Dear brothers and sisters,
It was a joy to celebrate the feast of St Sergius of Radonezh in Cardiff on Sunday, and we are grateful to all who contributed to our celebration, with holiday effects on our kliros seeing the second coopting of our hierodeacon by the choir. Many thanks to Edmund for filling Olga’s place and coordinating our chanting and to Hierodeacon Avraamy for moving from the sanctuary to the kliros. Spasi Gospodi!
Despite those abroad, we still mustered over forty worshippers, though we are always swallowed by the vastness of the convent church!
Again, we are extremely grateful for parishioners making the hour of confessions before Liturgy run so smoothly.
This was the first week without trapeza in church, but it was lovely to follow parishioners over the road to our friendly local café, and to enjoy a cup of coffee there, largely with our Wessex contingent, who had a considerable drive home ahead of them.
Our celebration of St Sergius came at the end of a busy week, which saw Tuesday in Peterston-Super-Ely to arrange the funeral of the newly departed handmaiden of God, Irina, for whom your prayers are greatly appreciated. With permission from the Anglican Archbishop of Wales and the approval of the Bishop of Llandaff, I am extremely grateful that the funeral service will be able to be celebrated in the little medieval church – a building I had passed on the train for much of my life, but had never entered until the past week. It was a pleasure to talk with Fr Martin and have a few hours in the village.
Wednesday saw the baptism – in Nazareth House – of the newly enlightened Sabine, who travelled on the train from Stroud with her mother, Anna. Please remember them in your prayers.
Both Wednesday and Friday saw the hearing of confessions in Nazareth House, with a talk on intercession following Friday confessions, and confessions also followed Saturday’s celebration of Great Vespers for the Feast of St Sergius of Radonezh, for which I am grateful to our young brother, George, for reading.
This week, I will hear confessions on Thursday, and would like to stress that – if required – this will include the evening as well as the afternoon. As Saturday sees Deacon Mark and I in Cheltenham, there will be no Saturday tea-time service in Nazareth House.
I’m very happy that the October Liturgy in Cheltenham will fall on the feast of the Protecting Veil of the Mother of God – a wonderful celebration of our Lady’s protection and intercession. We know that some core parishioners will be away, but we will soldier on.
As usual, our Cheltenham Liturgy will be celebrated in Prestbury URC Church, Deep St, Cheltenham GL52 3AW, with confessions heard from 09:15, and the Hours and Liturgy commencing at 10:00. There will be the usual bring-and-share lunch after Liturgy.
As announced, we will be making a local pilgrimage to Llancarfan on Saturday 28th October, and plan to celebrate the Divine Liturgy at 10:00 – though this will depend on having someone to chant on the kliros. Anyone interested should speak to Tracy, or email her: email@example.com
We continue to keep Olga, Valentina, Maria, Nikolai, Nataliya, Galina, Catalin, and Oswald in our prayers, on their travels; Mike and Steve, who are unwell and Porphyrios’s father Paul as he undergoes medical treatment; and Isaac and mum Xenia in the search for a new school.
Finally, I would like to remind you of a few things:
- Commemoration books and lists should be updated REGULARLY.
- In commemoration books and on lists, clergy and monastics should be referred to by rank – bishop, archimandrite, hieromonk, archpriest, priest, deacon, monk, nun etc. Nobody should be listed as vladyka, father or mother.
- All others in your commemorations should be referred to by full baptismal names – no Mashas, Sashas and Natashas, but Marias, Alexanders and Natalias!
- Branka is kindly baking small commemorative prosphory all week, and it is our tradition to present them for our commemoration. There are very few each week, which is bizarre in a parish of no fewer than thirty to forty adults each week.
- As with communion, the antidoron distributed at the end of Liturgy is to be consumed FASTING – i.e. on an empty stomach.
- With the commencement of the Hours, Liturgy (in the broadest sense) has begun, and parishioners should refrain from conversation.
In Christ – Hieromonk Mark