May 2, 2021
Great and Holy PASCHA
“Unique and holy day, King and lord of days, feast of feasts, solemnity of solemnities. . . ” Thus we celebrate the Great Feast because of the resurrection of our Lord and begin the season of celebration which lasts through Pentecost. The paschal solemnities (of Maundy Thursday and Good Friday) are joined to the feast of the resurrection to endow the mystery of Christmas and the Incarnation with the fulness of its meaning and are the prerequisite condition for Pentecost. Easter, therefore, is the center, the heart of the Christian Year.
“Come, take light from the Light that has no evening, and glorify Christ, risen from the dead.” The Church again represents the Christian mystery in terms of light; this Light, whose birth was marked by the star of Bethlehem, is shining among us with growing intensity; the darkness of Golgotha could not extinguish it. The physical Resurrection of Jesus would be without value to us if the divine light did not shine at the same time among us, within us. But the good news of the Resurrection is that the light brought by the Saviour now completely overcomes the darkness of our sins!
“Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down Death by death, and to those in the tomb He has given life!”
Acts 1:1-8: From our reading in Acts we are reminded that following the Resurrection and Ascension of our Lord, the Church would receive the Holy Spirit to empower Her in spreading the eternal gospel to all parts of the Earth.
John 1:1-17: Reading in the Gospel of John we see Jesus Christ as the eternally Begotten Son of The Father with Whom He has always existed. We also see John the Baptist coming to prepare the way for our Lord’s ministry.
Paschal Troparion: Christ is risen from the dead; by Death has he trodden death, and upon those in the tombs, hath he bestowed life.
Hypakoe of Easter: They who were with Mary came before the dawn, found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre, and heard the angels say unto them, Why seek ye him as man with the dead, who dwelleth in light eternal? Behold the grave wrappings; make haste and declare to the world that the Lord is risen, and hath caused death to die; for he is the Son of God, the Saviour of mankind.
Kontakion of Pascha: When Thou didst descend into the grave, O Immortal, Thou didst destroy the power of Hades. In victory didst Thou arise, O Christ God, proclaiming Rejoice! to the myrrh-bearing women, granting peace to Thine apostles and bestowing resurrection on the fallen.
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, May 2 (Great and Holy PASCHA)
4:00 p.m. — Agape Vespers followed by picnic (weather permitting)
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.
Monday, May 3
Father John’s Day Off
Tuesday, May 4
Wednesday, May 5
6:30 p.m. — Vespers of Bright Week
Thursday, May 6
Saturday, May 8(Apostle John the Theologian)
6:00 p.m. — Great Vespers (No Ninth Hour)
Sunday, May 9 (Thomas Sunday)
8:50 a.m. — Orthros (webcast)
10:00 a.m. — Divine Liturgy (webcast)
The Eucharist Bread …was offered by the Algoods for the Vesperal Liturgy on Holy Thursday morning, by the Katools for the Vesperal Liturgy on Holy Saturday morning and by the Schelvers for the Divine Liturgy this morning.
Eucharist Bread Schedule (NO Coffee Hour):
Eucharist Bread Coffee Hour
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.
Please keep Lottie Dabbs (Sh. Charlotte Algood’s mother) in your prayers as she recovers from a bad fall which resulted in a fractured pelvis. Please also remember Sh. Charlotte and their family as well.
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.
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 May
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 May
May 2 Great and Holy PASCHA
Athanasius the Great
May 3-8 Bright Week
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
Instructions for streaming our services can be found on the parish website.
ead of ManHead of Maonasteries
Quotable: “No, this moment, the instant you make your resolution, you will show by your action that you have taken leave of your old self and have begun a new life, with a new destination and a new way of living. Arise, therefore, without fear and say: Lord, let me begin now. Help me! For what you need above all is God’s help.
Hold fast to your purpose and do not look back. We have been given a warning example in Lot’s wife, who was turned into a pillar of salt when she looked back (Genesis 19:26). You have cast off your old humanity; let the rags lie. Like Abraham, you have heard the voice of the Lord: Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, into a land that I will show thee (Genesis 12:1). Towards that land hereafter you must direct all your attention.”
Tito Colliander, The Way of the Ascetics
Worship: Sunday, May 9, 2021 (Thomas Sunday; Antipascha)
Scripture: Acts 5:12-20; John 20:19-31
Celebrant: Father John