June 7, 2020
The Great Feast of Pentecost
In several senses, Pentecost marks for us the end of many months of anticipation, commemoration, and celebration and the beginning of the fullness of the life and faith we share. It is a day bringing our focus on the Holy Spirit, the embodiment of divine grace, the supreme gift, the ongoing presence of God in our lives; yet, it is a day directing us to the praise of the Trinity, the three divine persons, and the historical and spatial relationship God’s people have with Him. For the disciples, the day marks their spiritual maturity. Their faith began in their nationality, for they were of the nation that God the Father chose to glorify Him. The faith was completed in their confrontation with God the Son, through His presence and the nourishment He gave. The fullness of the faith came with the coming in power of God the Spirit. The disciples had grown in spirit and were ready for their work; the birth of the Church was imminent; the Bride was to be made ready. In the cycle of the calendar, we now stand ready to do likewise, and all weeks from now until our preparation for Advent are the weeks of Pentecost. In the picture of the birth of the Church there are symbols beyond mention here; the unity in the common tongue, the Light that shines brighter than day, the bold proclamation to all men of the Gospel. We look forward from this day to weeks without special celebrations, to days without reference to past days of enormous import–to normal, uneventful days. But these are not uneventful days; they are the days for which we have prepared, the days of the Church, the days of our maturity and growth, the days when, through the guidance and power of the Holy Spirit, we run the good race and cross the finish to bring praise and glory to our glorious God, the eternal Trinity.
Acts 2:1-11: In the reading from Acts we see the pouring out of God’s Spirit on the apostles, the fulfillment of Joel’s prophecy, and the beginning of the Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.
John 7:37-52, 8:12: Our Lord calls those thirsting for righteousness to Himself, promising to eternally quench their thirst by the gift of the Holy Spirit. The Pharisees, however, view Jesus as a threat to their authority and seek for ways to undermine His authority.
Troparion of Pentecost: Blessed art thou, O Christ our God, who hast revealed the fishermen as most wise, having sent upon them the Holy Spirit, and through them thou hast fished the universe, O Lover of mankind, glory to thee.
Kontakion of Pentecost: When the high One descended, confusing tongues, he divided the nations. And when he distributed the fiery tongues he called all to one unity. Wherefore, in unison we glorify the most Holy Spirit.
From Father John: In His Eminence, Metropolitan JOSEPH’s last communique regarding the restrictions for participation in the services at our churches, he stated that, beginning the weekend of Pentecost and with the approval of the civil authorities, the Bishops of the dioceses could begin considering petitions for increasing the number of faithful participants in the services to a maximum of 33% of seating capacity. In our case, that would be approximately 60. I have not made an appeal to His Grace, Bishop NICHOLAS to this effect because our COVID-19 numbers are still high. When we start to see a significant downward trend in both the number of cases and deaths, I will make this appeal with a verification letter from the appropriate civil authority. Until then, I will try my best to rotate, as fairly as possible, our members who are healthy and wish to come to the services.
UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE: All services listed on the calendar will be available through streaming and webcast.
Sunday, June 7 (Feast of Pentecost)
9:00 a.m. — Orthros (webcast)
10:00 a.m. — Divine Liturgy with the Kneeling Prayers of Pentecost (webcast)
Monday, June 8 (Theodore the General)
[NO FASTING THIS WEEK]
Father John’s Day Off
Wednesday, June 10
6:30 p.m. — Daily Vespers
Thursday, June 11 (Apostles Bartholomew and Barnabas)
6:00 p.m. — Great Vespers (No Ninth Hour Prayers)
Sunday, June 14 (Sunday of All Saints)
9:00 a.m. — Orthros (webcast)
10:00 a.m. — Divine Liturgy (webcast)
Eucharist Bread …was offered by the Algoods for Saturday of the Souls yesterday and by the Hendersons for the Divine Liturgy this morning. The Koliva for yesterdays commemoration was offered by the Joneses.
Please remember that the schedule for prosphora is still in place as we will continue to serve the Divine Liturgy. Also, please remember that we still need your tithes and offerings which should be sent to: St. Peter Orthodox Church, P.O. Box 2084, Madison, MS 39130-2084. If you need Father John for anything, do not hesitate to get in touch with him. If you become ill, please let him know.
Eucharist Bread Schedule (NO Coffee Hour):
Eucharist Bread Coffee Hour
June 7 Henderson
June 14 Baker
June 21 Katool
June 28 Schelver
June 29 (Mon. a.m.) Morris
(Sts. Peter and Paul)
Please remember the following in your prayers: Steve, Sheryl Chamblee; Aidan Milnor, the Milnor family; Sam and Lamia Dabit; Mary Greene (Lee and Kh. Sharon’s sister); Lynda Costas; Fr. Nicholas, Kh. Jan and Angelina Speier; David Morris and his family; Jay and Joanna; Chris and Rebecca Dansereau and their daughters; Fr. Leo and Kh. Be’Be’ and their family; Emad and Natalia Alaeetawi and their family; Tom and Kathy Willingham.
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.
Please continue to pray for the following members of St. Peter:
Warren Strain and their family. Warren is hospitalized following a stroke on December 23rd.
Maria Costas, who is recovering from the corona virus and is now being moved to a rehab facility.
All those affected by the Corona-virus Pandemic.
Kneeling Prayers of Pentecost: We will not have Kneeling Vespers tonight, as is our usual parish custom with the Feast of Pentecost. Instead we will have the Kneeling Prayers at the end of the Divine Liturgy this morning.
A Benevolence account has been established at St. Peter to help the Strain family deal with Warren’s medical bills and other needs. If you would like to make a donation to this fund, please note on your check that it is for the Warren Strain Benevolence Fund. 100% of these funds will go to the Strain family.
Instructions for streaming our services can be found on the parish website.
Virtual PLC (VLC): Due to the pandemic, the Archdiocese cancelled all Parish Life Conferences for this summer. In its place our Diocese will be holding a Virtual Parish Life Conference through zoom and band June 8-13, 2020. Father John will be sending an email shortly with the information for registration (which is free) and the schedule of events. There are a couple of book studies in the morning during that week, but almost all of the events are in the evening. You must register for the VLC in order to participate in the sessions. If you do not receive an email shortly, please contact Father John.
Kh. Ruth Bibeaux, wife of Fr. David Bibeaux, from St. Paul Mission in Tupelo, MS will be here in June and part of July while she is working on her clinicals. She will be staying with the Woods during that time.
Fasting Discipline for June
The traditional fasting discipline (no meat, dairy, eggs, fish, wine or oil) is observed on the first Wednesday and Friday of the month. There will be no fasting during the week following Pentecost (June 7th this year). The Fast of the Apostles will begin on Monday June 15th and last until the Feastday of Sts. Peter and Paul on June 29th. During this time the traditional fasting discipline is observed on the 15th, 17th, 19th 22nd, and 26th. Wine and oil are allowed on the 16th, 18th and 23rd-25th. Fish, wine and oil are allowed on Saturdays and Sundays of the Fast.
Major Commemorations for June
June 7 Feast of Pentecost
June 9 Theodore the General (transfer of relics)
June 11 Apostles Bartholomew and Barnabas
June 14 Sunday of All Saints
June 24 Nativity of the Forerunner
June 29 Chief Apostles Peter and Paul
June 30 Synaxis of the Twelve Apostles
ead of ManHead of Maonasteries
Quotable: “The promise was now fulfilled and the Father and the Son, descended. He shone round about the holy disciples and with divine power kindled them all like lamps or, rather, He revealed them as heavenly lights set above the whole world, who had the word of eternal life, and through them He illuminated all the earth. If from one burning lamp someone lights another, then another from that one, and so on in succession, he has light continuously. In the same way, through the apostles ordaining their successors, and these successors ordaining others, and so on, the grace of the Holy Spirit is handed down through all generations and enlightens all who obey their spiritual shepherds and teachersoly Spirit, goiven and sent by both the FFaa.”
St. Gregory Palamas
Worship: Sunday, June 14, 2020 (Sunday of All Saints)
Scripture: Hebrews 11:33-12:2; Matthew 10:32-33, 37-38; 19:27-30
Celebrant: Father John