Dear brothers and sisters,
The beginning of the holiday-season is evident from the rolling absence of parishioners as they enjoy a break from the usual excitement of South Wales. We miss familiar faces, but parish life goes on and we continue to have visitors and new inquirers to welcome.
Yesterday saw visitors from London, who had made their journey to honour St Calogero. It was an honour to welcome them, and I am very happy that Elijah will be able to share his Orthodox Sicilian heritage with his family.
Our wonderful icon of St Calogero remains in church, and even though we are (as guests) struggling to find space for icons, I hope it will be constantly available for veneration. I will print some hymns and prayers and leave them with the icon, so that the faithful may use them in their devotions.
Tangentially, this leads me to remind you that Wednesday is the feast of St Alban, a portion of whose relics are enshrined in the Oratory Church in Splott. Though I will not be in Cardiff on Wednesday, I encourage you to visit and venerate the protomartyr’s relics, and to pray for our parish and its parishioners. The canon for the martyr may be found on our parish blog:
Thursday will be the feast of the Meeting of the Vladimir Icon of the Mother of God, so we will celebrate Great Vespers of the feast at 19:00 on Wednesday evening in the Chapel of st David and St Nicholas, in Llanelli. I have not been available on Wednesdays, recently, but Father Luke celebrates a midweek service in the chapel every week of the year, apart from when he is on holiday.
We celebrate the feast of the Nativity of St John the Forerunner on Friday this week, and I will celebrate Great Vespers in Nazareth House at 17:00 on Thursday with the Divine Liturgy at 11:00 on Friday morning, when any confession time before the service will be extremely limited. However, I am happy to hear confessions after post-Liturgy refreshments for those preapring for Sunday communion. Confession requests by email please, and by noon on Wednesday, as usual.
Saturday – the feast of St Peter and Fevronia – sees our monthly mission Liturgy in Cheltenham, with the Divine Liturgy in the United Reformed chapel in Deep Sreet. Confessions will be heard from 09:15, with the Hours at 10:00 and Liturgy around 10:30, after the end of confessions. I appreciate your patience and understanding, as a single visit a month means that our Cheltenham parishioners have to make the most of the chance to confess and this sometimes means that Liturgy starts late.
Next Sunday is the feast of the Tikhvin Icon of the Mother of God, and we look forward to celebrating the feast of this great Wonderworking Icon in Cardiff. The variables for the service may be found at:
Looking forward to the following week, Wednesday 12th July, New style, is the feast of the Holy Chiefs of the Apostles, Peter and Paul, and we will celebrate the Divine Liturgy at 11:00 in Nazareth House.
There are some calendric variations regarding fasting, but according to the Jordanville Calendar, the remaining days of the fast follow the following rule.
Monday 3rd July: By monastic charter, strict fast – bread, vegetables, fruits (Hieromartyr Methodios, bishop of Patara)
Tuesday 4th July: Food with oil, and wine (Martyr Julian of Tarsus)
Wednsday 5th July: By monastic charter, strict fast (bread, vegetables, fruits)
Thursday 6th July: Fish, wine and oil (Meeting of the Vladimir Icon)
Friday 7th July: Fish, wine and oil (Nativity of St John he Forerunner)
Saturday 8th July: Fish, wine and oil (Saints Peter and Fevronia)
Sunday 9th July: Fish, wine and oil (Appearance of the Tikhvin Icon)
Monday 10th July: By monastic charter, strict fast (bread, vegetables, fruits)
Tuesday 11th July: Fish, wine and oil (Feast of the Mother of God of the Thee Hands)
Wednesday 12th July: Fish, wine and oil (Saints Peter and Paul)
Of course, our spiritual fasting comes first, as there is much to abstain from before we even consider food and drink.
Many thanks to all who labour so much in our parish, especially to sisters Menna and Tracy who were so busy at the weekend, and to our oltarniky and kliros.
Finally – among the sick, your prayers are asked for our parishioners Brigid (Mo) and Ludmilla, and for Reader David and Andrey. We continue to pray for all of our persecuted fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters in Ukraine – especially for Metropolitan Pavel and the brotherhood of the Kiev-Caves Dormition Lavra, and for Metropolitan Feodosy of Cherkasy and Kanev. Also, please remember the newly departed servants of God, the Archpriest Alexander and the nun Mina (Catalin’s aunt): memory eternal!
May God bless you all.
In Christ – Hieromonk Mark