Dear brothers and sisters,
After such a quiet celebration of the Liturgy last Sunday, I hope that this Sunday will see a little more normality, with the hopefully more abundant faithful being able to enter and finish setting up from 10:15-ish. Again, I should stress that parishioners should wait at the back of the church until the residents have left. I expect that our numbers may be lower again, but hopefully a little more like normal.
Due to time-pressure last Sunday, when we had to start Liturgy later than usual, Deacon Mark read the Hours during the proskomedia, and we are considering whether this will become the norm. However, for the moment, we will continue to read the Hours around 10:30, so that Liturgy may commence at 11:00. I know this is rather imprecise, but after only a few normal Sundays back in Nazareth Houe we are trying to find what works and what is practical. Also, we have been confessing quite a few parishioners on Sundays, making 11:00 the practical time for the Liturgy itself.
I will hear confessions in Nazareth House on Saturday afternoon, and would like emails to make arrangements by Thursday evening. In the new year, we hope to resume celebrating vespers.
As we look towards Orthodox Christmas, our Nativity Vigil will commence in Nazareth House at 18:30 on Friday 6th January. Confessions will be heard before and after the service.
The following day, Saturday 7th January, the Divine Liturgy itself (not the Hours) will commence in Nazareth Houe at 11:00. As mass is at 10:00 on Saturdays, parishioners will not be able to access the chapel until 10:30ish. Time for confession will be EXTREMELY limited, so parishioners should confess on Friday. As the week before Christmas is plagued with rail strikes, I expect to be unable to travel to Cardiff earlier in the week to hear confessions.
On Sunday 8th January, our Liturgy will be in ST JOHN’S CHURCH, not in Nazareth House. This is so that we can celebrate the feast by sharing a meal together, so please consider in advance what you might bring for our Christmas bring-and-share lunch and focus on ‘finger-friendly’ food! We will use the sisterhood page and WhatsApp page to try and manage some semblance of order.
I will confirm the time of Theophany services once I have spoken to Sister Anna, and would like to point out that the Great Blessing of Water will be performed after Liturgy on the feast (Thursday 6/19 January. We usually perform the Blessing of Jordan on the Sunday after the feast, but we hope that His Grace, Bishop Irenei, will be visiting on this day, so things will already be very busy.
May God bless you.
Saturday 31st December, setting up church and confessions from 16:00 – NAZARETH HOUSE
Sunday 1st January: Hours and Divine Liturgy @ 10:30 – NAZARETH HOUSE
Friday 6th January: Vigil @ 18:30 NAZARETH HOUSE
Confessions before and after service.
Saturday 7th January: Divine Liturgy @ 11:00 – NAZARETH HOUSE
Sunday 8th January: Liturgy @ 11:00 – ST JOHN’S CHURCH, CANTON.
Confessions from 10:15. Bring-and share lunch following Liturgy.