St. Peter Newsletter March 6, 2018 — Third Sunday of Great Lent & Veneration of the Precious and Life-Giving Cross

Divine Liturgy of St. Basil the Great

Sophronios, Patriarch of Jerusalem;
Martyrs Thallos and Trophimos of Latakia;
Venerable George of Sinai; Theodora of Arta, the Empress; Euthymios, Bishop of Novgorod

Each of the Sundays of Great Lent has its own special theme. This Sunday’s theme is that in the cross of Christ crucified lies both “the power of God and the wisdom of God” for those being saved (1 Cor 1:24). On this Sunday in the middle of the Lenten season, the cross stands in the middle of the church, not merely to remind the faithful of Christ’s redemption and for them to keep the goal of their Lenten efforts, but also as a reminder: “He who does not take up his cross and follow me is not worthy of me” (Mt 10:38).

Historical theme

The historical theme, as seen in the hymnology, is the victory and joy of the cross, not the suffering. The Church fathers equate the life-giving cross with the tree of life and plant it in the middle of the Lenten pilgrimage. It was the tree that was planted in Paradise; it is to remind the faithful of both Adam’s bliss and how he was deprived from it.

Personal theme

For the catechumens of the early church, and the faithful preparing for Pascha today, the spiritual theme starts to change from personal faith, and personal effort, to Christ. The Church teaches that it is Christ’s cross that saves. One cannot take up his own cross and follow Christ unless one has Christ’s cross which he took up to save mankind. Partaking of this tree, one will no longer die, but will be kept alive.

This is done to refresh, reassure and to encourage those participating in Great Lent. The Church equates the appearance of the cross at this time to the banners and symbols that precede the return of a victorious king. The Epistle reading is from Hebrews 4:14-5:6 and explains Christ’s priesthood, and the Gospel lesson from Mark 8:34-9:1 ends with And He said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you that there are some standing here who will not taste death till they see the kingdom of God present with power.”

From Orthodoxwiki website.

Fr. Thomas Hopko on “Taking Up Your Cross”

Click to listen to Fr. Hopko

On the third Sunday of Great Lent, we concentrate on the Cross of Christ, and Fr. Tom helps us understand what it means to take up our cross.

Listen here:

Click to listen to the podcast

 

Barbara Duscas Needs Help Packing

Barbara Duscas is moving but needs help packing. She has the boxes, tape, and everything else necessary. If you could spare some time to help Barabara with this (onerous) job, blessings will be yours!

Please give Barbara a call at 239-738-6698 to set up dates and times.

 

St. Basil Liturgy Celebrated During Lent

St. Basil the Great

During the Lenten Sundays we celebrate St. Basil’s Liturgy instead of our usual St. John Chrysostom Liturgy. St. John’s liturgy is derived from St. Basil’s but the prayers are a bit shorter.

Women’s Retreat Lectures Available on the Website

The Annunciation of the Theotokos

The Annunciation of the Theotokos

For those who were not able to attend the Women’s Retreat or if you like to hear them again, videos of the lecture are available on the website.

The videos below were recorded at the Women’s Lenten Retreat held at St. Peter’s Orthodox Mission on March 3, 2018. Speakers were Fr. Paul Girgis of St. Paul Orthodox Church and Fr. Hans Jacobse of St. Peter Orthodox Mission.

Fr. Hans’ topic was: The Theotokos as Healer: Sometimes it Takes a Mother to Reveal the Son. Fr. Paul’s topic was: Jesus said Physician Heal Thyself: The Theotokos Shows Us How.

Letter Parents: Bring Your Children to Lazarus Saturday

The Raising of Lazarus

The Raising of Lazarus

Parents, take note of the letter on the website (which will be mailed to all parents) outlining a morning of events for your child start off Holy Week. We will begin with the Liturgy (where Fr. Hans will explain the importance of the day to the children), a pancake breakfast, making palm crosses to be distributed the next day at Palm Sunday and confession for the kids.

Get more information on the website.

Also consider bringing your children to the Taking Christ Down from the Cross service on Holy Friday afternoon. This is a short and highly visual service and children love it. Start setting the traditions early and it will stay with them their entire lives.

Lenten Suppers Following Wednesday Presanctified Liturgies

On Wednesday evenings following Presanctified Liturgy we will share in a light Lenten supper of lentil soup, bread and fruit. This is a practice of many churches and provides rich fellowship and sharing.

During the supper we will have a very short presentation on a theme particular to Lent.

Order Your Holy Week Service Books Now

Holy Week Service Book

This year we will be using the Holy Week Service Book of the Antiochian Archdiocese during Holy Week. If you would like one for private use please order it from Ancient Faith Publishing. The price is $35.00.

Includes the three Bridegroom services, the three Liturgies of the Presanctified Gifts; the service of Holy Unction; the Vesperal Divine Liturgy and 12 Passion Gospels of Holy Thursday; the Royal Hours, Vespers, and Lamentations of Holy Friday; the Vesperal Divine Liturgy of Holy Saturday morning; Great and Holy Pascha; and the Agape Vespers of Sunday afternoon.

This is the book you will need if you want to follow along during Holy Week.

Mark You Calendars: Palm Sunday Brunch and Pascha Dinner!

Plan on attending St. Peter’s Palm Sunday Brunch following the Palm Sunday Divine Liturgy on April 1, 2018. We will have a sign up sheet available shortly. Please sign up with Thoma in the social hall after Liturgy if you plan to attend so we can prepare properly. Suggested donation is $10 per person with no cost for children.

Following the Agape Vespers on Sunday, April 8, plan on attending our church wide Pascha celebration. The menu includes lamb, potatoes, and other items. This is a wonderful way to share fellowship and bread to celebrate the resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It was a huge success last year and will be a joy again this year. Please sign up with Thoma in the social hall after Liturgy if you plan to attend so we can prepare properly. Suggested donation is $15 per person with no cost for children.

Ladies, could you bring a desert for the luncheons?

There’s a place for you at the table!

Donations for Holy Week flowers Needed

Flowers beautify the Church and are essential part of Orthodox worship during Holy Week and Pascha. Please give your donation for flowers to Angela Long who is overseeing this project this year.

Interfaith Charities Needs Our Help!

Interfaith Charities Needs Our Help!

Interfaith Charities has asked us to help supply:

  • Jelly
  • Crackers (Ritz or Saltines)
  • Any Chef Boyardee food item (cans only please)

They also need:

  • Used clothing
  • Shoes
  • Bedding

Bring bring all items you can to St. Peter’s and we will get them to Interfaith Charities.

Interfaith Charities is a coalition of churches and business that help the poor in the San Carlos and south Fort Myers area (view their website). We partner with them to help the working poor in our area as part of our mission to serve the poor around us.

 

Calendar At A Glance

February

  • Friday, February 23, 2018 2:30pm Parish Council Meeting

Lenten Schedule

A complete schedule of Lenten and Holy Week services is posted on the St. Peter website.

  • Sunday, March 11, 2018 Veneration of the Cross
  • Monday, March 12, 2018 6:30pm Great Compline
  • Wednesday, March 14, 2018 6:30pm Presanctified Liturgy
  • Friday, March 16, 2018 6:30pm Salutations to the Theotokos
 

Wisdom From The Elders

Let us always try to do good without expecting anything in return. Elder Paisios of Mount Athos

Such is the property of love! It constantly remembers the beloved; it unceasingly delights in the name of the beloved; it keeps it in its heart and has it in its mind and on its lips. St. Ignatius Brianchaninov

This is the mark of Christianity—however much a man toils, and however many righteousnesses he performs, to feel that he has done nothing, and in fasting to say, “This is not fasting,” and in praying, “This is not prayer,” and in perseverance at prayer, “I have shown no perseverance.” Macarius the Great

We must understand that the human person in reality does not die. Death is simply a transfer from one life to the other. St. Paisios of Mount Athos

Provided they live a worthy life, both those who choose to dwell in the midst of noise and hubbub and those who dwell in monasteries, mountains and caves can achieve salvation. Solely because of their faith in Him God bestows great blessings on them. Hence those who because of their laziness have failed to attain salvation will have no excuse to offer on the day of judgment. For He who promised to grant us salvation simply on account of our faith in Him is not a liar. St. Symeon the New Theologian

Fleeing the cross is equivalent to fleeing from the glory of God. Metropolitan Saba(Esber)

 

Remember in Your Prayers

Jerry
Peter
David
Anne B.
Eva K.
Rosie
Jill
Connie
Sean Helgeland (great nephew to Steve and Anne Brietenbach)
Kathryn
Jeremy
Robert
Jane
Theodora
Baby Brynn L.
Micheal
Haralambos
Lillian
Presbytera Rosy
Valentina
John
Eva W.
Barbara
Angela
Sonya
Kenneth
Carol Ann
Matthew
Chrysostom
Tim
Ron
Ivy-Jean
Pat
Christina
Maria Louise
Maximos
Marian
Photini
Nicholas
Sarah
Petronia (Wife of Phil Pappas)
Constantine Houpis
Anna Marie Smith Baker
Ron Chromulak
Beverly Chromulak
Katerina
Loucine Kassis
Mary Kassis
Baby Maximus
Christine
Maria
Annette Star
Claire Livaditis
Eva Chandilles
Baby Dani
Scott Nedoff
Anthony Mourgis
John Hansen
James Hord
Tom

How should we pray for the sick? Remember them daily. Say their names (first names are sufficient) and ask God to bestow mercy and grace on them.

Add or remove names and print this list for easy reference during your prayer time on the St. Peter website.

 

Sunday Readings

Christ Giving Blessing

Epistle

For the Third Sunday of Great Lent

O Lord, save Thy people and bless Thine inheritance.
To Thee, O Lord, have I cried, O my God.

The Reading from the Epistle of St. Paul to the Hebrews. (4:14-5:6)

Brethren, since we have a High Priest, Who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we have not a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but One Who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. For every high priest chosen from among men is appointed to act on behalf of men in relation to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. He can deal gently with the ignorant and wayward, since he himself is beset with weakness. Because of this he is bound to offer sacrifice for his own sins as well as for those of the people. And one does not take the honor upon himself, but he is called by God, just as Aaron was. So also Christ did not exalt Himself to be made a high priest, but was appointed by Him Who said to Him, “Thou art My Son, today I have begotten Thee”; as He says also in another place, “Thou art a priest forever, after the order of Melchizedek.”

Gospel

For the Third Sunday of Great Lent

The Reading from the Holy Gospel according to St. Mark. (8:34-9:1)

The Lord said, “If any man would come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever would save his life will lose it; and whoever loses his life for My sake and the Gospel’s will save it. For what does it profit a man, to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? For what can a man give in return for his soul? For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of man also be ashamed, when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.” And Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see the Kingdom of God come with power.”

St. Peter Orthodox Church