I can’t imagine more appropriate words than those penned by Father Vladimir, and which I have asked remain, for now, as the introduction to the website of St. Vladimir Orthodox Church in Halifax Nova Scotia. All that he writes is true of the Orthodox Church and it would be arrogant of me to change it right now.
“There are many internet resources about the Orthodox Church, but we sincerely hope that this site will help to increase your awareness of the Orthodox presence in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Many people still think that the Orthodox Church is a ‘foreign’ church intended for Russians, Greeks, Ukrainians and other Eastern European and Mediterranean peoples. Nothing could be further from the truth. The Orthodox Church belongs to no one people or nation. The Orthodox Church belongs only to Christ, and He alone is its head, its Lord, its Master. Our Lord Jesus Christ calls all people to Himself, and his Orthodox Church welcomes them with love and brotherhood. If you enjoy our website, remember that you are perfectly welcome to come and visit us at worship. And if you decide to explore us more deeply, we will be happy to assist you in your seeking.” (
Father Vladimir (Tobin),parish rector in 1993-2019)
May God bless all of us who seek His Love, and give us the strength to persevere.
— Father David (Edwards)
31th Sunday after Pentecost, Tone 6
Saturday, January 22 at 6pm - Vespers
Sunday, January 23 at 9:30am and 11:00am - Liturgy
We made it through the Christmas fast and we have enjoyed all the wonderful foods that go with the Christmas season, in fact by being on the Julian Calendar, we probably enjoyed it all twice. I really is impossible for a family especially a family with little ones, to ignore the great commercialized lead up to one of the most holy feasts of the Church, the Birth of Christ. We are fortunate in that we can celebrate in quiet reverence and adoration, along with the Shepherds the Wise Men the sheep cows and donkeys and other animals, of the Christ Child. The down side is that with our habit of celebrating Christmas as a late evening set of services including Liturgy, we disadvantage those who work the next morning. These days industry really needs its people to continue the work. It is a difficulty. We are always 13 days out of step with the other two Orthodox Parishes in Halifax. When we claim that the Orthodox Church is ONE as Christ is ONE, it is difficult to explain that, when two of us are out of step with the other one. We must be careful. The Orthodox Church in America has both Old and New Calendar churches as does the Archdiocese of Canada. It is difficult. Personally, I would be New Calendar, but I am aware that there are Russians who are brought up knowing the Church as Old Calendar, and they depend on us to be there when and as they are used to celebrating. I am also aware that the St. Vladimir Parish was started some time ago, by Father Vladimir, as an English Mission. This all needs thinking about, and I task the Parish Council to make suggestions in consultation with Alina, who is head of the Russian School, and others.
What a pleasant surprise to see that the Vesperal Liturgy on the Eve of Theophany was quite well attended. I thought it would be Father Alexander and me, but no, others came and it was very good. The only problem being that since Father Alexander was serving, I had to be the choir and that is always a recipe for an "interesting" time. I know the music but for some reason, I can never start it right. The Liturgy on the feast itself was also well attended. We blessed water after the Liturgy (the resulting Holy Water will be available for people to fill bottles, for a while), and then Father Alexander, Subdeacon David and I went down to a rocky beach not far from my apartment and proceeded to bless the Oceans. We placed the cross and the Holy Water jug at the water line and proceeded with the short service.
A woman who was passing came and joined us, and pointed out that the cross was now under several centimeters of water and the jug was afloat. The tide had certainly and swiftly come in. David had to step into the water to recover both. The Ocean was duly blessed. When you look out over the ocean remember that it is blessed water. It will have been blessed, not just by us, but by many priests and bishops throughout the world.
In Newfoundland, some of the parishioners waited for us to bless the Ocean before taking their dip into those icy waters. It turns out that they actually didn't jump in but poured ocean water over themselves while Ivan Saika, their choir director and maintainer of the parish during the absence of a priest, sang the Troparion and Kontakion of the feast. Please pray for the Newfoundland parish, during the interregnum they are depending on us for prayer and support, if only the Newfoundland government would allow us to occasionally serve them. I have written to the NL government expressing my sorrow that their regulations prevented me from serving Christmas Liturgies for them, and this may continue. Here is the note Ivan Saika sent,
Dear Fr. David,
The blessing of the waters done in Halifax has reached our shores! With our usual protected spot under reconstruction and completely unavailable, even those normally brave enough to immerse themselves were contented with gathering the water with cups and a mild dousing accompanied by the troparion and kontakion. In the background is Dmitry Diyanov, crouching and dark against what looks like white foamy water, collecting the blessing from the boisterous bay. In the foreground is his son, Alexei.
I am sorry for the quality of the photo, the best of three attempts.
At the moment, I have only two appointments for House Blessings. Please make an appointment; the blessing takes only a few minutes and is certainly something members of the parish should do. Please contact me or Father Alexander and make arrangements. There should be a small cross, a candle, and some holy water prepared ready for the blessing. I, or Father Alexander will bring the sprinkler, and the words that we sing. All we do is sing, and sprinkle Holy Water throughout the home. This is a very old Orthodox custom.
If you flip the page of your calendar to February, you will notice that we are getting very close to Great Lent. The week following February 13th is the fast free week that precedes the fast. How time does fly when we are feasting. Pascha will be early this year and will fall on April 24th. There are four Saturdays for commemorating the departed. Please prepare your lists now and make sure that no one is missed out. Since these names are not included on the Diskos, we can remember Orthodox and non-Orthodox on the lists.
Calendars are available for purchase on the candle stand in the Narthex. Some parishes have sponsored calendars where the sponsor pays for the calendars and shipping thus making the calendars free with perhaps a small donation to parishioners. Anyone have any ideas about this?
This is the 31st Sunday after Pentecost, it is Tone 6 and the Sunday readings are Ephesians 4:7-13 and Saint Matthew 4:12-17. Please remember Saturday Vespers at 6pm and Sunday Liturgy at 9:30am for adults, then at 11:30am the Typica with conclusion of the Liturgy for families with children. Masks and distancing are prescribed by the Nova Scotia government; they have not closed us down and they have not demanded that parishioners show Covid passports for scheduled services, so I ask that you please comply. (Why does the word "comply" sound suspiciously like something borgly out of Star Trek?)
Remember: House Blessings, Calendars, something to get Holy Water in for home
May God bless us, His flock,
and keep us truly safe,
Love in Christ,
-- Father David
Ducks obviously recognize blessed water!
Saturday: 6:00pm Vespers
Sunday: 10:00am Hours and Divine Liturgy, followed by coffee hour
See special service times, feasts, and parish events in our online Calendar. Our parish uses the Old Style Julian calendar.
Due to covid please wear masks and distance as appropriate.
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