April 25, 2021
Entrance of our Lord Jesus Christ into Jerusalem
Today is Palm Sunday, the commemoration of the triumphal entry of our Lord into the city of Jerusalem as King. We have completed the Lenten period, only to enter an even more intense preparatory period – Holy Week – wherein we prepare to celebrate the Lord’s blessed Resurrection. We will participate in more services than any other time of the year. We will become more tired than usual; both because of the fasting and the length of the services. But remember – it is only through our preparation that we experience the depths of the eternal events that we participate in this week. Yes, we do participate in the eternal nature of these events. The events of the passion occurred in space and time many miles and years from us, BUT their eternal character touches us here and now. We will see in a mystical way the realities of our Lord’s crucifixion, experience the sorrow of his laying in the tomb, and feel the exhilaration of the unbelievable becoming believable – that Christ DID CONQUER death and arise from the dead. Even now, set your hearts and minds to enter into the journey of Holy Week, for the rewards will be great. May God bless and protect you all!
Philippians 4:4-9: The Apostle Paul encourages us in the reading from his letter to the Philippians: we are to rejoice in the Lord and to let our concerns and desires be made known to God in prayer and supplication. By doing so, he tells us that the peace of God will guard our hearts and minds.
John 12:1-18: In anticipation of her Lord’s passion, Mary anoints Jesus’ feet with costly ointment, foreshadowing His coming death. Jesus then enters Jerusalem shortly before Passover in fulfillment of Zechariah’s prophecy.
First Troparion of Palm Sunday: O Christ God, when thou didst raise Lazarus from the dead before thy Passion, thou didst confirm the universal resurrection. Wherefore, we, like babes, carry the insignia of triumph and victory, and cry to thee, O Vanquisher of death, Hosanna in the highest. Blessed is he that cometh in the Name of the Lord.
Second Troparion of Palm Sunday: O Christ God, when we were buried with thee in Baptism, we became deserving of thy Resurrection to immortal life. Wherefore, we praise thee, crying, Hosanna in the highest, blessed is he that cometh in the Name of the Lord.
Kontakion of Palm Sunday: Seated upon Thy throne in heaven, and a foal on earth, O Christ our God, Thou didst receive the praise of the angels and the hymns of the children: Blessed is He that cometh to recall Adam.
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, April 25 (Palm Sunday)
Palm Sunday begins the observance of the eight days that encapsulate all of time and eternity as relates to man. The days begin with the proclamation on earth of the entry of the Messiah into Jerusalem and end with the Eternal King rising in incomprehensible victory to establish the heavenly Jerusalem and His eternal reign. On Palm Sunday, we begin the days of the full exhibition of the awful corruption sin has spread in mankind and the measureless love that heals and deifies our humanity. Today we thrill at the picture of Christ and the praises of the people, the object of adoration yet the perfection of humility. The imagery of the scene is beyond description: the King amidst His people, the palm and olive branches symbolizing His victory, His anointing, His peace; the cloaks and garments cast before Him symbolizing our complete submission to His will; the cries of adoration, of “Hosanna,” the coming of the Lord. Yet, on this day we are also near enough to feel acutely the dread of His passion, the desolation of the trial and Golgotha. This day also begins the week of the Eighth Day, the entry to eternity. As we observe Palm Sunday, we observe all history and the fulfillment of all history.
8:50 a.m. — Orthros (webcast)
10:00 a.m. — Divine Liturgy (webcast)
Monday, April 26 (Great and Holy Monday)
6:30 p.m. –Bridegroom Matins (webcast)
Father John’s Day Off
Tuesday, April 27 (Great and Holy Tuesday)
Wednesday, April 28 (Great and Holy Wednesday)
6:30 p.m. — Service of Holy Unction
NOTE: Please be aware that this is a sacrament and that you should fast as you would for an evening Eucharist.
Thursday, April 29 (Great and Holy Thursday)
7:00 a.m. — Vesperal Liturgy for Holy Thursday
6:30 p.m. — Reading of the Twelve Passion Gospels
Friday, April 30(Great and Holy Friday)
7:00 a.m. — Royal Hours
3:00 p.m. — Great Vespers with the Taking down from the Cross
6:30 p.m. — Lamentations Service
Saturday, May 1(Great and Holy Saturday)
9:00 a.m. — Vesperal Liturgy for Holy Saturday
10:30 p.m. — Rush Matins and the Paschal Service
Sunday, May 2 (Great and Holy PASCHA)
NOTE: Please remember that you need to bring your own food and drink for this. NO food or drink will be provided by the church.
Please refer to the email that Father John sent out on April 25th, concerning guidelines for participation in the services of Holy Week and PASCHA. If you did NOT receive this email, please check your spam folder. Be sure to let Father John as soon as possible about your desires for participation in these services.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Father John will not hear any confessions during Holy Week.
The Eucharist Bread …was offered by the Brocks for the Divine Liturgy last Sunday, by the Dn. Richard Roots for the Divine Liturgy of Lazarus Saturday yesterday morning and by the Henderson for the Divine Liturgy this morning.
Eucharist Bread Schedule (NO Coffee Hour):
Eucharist Bread Coffee Hour
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: Karen Cooper
(Saturday of the Souls)
June 20 Baker
June 27 Henderson
June 28 (Mon. p.m.) Algood
(Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul)
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.
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
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 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.
Please remember Fr. Joseph and Kh. Joanna Bittle, and their daughter Abigail, in your prayers.
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.
Christian Education classes: Daniel Root sent out an email concerning re-opening of Christian Education classes. Parents, please be sure to check this.
Pledge Letters have been mailed out. Please return them to the church as soon as possible.
* Stewpot dates for the coming year are JUNE 26 and November 6. More information will be available closer to time.
Save the Date for the 2021 Virtual PLC! The Virtual PLC of the Diocese of Miami and the Southeast will be held June 13-20, 2021. Registration is free. Please make plans to participate.
Fasting Discipline for April/May
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. There will be no fasting of any kind during Bright Week following PASCHA. There will be no fasting on Wednesdays and Fridays until the Feast of Ascension (June 10 this year), for the full forty days, as decided by the Holy Synod of the Church of Antioch in 1997. (This is a departure from what we have done in the past, but is what we have been directed to do by the Archdiocese.)
Major Commemorations for April/May
April 26-30 Holy Week
April 30 Holy Apostle James of Zebedee
May 2 Great and Holy PASCHA
Athanasius the Great
May 8 Apostle and Evangelist John the Theologian
May 9 Thomas Sunday
May 16 Sunday of the Holy Myrrh-bearers
May 21 Constantine and Helen
May 23 Sunday of the Paralytic
May 25 The Forerunner (3rd Discovery)
May 30 Sunday of the Samaritan Woman
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: “Nor can it be too early. A forest fire cannot be put out too soon; would you see your soul ravaged and charred?
In baptism you received the command to wage the invisible warfare against the enemies of your soul; take it up now. Long enough have you dallied; sunk in indifference and laziness you have let much valuable time go to waste. Therefore you must begin again from the beginning: for you have let the purity you received in baptism be sullied in dire fashion.
Arise, then; but do so at once, without delay. Do not defer your purpose till ‘tonight’ or ‘tomorrow’ or ‘later, when I have finished what I have to do just now.’ The interval may be fatal.”
Tito Colliander, The Way of the Ascetics
Worship: Sunday, May 2, 2021 (Great and Holy PASCHA)
Scripture: Acts 1:1-8; John 1:1-17
Celebrant: Father John