Dear brothers and sisters,
I’m very happy to have reached Somerset for a few days, from where I look forward to visiting some of our West of England faithful, as well as having time in Glastonbury – a place that is very special to some of our flock.
Today saw another well attended Liturgy in Nazareth House, and it was good to have so many new faces, with an influx of students, plus Ukrainian visitors. I was happy that most of our young people spent the afternoon after Liturgy in our local café, with plenty of lively conversation. We very much hope that our visitors will be with us again in the very near future.
Many thanks to our choir, whom Hierodeacon Avraamy has happily inspired and given confidence during our lean weeks, even when the kliros is reduced to a trio. Thanks to Olga, our regent, and to Father for exchanging the oltar for the kliros. Thanks also to our parish-sisters, who continue to adorn our icons with flowers, week by week.
As announced at Liturgy, I will hear confessions on Friday, as I will be staying in town overnight before our Saturday pilgrimage to Llancarfan.
Confession requests by noon on Thursday, please. Confessions will continue for as long as needed, and will be planned according to pastoral need. If needed, I will also hear confessions in Nazareth House on Saturday evening, as I will have to visit the convent church to set up for Liturgy.
As most of you will have seen from Karen’s post on WhatsApp, Friday evening will see the first meeting of the book club. To quote:
“Book club news!
We’ll be meeting for the first time this Friday 27th at 7pm, at the Wenvoe Arms, Old Port Road, Wenvoe, CF5 6AN.
We’ve picked this book:
and we plan on discussing the first sermon. All welcome.”
The Wenvoe Arms is on the 96 bus route from Cardiff to Barry. Thanks Karen!
Saturday’s pilgrimage – St Demetrios Saturday (commemoration of the departed) – will be in St Cadoc’s Church, Llancarfan, starting at 10:00 and we will celebrate the Hours and Divine Liturgy in this ancient church, with its wonderful medieval wall-paintings. Many thanks to the East Vale team ministry area. This comes on top of last Monday’s funeral in Peterston-super-Ely, and I’m pleased that we can build a relationship with Fr Martyn and the other area clergy.
As Deacon Mark announced at Liturgy, he will be away for half-term, so we will be very grateful for a concerted set-up before next Sunday’s Liturgy. The very late time at which mass ends is making set up very pressurised, with this morning’s mass not having finished until 10:50. I will speak to some of our young brothers, and hope that allocation of specific jobs will make things as smooth as possible. Hierodeacon Avraamy will oversee the operations, as I will be hearing confessions.
Thanks to all who are coming for Sunday confessions well before Liturgy, making it possible to fit in an hour’s confessions before the service. We are very grateful for your cooperation.
Towards the end of today’s Liturgy, it was unfortunately necessary to ask parishioners to remain quiet during the Thanksgiving Prayers, even though there should be NO talking at this time. It is regrettable that some of those who have been talking during the prayers, recently, have partaken of the Holy Mysteries and have every reason to concentrate on the Thanksgiving Prayers.
Please, do not talk during the prayers in which we thank the Lord for the gift of His Most Pure Body and Most Precious Blood. Let us listen to the prayers in gratitude, whatever language is being chanted.
As next Saturday’s Liturgy is on a soul-sabbath, commemorations for the departed will be welcome for the Liturgy.
May God bless you all.
In Christ – Hieromonk Mark