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St. Peter Newsletter: The First Sunday of Lent — The Triumph of Orthodoxy

The Sunday of Orthodox - The Restoration of Icons

First Sunday of Lent
The Sunday of Orthodoxy

The Sunday of Orthodox - The Restoration of Icons

On the first Sunday in Lent, we commemorate the decision of the Seventh Ecumenical Council in 787 A.D. upholding the use of holy icons in Orthodox worship. We also commemorate today the unity of Orthodox belief and the oneness of our Faith throughout our various jurisdictions, nations and languages and across the continents and the centuries.

Read more about the theology of icons.

Read more about the Sunday of Orthodoxy.

Fr. Thomas Hopko: The Triumph of Orthodoxy


Icons are not optional devotional extras, but an integral part of Orthodox faith and devotion. They are held to be a necessary consequence of Christian faith in the incarnation of the Word of God, the Second Person of the Trinity, in Jesus Christ.

You won’t find a more concise and helpful explanation of why Orthodox Christians keep and venerate icons.

Listen here:

Click to listen to the podcast

Procession with Holy Icons this Sunday

Before the completion of the Divine Liturgy this Sunday, we will make a procession to mark the end of the great Iconoclastic Controversy of 730-843.

Learn more about the Iconoclastic Constroversy on the Orthodoxwiki website.

Annunciation Liturgy March 24, 2016 Eve

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

Sunday, March 20
Sunday of Orthodoxy

Monday, March 21
Great Compline 6:30pm

Wednesday, March 23
Presanctified Liturgy 6:30pm

Thursday, March 24
Annunciation Liturgy 6:30pm

Friday, March 25
Second 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.

During the supper we will have a very short presentation on a theme particular to Lent.

Thank you to Angela Long who is organizing the first supper this Wednesday, March 16. Liturgy begins at 6:30pm.

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

Last Adult Bible Study on Tuesday, March 8 at 7:00pm.

Come to church instead.

Choir Practice Resumes on Wednesdays at 5:30pm

Special emphasis will be given to the hymns of Lent.

Orthodox Wisdom

He removed grace from you so that you may become wise. But it will come again. It does not abandon you. This is a law of God. But it will leave again. Yet once more it will come. As long as you don’t stop seeking it, it will keep coming and going until it renders you perfect.

– Elder Joseph the Hesychast

Are you rich? Display much bountifulness! Have you become poor? Show much endurance and patience! For neither is wealth an evil, nor poverty in itself; but these things, either of them, become so according to the free choice of those who make use of them.

– St. John Chrysostom

Memory is the cabinet of the imagination, the treasury of reason, the registry of conscience, and the council chamber of thought.

– St. Basil the Great

Want to receive Orthodox Quote of the Day in your email? Sign up here.

Remember in Your Prayers

Constandina James

Peter Wouralis

James Hord

Bonnie Joseph

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


Blessed art Thou, O Lord, the God of our fathers.
For Thou art just in all that Thou hast done for us.

The Reading from the Epistle of St. Paul to the Hebrews. (11:24-26, 32-40)

Brethren, by faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to share ill-treatment with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin.

And what more shall I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets; who through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, received promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched raging fire, escaped the edge of the sword, won strength out of weakness, became mighty in war, and put foreign armies to flight.

Women received their dead by resurrection. Some were tortured, refusing to accept release that they might rise again to a better life. Others suffered mocking and scourging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword; they went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, ill treated—of whom the world was not worthy—wandering over deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.

And all these, though well attested by their faith, did not receive what was promised, since God had foreseen something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect.


The Reading from the Holy Gospel according to St. John. (1:43-51)

At that time, Jesus decided to go to Galilee. And He found Philip and said to him, “Follow Me.” Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. Philip found Nathanael, and said to him, “We have found Him of Whom Moses in the Law and also the Prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.”

Jesus saw Nathanael coming to Him, and said of him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!” Nathanael said to Jesus, “How do you know me?” Jesus answered him, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.” Nathanael answered Him, “Rabbi, Thou art the Son of God! Thou art the King of Israel!” Jesus answered him, “Because I said to you, I saw you under the fig tree, do you believe? You shall see greater things than these.” And Jesus said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.”