Pentecost-Trinity Week

Dear brothers and sisters: greetings for the feast – s prazdnikom! 

Though half-term holidays slightly dented attendance for the feast of Pentecost-Trinity, we nevertheless had in excess of forty souls – including the children – for our celebration, with vespers on Saturday evening, the Hours and Liturgy on Sunday, and the culmination of the feast in vespers with the kneeling-prayers. This made for long, but blessed hours of prayer in church, and it was wonderful that so many confessed and communed. We congratulate them all on their reception of the Most Pure Mysteries. 

Though I thanked those who laboured for the feast in my pastoral greetings, I will, nevertheless, repeat our gratitude for all who contributed to our first Troitsa in Nazareth House since 2020. 

As parishioners are now uncomfortably aware, the heat in the chapel is both uncomfortable and problematic. It has been made clear that the heating and radiators will not be turned off during the summer, and the incursion of pigeons makes it impossible to open the side-windows, which lack bird-grills. We are looking at ways to mitigate the heat, and have to be open in saying that if the heat becomes impossible – especially for clergy in layers of vestments – we will regrettably have to rethink our liturgical arrangements. 

This coming Saturday will see our parish pilgrimage to Pennant Melangell, the day after St Melangell’s feast-day, and we greatly look forward to celebrating the Divine Liturgy at her shrine. We will celebrate the Liturgy at 11:00, and having celebrated the proskomedia around 10:00, I will hear confessions before the service. Those who confessed on Sunday will be blessed to commune at the pilgrimage Liturgy. 

Confessions will also be heard in Cardiff earlier in the week, as I shall be in Nazareth House on Thursday, as usual. Please email me by noon on Wednesday to arrange a slot.  

Given journey-time back from Pennant Melangell, there will be no evening service or confessions in Cardiff on Saturday. 

As Deacon Mark reminded parishioners at Liturgy, confessions may be heard in Cardiff from just after 10:00 on Sundays, and we need to try and avoid a “pile up” of parishioners in the twenty to twenty-five minutes before Liturgy – so please plan journeys to try and arrive before 10:30 to avoid congestion. To be clear, I will not hear confessions just before Communion, as this inevitably results in the sudden appearance of a queue of individuals. Our parish has far more time for confessions than most parishes – on Thursday, Saturday AND Sunday, with some arranged confessions on Friday mornings some weeks. By the time we come to Holy Communion, there really should be no need for outstanding confessions. Also, confession and communion after Liturgy is an economia, and should not be taken for granted or thought of as normal. 

Many of you know, our undergraduate students are now at the end of their present academic year, and for Aldhelm and George the end of their undergraduate degrees. Our masters students have dissertations to complete, so the summer will not be a time of leisure for them. Our prayers are with them all as they seek work or look forward to further studies in the autumn. Prayers are also asked for our oltarnik Alexander “the Younger” as he prepares for his remaining exams. 

We congratulate Kyle on his job success and forthcoming employment and life in Cheltenham, and we continue to follow Toby’s journeyman travels in central Europe – greatly missing him in the parish. 

At this time, we also keep Nataliya and Mike in our prayers on their Kazakh and Uzbek travels, and we also pray for God’s blessing upon Germaine’s search for employment in Southern Spain, after having moved south from Pamplona. 

Remember that this week is a fast free week, but that Monday of the following week will see the beginning of the Apostles’ Fast, which will last from 12th June till after Liturgy on 12th July (28th June on the Patristic Calendar) – the Feast of the Chief Apostles, Peter and Paul. Please check your calendars for fasting rules during month-long fast. 

We look forward to celebrating the Sunday of All Saints, next weekend, with the variables for the Liturgy at: 

May God bless you all in the week ahead, and remember to continue to celebrate the feast and to pray its hymns and prayers in your icon corners. 

With love in Christ – Hieromonk Mark 

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