The facts of the life of St. Mary of Egypt are vague and clouded by time and separation, but the spirit of her story is a clear call to repentance and devotion. According to tradition, Mary was from Alexandria, where she was an actress and courtesan, living a life of sin and infamy. When spiritual intervention forbade her entry to Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, she spent the night in penitent prayer. The following morning she was able to enter, whereupon she venerated the cross and immediately removed herself to the life of a penitent and solitary in the Palestinian desert. She remained in isolation for forty-seven years, aided only by monks of the region and God's grace. Only at her death was she found and given communion by the priest Zosimus. On this last Sunday of Lent, as we prepare for Palm Sunday, Holy Week, and the Great Feast of the eighth and eternal day, we call to mind this holy woman, her fear of the all-powerful God, her recognition of her sin, her repentance, her humility, her faith, and her unwavering intent to seek righteousness and the courts of her King.
Hebrews 9:11-14: In our reading from Hebrews, we hear the Apostle tell us that when Christ entered the heavenly Holy of Holies through His own blood, He obtained for us eternal redemption for our sins.
Mark 10:32-45: We again hear our Lord prophesy concerning His coming death and resurrection, but, His disciples do not understand, displaying concern for personal gain as a reward. The Lord then explains to them that greatness in the kingdom of God is attained through service to others.
Troparion of the Resurrection: Let us believers praise and worship the Word, co-eternal with the Father and the Spirit, born of the Virgin for our salvation; for he took pleasure in ascending the Cross in the flesh, to suffer death, and to raise the dead by his glorious Resurrection.
Troparion of St. Mary of Egypt: Through thee the divine likeness was securely preserved, O Mother Mary; for thou didst carry the cross and followed Christ. By example and precept thou didst teach us to ignore the body because it is perishable, and to attend to the concerns of the undying soul. Therefore, doth thy soul rejoice with the angels.
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 Theotokos: O undisputed intercessor of Christians, O mediatrix, who is unrejected by the Creator, turn not away from the voice of our petitions though we be sinners; come to us in time, who cry to thee in faith, for thou art good. Hasten to us with intercessions, O Theotokos, who didst ever intercede for those who honor thee.
Sunday, April 21 (Fifth Sunday of Lent; St. Mary of Egypt) 9:00 a.m. -- Christian Education 10:00 a.m. -- Divine Liturgy 1:00 p.m. -- Young Adults
Monday, April 22
Office Closed -- Father John's Day Off
Tuesday, April 23
6:00 a.m. -- Lenten Orthros
Wednesday, April 24
6:30 p.m. -- Presanctified Liturgy followed by Soup Supper
NO Daily Orthros
6:30 p.m. -- Small Compline with the Canon of St. Lazarus
Saturday, April 27 (Lazarus Saturday)
9:00 a.m. -- Orthros followed by Divine Liturgy
5:45 p.m. -- Ninth Hour prayers followed by Great Vespers
Sunday, April 28 (Palm Sunday)
9:00 a.m. -- Christian Education
10:00 a.m. -- Divine Liturgy
12:00 p.m. -- Meal at Cock of the Walk
6:30 p.m. -- Bridegroom Matins
Eucharist Bread …was offered by the Basingers for the Divine Liturgy this morning. Eucharist Bread and Coffee Hour Schedule: Eucharist Bread Coffee Hour April 21 Basinger R. Root/Abraham/Davis April 27 (Sat. a.m.) Fahmy Elizabeth Root April 28 Abraham MEAL AT COCK OF THE WALK
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. April 21 Sh. Charlotte Algood Heb. 9:11-14 290 April 27 (Sat. a.m.) Kh. Sharon Meadows Heb. 12:28-13:8 291 April 28 Mildred Morris Phil. 4:4-9 294
Please remember Fr. Joseph and Kh. Joanna Bittle, and their daughter Abigail, in your prayers.
Please remember the following in your prayers: Steve, Sheryl and Stephen Chamblee; Amy and Brantley Oliver; Aidan Milnor, the Milnor family; Sam and Lamia Dabit and Sammie; Georgia Buchanan, George Johns (Georgia's grandson) and his family; Mary Greene (Lee and Kh. Sharon's sister); Fr. Stephen Tewfik; Sh. Gail Shannon; Dn. Sidney and Sh. Mary Elliot; Fr. Alexander Atty, the Dean of St. Thikon's who is battling cancer.
Please continue to pray for the health of His Grace, Bishop ANTOUN.
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.
Please be reminded that the Sacristy/Vestry which is adjacent to and behind the altar in our church is considered by the Orthodox Church to be part of the Sanctuary (Altar area) and should not be entered without the blessing of the priest for a specific purpose. If you need to speak with a member of the clergy while they are in the Sanctuary, please ask them to come to you in the nave.
Confessions: As we prepare our hearts and minds for Lent and the celebration of Holy Pascha, please be sure to schedule a time for confession. Please go ahead and schedule these so that we do not have all confessions to be scheduled just prior to Holy Week. No confessions will be heard after Great and Holy Wednesday. Father John strongly prefers confessions to be made before Holy Week begins unless there are extenuating circumstances.
Congratulations! to Chris and Rebecca Dansereau (and big sister, Sophie, and grandparents, Dn Richard and Sh. Margaret) on the birth of Anna Grace this past Monday evening. She weighed 8lbs 3 oz and both mother and daughter are doing well.
Palm Sunday Feast: Due to our construction project, we will not be able to hold our Palm Sunday Fish Fry here at the church as usual. Instead we will be going to Cock of the Walk for our meal next Sunday, April 28th following the Divine Liturgy. A sign-up sheet is available so that we can give the restaurant a headcount for the meal. They will be providing a separate room for us and will be offering the same menu that they give us when they serve us at the church (all-you-can-eat catfish, French fries, coleslaw, cornbread and tea). The cost of the meal with gratuities is $18.00 per adult. The restaurant has requested that we write one check. You may write your checks to St. Peter and designate them for the Palm Sunday Feast. If anyone wishes to donate extra, they may do so. If anyone has a financial difficulty with the cost of the meal, please see Fr. John. We do not want anyone to miss the meal because of financial reasons.
Paschal Feast: There will be a feast following the Pascal Liturgy on May 4. Cheryl Pigott and Kh. Be'Be' Schelver are in charge. They have posted a sign-up sheet in the fellowship hall, and need everyone to help by bringing items. We will need some folks to help with clean up after the feast as well.
* The Men of the parish meet for lunch and fellowship on the first Thursday of the month. * Orthros followed by Divine Liturgy will be celebrated for Lazarus Saturday on April 27th, beginning at 9:00 a.m. * Palm Sunday Fish Meal at Cock of the Walk restaurant following the Divine Liturgy (for more information, see the notice that follows). * Schedule of services for Holy Week: Sunday, April 28th -- Bridegroom Matins, 6:30 p.m. Monday, April 29th -- Bridegroom Matins, 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 30th -- Bridegroom Matins, 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 1st -- Holy Unction Service, 6:30 p.m. Thursday, May 2nd -- Vesperal Liturgy, 6:00 a.m. -- Reading of the Twelve Passion Gospels, 6:30 p.m. Friday, May 3rd -- Royal Hours, 6:00 a.m. -- Taking Down from the Cross, 3:00 p.m. -- Lamentations Service, 6:30 p.m. Saturday, May 4th -- Vesperal Liturgy (followed by Baptisms), 9:00 a.m. -- Paschal Service, 10:30 p.m. Sunday, May 5th -- Agape Vespers, Time and Location TBA * Parish Life Conference in New Orleans – June 12-16th. * Vacation Church School will be held June 27-29, 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Bible Study with Breakfast: We will suspend the biweekly Bible Study with Breakfast until after Pascha.
Vacation Church School …The Christian Education department will hold a Vacation Church School June 27-29 from 8:30-12:30 each day. The curriculum will be "Ark of our Salvation – Feast Days of the Theotokos." Parents, please be sure to mark your calendars now.
Fasting Discipline for April The traditional fasting discipline (no meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy, wine or oil) is observed on all days of the week until Pascha (except Palm Sunday on April 28th, when fish, wine and oil are permitted).
Major Commemorations for April April 21 5th Sunday of Lent; St. Mary of Egypt April 23 Great-martyr George April 27 Lazarus Saturday
Happy Birthdays in April: April 6 -- John Wood (#20!) April 11 -- Brandon Strain (#11!) April 26 -- Alexander Andrei (#1!)
Happy Anniversaries in April: April 12 -- Mike and Cheryl Piggott (#32!) April 28 -- Anthony and Athena Zouboukos (#23!)
Parish Life Conference 2013: This year St. Basil Orthodox Church in Metairie, LA will be hosting the Parish Life Conference for our Diocese on June 12-16. His Grace, Bishop JOHN Abdallah will be the speaker. There will also be a special presentation by Fr. Philip Rogers on keeping our children in the Orthodox Christian Church. Parents are especially encouraged to hear his presentation. Please mark your calendars now and make plans to attend.
Quotable: "What has been said about the soul may seem highly theoretical, although it is a distinct teaching of the Church, and as such indispensable to the reader's understanding of the matter of the heart and the nous, which is the centre of Orthodox spirituality. We are not able, otherwise, to comprehend where the Orthodox Church is headed and what she seeks to cure." Metropolitan HIEROTHEOS, Orthodox Spirituality
Worship: Sunday, April 28, 2013 (Palm Sunday)
Scripture: Philippians 4:4-9; John 12:1-18 Epistle Reader: Mildred Morris Coffee Hour: MEAL AT COCK OF THE WALK RESTAURANT