Fifth Sunday of Great Lent Commemoration of St. Mary of Egypt 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: 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 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, March 29 (Mary of Egypt) 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 6:30 p.m. -- Choir Practice Wednesday, April 1 (Mary of Egypt) 6:30 p.m. -- Presanctified Liturgy followed by Soup Supper 11:30 p.m. -- Men's Lunch 6:30 p.m. -- Small Compline with Canon of St. Lazarus Saturday, April 4 (Lazarus Saturday) 9:00 a.m. -- Orthros followed by Divine Liturgy 5:45 p.m. -- Ninth Hour followed by Great Vespers Sunday, April 5 (Palm Sunday) 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 Davises for the Feast of the Annunciation this past Wednesday morning and by the Daniel Roots for the Divine Liturgy today. 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 Bread Coffee Hour March 29 D. Root Schelver/Lavric/Turner April 4 (Sat. am) Abraham Sh. Margaret Root April 5 Karam FISH FRY MEAL April 9 (Thur. am) Brock Kh. Sharon Meadows April 11 (Sat. am) Fahmy Debbie Abraham April 11 (Sat. pm) Wood Kh. Be'Be' Schelver and April 19 R. Root Henderson/Lockhart April 26 Henderson Karam/Stewart/Meadows 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 29 Kh. Be'Be' Schelver Heb. 9:11-14 290 April 4 (Sat. am) Warren Strain Heb. 12:28-13:8 291 April 5 Phillip Lasseter Phil. 4:4-9 294 April 9 (Thur. am) Kh. Sharon Meadows I Cor. 11:23-32 295 April 11 (Sat. am) Tom Willingham Rom. 6:3-11 300 April 11 (Sat. pm) Walt Wood Acts 1:1-8 25 April 19 Sh. Charlotte Algood Acts 5:12-20 32 April 26 Warren Strain Acts 6:1-7 38 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. 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. 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; 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 remember Fr. Joseph and Kh. Joanna Bittle, and their daughter Abigail, in your prayers. Our condolences go to Tom and Kathy Willingham on the death of Tom's daughter, Teri, this past week in Baton Rouge. Please keep them in your prayers. 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 confessions will be heard during Holy Week. March is Ladies Month in our Archdiocese when we honor the women in our church who serve so faithfully throughout the year. This month the Ladies will be reading the Epistle during the Liturgy. * 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 the 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. However, since Pascha falls on the second week-end this year, we will meet for the Akathist on the Third Saturday of April. * 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. * We will hold our annual catfish dinner on Palm Sunday, April 5th following the Divine Liturgy. Meals will be $10 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. * Schedule for Holy Week services are as follows: Saturday, April 4th -- Orthros followed by Divine Liturgy at 9:00 a.m. Sunday, April 5th -- Bridegroom Matins at 6:30 p.m. Monday, April 6th -- Bridegroom Matins at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 7th -- Bridegroom Matins at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 8th -- Service of Holy Unction at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, April 9th -- Vesperal Liturgy of St. Basil at 6:00 a.m. -- Reading of the Twelve Passion Gospels at 6:30 p.m. Friday, April 10th -- 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 11th -- Vesperal Liturgy of St. Basil at 9:00 a.m. -- Paschal Service at 10:30 p.m. Sunday, April 12th -- Agape Vespers at 4:00 p.m. * Vacation Church School will be held Thursday, July 2nd through Saturday, July 4th. Young Adults Study Group: The Young Adults agreed to begin meeting twice a month. One of these meetings will feature a teaching by Fr. John on various aspects of the Orthodox Christian faith. Topics will include education, ethics and parenting children. The next meetings will be Sunday, April 19th . Pledge Letters have been mailed. Please fill these out and return them to the office as soon as possible. Your pledges make it possible to plan a budget for the coming year. Parish Life Conference 2015: This year St. Ignatius Orthodox Church in Franklin, TN will be hosting the Parish Life Conference for our Diocese on June 10-14. His Grace, Bishop JOHN Abdallah will be the speaker. Registration forms are available in the office or you can go online at www.saint-ignatius.org to register. The Conference will take place at the Franklin Marriott Cool Springs and last day to book the special conference rate is May 20th. Fasting Discipline for March/April During Great Lent the traditional fasting discipline (no meat, dairy, eggs, fish, wine or oil) is observed on all days of the week until Pascha (except Annunciation on March 25th and Palm Sunday on April 5th, when fish wine and oil are permitted). During Bright Week (the week following Pascha) there is no fasting of any kind. Following Bright Week, the traditional fasting discipline will be observed on the remaining Wednesdays and Fridays of the month. Major Commemorations for April April 23 Great-martyr George April 26 Sunday of the Holy Myrrh-bearers Thermostats in the Fellowship Hall: There are two thermostats in the Fellowship Hall—one in the main room to control the air in the main room, and a second one in the Nursery room that controls the air in all four of the Sunday School rooms. Please be sure when you leave the building that both thermostats are set to 80 degrees in warm weather or 60 degrees in cold weather. 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). Happy Birthdays in March/April: March 29 -- Sophie Dansereau (#4!) March 30 -- Aidan Milnor (#9!) April 11 -- Brandon Strain (#13!) April 15 -- Anna Grace Dansereau (#2!) April 26 -- Alexander Andrei (#3!) Happy Anniversaries in April: April 11 -- Simon and Rola Karam (#5!) April 12 -- Mike and Cheryl Pigott (#34!) April 28 -- Anthony and Athena Zouboukos (#25!) 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. Quotable: "Pride deprives us of God's help, making us over-reliant on ourselves and arrogant towards other people. There are two remedies for pride; and if you do not avail yourself of them you will find yourself given a third, far more painful to bear. Prayer with tears, and having no scorn for anyone, destroy pride; but so do chastisements inflicted against our will. Chastisement through the trials imposed on us is a spiritual rod, teaching us humility when in our foolishness we think too much of ourselves." The Philiokalia compiled by St. Nikodimos of the Holy Mountain and St. Makarios of Corinth Worship: Sunday, April 5, 2015 (Palm Sunday) Scripture: Philippians 4:4-9; John 12:1-18 Epistle Reader: Phillip Lasseter Coffee Hour: Annual Fish Fry Meal