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)
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)
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
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.
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
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
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
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)
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.
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
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.
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.
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.