Dear brothers and sisters,
Greetings for the feast of the Holy Unmercenary Healers, Cosmas and Damian, a day for us to intensify our prayers for those sick or unwell in our community – especially for Ludmilla, Brigid (Mo), Andrew, Margarita and Mike.
I would usually be in Walsingham, this week, but with the tail-end of a throat infection and deafness in one ear, I remain in Llanelli.
We congratulate Norman John, for whom this feast is his ‘Orthodox’ birthday, having finally been united to the Church on this feast in Walsingham in 2020 after over a decade of lingering on the threshold and peaking over the wall!
Thank you to everyone in Cheltenham and Cardiff for their labours for Christ, in the celebration of the Divine Liturgy in both places. I am particularly grateful to our young servers and the enthusiasm they show to serve in the altar. Even our little ones in Cheltenham were at my elbow for the proskomedia, absorbing what happens before Liturgy.
Despite a twenty minute late start for Sunday Liturgy, I was pleased that our celebration passed quite routinely and without any surprises – other than a rather reduced congregation.
The windy and rainy weather, and rather dark day were dramatically different to our sunny Cheltenham on Saturday, and the cosiness of the church at Nazareth House offered quite a contrast to the world outside. Though the temperature often seems excessive, it was greatly appreciated, yesterday.
On confession days, each week, we will chant vespers or a moleben in the afternoon – having chanted a moleben to Saints Demetrios and Nestor last week, and this week, confessions will be heard on Friday, both before and after the celebration of vespers at 16:00.
As I have an early evening obligation on Saturday, vespers will be celebrated at the earlier time of 15:00, with time for confessions before the service. As usual I will hear confessions from 10:15 on Sunday morning.
As announced, Saturday 25th November, will see a parish pilgrimage to the beautiful Serbian Orthodox church of St Lazar in Bournville, Birmingham, which houses a wonder-working copy of the Trojeručica (Three Handed) icon of the Mother of God enshrined in the monastery of Hilandar, on Mount Athos. The Divine Liturgy commences at 09:00, and we will offer a moleben before the icon afterwards.
Though I know that some of our students are keen to make this pilgrimage, as well as our own Serbian faithful and their usual companions, there have only been a few other declarations of interest. I would be grateful to know who would like to join us for this wonderful occasion.
Many thanks to all who donated so generously to the collections for the Bethany Convent and Orthodox School, raising £473 for this needy cause in a time of great uncertainty and hardship.
In your prayers, please remember the newly-departed handmaiden of God, Nadezhda, mother of our parishioner Olga (McKellar) and we pray for Olga and Allan, who are in Italy for the funeral, and for all of their family. Please also pray for the newly departed Photina. Memory Eternal!
Please remember that we have a mid-week service each Wednesday evening in Llanelli, and will chant compline at 19:00 on Wednesday night in the chapel of St David and St Nicholas in Llanelli, with a litia for the newly departed Nadezhda and Photina.
Please contact us for directions if you wish to attend and are unsure of the location. Please note that the front door is locked once we retire to the garden chapel for the service.
In Christ – Hieromonk Mark