications causes a few unwelcome side-effects and complications in an otherwise vastly improving situation!

In Christ – Fr Mark

 

The Election of Bishop Nicholas as First-Hierarch

Dear brothers and sisters,

It was with great joy that we greeted the news of the election of His Grace, Bishop Nicholas of Manhattan, as First-Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, and as Metropolitan of New-York and Eastern America.

At the very beginning of the life of our Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia – then known as the Russian Church in Exile – the presidency of His Eminence, Metropolitan Anthony of Kiev and Galych initiated a glorious succession of men of deep faith, asceticism and prayer as First-Hierarchs of the Church in the diaspora.

During the rule of the ever-memorable Metropolitans Anthony, Anastasy, Philaret, Vitaly, Lavr and Hilarion, the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia has been a defender of sacred Tradition and of the freedom of the Church, and – as a bastion of holiness – has produced men and women of great sanctity, some of whom we look to as the saints of tomorrow, yet to be glorified by the Church, though already glorified by God.

Even as the godless Soviets sought to control and destroy the much-suffering Church in the Soviet Union, the First-Hierarchs of the exiled Church led and defended free Church life in exile, and prayed fervently for those who suffered under atheist Bolshevism. But, such was God’s sovereign-will, that there was no short-lived communist junta and the hoped-for return from exile – no going home, and no freedom for the Church behind the Iron Curtain for nigh on seventy years.

As exiles became reconciled to life in the new lands in which they had settled, and as the Holy Synod moved from Constantinople to Sremski Karlovtsi, and thence to Vienna, Munich and New York, our Church Abroad settled, grew and flourished in the Americas, Europe and Australasia, with non-Slav faithful finding Orthodox Christianity in its temples and communities.

As the children of the successive waves of exiles shared their Orthodox Christian Faith and welcomed local peoples, our Church grew and developed, no longer an ethnic and predominantly Slavic Church of exiles, but a multi-national, multi-lingual and multi-cultural Church embracing people of all nations, yet cherishing the enduring spiritual inheritance and legacy of Holy Rus’.

This is wonderfully illustrated by the make-up of our own parish, with its mixture of peoples, languages and nationalities, and this is very much the inheritance that Vladika Nicholas understands as the identity of our beloved ROCOR.

Just over a hundred years after the beginning of organised Church life in the diaspora, we shall soon hear his name, as Metropolitan and First-Hierarch, knowing that with his integrity and Faith, he will develop, defend and preserve the legacy that will be handed over to him when he is enthroned this coming Sunday.

We may be joyfully confident that his rule as First-Hierarch of our Church will be one in which the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia will spiritually prosper in holiness and truth, and in which the rights and freedoms of our Church will be defended and preserved.

We pray for God’s blessing upon Bishop Nicholas, that his rule may be long, spiritually-fruitful and blessed.

Many years to His Grace, and glory to God!

In Christ – Hieromonk Mark

Looking Ahead

Dear brothers and sisters, 

As the next week will be such a busy and itinerant one, I am writing my weekly message now, not so many hours before our Sunday Liturgy. 

Today, the feast of St Anthony, the founder of the Kiev Caves Monastery, saw Deacon Mark and I travel to West Wales for our first pastoral visit to Ukrainian refugees accommodated in the Urdd residential youth centre at Llangrannog, on the Cardigan Coast. 

Just over two hundred displaced Ukrainians are currently living at the centre, though the Orthodox are a small minority amongst mainly Greek Catholics.  

Already well accustomed to travelling to serve the faithful in Cheltenham, with our ‘mobile church’ we arrived with the things needed for Liturgy, making a room overlooking the refectory into a temporary chapel for the morning, confessing the faithful and celebrating the Liturgy surrounded by green hills and overlooking the sea  

It was a quiet Liturgy with only a dozen people, but it was a blessing to celebrate the feast of St Anthony Pechersky in such a beautiful and scenic setting, and to be able to see Nataliya from Newquay (and meet her parents), having not been together for such a long time. 

We were blessed to have the assistance of Reader Bohdan, a graduate of the Moscow Theological Academy and native of Kiev, who visited us for Pascha in St Mary, Butetown, and who will hopefully become a regular part of our parish life. 

Tomorrow, of course, sees the feast of St Olga, and I know that the morning will be a particular challenge with confessions, but we will make it work, somehow. 

I would like to remind parishioners that this week will see me undertaking one of my other obediences on behalf of our diocese, visiting Walsingham and serving in the Shrine, with which our diocese has had an association for close to a century. I look forward to days of prayer and reading, and celebrating the feast of Holy Great Prince, St Vladimir, the Equal of the Apostles. 

I shall return on Thursday and, given that this will be a long and tiring day with Liturgy, trapeza and the journey home from Norfolk, I need to have requests for Friday confessions by Wednesday evening, with 22:00 as the cut off point. I will not be accessing parish emails on Thursday, so anyone emailing after this deadline will not be able to confess. Please recognise that the clergy have good reason for giving deadlines, as plans need to be made, and fitting some pastoral activities into the time available is sometimes an almost impossible challenge. 

So, confessions will be heard in the Church of St Mary, Butetown, on Friday, with the schedule sent out after the Wednesday 22:00 deadline. 

Saturday sees James’s baptism in Chippenham, and we ask you to keep him in your prayers, and Sunday’s 11:00 Liturgy will see the celebration of the Baptism of Rus, closely following tomorrow’s celebration of St Olga, and Thursday’s celebration of St Vladimir. 

I am particularly looking forward to this feast, given its message of the common baptismal waters of the East Slavic peoples, who should rejoice and be united in the shared legacy of the Holy Equals of the Apostles, Vladimir and Olga. 

May God bless you all! 

In Christ – Hieromonk Mark

 

Last Sunday and the Week Ahead

Dear brothers and sisters,

It was wonderful to have such a well-attended Liturgy for the feast of “All the Saints who have shone forth in the lands of Rus’ ”, and good to have so many new faces. 

As I said in my homily, this feast is no doubt one which could be misrepresented by some, as some sort of representation of a ‘Russkiy Mir’ approach to the Church, holiness and the saints – but we are clear that this feast has nothing to do with ethnicity, politics or nationhood, but rather a celebration of the holiness of those whom GOD has glorified in all of the Rus’ lands: in the territory of the modern states of Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus, and the Carpatho-Russian region which overlaps several modern European states – and the lands of the Empire

Among the saints of Rus’, in addition to East Slavs (among whom we must not forget the Rusyn peoples of Carpatho-Russia), we celebrate the saints of the early Varangian (Norse) ruling class, Greeks, Mongol-Tartars, Germans, Finns, Latvians, Lithuanian’s, Estonians, Hungarians, Romans, native Siberian peoples and countless other nationalities – all linked by their holiness and their glorification by God in the Rus’ lands and the territory of the Empire (however we may view it). 

As we celebrate this feast, we make no differentiation between Slav, Greek of Mongol, but celebrate the memory of all of the saints who have been God-pleasing and glorified by Him.

Beyond the Rus lands, saints such as St John (Maximovich) the Wonder Worker and St Maria of Paris laboured in the spiritual-care of the exiles of the Revolution, and they together with the likes of St Seraphim of Sarov and St Silouan of Mount Athos have gained a place in the loving-hearts of people of all nations and languages, not just Orthodox faithful, but Christians from many backgrounds.

The saints we have celebrated are not just OUR saints, but EVERYBODY’S saints; the Greek saints celebrated in Greek parishes the last Sunday, Romanian saints in Romanian parishes, Serbian saints in Serbian parishes are equally OUR saints. There are no passports, borders and ethno-linguistic divisions in Heaven – and we are meant to reflect that reality here and now!

At a time of division and fragmentation, this feast must be one of unity, and a sign of hope for the Orthodox faithful across borders and battle zones, and we look to the saints as our example in these difficult and painful times.

This coming Sunday will see the celebration of All the Saints who have shone forth in the Isles of Britain, again with no differentiation according to nation, tribe and language, but a celebration of holiness and God’s grace.

In preparation for Sunday, confessions will be heard on Friday, and you are asked – as usual – to email me at otetzmark@hotmail.com, message me via Facebook or send a text. Requests by Wednesday night please.

Following confessions, we will have a catechism discussion on the Eucharist this Friday at 19:00 in the parish room at the Church of St Mary the Virgin, in Butetown. Thanks, as always, to Father Dean, and Georgina for making this possible.

To echo Deacon Mark’s comments at the end of Sunday Liturgy, any children who need to eat due to the very late time of Holy Communion should eat something simple before coming to Church on Sundays. We understand that from bedtime on Saturday to communion time on Sunday is a very long time, and we recognise pastoral necessity for some of our very young parishioners. Food can easily be postny/fasting and should be plain and functional – no animal products and no chocolate cereals are needed.

Our children need to realise that days for Holy Communion are different and should understand that mum and dad, older children and adults are fasting, and they must be helped to grow into this discipline.

Also, children over seven should be confessing before communion, and children’s clothing (like their parents) should be appropriate for Church, with head-coverings for our little girls during Liturgy. This is how children learn that we do things differently in Church to honour God.

They cannot learn Orthopraxis without the input of their parents and elders, and sacred Tradition is in adult hands of to pass on. Without transmission there is no Tradition, and we see the sad results of this in other Orthodox communities where confession before communion, fasting, modest dress, and even reverent silence and behaviour in Church seem optional.

We continue the Apostles’ Fast throughout this week…

Monday June 27 N.S. – Strict Fast (Bread, Vegetables, Fruits)

Tuesday June 28 N.S. – Fast. Fish, wine and oil. St. Jonah, Metropolitan of Moscow (1461).

Wednesday June 29 N.S. – Strict Fast (Bread, Vegetables, Fruits)

Thursday June 30 N.S. – Fast. Wine and oil.

Friday July 1 N.S. – Strict Fast (Bread, Vegetables, Fruits)

Saturday July 2 N.S. – Fast. Fish, wine and oil.

Sunday July 3 N.S. – Fast. Fish, wine and oil.

… and we look forward to the Feast of St Peter and St Paul.

Finally, your prayers are asked for Archpriest Luke, Ruth-Silouana, and Isaiah of our Swansea-Llanelli parish as they self-isolate with covid.

Wishing you a blessed week.

May God bless you.

In Christ – Fr Mark

The Apostles’ Fast

Dear brothers and sisters,

After celebrating the Sunday of All Saints, yesterday, today sees the beginning of the Apostles’ Fast, which will last until the feast of the Holy Chiefs of the Apostles Peter and Paul, on 12 July – new style.

In Alexandria, Jerusalem and Antioch, this Fast originated as a post Trinity-Pentecost Fast, as a time of spiritual purification and struggle, so that we might be personally granted the gift of the Holy Spirit.

This understanding is evident in the words of St Leo the Great, Pope of Old Rome (†461),

“After the long feast of Pentecost, fasting is especially necessary to purify our thoughts and render us worthy to receive the Gifts of the Holy Spirit … Therefore, the salutary custom was established of fasting after the joyful days during which we celebrated the resurrection and ascension of our Lord, and the coming of the Holy Spirit.”

Past observance saw local variations in the length of this Fast, ranging from a week to a whole forty days. However, though the Fast commences on a moveable date (depending on the Pascha-Pentecostarion cycle) we now conclude the fast on the fixed date of the feast of the Holy Chief Apostles, varying from 8 days to 42 days.

As always, it is far more important that our fasting begins within us – with abstinence from sin – but the dietary Fast is one which helps us to put aside earthly cares, to pray MORE as we eat and cook LESS. We should not simply be changing ingredients, but moderating the amount we eat.

As in all Fasts, we give up all meat, eggs, and dairy food, striving to keep the fast from oil, and only partaking of wine/alcohol on days when it is blessed by the Church. During the Apostles Fast, we are permitted fish on Saturdays and Sundays, and on several other feasts.

Here is a summary of this year’s Fast, including some feasts, some of which explain the relaxation of the Fast on days which would usually be observed with a stricter fasting-regime. We are always aware that there is some variation in calendars, but follow ROCOR usage from the St Innocent and Jordanville calendars:

Monday June 20 N.S. – Strict Fast (Bread, Vegetables, Fruits)

Tuesday June 21 N.S. – Fast. Wine and oil.

Wednesday June 22 N.S. – Strict Fast (Bread, Vegetables, Fruits)

Thursday June 23 N.S. – Fast. Wine and oil.

Friday June 24 N.S. – Fast. Wine and oil. Holy Apostles Bartholomew and Barnabas (1st c.)

Saturday June 25 N.S. – Fast. Fish, wine and oil.

Sunday June 26 N.S. – Fast. Fish, wine and oil.

Monday June 27 N.S. – Strict Fast (Bread, Vegetables, Fruits)

Tuesday June 28 N.S. – Fast. Fish, wine and oil. St. Jonah, Metropolitan of Moscow (1461).

Wednesday June 29 N.S. – Strict Fast (Bread, Vegetables, Fruits)

Thursday June 30 N.S. – Fast. Wine and oil.

Friday July 1 N.S. – Strict Fast (Bread, Vegetables, Fruits)

Saturday July 2 N.S. – Fast. Fish, wine and oil.

Sunday July 3 N.S. – Fast. Fish, wine and oil.

Monday July 4 N.S. – Strict Fast (Bread, Vegetables, Fruits)

Tuesday July 5 N.S. – Fast. Wine and oil.

Wednesday July 6 N.S. – Fast. Wine and oil. The Meeting of the Vladimir Icon

Thursday July 7 N.S. – Fast. Fish, wine and oil. Nativity of St. John the Baptist.

Friday July 8 N.S. – Strict Fast (Bread, Vegetables, Fruits)

Saturday July 9 N.S. – Fast. Fish, wine and oil.

Sunday July 10 N.S. – Fast. Fish, wine and oil.

Monday July 11 N.S. – Fast. Fish, wine and oil. Venerable Fathers Sergius and Herman (14th c.), abbots of Valaam. Icon of the Mother of God ‘Of the Three Hands’

May God bless you all, and remember that even though it is not great Lent, it does not mean that this Fast is not important.

In Christ – Hieromonk Mark

Services and Events Next Week

Dear brothers and sisters,

We now enter the final days of Pascha and there will be a celebration of the Hours and Divine Liturgy in Llanelli for the Leave-Taking of Pascha, on Wednesday 1 June at 10:00.

The following morning, Thursday 2 June, the Liturgy of the Ascension will celebrated in the Church St Mary Butetown, North Church Street, at 10:30. As this is a bank-holiday, I hope that a good number of parishioners will be able to attend.

As you may be aware, there is a service in St John’s on Thursdays at the same time, so Father Dean stepped in with his usual matter-of-fact generosity. Many thanks Father!

We return to St Mary’s for a pre-baptismal talk at 19:00 on Friday, and look forward to the baptism of Melangell (Menna) in the village of St Nicholas at 14:00 on Saturday afternoon.

We return to St John’s for the Sunday Hours and Divine Liturgy at 11:00 – ending a mobile week of multiple venues!

Christ is Risen!

Fr Mark

Wednesday 1 June, 10:00 – Hours and Divine Liturgy for the Leave-Taking of Pascha.

Venue: The Chapel of St David and St Nicholas, in the garden of Father Luke’s home at 11 New Rd, Dafen, Llanelli, SA14 8LS.

Thursday 2 June, 10:30Hours and Divine Liturgy for the Ascension of the Lord.

Venue: The Church St Mary the Virgin, North Church Street, Butetown, Cardiff.

Anyone requiring confession before Liturgy should contact the clergy to make arrangements.

Friday 3 June,18:00 – Confessions, 19:00 catechesis talk on Baptism.

Venue: The Church St Mary the Virgin, North Church Street, Butetown, Cardiff.

Saturday 4 June, 14:00Baptism of Melangell (Menna) in St Nicholas CF5 6SH (village). Parishioners are invited, and those able to be part of the occasion are asked to email Menna: menna135@yahoo.co.uk

Sunday 5 June, 10:15 – Confessions, 11:00 Hours and Divine Liturgy

Venue: St John’s Church, Canton.

The Week Ahead

Dear brothers and sisters, 

Christ is Risen! Христос воскресе! Hristos a înviat! Χριστός νέστη 

Sunday brought us the double joy of celebrating the Samaritan woman – St Photini/Svetlana – and the translation of the relics of St Nicholas from Myra to Bari. I was very happy to be able to preach on the Samaritan woman, in addition to celebrating the great Wonderworker in a festal moleben, with the faithful being anointed with manna from the relics of St Nicholas in the basilica in Bari. 

During the moleben, we prayed for Daniel and Katherine, who were crowned in holy matrimony by Daniel’s priestly father on Sunday afternoon in the Old Rite Russian Orthodox Church of St Nicholas the Wonderworker (Moscow Patriarchate) in Edinboro, Pennsylvania. We pray for a blessed marriage and ‘many years’, to the newlyweds and their families – especially to Father Seraphim and matushka Solomonia. What a blessing for the newlyweds to be crowned in a temple dedicated to St Nicholas on his Spring Feast. 

Later, on Sunday, I had the opportunity to speak to those recently confirmed in the Anglican ministry area, and tell them a little about the Orthodox Church, also taking the opportunity to talk with the Anglican clergy about parish life in the wake of the arrival of refugees from Ukraine. 

This coming Sunday is the Sunday of the Blind Man, and we will celebrate the Hours and Liturgy at the usual time of 11:00, with our customary bring-and-share-lunch after the service. 

The variable parts of the Liturgy may be found at Orthodox Austin, as usual:  

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1uGVehx4OtFHXJsUQyBVwyD9Y5p4KBSVI/view 

As there will be no catechesis group this Friday, I will hear confessions in Deacon Mark’s office on Saturday, and ask all of those requiring confessions to email me by Thursday: otetzmark@hotmail.com 

May God bless you, and may you continue to rejoice in the Resurrection of Christ as we come towards the end of the Paschal season. 

Christ is Risen! 

In Christ – Hieromonk Mark 

 

  

The Week Ahead

Dear brothers and sisters, 

Thank you to all who contributed to our celebration of the Sunday of the Life-Giving Cross, last weekend, when we were pleased to see that last year’s scant numbers on British Mother’s Day were not replicated, and that attendance was not greatly affected by the Cardiff Half Marathon.

Special thanks go to matushka Alla, for arranging the floral frame for the Cross, so soon after the beautiful flowers to adorn the Kursk-Root Icon.

It was a great joy to welcome parishioners’ family members from Kiev, and we look forward to welcoming others in the next few weeks, giving all of the support possible at a difficult and traumatic time for so many people. 

Over the last couple of weeks, I have discovered that evening travel beyond Swansea has become rather problematic, with last minute rail replacement buses and unexpected cancellations making already long days even longer, and even making journeys impossible. Regrettably, until the situation settles down, I shall be unable to celebrate evening services in Cardiff. 

However, our catechesis session will be held as usual, in the parish room at the Church of St Mary Butetown, on Friday, at the usual time of 19:00. Also, as usual, I shall hear confessions from 18:00, and will also hear some confessions in the afternoon, as needed.

So, may I ask for emails and messages regarding confession by Thursday lunchtime, to allow planning? If required, I will also hear confessions on Saturday. Please email otetzmark@hotmail.com 

Last Sunday saw the making of another catechumen, as James was enrolled in the catechumenate, and I hope that this Sunday may see the next catechumen join the ranks. We look forward to Lazarus Saturday, with the intention to baptise George in the sea after the Liturgy – tide permitting – or we may find ourself returning to the River Ewenny, hopefully warmer than the day of Aldhelm’s icy baptism in December.

This coming Sunday, we will celebrate the Hours and the Divine Liturgy of St Basil at the usual time of 11:00, and I would appreciate prior notice of those needing to confess, purely to manage the timing and distribution of confessions. 

As the feast of the Annunciation falls on the Thursday of the Great Canon, the chanting of the canon will be anticipated this year, and will take place in Father Luke’s home-chapel on Monday 4th April (new style) at 19:00. The Annunciation Vesperal Liturgy will also take place in Father Luke’s home-chapel on the morning of Thursday 7th April at 10:00. Following the service, we will go to the cemetery to celebrate a panikhida for our departed sister Eleni, one of the pillars of the local Orthodox community for many years.

I hope that some of our Cardiff community will be able to support this celebration! 

God bless you all. Struggle on with prayer and fasting! 

In Christ – Hieromonk Mark