January 31, 2021
Thirty-second Sunday after Pentecost
I Timothy 4:9-15: From our reading in St Paul’s first letter to Timothy, we hear him exhort
Timothy to teach concerning God, the Savior of all men, and by his conduct to be an example of godliness to unbelievers
Luke 19:1-10: In the story of Zaccheus we are reminded of why the Only-begotten Son of the
Father became incarnate: to save mankind from our sin and its consequences.
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 Sts. Cyrus and John: Since Thou hast given us the miracles of Thy Martyrs, Cyrus and John, as an invincible battlement, by their entreaties scatter the counsels of the heathen, O Christ our God, and strengthen the faith of Orthodox Christians, since Thou art good and the Lover of mankind.
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 Presentation: Thou, O Christ God, who by your Birth, didst sanctify the Virgin’s womb, and as is meet, didst bless Simeon’s arms, and didst also come to save us, preserve thy fold in wars, and confirm them whom thou didst love; for thou alone art the Lover of mankind.
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, January 31 (Thirty-second Sunday after Pentecost)
8:50 a.m. — Orthros (webcast)
10:00 a.m. — Divine Liturgy (webcast)
Monday, February 1
6:30 p.m. — Great Vespers with Litia and Artoklasia
Father John’s Day Off
Tuesday, February 2 (Meeting of the Lord in the Temple)
Many years before the coming of Christ there lived a very pious and saintly man called Simeon. He was one of the most intelligent Jewish scholars of his day. Simeon prayed for the day that the Saviour would come and deliver all Israel (and the world) from sin. One evening while kneeling in prayer, Simeon heard the voice of God saying to him that he would not die until he had seen the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Holy Tradition tells us that Simeon waited many long years. Some Holy Fathers inform us that Simeon was over 150 years old when the Promise of God was fulfilled. The Holy Scriptures tell us that 40 days after the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ the Virgin Mary brought the Christ Child to the Temple for Presentation. It was a law that the first-born son of a family should be offered to God and His service, as soon as a period of purification was past. It was here that Simeon waited patiently that day, as he had done for so many years. The Spirit of the Lord brought him to the baby Jesus. Simeon took the infant Child in his trembling hands and recited the following beautiful prayer which is recited in the Orthodox Church every evening during Vesper services:
For mine eyes have seen Thy Salvation which thou hast prepared before the
face of all peoples. A Light to enlighten the Gentiles and to be the glory of
thy people Israel.”
Thus, the promise to the aged Simeon was finally fulfilled. The next day Simeon died in peace, thankful to Almighty God that he was honored to see the coming of Christ.
This custom has continued down to our own day for both male and female children, and every mother who brings her new-born child to Church on the fortieth day is remembering the Great Feast of the Presentation of our Lord Jesus Christ in the Temple.
Wednesday, February 3 (Simeon the God-receiver)
6:30 p.m. — Daily Vespers with Lesser Blessing of the Water
Thursday, February 4
6:00 p.m. — Great Vespers (No Ninth Hour Prayers)
Sunday, February 7 (Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost)
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.
Eucharist Bread Schedule (NO Coffee Hour):
Eucharist Bread Coffee Hour
February 1 (Mon. p.m.) Katool (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
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; Walt and Charlotte Wood.
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.
Pledge Letters have been mailed out this. Please return them to the church as soon as possible.
Congratulations and Many Years!
to Dale and Michelle Cooper (and Grandmother Karen) on the birth of their son, Jack Arthur Cooper, this past Monday afternoon. Jack was 21 3/4″ long and weighed 7lb 10oz. Mother and son are doing well.
and to Jordan and Laurie Henderson on the baptism of their son, Jordan Peter, last weekend at Holy Mother of God Greek Orthodox Church in Tallahassee, FL.
We will celebrate the Feast of the Meeting of the Lord in the Temple with Great Vespers with Litia and Artoklasia TOMORROW evening, February 1st, beginning at 6:30 p.m.
We will have the Lesser Blessing of the Water at vespers on the Wednesday, February 3rd. Holy Water will be available following the service for you to take home for your own private use. Father John will not be able to bless homes until the current pandemic has eased.
The new Icon Calendars are available on the table in the hall outside the nave. Please only take one per family.
Fasting Discipline for February
The traditional fasting discipline (no meat, dairy, eggs, fish, wine or oil) is observed on Wednesdays and Fridays of the month. However, there will be no fasting during the week following the Sunday of the Pharisee and the Publican (February 21st this year).
Major Commemorations for January/February
January 31 Cyros and John the Unmercenary Healers
February 2 Meeting of the Lord in the Temple
February 3 Simeon the God-receiver
February 10 Hieromartyr Haralampos
February 11 Blaise, Bishop of Sebaste
February 21 Sunday of the Pharisee and the Publican
February 24 The Forerunner (1st and 2nd Discoveries)
February 28 Sunday of the Prodigal Son
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.)
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: “Thus say nothing to anyone of your newly conceived purpose. Say nothing of the new life you have begun or of the experiment you are making and experiences you expect to have. All this is a matter between God and you, and only between you two. The only exception might be your father-confessor.
This silence is necessary because all chatter about one’s own concerns nourishes self-preoccupation and self-trust. And these must be stifled first of all! Through stillness one’s trust grows in Him who sees what is hidden; through silence one talks to Him who hears without words. To come to Him is your endeavour, and in Him shall be all your confidence: you are anchored in eternity, and in eternity there are no wordsoly Spirit, goiven and sent by both the FFaa.”
Tito Colliander, The Way of the Ascetics
Worship: Sunday, February 7, 2021 (Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost)
Scripture: II Corinthians 6:1-10; Matthew 25:14-30
Celebrant: Father John