Week of July 15

Brothers and Sisters,

Greetings in the Name of the Lord.

This coming Saturday, the folks at our mother parish, St Elias in downtown Austin, will be celebrating their parish feast day. Orthros will be at 9am; Divine Liturgy will be served at 10am. Let’s turn out and support the folks in the downtown community.

Our Calendar

Fasting Days

Wednesday, July 17, and Friday, July 19

Daily Services

Monday, July 15-Friday, July 19

  • Orthros 5am

  • Vespers 5pm

(Also, also 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 at fraidan@austin.rr.com to confirm when the service will actually begin.)

Tuesday, July 16

  • Choir Practice 7pm

Saturday, July 20

Feast of St Elias

  • Orthros at St Elias 9am

  • Divine Liturgy at St Elias 10am

  • St Thomas School 4pm

  • Great Vespers 6pm

Sunday, July 21

5th Sunday of St Matthew

  • Orthros 8am

  • Divine Liturgy 10am

  • Fellowship Hour Noon

This week Team Klingon, Steve Grandalski, Jerry Juliano, and Roxanne Snodgrass, will be cleaning the Long Hall. Please do all you can to assist them.

This Week at St. Thomas School

Chapter 2: Vespers, Compline, Midnight Office, Matins, the Hours 

Earlier in Chapter 1, subsection on Worship and Theology, Metropolitan Hilarion said that despite any talk or desire of simplifying or changing Orthodox worship for today’s age, “Not a single local Orthodox Church …has deemed it possible to revise the liturgical Typikon, even though in the Church’s experience, certain essential changes have been made in the Typikon’s use …” (Chp.1, p.11). 

In Chapter 2, the Typikon – essentially the Church’s liturgical book for divine services – will draw us into the order and rich subject matter that “makes Orthodox worship a veritable school of theology.” It orders the psalms, Old Testament Biblical canticles, troparia, aposticha, and the various services of Vespers, Compline (apodeipnon=after dinner prayers), Midnight Office, Matins (a.k.a. Orthros), and the Hours (primarily the 3rd, 6th, 9th hours). We have been touching on the concept of time in our weekly discussions. Everyone has make decisions daily not only how to spend time (it is an important thing to spend) but also how to order one’s use of time. 

The Church Typikon makes an encounter with Christ in liturgical prayer possible literally at any time, day or night, as much as we are able to do that. Much of the content of the Typikon comes from the Psalms and how they were used in early Christian and monastic traditions. If you ever wondered why certain Psalms are being sung, why they happen at certain points in the services, this chapter will not let you down in giving you that answer. Out of all of the non-Eucharistic services, Matins is uniquely the most monastic in character. Metropolitan Hilarion offers us a great benefit by easily outlining some of the themes and concepts behind the selection of readings from the Psalms so that we can attune ourselves to the that rich content, since even the most attentive worshipper can often miss a lot of what is being spoken or sung during the liturgical service. Another important aspect of this chapter touches on both the ancient practices that focused on set times, forms and gestures of prayer. Sitting down, stretching out one’s arms upward, and rising up early or standing at night are not nice suggestions, but essential bodily and timely ways of prayers.

Join us this Saturday at 4:00 p.m. to either introduce yourself to the heart of Orthodox worship or to keep deepening your own understanding of liturgical services and become fluent in its poetic language and structure. 

Coming Up

The Dormition Fast begins on Thursday, August 1, and it will run through Wednesday, August 14. During this Fast we observe the traditional fasting discipline Monday through Friday, with a blessing for fish, wine and olive oil on Saturdays and Sundays. The Paraklesis to the Most Holy Theotokos is served each  week day evening during this Fast; that means there will be eight opportunities for us to participate in this beautiful service. The season winds up with the Feast of the Dormition of the Theotokos on Thursday, August 15. We will offer Great Vespers with the Lamentations for the Mother of God on Wednesday, August 14, at 7pm, and then, on Thursday, we will serve Orthros at 5am and Divine Liturgy at 7am.

On Tuesday, August 6, the folks at our sister parish in Westlake, Transfiguration Greek Orthodox, will celebrate their feast day. Orthros will be served at 9am, and Divine Liturgy will be offered at 10am.

Our Moment of Grace and Courtesy

We should always remember to dress appropriately for the Divine Liturgy. It is our encounter with the Most Holy Trinity, and our clothes should reflect the importance of that encounter. If you have questions about what is or is not appropriate, you can consult the article from the archdiocese that is on our web-site. If you have specific questions that are not addressed in the article, please feel free to ask one of the deacons or myself. However, if you see someone who is wearing something that is inappropriate, under no circumstances should you say anything to that person because only clergymen have the authority to do that.

I hope to see a whole lot of you at St Elias this coming Saturday morning.

An unworthy priest,