Dear brothers and sisters,
What an incredible weekend we had Cardiff, with our pilgrimage to Llandaff, in honour of St Teilo and our services for Forgiveness Sunday.
After a week in Walsingham, I was rather tired, but the combination of prayer and fellowship over the weekend certainly put a fresh spring in my step, before the dozens of prostrations during the rite of forgiveness put pay to any bounce and flexibility.
As I have already written, the warmth of our welcome in Llandaff Cathedral was wonderful, and the Dean’s love and devotion to St Teilo over-flowed in his encouragement for us to always feel at home in the cathedral and before the saint’s relics. Father Richard stayed with us for the moleben, and kindly explained some of the cathedral’s history to the faithful before we retired to lunch – greatly enjoying time together over a meal.
Our services for Forgiveness Sunday were very well attended, though not everyone was able to stay for vespers, after refreshments. We were very happy to have the new student-visitors return, and see their commitment to exploring Orthodoxy and being part of our worshipping community. I know that they had a good chat with our parish elders and with some of the other students and young people. This is where the warmth and serious stewardship in our community is so important.
The end of vespers, of course, brought the Rite of Forgiveness, and the number of worshippers became obvious when the growing line of the faithful stretched from the solea, all along one side of the convent church and round the corner to the confession boxes. As always, on this Sunday, it was a joy to quietly sing Paschal hymns, with the members of the kliros joining me as the mutual forgiveness and many prostrations were completed.
I will not be in Cardiff until Thursday, when I will hear confessions in the late afternoon, before the chanting of the Great Canon of Repentance in the convent church at 18:00. May I ask for confessions requests as soon as possible, and not later than midday on Wednesday.
There will be nightly services in the chapel of St David and St Nicholas, where the Great Canon will be chanted from Monday to Thursday), and compline with the akathist-hymn to the Mother of God on Friday. Address: 11 New Rd, Dafen, Llanelli, Carms SA14 8LS.
Looking forward to celebrating the Sunday of Orthodoxy and the Restoration of the Holy Icons, may I encourage parishioners to bring icons to church, so that they may be placed on the capacious window sills around the building. Following, the Liturgy of St Basil, we will offer a moleben for those who have fallen into error.
Obviously, food for refreshments after our services must be lenten/postny. No shellfish please!
Our next parish pilgrimage will be to Capel-y-ffin, where we will offer the Divine Liturgy in honour of St David, meeting at 10:30 and aiming to begin the Hours and Liturgy at 11:00. We will have a pew-picnic after Liturgy and Fr Richard Williams has invited us to visit St Mary’s in Hay-on-Wye (bookshops and tea!!!) afterwards. Anyone interested, should contact Tracy: email@example.com
Our senior-sister, Menna, would like to remind you all, that there is a very active and vibrant parish WhatsApp group, where parishioners can share news and prayer requests, discuss Orthodox matters, view spiritual and pastoral articles, and generally share aspects of parish-life. Anyone wishing to join should contact her or Deacon Mark.
Equally, anyone wishing to be added to the mailing list should speak to one of the clergy or parish officers who will be glad to add you to the list so that parish circulars are received. I would like to encourage parishioners to read the news and announcements sent out, as it is obvious that some people are missing news and announcements that have been sitting in their inbox.
Wishing you a good start to the Great Fast, with the hope that as many parishioners as possible will pray the Great Canon each evening.
Asking your forgiveness for Christ’s sake.
May God bless you!