Great and Holy Pascha — The Resurrection of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ

The Resurrection of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ

The Resurrection of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ

O Death, where is your sting? O Hell, where is your victory?
Christ is risen, and you are overthrown.
Christ is risen, and the demons are fallen.
Christ is risen, and the angels rejoice.
Christ is risen, and life reigns.
Christ is risen, and not one dead remains in the grave.
For Christ, being risen from the dead, is become the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep.
To Him be glory and dominion unto ages of ages. Amen.

From the Paschal Sermon of St. John Chrysostom.

No Social Hall after Pascha Liturgy Saturday Evening

Instead we will celebrate Pascha at our community dinner following Agape Vespers later that afternoon.

Agape Service Pascha Celebratory Dinner

On Pascha Sunday we will come together again after the Pascha service to celebrate Agape Vespers (Sunday, May 1 2015), a very short service followed by a community wide Pascha dinner. This will be good! We’ve done in past years at different homes but this year we will hold it in our new social hall.

Like all dinners however, we need a count. Sign up this Sunday (Palm Sunday) or let us know through the website if you will be attending.

Easter Egg Hunt for the Kids

Plan on an Easter Egg hunt for the kids.

PARENTS: if your children are too young for the Pascha Service, bring them to Agape Vespers instead. The service is short and we still have candles and sing Christ is Risen. The dinner that follows, having fun with their friends, the Easter egg hunt and more is crucial for forming their self-identity as Orthodox Christians at their young age.

Lenten Service Schedule

Extreme Humility

Holy Week

Saturday, April 30
Divine Liturgy of St. Basil 9:30am
Great and Holy Pascha 10pm

Sunday, May 1
Agape Vespers 1pm
Paschal Celebration in Social Hall following

St. Peter Newsletter – Holy Week Announcements

The Crucifixion of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ

Journey Through Holy Week

Check the website for an explanation of services this Holy Week.

Dyeing Easter Eggs

To the volunteers donating Easter eggs for Pascha: Please bring you eggs in Thursday night or Friday morning and put them in the refrigerator.

Agape Service Pascha Celebratory Dinner

On Pascha Sunday we will come together again after the Pascha service to celebrate Agape Vespers (Sunday, May 1 2015), a very short service followed by a community wide Pascha dinner. This will be good! We’ve done in past years at different homes but this year we will hold it in our new social hall.

Like all dinners however, we need a count. Sign up this Sunday (Palm Sunday) or let us know through the website if you will be attending.

Easter Egg Hunt for the Kids

Plan on an Easter Egg hunt for the kids.

PARENTS: if your children are too young for the Pascha Service, bring them to Agape Vespers instead. The service is short and we still have candles and sing Christ is Risen. The dinner that follows, having fun with their friends, the Easter egg hunt and more is crucial for forming their self-identity as Orthodox Christians at their young age.

Lenten Service Schedule

Extreme Humility

Holy Week

Sunday, April 24 Palm Sunday
Hours 9:00am, Divine Liturgy 9:30am
Brunch in Social Hall following Liturgy
Bridegroom Service 6:30pm

Monday, April 25
Bridegroom Service 6:30pm

Tuesday, April 26
Bridegroom Service 6:30pm

Wednesday, April 27
Holy Unction 6:30pm

Thursday, April 28
Liturgy of the Last Supper 9:30am
Reading of the Twelve Gospels 6:30pm

Friday, April 29
Royal Hours 9:00am
Decoration of Tomb of Christ following Royal Hours
Taking Christ Down from the Cross 3:00pm
Lamentations 6:30pm

Saturday, April 30
Divine Liturgy of St. Basil 9:30am
Great and Holy Pascha 10pm

Sunday, May 1
Agape Vespers 1pm
Paschal Celebration in Social Hall following

A Guide for Holy Week — Palm Sunday Through Holy Saturday

Source: Antiochian Archdiocese

See more resources on the Antiochian Archdiocese website.

Great Lent and Holy Week are two separate fasts, and two separate celebrations. Great Lent ends on Friday of the fifth week (the day before Lazarus Saturday). Holy Week begins immediately thereafter. Let’s explore the meaning of each of the solemn days of Passion Week.

Lazarus Saturday

The Raising of Lazarus

The Raising of Lazarus

Lazarus Saturday is the day which begins Holy Week. It commemorates the raising of our Lord’s friend Lazarus, who had been in the tomb four days. This act confirmed the universal resurrection from the dead that all of us will experience at our Lord’s Second Coming. This miracle led many to faith, but it also led to the chief priest’s and Pharisees’ decision to kill Jesus (John 11:47-57).

Palm Sunday

The Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem

The Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem

Our Lord enters Jerusalem and is proclaimed king – but in an earthly sense, as many people of His time were seeking a political Messiah. Our Lord is King, of course, but of a different type – the eternal King prophesied by Zechariah the Prophet. We use palms on this day to show that we too accept Jesus as the true King and Messiah of the Jews, Who we are willing to follow – even to the cross.

Bridegroom Service (Sunday, Monday, Tuesday)

Extreme Humility

Christ the Bridegroom – Extreme Humility

The services of these days are known as the Bridegroom or Nymphios Orthros Services. At the first service of Palm Sunday evening, the priest carries the icon of Christ the Bridegroom in procession, and we sing the “Hymn of the Bridegroom.” We behold Christ as the Bridegroom of the Church, bearing the marks of His suffering, yet preparing a marriage Feast for us in God’s Kingdom.

Each of these Bridegroom Orthros services has a particular theme. On Holy Monday, the Blessed Joseph, the son of Jacob the Patriarch, is commemorated. Joseph is often seen as a Type of Christ. Joseph was betrayed by his brothers, thrown into a pit, and sold into slavery by them. In the same way, our Lord was rejected, betrayed by His own, and sold into the slavery of death. The Gospel reading for the day is about the barren fig tree, which Christ cursed and withered because it bore no fruit. The fig tree is a parable of those who have heard God’s word, but who fail to bear the fruit of obedience. Originally the withering of the fig tree was a testimony against those Jews who rejected God’s word and His Messiah. However, it is also a warning to all people, in all times, of the importance of not only hearing the God’s word, but putting it into action.

The Parable of the Ten Virgins is read on Holy Tuesday. It tells the story of the five virgins who filled their lamps in preparation for receiving the bridegroom while the other five allowed their lamps to go out, and hence were shut out of the marriage feast. This parable is a warning that we must always be prepared to receive our Lord when He comes again. The theme of the day is reinforced by the expostelarion hymn we sing: “I see Thy Bridal Chamber adorned, O my Savior, but have no wedding garment that I may enter. O Giver of Light, enlighten the vesture of my soul, and save me.” The theme of Holy Wednesday is repentance and forgiveness. We remember the sinful woman who anointed our Lord in anticipation of His death. Her repentance and love of Christ is the theme of the wonderful “Hymn of Kassiane” which is chanted on this night, reminding us one more time, before “it is too late,” that we too may be forgiven if we repent.

Holy Wednesday – Holy Unction

Holy Unction

Holy Unction

The Mystery or Sacrament of Holy Unction is celebrated on Holy Wednesday evening. Actually this service can be celebrated any time during the year, especially when one is ill. However, because of our need for forgiveness and spiritual healing, we offer this service during Holy Week for the remission of our sins. We should prepare for this service in a prayerful way, as we do for Holy Communion.

Holy Thursday

Crucifixion of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ

Crucifixion of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ

On Holy Thursday we turn to the last events of our Lord and His Passion. Thursday morning begins with a Vesperal Divine Liturgy commemorating the Mystical Supper. As previously mentioned, this is actually Holy Thursday evening’s service celebrated in the morning in anticipation. Everyone who is able should make an effort to receive Holy Communion at this service as it was at the Mystical Supper that our Lord instituted the Holy Eucharist. At this Liturgy a second Host is consecrated and kept in the Tabernacle. It is from this Host that Holy Communion is distributed to the shut-ins and the sick throughout the coming year.

Thursday evening actually begins the services of Great and Holy Friday. The service of the Twelve Passion Gospels commemorates the solemn time of our Lord’s Crucifixion. After the reading of the fifth Gospel, the holy cross is carried around the church in procession, and Christ’s body is nailed to the cross in the center of the church.

Great and Holy Friday

Taking Down Christ from the Cross

Taking Down Christ from the Cross

This is a day of strict fast. As little as possible should be eaten on this day. It is the only day in the entire year that no Divine Liturgy of any kind can be celebrated. In the morning we celebrate the Royal Hours. These solemn hours are observed as we read the various accounts and hymns concerning the crucifixion. In the afternoon we celebrate the Vesper service of the taking down of Christ’s body from the cross. During the Gospel reading, our Lord’s body is taken off the cross and wrapped in a new, white linen sheet. This act commemorates the removal of Christ’s body from the cross by Joseph of Arimathea (John 19:38-42). Later in the service, the Epitaphios, or winding-sheet, with Christ’s body on it is carried in procession and placed in the recently decorated tomb. In the evening the Lamentations Orthros service is sung. This service begins in a solemn manner, but by the end of the service we are already anticipating the Resurrection of our Lord. Remember again, that the Holy Friday evening Orthros is actually the first service of Holy Saturday, the day in which we commemorate our Lord’s body resting in the tomb while His all-pure soul descends into Hades to free the faithful of the Old Covenant.

Great and Holy Saturday

The Resurrection of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ

The Resurrection of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ

This day is a day of hope and waiting. In the morning we celebrate a Vesperal Divine Liturgy which commemorates Christ’s victory over death. Bright vestments are worn as we anticipate Christ’s Resurrection. Laurel leaves are strewn throughout the church during the service, because in the ancient world laurel leaves were a sign of victory. As the leaves are strewn, the choir chants “Arise O God and Judge the earth, for to Thee belong all the nations.” The Old Testament story of Jonah in the belly of the whale is read at this service because Jonah is seen in the Church as a Type of Christ. As Jonah was three days in the belly of the great fish, and was then safely deposited back onto land, so our Lord was three days in the tomb before His glorious Resurrection. The Vesperal Divine Liturgy of Holy Saturday concludes the services of Holy Week, and brings us to the eve of Great and Holy Pascha.

Fr. Hans Jacobse – Paschal Letter to the Parents of St. Peter’s

Dear Parents,

Dear Parents,

Allow The Children To Come Unto Me

Allow The Children To Come Unto Me

Take a look at your children and then take a look a the world they are growing up in. Our work is cut out for us.

It used to be that we could count on the surrounding culture to reinforce what our children needed to learn to grow into stable adults. Today the opposite is true. Raising stable children is getting much harder.

I am acutely aware of how difficult it is to raise children — how to teach them right and wrong, how to instill values that will keep them from self-destructive behaviors as they grow older, how to affirm and encourage them, how to help them discover who they are and more.

The Church is a key part of their development and can help you help them.

We Welcome Children at St. Peter's

At St. Peter's we are building a culture that welcomes the children. We want to help you help them. If church is a place where they want to go, then we know through their activities and interactions with their peers, their self-identity as Orthodox Christians will grow and they will be more equipped to avoid the many destructive forces in our culture that could otherwise harm them.

Children learn relationally. They listen to their Sunday School teacher because they like her. They listen to their priest because he likes them. They come to church because they get to see and interact with their "church friends." This is good and necessary because it is true.

As a result, a lot of our work is practical. We know for example that we have to put the boys to work. To that end we have ordered more altar boy robes (they arrive the first week of May) so the boys can work on the altar. We will have activities and events for them knowing that the events foster deeper friendships among them. We also know that we needed a better Sunday School room so we built one.

Things Parents Can Do

What can you do? Bring your children to Church. This Easter Season we have several events designed for your children.

Lazarus Saturday — Saturday, April 23 9:30am
Bring your child to Divine Liturgy. Afterwards we will have a pancake breakfast, hear confessions, and make the Crosses for Palm Sunday.

Palm Sunday — Sunday, April 24 Palm Sunday 9:30am
You children will see the Church decorated with Palms and be with their friends at the Brunch that follows.

Holy Unction — Wednesday, April 27 6:30am
This is a longer service but a very memorable one. The memory formed is the anointing at the end of the service.

Taking Christ Down from the Cross — Friday, April 29 3:00pm
This is an afternoon service, visually rich, and lasts about an hour. Christ is taken down from the Cross and placed in the tomb. The service is short. Consider taking you child out of school that day to attend.

Pacha — Great and Holy Pascha 10:00pm
Good for older children but the later hour and length makes it difficult for younger ones.

Agape Vespers — Sunday, Sunday, May 1 1:00pm
This service incoporates the highlights of the Pascha Service (candles and singing mostly) in ways that younger children love. It is also short. Following the service we will have our Pascha Dinner and an Easter Egg Hunt for the children.

Our Promise

My promise to you is that if you faithfully bring your children to Church, I will do what I can to help them. I have adults on the team who understand this too and work to make the children feel welcome and contribute in ways that will foster their growth.

They include Sunday School teachers, cooks who make the food for events like the Lazarus Saturday pancake breakfast, men who built out our new Sunday School room, people who contribute funds for the Altar Boy robes, women who adopt the teens into the Choir, and more.

We have 13 children in our parish with most of the growth in the last three or four months. We want to make St. Peter’s a place where the children are welcome, parents are supported, and our young people can develop the self-identity to help them flourish and succeed.

We pray for God’s blessing and help.

Yours In Christ,

Fr. Hans Jacobse

St. Peter Newsletter April 19, 2016 — Holy Week Schedule, Paschal Dinner, Easter Egg Hunt and more

Palm Sunday

The Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem

The Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem

On the Sunday before the Feast of Great and Holy Pascha and at the beginning of Holy Week, the Orthodox Church celebrates one of its most joyous feasts of the year. Palm Sunday is the commemoration of the Entrance of our Lord into Jerusalem following His glorious miracle of raising Lazarus from the dead. Having anticipated His arrival and having heard of the miracle, the people when out to meet the Lord and welcomed Him with displays of honor and shouts of praise. On this day, we receive and worship Christ in this same manner, acknowledging Him as our King and Lord.

The biblical story of Palm Sunday is recorded in all four of the Gospels (Matthew 21:1-11; Mark 11:1-10; Luke 19:28-38; and John 12:12-18). Five days before the Passover, Jesus came from Bethany to Jerusalem. Having sent two of His disciples to bring Him a colt of a donkey, Jesus sat upon it and entered the city.

People had gathered in Jerusalem for the Passover and were looking for Jesus, both because of His great works and teaching and because they had heard of the miracle of the resurrection of Lazarus. When they heard that Christ was entering the city, they went out to meet Him with palm branches, laying their garments on the ground before Him, and shouting, “Hosanna! Blessed is he that comes in the Name of the Lord, the King of Israel!”

[…]

Read the entire story on the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese website.

Letter Parents: Bring Your Children to Lazarus Saturday (April 23)

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.

Palm Sunday Brunch (April 24)

Palm Sunday Brunch

As is our custom, St. Peter’s will hold a Palm Sunday Brunch following the Liturgy on Palm Sunday, April 24. This is a great time of fellowship for all. We need a count so please sign up at Church this Sunday or submit your names on the website.

A free will donation is requested.

Agape Service Pascha Celebratory Dinner

Lighting the Candles before Worship

On Pascha Sunday we will come together again after the Pascha service to celebrate Agape Vespers (Sunday, May 1 2015), a very short service followed by a community wide Pascha dinner. This will be good! We’ve done in past years at different homes but this year we will hold it in our new social hall.

Like all dinners however, we need a count. Sign up this Sunday (Palm Sunday) or let us know through the website if you will be attending.

Easter Egg Hunt for the Kids

Plan on an Easter Egg hunt for the kids.

PARENTS: if your children are too young for the Pascha Service, bring them to Agape Vespers instead. The service is short and we still have candles and sing Christ is Risen. The dinner that follows, having fun with their friends, the Easter egg hunt and more is crucial for forming their self-identity as Orthodox Christians at their young age.

Lenten Service Schedule

Extreme Humility

Extreme Humility

Holy Week

Sunday, April 24 Palm Sunday
Hours 9:00am, Divine Liturgy 9:30am
Brunch in Social Hall following Liturgy
Bridegroom Service 6:30pm

Monday, April 25
Bridegroom Service 6:30pm

Tuesday, April 26
Bridegroom Service 6:30pm

Wednesday, April 27
Holy Unction 6:30pm

Thursday, April 28
Liturgy of the Last Supper 9:30am
Reading of the Twelve Gospels 6:30pm

Friday, April 29
Royal Hours 9:00am
Decoration of Tomb of Christ following Royal Hours
Taking Christ Down from the Cross 3:00pm
Lamentations 6:30pm

Saturday, April 30
Divine Liturgy of St. Basil 9:30am
Great and Holy Pascha 10pm

Sunday, May 1
Agape Vespers 1pm
Paschal Celebration in Social Hall following

St. Peter’s Raises $500 for Food for the Hungry

Food for Hungry People

Our collection on Sunday raised $450 to help the Orthodox Christian refugees in the war torn regions of the Middle East. As you know, the assault by ISIS on the Christians in the region is relentless (they are trying to drive all Christians out). Also, the current administration has effectively blocked almost all Christian immigration to the United States.

You can read more about Food for the Hungry on the Antiochian Archdiocese website.

Letter to Invite Friends to Church

Would you like to invite a friend to church but don’t know what to say? Try out the “Invitation to Worship” letter on the website. You can print and send the letter as is or take the language and make your own.

We hope you find it helpful.

See and print the letter on the St. Peter website.

Changing the Way We Read Names During Liturgy

The parish is growing and the list of names read during the Great Entrance is getting larger. From now on Fr. Hans will continue to read all the submitted names in the Proskomedi (the prayers of the preparation of the gifts) but they will not be read during the Great Entrance.

The names that will be read out loud are those that are sick and the deceased. We will have a separate list just for the sick where you can include the names of the people who need prayers.

Confessions Follow Weekday Services

Fr. Hans will hear confessions after any weekday service or by appointment. Why confess? It heals the soul. Confession is a sacrament of healing, not judgment.

Lenten Holy Week Books

Holy Week (Palm Sunday Evening through Agape Service)

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.

Printing Services from Your Computer

Some of the services we use can be found on the internet. This page lists all the services that you can print out and use. Most of the services we use not found in books will be taken from here.

Orthodox Wisdom

Now the Church consists of both her earthly and heavenly parts, for the Son of God came to earth and became man that He might lead man into heaven and make him once again a citizen of Paradise, returning to him his original state of sinlessness and wholeness and uniting him unto Himself.

This is accomplished by the action of Divine grace grated through the Church, but man’s effort is also required. God saves His fallen creature by His own love for him, but man’s love for his Creator is also necessary; without it he cannot by saved. Striving towards God and cleaving unto the Lord by its humble love, the human soul obtains power to cleanse itself from sin and to strengthen itself for the struggle to complete victory over sin.

– St. John Maximovitch

Those Christian communions who do not venerate the saints and do not call upon them in prayer lose much in piety and in Christian hope. They deprive themselves of the great strengthening of their faith by the examples of men like unto themselves.

— St. John of Kronstadt

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Remember in Your Prayers

Constandina James

Peter Wouralis

James Hord

Bob Smith

Tom and Jean, parents of Patty and Jerry.

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

Sunday Readings

Christ Giving Blessing

Epistle

For Palm Sunday

Blessed is He Who cometh in the Name of the Lord.
O give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good; for His mercy endures forever.

The Reading from the Epistle of St. Paul to the Philippians. (4:4-9)

Brethren, rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let all men know your forbearance. The Lord is at hand. Have no anxiety about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, these do; and the God of peace will be with you.

Gospel

For Palm Sunday

The Reading from the Holy Gospel according to St. John. (12:1-18)

Six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus who had died was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. There they made Him a supper; Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those at table with Him. Mary took a pound of costly ointment of pure nard and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped His feet with her hair; and the house was filled with the fragrance of the ointment.

But Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, one of His Disciples (he who was to betray Jesus), said, “Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?” This he said, not because he cared for the poor but because he was a thief, and as he had the moneybox he used to take what was put into it. Jesus said, “Let her alone, let her keep it for the day of My burial. The poor you always have with you, but you do not always have Me.”

When the great crowd of the Jews learned that He was there, they came, not only on account of Jesus but also to see

Lazarus, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. So the chief priests planned to put Lazarus also to death, because on account of him many of the Jews were going away and believing in Jesus. The next day a great crowd who had come to the feast heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, crying, “Hosanna! Blessed is He Who cometh in the Name of the Lord, the King of Israel!”

And Jesus found a young donkey and sat upon it; as it is written, “Fear not, daughter of Zion; behold, your king is

coming, sitting on a donkey’s colt!” His Disciples did not understand this at first; but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that this had been written of Him and had been done to Him. The crowd that had been with Jesus when He called Lazarus out of the tomb and raised him from the dead bore witness. The reason why the crowd went to meet Jesus was that they heard He had done this sign.