Dear brothers and sisters,
The combination of the bank-holiday weekend, parishioners away – home and abroad – student workloads and sickness, rather dented attendance this Sunday of the Myrrh-Bearing Women, but one great relief and consolation was that, despite concerns at the end of the week, we were able to proceed with the Liturgy – with two singers, a single server and our small congregation.
The peace and prayerfulness of the Liturgy was a palpable blessing, and I was glad that one of the faithful came up to me at the end to say how much he had also felt this, before going and thanking our singers.
There have been various memorial services in this past Radonista week, with panikhidas for the Orthodox and prayers to St Varus for our non-Orthodox loved ones.
As today was the twenty-fifth anniversary of the repose of the handmaiden of God, Milica, Branka’s grandmother, we remembered her during the general Radonitsa memorial at the end of Liturgy, for all of our fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters who have departed this life in the the true faith, from ages past. May their memory be eternal.
This week, I will hear confessions on Thursday, and would like requests emailed by noon on Thursday. I intend to set up church earlier than usual on Saturday, so any additional confessions will be heard in the early afternoon, before vespers. I would also appreciate emailed requests, just so that I know how many people I might expect.
Our oltarnik, Oswald, will soon be departing for the journeyman part of his apprenticeship, so I would encourage you to make the most of his icon-stall over the next few weeks, as it will be a fair few months before you have the chance to buy again. We have very much appreciated the supply of icons, including those to order, and must put in the orders for our Cheltenham mission before Oswald’s departure date. Given all that he does for our parishes in Cardiff, Cheltenham and Norwich, he will be greatly missed, though we very much look forward to his reports on his progress though Europe, and the experiences that await him. Please keep him in your prayers.
One my announcements at the end of Liturgy, was that if members of the congregation so wish, we will return to having a study group on Friday evenings – with the mystery of repentance, the Divine Liturgy and the Orthodox teaching on life after death having been flagged by parishioners as possible themes. I would very much appreciate an indication of any potential support for this. It may be that we meet every couple of weeks, with St Mary Butetown as our venue, giving us use of the kitchen for refreshments. Anyone interested should get in touch.
There will be a litia to the Holy Great-Martyr George at the end of next Sunday’s Liturgy, and we look forward to congratulating George and Yuriy on their name day.
May God bless you all.
Keep the joy of Pascha alive in your prayers.
In Christ – Hieromonk Mark