Brothers and Sisters,
Greetings in the Name of the Lord.
House Blessings begin this Sunday evening, January 6, so it’s time to review how that procedure works: Early on the DAY BEFORE your scheduled house blessing you will receive an email from our priest which will give the specific schedule for your particular round of house blessings. You will need to REPLY TO ALL by 5pm on that day (the day before your house is to be blessed) to indicate that you wish to participate. If you do not wish to participate, then you don’t need to do anything at all, but unless you REPLY TO ALL by that deadline, we will need to try and reschedule the blessing at a later time. So, check the schedule at the conclusion of this edition of The Happy Priest and be on the lookout for that email the DAY BEFORE the event will take place.
There is no fasting through January 4, but, Saturday, January 5, is a strict fasting day since it is the day before Theophany.
Monday, December 31-Friday, January 4
(But check the schedule of festal services below. Also, there will not be daily vespers on Thursday, January 3. In addition, 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 at firstname.lastname@example.org to confirm when the service will actually begin.)
Monday, December 31
Great Vespers for the Circumcision 7pm
Tuesday, January 1
The Feast of the Circumcision
Divine Liturgy 9am
Thursday, January 3
Choir Practice 7pm
Friday, January 4
Royal Hours for Theophany Noon
Saturday, January 5
Great Vespers 7pm
Sunday, January 6
The Feast of Theophany
Church School 8:15am
Hierarchial Divine Liturgy 10am Bishop Basil will serve the liturgy. During the service, Michael Coleman will be ordained to the Holy Diaconate (AXIOS); at the conclusion of the service, we will offer the Great Blessing of the Waters, so bring a container for Holy Water.
We’ve wrapped up the St Thomas School for 2018, and it’s been a great experience. We are almost finished with the second volume of Metropolitan Hilarion’s introduction to Holy Orthodoxy. The teaching and the discussion have been very, very good, so if you haven’t been participating, you really are missing out on an incredible opportunity. The school will resume on Saturday, January 19; Michael Brown will lead the discussion about what the Church teaches concerning death (that’s chapter 27 in the book), but we will be starting Volume III, Architecture, Icons, and Music, on Saturday, March 3, and that would be a great time to get back into (or start up with) this great school.
It's time to start planning for the 2019 Rally for Life. This year’s event will be held on Saturday, January 26. We will meet at the south gate of the state capitol building at 12:30pm, and we will sing hymns until all the marchers make it on to the grounds of the capitol. Our goal is to pray while others are shouting and to sing while others yelling and to enjoy being together on what is usually a lovely afternoon. However, if that sort of thing is beyond your physical endurance, or if you just don’t like being out in the public, this year, our mother parish, St Elias, will be offering the Service for the Victims of Abortion at 7pm on Friday evening, January 25. So, when it comes to the #1 most important cultural issue of our times, there are now opportunities for all of us to get involved.
Our 2019 Annual Community Meeting will be on Sunday, February 10, during Fellowship Hour. During that meeting, we will briefly review all the reports from the parish council, and we will elect two new members for the council. Attached to this edition of The Happy Priest are all the reports which will be used at the meeting, so please read those ahead of time, and, if you have any questions, check with our parish council president, Chris Lewis. Remember, to vote in the council elections, you will need to have filled out a 2019 Commitment Card, so, if you overlooked that important item, check with Nick Crown, the head of our Finance Committee.
This year, our candidates for the parish council are Erica Wood, Vera Poe, Demetry Zozulya, and Jerry Juliano. All of these folks have served on the council previously, and you cannot go wrong with any of them. Our constitution also allows for nominations from the floor at the Annual Community Meeting. Each of these people have served on the council before, so you can’t go wrong with any of them. Our constitution also allows for nominations from the floor during the meeting itself; nevertheless, since our constitution also requires that everyone nominated be 1) over 18 years of age 2) a member of our parish for at least 12 months, 3) a regular participant in the Holy Mysteries of Confession and the Eucharist, and 4) a consistent financial contributor to our community, it’s always important to A) check with the person you wish to nominate and B) check with Father Aidan before making the actual nomination during the Annual Meeting. That way, we can avoid any awkward and embarrassing moments.
Our Moment of Grace and Courtesy
After you have received the Holy Gifts, please be respectful while others are approaching the chalice. You may sing along with the choir or read the post-communion prayers or just pray silently. However, please do not begin visiting with others until after the liturgy has ended, the announcements have been made, and fellowship hour has begun.
I’m looking forward to celebrating the Circumcision and Theophany and to shouting AXIOS (don’t forget to practice) with all of you.
An unworthy priest,