December 11, 2022
Sunday before the Nativity of Christ
Hebrews 11:9-10, 32-40: Brethren, by faith Abraham sojourned in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise. For he looked forward to the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God. And what more shall I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets—who through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, received promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched raging fire, escaped the edge of the sword, won strength out of weakness, became mighty in war, and put foreign armies to flight. Women received their dead by resurrection. Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, so that they might rise again to a better life. Others suffered mocking and scourging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword; they went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, ill-treated—of whom the world was not worthy—wandering over deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. And all these, though well attested by their faith, did not receive what was promised, since God had foreseen something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect.
Matthew 1:1-25: The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. Abraham was the father of Isaac, and Isaac the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers, and Judah the father of Perez and Zerah by Tamar, and Perez the father of Hezron, and Hezron the father of Aram, and Aram the father of Amminadab, and Amminadab the father of Nahshon, and Nahshon the father of Salmon, and Salmon the father of Boaz by Rahab, and Boaz the father of Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of Jesse, and Jesse the father of David the king. And David was the father of Solomon by the wife of Uriah, and Solomon the father of Rehoboam, and Rehoboam the father of Abijah, and Abijah the father of Asa, and Asa the father of Jehoshaphat, and Jehoshaphat the father of Joram, and Joram the father of Uzziah, and Uzziah the father of Jotham, and Jotham the father of Ahaz, and Ahaz the father of Hezekiah, and Hezekiah the father of Manasseh, and Manasseh the father of Amon, and Amon the father of Josiah, and Josiah the father of Jechoniah and his brothers, at the time of the deportation to Babylon. And after the deportation to Babylon: Jechoniah was the father of Shealtiel, and Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel, and Zerubbabel the father of Abiud, and Abiud the father of Eliakim, and Eliakim the father of Azor, and Azor the father of Zadok, and Zadok the father of Achim, and Achim the father of Eliud, and Eliud the father of Eleazar, and Eleazar the father of Matthan, and Matthan the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom Jesus was born, Who is called Christ. So all the generations from Abraham to David were fourteen generations, and from David to the deportation to Babylon fourteen generations, and from the deportation to Babylon to the Christ were fourteen generations. Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child of the Holy Spirit; and her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. But as he considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit; she will bear a son, and you shall call His Name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: “Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and His Name shall be called Emmanuel” (which means, God with us). When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him; he took his wife, but knew her not until she had borne a son; and he called His Name Jesus.
Troparion of the Resurrection: When thou, O immortal Life, didst humble thyself unto death, then didst thou destroy death by the brightness of thy Godhead; and when thou didst raise the bowels of the earth, then all the heavenly powers exclaimed, O Christ, thou art the Giver of life! Glory to thee, O our God!
Troparion of Sunday before the Nativity: Great are the accomplishments of faith; for the three holy youths rejoiced in the fountain of flames as though at waters of rest. And the Prophet Daniel appeared a shepherd to the lions as though they were sheep. Wherefore, by their pleadings, O Christ God, have mercy upon us.
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 Preparatory for Nativity: Today the Virgin comes unto the cave to give birth in an ineffable manner to the Word before the ages. Rejoice, therefore, O universe, when you hear, and glorify with the angels and the shepherds him who shall appear by his own will as a new babe, being God before the ages.
UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE: All services listed on the calendar will be available through streaming and webcast.
Sunday, December 18 (Sunday before the Nativity)
8:50 a.m. — Orthros (webcast)
9:00 a.m. — Christian Education
10:00 a.m. — Divine Liturgy (webcast)
Monday, December 19
Father Herman off
Tuesday, December 20 (Ignatius the God-bearer of Antioch)
Wednesday, December 21
6:30 p.m. — Advent Paraklesis
Thursday, December 22
Friday, December 23
7:00 a.m. — Royal Hours for the Feast of the Nativity of Christ
Saturday, December 24
Sunday, December 25 (Nativity of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ)
The Eucharist Bread …was offered by the Schelvers for the Divine Liturgy this morning.
Eucharist Bread Schedule:
Eucharist Bread Coffee Hour
December 18 Schelver Lavric/Skirtech/Dabit
December 24 (Sat. p.m.) Morris Meadows/Pacurari/Cooper
December 31(Sat. p.m.) R. Root (Artos) No Coffee Hour
January 1 Jones Algood/Schelver
January 5 (Thurs. p.m.) Meadows Lasseter/Miller
(Feast of Theophany)
January 8 Davis D. Root/Baker
January 15 D. Root POT LUCK MEAL
(Chains of St. Peter) Henderson/Jones
January 22 Karam Dansereau/Alaeetawi
January 29 Brock Lockhart/Karam/Snell
Also, please remember that we still need your tithes and offerings which may be placed in the tray that is passed during the Divine Liturgy, 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.
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#
December 18 Walt Wood Heb. 11:9-10, 32-40 348
December 24 (Sat. p.m.) Sam Habeeb Gal. 4:4-7 351
January 1 Sh. Charlotte Algood Col. 2:8-1 356
January 5 (Thurs. p.m.) Kh. Sharon Meadows Titus 2:11-14; 3:4-7 361
January 8 Ian Jones Eph. 4:7-13 364
January 15 Brenda Baker Acts12:1-11 50-51
January 22 Walt Wood I Tim. 4:9-15 252
January 29 Sam Habeeb II Cor. 6:16-7:1 173
Please remember the following in your prayers: Aidan Milnor, the Milnor family; Lamia Dabit and her family; Mary Greene (Lee and Kh. Sharon’s sister); Jay and Joanna Davis; Fr. Leo and Kh. Be’Be’ Schelver and their family; 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); Reader Basil and Brenda Baker and their family; Buddy Cooper; Georgia and Bob Buchanan.
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.
Instructions for streaming our services can be found on the parish website.
The Special Convention for the election of the New Metropolitan is scheduled to take place in Dallas, TX, on January 13, 2023. We will hold a special meeting at St. Peter’s once the candidates have been announced to make our selection. Father Herman will be sending out information on the candidates by email, once he has received it. If you have any questions about the process or the candidates, please reach out to Father Herman. There will also be time set aside at our special parish meeting to answer any questions that you may have.
* The men of the parish meet for lunch at 11:30 a.m. on the first Thursday of the month.
* The Ladies 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.
* The Ladies meet for lunch on the last Tuesday of the month.
* The Fast of the Nativity began on November 15th and runs through December 24th. As is our custom in the parish during this fast, we will celebrate the Advent Paraklesis service on Wednesday evenings instead of Daily Vespers.
* The Feast of the Nativity of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ will be celebrated with Royal Hours on Friday morning, December 23rd, beginning at 7:00 a.m. and Festal Orthros followed by the Divine Liturgy and our festal meal, beginning at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday evening, December 24th.
* Our festal meal for the Feast of the Nativity will once again be provided by Newk’s. A basket for donations will be placed on the serving table to cover the cost of the meal. We request that everyone please help with clean-up afterwards, just as we do with our monthly pot luck meals on Sundays.
Time Change for Liturgy for the Feast of the Nativity: We have been given permission to celebrate the liturgy for the Feast at an earlier time instead of the late-night service we have had in the past. This year Orthros will begin at 5:30 p.m. on December 24th followed by the Divine Liturgy around 6:30 p.m. We will have our festal meal afterwards and hope to be finished around 9:00 – 9:30 p.m.
Sunnybrook Children’s Home is beginning a Transitional Home for children aging out of foster care. Their goal is to make sure these children complete high school, and help them pursue further education and develop life skills to allow them to function well in their lives as adults. If you wish to make a donation to this worthwhile endeavor, please make your check out to St. Peter and be sure to mark “Sunnybrook” on the memo line. (This is separate from our annual St. Nicholas Offering.)
Winter Camp will be held at Camp St. Thekla on February 17-20, 2023 for ages 12-17. Registration for campers is available November 1 – December 15, 2022.
The DOMSE Annual Clergy and Winter Retreat will be held once more at St. Elias Church in Atlanta. The dates are as follows:
Clergy Retreat January 25-26, 2023
Winter Retreat January 27-28, 2023
Fasting Discipline for December
The Fast of the Nativity began on November 15th. During this time the traditional fasting discipline (no meat, dairy, eggs, fish, wine or oil) is observed on each day of the week. Note, however, through December 19th there is a katlysis on Tuesdays and Thursdays when wine and oil are permitted, and on Saturdays and Sundays when fish, wine and oil are permitted. There is no fasting of any kind from December 25th through January 4th.
Major Commemorations for December
December 20 Ignatios the God-bearer of Antioch
December 25 The Nativity of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ
December 26 Synaxis of the Theotokos
December 27 Protomartyr Stephen
PARENTS, a problem has arisen due to the nursery room being left messy after Coffee Hour. No food of any kind should be taken into that room. Also, it is necessary for a parent to be in the room whenever their children are in there playing. Thank you for your assistance with this.
Quotable: “The soul leaves all surface appearances, not only those that can be grasped by the senses but also those which the mind itself seems to see, and it keeps going deeper until by the operation of the spirit it penetrates the invisible and incomprehensible, and it is there that it sees God. The true vision and the true knowledge of what we seek consists precisely in not seeing, in an awareness that our goal transcends all knowledge.”
+ St. Gregory of Nyssa
Worship: Sunday, December 25, 2022 (Feast of the Nativity of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ)
Scripture: Galatians 4:4-7; Matthew 2:1-12
Celebrant: Father Herman
Epistle Reader: Sam Habeeb
Coffee Hour: Meadows/Pacurari/Cooper