January 2, 2022
Sunday before Theophany
Timothy 4:5-8: Timothy, my son, always be steady, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. For I am already on the point of being sacrificed; the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved His appearing.
Mark 1:1-8: The beginning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. As it is written in Isaiah the prophet, “Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, who shall prepare thy way; the voice of one crying in the wilderness: Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.” John the Baptizer appeared in the wilderness, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. And there went out to him all the country of Judea, and all the people of Jerusalem; and they were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. Now John was clothed with camel’s hair, and had a leather girdle around his waist, and ate locusts and wild honey. And he preached, saying, “After me comes He Who is mightier than I, the strap of Whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. I have baptized you with water; but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”
Troparion of the Resurrection: Let the heavens rejoice and the earth be glad; for the Lord hath done a mighty act with his own arm. He hath trampled down death and become the First-born from the dead. He hath delivered us from the depths of hades, granting the world the Great Mercy.
Troparion of the Forefeast of Theophany: Make ready, O Zebulon, and prepare, O Nephtali, and thou, River Jordan, cease thy flow and receive with joy the Master coming to be baptized. And thou, Adam, rejoice with the first mother, and hide not yourselves as ye did of old in paradise; for having seen thee naked, He appeared to clothe thee with the first robe. Yea, Christ hath appeared desiring to renew the whole creation.
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 Forefeast of Theophany: In the running waters of the Jordan River, on this day the Lord of all crieth to John: Be not afraid and hesitate not to baptize Me, for I am come to save Adam, the first-formed man.
UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE: All services listed on the calendar will be available through streaming and webcast.
Please continue to follow the CDC Guidelines to limit contagion and the spread of the COVID virus.
Sunday, January 2 (Sunday before Theophany)
8:50 a.m. — Orthros (webcast)
9:00 a.m. — Christian Education
10:00 a.m. — Divine Liturgy (webcast)
Monday, January 3
Father Herman off
Tuesday, January 4
Wednesday, January 5 (Forefeast of Theophany)
7:00 a.m. — Royal Hours
6:00 p.m. — Festal Orthros followed by Divine Liturgy
Thursday, January 6 (Theophany)
This Feast Day is one of the greatest days of the Christian year. In English, we are accustomed to hearing this Feast Day called “Epiphany,” a word which means “manifestation” or “appearance.” On this day, the Orthodox Church celebrates the Baptism of Jesus Christ in the Jordan River by St. John the Baptist (he is called “the Baptist” because he baptized Christ). Epiphany is also called “Theophany” which means “God shows Himself to us.” The importance of this Feast Day lies in the fact that for the first time the Holy Trinity was revealed for all mankind to know and believe (the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit). When Jesus Christ was baptized in the River Jordan, a voice was heard from the heavens above saying, “This is my Son in whom I am well pleased.” The Father whose voice was heard from the heavens was God. The white dove was the symbol of the Holy Spirit which descended upon Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Thus, we have the Holy Trinity being revealed to all that day, almost 2000 years ago. This is why we call this day the day of illumination (light) and manifestation (appearance). The Holy Trinity made its appearance, and we have been illuminated by this wonderful truth and blessing. On this day we have the traditional blessing of the waters. Since the waters of the Jordan were blessed in the presence of Jesus Christ, it is a source of Divine Grace and blessing, and we bless ourselves and our homes with the waters of the “Sanctification Service” which is held during the Epiphany Services.
Theophany Day is a day of illumination and sanctification. Let us pledge ourselves to a greater participation in the sacramental life of the Church of Christ. When the Priest blesses our homes, let us all pray that the blessing of the Theophany Season be with us throughout the year and may our homes be sanctified with our prayers, Christian living and spiritual direction in our lifetime.
11:30 a.m. — Men’s Lunch
Friday, January 7 (Synaxis of the Forerunner)
Saturday, January 8
10:00 a.m. — Ladies meet for Akathist and Reading Group
Sunday, January 9 (Sunday after Theophany)
8:50 a.m. — Orthros (webcast)
9:00 a.m. — Christian Education
10:00 a.m. — Divine Liturgy (webcast)
4:00 p.m. — Blessing of the Waters at the Ross Barnett Reservoir (At Crab Shack)
(Meal afterwards at Crab Shack for those who wish to remain)
Please be reminded that it is common Antiochian practice to tilt your head back and open your mouth to receive the Body and Blood. Please be aware of this when you approach the Chalice.
The Eucharist Bread …was offered by the Hendersons for the Divine Liturgy this morning. The Artoklasia Bread for the Feast of the Circumcision of the Lord and the Feastday of St. Basil the Great this past Friday evening was offered by the Bakers. Last weekend the Eucharist Bread was offered by the Karams for the Feast of the Nativity of Christ on Friday night and by the Brocks for the Divine Liturgy on Sunday morning morning.
Eucharist Bread Schedule (MODIFIED Coffee Hour — Coffee, pre-packaged food**):
Eucharist Bread Coffee Hour
January 2 Henderson D. Root/Baker
January 5 (Wed. p.m.) Katool Henderson/Jones
(Feast of Theophany)
January 9 Algood Dansereau/Alaeetawi
January 16 Schelver Meadows/Pigott
January 23 Morris Algood/Schelver
January 30 Jones Lasseter/Pacurari/Miller
We will continue to serve coffee (and juice for the children), and pre-packaged snacks, following the Divine Liturgy on Sunday mornings. We will also continue to use the disposable cups and individual sweeteners and creamers. Please use the available hand sanitizer before using the air-pots to get your coffee. Coffee will be served inside the fellowship hall and people will be free to go outside or to sit inside. For those sitting inside, we ask that you spread out and provide some space for each other. Please DO NOT congregate in front of the coffee table or in the entrance to the Fellowship Hall.
Schedule for Epistle Readers – Page numbers refer to the Apostolos (book of the Epistles) located on the Chanters’ stand at the front of the nave. Please be sure to use this book when you read.
Reader Reading Page#
January 2 Kh. Be’Be’ Schelver II Tim. 4:5-8 354
January 5 (Wed. p.m.) Sam Habeeb Titus 2:11-14; 3:4-7 361
(Feast of Theophany)
January 9 Sh. Charlotte Algood Eph. 4:7-13 364
January 16 Kh. Sharon Meadows Col. 3:4-11 233
January 23 Ian Jones I Tim. 1:15-17 245
January 30 Brenda Baker Heb. 13:7-16 365
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.
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 Fr. Joseph and Kh. Joanna Bittle, and their daughter Abigail, in your prayers.
Please remember the following in your prayers: Aidan Milnor, the Milnor family; Saliba and Lamia Dabit; Mary Greene (Lee and Kh. Sharon’s sister); Jay and Joanna; Fr. Leo and Kh. Be’Be’ and their family; Tom and Kathy Willingham; Marilyn (Kyriake) Snell; Jack and Jill Weatherly; Lottie Dabbs (Sh. Charlotte Algood’s mother), Sh. Charlotte and their family; Maria Costas (currently at St. Catherine’s Village).
If you are not feeling well, PLEASE do not attempt to come to the services. This also includes anyone who may have been exposed to you during this time. Also, please let Fr. Herman know if you are not feeling well and have COVID like symptoms.
* The Ladies will meet at the church at 10:00 a.m. on the second Saturday of the month to pray the Akathist to the Mother of God, Nurturer of Children on behalf of our children. They will also enjoy a book study afterwards.
* The Ladies will meet for lunch on the last Tuesday of the month.
* We will celebrate the Feast of Theophany with Royal Hours on the morning of Wednesday, January 5th, beginning at 7:00 a.m. and with Festal Orthros followed by the Divine Liturgy and the Blessing of the Waters that evening, beginning at 6:00 p.m.
* We will once again hold the Blessing of the Waters at the Ross Barnett Reservoir with the other Orthodox Churches in our area on Sunday, January 9th, beginning at 4:00 p.m. at Crab Shack (next door to Cock of the Walk). Those who wish will remain for a meal there afterwards.
* The Feast of the Veneration of the Chains of St. Peter (our patronal feast) will be celebrated on Sunday, January 16th. We will have a Pot Luck Meal that day and will resume our monthly Pot Luck Meals after that.
* His Grace, Bishop NICHOLAS will be at St. Peter the weekend of March 5-6, 2022 to help us celebrate Fr. John’s retirement and our 35th anniversary as a parish. Please mark your calendars now.
House Blessings: Fr. Herman will be blessing homes January 7 – February 25 (except for January 25-30 when he will be out for the Winter Retreat). A sign-up sheet is located on the bureau in the hallway. Please indicate 3 dates that would work for your family and he will get back with you to schedule your house blessing. Everyone should their house blessed, but the responsibility for scheduling this lies with individuals and not Fr. Herman.
Save the Date! The Diocese of Miami and the Southeast will hold their annual Winter Retreat January 28-30, at St. Elias Orthodox Church in Atlanta. Registration is now open. Please go to the Diocesan website, DOMSE.org for information on registration, hotels, etc.
Pledge Letters have been mailed. Please return them to the church as soon as possible.
Dn. Richard is in charge of showing photos from St. Peter’s last 35 years for the celebration on March 5th. Please look through your photos and submit good selections to him within the next couple of weeks. They may be physical prints or digital clips. Be sure to put your name on them if you want them returned. The deadline for submitting your photos to Dn. Richard is the end of January. Suggested Categories:
Weddings, Baptisms, Chrismations Bible Studies
Fishing Trips Men’s and Women’s lunches
Retreats Angel Tree
Fall Festival Sunday School and Garden work
Stew Pot Work Days
Any other things involving the life of our parish
Instructions for streaming our services can be found on the parish website.
Fasting Discipline for January
There will be no fasting of any kind from December 25th through January 4th. January 5th is a strict fast day when the traditional fasting discipline (no meat, dairy, eggs, fish, wine or oil) is observed. Following that the traditional fasting discipline is observed on the remaining Wednesdays and Fridays of the month.
Major Commemorations for January
January 6 Feast of Theophany
January 7 Synaxis of the Forerunner
January 11 Theodosios the Head of Monasteries
January 16 Veneration of the Chains of St. Peter
January 17 Anthony the Great
January 18 Athanasios and Cyril of Alexandria
January 20 Euthymios the Great
January 25 Gregory the Theologian
January 27 John Chrysostom
January 30 The Three Hierarchs
January 31 Cyros and John the Unmercenary Healers
Quotable: “Since the Son of God has taken human flesh and has appeared in the world, manifesting Himself in His baptism in the Jordan, all flesh and all matter is sanctified. Everything is made pure and holy in Him. Everything which is corrupted and polluted by the sinful works of men is cleansed and purified by the gracious works of God. All death-dealing powers of the devil which poison the good world of God’s creation are destroyed. All things are again made new. Through the ‘prime element’ of water on the feast of the Epiphany the entire creation is shown to be sanctified by God’s Word through the same Spirit of God who ‘in the beginning . . . was moving over the face of the waters.’ (Gen 1:2)”
Fr. Thomas Hopko, The Winter Pascha
Worship: Sunday, January 9, 2022 (Sunday before Theophany)
Scripture: Ephesians 4:7-13; Matthew 4:12-17
Celebrant: Father Herman
Epistle Reader: Sh. Charlotte Algood
Coffee Hour: Dansereau/Alaeetawi