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St. Peter Newsletter — Second Sunday of Lent / St. Gregory Palamas (and a whole lot more)

The Second Sunday of Orthodoxy - St. Gregory Palamas
The Second Sunday of Orthodoxy – St. Gregory Palamas

From “A Man Fully Alive” by Fr. Andrew Stephen Damick.

On the Second Sunday of Great Lent we celebrate St. Gregory Palamas, the archbishop of Thessalonica in Greece for a number of years in the 14th century, right around the same time that Geoffrey Chaucer was born, the man who wrote The Canterbury Tales.

But before he became an archbishop, Gregory was a monk on the holy mountain of Athos. During his time there and also when he later became an archbishop, Gregory was involved in a controversy that cut straight to the heart of this longing for life that all of us who are sons and daughters of Adam share.

At that time, there was a certain heretic named Barlaam, who was from the southern part of Italy, which was Greek-speaking at the time. Barlaam made the claim that the highest possible knowledge of God that anyone could have was through the mind, that the philosophers knew God better than the prophets and even the apostles.

Gregory answered that the human mind, while a great gift from God, was not actually capable of the kind of intimate knowledge and communion that Adam had received from God, that there was something much deeper, that the Christian could actually know God and see Him with the heart, as a light shining in. And indeed, sometimes this heart knowledge of God was so powerful and so pervasive that some people were actually seeing the light of God with their physical eyes.

Isn’t that why we’re here? Don’t we want to see God? Aren’t we here not just to learn about God with our minds, but truly to know Him with our hearts?

Read Fr. Damick’s complete essay here.

Read a brief history of St. Gregory Palamas here.

Annunciation Liturgy March 24, 2016 Eve

The Annunciation of the Theotokos
The Annunciation of the Theotokos

The Feast of the Annunciation of Our Most Holy Lady, the Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary is celebrated on March 25 each year. The Feast commemorates the announcement by the Archangel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary that our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, the Son of God, would become incarnate and enter into this world through her womb.

We will celebrate the feast with a Divine Liturgy on March 24, 2016 the eve of Annunciation. Divine Liturgy begins at 6:30pm.

Learn more about the Annunciation on the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese website.

Lenten Service Schedule

Extreme Humility
Extreme Humility

Sunday, March 27 Sunday of St. Gregory Palamas
Hours 9:00am
Divine Liturgy 9:30am

Monday, March 28
Great Compline 6:30pm

Wednesday, March 30
Presanctified Liturgy 6:30pm

Friday, April 1
Third Stanza Salutations 6:30pm

The St. Peter Lenten Service Schedule is available on the website.

Lenten Suppers Following Wednesday Presanctified Liturgies

Man giving thanks to God

On Wednesday evenings following Presanctified Liturgy we will share in a light Lenten supper of lentil soup, bread and fruit. This is a practice of many churches and provides rich fellowship and sharing. Sponsors this week are John and Corgette Troutman.

Additions to Calendar

  • Confessions following weekday services or by appointment.
  • Lazarus Saturday — Pancake breakfast (great for the kids), making of Palm Sunday Crosses, confessions for children following breakfast.
  • Palm Sunday — Palm Sunday Brunch following Liturgy in Social Hall.
  • Holy Friday — Decorate tomb of Christ following Royal Hours (around 10:30am).
  • Agape Vespers — Paschal celebration and feast in Social Hall following vespers.

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.

Flower Donations Requested

Can you help donate for Easter flowers? Please see Angela Long or a Parish Council member to make your donation.

Lenten Service Books

Salutation and Akathist (Friday evening services)

The Akathist Hymn - Click to Order

The Akathist Hymn to the Theotokos in a new translation by Father Seraphim Dedes, presented in Greek and English on opposite pages. Text is metered.

Order your copy through the Holy Cross Bookstore either online or call (800) 245-0599. We will have a few extra copies at Church for visitors.

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.

Presanctified Liturgy (Wednesday Evenings)

There are many copies of Presanctified Liturgies all essentially the same except for the English translations and a few moveable hymns. Almost any book will do. For services we will be using the version supplied weekly on the Antiochian Archdiocese website.

Two suggestions are:

  1. Ninth Hour and Typica / The Divine Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts of St. Gregory the Dialogist for Wednesdays of Great Lent. This version is more difficult to follow but a good edition. Order from Antiochian Village Bookstore. Price: $12
  2. The Lenten Liturgies. The translation is a bit wooden but services are very easy to follow. Order from Holy Cross book store. Price: $22.

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.

Youth and Adult Bible Studies Postponed Until After Lent

Come to church instead.

Choir Practice on Wednesdays at 5:30pm

Orthodox Wisdom

Every saint accepts and loves his or her own person and position in life, sanctifying and fulfilling it according to the real possibilities that are given. The servant serves. The worker works. The parent nurtures. The ruler rules. The preacher preaches. The teacher teaches. The pastor guides. The scholar inquires. The student studies. The manager manages. The scientist investigates. The producer produces. The artist creates. Each one does his own thing, according to his or her own talents and gifts…for the glory of God and the good of the other.

Every saint lives in the present moment, in his or her own time and place. The saint never pines over the past or worries about the future. The saint never wishes to be somewhere else, in some other conditions, with some other people. The saint never wishes to be somebody else. He trusts God in all things and does what has to be done and can be done in the given circumstances. The saint knows that whatever it is that has to be done, it can only be done right now …for only the present is in the power of the person, and nothing else.

— Fr. Thomas Hopko

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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

Search the Scriptures


O Lord, Thou wilt preserve us and keep us from this generation.
Save me, O Lord, for the godly man hath disappeared.

The Reading from the Epistle of St. Paul to the Hebrews. (1:10-2:3)

“In the beginning, Thou, O Lord, didst found the earth, and the heavens are the work of Thy hands; they will perish, but Thou remainest; they will all grow old like a garment, like a mantle Thou wilt roll them up, and they will be changed. But Thou art the same, and Thy years will never end.”

But to what angel has He ever said, “Sit at My right hand, until I make Thine enemies a stool for thy feet”? Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to serve, for the sake of those who are to obtain salvation? Therefore, we must pay closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it.

For if the message, declared by angels, was valid and every transgression or disobedience received a just retribution, how shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation? It was declared at first by the Lord, and it was attested to us by those who heard Him.


The Second Sunday of Lent

The Reading from the Holy Gospel according to St. Mark. (2:1-12)

At that time, when Jesus returned to Capernaum after some days, it was reported that He was at home. And many were gathered together, so that there was no longer room for them, not even about the door; and He was preaching the Word to them. And they came, bringing to Jesus a paralytic carried by four men.

And when they could not get near Jesus because of the crowd, they removed the roof above Him; and when they had made an opening, they let down the pallet on which the paralytic lay. And when Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”

Now, some of the scribes were sitting there, reasoning in their hearts, “Why does this man speak thus? It is blasphemy! Who can forgive sins but God alone?” And immediately Jesus, perceiving in His spirit that they thus reasoned within themselves, said to them, “Why do you reason thus in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise, take up your pallet and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins” – He said to the paralytic – “I say to you, rise, take up your pallet and go home.”

And he rose, and immediately took up the pallet and went out before them all. So that they were all amazed and glorified God, saying, “We never saw anything like this!”