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: O compassionate One, thou didst descend from the heights; thou didst submit to the three-day burial, that thou might deliver us from passion. Thou art our Life and our Resurrection, O Lord, glory to thee.
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 6 (Fifth Sunday of Lent; St. Mary of Egypt)
8:50 a.m. -- Orthros
9:00 a.m. -- Christian Education
10:00 a.m. -- Divine Liturgy
Monday, April 7
Office Closed -- Father John's Day Off
Tuesday, April 8
6:00 a.m. -- Lenten Orthros
11:00 a.m. -- Lenten Reading Group at the Algoods' (brown bag lunch)
Wednesday, April 9
6:30 p.m. -- Presanctified Liturgy followed by Soup Supper
Thursday, April 10
Friday, April 11
6:30 p.m. -- Small Compline with Canon of St. Lazarus
Saturday, April 12 (Lazarus Saturday)
9:00 a.m. -- Orthros followed by Divine Liturgy
5:45 p.m. -- Ninth Hour followed by Great Vespers
Sunday, April 13 (Palm Sunday)
8:50 a.m. -- Orthros
9:00 a.m. -- Christian Education
10:00 a.m. -- Divine Liturgy
12:00 p.m. -- Fish Fry Meal
6:30 p.m. -- Bridegroom Matins
Eucharist Bread …was offered by the Katools for the Divine Liturgy this morning.
Eucharist Bread and Coffee Hour Schedule:
Eucharist BreadCoffee Hour
April 6 Katool D. Root/Dansereau/Dale Cooper
April 12 (Sat. a.m.) Schelver Jenna Skirtech/Jennifer Skirtech
April 13 Morris Kh. Sharon Meadows
April 17 (Thurs. a.m.) Jones Kh. Sharon Meadows
April 19 (Sat. a.m.) Meadows Chrismation of Nikki Lasseter
April 19 (Sat. p.m.) Davis POT LUCK MEAL
set-up: Cheryl Pigott/Charlotte Wood
April 27 D. Root Algood/Yeatts/Lasseter
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 6 Phillip Lasseter Heb. 9:11-14 290
April 12 (Sat. a.m.) Tom Willingham Heb. 12:28-13:8 291
April 13 Walt Wood Phil. 4:4-9 294
April 17 (Thurs. a.m.) Sh. Charlotte Algood I Cor. 11:23-32 295
April 19 (Sat. a.m.) Warren Strain Rom. 6:3-11 300-301
April 19 (Sat. p.m.) Kh. Sharon Meadows Acts 1:1-8 25
April 27 Mildred Morris Acts 5:12-20 32
Continue to pray for Metropolitan Paul (who is also the brother of our Patriarch) and the Syriac Archbishop John of Aleppo who were abducted while on a humanitarian mission in Syria.
His Eminence Metropolitan SILOUAN of Buenos Aires and Argentina (who is the Patriarchal Vicar of New York and all North America) has announced that the 40 Day Memorial for His Eminence, Metropolitan PHILIP will be celebrated in all the parishes of our Archdiocese on Sunday, May 4th. Plans are being made for His Eminence, Metropolitan SILOUAN to visit all of the dioceses in our Archdiocese in the next several weeks. At this time we do not know where or when his visit to our diocese will occur. We will continue to commemorate His Eminence, Metropolitan PHILIP through the 40 days until May 4th, after which he will be commemorated on the anniversary of his repose.
Please remember Fr. Joseph and Kh. Joanna Bittle, and their daughter Abigail, 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; Athena and Anthony Zouboukos and their family.
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.
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.
Confessions: Please go ahead and schedule your confessions so we do not have so many people trying to fit it in just before Holy Week. No confession will be heard after Great and Holy Wednesday.
Nikki Lasseter will be chrismated before the Vesperal Liturgy of St. Basil on Great and Holy Saturday morning (April 19th). Please keep her in your prayers.
* 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.
* As is our parish custom, we will celebrate the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts on Wednesday evenings and the Akathist Hymn to the Theotokos on Friday evenings during Great Lent. Both services will begin at 6:30 p.m.
* Schedule for Holy Week services are as follows:
Saturday, April 12th -- Orthros followed by Divine Liturgy at 9:00 a.m.
Sunday, April 13th -- Bridegroom Matins at 6:30 p.m.
Monday, April 14th -- Bridegroom Matins at 6:30 p.m.
Tuesday, April 15th -- Bridegroom Matins at 6:30 p.m.
Wednesday, April 16th -- Service of Holy Unction at 6:30 p.m.
Thursday, April 17th -- Vesperal Liturgy of St. Basil at 6:00 a.m.
-- Reading of the Twelve Passion Gospels at 6:30 p.m.
Friday, April 18th -- Royal Hours at 6:00 a.m.
-- Taking Down from the Cross at 3:00 p.m.
-- Lamentations Service at 6:30 p.m.
Saturday, April 19th -- Vesperal Liturgy of St. Basil at 9:00 a.m.
-- Paschal Service at 10:30 p.m.
Sunday, April 20th -- Agape Vespers at St. Peter at 4:00 p.m.
* The Youth Group will meet for a meal and Christian Education with Father John on Sunday, April 27th beginning at 5:30 p.m.
* We will hold our annual catfish dinner on Palm Sunday, April; 13th following the Divine Liturgy. Meals will be $9 for adults and children 12 and over, and $6 for children 5-11. There is a sign-up sheet in the fellowship hall. Please be sure to sign it if your family will be participating in the meal.
Paschal Meal: Charlotte Wood and Cheryl Pigott have graciously volunteered to take charge of the meal following the Paschal Service on Saturday evening, April 19th. We plan to have a pot luck meal with the church providing a ham. A sign-up sheet will be available for people to specify what they want to bring (e.g. breakfast casserole, appetizer or dessert) so that we know what will be brought. As we did at Nativity, there will be no one in the kitchen to do any cooking during the service. If your dish need s to be cooked, be sure to cook it before you come. The warmer will be turned on and dishes can be kept warm in it.
Clean-up following the Paschal Meal: Charlotte and Cheryl will only be doing set-up for the meal so we are also asking for volunteers to clean up afterwards. Gentlemen, this is a wonderful opportunity for you to help! Clean up will be important because we will be hosting the Agape Vespers the following afternoon.
Agape Vespers: St. Peters will be the host church for the Agape feast this year. The feast will be at 4:00 Easter Sunday afternoon. We'll be buying all the food and renting a tent and tables and chairs for this. We'd ask that everyone contribute as you can to help us out with expenses. There will be some baskets out for this. Costas Pavlou has graciously offered to do the cooking, and Nikki Lasseter and Emily Parker will be in charge of the egg hunt. Charlotte Algood and Be'Be' Schelver will be in charge of the feast. Thanks goes out in advance to all of you who are helping with this occasion!
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 date for next meeting will be set sometime soon. Please let Father John know by text or e-mail if you will be there, so that plans may be made for the meal.
Fasting Discipline for April
During Great Lent when 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 13th, when fish, wine and oil are permitted). During Bright Week (the week following Pascha) there is no fasting of any kind.
Major Commemorations for April
April 6 5th Sunday of Lent; St. Mary of Egypt
April 12 Lazarus Saturday
April 13 Palm Sunday
April 14-19 Holy Week
April 20 PASCHA
April 23 Great-martyr George
April 27 Thomas Sunday
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).
Canned food drive: The Christian Education classes are collecting canned good s for the needy.
Vacation Church School: We will be holding our Vacation Church School on Thursday-Saturday, June 26-28. The focus of this year's school will be on educating our children about the lives of their Name-Saints and of Sts. Peter and Paul. After Pascha, Sam Habeeb will be looking for volunteers to help with this wonderful program.
Suggestions on use of the Cry Room:
-- Please remember you're in liturgy when you're in the cry room.
-- Its main purpose should be a place for parents to take their children if they're being disruptive during liturgy, staying for 5-10 minutes (or until the child is calmed down) and then returning to liturgy.
-- It should not be used as a main sitting area during the liturgy.
-- Children should not be eating snacks or watching electronic devices while in the cry room.
Happy Birthdays in March/April:
March 30 -- Aidan Milnor (#8!)
April 4 -- Denis Lavric
April 6 -- John Wood (#21!)
April 11 -- Brandon Strain (#12!)
April 12 -- Lily Dabit
April 15 -- Anna Grace Dansereau (#1!)
April 26 -- Alexander Andrei (#2!)
Happy Anniversaries in April:
April 10 -- Simon and Rola Karam (#4!)
April 12 -- Mike and Cheryl Pigott (#33!)
April 28 -- Anthony and Athena Zouboukos (#24!)
Quotable: "The Sign of the Cross is also a source of knowledge revealing to us the chief mysteries of our Holy Faith, both by the words uttered in making it and by the action itself. The words 'in the Name' instead of 'in the names' express the fundamental truth of the unity of God; while the mention of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit declares that in this One God there are Three Persons, thus teaching the mystery of the Holy Trinity."
Rev. Fr. David F. Abramtsov, The Orthodox Companion