How wonderful it was to welcome our newly-baptised parishioners into the eucharistic fellowship of the Church this morning, with Patrick, Brigid and Mary being quietly ‘churched’ during the chanting of 6th Hour, then leading the faithful in the reception of the Holy Gifts, at communion time.
We offer them our warmest congratulations on their reception of the Holy Mystery of the Saviour’s Body and Blood, and rejoice that in the last few days they have been able to partake of four of the seven Holy Mysteries (Sacraments) of the Church: confession/penance; baptism; chrismation; and the Holy Eucharist. Glory to God!
In our parish, it is our custom for those who have received the Holy Mysteries to remain on the left kliros until the Holy Gifts have been translated to the proskomedia table after Communion, and having turned to pronounce, “O God save Thy people, and bless Thine inheritance” towards the end of today’s Liturgy, it was a joy to see our many communicants standing there after having zapivka, with the baptismal candles of the newly-enlightened burning bright.
I know that our neophytes have been greatly touched and encouraged by the amount of support they have received from their fellow parishioners, with this reflected in messages, greetings and gifts.
The warm fellowship during our ‘pop-up trapeza’ was wonderful, offering the chance for our visitors and new people to chat with parishioners, and for the community to greet the newly-baptised. Thanks to all who were so kind and generous in their offerings. Parishioners particularly enjoyed Serbian baked goods, which proved very popular today!
As most parishioners knew, Deacon Mark and I were rather tired and brain-fogged, this morning, having been stranded on the motorway until 03:00, due to car problems. Operating on two hours sleep (one for our deacon) meant that I was rather forgetful and negligent regarding announcements.
Further to the email sent out a few days ago, I should have reminded parishioners of services on Wednesday. As I am still rather vague and bleary, I shall just quote the previous communication.
“Next Thursday is the ‘Thursday of the Great Canon’, so we will gather in Nazareth House on Wednesday evening at 19:00 to chant Thursday Matins with the whole of the Canon of St Andrew of Crete, and hear the life of St Mary of Egypt – for which reason we call Thursday ‘Maryino Stoyanie / Марьино стояние’: ‘Mary’s Standing’.
The complete text may be found at orthodoxaustin:
Earlier in the day, at 16:30, a moleben will be offered for the sacred brotherhood of the Holy Dormition Kiev-Caves Lavra. I will then hear confessions before matins, as well as after the service. Confessions will also be heard on Thursday for those not able to attend matins.”
I would appreciate an email from those requiring confessions on Wednesday or Thursday, as soon as possible (indicating which day). Thank you in advance!
We missed our hierodeacon today, though our loss was the cathedral’s gain, and Father Avraamy’s prayerful and precise serving at the hierarchical Liturgy was greatly appreciated. This makes us very happy, though we look forward to regaining this prayerfulness and precision in Cardiff when we celebrate the Sunday of St Mary of Egypt!
As the newly-baptised Mary will have moved to Pamplona with her husband, Jose, by the time of her nameday on 1/14 April (which is also Orthodox Good Friday), we will very much us the Sunday of St Mary as an alternative nameday, to celebrate the memory of her heavenly patron with her, also celebrating the fact that it will have been Patrick’s nameday on Thursday. So… another celebration for two of our newly-baptised parishioners.
We will celebrate the Saturday of the Akathist Hymn with a service in Llanelli on the eve – Friday night – at 19:00, then on Saturday, we will celebrate vespers after setting up the convent church at 17:00, on Saturday, and the Hours and Liturgy on Sunday at 10:40. The variables for vespers may be found at:
… and for the Liturgy:
I will send a further email regarding Holy Week, during which His Grace, Bishop Irenei, has blessed the public, liturgical celebration of Holy Unction, though next year will see this reserved as a purely conciliar rite in the cathedral (on a Saturday), according to ancient tradition, by which it is celebrated by a hierarch with six of the priests of his diocese.
I must end by thanking the parish sisters, who seem to have sent me home with enough food for a week. The love shown to the parish clergy is incredible, and we are so very grateful for the love and support we receive. Dear sisters, may God bless you and reward your mercy and charity.
With love in Christ – Hieromonk Mark