December 6, 2020
Nicholas the Wonder-worker of Myra in Lycia
While the facts of the life of St. Nicholas have been mixed with legend through the centuries, there are things concerning him which give us cause to reflect during this season of Advent. He was born to a wealthy family, but his parents died when he was quite young. He moved to Myra where he grew up in the Church and gave away most of his money to help the poor. Later he became bishop of the church there and served diligently to see that the needs of the people were met. After his death, the people remembered him by telling stories of his good deeds and his faithful life. He serves as a good example to us of how we are to serve Christ, His Church, and the world.
Hebrews 13:17-21: Reading in Hebrews, we hear St. Paul encourage us to obey our spiritual leaders and obey them, for they watch over our souls. He tells us that they should do so with joy, and conduct themselves honorably.
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: The stone being sealed by the Jews, and thy pure body being guarded by the soldiers, thou didst arise on the third day, O Saviour, granting life to the world. Wherefore, the heavenly powers acclaimed thee, O Giver of life, crying, Glory to thy Resurrection, O Christ! Glory to thy kingdom! Glory to thy gracious providence, O only Lover of mankind.
Troparion of St. Nicholas: Thy work of justice did show thee to thy congregation a canon of faith, the likeness of humility, a teacher of abstinence, O Father, Bishop Nicholas. Wherefore, by humility thou didst achieve exaltation, and by meekness, richness. Intercede, therefore, with Christ 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.
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, we should follow the guidelines based on our local numbers with the virus. As our numbers locally are rising, we will be dropping back to 25 participants at liturgies (which includes the priest and chanters). I will continue to try my best to rotate, as fairly as possible, our members who are healthy and wish to come to the services. Thank you for your cooperation with these restrictions.
Please continue to follow the CDC Guidelines to limit contagion and the spread of the COVID virus.
ATTENTION: Please be reminded that both the Archdiocese and the Governor have issued directions which mandate that masks be worn while in public/group settings. If you are inside of the church, you must wear a mask. Only the chanters and serving clergy are exempted from this during services. Masks should be worn outside, too, if you are in close proximity to others. You have done well with this for the most part, but with a few lapses recently, I wanted to remind you of this essential precaution. — Fr. John
UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE: All services listed on the calendar will be available through streaming and webcast.
Sunday, December 6 (Nicholas the Wonderworker of Myra)
8:50 a.m. — Orthros (webcast)
10:00 a.m. — Divine Liturgy (webcast)
Monday, December 7
Father John’s Day Off
Wednesday, December 9 (Conception of the Theotokos)
6:30 p.m. — Advent Paraklesis
Thursday, December 10
Saturday, December 12(Spyridon the Wonder-worker)
6:00 p.m. — Great Vespers (No Ninth Hour Prayers)
Sunday, December 13 (Forefathers of Christ)
8:50 a.m. — Orthros (webcast)
10:00 a.m. — Divine Liturgy (webcast)
Eucharist Bread …was offered by the Daniel Roots for the Divine Liturgy this morning.
Eucharist Bread Schedule (NO Coffee Hour):
Eucharist Bread Coffee Hour
December 13 Karam
December 20 Brock
December 24 (Thurs. p.m.) Henderson
December 27 Algood
December 31 (Thurs. p.m.) Baker (Artoklasia Bread)
(Feast of the Circumcision of our Lord and the Feastday of St. Basil the Great)
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 may be placed in the tithe box at the back of the nave or be mailed to: St. Peter Orthodox Church, P.O. Box 2084, Madison, MS 39130-2084.
If you are ready to return to the services of our church, please let Fr. John know so that he can add you to the list of attendees. It is up to individuals to request attendance at the services. Fr. John attempts to be fair in allotting slots, but he does not make assignments or phone calls.
Please remember Fr. Joseph and Kh. Joanna Bittle, and their daughter Abigail, in your prayers.
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); Jay and Joanna; 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.
If you get sick, especially with the Corona virus, please let Fr. John know.
Congratulations to Ian Jones and Jenny Huang on the news of their recent engagement! Jenny’s family lives overseas. She lived in the Houston area when she first came to the US and has friends there. The wedding will take place at St. Anthony the Great Orthodox Church in Spring, TX on Saturday, January 2, 2021. Please keep them in your prayers.
* The Fast of the Nativity has begun. During this time, we will celebrate the Advent Paraklesis on Wednesday evenings instead of Daily Vespers.
Sunnybrook Children’s Home: St. Peter’s will once again help support the children at Sunnybrook Children’s Home in Ridgeland. This year we will make a cash gift to Sunnybrook to be used either for a retreat for the children that have no other home for Christmas or to meet the needs of a young lady who is trying to recover from the trauma of seeing her father murdered in front of her when she was age 12. She is a senior in high school now and trying to get on her feet to go to college with the many expenses that entails. We will send one check to be used at the discretion of the staff at Sunnybrook. If you would like to contribute toward this, please make your check payable to St. Peter Orthodox Church and note “Sunnybrook Children’s Home” on your check. Many thanks! Pray for these children.
The new Icon Calendars are available on the table in the hall outside the nave. Please only take one per family.
A Benevolence account remains in effect 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. (All funds previously raised to go toward the purchase of a special van will now be applied to Warren’s funeral expenses.)
Fasting Discipline for December
During the Fast of the Nativity 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 will be no fasting of any kind from December 25th through January 4th.
Major Commemorations for December
December 6 Nicholas the Wonder-worker of Myra
December 9 Conception of the Theotokos
December 12 Spyridon the Wonder-worker
December 13 Herman of Alaska
December 15 Hieromartyr Eleutherios
December 20 Ignatios the God-bearer of Antioch
December 25 The Nativity of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ
December 26 Synaxis of the Theotokos
December 27 Protomartyr Stephen
Instructions for streaming our services can be found on the parish website.
The Archdiocese Convention scheduled for 2021 in Pittsburgh has been cancelled due to the pandemic. This was necessitated by the hotel’s demand for an excessive nonrefundable deposit.
ead of ManHead of Maonasteries
Quotable: “This humanity has been so overlaid by artificiality, by the desire to appear rather than to be, that when it reveals its true self it causes astonishment, as if it were something unnatural. The saint is the most courteous of men, yet at the same time, quite unintentionally he compels recognition. He is the one who attracts most attention and inspires most respect. He becomes the intimate friend of each one, the person who best understands you and puts you at your ease, and at the same time stirs you up making you aware of how much you fall short and of the sins you avoid looking at. He overwhelms you by the simple grandeur of his purity and by the warmth of his goodness and consideration; he makes you ashamed of having such low standards, of having disfigured human nature in yourself, of being impure, artificial, full of duplicity and meanness. All this is highlighted by the comparison which you involuntarily make between yourself and himoly Spirit, goiven and sent by both the FFaa.”
Dumitru Staniloae, Prayer and Holiness
Worship: Sunday, December 13, 2020 (Forefathers of Christ)
Scripture: Colossians 3:4-11; Luke 14:16-24
Celebrant: Father John