Schedule of Services and Events for the Week of May 18 – May 24, 2015

Monday, May 18
6 PM –
Prayer Group
7 PM – Spirituality Class

Tuesday, May 19
8:30 AM
– Service of the Third Hour
5:30 PM – First Confession Class

Wednesday, May 20
7 PM
– Vesper for Ascension

Thursday, May 21
9 AM –
Liturgy for Ascension

Sunday, May 24
NO
SERVICES at DANBURY

9 AM – Hierarchical Divine Liturgy at St. Johns Church, 600 Silver Lane, Stratford, CT.

Ordination of Nicholas Mihaly to the diaconate


Readers Schedule
5/31 – Paul Toaso

Coffee Hour
5/24 – NO Church in Danbury – Nick’s ordination
5/31 – Parish BBQ

Lakota Native American Mission Trip: Deposits Due June 1st

Dates for the mission trip have been set for October 6-14th. We will be working with the youth in their after school program and providing general assistance as needed on the reservation. There will also be an opportunity to travel to the Badlands and Wounded Knee. A $50 deposit is due by June 1st. Estimated total cost of the trip is $850 per person, based on current costs. Please see Fr. Luke if you are interested in going on the trip.

Pentecost and Parish BBQ Coming Up!

Parish BBQ May 31st: On Pentecost, our Parish Feast Day, we will be having a BBQ to celebrate the end of church school and to raise funds for the Altar Boy Retreat/Young Women’s Retreat and the Camp Nazareth Bus. The BBQ will take place in lieu of our regular coffee hour. The church will supply the meat, we ask parishioners to bring sides dishes. There will also be a Pie Baking Contest. Bring your favorite pie, any flavor or variety. Prizes will be awarded to best pies and they will then be served for dessert. We ask everyone attending to make a donation to help our youth enjoy the summer programs being offered by the Diocese.

Save the Date: Nicholas Mihaly to be ordained Deacon

By the Grace of God, Nicholas Mihaly will be ordained deacon by His Grace, Bishop Gregory, on Sunday May 24 at St. Johns Church, 600 Silver Lane, Stratford, CT.

There will be no church service at Danbury on that Sunday. All are encouraged to attend the ordination. There will be a breakfast following the ordination at the Trumbull Marriott Merritt Parkway. The cost is $23 per person. Meal reservation have to be in by May 10. There is a sign-up sheet posted in the church hall.

For those who would like to bowl this also the ACRY bowling Tournament that is being hosted by the Silver Lane Chapter. His Grace Bishop Gregory will be here also. There is a grand banquet the same Sunday, May 24. The cost for the banquet is $50 for adults.

Schedule of Services and Events for the Week of May 4 – May 10, 2015

Monday, May 4
6 PM –
Prayer Group
7 PM – Spirituality Class

Tuesday, May 5
7:30 AM –
Hospice Breakfast

Wednesday, May 6
9 AM
–Liturgy Mid-Pentecost

Thursday, May 7
8:30 AM –
Hours

Saturday, May 9
8 AM to 4 PM
– ASP work day at Danbury Church
4 PM – Vespers

Sunday, May 10
9 AM –
Church School
10 AM – Divine Liturgy
11:30 AM – Mother’s Day Breakfast


Readers Schedule
5/10 – Susan Paltauf
5/17 – Harry Fong
5/31 – Paul Toaso


Coffee Hour
5/10 – Mother’s Day
5/17 – Chris & Brenna
5/24 – NO Church in Danbury – Nick’s ordination
5/31 – Parish BBQ

Holy Week: An Explanation

Great Lent and Holy Week are two separate fasts, and two separate celebrations.  Great Lent ends on Friday of the fifth week (the day before Lazarus Saturday).  Holy Week begins immediately thereafter. Let’s explore the meaning of each of the solemn days of Passion Week.

Raising_Lazarus.previewLazarus Saturday:  Lazarus Saturday is the day which begins Holy Week.  It commemorates the raising of our Lord’s friend Lazarus, who had been in the tomb four days.  This act confirmed the universal resurrection from the dead that all of us will experience at our Lord’s Second Coming.  This miracle led many to faith, but it also led to the chief priest’s and Pharisees’ decision to kill Jesus (John 11:47-57).

Palm_Sunday_0Palm Sunday (The Entrance of our Lord into Jerusalem):  Our Lord enters Jerusalem and is proclaimed king – but in an earthly sense, as many people of His time were seeking a political Messiah.  Our Lord is King, of course, but of a different type – the eternal King prophesied by Zechariah the Prophet.  We use palms on this day to show that we too accept Jesus as the true King and Messiah of the Jews, Who we are willing to follow – even to the cross.

Holy Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday:  The first thing that must be said about these services, and most of the other services of Holy Week, is that they are “sung” in anticipation.  Each service is rotated ahead twelve hours.  The evening service, therefore, is actually the service of the next morning, while the morning services of Holy Thursday and Holy Saturday are actually the services of the coming evening.

Understanding that, let’s turn to the Services of Holy Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday (celebrated Palm Sunday , Monday and Tuesday evening).  The services of these days are known as the Bridegroom or Nymphios Orthros Services.  At the first service of Palm Sunday evening, the priest carries the icon of Christ the Bridegroom in procession, and we sing the “Hymn of the Bridegroom.”  We behold Christ as the Bridegroom of the Church, bearing the marks of His suffering, yet preparing a marriage Feast for us in God’s Kingdom.

Each of these Bridegroom Orthros services has a particular theme.  On Holy Monday, the Blessed Joseph, the son of Jacob the Patriarch, is commemorated.  Joseph is often seen as a Type of Christ.  Joseph was betrayed by his brothers, thrown into a pit, and sold into slavery by them.  In the same way, our Lord was rejected, betrayed by His own, and sold into the slavery of death.  The Gospel reading for the day is about the barren fig tree, which Christ cursed and withered because it bore no fruit.  The fig tree is a parable of those who have heard God’s word, but who fail to bear the fruit of obedience.  Originally the withering of the fig tree was a testimony against those Jews who rejected God’s word and His Messiah.  However, it is also a warning to all people, in all times, of the importance of not only hearing the God’s word, but putting it into action.

The Parable of the Ten Virgins is read on Holy Tuesday.  It tells the story of the five virgins who filled their lamps in preparation for receiving the bridegroom while the other five allowed their lamps to go out, and hence were shut out of the marriage feast.  This parable is a warning that we must always be prepared to receive our Lord when He comes again.  The theme of the day is reinforced by the expostelarion hymn we sing:  “I see Thy Bridal Chamber adorned, O my Savior, but have no wedding garment that I may enter.  O Giver of Light, enlighten the vesture of my soul, and save me.”  The theme of Holy Wednesday is repentance and forgiveness.  We remember the sinful woman who anointed our Lord in anticipation of His death.  Her repentance and love of Christ is the theme of the wonderful “Hymn of Kassiane” which is chanted on this night, reminding us one more time, before “it is too late,” that we too may be forgiven if  we repent.

Holy Unction:  The Mystery or Sacrament of Holy Unction is celebrated on Holy Wednesday evening. Actually this service can be celebrated any time during the year, especially when one is ill.  However, because of our need for forgiveness and spiritual healing, we offer this service during Holy Week for the remission of our sins.  We should prepare for this service in a prayerful way, as we do for Holy Communion.

Crucifixion_600pxGreat and Holy Thursday:  On Holy Thursday we turn to the last events of our Lord and His Passion.  Thursday morning begins with a Vesperal Divine Liturgy commemorating the Mystical Supper. As previously mentioned, this is actually Holy Thursday evening’s service celebrated in the morning in anticipation.  Everyone who is able should make an effort to receive Holy Communion at this service as it was at the Mystical Supper that our Lord instituted the Holy Eucharist.  At this Liturgy a second Host is consecrated and kept in the Tabernacle.  It is from this Host that Holy Communion is distributed to the shut-ins and the sick throughout the coming year.

Thursday evening actually begins the services of Great and Holy Friday.  The service of the Twelve Passion Gospels commemorates the solemn time of our Lord’s Crucifixion.  After the reading of the fifth Gospel, the holy cross is carried around the church in procession, and Christ’s body is nailed to the cross in the center of the church.

takingdownfromcrossGreat and Holy Friday:  This is a day of strict fast.  As little as possible should be eaten on this day.  It is the only day in the entire year that no Divine Liturgy of any kind can be celebrated.  In the morning we celebrate the Royal Hours.  These solemn hours are observed as we read the various accounts and hymns concerning the crucifixion.  In the afternoon we celebrate the Vesper service of the taking down of Christ’s body from the cross.  During the Gospel reading, our Lord’s body is taken off the cross and wrapped in a new, white linen sheet.  This act commemorates the removal of Christ’s body from the cross by Joseph of Arimathea (John 19:38-42). Later in the service, the Epitaphios, or winding-sheet, with Christ’s body on it is carried in procession and placed in the recently decorated tomb.  In the evening the Lamentations Orthros service is sung.  This service begins in a solemn manner, but by the end of the service we are already anticipating the Resurrection of our Lord.  Remember again, that the Holy Friday evening Orthros is actually the first service of Holy Saturday, the day in which we commemorate our Lord’s body resting in the tomb while His all-pure soul descends into Hades to free the faithful of the Old Covenant.

Epitaphion

Great and Holy Saturday:  This day is a day of hope and waiting.  In the morning we celebrate a Vesperal Divine Liturgy which commemorates Christ’s victory over death.  Bright vestments are worn as we anticipate Christ’s Resurrection.  Laurel leaves are strewn throughout the church during the service, because in the ancient world laurel leaves were a sign of victory.  As the leaves are strewn, the choir chants “Arise O God and Judge the earth, for to Thee belong all the nations.”  The Old Testament story of Jonah in the belly of the whale is read at this service because Jonah is seen in the Church as a Type of Christ.  As Jonah was three days in the belly of the great fish, and was then safely deposited back onto land, so our Lord was three days in the tomb before His glorious Resurrection.  The Vesperal Divine Liturgy of Holy Saturday concludes the services of Holy Week, and brings us to the eve of Great and Holy Pascha.

from: Antiochian Archdiocese website

Schedule of Services and Events for the Week of April 5 – April 12, 2015

Monday, April 6
9 AM – Bridegroom Matins
6 PM – Presanctified Liturgy

Tuesday, April 7
9 AM –
Bridegroom Matins
6 PM – Presanctified Liturgy

Wednesday, April 8
9 AM –
Bridegroom Matins
12 noon – Presanctified Liturgy
6 PM – Holy Unction Service

Thursday, April 9
9 AM –
Vesperal Liturgy – Institution of the Eucharist
7 PM – Matins and the Reading of the 12 Passion Gospels

Friday, April 10
9 AM –
Royal Hours
7 PM – Great & Holy Friday Vespers with Procession and Guarding the Tomb

Saturday, April 11
9 AM –
Vesperal Liturgy
11 PM – Nocturne, Paschal Matins, Paschal Divine Liturgy followed by blessing of the Baskets and Agape Meal

Sunday, April 12
12 Noon –
Paschal Vespers

“… a place of refuge full of love and joy.”