Hebrews 11:9-10,17-23,32-40: Reading from Hebrews we hear the Apostle tell us of the faith of Abraham and other saints of ancient times who endured hardships and death and yet still did great things because of their faith.
Matthew 1:1-25: In the Gospel we hear the genealogy of Jesus Christ, and of how Joseph was visited by an angel of God who told him of the child that Mary bore in her womb.
Troparion of the Resurrection: The stone being sealed by the Jews, and thy pure body being guarded by the soldiers, thou didst arise on the third day, O Saviour, granting life to the world. Wherefore, the heavenly powers acclaimed thee, O Giver of life, crying, Glory to thy Resurrection, O Christ! Glory to thy kingdom! Glory to thy gracious providence, O only Lover of mankind.
Troparion of the Fathers: Great are the accomplishments of faith; for the three holy youths rejoiced in the fountain of flames as though at waters of rest. And the Prophet Daniel appeared a shepherd to the lions as though they were sheep. Wherefore, by their pleadings, O Christ God, have mercy upon us.
Troparion of the Forefeast: Be thou ready, Bethlehem, Eden hath opened unto all. Ephratha, prepare thyself, for now, behold, the Tree of life hath blossomed forth in the cave of the holy Virgin. Her womb hath proved a true spiritual Paradise, wherein the divine and saving Tree is found, and as we eat thereof we shall all live, and shall not die as did Adam. Verily, Christ shall be born, raising the likeness that fell of old.
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 Preparatory for Nativity: Today the Virgin comes unto the cave to give birth in an ineffable manner to the Word before the ages. Rejoice, therefore, O universe, when you hear, and glorify with the angels and the shepherds him who shall appear by his own will as a new babe, being God before the ages.
Sunday, December 22 (Sunday before the Nativity)
8:50 a.m. -- Orthros
9:00 a.m. -- Christian Education
10:00 a.m. -- Divine Liturgy
12:00 p.m. -- Children's Play
5:30 p.m. -- Youth Group
Monday, December 23
Office Closed -- Father John's Day Off
Tuesday, December 24
7:00 a.m. -- Royal Hours
10:00 p.m. -- Orthros followed by Divine Liturgy
Wednesday, December 25 (Feast of the Nativity)
Thursday, December 26 (Synaxis of the Theotokos)
NO Daily Orthros
Friday, December 27 (Protomartyr Stephen)
NO Daily Orthros
Saturday, December 28
5:45 p.m. -- Ninth Hour followed by Great Vespers
Sunday, December 29 (Sunday after the Nativity of Christ)
8:50 a.m. -- Orthros
10:00 a.m. -- Divine Liturgy
Eucharist Bread …was offered by the Abrahams for the Divine Liturgy this morning.
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.
Eucharist Bread and Coffee Hour Schedule:
Eucharist BreadCoffee Hour
December 22 Abraham Henderson/Baker/Lockhart
December 24 (Tue pm) Fahmy POT LUCK MEAL
(Feast of the Nativity of our Lord)
December 29 Wood Jones/Stewart/Meadows
December 31 (Tue pm) Baker (Artoklasia Bread) No Meal
(Feast of the Circumcision of our Lord; Feast of St. Basil the Great)
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.
December 22 Warren Strain Heb. 11:9-10, 17-23, 32-40 348
December 24 (Tue pm) Kh. Sharon Meadows Gal. 4:4-7 351
December 29 Mildred Morris Gal. 1:11-19 188
December 31 NO Reading
Please remember Fr. Joseph and Kh. Joanna Bittle, and their daughter Abigail, in your prayers.
Continue to pray for Metropolitan Paul (who is also the brother of our Patriarch) and the Syriac Archbishop John of Aleppo who were abducted recently while on a humanitarian mission in Syria.
Terrorists have abducted 12 Orthodox nuns from the Convent of St. Thekla in Syria. Please keep them in your prayers.
Please continue to pray for the health of His Grace, Bishop ANTOUN.
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; Walt and Charlotte Wood and their family; Tom and Jennifer Skirtech and their family; Tom and Kathy Willingham.
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.
Mary Guy's back surgery was successful last week and she is recovering at home. Please keep her in your prayers.
Please schedule time your Confession during the Fast of the Nativity as soon as possible with your priest.
* The Men of the parish meet for lunch and fellowship on the first Thursday of the month.
* The Ladies of St. Peter will meet at 10:00 a.m. on the second Saturday of each month to pray the Akathist to the Mother of God, Nurturer of Children. Those who are able will go out for lunch and fellowship afterwards.
* The Youth Group will meet for a meal and Christian Education with Father John on Sunday evenings, December 22nd, January 8th and 26th, beginning at 5:30 p.m.
* The Christian Education classes will present a play during Coffee Hour this morning.
* We will celebrate the Feast of the Nativity with Royal Hours on Tuesday morning, beginning at 7:00 a.m. Orthros followed by Divine Liturgy will be celebrated for the Feast Tuesday evening, beginning at 10:00 p.m. See the note below for information about the Pot Luck Meal afterwards.
* Royal Hours for the Feast of Theophany will be held on Friday, January 3rd, beginning at 6:00 a.m.
* We will celebrate the Feast of Theophany with Divine Liturgy (only) on Monday morning, January 6th, beginning at 6:00 a.m.
* As is our custom, we hold the Annual Blessing of the Water at the Ross Barnett Reservoir with the other Orthodox Churches in the area on Sunday, January 12th, beginning at 4:00 p.m. Those who are interested will go to Cock of the Walk for supper afterwards.
* The Young Adults will meet at the church Sunday, January 19th from 5:00-6:30 p.m.
* Deanery Youth Retreat with Sister Magdalene – February 14-16th.
Nativity Feast: This year we will be doing something new for our meal following the Divine Liturgy for the Feast of the Nativity. It will be a true Pot Luck Meal. Every family is asked to bring a dish. If your dish requires cooking, that should be done at home BEFORE you come. The warmer will be turned on to keep casseroles warm during the service. Please be sure to TAKE YOUR DISH home with you when you leave (even if you have to leave a little early). No one will be staying late to wash dishes after the meal.
Young Adults Study Group: The Young Adults will meet once a month on Sunday evening from 5:00 – 6:30 p.m. (time will be strictly adhered to) for a meal, fellowship and teaching. The next meeting will be January 19th. Please let Father John know by text or e-mail if you will be there, so that plans may be made for the meal.
Metropolitan Philip has given the Antiochian Women the project of raising money for the orphans of the war in Syria. He has asked them to raise $200,000 towards this project. All monies raised are to be distributed directly to the affected areas. Please read information regarding "Help the Orphans of War in Syria" posted on the bulletin board in the Fellowship Hall. If you wish to contribute to this project, please make your donation to the Ladies of St. Peter noting it is for "Help the Orphans of War in Syria." They will be collecting money for this project through the coming months.
Sister Magdalene from the Monastery of St. John the Baptist in Essex, England will be the speaker at the Deanery Youth Retreat, February 14-16th. The topic of the Retreat will be "Our Faith, My Life." Following the Retreat, she will be at St. Peter's Sunday evening and Monday and will fly home to England on Tuesday, the 18th. Father John will be arranging times for speaking engagements and meetings during her stay. More information will be available at a later date.
Canned food drive: The Christian Education classes are collecting canned good s for the needy.
Parents, please supervise your children with food in the Fellowship Hall. We are getting stains on the new carpet (and also the chairs in the nave).
Fasting Discipline for December
During the Nativity Fast, which began November 15th, the traditional fasting (no meat, dairy, fish, wine or oil) is observed each day of the week. Note, however, through December 19th there is a katlysis on Tuesdays and Thursdays when wine and oil are permitted, and on Saturdays and Sundays when fish, wine and oil are permitted. There is no fasting from December 25th through January 4th.
Major Commemorations for December
December 25 Nativity of our Lord
December 26 Synaxis of the Theotokos
December 27 Protomartyr Stephen
Happy Birthdays in December:
December 1 -- Christina Katool
December 3 -- Stephanie Baker
-- Athena Zouboukos
December 4 -- Brenda Baker
December 8 -- Ben Brock
-- Sam Habeeb
-- Michael Surratt
December 11 -- Sh. Charlotte Algood
December 12 -- Jenna Skirtech
December 20 -- Steve Chamblee
December 21 -- Caroline Halley
December 27 -- Ben Skirtech
-- Warren Strain
-- Nicholas Zouboukos (#14!)
December 28 -- Sheryl Chamblee
Happy Anniversaries in December:
December 21 -- Fr. John and Kh. Janet Henderson (#39!)
Quotable: "The Holy Bible teaches us that the Saints in Heaven are acquainted with what goes on in this world, and that they pray for us now as they did before they passed from this life. The author of the Epistle to the Hebrews, describing the Saints, beginning with the Righteous Abel and coming down to his own time, tells us they are witnesses of our trials. We know therefore that they pray for us, and we ask for their prayers on our behalf (read Hebrews 11 and 12:1-2). Besides asking the Ever-Virgin Theotokos, the Holy Apostles, and other great servants of God to pray for us, we should ask the intercession of the Saint whose name we might bear, or whose feast may fall on our birthday, or the day of our Baptism. For such Saints pious souls would naturally have a particular devotion."
Rev. Fr. David F. Abramtsov, The Orthodox Companion
Worship: Sunday, December 29, 2013 (Sunday after the Nativity of Christ)