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St. Peter Newsletter — St. Mary of Egypt, Lazarus Saturday (Parents, Bring your children!), Palm Sunday, Palm Sunday Brunch…more

Fr. Zossima and St. Mary of Egypt

Fifth Sunday of Great Lent
St. Mary of Egypt

Divine Liturgy of St. Basil the Great

Fr. Zossima and St. Mary of Egypt
Fr. Zossima and St. Mary of Egypt

Who was St. Mary of Egypt?

Our holy mother Mary was born in Egypt. She had left her parents at the age of twelve to go to Alexandria, where she spent the next seventeen years in debauchery and the greatest profligacy. Living on charity and linen-weaving, she nevertheless offered her body to any man, not being forced to it by dire necessity as were so many poor women, but as though she were consumed by the fire of a desire that nothing was able to appease.

One day, seeing a crowd of Lybians and Egyptians moving towards the port, she followed them and set sail with them for Jerusalem, offering her body to pay her fare. When they arrived in the Holy City, she followed the crowd that was thronging towards the Church of the Resurrection, it being the day of the Exaltation of the Cross. But, when she reached the threshold of the church, an invisible force prevented her entering in spite of repeated efforts on her part, although the other pilgrims were able to go in without hindrance.

Left alone in a corner of the narthex, she began to realize that it was the impurity of her life that was preventing her approaching the holy Wood. She burst into tears and smote her breast and, seeing an icon of the Mother of God, made this prayer to her: “O Sovereign Lady, who didst bear God in the flesh, I know that I should not dare to look upon thine icon, thou who are pure in soul and body, because, debauched as I am, I must fill thee with disgust. But, as the God born of thee became man in order to call sinners to repentance, come to my aid! Allow me to go into the church and prostrate before His Cross. And, as soon as I have seen the Cross, I promise that I will renounce the world and all pleasures, and follow the path of salvation that thou willest to show me.”

She felt herself suddenly freed from the power that had held her and was able to enter the church. There she fervently venerated the Holy Cross and then, returning to the icon of the Mother of God, declared herself ready to follow the path that the Virgin would show her. A voice replied to her from on high: “If you cross the Jordan, you will find rest.”

Read St. Mary’s complete biography on the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese website.

Lazarus Saturday Liturgy on Saturday, April 8

The Raising of Lazarus
The Raising of Lazarus

On the Saturday before Holy Week, the Orthodox Church commemorates a major feast of the year, the miracle of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ when he raised Lazarus from the dead after he had lain in the grave four days. Here, at the end of Great Lent and the forty days of fasting and penitence, the Church combines this celebration with that of Palm Sunday. In triumph and joy the Church bears witness to the power of Christ over death and exalts Him as King before entering the most solemn week of the year, one that leads the faithful in remembrance of His suffering and death and concludes with the great and glorious Feast of Pascha.

Read more on the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese website.

Parents – Bring Your Children!

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.

Please sign up in the Social Hall or on the website.


Orthodoxy 101

Several years ago the Orthodox priests in the area began question and answer session that meet on the evenings of the Sundays of Great Lent. The sessions rotated from parish to parish. Orthodox 101 has started up again. Sessions last about an hour. Everyone is invited.

The next and final session will be held at 6pm on Sunday, April 2 at St. Peters.

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

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.


St. Basil Liturgy Celebrated During Lent

St. Basil the Great

During the Lenten Sundays we celebrate St. Basil’s Liturgy instead of our usual St. John Chrysostom Liturgy. St. John’s liturgy is derived from St. Basil’s but the prayers are a bit shorter.


Lenten Suppers — Sign-Ups and Program

We will hold a light Lenten supper following each Wednesday Presanctified Liturgy during Lent. This will be something like lentil soup, bread and fruit — very simple.

We also will hold brief presentations during the suppers. This year we look at Monasticism. The remaining schedule this year:

  • March 29 Monasticism in the United States — A video on the monastery in Arizona

Sign up for Palm Sunday Brunch (Sunday April 9, 2017)

Palm Sunday Brunch

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.

Sing up for Agape Service Pascha Dinner (Sunday April 16, 2017)

Pascha 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!

Like all dinners however, we need a count. Sign up in the Social Hall or let us know through the website if you will be attending.

Social Hall Lenten Food

In order to stay faithful to our Lenten disciplines, during Lent we will eliminate animal products (meat, cheese, eggs, fish, etc.) from our refreshments following the Divine Liturgy. Shell fish (shrimp, etc.) and oil are still allowed.

Calendar At A Glance

  • March 27 (Monday) Great Compline 6:30pm
  • March 29 (Wednesday) Presanctified Liturgy 6:30pm
  • March 31 (Friday) Akathist Hymn 6:30pm
  • April 2 (Sunday) Sunday of St. Mary of Egypt 9:30pm
  • April 3 (Monday) Great Compline 6:30pm
  • April 5 (Wednesday) Presanctified Liturgy 6:30pm
  • April 7 (Friday) Great Compline with Canon of Lazarus 6:30pm
  • April 8 (Saturday) Divine Liturgy Saturday of Lazarus 9:30am
  • April 9 (Sunday) Palm Sunday Liturgy / Palm Sunday Brunch 9:30am

Full Lenten schedule available on the website.


Wisdom From The Elders

He is not yet a faithful servant who bases himself on bare knowledge alone; a faithful servant is he who professes his faith by obedience to Christ, Who gave the commandments.
St. Mark the Ascetic

With the name of Jesus cut off their heads, that is, the first appearance of sin in our thoughts, fancies and feelings. Destroy within you the devil’s rule over you; destroy all his influence over you; acquire spiritual freedom.
St. Ignatius Brianchaninov

Humility is that single vessel into which the gifts of grace are put by the finger of God.
St. Ignatius Brianchaninov

God takes each person at the very best time of his life, in a particular manner, in order to save his soul. If He sees that someone will improve, God will give him time to live. But if He sees that he’ll become worse, God takes him in order to save him.
St. Paisios of Mount Athos

One must remember the words of the Lord Himself in the Gospel: I will have mercy and not sacrifice (Matt. 9:13), i.e., in order to please the Lord one must most of all take care not to condemn others, and in general have an indulgent disposition towards his neighbor.
St. Ambrose of Optina

And so do not fight with anyone, and do not curse; and though someone may have offended you, try to en­dure it as far as possible, and at the appropriate time do him good. Have compassion on also your cattle, which God gave you to serve you.
St. Theophan the Recluse

(Paraphrasing St. John Chrysostom) He says that on the last day of a person’s biological life “sins contort his soul”, they stir up his soul. This refers to the passions which “move up from below the heart”. The passions seek satisfaction, but the person cannot respond. It is a terrible state.
Hierotheos Vlakos, Metropolitan of Nafpaktos

Remember in Your Prayers

Carol Ann
Baby Samuel
Baby Kyriake
Brad William
Robert Jarvis
Petronia (Wife of Phil Pappas)
Anna Marie Smith Baker
Iris Kuring (Bettina Zifiris' mother)
Constantine Houpis
Ron Chromulak
Beverly Chromulak
Loucine Kassis
Mary Kassis
Baby Maximus
Annette Star
Claire Livaditis
Eva Chandilles
Baby Dani
Scott Nedoff
Anthony Mourgis
John Hansen
Constandina James
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 (first names are sufficient) and ask God to bestow mercy and grace on them.

Add or remove names and print this list for easy reference during your prayer time on the St. Peter website.


Sunday Readings

Christ Giving Blessing


For the Fifth Sunday of Great Lent

Make your vows to the Lord our God, and perform them.
God is known in Judah; His Name is great in Israel.

The Reading from the Epistle of St. Paul to the Hebrews. (9:11-14)

Brethren, when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation), He entered once for all into the Holy Place, taking not the blood of goats and calves but His own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption. For if the sprinkling of defiled persons with the blood of goats and bulls and with the ashes of a heifer sanctifies for the purification of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, Who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, purify your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?


For the Fifth Sunday of Great Lent

The Reading from the Holy Gospel according to St. Mark. (10:32-45)

At that time, Jesus took His twelve Disciples, and began to tell them what was to happen to Him, saying, “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem. And the Son of man will be delivered to the chief priests and the scribes, and they will condemn Him to death, and deliver Him to the Gentiles. And they will mock Him, and scourge Him, and spit upon Him, and kill Him; and after three days He will rise.”

And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came forward to Him, and said to Him, “Teacher, we would that thou shouldest do for us whatsoever we shall desire” And Jesus said to them, “What do you want Me to do for you?” And they said to Him, “Grant us to sit, one at Thy right hand and one at Thy left, in Thy glory.” But Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or to be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?” And they said to Him, “We are able.” And Jesus said to them, “The cup that I drink you will drink; and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized. But to sit at My right hand or at My left is not Mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared.”

And when the ten heard it, they began to be indignant at James and John. And Jesus called them to Him and said to them, “You know that those who are supposed to rule over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. But it shall not be so among you; but whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be servant of all. For the Son of man also came not to be served but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.”