December 4, 2016
Great-martyr Barbara and Venerable John of Damascus
Galatians 3:23-29;4:1-5: In this reading from Galatians we hear St. Paul explain that prior to the coming of Christ, we were under the Law and hence divided, but now that Christ has come we are justified by faith in Christ and have become one, belonging to Christ. Therefore, we are no longer under bondage to the Law and the world, but are now free as children of God.
Luke 13:10-17: By healing a woman held in bondage to an illness for eighteen years, our Lord demonstrates that the Law does not prohibit righteous action on the Sabbath.
Troparion of the Resurrection: Thou didst shatter death by thy Cross; thou didst open paradise to the thief; thou didst turn the mourning of the ointment-bearing women into joy, and didst bid thine Apostles proclaim warning that thou hast risen, O Christ, granting the world Great Mercy.
Troparion of St. Barbara: Let us honor the all-revered Saint Barbara; for she did demolish the snares of the adversary and escaped from them like a bird, by the help of the Cross as with a weapon.
Troparion of St. John of Damascus: Thou hast shown thyself, O God-inspired John, as a guide to the Orthodox Faith, a teacher of true worship and purity, O star of the universe and companion of the Bishops, O wise one. Through thy light thou hast enlightened all, O harp of the Spirit. Therefore, intercede with Christ God to save our souls.
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 4 (Great-martyr Barbara)
8:50 a.m. — Orthros
9:00 a.m. — Christian Education
10:00 a.m. — Divine Liturgy
12:00 p.m. — Pot Luck Meal
Monday, December 5 (Sava the Sanctified)
Office Closed — Father John’s Day Off
6:30 p.m. — Great Vespers with Litia and Artoklasia
Tuesday, December 6 (Nicholas the Wonder-worker of Myra)
6:00 a.m. — Festal Orthros
Wednesday, December 7
6:30 p.m. — Advent Paraklesis
Thursday, December 8
6:00 a.m. — Daily Orthros
Friday, December 9 (Conception of the Theotokos)
Saturday, December 10
10:00 a.m. — Ladies meet for Akathist
5:45 p.m. — Ninth Hour followed by Great Vespers
Sunday, December 11 (Sunday of the Forefathers)
8:50 a.m. — Orthros
9:00 a.m. — Christian Education
10:00 a.m. — Divine Liturgy
Eucharist Bread …was offered by the Karams for the Divine Liturgy this morning.
Eucharist Bread and Coffee Hour Schedule:
Eucharist Bread Coffee Hour
December 4 Karam POT LUCK MEAL
(set-up: R. Root/Habeeb/Pacurari)
December 11 Brock Schelver/Lavric/Karam
December 18 Fahmy Henderson/Baker/Lockhart
December 24 (Sat. p.m.) Baker 1.
(Feast of the Nativity of our Lord) 2.
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 4 Phillip Lasseter Gal. 3:23-4:5 160-161
December 11 Kh. Be’Be’ Schelver Col. 3:4-11 233
December 18 Brenda Baker Heb. 11:9-10, 32-40 348
December 24 (Sat. p.m.) David Turner Gal. 4:4-7 351
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 remember the following in your prayers: Steve, Sheryl Chamblee; 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; Walt and Charlotte Wood and their family; Lynda Costas; Kevin and Angelina Speier; Tom and Kathy Willingham.
Please continue to pray for the health of His Grace, Bishop ANTOUN.
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.
Remember to schedule a time for confession with your priest during the Fast of the Nativity.
* 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.
* The men of the parish will meet at the church once each quarter for a Saturday morning Father-Son Prayer Breakfast.
* The Fast of the Nativity runs through the 24th of December. During this time, as is our custom, we will celebrate the Advent Paraklesis on Wednesday evenings in place of Daily Vespers.
* We will celebrate the feastday of St. Nicholas the Wonder-worker with Great Vespers with Litia and Artoklasia on Monday evening, December 5th, beginning at 6:30 p.m.
* The Feast of the Nativity of our Lord will be celebrated with Orthros followed by the Divine Liturgy on Saturday evening, December 24th, beginning at 10:00 p.m. There will be no service on Sunday morning, December 25th.
* The MS Valley Deanery will hold its annual Teen Retreat February 3-5, 2017 at Camp Hopewell in Oxford, MS. Fr. Daniel Bethancourt, Retreat Master this year, will be addressing issues related to self-esteem. Please mark your calendars now.
Burial Plots at Natchez Trace Cemetery: Mr. Michael Hudgins, the Director of the Natchez Trace Funeral Home has made a very generous offer to the members of St. Peter who wish to purchase a burial plot and pre-arrange their funeral needs. The offer will expire at the end of 2016. Copies of Mr. Hudgins letter may be found on the information table in the Fellowship Hall. If you are interested in this offer, please contact Mr. Hudgins for an appointment. (We will not have another meeting of the parish as previously announced.)
Burial and Funeral Care Instructions forms: These forms are located on the bureau in the hallway outside the nave. There are two forms: one for the church and one for the family (with a copy given to the church). Please fill out your forms and return to the office as soon as possible.
Please be sure to have your forms notarized. The forms will be kept in a file in the office so that we have your instructions should the need arise.
Fasting Discipline for December
Beginning November 15th, the first day of the Nativity Fast, the traditional fasting discipline (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 of any kind from December 25th through January 4th.
Major Commemorations for December
December 4 Great-martyr Barbara and Venerable Father John of Damascus
December 5 Sava the Sanctified
December 6 Nicholas the Wonder-worker of Myra
December 9 Conception of the Theotokos
December 12 Spyridon the Wonder-worker
December 15 Hieromartyr Eleutherios
December 20 God-bearer Ignatius of Antioch
December 25 Nativity of our Lord
December 26 Synaxis of the Theotokos
December 27 Protomartyr Stephen
Quotable: “According to patristic tradition, the essence of the soul, which is called heart, is found as if within an organ, not in a vessel where the physical organ of the heart is. This should be interpreted in reference to what it was said before, that the soul holds the body and gives life to it; it is not contained by the body but it contains the person’s body. It is within this perspective that St. Nicodemos the Hagiorite speaks of the heart as a biophysical (natural) centre, since the blood is circulated to all parts of the body from there; as an affected (contrary to nature) centre, since the passions prevail therein, and as a supernatural centre since the grace of God operates there, as many passages of the Holy Scripture state
‘But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart’ (Matt. 5,28)
‘But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgement of God’ (Rom. 2,5)
‘That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith’ (Eph. 3, 17)
‘And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us’ (Rom. 5,5).”
Orthodox Spirituality by Metropolitan HIEROTHEOS of Nafpaktos
Worship: Sunday, December 11, 2016 (Sunday of the Forefathers of Christ)
Scripture: Colossians 3:4-11; Luke 14:16-24
Celebrant: Father John
Epistle Reader: Kh. Be’Be’ Schelver
Coffee Hour: Schelver/Lavric/Karam