Dear brothers and sisters,
It was certainly as busy weekend, with our clergy serving in both Cardiff and Cheltenham, and in such warm surroundings.
As in past years, our Sunday Liturgy was dented by Fathers’ Day, but we carried on regardless, celebrating the memory of all saints who shone forth in the lands of Rus’, happy to see new faces and welcome first-timers to our Liturgy. We look forward to getting to know one another, and sharing Church life.
Many thanks to our trio on the kliros, to our servers and the parish sisters who offered refreshments to our worshippers.
We were greatly blessed to commune the newly baptised Stylian, whose parents and Godfather brought him from Hereford to partake of the Most Pure Mysteries. Many Years to them all! We also congratulate all who confessed and communed!
We continue to keep the Apostles’ Fast, and after the blessing of enjoying fish at the weekend, this week returns to the same pattern as last week, and we should fast as strictly as possible, with the fasting rules as our ideal:
Monday: By monastic charter, strict fast (bread, vegetables, fruits)
Tuesday: Food with oil, wine permitted.
Wednesday: By monastic charter, strict fast (bread, vegetables, fruits)
Thursday: Food with oil, wine permitted.
Friday: By monastic charter, strict fast (bread, vegetables, fruits)
Saturday: Fish wine and oil permitted
Sunday: Fish wine and oil permitted
Next Sunday will see us celebrate the memory of the saints who have shone forth in the Isles of Britain, including those whom we venerate locally and have honoured in pilgrimages over the years – St David, St Teilo, St Cadog, St Melangell, St Non, St Tewdrig, and so many others. As some time Archbishop of Western Europe, the memory of the western saints was incredibly important to our great hierarch St John the Wonderworker, and – as a diocese – our local saints are an integral part of our spiritual identity, with our parishes actively promoting their veneration and visiting their holy places, as we do locally, month by month.
As you are all uncomfortably aware, the temperature in Nazareth House continues to be a challenge, with staff telling us how much they are also struggling, with the temperature regulator of the ancient and vast system seemingly not working – meaning on or off is the only choice, apart from a £40k investment. Even with the radiators turned off, the vast Victorian pipes give off an incredible amount of heat, as we know from experience, and as clergy in Russian-style vestments, we are finding the temperature very difficult, hence celebrating at the high-altar, to at least have a cross current from the sacristy window. Air conditioners will be ordered over the next week.
Once more, may I remind you that it is our tradition to offer small prosphory as part of our eucharistic praxis, with the priest removing commemorative particles in memory of the living and departed. The covid-period, with some temporary changes to the way we celebrated saw this forgotten, so please remember that this is our ancient and pious custom, and should be an automatic part of parish life. When prosphory are on the candle-desk, please take the opportunity to present them.
Finally, given the number of enquirers and new parishioners, the following article may be of interest, especially as so many are asking about the rather divergent attitudes of different jurisdictions to the Sacred Tradition of the Church – with some of them trampling it with energy and terrifying thoroughness. I have posted the link to our parish Facebook page, so it may be read there
A Conversation About Modernism, from the Orthodox Christian Information Center (sic!), and written by the much respected Archpriest Alexander Lebedeff, of our Western American Archdiocese.
As already emailed, please get in touch with me by Wednesday noonday, regarding confessions this week.
May God bless you all, and thank you to all who continue to show such immense kindness in little ways, bringing and sharing refreshments for train journeys, meals for clergy, gifts of tea and coffee, flowers and so many other tokens of Christian love.
With love in Christ – Hieromonk Mark