March 28, 2021
Second Sunday of Lent
Commemoration of Gregory Palamas, Archbishop of Thessalonica
St. Gregory Palamas (c. 1296-1359) – St. Gregory was a Greek monk and theologian and the chief exponent of Hesychasm. He was ordained a priest in the year 1326 and became Bishop of Thessalonica in 1347. The political conditions made it impossible for him to take possession of the see until 1350. He died on November 14, 1359, which is his feast day. He was canonized in 1368. St. Gregory stressed the biblical notion of man as a single and united whole, body and soul together. In virtue of this, he argued that the physical exercises used by the Hesychasts in prayer, as well as their claim to see the Divine Light with their bodily eyes, could be defended as legitimate. He distinguished between the essence and the energies of God: God’s essence remains unknowable, but his uncreated energies, which are God Himself, permeate all things and can be directly experienced by man in the form of deifying grace.
In the earlier period, there was on this day a commemoration of the Great Martyr Polycarp of Smyrna (c. 155). St. Gregory replaced St. Polycarp on the Second Sunday of Lent in the fourteenth century.
Hebrews 1:10-2:3: Writing to the Hebrews, the Apostle quotes from Scripture to proclaim the greatness of Jesus Christ as compared with the angels; for this reason, we must be careful not to neglect our salvation.
Mark 2:1-12: Reading in the Gospel of Mark, we see Jesus demonstrate His authority to forgive sins by healing a paralytic.
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. Gregory Palamas: O Gregory the Wonderworker, light of Orthodoxy, support and teacher of the Church, glory of monks and invincible protector of theologians, pride of Thessalonica and preacher of grace, pray without ceasing for the salvation of 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 of the Sundays of Lent: To thee the champion leader, I thy servant offer thanks for victory, O Theotokos, thou who hast delivered me form terror. As thou hast power invincible, free me from every danger that I may cry unto thee: Rejoice, O bride without bridegroom.
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.
UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE: All services listed on the calendar will be available through streaming and webcast.
Sunday, March 28 (Second Sunday of Lent; Gregory Palamas)
8:50 a.m. — Orthros (webcast)
10:00 a.m. — Divine Liturgy (webcast)
Monday, March 29
Father John’s Day Off
Tuesday, March 30
6:30 p.m. — Presanctified Liturgy (NO SOUP SUPPER afterwards)
Thursday, April 1 (Mary of Egypt)
6:30 p.m. — Akathist Hymn to the Theotokos
NOTE: We are still limited on the numbers of attendees for services, so it is necessary to sign up for this service. Please text Fr. John for this.
6:00 p.m. — Great Vespers (No Ninth Hour Prayers)
Sunday, April 4 (Third Sunday of Lent; Adoration of the Holy Cross)
8:50 a.m. — Orthros (webcast)
10:00 a.m. — Divine Liturgy (webcast)
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
The Eucharist Bread …was offered by the Meadows for the Feast of the Annunciation this past Wednesday evening and by the Davises 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.
Eucharist Bread Schedule (NO Coffee Hour):
Eucharist Bread Coffee Hour
April 4 D. Root
April 11 Karam
April 18 Brock
April 24 (Sat. a.m.) R. Root
April 25 Henderson
April 29 (Thur. a.m.) Algood
(Great and Holy Thursday)
May 1 (Sat. a.m.) Katool
(Great and Holy Saturday)
May 1 (Sat. p.m.) Schelver
May 9 Morris
May 16 Jones
May 23 Meadows
May 30 Davis
June 6 D. Root
June 9 (Wed. p.m.) Karam
(Feast of the Ascension)
June 13 Brock
June 19 (Sat. a.m.) R. Root Koliva:
(Saturday of the Souls)
June 20 Baker
June 27 Henderson
June 28 (Mon. p.m.) Algood
(Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul)
Our condolences and prayers go to Brenda Baker on the passing of her father, Charles Spencer, this past Monday. Please keep him as well as Brenda, Reader Basil and all the Baker and Spencer families in your prayers.
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 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.
If you get sick, especially with the Corona virus, please let Fr. John know.
Please schedule a time for your confession during the Fast. Also, please don’t wait to the last minute to do this, as it causes difficulties for Father John.
* As is our usual parish custom during Great Lent, we will celebrate the Liturgy of the Pre-sanctified Gifts on Wednesday evenings in place of Daily Vespers, beginning at 6:30 p.m.,
except for the March 24th (Feast of the Annunciation) and April 14th (Canon of St. Andrew of Crete with the Life of St. Mary of Egypt).
* Also during Great Lent we will have the Akathist to the Theotokos on Friday evenings, beginning at 6:30 p.m., except for April 23rd (Canon of St. Lazarus).
* Stewpot dates for the coming year are JUNE 26 and November 6. More information will be available closer to time.
Camp St. Thekla Summer Camp 2021: Plans are coming along for in-person camping this summer at Camp St. Thekla. Because of restrictions due to Covid-19, they will only be able operate at 50% capacity. In order to accommodate as many campers as possible, pre-registration is necessary and there will be a waiting list as well. Information about the camp is available at their website CampStThekla.org. If you click on the icon there for Camp St. Thekla’s facebook page you will be able to see the posted information on registration and other plans for this year’s camping.
Pre-registration will begin at 1 PM ET (12 PM our time) on Saturday, March 27th! The pre-registration link will be posted on the website and the form can be accessed from there!
Christian Education classes: Daniel Root sent out an email last Friday concerning re-opening of Christian Education classes. Parents, please be sure to check this.
Tax letters were mailed recently. If you did not receive your letter for your 2020 donations, please contact Kh. Sharon as soon as possible.
Pledge Letters have been mailed out. Please return them to the church as soon as possible.
Fasting Discipline for March/April
Beginning with Clean Monday on March 15th, the traditional fasting (no meat, dairy, eggs, fish, wine or oil) discipline is observed on all days of the week until Pascha (except the Feast of the Annunciation on March 25th and Palm Sunday on April 25th, when fish, wine and oil are permitted).
Major Commemorations for April
April 1 St. Mary of Egypt
April 11 4th Sunday of Lent
Commemoration of St.John Climacus
April 18 5th Sunday of Lent
Commemoration of St. Mary of Egypt
April 23 Great-martyr George
April 24 Lazarus Saturday
April 25 Palm Sunday
Holy Apostle Mark
April 26-30 Holy Week
April 30 Holy Apostle James of Zebedee
The new Icon Calendars are available on the table in the hall outside the nave. Please only take one per family.
Instructions for streaming our services can be found on the parish website.
ead of ManHead of Maonasteries
Quotable: “Thus let us purify our heart! Let us throw out all the dusty trash that is stored there; let us scrub the dirty floor, wash the windows and open them, in order that light and air may come into the room we are preparing as a sanctuary for the Lord. Then let us put on clean garments, so that the musty old smell may not cling to us and we find ourselves thrust out (Luke 13:28).
May all this be our daily and hourly travail.
In this way we are only doing what the Lord Himself commanded us through His holy apostle James, who says: Purify your hearts (4:8). And the apostle Paul instructs us to cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit (II Corinthians 7:1). For from within, says Christ, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and defile the man (Mark 7:21-3). Therefore He also exhorts the Pharisees: Cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also (Matthew 23:26).”
Tito Colliander, The Way of the Ascetics
Worship: Sunday, April 4, 2021 (Third Sunday of Lent: Adoration of the Holy Cross)
Scripture: Hebrews 4:14-5:6; Mark 8:34-9:1
Celebrant: Father John
Prosphora: D. Root