Weekly News – 8th July

Dear brothers and sisters,

It was our joy to celebrate the feast of the Nativity of the Holy, Prophet, Forerunner and Baptist, John, yesterday, congratulating Norman John and Martyn John on their nameday, on which we also commemorated St Calogero the Wonderworker with a litia at the end of Liturgy before his icon  gifted to our parish by the priest-iconographer Father Efraim Augello and matushka Olypmia, in Sicily.

Our festal Liturgy ended with us singing “Many Years” not only for our Johns, but also for the newly elected, and newly enthroned Patriarch Daniel of Bulgaria.

We were very pleased to have Father Luke with us, and I know that our parishioners appreciate having time to chat and catch up with him during trapeza, happily discussing not only Church matters, but also history and archeology, discussing what’s happening in the families of the parish, as well as having practical advice. With his many years managing the Citizens’ Advice Bureau in Llanelli and in benefit advice work in Neath / Port-Talbot, Father Luke has a wealth of practical knowledge that many of our South Wales faithful have found helpful!

Many thanks to all who made the Liturgy and trapeza such a joyful celebration, especially to our choir and sisterhood.

We look forward to there being three priests and a hierodeacon the next time Father Luke is with us on Sunday 21 July, when we will be blessed by Father Mark “the Younger’s” first priestly Liturgy in the parish. This will also be the Summer feast of the Kazan icon. As I mentioned on WhatsApp… “the Sunday after Deacon Mark’s ordination will be the summer feast of the Kazan Icon, and even though we will keep the principal celebration in November, this year, it would be good to make Sunday 21st (not 20th, as I wrote!) a celebratory day. I hope that whilst having our usual bring-and-share lunch, we might “pull the stops out” a little to mark the feast and Father Mark’s first priestly Liturgy in the parish. There is no Llanelli Liturgy that day, with the intention that the Llanelli faithful will be able to be with us for a doubly-joyful celebration.”

This week will see the end of what is a short Apostles’ Fast for us, this year, and Great Vespers will be chanted in the Oratory Church at 15:00 on Thursday, following/followed by confessions, as needed. Confessions will also be heard in Nazareth House before Compline at 19:00. I know that this relocation complicates things, but the Oratory Church closes after the 17:30 evening devotions. Having the chance to not only hear confessions for those at work during the day, but also to chant Compline is an added blessing. The Liturgy for Saints Peter and Paul will be celebrated in the Oratory Church at 10:30 on Friday morning, and I will be able to hear quick confessions before hand, as well as having time for confessions in the afternoon.

Please let me know if you would like confession before Thursday vespers as soon as possible.

On Saturday, we will celebrate the Divine Liturgy for the Synaxis of the Apostles in the Chapel of St Lawrence in Warminster at 10:30, followed by a bring-and-share-lunch. Sunday will see our celebration of All Saints of Rus’ in Cardiff, the feast falling a week later this year, due to yesterday’s celebration of Saint John the Forerunner.

As Branka shared on WhatsApp, there has been a change of plan for provision of food for trapeza on ordination day in the cathedral, so assistance will be appreciated regarding provision of zakusky/starters, as well as dessert. Please let Branka know if you are able to assist.

I will be in the cathedral from Tuesday to Friday, next week, and serving in Walsingham for the first time this year the following week. Happily there will be much more time for confessions on the Sundays of those weeks, as our newly ordained priest will perform the proskomedia whilst I hear confessions.

Again – please keep Deacon Mark, Alla and Yuriy in your prayers as a momentous day draws near for them all.

In Christ – Hieromonk Mark

Posted in Newsletter, Parish News.