December 20, 2015
Sunday before the Nativity (the Genealogy)
First Day of the Forefeast
Hebrews 11:9-10,17-23,32-40: Reading from Hebrews we hear the Apostle tell us of the faith of Abraham and other saints of ancient times who endured hardships and death and yet still did great things because of their faith.
Matthew 1:1-25: In the Gospel we hear the genealogy of Jesus Christ, and of how Joseph was visited by an angel of God who told him of the child that Mary bore in her womb.
Troparion of the Resurrection: Having learned the joyful message of the Resurrection from the angel, the women Disciples cast from them their parental condemnation, and proudly broke the news to the Disciples, saying, Death has been spoiled. Christ God is risen, granting the world Great Mercy.
Troparion of the Forefeast: Be thou ready, Bethlehem, Eden hath opened unto all. Ephratha, prepare thyself, for now, behold, the Tree of life hath blossomed forth in the cave of the holy Virgin. Her womb hath proved a true spiritual Paradise, wherein the divine and saving Tree is found, and as we eat thereof we shall all live, and shall not die as did Adam. Verily, Christ shall be born, raising the likeness that fell of old.
Troparion of Daniel and the Three Holy Youths: Great are the accomplishments of faith; for the three holy youths rejoiced in the fountain of flames as though at waters of rest. And the Prophet Daniel appeared a shepherd to the lions as though they were sheep. Wherefore, by their pleadings, O Christ God, have mercy upon us.
Troparion of the Chains of St. Peter: O Holy Apostle, Peter, thou dost preside over the Apostles by the precious chains which thou didst bear. We venerate them with faith and beseech thee that by thine intercessions we be granted the great mercy.
Kontakion Preparatory for Nativity: Today the Virgin comes unto the cave to give birth in an ineffable manner to the Word before the ages. Rejoice, therefore, O universe, when you hear, and glorify with the angels and the shepherds him who shall appear by his own will as a new babe, being God before the ages.
Sunday, December 20 (Sunday before the Nativity)
8:50 a.m. — Orthros
9:00 a.m. — Christian Education
10:00 a.m. — Divine Liturgy
12:00 p.m. — Christmas Play
Monday, December 21
Office Closed — Father John’s Day Off
Tuesday, December 22
6:00 a.m. — Daily Orthros
Wednesday, December 23
6:30 p.m. — Advent Paraklesis
Thursday, December 24
7:00 a.m. — Royal Hours
10:00 p.m. — Orthros followed by Divine Liturgy
Friday, December 25 (The Nativity of our Lord)
Saturday, December 26 (Synaxis of the Theotokos)
5:45 p.m. — Ninth Hour followed by Great Vespers
Sunday, December 27 (Sunday after the Nativity)
8:50 a.m. — Orthros
9:00 a.m. — Christian Education
10:00 a.m. — Divine Liturgy
Eucharist Bread …was offered by the Hendersons for the Divine Liturgy this morning.
Please be reminded that the Sacristy/Vestry which is adjacent to and behind the altar in our church is considered by the Orthodox Church to be part of the Sanctuary (Altar area) and should not be entered without the blessing of the priest for a specific purpose. If you need to speak with a member of the clergy while they are in the Sanctuary, please ask them to come to you in the nave.
Eucharist Bread and Coffee Hour Schedule:
Eucharist Bread Coffee Hour
December 20 Henderson Stewart/Meadows
December 24 (Thurs pm) R. Root Sh. Charlotte Algood/Cheryl Pigott
Feast of the Nativity of our Lord
December 27 Wood Henderson/Baker/Lockhart
December 31 (Thurs pm) Baker (Artoklasia Bread)
Feast of the Circumcision of our Lord and the Feast of St. Basil the Great
Schedule for Epistle Readers – Page numbers refer to the Apostolos (book of the Epistles) located on the front pew. Please be sure to use this book when you read.
Reader Reading Page#
December 20 Mildred Morris Heb. 11:9-10, 32-40 348
December 24 (Thurs pm) Phillip Lasseter Gal. 4:4-7 351
December 27 Kh. Be’Be’ Schelver Acts 6:8-7:1-5,47-60 60
Please be reminded of the following:
Be very careful with the Blessed Bread when you take it after communion. Because this bread has been blessed, we should take care not to let crumbs fall on the floor. Parents, especially, please help your children to choose a small piece and treat it carefully.
Also, at the end of the liturgy, maintain a prayerful disposition during the veneration of the cross as the prayers of thanksgiving after communion are still underway. Please exchange your greetings with each other in the Fellowship Hall during Coffee Hour.
Please continue to pray for the health of His Grace, Bishop ANTOUN.
Please remember the following in your prayers: Steve, Sheryl and Stephen Chamblee; Amy and Brantley Oliver; Aidan Milnor, the Milnor family; Sam and Lamia Dabit and Sammie; Georgia Buchanan, George Johns (Georgia’s grandson) and his family; Mary Greene (Lee and Kh. Sharon’s sister); Fr. Stephen Tewfik; Sh. Gail Shannon; Dn. Sidney and Sh. Mary Elliot;
Walt and Charlotte Wood and their family; Tom and Jennifer Skirtech and their family; Tom and Kathy Willingham; Athena and Anthony Zouboukos and their family; Elias and Olga Karam (Simon’s parents) as well as Simon and Rola Karam; Lynda Costas.
Continue to pray for Metropolitan Paul (who is also the brother of our Patriarch) and the Syriac Archbishop John of Aleppo who were abducted while on a humanitarian mission in Syria.
Please remember Fr. Joseph and Kh. Joanna Bittle, and their daughter Abigail, in your prayers.
Our condolences and prayers go
…to Marianna Greaves on the death this week of her mother-in-law, Vary (Bobbie) Greaves;
…and also to Jesse Milnor on the death this week of his cousin, Charlotte Dowell of Memphis, who succumbed to cancer after a long battle.
Please keep all these families in your prayers.
* The Men of the parish meet for lunch and fellowship on the first Thursday of the month.
* The Ladies of St. Peter will meet at 10:00 a.m. on the second Saturday of the month to pray the Akathist to the Mother of God, Nurturer of Children. Those who are able will go out for lunch and fellowship afterwards.
* The men of the parish will meet at the church once each quarter for a Saturday morning Father-Son Prayer Breakfast. The next Breakfast will be February 6th.
* The Fast of the Nativity began November 15th and runs through December 24th. During this time, as is our parish custom, we will celebrate the Advent Paraklesis in place of Daily Vespers on Wednesday evenings, beginning at 6:30 p.m.
* The Christian Education classes will present their Christmas Play at Coffee today.
* The Deanery Youth Retreat is scheduled for February 12-14, 2016 at Camp Hopewell, outside of Oxford. More information TBA.
Bethany Christian Services is a new medical clinic opening across the street from the abortion clinic in Jackson. Their mission is to provide medical services and options for women who choose to not have an abortion. They are looking for volunteers to help with the tasks of running the clinic. They are especially interested in volunteers who have some medical training. If you have some time and would like to help with this worthy cause, please contact Barbara Beavers at 601-366-4282.
Due to our annual Nativity Feast, we did not have our monthly Pot Luck Meal on the second Sunday during December. Instead, we will have a Pot Luck Meal on Sunday December 27th utilizing left-overs from our Nativity Feast and dishes brought from home.
Nativity Feast: There is a sign-up sheet in the Fellowship Hall for the Meal following the Divine Liturgy for the Feast of the Nativity. Please bring only the dishes requested on the sign-up sheet and please use one of the disposable pans available from the church. This will be important for the sake of clean-up afterwards. The janitorial staff will clean up on Saturday morning. Please be sure to take your dirty dish home with you. If there is a dish not listed that you really want to bring, make it instead for the Pot Luck Meal we will be having on Sunday, December 27th, as we continue to celebrate the Incarnation of our Lord.
Supper Clubs: A Sign-up sheet has been placed on the table in the Fellowship Hall for anyone wishing to participate in Supper Club this year.
Pre-Lenten Speaker: Rev. Fr. John Oliver, pastor of St. Elizabeth the New Martyr Antiochian Orthodox Church in Murphreesboro, TN, will be peaking at St. Peter March 1-3, 2016. His topic will be “Our Dark Emotions in the Light of Christ.” Be sure to mark your calendars now.
Fasting Discipline for December
Beginning November 15th, the first day of the Nativity Fast, the traditional fasting (no meat, dairy, eggs, fish wine or oil) is observed each day of the week. Note, however, through December 19th there is a katlysis on Tuesdays and Thursdays when wine and oil are permitted, and on Saturdays and Sundays when fish, wine and oil are permitted. There is no fasting from December 25th through January 4th.
Major Commemorations for December
December 20 God-bearer Ignatius of Antioch
December 25 Nativity of our Lord
December 26 Synaxis of the Thetotokos
December 27 Protomartyr Stephen
Thermostats in the Fellowship Hall: There are two thermostats in the Fellowship Hall—one in the main room to control the air in the main room, and a second one in the Nursery room that controls the air in all four of the Sunday School rooms. Please be sure when you leave the building that both thermostats are set to 80 degrees in warm weather or 60 degrees in cold weather.
Quotable: “Such, then, is the ‘spirit of Christ’! The spirit of Christ is the spirit of humility, the antithesis of self-asserting human pride. Learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart (Matt. 11:29)—these words should be the life’s motto of every Christian.”
The Struggle for Virtue
by Archbishop AVERKY
Worship: Sunday, December 27, 2015 (Sunday after the Nativity)
Scripture: Acts 6:8-7:1-5, 47-60; Matthew 2:13-23
Celebrant: Father John
Epistle Reader: Kh. Be’Be’ Schelver
Coffee Hour: Henderson/Baker/Lockhart