Week of November 19

Brothers and Sisters,

Greetings in the Name of the Lord.

On Wednesday, we will be celebrating the Feast of the Entrance of the Mother of God into the Temple. We will offer Great Vespers at 7pm on Tuesday, and on Wednesday morning, we will serve Orthros at 4:30am and Divine Liturgy at 6am. On Wednesday evening, we will also serve our first Nativity Paraclesis at 7pm. Praying with the Church would be a great way to kick off the Thanksgiving Holiday.

Our Calendar

Fasting Days

The Fast Continues- This Fast is divided into two periods: The first is November 15th through December 19th when the traditional fasting discipline (no meat, poultry, eggs, dairy, fish, wine, and olive oil) is observed on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, with a blessing for wine and olive oil (some also permit fish) on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and for fish, wine, and olive oil on Saturdays and Sundays. The second is the period of the Forefeast, December 20th through 24th, when the traditional fasting discipline is observed Monday through Friday, with a blessing for wine and olive oil on Saturday and Sunday. Many American Orthodox Christians break the fast on Thanksgiving Day, but you need get a blessing from your spiritual father for that (and you need to remember that it’s Thanksgiving Day and not Thanksgiving Very Long Weekend).

Daily Services

Monday, November 19-Wednesday, November 21

  • Orthros 5am

  • Vespers 5pm

(Because 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, November 20

  • Great Vespers 7pm

Wednesday, November 21

The Feast of the Entrance of the Mother of God

  • Orthros 4:30am

  • Divine Liturgy 6am

  • Vespers 5pm

  • Nativity Paraclesis 7pm

Saturday, November 24

  • St Thomas School 4pm Polly Thurston will be leading the discussion of Chpt 23 The Conciliarity of the Church

  • Great Vespers 6pm

Sunday, November 25

Thirteenth Sunday of St Luke

  • Orthros 8am

  • Divine Liturgy 10am

  • Fellowship Hour Noon

  • Akathist to the Mother of God, Nurturer of Children Noon

This Week at St Thomas School

Chapter 23: The Conciliar Church

St. Cyril of Alexandria says do not ask “Where is the church” but ask “Where is the Catholic Church?” What makes the Orthodox Church “Catholic” or Universal? Part of that answer is found in Church unity and sacraments. Again, the image of Christ’s Body becomes a focal point for the Church’s identity.

We set out to explore this seminar on the Church by delving into what the creed states about its characteristics: it is One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic. We will discuss what it means to be conciliar and Catholic, and how bishops and the laity take part in this fullness of the Church.

Coming Up

As you begin your holiday shopping, don’t forget about Christ The Lightgiver Bookstore. The bookstore has lots of great gift items in addition to a wide selection of books and icons. The store is open every Sunday during Fellowship Hour, but you can always get in touch with our hard-working manager, Stephanie Crown, and ask a question or place an order during the week.

The 2019 Parish Calendars are also available in the bookstore. Please just take one until everyone in the parish has had the opportunity to get one. Also, please be sure and thank the Hardins and the Bays who, once again, sponsored our calendar.

During the Nativity Fast, we will be offering the Nativity Paraclesis each Wednesday evening at 7pm. The service lasts about 45 minutes, so, by Orthodox standards, it’s really brief. Because of the way the Liturgical Calendar works out this year, we will only be offering the service four times during the fast, but there’s no reason why each of us cannot participate in at least one of those services before December 25. If we do, our celebration of Nativity and the Circumcision and the Presentation and Theophany will be that much more profound.

Our archdiocese expects that each of us will make our confession before December 25. That Holy Mystery is offered each Saturday evening following Great Vespers or by specific appointment at just about any other time. We don’t do ‘on-the-spot’ confessions, but we will do our very best to accommodate anyone who plans ahead.

Our Moment of Grace and Courtesy

There are any number of reasons why people find themselves in the narthex and kitchen during liturgy. Some people have children that they need to calm; some people have coffee hour responsibilities; some people have social phobias; some people get tired. However, if you do end up in the narthex and kitchen during liturgy, we ask that you continue to participate in the service by remaining as quiet as possible. You can listen to the service over the sound system in those areas, so, even if you can't be in the nave you can still help us all maintain our focus during the liturgy.

Yes, today is the deadline for turning in those 2019 Commitment Cards, so, if you’ve overlooked that important detail, just go ahead and send that information to me at fraidan@austin.rr.com and avoid that awkward Monday morning email that will be entitled “We Missed Your Commitment Card”.

I’m praying that this first full week of the fast will be a blessing for us all. I’m also praying that each of you will have a wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday.

An unworthy priest,