St. Gregory Palamas (c. 1296-1359) - St. Gregory was a Greek monk and theologian and the chief exponent of Hesychasm. He was ordained a priest in the year 1326 and became Bishop of Thessalonica in 1347. The political conditions made it impossible for him to take possession of the see until 1350. He died on November 14, 1359, which is his feast day. He was canonized in 1368. St. Gregory stressed the biblical notion of man as a single and united whole, body and soul together. In virtue of this, he argued that the physical exercises used by the Hesychasts in prayer, as well as their claim to see the Divine Light with their bodily eyes, could be defended as legitimate. He distinguished between the essence and the energies of God: God's essence remains unknowable, but his uncreated energies, which are God Himself, permeate all things and can be directly experienced by man in the form of deifying grace. In the earlier period, there was on this day a commemoration of the Great Martyr Polycarp of Smyrna (c. 155). St. Gregory replaced St. Polycarp on the Second Sunday of Lent in the fourteenth century. Hebrews 1:10-2:3: Writing to the Hebrews, the Apostle quotes from Scripture to proclaim the greatness of Jesus Christ as compared with the angels; for this reason we must be careful not to neglect our salvation. Mark 2:1-12: Reading in the Gospel of Mark, we see Jesus demonstrate His authority to forgive sins by healing a paralytic. Troparion of the Resurrection: When thou, O immortal Life, didst humble thyself unto death, then didst thou destroy death by the brightness of thy Godhead; and when thou didst raise the bowels of the earth, then all the heavenly powers exclaimed, O Christ, thou art the Giver of life! Glory to thee, O our God! Troparion of St. Gregory Palamas: O Gregory the Wonderworker, light of Orthodoxy, support and teacher of the Church, glory of monks and invincible protector of theologians, pride of Thessalonica and preacher of grace, pray without ceasing for the salvation of our souls. Troparion of the Chains of St. Peter: O Holy Apostle, Peter, thou dost preside over the Apostles by the precious chains which thou didst bear. We venerate them with faith and beseech thee that by thine intercessions we be granted the great mercy. Kontakion of the Sundays of Lent: To thee the champion leader, I thy servant offer thanks for victory, O Theotokos, thou who hast delivered me form terror. As thou hast power invincible, free me from every danger that I may cry unto thee: Rejoice, O bride without bridegroom. Sunday, March 20 (St. Gregory of Palamas) 9:00 a.m. -- Christian Education 10:00 a.m. -- Divine Liturgy Office Closed -- Father John's Day Off 6:00 a.m. -- Lenten Orthros 5:00 p.m. -- Catechism Class 6:30 p.m. -- Presanctified Liturgy followed by Lenten Meal 6:00 a.m. -- Lenten Orthros
6:00 p.m. -- Orthros followed by Divine Liturgy
Friday, March 25 (Feast of the Annunciation) THE SCRIPTURE (Luke 1:26-38): The Angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee (the northernmost district of Palestine) named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house (family) of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. And he came to her and said, "Rejoice, you who are full of grace, the Lord is with you! Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold you shall conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call His name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to Him the throne of His father (ancestor) David, and He will reign over the house of Jacob (the father of all the tribes of Israel) for ever; and of His kingdom there will be no end." And Mary said to the Angel, "How can this be, since I have no husband?" And the Angel said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you, therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God." And Mary said, "Behold, I am the handmaid (servant) of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word." And the Angel departed from her. THE SIGNIFICANCE: This feast commemorates the day when the Archangel Gabriel announced to a young virgin named Mary that she, among all women, had found favor with the Father. She was invited to cooperate with Him for the Incarnation of His pre-eternal Son through the operation of the Holy Spirit. This, "the beginning of our salvation," was conditioned not only by God's will and His election of Mary, but also by Mary's own "YES" to do God's will - "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word." 6:30 p.m. -- Small Compline with the Akathist Hymn to the Theotokos Saturday, March 26 (Synaxis of the Archangel Gabriel) 5:00 p.m. -- Catechism Class 5:45 p.m. -- Ninth Hour Prayers followed by Great Vespers Sunday, March 27 (Adoration of the Holy Cross) 9:00 a.m. -- Christian Education 10:00 a.m. -- Divine Liturgy 1:00 p.m. -- Young Adults Eucharist Bread …was offered by Joanna Meadows for the Divine Liturgy today. Please remember the following in your prayers: Fr. Leo, Kh. Be'Be', Stephen and Amy, Justyn and Jeffrey; Amy and Brantley Oliver; Aidan Milnor, the Milnor family; Sam and Lamia Dabit.
Please continue to pray for the health of His Grace, bishop ANTOUN.
Eucharist Bread and Coffee Hour Schedule: Eucharist Bread Coffee Hour March 20 Joanna Meadows Meadows March 24 (Thurs. p.m.) Meadows Mary Guy Lockhart (Feast of the Annunciation) March 27 D. Roots Hendersons Schedule for Epistle Readers – Page numbers refer to the Apostolos (book of the Epistles) located on the front pew. Please be sure to use this book when you read. March 20 Kh. Be'Be' Schelver Heb. 1:10-14, 2:1-3 283 March 24 (Thurs. p.m.)Kh. Sharon Meadows Heb. 2:11-18 376 March 27 Sh. Charlotte Algood Heb. 4:14-16, 5:6 285 Please be reminded of the following: Be very careful with the Blessed Bread when you take it after communion. Because this bread has been blessed, we should take care not to let crumbs fall on the floor. Parents, especially, please help your children to choose a small piece and treat it carefully. Also, at the end of the liturgy, maintain a prayerful disposition during the veneration of the cross as the prayers of thanksgiving after communion are still underway. Please exchange your greetings with each other in the Fellowship Hall during Coffee Hour. March is Ladies Month in our Archdiocese. We thank God for the ladies in our church. During this month, the ladies will take communion first. If you have not yet returned your pledge slip, please do so as soon as possible, either by mail in the enclosed envelope, or by placing your pledge slip in the Tithes box at the back of the nave. We need this information to prepare our budget for the year. Antiochian Women's Scholarship: Each year AOCWNA is able to award scholarships, usually in the amount of $500 each, to help women continue their education in order to improve their circumstances and those of their families. In order to be eligible, a woman must be over 25 years of age, a member in good standing and active in her parish, registered in an academic or trade program of study, and demonstrate financial need. The application deadline is May 27, 2011. If you are interested in applying for this scholarship, please see Fr. John for an application. If you are the last to leave the building, please make sure that the heating and cooling unit in the Fellowship Hall is turned off. · The Men of the parish meet for lunch and fellowship on the first Thursday of the month. The next meeting will be April 7th at 11:15 a.m. at Grant's Kitchen (2847 Lakeland Drive in the area across from Jackson Prep). · During the Fast we will be celebrating the Presanctified Liturgy on Wednesday evenings and the Akathist Hymn to the Theotokos on Friday evenings. Both services will begin at 6:30 p.m. and, as is our custom, we will have a Lenten Supper following the Liturgy on Wednesdays. · We will celebrate the Feast of the Annunciation with Orthros followed by Divine Liturgy this Thursday evening, beginning at 6:00 p.m. · The Ladies of St. Peter will meet for lunch at the home of Sh. Margaret Root next Saturday, March 26th at 12:00 noon. · We will hold our annual catfish dinner on Palm Sunday, April 17th, following the liturgy. More details will be available at a later date. · The Feast of Pascha is April 24th and St. Peter's will be hosting Agape Vespers (beginning at 3:00 p.m.) and the meal afterwards. More information will be available at a later date. · The Youth Group will be having a Garage Sale on Saturday morning, April 2nd. More information (concerning when and where to bring items) will be available later. · We will be serving a meal at the Stewpot in Jackson on July 9th and November 19th. · The 2011 Parish Life Conference is being hosted by St. John Orthodox Church in Memphis on June 16-19. More information (hotels, etc.) is available through the Archdiocese website at antiochian.org. Fasting Discipline for March During Great Lent the traditional fasting discipline (no meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy, wine and oil) is observed on all days of the week until Pascha (except Annunciation on March 25th and Palm Sunday on April 17th, when fish, wine and oil are permitted). Major Commemorations during March March 20 2nd Sunday of Lent; Commemoration of Gregory of Palamas March 25 Feast of the Annunciation March 27 3rd Sunday of Lent; Adoration of the Holy Cross Happy Birthdays in March: March 20 -- Charlotte Wood March 24 -- Brenden Skirtech (#7!) March 26 -- Katherine Habeeb (#3!)
March 30 -- Aidan Milnor (#5!)
Happy Anniversaries in March: March 10 -- Fr. James and Kh. Sharon Meadows (#38!) March 13 -- Warren and Sandra Strain (#17!) March 15 -- Dn. Richard and Sh. Margaret Root (#36!) March 27 -- Sam and Anne Habeeb (#7!) Quotable: "If you are minded to pray in your heart and are not able, repeat the words of your prayer with your lips and keep your mind on the words you are saying, as St. John Climacus explains. In time the Lord will give you interior prayer without distraction, and you will pray with ease. Some there are who have injured their hearts in their efforts to force their minds to pray, so much so that afterwards they were unable to pronounce the words of their prayer with their lips either. But do not forget the pattern of spiritual life: God bestows His gifts on the simple, lowly and obedient soul. The man who is obedient and temperate in all things – in food, in speech, in movement – receives the gift of prayer from the Lord Himself, and prayer continues without difficulty in his heart." Worship: Sunday, March 27, 2011 (Third Sunday of Lent; Adoration of the Holy Scripture: Hebrews 4:14-5:6; Mark 8:34 to end, 9:1 Epistle Reader: Sh. Charlotte Algood