St. Peter Newsletter March 8, 2016 — The Sunday of Forgiveness and The Expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Garden

The Sunday of Forgiveness, the last of the preparatory Sundays before Great Lent, has two themes: it commemorates Adam’s expulsion from Paradise, and our need for forgiveness...Lent is a time when we weep with Adam and Eve before the closed gate of Eden, repenting with them for the sins that have deprived us of our free communion with God. But Lent is also a time when we prepare for Christ’s death and rising and the reopening of Paradise to us once more (Luke 23:43). Sorrow for our exile in sin is renewed by hope of our re-entry into Paradise. The second theme, that of forgiveness, is emphasized in the Gospel reading for this Sunday (Matthew 6:14-21) and in the special ceremony of mutual forgiveness at the end of the Vespers … [Read more...]

Choir Practice Resumes Wednesday, March 9 at 6pm

Choir practice resumes this Wednesday, March 9 at 6pm. Plans for Lent and Easter have been drawn up. Special attention in the upcoming weeks will be given to the Lamentations on Holy Friday this year so that we can sing them well. … [Read more...]

Does God Send People to Hell?

Does God Send People to Hell? We had a spirited discussion on heaven and hell at our bible study on Tuesday and one question that came up was "Does God send people to hell?" Orthodoxy teaches that hell is not a place where God throws people after He judges them (a common understanding among some Christians). Rather hell is a place that people choose for themselves. "God our Savior...desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth" St. Paul tells us in the book of Timothy (1 Timothy 2:3-4). Frederica Matthews Greene explains it well in this short video: You can see all of Frederica's short question and answer videos on the St. Peter's website. For anyone interested in a deeper theological … [Read more...]

St. Peter Newsletter — March 1, 2016 The Sunday of the Last Judgment

The Sunday of the Last Judgment or Meatfare Sunday is the third Sunday using the Lenten Triodion, the liturgical book used in the services of Great Lent. It is the Sunday after the Sunday of the Prodigal Son and Sunday before Forgiveness Sunday. This is the third week of the pre-Lenten start of the Easter cycle of worship in the Orthodox Church. This Sunday is called Meatfare Sunday since it is traditionally the last day before Easter for eating meat. Orthodox Christians observe a fast from meat all week, but still eat dairy products and eggs till the start of Great Lent. The Gospel reading this Sunday remembers Christ's parable of the Last Judgment (Matthew 25:31-46). This adds to the previous pre-Lent Sundays and teaches that it is … [Read more...]

St. Peter Newsletter — September 22, 2015 Sunday of the Prodigal Son

Sunday of the Prodigal Son The Sunday of the Prodigal Son is the second Sunday of pre-Lent, the weeks of preparation preceding Great Lent. It is the Sunday after the Sunday of the Publican and Pharisee and Sunday before Meatfare Sunday. This pre-Lent is the start of the Easter cycle of worship in the Orthodox Church. On this Sunday in the preparation for Great Lent, Orthodox Christians are read Christ’s parable about God's loving forgiveness (Luke 15:11-24). They are to see themselves as being in a foreign country far from the Father's house and to make the movement of return to God, where we truly belong. The parable gives assurance that the Father will receive them with joy and gladness in their journey through Great … [Read more...]