Week of June 3

Brothers and Sisters,

Christ is Risen!

We will wrap up the Paschal Season this coming Wednesday and Thursday as we celebrate the Feast of the Ascension. On Wednesday, June 5, we will serve Great Vespers at 7pm, and then on Thursday, June 6, we will offer Orthros at 5am and Divine Liturgy at 7am. Please join us as we complete Pascha with this beautiful celebration.

Our Calendar

Fasting Days

Wednesday, June 5, and Friday, June 7

Daily Services

Monday, June 3-Friday, June 7

  • Orthros 5am

  • Vespers 5pm

(But check the schedule for the festal services. 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.)

Wednesday, June 6

  • Great Vespers 7pm

 Thursday, June 7

Feast of the Ascension

  • Orthros 5am

  • Divine Liturgy 7am

Saturday, June 8

  • St Thomas School
    Mike Brown will lead the discussion on Chapter 11, Early Christian and Byzantine Singing

  • Great Vespers with the Jesus Prayer 6pm

 Sunday, June 9

Sunday of the First Ecumenical Council

  • Orthros 8am

  • Divine Liturgy 10am

  • Fellowship Hour Noon

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

This week, the Long Hall will be cleaned by Team Cupola: Gabe Martini, Mike Krenek, and Lisa Azares. Please thank these folks for their hard work and ask how you can help out.

This Week at St. Thomas School

Chapter 11: Early Christian and Byzantine Church Singing 

There is a wealth of material in this chapter that covers two major sections: Early Christian Music and Byzantine Church Music. We learn that early Christian musical composition wasn’t fixed from the beginning although there were expectations about what to be used for singing. It developed from the Old Testament hymns, the psalms and also ancient Greek melodies. The eight tones or Octoechos helped form and fix later church singing in the Byzantine period. 

After reading this chapter, we will become easily familiar with the most salient and essential terms and ideas of church music like cantillation, the Octoechos, plagal, cento, neume notation, phonai, domestik, and ecphonetic notation. 

Metropolitan Hilarion also touches on some of the writings of the Church Fathers and what they said about the importance of one’s inward disposition, content and rules for church singing. They viewed the human voice as the primary instrument of praise to God rather than instruments. Because of the association of certain sounds and instruments with pagan culture at that time, they tended to speak against musical instruments for accompanying church singing. 

Join us this Saturday at 4:00pm to learn how church singing unifies our voices toward God in the divine services. 

Financial Update

Thanks to your faithful generosity and to the grace and mercy of the Most Holy Trinity, we ended the month of April with a surplus of $750. That brings the surplus for the year to a little over $10,000. And, heading into the summer months, that’s a really good place to be. However, if we end up with some unexpected bills, and if we don’t stay up with our regular contributions, that surplus can evaporate very, very quickly. So, let’s continue to be generous and faithful throughout the months ahead.

Coming Up

This year, Pentecost Weekend is Saturday, June 15, and Sunday, June 16. On Saturday, we will offer the final Saturday of Souls for 2019, so if you did not make it to any of the three Lenten Saturdays of Souls, this will be your final chance to pray for the departed during this year—please do not miss this important opportunity; the departed need your prayers just as the living do. We will offer Orthros at 7am and Divine Liturgy at 9am. We will follow the regular weekend schedule on Saturday evening and Sunday morning, but, following Fellowship Hour on Sunday, June 16, we will also offer Kneeling Vespers, beginning no later than 1pm. This is the service that caps off the entire liturgical cycle that began with the Triodion back in February, so this is another opportunity that you won’t want to miss.

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 you can go to www.dowamaplc.org to access registration for the PLC as well as reserve hotel rooms.

This year our parish feast day, The Nativity of the Forerunner, falls on Monday, June 24. So, we will serve Great Vespers on Sunday, June 23, following a brief Fellowship Hour (we’ll start no later than 1pm). On the day of the feast, we will offer Orthros at 4:30 and Divine Liturgy at 6:30am (that’s because of Father Aidan’s work schedule). Even though the times are a bit wonky, we hope that many of you will make an effort to join us.

On the final Saturday in June, we will celebrate the Patronal Feast of our Patriarchate, the Feast of Sts Peter and Paul. We will offer Great Vespers at 7pm on Friday, June 28, and, on Saturday morning, we will celebrate Orthros at 7am and Divine Liturgy at 9am. This is a great opportunity to intercede for those who are not yet part of the Church and for those who have fallen away from the Church, so plan on joining us during the festal services.

Our Moment of Grace and Courtesy

Let’s be sure and leave the chairs and the benches for folks who are older and for folks who have physical limitations. Children and young people should always sit on the floor or stand. We never know who is going to come through the door of the nave, so even if it appears that there are vacant chairs or benches, children and young people should remain sitting on the floor or standing.

I’m looking forward to celebrating the Feast of the Ascension with all of you.

An unworthy priest,