Week of April 8

Brothers and Sisters,

Greetings in the Name of the Lord.

Happy Feast!

This is the Fifth Week of the Fast and there are some special services this week: On Wednesday, April 10, we will serve Small Compline with the full Canon of St. Andrew and The Life of St. Mary of Egypt. On Friday, April 12, we will offer the final Akathist Hymn of the season. Also, please remember that after this coming Saturday, April 13, there will only be one more week in which to make your confession.

Our Calendar

Fasting Days

During the Fast we abstain from meat, poultry, eggs, dairy, fish, wine, and olive oil Monday through Friday, with katalysis (a blessing) for wine and olive oil on Saturday and Sunday. If you need to modify the fast in any way, please check with your spiritual father.

Daily Services

Monday, April 8-Friday, April 12

  • Orthros 8am

  • Vespers 5pm

(But don’t forget that since life in our parish community can be pretty busy, sometimes the starting times for the daily services has to be shifted. So, if you know ahead of time that you will be attending a particular service, it’s always a good idea to send Father Aidan a note to confirm when the service will actually begin.)

Monday, April 8

Lenten Services

  • Great Compline 7p

Wednesday, April 10

Lenten Services

  • Small Compline with The Canon of St. Andrew and The Life of St. Mary of Egypt 7:00 p.m.

Friday, April 12

Lenten Services

  • The Final Akathist Hymn at 7:00 p.m

Saturday, April 13

  • St Thomas School 4pm Baker Galloway will lead the discussion of Chapter 6, Early Church Painting

  • Great Vespers 6pm

Sunday, April 14

5th Sunday of Great Lent

  • Orthros 8am

  • Church School 8:15am

  • Divine Liturgy 10am

  • Fellowship Hour Noon

  • Akathist to the Mother of God of the Inexhaustible Cup at Noon

This Week at St Thomas School

Come and join us this Saturday at 4:00 p.m. to learn more about icons. We cannot discuss the veneration of icons in the Orthodox Church without first talking about how some early Christians were not Jewish. If the older Jewish religion forbade making images of human beings, what made images appear more often in human form among early Christians?

We find out that some scriptural accounts were turned into mosaics, portraits, catacomb paintings, frescoes and ultimately traditional icons in our temples. Icons burst forth as symbols and images of our salvation and humanity “in a tense dialogue with the pagan world and active missionary work among pagans.” This brief chapter will help us understand the larger chapter on the iconographical tradition in Byzantium. It also introduces some important concepts and categories when discussing icons such as: posture, reverse perspective, symbolic, antique, and other typological images. Join us this Saturday at 4:00 p.m. to get a great start on understanding our iconographical tradition.

Coming Up

One of the ways in which we celebrate Pascha is by adorning the nave and the bier with flowers. But nice flowers cost money—typically, decorating the temple requires a minimum of $500. So, every year, we put out baskets to collect money for this effort. Of course, some parishes take up special collections almost every single week, but we save that sort of thing for the really important items—like beautifying the temple for Pascha. So, look for those baskets and be as generous as you can.

This past week, we all received links to sign-up sheets for the Great and Holy Friday Tomb Vigil and the Agape Vespers Gospel Readings. For security reasons, we need to have the vigil sheet filled out completely in order to actually have the event, because the temple must be occupied all night if we are going to leave it open. Also, we’re going to shut down the sign-up sheet for the Gospel Readings at the end of the day on Great and Holy Wednesday. So, if you would like to participate in these wonderful events, please go to those links and sign up today.

Attached to this week’s edition of The Happy Priest is our parish guide to The Holy Week Services. The service book for Holy Week that is published by the archdiocese does not include the full services, and since we offer the full services, this guide will allow you to use the archdiocesan service book and keep up with what is actually going on in the services. So print out the attachment and keep a copy of it in your archdiocesan service book and join us for as many of the services as you can.

The Pascha Book Study begins on Wednesday, May 1. The book we are using is called Laughing at the Devil. It’s by Laura Hall and a few additional copies are still available at Christ the Lightgiver Bookstore. The book is part memoir and part commentary on the very first book ever written in English by a woman about the spiritual life (that book The Revelations of Divine Love is also available in an inexpensive edition at Christ the Lightgiver). That woman is Julian of Norwich and Laura Hall, who is a Protestant, does a very good job of connecting Julian’s insights with contemporary issues. This week, we will finish up our Lenten reading of Dr. Hall’s book (we’re going to be going through the chapter entitled Bodies and The Postscript pgs. 81-112 ), but it’s not too late to purchase a copy and start reading through it on your own. We’ll see you on Wednesday, May 1!

The archdiocese calls on each of us to make our confession before Pascha. In our parish, confession is offered on Saturday evenings after Great Vespers or any other time with a specific appointment. However, we do not offer the Holy Mystery of Confession after Holy Week begins on Lazarus Saturday. This year, Lazarus Saturday is April 20, so that means we all have two Saturdays left in which to make our confession. If Saturdays are difficult or impossible, you can always email Father Aidan and make an appointment for another day and time, but we need to get all that done as soon as possible because Holy Week will be here before we know it.

Please go ahead and check the website calendar and start planning which services you will be attending during Holy Week. There are 23 services during the eight days between Lazarus Saturday and the afternoon of Pascha and each of those services is designed to bring us as close as possible to the Most Holy Trinity. The best way to take advantage of those opportunities is to figure out ahead of time which services we will be attending during those eight holy days.

The annual Parish Life Conference is always an enjoyable time of fellowship and learning and worship, and, this year, the conference is being held at The Westin Hotel at DFW Airport, June 19-22. That’s within easy driving distance, and the website for the 2019 DOWAMA PLC is now live.  You can go to www.dowamaplc.org to access registration for the PLC as well as secure hotel rooms.

Our Moment of Grace and Courtesy

Holy Week begins in two weeks, so it’s time to start reviewing our Pascha Moments of Grace and Courtesy. Here’s the fifth one:

Please leave your food in your vehicle until after the Pascha services have ended. Once we have all reverenced the cross and received our red eggs, there will be plenty of time to get the food and get organized; however, we simply won't have room for all the food during the services.

Attached to the emailed edition of The Happy Priest is a letter from Bishop Basil.

I’m praying that this Fifth Week of the Fast brings each of us, and all those that we love, closer to the Most Holy Trinity.

An unworthy priest,