January 3, 2016
Sunday before Theophany
II Timothy 4:5-8: St Paul encourages Timothy to persevere in his calling, knowing that our perseverance in the battle before us will be rewarded with the crown of righteousness.
Mark 1:1-8: From the Gospel of St Mark we hear how John the Baptist prepared the way for Jesus’ public ministry by calling for the people to repent from their sins and be baptized.
Troparion of the Resurrection: When Mary stood at thy grave looking for thy sacred body, angelic powers shone above thy revered tomb, and the soldiers who were to keep guard became as dead men. Thou led hades captive and wast not tempted thereby. Thou didst meet the Virgin and didst give life to the world; O thou who art risen from the dead! O Lord, glory to thee.
Troparion of the Forefeast of Theophany: Make ready, O Zebulon, and prepare, O Nephtali, and thou, River Jordan, cease thy flow and receive with joy the Master coming to be baptized. And thou, Adam, rejoice with the first mother, and hide not yourselves as ye did of old in paradise; for having seen thee naked, He appeared to clothe thee with the first robe. Yea, Christ hath appeared desiring to renew the whole creation.
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 of the Forefeast of Theophany: Today hath the Lord appeared in the courses of the Jordan, crying to John and saying, Be not dismayed at my Baptism; for I have come to save Adam, the first to be created.
Sunday, January 3 (Sunday before Theophany)
8:50 a.m. — Orthros
9:00 a.m. — Christian Education
10:00 a.m. — Divine Liturgy
Monday, January 4
Office Closed — Father John’s Day Off
Tuesday, January 5 [Strict
7:00 a.m. — Royal Hours
6:00 p.m. — Orthros followed by Divine Liturgy
Wednesday, January 6 (Theophany)
This Feast Day is one of the greatest days of the Christian year. In English, we are accustomed to hearing this Feast Day called “Epiphany,” a word which means “manifestation” or “appearance.” On this day, the Orthodox Church celebrates the Baptism of Jesus Christ in the Jordan River by St. John the Baptist (he is called “the Baptist” because he baptized Christ). Epiphany is also called “Theophany” which means “God shows Himself to us.” The importance of this Feast Day lies in the fact that for the first time the Holy Trinity was revealed for all mankind to know and believe (the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit). When Jesus Christ was baptized in the River Jordan, a voice was heard from the heavens above saying, “This is my Son in whom I am well pleased.” The Father whose voice was heard from the heavens was God. The white dove was the symbol of the Holy Spirit which descended upon Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Thus, we have the Holy Trinity being revealed to all that day, almost 2000 years ago. This is why we call this day the day of illumination (light) and manifestation (appearance). The Holy Trinity made its appearance, and we have been illuminated by this wonderful truth and blessing. On this day we have the traditional blessing of the waters. Since the waters of the Jordan were blessed in the presence of Jesus Christ, it is a source of Divine Grace and blessing, and we bless ourselves and our homes with the waters of the “Sanctification Service” which is held during the Epiphany Services.
Theophany Day is a day of illumination and sanctification. Let us pledge ourselves to a greater participation in the sacramental life of the Church of Christ. When the Priest blesses our homes, let us all pray that the blessing of the Theophany Season be with us throughout the year and may our homes be sanctified with our prayers, Christian living and spiritual direction in our lifetime.
6:30 p.m. — Daily Vespers
Thursday, January 7 (Synaxis of the Forerunner)
6:00 a.m. — Daily Orthros
11:30 a.m. — Men’s Lunch
Friday, January 8
Saturday, January 9
10:00 a.m. — Ladies meet for Akathist
5:45 p.m. — Ninth Hour followed by Great Vespers
Sunday, January 10 (Sunday after Theophany)
8:50 a.m. — Orthros
9:00 a.m. — Christian Education
10:00 a.m. — Divine Liturgy
4:00 p.m. — Blessing of the Water at the Ross Barnett Reservoir
Eucharist Bread …was offered by the Algoods for the Divine Liturgy this morning.
Eucharist Bread and Coffee Hour Schedule:
Eucharist Bread Coffee Hour
January 3 Algood Skirtech/Skirtech/Parker
January 5 (Tues. p.m.) Katool Anastasia Jones
(Feast of Theophany)
January 10 Schelver D. Root/Dansereau
January 16 (Sat. a.m.) Morris Karen Cooper/Rebecca Dansereau
(Feast of the Veneration of the Chains of St. Peter)
January 17 Jones Algood/Lasseter
January 24 Meadows R. Root/Habeeb
January 31 Davis Schelver/Lavric/Turner
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#
January 3 David Turner II Tim. 4:5-8 354
January 5 (Tues. p.m.) Brenda Baker Titus 2:11-14; 3:4-7 361
January 10 Walt Wood Eph. 4:7-13 364
January 16 (Sat. a.m.) Sh. Charlotte Algood Acts 12:1-11 50-51
January 17 Warren Strain Heb. 13:17-21 343
January 24 Kh. Sharon Meadows I Tim. 1:15-17 245
January 31 Mildred Morris I Tim. 4:9-15 252
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.
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.
Congratulations to Simon and Rola on the baptism of their daughter Mariam! May God grant them all Many Years!!
Blessing of the Water at the Ross Barnett Reservoir: Next Sunday we will hold our annual Blessing of the Water at Old Trace Park in conjunction with the other Orthodox churches in our area. Afterwards, those who wish to do so will eat at Cock of the Walk restaurant nearby.
Pledge Letters have been mailed. Please return these as soon as possible so that we can make plans for the coming year. If you did not receive a pledge letter, please let Kh. Sharon know.
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.
* 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.
* Following the Nativity there is no fasting through January 4th. January 5th is a strict fast day as the Forefeast of Theophany.
* We will celebrate the Feast of Theophany with Royal Hours, beginning at 7:00 a.m. on Tuesday morning, January 5th. Orthros followed by Divine Liturgy will be served that evening, beginning at 6:00 p.m.
* Our Patronal Feast (The Veneration of the Chains of St. Peter) will be celebrated on Saturday, January 16th with Orthros followed by Divine Liturgy, beginning at 9:00 a.m.
* The Deanery Youth Retreat is scheduled for February 12-14, 2016 at Camp Hopewell, outside of Oxford. More information TBA.
* Fr. John Oliver will be our Pre-Lenten speaker March 1-3. Mark your calendars now!
Fasting Discipline for January
The forefeast of Theophany (January 5th) is observed as a strict fast day (no meat, dairy, eggs, fish, wine or oil). The traditional fasting is observed on the remaining Wednesdays and Fridays of the month.
Major Commemorations for January
January 6 Theophany
January 7 Synaxis of the Forerunner
January 11 Theodosios the Head of Monasteries
January 16 The Veneration of the Chains of St. Peter
January 18 Athanasius and Cyril of Alexandria
January 20 Euthymios the Great
January 25 Gregory the Theologian
January 27 John Chrysostom
January 31 Cyros and John the Unmercenary Healers
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: “Since the kingdom of God is within us (cf. Luke 17:21), the heart is the battlefield of our salvation, and all ascetic effort is aimed at cleansing it of all filthiness, and preserving it pure before the Lord. ‘Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life,’ exhorts Solomon, the wise king of Israel (Prov. 4:23). These paths of life pass through man’s heart, and therefore the unquenchable desire of all who ceaselessly seek the Face of the Living God is that their heart, once deadened by sin, may be rekindled by His grace.”
The Hidden Man of the Heart
by Archimandrite Zacharias
Worship: Sunday, January 10, 2016 (Sunday after Theophany)
Scripture: Ephesians 4:7-13; Mattthew 4:12-17
Celebrant: Father John
Epistle Reader: Walt Wood
Coffee Hour: D. Root/Dansereau