Ninth Sunday of Luke Sunday
Forefeast of the Entrance of the Theotokos
The Entrance of the Theotokos into the Temple, also called The Presentation, is one of the Great Feasts of the Orthodox Church, celebrated on November 21. Among those Orthodox Christians who use the "Old" (Julian) calendar as their Church calendar, the date of this feast corresponds to December 4 in the secular calendar.
According to Tradition, the Theotokos was taken – presented – by her parents Joachim and Anna into the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem as a young girl, where she lived and served as a Temple virgin until her betrothal to St. Joseph. One of the earliest sources of this tradition is the non-canonical Protoevangelion of James, also called the Infancy Gospel of James.
Mary was solemnly received by the temple community which was headed by the priest Zacharias, the father of John the Baptist. She was led to the holy place to become herself the "holy of holies" of God, the living sanctuary and temple of the Divine child who was to be born in her. The Church also sees this feast as a feast which marks the end of the physical temple in Jerusalem as the dwelling place of God.
Divine Liturgy Entrance of the Theotokos into the Temple – Monday, November 21, 6:30pm
Liturgy begins at 6:30pm for this important feast day.
We've Entered the Christmas Fasting Period
The Christmas fasting period runs from November 15 to December 24. Guidelines for proper fasting during the Christmas fast can be found on the Antiochian Archdiocese website. Look at the schedule, conform to the fast as you are able, and if you have questions consult Fr. Hans.
Fasting is important but sometimes circumstances require adjustments to the directions. We are not bound to directions (fasting is voluntary) but we should not use our liberty as an excuse for slackness or negligence either.
Why fast? It helps us focus on Christ more in our interior lives. As we learn to master our interior life, our exterior life changes for the better too. We fast faithfully and in secret, not judging others, and not holding ourselves up as an example.
From the Antiochian Archdiocese Website:
The Purpose of Fasting
The purpose of fasting is to focus on the things that are above, the Kingdom of God. It is a means of putting on virtue in reality, here and now. Through it we are freed from dependence on worldly things.
- Fasting in itself is not a means of pleasing God. Fasting is not a punishment for our sins. Nor is fasting a means of suffering and pain to be undertaken as some kind of atonement. Christ already redeemed us on His Cross. Salvation is a gift from God that is not bought by our hunger or thirst.
- We fast to be delivered from carnal passions so that God’s gift of Salvation may bear fruit in us.
- We fast and turn our eyes toward God in His Holy Church. Fasting and prayer go together.
- Fasting is not irrelevant. Fasting is not obsolete, and it is not something for someone else. Fasting is from God, for us, right here and right now.
- Most of all, we should not devour each other. We ask God to “set a watch and keep the door of our lips.”
Do Not Fast
- between December 25 and January 5 (even on Wednesdays and Fridays);
- if you are pregnant or nursing a newborn;
- during serious illness;
- without prayer;
- without alms-giving;
- according to your own will without guidance from your spiritual father
May Their Memory Be Eternal
Upcoming Memorials at St. Peter's include:
- Sunday, December 4: Bea (Panagiota) Chionis (40 days) by husband George and the entire Chionis family.
Christmas Season Food Drive for NAMI
Every Christmas season St. Peter's runs a food drive for NAMI (National Association for Mental Illness)serving local people in need. NAMI helps people with serious and persistent mental illnesses, as well as their parents, children, spouses, siblings and friends.
St. Peter's has contributed to NAMI emergency food bank care for six years. Donations go to the Sarah Ann Drop In Center in Naples, FL. Three categories of items are needed:
- Canned and dry goods
- Toiletry articles (The small hotel type items work very well)
- Diabetic foods
Bring them to church and we will get them to NAMI. The drive will run through Christmas.
Women's Group CANCELLED in November
The Women's Group meeting schedule for Thursday, November 17 is CANCELLED.
Thank You From Interfaith Charities
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