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St.Vladimir Orthodox Church

3163 Purcell's Cove Road, Halifax, NS

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Words of Welcome

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)

Weekly News

June 19, 2021

Descent of the Holy Spirit on the DisciplesSixth Sunday of Pascha

Acts of the Apostles 2:1-11
Gospel: St. John 7:37-52, 8:12

Saturday, June 19 at 6pm - Vespers
Sunday, June 20 at 10am - Liturgy, Kneeling Prayers will follow the Liturgy

Tuesday, June 22 at 10am - Liturgy

This is the message we received this week from Dr. Strang, the chief medical officer, and the Government of Nova Scotia:

Faith gatherings hosted by a business or organization - 25% of the venue's capacity up to 50 people indoors or 75 people outdoors with social distancing.

25% of about 20 is not very many for us! Therefore we will now keep the doors of the church unlocked during services, until the next wave of Covid restricts us. Serving Liturgies outside with our new "Gazebo", we shall be able to have many more people for Liturgy. Masks, distancing and signing in are still necessary. If the weather is wet, I suggest umbrellas or waterproof apparel. I think you won't want to be as wet as Father David was after he fell into the ocean at the baptism last Saturday (see the photo below, it was really fun, I enjoyed it).

Remember that there are still candle inside the church and there are still intercession forms for inclusion on the Plate.

Email from John Joseph (Trevor):

[Here] are some baptism and assorted pics... I included the picture of the sun, as we all noticed how it was entirely cloudy and the very first time Father David said, "and in the name of the Son", the actual sun came out and stayed out shining it's warmth down on all of us until the final baptism was finished! Thank you all for being such a blessing and helping make such a glorious day happen during a pandemic! Love in Christ, Trevor

And thanks to Emmelia (Hilary) for taking the pictures. Jeff was there as well to help welcome the new members of the parish. Subdeacon David was there helping me dunk and saving me when I fell in. I actually fell in twice. I say "fell in" but that's not exactly how it happened. The sand at the bottom of the sea there is very loose and quite unreliable especially for someone whose balance is not always the best anymore. So there splash into the water once just down and the second time onto my back. But I grew up as a child enjoying beaches such as Bournemouth and Weymouth. Sea water is not new to me and I have no fear, but lots of respect, for it. To me it means ice cream, buckets and spades, but on this occasion it meant lovely pasta at a Boston Pizza, with even better company.

Will you miss it? I'm not the tiniest bit Druidical, but Monday is the longest day of the year (I'd love to see the sunrise at Stonehenge on the Summer Solstice though), which means that by the time we serve the Liturgy on Tuesday morning, the day will be very slightly shorter, and soon the evenings will be drawing in and we'll be thinking about Christmas again. Stop! Let's enjoy the sun while we can-it's summer on Monday.

Next Sunday June 27th will be Nick's last Sunday, before he returns to Ontario. God willing we can have a decent send off for him. Let us hope that the weather is conducive to a decent get together for his send-off. Hopefully the Liturgy will be outside and we can have coffee and a light meal as we used to have downstairs before the Covid struck. I know that if Josh was able to be there, he would probably bring something with lamb, and Crystal would bring something without gluten, Father David would make something English, or bread. Let us see what happens, we are just not used to church feasts now.

May God bless all of you.
Love in Christ,
-- Father David

June 11, 2021

Sunday of the 318 Holy Fathers of the First Ecumenical Council, Tone 6

Acts of the Apostles 20:16-18, 28-36
Gospel: St. John 17:1-13

The First Ecumenical Council was called by the Emperor Constantine and was held in Nicaea (present day Iznik in Turkey) in 325. It was called to deal with the problem of Arius and Arianism, a belief that stated that Christ was not divine, but a created being. Arius was condemned. The phrase "of one substance (essence)" was added to the Nicene Creed to emphasize the Son's complete equality with the Father. Think of that when we recite in the Creed: ". . . of one essence with the Father . . ." That phrase was fought for, perhaps by words alone, but perhaps not. Most of the Nicene Creed was written after lots of discussion and arguing to ensure that we keep the Faith intact and protected from wrong teachings. In the Orthodox Churches we maintain the original creed refusing the Western Church's addition of "and the Son" when we recite "Who proceeds from the Father" referring of course to the Holy Spirit.

If this council had managed to set a date for Easter (Pascha), just think how different our calendar would be today. It did try to set a date but failed, leaving us dependent upon the first full moon after the vernal equinox, since Pascha is the first Sunday after that event. We Orthodox calculate the vernal equinox by the Julian Calendar which as we know, adds thirteen days on to the Gregorian Calendar dates. We have another stipulation; Pascha must fall after the Jewish Passover. Now we can calculate the dates of Pascha ourselves.

Wednesday was the Apodosis (the final day of a feast) of Pascha. On this day the Plashchanitsa is removed from the Altar and the Corpus of Christ is returned to the large Cross in front of the Iconostas. I mention all of this because due to the Covid 19 restrictions, we are not permitted to have people in the Church and I don't want you to miss it all.

We have celebrated the Ascension of the Lord and we now look forward to Pentecost and the descent of the Holy Spirit upon those gathered in the Upper Room. We shall celebrate this feast on June 20th on our civil, Gregorian Calendar. (Remember it is the same Holy Spirit that came upon us when we were Chrismated.) I hope by then we shall be able to celebrate all together - outside. We need a feast and a party - outside - hopefully. We now have a means of protecting the Altar when we serve outside, a gazebo, which is really a sort of tent. Now we have to work out a way of providing shelter for people so that the sun will not strike them by day (see Psalm 121 about lifting eyes to the hills).

Crystal sent this picture of Elijah and Evangeline with Eric in the background, a lovely picture. I think the family is enjoying Winnipeg. I hope the mosquitoes are not enjoying them. I remember that while I was teaching in Winnipeg, there was a humorous move to make the mosquito the official bird of Manitoba. They certainly liked my blood!

I'm sorry that Nick is moving back to his home in Ontario. We shall certainly miss him and all his work in the choir. More about this later.

These are the Icons drawn by various children (and one 16 year old adult!). They look pretty good to me and I hope they were fun to draw.

This coming Sunday, we will attempt to serve the Liturgy outside, testing our new Gazebo, which will contain the altar. The outside Liturgy can have only 10 people so please do not rush, but if you would like to attend, contact me and I will keep track of numbers, besides that there will be "back door" Communions as usual these days; please let me know if you would like to come, and I will give you a time. Please note that we stop the Liturgy at Communion time and wait for each group to arrive. If you can't come, please phone and cancel so we are not waiting for you.

The following is a message received this week from Archbishop Irénée. It is addressed to the Faithful as well as to Clergy and Monastics, so I include it here:

"To all Reverend Clergy, Monastics and Faithful of the Archdiocese of Canada (OCA) CHRIST IS RISEN I take this opportunity to greet all of you on the leave-taking of Christ's glorious resurrection. The Feasts of our Saviour, His Ascension and the Feast of the Most Blessed Trinity and Pentecost this year come as we are nearing the end of the special regulations result of the COVID pandemic. The relaxing of certain measures is not the same, subject to each provincial jurisdiction. I request each Deanery to work together, clergy and Dean, in understanding the sanitary rules laid out in each case and to adapt to these regulations, trying to serve our flock to the upmost of our possibilities, while staying within the limits of the law. As for the extraordinary permission to use multiple spoons, we must seriously prepare our faithful for the cessation of this measure. In Québec, where there are no red or orange zones, I will inform our Quebec clergy to stop using multiple spoons. I encourage our Deans to evaluate the situation and implement this. The spoons used should, in no way, return to other use. They should be removed and set aside and eventually be disposed of reverently. I wish to note that in the parishes where one spoon was used throughout the pandemic, here in Canada and in our churches in the USA, there was no transmission of the virus in this manner, glory to God.

I continue to hold you all in my heart and look forward to being able to pray with you in person soon. I thank you for your prayers and wish you all the blessings on the Feast of our Saviour's glorious Ascension."

In Christ, +AB Irénée Archevêque d'Ottawa et du Canada (ÉOA) Archbishop of Ottawa and Canada (OCA)

Indeed, may God bless and protect us all,
-- Father David

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Service Times

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic public church services are limited to 25% of the venue’s capacity up to 50 people indoors or 75 people outdoors with social distancing.

Saturday: 6:00pm Vespers

Sunday: 10:00am Outdoor Hours and Divine Liturgy

See special service times, feasts, and parish events in our online Calendar.

Masks, distancing and signing and required.

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Reading and Listening

What on earth is the Orthodox Church?

Sermons and paschal messages.

Here you can watch video sermons given by Fr.Vladimir (Tobin) in 2018-2019.

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Capital Campaign

St.Vladimir‘s has begun the journey towards owning a permanent temple. Join Us!

You can Interac E-Transfer your donations now to halifaxorthodox@gmail.com.

Information and pledge forms.