Week of April 22

Brothers and Sisters,

Greetings in the Name of the Lord.

We are now in the third day of the most important week of the year, so please join us as often as you can. At the very minimum, we are asking everyone to participate in one Holy Week Service in addition to the main Paschal Service, so check the calendar and figure out what you can do to help us meet that goal.

Our Calendar

The Fast continues through the conclusion of the Paschal Service on Sunday morning. 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. Please be aware that Great and Holy Friday is a strict fasting day. Also, if you need to modify the fast in any way, please check with your spiritual father.

Monday, April 22

Great and Holy Monday

  • Pre-Sanctified Liturgy 5am

  • Bridegroom Orthros 7pm

Tuesday, April 23

Great and Holy Tuesday

  • Pre-Sanctified Liturgy 5am

  • Bridegroom Orthros 7pm

Wednesday, April 24

Great and Holy Wednesday

  • Pre-Sanctified Liturgy 5am

  • Service of Holy Unction 7pm

Thursday, April 25

  • Vesperal Liturgy of St Basil 5am

  • Service of the Twelve Gospels 7pm

Friday, April 26

Great and Holy Friday

  • Royal Hours 9am

  • Descent from the Cross Vespers Noon

  • Service of Lamentations 7pm

Saturday, April 27

Great and Holy Saturday

  • Vesperal Liturgy of St Basil 9am (Sean Bassari and Miriam Hart will be baptized, and Clayton Stewart will be chrismated at this service)

  • Paschal Liturgy 11pm

Sunday, April 28

The Great and Holy Pascha

  • Agape Vespers 2pm

  • Paschal Picnic 3pm

Monday, April 29

  • No Daily Services

Tuesday, April 30

  • Parish Council 7pm

Wednesday, May 1

  • Pascha Book Study 7pm

Coming Up

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. We have already finished  up our Lenten reading of Dr Hall’s book, 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!          

It’s that time of year for the Parish grounds spring cleaning.  We are calling on members and their families to come help on Saturday, May 18 at 9:00 a.m.  Please bring shovels, buckets, disposable trash bags, pruning clippers and shears, wheelbarrows, and work gloves.  We need to clean the flower beds of overgrowth and weeds, spread mulch around the atrium courtyard and some of the flower beds, clean out Parish House gutters, and whatever else needs to be accomplished. With many helping hands the work will be accomplished in a couple of hours.  Donuts and coffee will be provided.

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—and the discount price for early registration ends on May 1, so be sure and take care of that this week.

Our Moment of Grace and Courtesy

As we head for the Big Day, let’s go ahead and review all of the Pascha Moments of Grace and Courtesy:

  1. During the Paschal Services on Saturday night/Sunday morning, if young children need to sleep, then they must be A) in the parish house with a family member or friend, or B) held in the arms or on the lap of a family member in the nave. Please do not, under any circumstances, allow your children to sleep in a car or on the floor of the nave, the narthex, the cry room, or the kitchen. These arrangements are not safe, and our ushers have been instructed to remind parents and grandparents that children are not allowed to sleep in these locations. Also, please remember that if your children are going to sleep in the parish house, there must be a family member with them at all times; they are not to be left alone for any reason.

  2. Pre-school children should not be given lighted candles. Battery operated candles are available at craft stores, and that is what pre-school children should use. Parents and grandparents should use their best judgment when it comes to allowing elementary-age children to hold a lighted candle. This is not only a safety issue (hot wax can cause bad burns; hair and clothing can blaze up quickly and unexpectedly); it also takes a great deal of work to remove wax from the carpet. Again, our ushers have been instructed to remind parents that very young children should not be given lighted candles.

  3. Let’s remember to dress up for the service. Pascha is not a slumber party; it is the Feast of Feasts, and we should look our best.

  4. Please remember to bring extra food for the Paschal Feast early Sunday morning. Godparents, if this is your godchild's first Pascha, please teach them about the feast and encourage them to bring food and join in. If you have friends who have been visiting the parish but aren't yet catechumens, please let them know about the feast so they can participate.

  5. Please do not bring food that requires cooking or warming up or extensive preparation; there simply isn't room for that in our kitchen. Also, if you bring food that requires refrigeration, you also need to bring an ice chest; there simply isn't room in our refrigerator.

  6. Please leave your food in your vehicle until after the Pascha services have ended. Once we have all reverenced the cross, 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.

  7. Please plan on cleaning up after yourself and your children or grandchildren--even if your children or grandchildren aren't actually sitting with you during the Paschal Feast. Also, if your schedule will allow, please plan on helping clean up after the feast: we will need to put up all the tables and chairs, clean up the kitchen, take out the trash, wipe down the bathrooms and vacuum before Agape Vespers that afternoon.

Attached to this edition of The Happy Priest is the Intercessory List that we use during the Divine Liturgy; please print it out and put it in your icon corner or download it to your phone, and read through it every day during your personal prayers.

I’m praying that this Holiest of Weeks will be a time of great blessing for all of us, and I’m looking forward to celebrating the Resurrection with each of you.

An unworthy priest,