December 13, 2020
Sunday of the Forefathers (Ancestors) of Christ
Herman of Alaska, Enlightener of the Aleuts
Colossians 3:4-11: As we read in Colossians, we see St Paul encouraging the Church to practice the virtues of compassion, kindness, and humility. He reminds us that love is the bond which holds us together and calls us to let the peace of Christ to rule us.
Luke 14:16-24: In the parable of the man who gave a dinner we see that not all who are called to dine will come and that the consequences of refusing the invitation are great.
Troparion of the Resurrection: When thou, O immortal Life, didst humble thyself unto death, then didst thou destroy death by the brightness of thy Godhead; and when thou didst raise the bowels of the earth, then all the heavenly powers exclaimed, O Christ, thou art the Giver of life! Glory to thee, O our God!
Troparion of the Forefathers: Thou hast justified by faith the ancient forefathers and through them thou hast gone before and betrothed unto thyself the Church of the Gentiles. Let the saints, therefore, take pride in glory; for from their seed sprouted forth a noble fruit, and she it was who gavest birth to thee without seed. Wherefore, by their pleadings, O Christ God, save our souls.
Troparion of St. Herman: Blessed ascetic of the northern wilds and gracious intercessor for the whole world, teacher of the Orthodox Faith, good instructor of piety, adornment of Alaska and joy of all America, holy Father Herman, pray to Christ God that He 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 35 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 13 (Forefathers of Christ; Herman of Alaska)
8:50 a.m. — Orthros (webcast)
10:00 a.m. — Divine Liturgy (webcast)
Monday, December 14
Father John’s Day Off
Tuesday, December 15 (Hieromartyr Eleftherios)
Wednesday, December 16
6:30 p.m. — Advent Paraklesis
Thursday, December 17
6:00 p.m. — Great Vespers (No Ninth Hour Prayers)
Sunday, December 20 (Sunday before the Nativity; Ignatios, the God-bearer of Antioch)
8:50 a.m. — Orthros (webcast)
10:00 a.m. — Divine Liturgy (webcast)
Eucharist Bread …was offered by the Karams for the Divine Liturgy this morning.
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.
Eucharist Bread Schedule (NO Coffee Hour):
Eucharist Bread Coffee Hour
December 20 Brock
December 24 (Thurs. p.m.) Henderson
December 27 Algood
December 31 (Thurs. p.m.) Katool (Artoklasia Bread)
(Feast of the Circumcision of our Lord and the Feastday of St. Basil the Great)
January 3 Schelver
January 5 (Tues. p.m.) Morris
(Feast of Theophany)
January 10 Jones
January 16 (Sat. a.m.) Meadows
(Feast of the Chains of St. Peter)
January 17 Davis
January 24 D. Root
January 31 Karam
February 1 (Mon. p.m.) Meadows (Artoklasia Bread)
(Presentation of our Lord in the Temple – Great Vespers with Litia & Artoklasia)
February 7 Brock
February 14 R. Root
February 21 Henderson
February 28 Algood
March 6 (Sat. a.m.) Katool Koliva:
(Saturday of the Souls)
March 7 Schelver
March 14 Morris
March 21 Jones
March 24 (Wed. p.m.) Meadows
(Feast of Annunciation)
March 28 Davis
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 new Icon Calendars are available on the table in the hall outside the nave. Please only take one per family.
* The Fast of the Nativity has begun. During this time, we will celebrate the Advent Paraklesis on Wednesday evenings instead of Daily Vespers.
* The schedule of services for the Feast of the Nativity is as follows:
7:00 a.m. (December 24th) Royal Hours
10:00 p.m. Festal Orthros followed by Festal Divine Liturgy of
St. John Chrysostom
Please note that we will adhere to the 35 person attendance limit (including clergy and chanters) due to the coronavirus. These spaces will be filled on a first come, first serve basis.
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.
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 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.
Save the Date! The Diocese of Miami and the Southeast will hold a Virtual Winter Retreat January 29th – 31st, 2021. Registration materials will be available at a later date.
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: “In the kindness, gentleness and humility of the saint you perceive a power that no earthly power can turn aside to make him fall from his purity of heart, from his love for God and men, from the determination to give himself totally to God and to the service of men, to help them attain salvationoly Spirit, goiven and sent by both the FFaa.”
Dumitru Staniloae, Prayer and Holiness
Worship: Sunday, December 20, 2020 (Sunday before the Nativity of Christ; Ignatios the God-bearer of Antioch)
Scripture: Hebrews 11:9-10, 32-40; Matthew 1:1-25
Celebrant: Father John