The Third Sunday of Great Lent — Veneration of the Cross
By Fr. Alexander Schmemann.
The third Sunday of Lent is called “The Veneration of the Cross.” At the Vigil of that day, after the Great Doxology, the Cross is brought in a solemn procession to the center of the church and remains there for the entire week— with a special rite of veneration following each service.
It is noteworthy that the theme of the Cross which dominates the hymnology of that Sunday is developed in terms not of suffering but of victory and joy. More than that, the theme-songs (hirmoi) of the Sunday Canon are taken from the Paschal Service— “The Day of the Resurrection”— and the Canon is a paraphrase of the Easter Canon.
The meaning of all this is clear. We are in Mid-Lent. One the one hand, the physical and spiritual effort, if it is serious and consistent, begins to be felt, its burden becomes more burdensome, our fatigue more evident. We need help and encouragement.
On the other hand, having endured this fatigue, having climbed the mountain up to this point, we begin to see the end of our pilgrimage, and the rays of Easter grow in their intensity. Lent is our self-crucifixion, our experience, limited as it is, of Christ’s commandment heard in the Gospel lesson of that Sunday: “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me” (Mark 8:34).
But we cannot take up our cross and follow Christ unless we have His Cross which He took up in order to save us. It is His Cross, not ours, that saves us. It is His Cross that gives not only meaning but also power to others.
Listen to the podcast “Sunday of the Cross” by Fr. Thomas Hopko on the St. Peter’s website.
Lenten Services this Week
All services will be held at St. Paul’s (get map) starting at 5:30pm. Services this week include:
Pre-Sanctified Liturgy on Wednesday, March 19 at 5:30pm.
Salutations on Friday, March 21 at 5:30pm.
St. Peter Lecture Series Continues Thursday March 20 at 6:00pm
Christians and the Middle Ages: What Happened and Why It Matters
We will look at Christian History up to the Great Schism of 1054AD.
The lecture begins at 6pm at the Collier County Public Library on Orange Blossom and Airport Road (get map).
Memorial for Rena Brooks
We will holding the Forty Day Memorial for Rena Brooks this Sunday, March 23, 2014.
Rena was a dear and beloved member of St. Peter’s. May her memory be eternal
Our prayers are extended to the family of Rena Brooks, particularly her daughters Christine and Susan and their families.
St. Patrick, Enlightener of Ireland and Orthodox Saint
On Sunday during our discussion after Liturgy, I mentioned that St. Patrick was an Orthodox Saint. This caught many people by surprise.
St. Patrick lived from 385 to 460. He was raised a Christian but took his faith for granted until he was exiled into slavery. That suffering compelled deep prayer and brought him closer to God. He received a vision as a young man that he would be freed and walked 200 to find the ship that would take him home and reunite him with his parents.
He lived his faith with deep sobriety and commitment after returning home and after completing his education received another vision where he saw the people of Ireland calling for him. He returned and was a major figure in bringing Christianity to the land of his former captors.
You can read the full story on the Orthodox Thought of the Day website.
Community Easter Card
Once again you can help sponsor the St. Peter Community Easter card.
This is a great way to offer your best wishes to other members of our parish family and support your church at the same time.
You can sign up for the card on the website or following Divine Liturgies on Sunday.
Deadline to be included in the card is April 12, 2014.
Palm Sunday Brunch
Reserve Palm Sunday (April 13, 2014) for the annual St. Peter Palm Sunday Brunch to be held at the home of Bob and Mary Jarvis Bob and Mary Jarvis (get map). Exact times to be announced.
Our brunches and pot-lucks are good — low key with penty of rich conversation and fellowship. Also, the food is always exceptional.
Please sign-up on Sunday after Liturgy or use the sign-up form on the website.
We Need a Secretary/Administrator!
St. Peter's needs your help!
There is some administrative/secretarial work to do to keep St. Peter's running smoothly. We need someone to help us for the next year.
Basically it involves such things as keeping track of who does the Sunday Fellowship hour, sending out thank you notes, notifying members of board meetings, keep track of necessary announcements, that sort of thing. (Think of what Mary Copeland has been doing.)
Most of this can be done at home through email.
If you can volunteer, please speak to either Jack Long, John Hansen, or Fr. Hans.
A special thank you to Mary Copeland who has handled so much of this over the past few years.
Sunday Scripture Readings
(For the Third Sunday of Great Lent)
(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.”