Icon of St.Vladimir, Prince of Kiev

St.Vladimir Orthodox Church

3163 Purcell's Cove Road, Halifax, NS

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September 19, 2020

This is the 15th Sunday after Pentecost, Tone 6

It is MASKS & 2 m DISTANCING: the Law!

Readings
Epistle: 2 Corinthians 22:35-46
Gospel: Saint Matthew 22:1-14
Sunday before the Exaltation of the Cross
Epistle Galatians 6:11-18
Gospel Saint John 3:13-17

Reminders:

Saturday September 19th Vespers at 6pm, Sunday September 20th Liturgy at 10am, Monday September 21st is the feast of the Nativity of the Most Holy Theotokos (The Most Holy Birthgiver of God). Vespers and Litia will be served on Sunday evening September 20th at 6pm. (I remind everyone that the reason we do this rather than a morning Liturgy is so that everyone, including those who work, can attend.)

Name Days: Evelina Lunyov - Saint Elizabeth the Righteous.

Father Alexander and I went to Sydney to conduct the funeral of Vladimir Karmanov. It was certainly a very long trip but it was really worthwhile. Although a somber service as funerals are, but there was joy as well. We must always remember that we live on two levels. There is the physical body that is committed to the earth, for all that happens to a body committed to the earth, to happen. But there is also the spiritual side that does not die; the part of us that belongs to God in a very special way; that God does not ever want to give up. We are His.

Carol Ann, Vladimir's widow, works at the local hospital, and a lot of her friends and co-workers from the hospital were present. I had some very interesting conversations with several of them. They were most interested in the service and how straightforward the language of the service is. It was a funeral, but I certainly enjoyed the time there. Carol Ann was most generous. She provided very nice rooms in the Cambridge Hotel, overlooking the harbour. We look forward to her visit to us in Halifax when she is able and recovered from all the happenings of the last week. May God bless her.

On the way back from the funeral, on Saturday afternoon, we stopped in at Antigonish and met Jeff our Catechumen. I wanted to take a photograph of him for the bulletin but forgot to take it. We did bless his truck though. Fortunately we had enough Holy Water to do that, thanks to Father Alexander's Holy Water supply which was depleted by the end of the blessing. Let us hope that the blessing will be sufficient to provide Jeff with the ability to drive to us, at the church, every now and then. A little later, we met Crystal Hyun just outside Pictou, at a DQ on the highway.

One of the great things about that trip was the little visit to a beach on the way back. Father pulled to the side of the road and helped me down a shallow bank to a stony beach where we removed our shoes and socks and paddled in the ocean. The water was warm and very refreshing. The last time I did that was last summer at Weymouth in Dorset England, sandy beach, and the ice cream was Italian and really nice.

Please remember to pray for the Pemberton family, the Catechumens, those suffering from Covid, the doctors, nurses and others who care for the sick, the scientific community searching for a means of controlling the virus; for each other in this parish, and for the other Halifax parishes.

May God bless us all,

Love in Christ,

-- Father David

Civic Calendar with Service Schedule

Year 2020
September
 Mon  Tue  Wed  Thu  Fri  Sat  Sun 
 0102030405
Vespers 6:00pm
06
Hours, Liturgy 10:00am
0708091011
Beheading of
St.John the Baptist
1213
Hours, Liturgy 10:00am
141516171819
Vespers 6:00pm
20
Hours, Liturgy 10:00am

Vespers, Litia 6:00pm
21
Nativity of the
Theotokos
2223242526
Vespers 6:00pm
27
Exaltation of the Cross
Hours, Liturgy 10:00am
282930    

Sundays and major feasts are in red. Fast days are shaded.

September 12, 2020

This is the 14th Sunday after Pentecost, Tone 5

It is MASKS & 2 m DISTANCING: the Law!

Saturday September 12th: There will be no Vespers. (Father Alexander has to preside at a funeral in Sydney on Saturday and I do not want him to drive alone, so I shall accompany him. We will be back (God willing) on Saturday evening.)

Sunday September 13th: 10am Hours and Liturgy

Readings
Epistle: 2 Corinthians 1:21-2:4
Gospel: Saint Matthew 22:1-14

A note from Mark Blaauw: "Finally last Saturday Feast of the Beheading of John the Baptist (NC) all our family (save one our youngest, did not feel ready) were brought home into the One True Church." He further commented: "Father Mark is a native of Halifax too. It would be a blessing - please share this photo with the folks there who are always on my heart."

Thank you, Mark, for sharing this with us. We send our love to you and your family, and we look forward to your next visit, when the Covids allow us to travel again. One day, God willing.

I want to thank the parish for the lovely card with the greetings. The little party at the home of Crystal and Eric was a great success. I came away with a container full of blueberries that I have been spooning onto my breakfast cereal. So delicious; so healthy! I loved the cakes too. Dorset Apple cake is one of my favourites. I must learn how to make it.

I heard from Spyridon that he arrived safely in Victoria BC. I hope his training goes well.

This reminds me to mention that if anyone goes on a trip (unlikely at the moment I suppose) and will be going to another church where you are unknown, it is necessary to contact the local priest the day before going to the Liturgy; Vespers is the ideal time to do this. I have a form letter that I will give you to inform the priest that you are a member of this parish and in good standing as a communicant.

When I look at the forecast for this weekend, I see that Saturday is to be full of sunshine but that on Sunday the sun is partly hidden by clouds. Let's leave the decision about outside Liturgy until we see what the day actually looks like.

I also had a note from Mary Pemberton which I include here:

"Will saw his oncologist yesterday to discuss his latest scans. It looks like the cancer is progressing quite quickly. It has spread through the lymph system and is in his lungs and behind his clavicle, potentially elsewhere. The immunotherapy has clearly failed. He'll be starting a new drug, Suntinib, also stepping up the natural therapies like IV vitamin C. They are not talking about a "cure" anymore, just buying time,18 months on average for this drug/stage of cancer.

It's hard news for sure, but we were prepared for it.

Will doesn't feel any pain, just tiredness. His attitude is amazing. The rest of us are just processing it. We feel that God is with us no matter what, and things are unfolding in many beautiful ways in spite of our grief and pain.

Today we tell our kids that our time with Papa is probably going to be quite short. Please, if you're the praying type, pray for our children."

I replied that we are praying people and that we will keep the whole family in our prayers. May God protect them.

Our Catechumens are Jeff and Seamus in Antigonish, the Jefferson family in Goshen and Jeff and Krystal in Halifax, please remember to pray for them. Pray also for the victims of the Covid virus, those who are seeking a cure and the medics who are caring for the sick.

Love to you all in Christ,

- Father David

September 6, 2020

This is the 13th Sunday after Pentecost, Tone 4

It is MASKS & 2 m DISTANCING: the Law!

Saturday September 5th 6.00pm Great Vespers
Sunday September 6th 10am Hours and Liturgy

Readings
Epistle: 1 Corinthians 16:13-24
Gospel: Saint Matthew 21:33-42

During this week September 6th to 12th there are several things to note. September 11th we commemorate the Beheading of St. John the Forerunner, John the Baptist. I notice that there is a bunch of grapes depicted on that day on the parish wall calendar. This doesn't mean that you have to eat grapes but that you may drink wine. On Saturday the 12th we celebrate (Saint Alexander Nevsky), the Name Day of Father Alexander. During the week we also celebrate the Birthdays of Joshua Simpson, Narina Aliter and Peter Togni. Congratulations and may God grant each of you Many Years. I almost forgot my own anniversary (I was reminded by Crystal!); on September 4th 1983 I was ordained to the Holy Priesthood in Holy Trinity Sobor Winnipeg. It means that on Friday I shall celebrate 37 years. My Goodness where has the time gone? There aren't any photographs that I know of, it was before mobile phones came equipped with cameras. To start with I was Antiochian "Western Rite" (which explains why I'm not always familiar with "Eastern Rite" ceremonies). I remember the first time I served a Byzantine Liturgy—amusing now when I look back, but painful at the time and certainly best forgotten.

I have come across a book that is extremely informative and really worth reading if you want to understand the nature of the Church, its ceremonies, clothing, structure and theology. Being Orthodox, Faith and Practice in Eastern Orthodoxy, by Martin Dudley is a "Guide Book" to Orthodoxy. He is a relatively new Orthodox and has written this book explaining what he came across and explains his experiences as a new Orthodox Christian. There are two very informative appendices one explaining the Church Year and colours, and one a glossary of terms one finds used in the Church. There is a bibliography, suggested reading section, and a decent index.

It really wasn't so bad being inside last Sunday. The hurricane did much less damage than was predicted and we could have served the Liturgy outside, but probably good to be reminded what the inside of the church building looks like. This coming Sunday there is a good chance that we could be outside again so do bring your sun bonnets and sunglasses, just in case.

This week we must pray especially for the teachers and students returning to "inside school." It was such a sudden ceasing of school in the spring when Covid was on its way to Nova Scotia. It did get here and the Province ground to a stop. Thank God it is easing a bit and we await the second wave. It is really important for us to remember to distance. The police could come and fine us and I believe the fine is quite heavy - more than I could afford anyway and probably more than you can afford. So DISTANCE - two Meters! That's about how tall I am.

I want to thank everyone for the kindnesses shown to me. There are many and I appreciate it very much—from getting groceries to washing windows to lifting and carrying things.

On that note I ask God to bless each and every one of us - those who come to the church and those who can't,

Love in Christ,

- Father David

August 29, 2020

This is the 12th Sunday after Pentecost

It is MASKS & 2 m DISTANCING: the Law!

Saturday August 29th 6.00pm Great Vespers
Sunday August 30th 10am Hours and Liturgy

Readings
Epistle: 1 Corinthians 15:1-11
Gospel: Saint Matthew 19:16-26

During this past week up until Friday, we remained in the Dormition Fast. Friday the celebration of the Dormition, is the usual Friday fasting day even though it is the Dormition. Fish is permitted because it is the Dormition. The designation "fish" actually means fish that has a backbone like Cod, Haddock, Salmon, and Mackerel. These are, I think, the most frequently and easily obtained fish in Halifax. Other things, like the throw away stuff; Lobster, Crab, Shrimp, Scallops and Oysters and others, have no back bone and are probably not even considered as foods. They really can be consumed during Lenten periods. I would just remind about the "Spirit" of the rule though.

Please don't be afraid to remind me and each other to wear masks and distance. We, as a congregation, are very bad at the distancing rule. It will get even worse when we have to move back inside. Looking at the weather Forecast for Sunday I would suspect that we shall be inside. (More below.) The space after all is much smaller. I had the outside Altar moved further back so there would be more space in the shade of the church building. If we are outside, please feel free to come up to the Icon Stand.

That was a lovely baptism on Sunday. Sofia was somewhat unwilling to be submerged in the water and certainly let us all know. There was no doubt at all that she objected to being submerged in water. At eleven months she has a mind of her own and a voice of her own. I'm sure she will look at me with suspicion in her eyes. But a beautiful young lady just the same; may God bless her and the family she was born into.

I went to the church on Monday afternoon. We had visitors slowly walking towards the cemetery. Beautiful deer looked suspiciously at me as my car arrived but I stayed in the car for a few moments and watched them. I couldn't resist taking a couple of photos with my phone. This is certainly not the first time we have seen them. They are regular visitors and enjoy certain of the shrubs in the garden.

The Vespers with Lity have gone very well; working people have been able to come to celebrate the feasts. If we had celebrated with a morning Liturgy, most would not have been able to attend, the Archbishop's advice was sound. Please try to attend these celebrations and of course Sunday Liturgies.

The feast we celebrated on Thursday evening, that is the feast of the Dormition of the Lady Theotokos, is the final celebration for this year; we remember that the Church year begins on September 1st. The first feast of the new year is another feast of the Theotokos, namely the Nativity of the Most Holy Theotokos on September 21st.

With the schools beginning again which in my memory means the beginning of the Fall season (let's hope summer goes on for a bit longer), I suspect Vladimir our choir director will want to start choir practises again. He used to hold them before Vespers on Saturday evening. May I humbly suggest only two Saturdays a month.

At the moment I don't seem to have a photograph of Alina and Denys, the parents of little Sofia. I suspect they were busy taking photographs. The party at Crystal and Eric's home was very enjoyable. It so happens that Jeff, one of our Catechumens from Antigonish was present. It was a lovely occasion for his first visit to his home parish. I hope he will be able to come sometimes. I asked for someone or two to become catechists (a grand title for those who phone our Catechumens from time to time to answer questions about the parish and just keep in touch). This is an important job, keeping in touch, and helping with advancing the Catechumens, people like Jeff and his son Seamus, towards baptism and reception into the Church. Catechumens tend to learn about the Church through books, but it is the constant contact with the people of the parish that provides the real understanding of what the Church is all about. When Catechumens live far away, and have difficulty coming to us every week, this contact is what will keep the link with the parish active and alive. I hope there will be volunteers.

We are in line for the tail end of hurricane "Laura". God willing it will not disrupt our services and our getting to and from the church. I think it means that we shall be inside on Sunday though. On the twelfth floor of my apartment building, I'm sure I shall hear the winds howling. They certainly howled around this building last winter. On one occasion I was blown across the parking lot and into a tree.

Hands up, all those who don't read the bulletins. I thought so. Smile. I've just taken a photograph of you and it will be in next week's bulletin.

May God bless each and every one of us,

- Father David

August 22, 2020

This is the 11th Sunday after Pentecost

Saturday August 22th 6.00pm Great Vespers
Sunday August 23th 10am Hours, Liturgy, and Baptism
Thursday August 27th Vespers and Lity 6.30pm Dormition of Our Lady Theotokos

Readings
Epistle 1 Corinthians 9:2-12
Gospel Saint Matthew 18:23-35

Here are some dates and reminders to put in your diary:

August 23rd Baptism of Sophia, the daughter of Alina and Denis

August 28th Dormition of our Lady Theotokos the Mother of God

Name Days during September

12 Father Alexander, St. Alexander Nevsky
18 Evelina Lunyov, St. Elizabeth
20 Cassia Decaire, St. Kassiani
22 Therese Donovan, St. Anna
30 Aislyn McInnis, St. Nadia
30 Vera Treiger, St. Vera

(any errors or additions please inform Father David)

A lovely service on the Eve of the Transfiguration. There was a lot of fruit to be blessed and it was blessed. Everyone present got sprinkled with Holy Water. I think it may have been more of a deluge than a sprinkling, but I included myself and I dripped for a few seconds.

Isn't it wonderful, and so typical of this parish, when we need someone to be a Godparent, there are many who volunteer. I suspect that in some parishes there might have to be arm twisting. I don't know that for certain, I can only imagine. Thank you to all who wanted to be Godparent to Sofia. God willing we shall get to know Sofia and her parents and siblings, and we can all be Godparent as we are to all the children in our parish community. Just look around and see. Most of our adults look out for and look after the children no matter who the parents are.

We were thinking about what it is that gets blessed at the feast of the Dormition; fruit was blessed at Transfiguration. It turns out that it is flowers. So, on the feast of the Dormition, we shall bless any flowers that are brought to the Vespers and Lity. They can be in pots or vases, or whatever. I hope we have a nice showing. Remember the Vespers and Lity at 6.30pm on August 27th. The reason for the evening celebration is so that those who work during the day can be present. I bake special bread for the five loaves and I think it is nice bread. Since it isn't really Prosphora, I make it a sweeter and spicy bread. I get to make this, as others now make the usual Prosphora bread for Liturgy. Thank you to all who do that.

Speaking of the Dormition, I want to make reference to the difference between the Dormition and the Assumption. Orthodox tend to use the term "Dormition" or the "Falling Asleep" of the Mother of God. The Roman Catholic preference is the term "Assumption". There is a difference. The Roman Catholic Pope Pius Xll made the bodily Assumption (Ascension) into Heaven of the Holy Virgin, a matter of church dogma on November 1st 1950. We the Orthodox have never made this a matter of dogma (necessary belief). The Mother of God, the Theotokos, died - humans die. The story goes that Thomas was again late for her funeral and desiring to see her one last time asked the gathered brethren to open the tomb. This they did and discovered that the tomb was empty. We see this as the foreshadowing of the General Resurrection when at the last, we shall all be called to rise - "I Believe in the resurrection of the Dead and the Life of the world (or age) to come." (Nicene Creed) Amen.

Wasn't that interesting that Peter, Father Theodore's son mentioned the multiplicity of spoons that we use, comparing the practice of other Halifax priests, who continue to use the one spoon. I replied that Archbishop Irénée had mentioned the practice in Russia, of soaking a cloth in alcohol and wiping the spoon between each person. I've mentioned in several bulletins now about the cup containing the Body and Blood of Christ through the action of the Holy Spirit, and that therefore it can harm no one. Do you believe that the Holy Spirit actually changes bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ? Or have I been pretending all this time? (Even many years ago, when I was Anglican, I believed that this truly happened!) Now as an Orthodox Priest how dare I not believe this truth. Please! Please! Think and pray about it and discuss it with either Father Alexander or me. Never mind the fact that wine itself has a property for healing. The Samaritan used wine and oil to heal the wounds of the man who fell amongst thieves - St. Luke 10:34.

I would like someone or perhaps two, to volunteer to be an assistant Catechist (someone who instructs Catechumens). This sounds like a grand title, but it is really a labour of love, here are some of the benefits: you work with the priest to know what to teach, and at the same time you yourself learn or relearn or affirm your faith. It also means that through discussion, the Faith is disseminated.

Have you wondered why I celebrate Baptisms during the Liturgy? It is to do with what Baptism is. You know this because you have been Baptized and received Chrism. What happened was, you went into the water three times and so died with Christ so that you could Rise with Him, the coming out of the water; that is why we immerse. The receiving of the Chrism is the sealing of the newly Baptized with the Holy Spirit, thus this newly Baptized becomes a member of Christ's Family - "The Church" and so a member of our family - "The Parish" of Saint Vladimir Prince of Kiev in Halifax. Thanks be to God. On this occasion - Welcome to Sofia a Child of God.

Speaking of Baptisms. We look forward to the Baptism of Kristin and Colin's new daughter Lydia Elizabeth Evangelia. Can you believe, and if my counting is faultless, Lydia's 40th day is Dormition. Wow, what a blessing. If we have the privilege of Lydia's Baptism here in our parish, it will be a lovely occasion with lots of cake, I hope. If they decide to go to Colin's home, we'll have the cake when they return.

Please don't forget our Catechumens, and don't forget those suffering as a result of Covid, and don't forget those who minister to the victims - nurses and doctors and other, plus the scientists who are searching for a way to control Covid. We all need prayers.

In the Glory of Our Lord and God and Saviour Jesus Christ,

- Father David

August 14, 2020

This is the Tenth Sunday after Pentecost

Saturday August 15th 6.00pm Great Vespers
Sunday August 16th 10am Hours and Liturgy

Readings
Epistle 1 Corinthians 4:9-16
Gospel St. Matthew 17:14-23

Here are some dates and reminders to put in your diary:

August 14th Start of Dormition Fast

August 19th Transfiguration of Our Lord Jesus Christ (blessing of fruit)

August 23rd Baptism of Sophia, the daughter of Alina and Denis

August 28th Dormition of our Lady Theotokos the Mother of God

Name Days during September

12 Father Alexander, St. Alexander Nevsky
18 Evelina Lunyov, St. Elizabeth
20 Cassia Decaire, St. Kassiani
22 Therese Donovan, St. Anna
30 Aislyn McInnis, St. Nadia and Vera Treiger, St. Vera

(any errors or additions please inform Father David)

I think the Al Fresco Liturgy went well on Sunday. From my point of view it went very well. The only comment I heard was that it was difficult for people to distance. As the sunlight impinged on the available space, the distancing became more and more difficult. Please keep this in mind. In reading the forecast for next Sunday, I believe we are in for a less sunny but another outside Liturgy. I suggest that you bring your beach umbrellas or sun shades, so we can distance more effectively. Don't forget your masks. I notice that our mask supply kindly provided by Alina K have all gone.

It was certainly good to welcome Reader Nicholas Filipovic. He has come from Hamilton and has had to self-isolate for the prescribed fourteen days. I knew he was coming. Father Geoffrey Korz told me that Nicholas, a recent Chemical Engineering graduate, had accepted a job in Halifax and so would be joining us. Welcome. I know the people of the parish will take you to their hearts.

Last Sunday, Jeff had to work so when I took the photograph of the Jefferson family from Goshen, I was not able to take the photo of Jeff and Krystal who have been with us for a while. We know them. They become Cathechumens as well.

At the coffee hour which didn't have any coffee (we must fix that, and thanks to Eric for bringing the cans of water and the fruit) I mentioned the short concert that Peter Togni recorded. I promised that I would include the web address to access the concert. I know it is a half hour piano recital (because I listened to it) and can be accessed here. It should be available for another week. I believe a searching on YouTube might bring other works by Peter. He is not only a performer but also a composer of music. I know he has a recent CD published, accompanied by the Luminous Voices Chamber Choir, and called Sea Dreams. I wonder if his living in Halifax and next to the Atlantic Ocean has anything to do with that? Ask him. I've heard it and it is excellent. May God bless your talent.

I had a note from Mary Pemberton. Thy have arrived at their destination in Ontario:

Hi all,

We arrived in Barry's Bay last night, safe and sound, after an uneventful 22 hours of straight driving (+naps). Eleanor and the dog slept for most of it, we listened to Sherlock Holmes, and the squabbling was minimal - hurray!

We'll keep you updated about Will as we have news.

Love to all!

- Mary

It is so good to know that they have arrived safely and we must all pray for them. Not only for Will but the whole family during this upheaval - new surroundings - new medical facilities - different education system. That's a lot for a family to deal with.

Please remember to pray for all the Catechumens and all the people of the parish. We must also pray for the victims of Covid 19 and those who minister to them - doctors, nurses, and those who are labouring to find an antidote to this virus. May God protect us and inspire those who are working to find a solution.

I saw Alyosha with a design of stones that he had made on the grass. Creative! We pray that Father Alexander and his family have a safe and enjoyable holiday. They are away this Sunday. May God keep them safe and return them safely to us. I'm hoping that Anna, Alyosha and Maria will draw some nice pictures of their holiday quarters and town. I like to add pictures to my collection.

Speaking of enjoyment and looking at the weather prediction for this coming Sunday, I notice that it has changed. I checked on Sunday and it said that there would be sun with cloud. Today it says rain. If that is what will be, then we shall go back inside. One thing to remember though, besides masks (Oh Drat!) and distancing (Oh double drat!), is something very pleasant - We are invited to Eric and Crystal's for coffee hour. Crystal will make sure everyone knows where to go, well, how to get there, as in address. (Eric and Crystal's basement is much larger than the church basement.)

Next Sunday, August 23rd, I shall baptize Alina and Denis Senienkov's baby, Sophia, during the Liturgy. Help! They need someone to be Godmother.

Mentioned above is the Vespers and Lity we are celebrating on the eve of the Feast of the Transfiguration of Our Lord Jesus Christ, that's Tuesday, August 18th at 6:30pm. This is the feast where fruit is blessed. After Vespers I shall bless fruit so please bring some grapes, apples or whatever fruit you would like blessed. I remind you that at the Lity, there is a blessing of bread (five rolls) which is intincted with wine and olive oil and then consumed by everyone, after Vespers. Come, it will be fun.

On a perhaps less pleasant but important note, there have again been concern about masks and self-distancing. I have allowed us to hold Liturgies and Vespers and Baptisms and I have placed on the inner doors the warnings from the Archbishop and the Government of Nova Scotia regarding masks and Distancing. The Parish Council has generously supplied a hand washing station at the entry to the church and Alina has supplied masks. I don't intend to act as policeman and neither will Father Alexander. But if the distancing rules and mask rules are ignored, I shall not hesitate, in the spirit of protecting my people, to cancel services or coffee hours. God forbid that this be necessary, ever. Please take this to heart.

Lots of love to everyone,

In the Glory of Our Lord and God and Saviour Jesus Christ,

- Father David

August 9, 2020

This is the Nineth Sunday after Pentecost, the Holy, Great Martyr and Healer Panteleimon

Saturday August 8th 6.00pm Great Vespers
Sunday August 9th 10am Liturgy

Readings
1 Corinthians 3:9-17 (Sunday)
2 Timothy 2:1-10 (Feast)
St. Matthew 14:22-34 (Sunday)
Saint John 15:17-16:2

August 19th Transfiguration of Our Lord Jesus Christ (blessing of fruit)

August 28th Dormition of our Lady the Theotokos

Here are some dates and reminders to put in your diary:

Name Days during September

12 Father Alexander, St. Alexander Nevsky
18 Evelina Lunyov, St. Elizabeth
20 Cassia Decaire, St. Kassiani
22 Therese Donovan, St. Anna
30 Aislyn McInnis, St. Nadia and Vera Treiger, St. Vera

(any errors or additions please inform Father David)

I remind you that the Feast of the Transfiguration of Our Lord Jesus Christ is on the 19th of August. There will be Vespers and Litya at 6.30 on Tuesday, the 18th. Traditionally, the church would be filled with Grapes and Apples, and other fruit to be blessed on the feast of the Dormition. Let's bless fruit.

I must also remind us all of the Dormition Fast coming up. It starts on August 14th. This is a warning so you can make sure you are supplied. The Dormition of Our Lady the Theotokos is on August 28th. There will be Vespers and Litya at 6.30 on Thursday, August 27th.

The church seemed full on Saturday and even more full on Sunday. Saturday saw the reception into the Catechumenate of Krystal and Jeff as well as the whole Jefferson family from Goshen. I hadn't met the family until they visited the church on Friday afternoon. We spoke for an hour or so and I answered any questions that might have been bothering them. What a really beautiful family this is. Then just before Vespers on Saturday, Krystal and Jeff, Holly, Trevor, Hilary, Noah, Isaiah, Selah, Elijah, Lahetah, Apphiah, Ysabellah, and Obadiah all became Catechumens. Glory to God!

There was so much that happened during this past week. Sunday the parish celebration of its Patron Saint - Prince Vladimir of Kiev with a nice party outside. Monday evening the Vigil and on Tuesday the Liturgy with Father Panagiotis. That was a wonderful celebration. Father Maximos was unable to come due to back problems but Father Alexander, Father Panagiotis and I served a beautiful Liturgy together. Then on Thursday Father Alexander and I were at Pictou and served for the Pemberton family. Please remember to pray most vigorously for them as they face the treating of Will in Ontario. Friday I met with the Jefferson family and just before Vespers on Saturday they and Krystal and Jeff were received into the Catechumenate. That was a busy week and it all went well. Glory as always to God.

I asked the question about the possibility of the Body and Blood of Christ passing on an illness, be it bacterial or viral, to any of the faithful. I suppose the same goes for the idea that because bread contains gluten, that the Body and Blood of Christ could hurt people who are gluten intolerant. I asked you to think about this and the conclusion has to be surely, if you believe that the bread and wine truly becomes the Body and Blood of Christ - then it could not hurt anyone of the faithful. So why are we making the big fuss about the spoons? The common spoon like the common cup and the One Liturgy talks about the unity of the Body of Christ. Now think about that one and discuss it with Father Alexander or me.

We know that all the precautions that come down to us from the Archbishop are really about the insurance companies; they are afraid the Archdiocese would be sued. I point out that each individual takes on any risk. On our own shoulders be it. I've never become sick from consuming the cup at the end of the Liturgy. There have been flu and colds going about and Heaven only knows what else, and I certainly don't remember getting sick. Do you?

This Sunday, God willing, we shall serve liturgy outside. I've asked Yan to level up the ground for us. We don't want Prosphora flying all over the place. We'll bring up a table from downstairs and cover it with a nice cloth. This should be exciting. The Archbishop tells me that he is serving outside all the time now. Good! Because outside, masks aren't necessary!

One of the interesting consequences of this will be the two Entrances. The Gospel and the Proskomedia will still be where they always are; they will have to be carried to where they are used, and that is exactly what used to happen. Nowadays we just go out one door and in another. That is not what happened. We shall be much more true to the origins of the Liturgy by having extended entrances. In some parishes both entrances are taken around the inside of the church. When Covid is more controlled, I'll consider that.

May God bless us all, and you particularly,

- Father David

August 1, 2020

This is the Eighth Sunday after Pentecost, Holy and Glorious Prophet Elijah

5.30pm Saturday August 1st making Catechumens

6.00pm Great Vespers

Sunday August 2nd Liturgy at 10am

Readings
1 Corinthians 1:10-18
St. Matthew 14:14-22

Here are some dates and reminders to put in your diary:

Name Days during August (Gregorian Calendar)

2 Name Day of the Elijahs, the Prophet Elijah
4 Maria Koutovenko and Evelyn Decaire's Name Day, St. Mary Magdalene

Name Days during September

12 Father Alexander, St. Alexander Nevsky
18 Evelina Lunyov, St. Elizabeth
20 Cassia Decaire, St. Kassiani
22 Therese Donovan, St. Anna
30 Aislyn McInnis, St. Nadia and Vera Treiger, St. Vera

(any errors or additions please inform Father David)

Thank you for the lovely BBQ on Sunday. All the English stuff was a joy to see and taste. The Victoria Sponge, the Eccles Cakes and all the lovely goodies were a delight to the eyes but to the palate as well. I'm sure Saint Vladimir enjoyed the occasion even when it started to drizzle . It did not really rain on our celebration, just lightly, and only physically.

On Monday evening Father Alexander served a lovely Vigil service. The Reader Vladimir, sang and chanted (this being his Name Day). Tuesday morning, Father Panagiotis joined us serving the Liturgy (Father Maximos was ill with back problems - some of us know how that feels). Peter Togni was ill and Matushka Ksenia (and Vera) filled in as chanters and choir. It was a really nice service. I reminded us that Prince Vladimir took the faith of Constantinople to Russia. Father Panagiotis is Greek Orthodox. In North America, the Greek Orthodox Church is under the jurisdiction of His All-Holiness Bartholomew, Patriarch of Constantinople. Serving in the Altar was also Father Alexander who was born in Russia. We celebrated then both ends of the journey made by the Great Prince Vladimir, the Patron and Protector of our church and parish. Glory to God. Thanks to Father Panagiotis for being with us. Please pray for him and for his family.

This is the weekend that the Jefferson Family from Goshen will be with us and will become Catechumens before Vespers on Saturday. The short service, which includes spitting on Satan, will start on Saturday evening at about 5.30.

I remind everyone except priests, that MASKS are a necessity in Nova Scotia as of July 31st. I have been in email communication with Dr. Strang and have explained with a photograph why it should be unnecessary for priests behind the Icon Screen to wear masks and he has heard what I wrote. There will be adequate provision made.

Now the news about the ceremonies that were conducted in Pictou - the provisional church, which is really the home of the Hyun family. They kindly hosted the meeting of the Pemberton family, travelling from Margaree Harbour in Cape Breton with Father Alexander and me travelling from Halifax. In doing this we were making sure that the family is strengthened by receiving Communion, that the baby Eleanor is Baptized, the younger boys are Chrismated into the Faith of their family, and Will senior is strengthened for his health ordeal, and the family's, in their protracted stay in Toronto. May God bless them all, and Will in particular. There were delicious sandwiches etc. afterwards!

First I want to thank Eric and Crystal for allowing the services and festivities to happen at their home in Pictou. Thank you also to Matushka Ksenia for stepping in as choir, due to Peter's illness. She was also Godmother. Thanks to Spyridon for transporting Father David to and from Pictou and being Altar server and suffering the heat. Hearts of Oak!

There were lots more than sandwiches. Not only was there a lovely cake but there was Lasagna, Chicken, Ham, Fruit, Crudités, Chicken Soup, and even ice cream. We enjoyed it all. The heat, and believe me it was HOT, couldn't stop the ceremonies being marvellous. There was the Baptism, Confession, the Chrismation, the Liturgy and the anointing of Will for the strength he will need in the coming months. Five of the Seven Sacraments were Celebrated this day - as Father Alexander pointed out.

Please don't forget those who are suffering with Covid and those who are attending to them plus those who are seeking a cure for this insidious virus.

May God Bless us all,

- Father David

July 26, 2020

This is the Seventh Sunday after Pentecost, Commemoration of the Holy Fathers of the First Six Ecumenical Councils

Readings for Sunday, July 26
Romans 15:1-7
St. Matthew 9:27-35

for the First Six Ecumenical Councils
Hebrews 13:7-16
St. John 17:1-13

Readings for Tuesday, July 28 - Saint Vladimir
Galatians 1:11-19
St. John 10:1-9

Here are some dates and reminders to put in your diary (Julian Calendar first - Gregorian Calendar second)

Saturday, July 25 Vespers 6pm

Sunday July 13 26 The parish Celebration of our Patronal Festival, the feast of St. Vladimir Prince of Kiev, will take place with a BBQ after the 10am Liturgy.

Monday July 14 27 at 6:30pm Vigil (Vespers and Matins) will start at 6:30pm to enable Vladimir to lead the choir (he works until 6).

Tuesday July 15 28, the actual feast of St. Vladimir. I've invited Father Maximos and Father Panagiotis and others to serve Liturgy at 10am with Father Alexander and me at our church. You are welcome to come to this Liturgy of course. This is Reader Vladimir's and other Vladimirs Name Day.

Wednesday July 16 29 Name Day of Alina, Saint Alevtina the Martyr.

Sunday July 20 August 2 Name Day of the Elijahs, the Prophet Elijah.

Tuesday July 22 August 4 Maria Koutovenko and Evelyn Decaire's Name Day, St. Mary Magdalene.

(any errors or additions please inform Father David)

I didn't give the answer or the second part of my question about what happens during the Anaphora of the Liturgy, particularly the Epiclesis. The answer, just as you answered of course, is that the Holy Spirit changes the bread and wine into the Body and Blood or Christ. The actual words of the Liturgy are: "making the change by Thy Holy Spirit". There is no doubt then that what was bread and wine is now the Body and Blood of Christ just as He said at the Last Supper. He also told us "...do this in remembrance of Me." (St. Luke 22:19) So we do!

The next question therefore is - Do you think the Body and Blood of Christ could possibly transmit illness to those who consume it? This is something to ponder; to seriously ponder.

Unfortunately the planned baptism and chrismation of the Pemberton Family at Pictou has had to be postponed for a week. This will now happen on Thursday July 30th. Peter has agreed to be the choir, singing or saying as is possible. As you will remember, Will senior has to go to Ontario for more treatment. Before they go, I wanted to make sure that Eleanor, their baby daughter is Baptized and that the three boys who did not become Orthodox when the rest of the family were Chrismated, could join the family by being Chrismated. The short anointing with oil for the seriously ill will also be administered to Will. We could not let him go off for treatment without the strength given by the Holy Spirit in anointing. May God bless the family in their new surroundings.

As the Liturgy began on Sunday, I received an email from Colin and Kristin. Since I was outside the church at the time (looking at the garden while Father Alexander was serving the Liturgy) I was able to look at the message. I saw a beautiful picture of the new baby, now named Lydia Elizabeth Evangelia McInnis. We welcome this beautiful baby into the family of St. Vladimir and we look forward to the churching and baptism and formally welcoming her.

I believe that the BBQ after Liturgy is partly to celebrate my Birthday, which we were unable to celebrate at the time due to the Covids floating around. I thank the parish for this, and I do want to share my enthusiasm for the parish and its very kind and hardworking people. It seems that nothing is too onerous a task, everyone has his or her role to play and it goes so well, all fitting in to make the parish a worshipping and Godly place. Thank you also for the care you take of me personally; I think I have never come across a more caring group of people. Those are not just idle words. If I were to point to an inadequacy, I would be pointing into my mirror at myself. May God continue to bless the Parish of St. Vladimir Prince of Kiev and its people.

Please remember that on the 29th of July, the Jefferson Family will be coming from Goshen (which is not too far from Antigonish) to be made Catechumens (family of 11!). This we will do right before Vespers on August 1st. I hope Sunday will be dry enough for our now usual picnic outside the church. The family have rented a place to stay and will be with us until August 5th.

Father Maximos drafted a statement that will be sent to the Government of Canada asking that they communicate the disquiet of the Orthodox Communities in Halifax at the change in status of Hagia Sophia in Istanbul. Father Panagiotis held an Akathist Hymn Thursday evening. The Greek Orthodox Church in Canada is under the jurisdiction of His All-Holiness Bartholomew Archbishop of Constantinople-New Rome and Ecumenical Patriarch. I was able to attend this beautiful service with Father Maximos and Father Panagiotis and others, again showing the unity which exists within the Orthodox Community. May God continue to Bless the Orthodox Church and Orthodox Christians.

Please don't forget prayers for Victims of the Covid virus and those working to relieve suffering. Remember also those who are working for a solution to this virus.

May God bless all of us.

Love in Christ,

- Father David

July 17, 2020

This is the Sixth Sunday after Pentecost

The readings for this Sunday, July 19, are

Romans 12:6-14
Saint Matthew 9:1-8

Here are some dates and reminders to put in your diary
Julian Calendar first - Gregorian Calendar second

Friday July 4 17 (is the Commemoration of Holy Royal Martyrs of Russia: Tsar Nicholas, Tsaritsa Alexandra, Crown Prince Alexis, Grand Duchesses Olga, Tatiana, Maria, and Anastasia.

Saturday July 5 18 the baptism in the church of Crystal and Eric's daughter Evangeline. This will start at 10:30am. Vespers will be at 6pm.

This is Leslee's and Kristin's Name Day, the Feast of Saint Elizabeth the New Martyr.

Saturday July 12 25 Great Vespers.

Sunday July 13 26 The parish Celebration of our Patronal Festival, the feast of St. Vladimir Prince of Kiev, will take place with a BBQ after the 10am Liturgy.

Monday July 14 27 at 6:30pm Vigil (Vespers and Matins) will start at 6:30pm to enable Vladimir to lead the choir (he works until 6).

Tuesday July 15 28, the actual feast of St. Vladimir. I've invited Father Maximos and Father Panagiotis to serve Liturgy at 10am with Father Alexander and me at our church. You are welcome to come to this Liturgy of course. This is Reader Vladimir's Name Day.

Wednesday July 16 29, Name Day of Alina, Saint Alevtina the Martyr.

Sunday July 20 August 2 is the Name Day of the Elijahs, the Prophet Elijah.

Tuesday July 22 August 4 is Maria Koutovenko and Evelyn Decaire's Name Day, St. Mary Magdalene.

(any errors or additions please inform Father David)

We welcome Spyridon Braidyn into the Body and Family of Christ. The Baptism went very well. There are lovely pictures taken by Alina and perhaps others, some of which may eventually be included on our Website. We had a lovely picnic and games outside afterwards. A wonderful occasion.

Last Sunday Spyridon was the newest Christian. This Sunday there is another new Christian to be named Evangeline, the beautiful little daughter of Eric and Crystal who will be Baptized on Saturday.

We welcome the new daughter of Colin and Kristin. The announcement came to me just before the Baptism of Spyridon Braidyn along with this photograph. Krysten looks very pleased with herself and so she should. This is a lovely photo of the mother and newborn. Beautiful indeed. God is good.

We must all take careful note and be responsible for making sure that we are distancing, wearing masks, not kissing icons or people, not hugging, as proscribed by the Government of Nova Scotia, and is appropriate at the time. There are masks, kindly supplied by Alina, on the candle stand in the narthex. Please make use of them, take them home, wash them after each use, but keep them. There is also hand sterilizing gel at the entrance, plus a hand washing station. If you don't know how to use the hand washer, please ask someone.

I have received from Dr. Robert Strang, the following. I include it as a reminder of the steps we need to take to keep in line with the Nova Scotia requirements for the minimizing of the Corona Virus epidemic. The Province has done very well up to this point in protecting us. We must cooperate for the sake of the community. The recent fear that Subdeacon David and His family may have been exposed to the dreaded virus brings it close to us and thank God David's co-worker was found to have a different strain of flu meaning that they did not have to isolate themselves. We pray for the person who precipitated the investigation, and hope that person recovers from whatever flu it was.

Below, are the guidelines supplied by the Government of Nova Scotia

COVID-19 Guidance for Faith Based Gatherings July 14, 2020

Faith-based activities, rituals and practices should be reviewed to determine if they increase the risk of spreading COVID-19, with a focus on those that increase the risk of COVID-19 through contact (touching surfaces) or droplet transmission (sneezing, coughing, singing). Consider discontinuing or altering practices or activities that increase risk.

This document provides additional guidance for faith-based gatherings. This guidance must be used in conjunction with the COVID-19 Prevention Guide for event organizers, theatres and performance venues, COVID-19 Guidance for Musicians (Vocalists and Instrumentalists) and all individuals must adhere to the public health measures outlined in the Health Protection Act Order.

The most effective measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19 includes separating people by maintaining physical distance (2 metres/6 feet) or the use of physical barriers where physical distance is difficult to maintain. Using a layered approach with multiple measures including environmental cleaning, conducting frequent hand hygiene and maintaining respiratory etiquette decreases the number of interactions and increases the safety of interactions that occur.

  • Consider alternate options for an in-person gathering such as a virtual, outdoor or drive-in event.
  • Individuals should not attend faith-based gatherings while ill, even if symptoms are mild. Visit the 811 website for an up to date list of signs/symptoms.
  • Maintain physical distancing between all individuals including congregants, ushers, greeters, officiant, etc. [people from the same household or pre-determined close social group do not have to keep physical distance].
  • Adjust seating arrangements to allow physical distancing.
  • Attendees should wear a non-medical mask, especially when physical distancing may not be able to be maintained (e.g. when entering and exiting the facility).
  • Discourage in-person attendance for people at higher risk of experiencing severe illness (age; underlying health conditions).
  • Traditional greetings such as handshakes and hugs should be avoided.
  • Ceremonial traditions that involve sharing of items or close contact should be altered to maintain a 2-metres / 6-foot separation. Avoid passing objects (e.g. offering baskets, collection plates, pipes, talking sticks, etc.); use alternative methods such as on-line collection, collection boxes, “self-serve” communion.
  • Instructional settings for children (e.g. Sunday school) should follow the applicable guidelines for day camps at https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/docs/COVID-19-Return-to- Day-Camp-Guidelines.pdf
  • Small group, instructional settings for adults (e.g., bible study) must follow social distancing and gathering size requirements.
  • Singing and playing wind or brass instruments are higher risk activities because the virus can be transmitted through saliva or respiratory droplets. Choirs are not recommended at this time; refer to the COVID-19 Guidance for Musicians (Vocalists and Instrumentalists"). Discourage congregational singing and chanting. Alternatively, suggest congregants hum along to the vocalist, instrumentalist or pre-recorded music .
  • Consider using pre-prepared audio or video recordings rather than live vocalists or instrumentalists.
  • For Ceremonies where drumming and chanting are core parts of the event, drummers should use their own drums and drumsticks, maintain physical/social distancing of 2-metres / 6-feet, consider facing the same direction. Avoid sharing big drums, consider the use of hand drums.
  • Providing food and beverages (including communion) before, during or after faith-based activities or events is discouraged due to the increased risk of close contact involved with offering and accepting these items. Consider alternatives to traditional methods that maintain physical distancing and follow good hand hygiene.
  • Avoid offering shared receptacles for liquid (e.g. holy water fonts, chalice, etc.).
  • Provide hand sanitizer at the entry and throughout the facility.
  • Shared objects (e.g. ceremonial objects, books, hymns, prayer mats, etc.) should be cleaned and disinfected after each use.
  • Remove items from use that cannot be cleaned and disinfected between uses.
  • If touching of ceremonial objects is required for religious/spiritual reasons, then individuals must perform hand hygiene before and after touching the object and object cleaned and disinfected between uses.

There is another matter for urgent prayer. President Erdogan of Turkey has passed a law making one of the original Christian Churches of the city of Constantinople (now Istanbul), Hagia Sophia, into a Mosque again. It was originally a Christian Church, built between 532 and 537. In 1453 when the Ottoman Empire conquered Constantinople Hagia Sophia was turned into a Mosque. In 1935 it was turned into a Museum, but now President Erdogan has annulled this status and Hagia Sophia will once again be classified as a Mosque. Here is the link to the letter from His Beatitude Metropolitan Tikhon to His All-Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew.

(A personal note: I visited Hagia Sophia several years back and while there, I surreptitiously leaned over the balcony and prayed for every person I knew at that time, and used my prayer rope. For that short time even with all the noise and throng of tourists, it was a Christian church again. It is a wonderful place and imagining and praying for all who in the past have prayed there, both Christian and Muslim, was really an incredible and wonderful feeling and experience. May God protect and bless all who visit that church, and the Christians in Turkey.)

I received a note from Mary Pemberton indicating that Will's treatment will have to be continued in Toronto so the family will be moving there for an extended period as of sometime at the end of this month. Before they go Father Alexander and I will travel to Pictou where we shall meet with the Pemberton family to Baptize baby Eleanor, Chrismate the three older boys Will, Hugh, and Matthias, anoint Will senior and give them all Communion. With thanks to Crystal and Eric who are allowing us to all meet at their home in Pictou. May God bless the Pemberton family as they prepare their farm for the farm carers, and plan their move.

Also remember to pray for the Jefferson Family in Goshen and Jeff and Seamus in Antigonish. Jeff and Seamus are going through a really tough time and need special prayerful support. If they lived closer we could give them physical support. Distance and getting to be part of the family, is one of the problems for away Catechumens face. We know that doing the Faith is the way we learn to be an Orthodox Christian - Distance makes it really tough; difficult to be part of a family you've never met.

We still pray in the Liturgy for the Covid-19 victims, and those who minister to them such as doctors, nurses and others. You have the prayers already in previous bulletins so I have stopped including them here.

May God bless all of us.

Love to all in our Lord and God and Saviour Jesus Christ,

- Father David

PS Could I appeal for a couple of young persons with a small stepladder to help by cleaning my balcony windows and taking boxes down to the flattened box room on the first floor, please. Reward - coffee, tea and biscuits.

July 12, 2020

This is the Fifth Sunday after Pentecost and it is also the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul

The fast is over.

Saturday July 11: Vespers 6 pm
Sunday July 12: Liturgy 10 am

The readings for this Feast and Baptism are

II Corinthians 11:21b-12:9 (Feast)
Romans 6:3-11 (Baptism)
Saint Matthew 16:13-19 (Feast)
Saint Matthew 28:16-20 (Baptism)

Sunday July 12th at 10am, the Baptism of Spyridon Braidyn. The weatherman says it is going to pour with rain, so we shall have the Baptism in the Church at 10am. The service will start with the Hours as usual for a Liturgy. During the third Antiphon, we will go to the Font where the Baptism service will take place. After the procession three times around the Font, the Gospel returns to the Altar, then the Liturgy continues as usual. After the Blessing at the end of the Liturgy, the Rites of Ablution, Tonsure and Churching will take place.

This is Peter's Name Day as well.

Monday July 13th is the Synaxis of the Twelve Apostles.

Friday July 17th is the Commemoration of Holy Royal Martyrs of Russia: Tsar Nicholas, Tsaritsa Alexandra, Crown Prince Alexis, Grand Duchesses Olga, Tatiana, Maria, and Anastasia.

Saturday July 18th, the baptism in the church of Crystal and Eric's daughter Evangeline. This will start at 10:30am.

This is Leslee's and Kristin's Name Day, the Feast of Saint Elizabeth the New Martyr

Saturday July 25th Great Vespers

Sunday July 26th The parish Celebration of our Patronal Festival, the feast of St. Vladimir Prince of Kiev, will take place with a BBQ after the 10am Liturgy.

Monday July 27th at 6:30pm Vigil (Vespers and Matins) will start at 6:30pm to enable Vladimir to lead the choir (he works until 6).

Tuesday July 28th, the actual feast of St. Vladimir. I've invited Father Maximos and Father Panagiotis to serve Liturgy at 10am with Father Alexander and me at our church. You are welcome to come to this Liturgy of course.

This is Reader Vladimir's Name Day.

Even though I really am not the parish policeman, I received a gentle chiding from David Decaire regarding in-church social distancing. We must all take careful note of this timely reminder and be responsible for making sure we are physical distancing, wearing masks, not kissing icons or people, not hugging, as prescribed by the Government of Nova Scotia, and is appropriate at the time. Thank you, David. There are masks, kindly supplied by Alina, on the candle stand in the narthex. Please make use of them, take them home, wash them after each use, but keep them. There is also hand sterilizing gel at the entrance, plus a hand washing station. If you don't know how to use the hand washer, please ask David.

All the rules set down by the Nova Scotia Government and Archbishop Irénée will be strictly observed. Difficulty maintaining appropriate distancing will make the children's sermon, for example, impossible, so it will be eliminated. Again, distancing will preclude the line-up for Communion. Please wait for the person at the Holy Cup to clear the area before moving forward. If you are part of a family group, please remain in that group and make sure you are at least two meters away from another family group or individual. If you feel that is impossible, I will come outside to give you Communion. We certainly do not want an upsurge of this Covid virus. May God protect us from that. We shall continue to use individual spoons and paper serviettes for the time being, even though the multiplicity of spoons makes a slip-up far easier so I shall rethink the way of administering Communion. Lord have mercy on all of us.

Still no news from Colin and Kristin as regards their awaited delivery. The storks must be self-isolating.

Somehow, I missed Eric's birthday last Monday. We recorded Happy Birthday on a phone for him to know we were thinking of him.

Even with the new regulations, we must still continue to remember in our prayers those attending to the sick, and those infected by "the virus": May God bless, protect and heal them.

O God Almighty, Lord of heaven and earth, and of all creation visible and invisible, in thine ineffable goodness, look down upon thy people gathered in thy name. Be our helper and defender in this day of affliction. Thou knowest our weakness. Thou hearest our cry in repentance and contrition of heart. O Lord who lovest mankind deliver us from the impending threat of the corona virus. Send thine angel to watch over us and protect us. Grant health and recovery to those suffering from this virus. Guide the hands of physicians, and preserve those who are healthy that we may continue to serve thee in peace and glorify thy most honorable and majestic name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.

, , , , , . . , . , . . . . , , , , , .

PS from Parish President, Dave Decaire: The BBQ originally planned to celebrate Fr. David's birthday after the Liturgy on July 12 has been moved to coincide with the celebration of St. Vladimir's feast day on Sunday, July 26 after the Liturgy.

July 4, 2020

This is the Fourth Sunday after Pentecost

Saturday July 4: Vespers 6 pm
Sunday July 5: Liturgy 10 am

Readings for this Sunday:

Epistle - Romans 6:18-23
Gospel - St. Matthew 8:5-13

Sunday is Father Alexander's Birthday and Monday is Stanislav Lunyov's Name Day - God grant them Many Years.

It has been decided that the Baptism of Braidyn will be on the morning of Sunday July 12th, the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul. It will take place at 8 in the morning at a lake beach followed by Liturgy in the church immediately after the Baptism. The Baptism of Crystal and Eric's new daughter Evangeline will be on Saturday July 18th at 10:30 in the morning, in the church. I shall ask the choir director, Vladimir, to explain where the beach is for Braidyn's Baptism. I hope many people will be there for that, similarly for Evangeline's Baptism. In each case we are welcoming someone into the family of the church.

Peter tells me that the baby Sebastien is home from the hospital and will be monitored from time to time to make sure there is no more bleeding.

I want to bring you up to date with the Pemberton Family from Cape Breton. This family belongs to our parish family and the family members are: Will and Mary, plus Will who is 15 years old, Hugh 12, Matthias 10, Raphael 8, Hermione 4 and Eleanor who is yet to be Baptized is 6 months old. They will be making the long trip down to us one day to have Eleanor Baptized. There is also the possibility that Will, Hugh and Matthias, who were not received into the Church when the rest of the family was, will be received. However, they must agree to that. We shall pray for all of them, and we'll also pray that we may have the privilege of becoming the spiritual family of the three boys. The latest email from Mary tells that they are having problems that certainly need our support and prayers. Their well is dry, their cow has a dislocated hip, there are many small animals to be bottle fed, and on top of that - vehicle problems. Lord have Mercy.

The other family, with whom I am in contact and who I've mentioned in previous bulletins but of whom I have no photograph to share, is the Jefferson Family from Goshen which is a village near Antigonish. They are: Holly Holstrom, Trevor and Hilary Jefferson plus Noah who is 20 years, Isaiah 19, Selah 17, Elijah 15, Lahelah 14, Apphiah 12, Ysabellah 8, and Obadiah 6. This family has rented a house not too far from the church and will be visiting us between July 29th and August 5th. During that time, God willing, they will be made Catechumens.

Jeff and Seamus are still battling life in Antigonish, please pray for them and pray that they will manage to get to us soon so that they can become part of the family.

We have been asked to pray for the Orthodox Church in Montenegro which is undergoing many difficulties. Lord have mercy!

June 27, 2020

This is the Third Sunday after Pentecost

Saturday June 27: Vespers 6 pm

Sunday June 28: Liturgy 10 am

Readings for this Sunday:

Epistle - Romans 5:1-10

Gospel - St. Matthew 6:22-33

During this week we celebrate the Holy Apostle Jude, the Brother of the Lord and St. John Maximovich, Archbishop of Shanghai and San Francisco, both on Thursday. Please remember that we are in the midst of the Apostles' Fast leading up to celebrating Saints Peter and Paul on June 29th (July 12 on our wall calendars since we follow the Julian reckoning of dates).

This past week we served Liturgy on Saturday and Sunday. Both were quite well attended and it was so joyous to see so many there. The reason for the two Liturgies was that until Thursday of last week we were only permitted ten well distancing people in the church building at one time. On Thursday that rule was changed from to non-distancing people or fifty self-distancing people. Since it was a little late to change the service schedule, the two Liturgies continued as scheduled. From now, God willing, we shall have all the Family together at the One Liturgy on Sunday Morning, June 28 starting at 10 am. It is really important that all the family gathers together in the one celebration. Since the Church is the Family of God, it meets and should meet as One as far as is possible.

The day following Pentecost, Father Maximos, Father Panagiotis, Father Alexander and I met and served Liturgy together at Saint Antonios church. This was a joyous occasion because it emphasized the togetherness and oneness of the People of God even though there are different languages; there is but One Faith, Orthodox. One day, God willing, the adjectives will disappear before the word Orthodox.

I want to thank all who helped me celebrate my birthday both on the day, Thursday and on Sunday. I received presents and wishes and for both, I am very grateful. 80 years old, I don't feel it. I don't feel any different from when I was in my 30s except my balance sometimes goes a bit funny. How did I get this far and old? I do feel truly loved and nourished by the people of St. Vladimir Prince of Kiev Church, perhaps that's it. I suppose the most extensive gift was given by the provincial government when it changed the rules for congregating from ten to fifty even if we still require distancing.

It is certainly awkward distributing Communion using individual spoons. Archbishop Irénée explained to me how it is done in Russia and it sounds much less complicated but equally as effective. They take the wiping cloth and soak it in 75% alcohol and wipe the spoon with the alcohol-soaked cloth after each person. Lips are not wiped. We have been using the metal spoons and paper serviettes. The spoons are sterilized with boiling water and the serviettes are burned. Most of the difficulty is in the handling of the individual spoons and serviettes before and after each Communion. I suggested dipping the spoon in Vodka but Vodka in Canada doesn't contain enough alcohol (who knew!).

Now that the attendance limit has been revised, we can consider the Baptisms that have been in the offing, awaiting easing of restrictions. Crystal is looking at Saturday July 18th at 10:30, for the baptism of Evangeline. That seems to be agreeable to everyone. Then as soon as the robe for Braidyn arrives, we'll get on with that, he's been waiting long enough. His baptism, he suggests will take place in a lake early on a Sunday morning. It is customary for the newly baptized, or newly received person, to receive Communion before others at the Liturgy. Look for special emails to announce special happenings.

Sunday after Liturgy there will be a meeting of the Parish Council in the newly floored basement of the church. Colin and David have spent many hours pouring the levelling liquid onto the floor. They do plan to paint the floor I understand. We thank the pair of them for this work. We shall be able to use the basement for after Liturgy coffee and snacks soon, I hope.

Monday next is the day that Kristin and Colin are expecting their new baby. We pray that all will go well with the birth and we shall look forward to meeting the baby and eventually welcoming Kristen back to the church. The service of "Churching" usually takes place forty days after the delivery of a baby.

Even with the new regulations, we must still continue to remember in our prayers those attending to the sick, and those infected by "the virus": May God bless, protect and heal them.

-- Father David

PS. Peter's family increased on Wednesday morning with a new grandson, Sebastian. Congratulations! However, we have just been informed that the baby fell off the bed and has slight fracture of the skull. He is being observed in intensive care. Please pray for Baby Sebastian.

Jume 20, 2020

This is the Second Sunday after Pentecost

also celebrated as

All Saints of North America: St. Herman of Alaska, St. Juvenaly, St. Peter the Aleut, St. Innocent, St. Jacob, St. Alexis, St. Raphael, St. Tikhon, St. John (Kochurov), St. Alexander, St. Nicolas of Zica, St. John (Maximovitch) (please look them up on the OCA or Antiochian website)

also celebrated as

Fathers' Day

Services this weekend:

Saturday June 20: Liturgy 10 am & Vespers 6 pm

Sunday June 21: Liturgy 10 am

Readings for this Sunday:

Epistle - Romans 2:10-16

Gospel - St. Matthew 4:18-23

We are now in the Apostles' Fast; Saints Peter and Paul are celebrated together and that feast is on June 29, which is July 12 on the Gregorian Calendar. We should remember several things about St. Paul. We know most about him through his writings and through the Acts of the Apostles. He was several things which benefited him and those who followed his teachings. He was born a Pharisee, a Jew born under the Law; he was also a Roman Citizen which gave him certain and important privileges. Roman citizens were not crucified. As in the case of Paul, he had the privilege of appealing directly to Caesar. When he did that, he was taken to Rome and eventually beheaded. This contrasts with what happened to St. Peter. When he went to Rome, he was eventually crucified. You will remember that in his shame at having the same fate as Jesus, he asked to be crucified upside down. St. Paul tells us in Romans that whether we are born under the Law or as a Gentile, that God judges equally. A Jew born under the Law is judged under that Law and a Gentile is judges by his conscience. They are judged equally by God and not by mankind.

For a trial period, we are going to serve Divine Liturgy on Saturday as well as Sunday starting this Saturday. During the time when the number of participants is limited to ten distancing people, there are some who would like to come but feel they are taking up the space that others could occupy. Serving Liturgy on two days will ease that. We are also restarting Vespers at 6 pm Saturday evenings. Distancing rules and number restrictions will apply as the government demands.

I mentioned on Sunday past that I'm asking the children to draw pictures of either the church or of people in the church, or something about the church. The adult members of the congregation I'm asking to write a short poem or note about something they have noticed, a kindness perhaps, during this pandemic. I'll gather everything together and make a little booklet – a history of how we got through the pandemic. Anything of interest that you have noticed could be recorded and submitted. This is meant to be an enjoyment, not an onerous task and not limited to one item.

When I say I miss you all, this is who I mean:

St.Vladimir parish and friends

There are several missing persons, for example Evangeline hadn't been born yet and Braidyn hadn't returned from his jaunt with the RCN around the Mediterranean and other places, you will perhaps know of others. As I may have said, when you take a photo of me, do tell me to shut my mouth or people will think I talk too much. I like this photo, it should be posted on the inside door of the church so visitors can see who we are; a people who are amongst the Saints of God. For those who have not had the pleasure yet, these are the people of St. Vladimir Prince of Kiev Church in Halifax Nova Scotia, Canadian Orthodox Church. There are Catechumens to be remembered: the baby Evangeline, Braidyn, Jeff, Seamus, and enquirers namely a family near to Antigonish.

We also pray for Will and Mary, their family and their six month old baby Eleanor who, God willing will be baptized soon; this is an Orthodox family isolated in or on (Cape Breton). Just think how the picture above will look when all these people have come home.

Good News:

Premier McNeil announced an increase to the 10-person social gathering limit. Up to 50 people can now gather at social events, including faith gatherings, weddings, and arts and culture events, such as theatre performances, dance recitals, festivals and concerts. The 50-person rule also applies to funerals and sports and physical activities. However, Premier McNeil said those in attendance must still maintain a physical distance of two metres, or six feet apart.

When we are thanking God for Fathers, we must think also of the Fathers of the Church, those who teach us the faith not only by their words but by their deeds. We look to them in matters of Theology, Morality, Ethics, how to treat each other, how to read the Scriptures, and how to approach God himself. There are the Fathers of the Old Testament and the Fathers of the New and we learn from them all.

Jume 13, 2020

Dear People of St. Vladimir Prince of Kiev Parish

This is The First Sunday after Pentecost also The Sunday of All Saints

The old word for "Saint" was "Hallow" so the evening before All Saints in English was All Hallows' Eve shortened to Hallowe'en. I hope nobody went out "Trick or Treating" Saturday evening - that is definitely a Western Church thing, not Orthodox.

Just think who this feast of All Saints celebrates. The word "saint" refers to a holy person living or dead, past and present. Saints are not limited just to history, even you and I are amongst the holy ones of God (at least we hope we are!), therefore we are considered as "saints"; just remember how we celebrate each other on our Name Day and birthdays. There are special saints whom we celebrate in a special way. These include the Apostles who were the first to spread the Gospel, the Prophets who taught and prepared the people for the coming of Christ, the Martyrs who gave their lives for their belief in Christ, Confessors who refused to give up their faith in Christ, even through threat of death, Saints who have maintained the faith through incredible persecution, and those multitudes of saints who were and are not noticed. There are special people even today; have you noticed the people who get groceries and do many things for those who are at greater risk of Covid-19 and for other reasons? There is no shortage of saints, just look around you and notice them. May God bless all the Saints of God and may they pray for us.

The readings for the Liturgy are:

Epistle: Hebrews 11:33-12:2a

Gospel: St. Matthew 10:32-33, 37-38, 19:27-30

It would be helpful if people intending to be at Liturgy would write to Leslee () just so we know how many are coming. Any number may come but only 10 are permitted in the church at one time. (Oh to have everyone there!) Others may wait their turn for Communion outside in their cars (the Government of Nova Scotia does permit "drive-in" churches), or in the garden. Remember social distancing, washing hands, please, and all the Covid-19 safety measures in order to stay healthy and avoid getting others sick.

Here is a response to the live-streamed service on Pentecost, from the family seeking to become catechumens, which will happen soon, God willing:

Dear Father David,

What a beautiful service that was! Thank you so much for sending me the link. All 11 of us were able to watch the service and it was so wonderful to see the church and some of the people and to feel like we were there and participating in the service.

Have a blessed week!

Christ is Risen!

I will explain more about this family when we have met and they are about to become catechumens.

No news about the Baptism of Evangeline yet. We are waiting for the Government of Nova Scotia to allow fifteen people or more to assemble. For Braidyn, we are still waiting for the ordered white robe to arrive. More news of these events soon, God willing. We have ordered a "Sick Communion" set for the parish. Somehow we didn't have one. Slowly I am noticing things that are missing, and making sure we have what we need when we need it.

A Poem

O to have our family there
The family, thus the Church
Together for a Liturgy
Our God for whom we search

Children running all about
The blessing of their cries
We smile at the little ones
The Innocence so wise

Body and Blood of Christ received
Such strength to us imparts
Body and Blood through God alone
His Love right to our hearts

-- Anonymous

Jume 6, 2020

My Dear Friends, the people of St. Vladimir Prince of Kiev Church

This is Pentecost

This is the day when the followers of Jesus gathered together, and experienced the most incredible happening; so incredible that it completely changed their lives. We read about it in the Epistle assigned for today Acts 2:1-11. Not only did they start speaking so that all who heard them, foreigners and locals alike, could understand what they were saying but further, it gave them the courage to spread the message and teachings of Jesus to as many as would listen. You and I are the result of that incredible happening. How did we come to know about the Death and Resurrection of Jesus if not through that incident and those who followed. When you and I were Baptized and Chrismated, that same Holy Spirit came upon us. We may not have seen the Tongues of fire and may not have heard the sound of a mighty rushing Wind, but the spirit was the same Holy Spirit of God proceeding from The Father. Then, in the Gospel for today St. John 7:37-52 and 8:12, we read that Jesus referred to the Spirit as "Rivers of Living Water." When we were Chrismated we were all given that same Holy Spirit for life as a Christian; for the work of a follower of Jesus. Let us give Glory to God for this wonderful privilege.

I do want you to know that allowing people to be in the church for Liturgy, while obeying the rules set by the Province, was given to me verbally by Archbishop Irénée before and after the letter which he sent. Nobody is compelled to attend Liturgy, ever. There are members of our parish who like to be present at Liturgy even in these viral times. Just to be sure you know, we use individual metal spoons and individual mouth wipes for each person. The priest uses a spoon for Communion as well, and wears a mask when giving Communion. We are now permitted 10 people in total, including clergy, in the church building at any time. If more should turn up, they will be given Communion outside.

The Liturgy for this Sunday will, God permitting be "live-streamed." The link is given here: https://youtu.be/ktWn_yEtRmY.

If you click on this link or copy into your browser at 10 am on Sunday, June 7 or a little before, you should be connected to our YouTube channel. I hope everyone will be able to join.

During the time of Pascha we do not kneel, as I'm sure you know, so at the end of the Liturgy, we shall be saying the "Kneeling Prayers" at which we kneel for the first time since Great Lent.

You won't have noticed, mainly because few people have been in the church building, that Colin and David have been really busy downstairs covering the floor with a levelling solution. The floor of the basement is now smooth - well it will be smooth by the time they have finished their work. Thank you for doing this. I just hope we'll be able to gather at some time to appreciate their work and party down there after Liturgy.

The garden that Crystal, Yan, and Heather, plus the children have been working on, looks really nice. The plants are growing, especially since the rain and the watering they received.

Catechumens: We must pray for them and their number seems to be increasing. There is the baby Evangeline and there is Braidyn. They were supposed to be Baptized and Chrismated on the Holy Saturday but Covid came between them and their reception. Then there are two new Catechumens, Jeffrey and Seamus who will be visiting the church for the first time on Pentecost (please pray for their trip to and from Antigonish). I also ask you to pray for a family seeking admittance to the Catechumenate. God willing, there will be more about this family soon.

May 31, 2020

7th Sunday of Pascha
After feast of the Ascension
Sunday of the Holy Fathers of the First Ecumenical Council

From Fr. David:

Readings for this Sunday

Epistle - Acts 20:16-18, 28-36

This is the ideal time to read the book in the New Testament called The Acts of the Apostles. The story really is exciting. It is the second book written by St. Luke who wrote the Gospel. It begins with Jesus Ascending into Heaven and ends with St. Paul in Rome awaiting execution. It deals with the followers of Jesus going to various places healing and preaching to the people, telling them about Jesus. It is through these missions and teachings about Jesus that eventually the Gospels themselves became to be written. We know from the text of Acts that St. Luke was writing to someone named Theophilus and explaining the wonders of Jesus' life and teachings - look at the beginning of Acts:

"In the first book, O Theophilus, I have dealt with all that Jesus began to do and teach..."

It is really worth reading the Acts of the Apostles. There are many free versions of the Holy Bible available on the Internet. Officially in the church we use King James, New King James or Revised Standard. These are true to the "given text". I sometimes use the ESV myself.

Gospel - St. John 17:1-13

This Gospel reading is part of the great High Priestly Prayer that Jesus prays before His trial and eventual Crucifixion. It is the real prayer of Jesus, addressed to His Father. It was prayed in the presence of his followers who obviously wrote it down afterwards. It sounds like a last prayer before going away. If you read it in full, it is quite touching as Jesus talks to His Father. If you remember, at some point Jesus addressed His Father, calling Him "Abba", which is a very personal way of exclaiming "Father". The closeness was obviously very personal and Jesus felt that very strongly; obviously then He would feel the loneliness of the cross very deeply.

Last Sunday when I arrived at the church at about 9, there were already three cars there. Crystal and Yan were there working on the gardens on each side of steps to the front door and on the new children's garden between the two back doors. David was also there fetching and carrying water bottles and watering the plants. Soon, Heather and the girls arrived. I served the Liturgy with Subdeacon David reading and replying. It was a good service.

It was certainly a joy to celebrate the Ascension with Father Alexander. He served the Liturgy while I did the chanters parts. What an incredible joy it is to serve or be present at a Liturgy with people you love. That's why I miss the people of this parish so much; you are my family in Christ.

Pentecost, that's Sunday 7th of June, the two new Catechumens will visit for the first time. Archbishop Irénée has given his blessing for their visit. Father Alexander met them when he admitted them to the Catechumenate at their home in Antigonish. This will be my chance to meet them and I look forward to that. The Pentecost Liturgy (God willing) will be "live-streamed" to everyone via our YouTube channel. Look for the details and the link to that in the next bulletin. It will be good to see you all again!

May 25, 2020

From Fr. David:

Christ is Risen!

In consultation with David, the president of the Parish Council, and his discussion with the individual members of the Parish Council, the church is now closed in keeping with Archbishop Irénée's letter dated May 22, 2020 addressed to "Clergy, Monastics and Faithful of our Archdiocese of Canada" (download in English, French, or Russian). I phoned the Archbishop who gave me his blessing to continue the legal limited services as we have been doing, but since the Parish Council has taken its stance in this matter, we shall not continue, except in a very limited fashion. On Sundays, I shall serve Liturgy with one person as proscribed until July 1st (or as otherwise instructed), as per the Archbishop's letter. It is indeed unfortunate that we cannot livestream all of our services. The problem being that the church does not have WiFi, and mobile phone Data is expensive. God willing, we shall livestream the Pentecost Liturgy on Sunday June 7th. If you wish to discuss this closure, please call or email me.

I ask David to call a "Zoom" meeting of the Parish Council this coming week to formalize the decision to close the church. It must be recorded in the parish minutes.

May God bless us all and please pray for the Archbishop, for me, Father Alexander, and for each other.

This Sunday is the 6th Sunday of Pascha known as The Sunday of The Blind Man. It is also the feast of (Equal to the Apostles) Saints Cyril and Methodius the "Apostles to the Slaves". It was by their missionary work that the Slavic nations were brought into the Christian Church. The Cyrillic Alphabet is named "Cyrillic" because it was devised by St. Cyril; he and St. Methodius were brothers born in Thessalonica in the ninth century. We give thanks to God for both of these saints.

The Sunday readings are:

Epistle - Acts 16:16-34:

This is the history of Paul and Silas' visit to Philippi where there was a slave girl who told fortunes. She kept on at Paul crying out that Paul and Silas were "servants of Most High God" and more. She kept this up until Paul, who was by now annoyed, turned to the girl and commanded the spirit to leave her. It did, which made her of no use to those who owned and profited from her fortune telling. They became angry, had Paul and Silas arrested and thrown into prison. Now you need to read what happened at midnight in the prison while hymns were being sung. Who tried to kill himself and who was baptized. This is a great story. I'm sure movies have been made of this.

Gospel - St. John 9:1-38

Another wonderful story with lots to upset and antagonize the Pharisees. Jesus comes to a man born blind from birth and He makes mud by spitting into the dust and stirring it with his finger. He anoints the man's eyes and tells him to go and wash in the Pool of Siloam. The man does that and now can see. The Pharisees question the man who has been healed on the Sabbath. When he tells that Jesus made mud from the dust of the earth, the Pharisees who know the scriptures in detail, know exactly what Jesus is saying. God made man by taking dust and breathing life into it (see Genesis 2:7). Wow! That must have put the proverbial "cat amongst the pigeons." The Pharisees wouldn't miss that. Jesus challenged people to accept or reject. That's us too - the particular challenge to you and me - come to receive the Body and Blood of Christ, or stay home. I'll leave you to read the rest of the argument. It's worth reading as all the stories of Jesus are. Accept or reject - what a challenge.

This week, on Thursday, is also. The Ascension of Our Lord when the readings are:

Epistle - Acts 1:1-12

Gospel - St. Luke 24:36-53

May 10, 2020

Christ is Risen!

The church is serving Liturgy with the Archbishop's blessing. Liturgy will happen on Sundays at 10am. A close family group can attend, or four social-distancing people who are in good health. Communion will be given by a priest wearing a mask and using a different metal spoon for each person. The spoons will be sterilized after each Liturgy as will door knobs etc. Only icons under sterilizable glass can be displayed. When you want to come to Liturgy, please let the Secretary know at . Leslee will make a list ("first come, first served") and let you know when to attend.

This Sunday all across Canada is Mothers' Day. We thank God for each and every mother.

This week also marked the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe. Another reason to give thanks to God.

We come to the Fourth Sunday of Pascha known as The Sunday of the Paralytic. The readings for this Sunday are:

Epistle: Acts 9:32-42

This is the story of two healings performed by Peter. The first is the healing of a man in a town called Lydda. Peter tells Aeneas that it is Jesus Christ who heals him, not he, Peter. The man is healed, takes up his bed. The second healing is the raising to life of a woman who had died, a woman named Tabitha or Dorcas, a seamstress. Dorcas is the Greek translation of the name Tabitha which in Aramaic means Gazelle, a fast moving animal. One can imagine her speedy fingers as she makes things. But she died and Peter is called. One can see how loved she was and how respected by the chatter of the women admiring Tabitha's sewing. Peter empties the room and commands Tabitha to arise. She obeys and Peter helps her up. It says that many believed in The Lord because of Peter's action. It doesn't rest just with Peter, but with The Lord.

Gospel: St. John 5:1-15

This is the story of the healing of a man who had been an invalid for many years. It took place beside the pool in a place that had five porticos and was called Bethesda. It seems that every now and again, the water is disturbed and when that happens, the first person to step into the water is healed. The invalid to whom Jesus speaks explains that there is no one to carry him into the water before someone else. Jesus asks the man if he wants to be healed and tells him to get up, take his bed and walk. The man could have said "no" but he doesn't. He obeys. There is a very important part of this story that might be overlooked if we are not careful. The story continues in verses 16 and 17. As you can imagine, the healing took place on a Sabbath when no healing nor carrying bedding should take place. God rested on the seventh day of creation (Genesis 2:1-3) but Jesus tells the man, "My Father is working until now, and I am working." What then does this say about the Sabbath, and what does it say about Jesus?

Crystal and Eric are having to wait until we are permitted to fully reopen our church so we can "Church" Crystal and Baptize their new daughter Evangeline. We now have three Catechumens: Braidyn who is waiting for churches to be reopened so we can Baptize and receive him into the Orthodox Church, plus two new Catechumens Jeffrey and his son Seamus, both of whom were admitted as Catechumens in Antigonish last Friday. Please pray for our four Catechumens (that's including Evangeline).

April 25, 2020

From Fr. David:

Christ is Risen!

The Sunday of Pascha was a great Joy to me. I'm aware that there were several mistakes in the order of the Liturgy that were the result of my being so excited that we were serving a Liturgy, and that a good number of us were attending, even if it was "virtual" attendance. I think God blessed everyone viewing as though they had received Communion from the Spoon.

There will be no live service for the next couple of Sundays. Archbishop Irénée has blessed me to "take a couple of steps back" now that the live Paschal Service is done. I do this thankfully. This does not mean that you can't contact me. My phone is still beside me. I shall welcome contact by phone or email.

Just because there is no live service does not mean you should not conduct your own service at home. The readings are found on the parish calendar: Acts 5:12-20 and John 20:19-31. Say some prayers for the people who serve us, ignoring the danger of Covid 19 - the people of the parish - the Archdiocese - for Father Alexander, and for me. Please also pray for a young woman, Sandra in Australia, who is having complicated open heart surgery.

This is Thomas Sunday. You remember that when Jesus appeared in the Upper Room after the Resurrection, Thomas was absent. When he returned and was told that Jesus had appeared in their midst, he exclaimed that he would not believe unless he could put his finger into the nail holes and his hand into the side wound where the Blood and Water had issued forth when Jesus was Crucified. When Jesus appeared again, Thomas was there and Jesus told Thomas to put his finger into the nail hole and his hand into His side. We can picture this: Thomas was so ashamed that he exclaimed, "My Lord and My God!" (John 20:28) I doubt very much that Thomas put his finger or hand into the wounds. I can only go by how I think I would have felt if I had been so challenged by Jesus. Thomas' exclamation is the first time that Jesus is addressed as God. You and I must be very sure and very careful that we like Thomas, declare to all that Jesus rose from the dead, and not be afraid to exclaim along with Thomas, "My Lord and my God!"

We must also remember that this is the time for the blessing of graves. If there are graves to be blessed, please let me know and we shall do that as soon as we are permitted to meet. We should also remember that there are graves behind the church. I think they are Anglican in origin. I would not want to perform a blessing service on those graves without permission from the Anglican authorities, as it is not an Anglican tradition. That does not prevent us from remembering in our prayers that there are people buried there.

I miss you all. There will be great rejoicing when this is over and we can have our Paschal Feast. Let me think what we shall have - I'm sure there will be chocolate, and eggs, and wine, and all sorts of good things. We shall celebrate Christ's glorious Resurrection together, as soon as we are allowed to get together.

Finally, I want to thank all who have, and are making sure that we older folk have groceries and other necessities of life. Thank you. Your ministry is really appreciated.

Indeed He is Risen!

April 19, 2020

Great and Holy Pascha:

Live broadcasting of Paschal Liturgy at St.Vladimir's is scheduled on Youtube at 10am on Sunday, April 19, 2020.

From Fr. David:

The Liturgy will not be long, it will start at 10am in the morning, April 19, with the Catachetical Sermon of St. John Chrysostom which would have been read at the end of the Matins for Pascha. You will have to imagine all the cries of Christ is Risen, Christos Voskrese, Christos Anesti, Le Christ est Ressuscité. You and your family can go around your garden, or block, or living room, shouting exactly that (remembering of course the distancing rules from strangers). At the end of the Liturgy, I'll ask you all to hold up your Baskets and I shall bless them, at which time you can sprinkle them and each other with some of the Holy Water you keep at home.

Epistle - Acts 1:1-8
Gospel - St. John 1:1-17

The Catechetical Sermon of St. John Chrysostom:

If any man be devout and love God, let him enjoy this fair and radiant triumphal feast. If any man be a wise servant, let him rejoicing enter into the joy of his Lord. If any have labored long in fasting, let him now receive his recompense. If any have wrought from the first hour, let him today receive his just reward. If any have come at the third hour, let him with thankfulness keep the feast. If any have arrived at the sixth hour, let him have no misgivings; because he shall in nowise be deprived thereof. If any have delayed until the ninth hour, let him draw near, fearing nothing. If any have tarried even until the eleventh hour, let him, also, be not alarmed at his tardiness; for the Lord, who is jealous of his honor, will accept the last even as the first; He gives rest unto him who comes at the eleventh hour, even as unto him who has wrought from the first hour.

And He shows mercy upon the last, and cares for the first; and to the one He gives, and upon the other He bestows gifts. And He both accepts the deeds, and welcomes the intention, and honors the acts and praises the offering. Wherefore, enter you all into the joy of your Lord; and receive your reward, both the first, and likewise the second. You rich and poor together, hold high festival. You sober and you heedless, honor the day. Rejoice today, both you who have fasted and you who have disregarded the fast. The table is full-laden; feast ye all sumptuously. The calf is fatted; let no one go hungry away.

Enjoy ye all the feast of faith: Receive ye all the riches of loving-kindness. let no one bewail his poverty, for the universal kingdom has been revealed. Let no one weep for his iniquities, for pardon has shown forth from the grave. Let no one fear death, for the Savior's death has set us free. He that was held prisoner of it has annihilated it. By descending into Hell, He made Hell captive. He embittered it when it tasted of His flesh. And Isaiah, foretelling this, did cry: Hell, said he, was embittered, when it encountered Thee in the lower regions. It was embittered, for it was abolished. It was embittered, for it was mocked. It was embittered, for it was slain. It was embittered, for it was overthrown. It was embittered, for it was fettered in chains. It took a body, and met God face to face. It took earth, and encountered Heaven. It took that which was seen, and fell upon the unseen.

O Death, where is your sting? O Hell, where is your victory? Christ is risen, and you are overthrown. Christ is risen, and the demons are fallen. Christ is risen, and the angels rejoice. Christ is risen, and life reigns. Christ is risen, and not one dead remains in the grave. For Christ, being risen from the dead, is become the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. To Him be glory and dominion unto ages of ages. Amen.

Christ is Risen - Indeed He is Risen!
Le Christ est Ressuscité - Vraiment il est Ressuscité!
Christos Voskrese - Voistinu Voskrese!
Christos Anesti - Alithos Anesti!

April 12, 2020

Palm Sunday

Dear Friends in Christ, here is the link to our Palm Sunday live feed on Zoom:

Topic: D D's Zoom Meeting
Time: Apr 12, 2020 10:00 AM Halifax
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 912 590 1560
Password: 412930

HOLY WEEK

I've added information about Holy Week so we can all join in as we are able. Since we are not permitted to come to the church, I've tried to describe what would be happening as the week progresses. I've also included the Catechetical Sermon of St. John Chrysostom, which would normally be read at the Matins of Pascha, plus the prayer against the Covid-19 virus. I hope this will help us all to join in with the prayers of the Church as we approach the great feast of Pascha.

There are prescribed services for each day of Holy Week starting with Our Lord's Entry into Jerusalem riding on a donkey with all the people strewing palm branches in front of Him and proclaiming Hosanna, (an expression of adoration, and praise). They were welcoming Him. This is what we also do in our own way during Holy Week.

Please look at the list of daily observances and if you are able, spend a few moments observing and participating in the events that happen to our Lord and God and Saviour Jesus Christ; the Supper that becomes the Liturgy, where we share His Body and Blood; His washing of the Apostles' feet; His Agony in the Garden of Gethsemane; His Betrayal; His Trial and Conviction then Crucifixion between two robbers, one of whom is saved; the burial and then the Glorious Resurrection. In all, the story of the Redempion of all, and the destruction of death by death. Hosanna indeed!

Monday of Holy Week:

Gospel - St. Matthew 21:18-43
Liturgy of Presanctified Gifts
Exodus 1:1-20, Job 1:1-12,
Gospel - St. Matthew 24:3-35

Tuesday of Holy Week:

Bridegroom Matins
Gospel - St. Matthew 22:15-46, 23:1-39
Liturgy of Presanctified Gifts
Exodus 2:5-10, Job 1:13-22
Gospel - St. Matthew 24:36-26:2

Wednesday of Holy Week:

Bridegroom Matins
Gospel - St. John 12:17-50
Liturgy of Presanctified Gifts
Exodus 2:11-22, Job 2:1-10
Gospel - St. Matthew 26:6-16

Office of Holy Unction (in the evening)

There are seven Epistle readings and seven Gospels. We are anointed with oil for the healing of soul and body.

St. James 5:14-16

14 Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. 16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.

Thursday of Holy Week:

In the morning is the Liturgy of St Basil
Commemorating the Mystical Supper of Christ
Epistle - 1 Corinthians 11:23-32
Gospel - St. Matthew 26:2-20

In the evening the Service of the Twelve Passion Gospels - I could give all the Gospel references but it is easier if you find towards the end of each of the Gospels in your bible, the part that describes the trial and crucifixion of Jesus.

Great and Holy Friday:

On Friday morning, the First, Third, Sixth and Ninth Hours are served. In the afternoon is served the Commemoration of the Taking the Body of Jesus down from the Holy Cross. During this service the Body of Jesus would be removed from the large Cross, wrapped in a shroud and placed in a tomb, frequently beneath the Altar Table.

Matins of Holy Saturday is served on Holy Friday evening. This is the Lamentations Service when we have the Procession with the Epitaphios or Plashchanitsa (a cloth embroidered with the Body of Christ). We process around the outside of the church ending with the cloth being placed on a temporary altar in the middle of the church. Lots and lots of flowers surround this altar and we all reverence the icon of Christ on the cloth.

Eventually the Pashchanitsa will be placed on the Altar Table where it will remain until the feast of the Ascension of Jesus into Heaven.

See photos from today's service at St.Vladimir's.

Holy Saturday:

In the morning is the Vesperal Liturgy of St. Basil the Great. This is the time when we had planned to Baptize Crystal and Eric's new baby Evangeline and our Catechumen Braidyn Pollitt. This will be rescheduled to when we are released from the dangers of the Covid-19 virus. We can remember and pray for baby Evangeline and Braidyn as we read the Epistle and Gospel for this Liturgy:

Romans 6:3-11 and St. Matthew 28:1-20.

In some parishes the reading of the Acts of the Holy Apostles fills the time of anticipation that is between that Liturgy and the Matins of Great and Holy Pascha.

Great and Holy Pascha:

The faithful gather in a darkened church at about 11:30 on Saturday night. At midnight the light is kindled and we again go around the church until we reach the doors of the church where the cry goes up: "Let God arise and let his enemies be scattered, and let them that hate him flee from before his face. Christ is risen from the dead trampling down death by death and upon those in the tombs bestowing life." The priest knocks loudly on the door, and we enter a brilliantly lit church. And so the Matins and Paschal Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom begins:

Epistle - Acts 1:1-8
Gospel - St. John 1:1-17

The Catechetical Sermon of St. John Chrysostom:

If any man be devout and love God, let him enjoy this fair and radiant triumphal feast. If any man be a wise servant, let him rejoicing enter into the joy of his Lord. If any have labored long in fasting, let him now receive his recompense. If any have wrought from the first hour, let him today receive his just reward. If any have come at the third hour, let him with thankfulness keep the feast. If any have arrived at the sixth hour, let him have no misgivings; because he shall in nowise be deprived thereof. If any have delayed until the ninth hour, let him draw near, fearing nothing. If any have tarried even until the eleventh hour, let him, also, be not alarmed at his tardiness; for the Lord, who is jealous of his honor, will accept the last even as the first; He gives rest unto him who comes at the eleventh hour, even as unto him who has wrought from the first hour.

And He shows mercy upon the last, and cares for the first; and to the one He gives, and upon the other He bestows gifts. And He both accepts the deeds, and welcomes the intention, and honors the acts and praises the offering. Wherefore, enter you all into the joy of your Lord; and receive your reward, both the first, and likewise the second. You rich and poor together, hold high festival. You sober and you heedless, honor the day. Rejoice today, both you who have fasted and you who have disregarded the fast. The table is full-laden; feast ye all sumptuously. The calf is fatted; let no one go hungry away.

Enjoy ye all the feast of faith: Receive ye all the riches of loving-kindness. let no one bewail his poverty, for the universal kingdom has been revealed. Let no one weep for his iniquities, for pardon has shown forth from the grave. Let no one fear death, for the Savior’s death has set us free. He that was held prisoner of it has annihilated it. By descending into Hell, He made Hell captive. He embittered it when it tasted of His flesh. And Isaiah, foretelling this, did cry: Hell, said he, was embittered, when it encountered Thee in the lower regions. It was embittered, for it was abolished. It was embittered, for it was mocked. It was embittered, for it was slain. It was embittered, for it was overthrown. It was embittered, for it was fettered in chains. It took a body, and met God face to face. It took earth, and encountered Heaven. It took that which was seen, and fell upon the unseen.

O Death, where is your sting? O Hell, where is your victory? Christ is risen, and you are overthrown. Christ is risen, and the demons are fallen. Christ is risen, and the angels rejoice. Christ is risen, and life reigns. Christ is risen, and not one dead remains in the grave. For Christ, being risen from the dead, is become the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. To Him be glory and dominion unto ages of ages. Amen.

April 6, 2020

Here are the YouTube links to the Sunday service for the 5th Sunday of Great Lent (Commemoration of St. Mary of Egypt), April 5:

https://youtu.be/iq6o76kBJlE

and to a short service for the Feast of the Annunciation to the Most Holy Theotokos, April 7:

https://youtu.be/7-LPyKdEQDc

Thank you to Father David, Father Alexander, Dave Decaire and Alina Kirsanova for their fine work!

April 4, 2020

This sunday we commemorate St. Mary of Egypt

Message from Father David

Dear Friends: I want to remind you to pray for the parish. We are a family and as such we need to support each other through prayer and deeds. I have been very blessed in receiving offers from people in the parish to get things I might need at the various shops. I am very grateful for these offers, thank you.

I also want to remind you that Confession is quite valid via the telephone. Please if necessary contact me or Father Alexander and we will listen and absolve over the phone. If anyone is sick or needs prayers, again do not hesitate to contact one of the priests. It is very important that we support each other, as I said above, by prayer and deeds.

By the time you receive this email, there should, God willing, be a recorded programme (Molieben prayer service) on YouTube.

And this bulletin should, again God willing, contain an invitation and link to a short, live online service at 10 a.m. on Sunday morning, April 5. (For this one you will have to download Zoom).

And again thanks to David and Alina for making these services possible.

I'm trying to work out a way that we can receive the Gifts (Holy Communion) at Pascha. I can't promise anything but I'm working on it. Archbishop Irénée must give his blessing for whatever we do.

There will be a special Parish Bulletin towards the beginning of Holy Week with some of the material that we won't be able to serve in church but you might like to observe at home.

I'll just remind you that the Feast of the Annunciation of the Most Holy Theotokos is April 7th and Holy Week starts with Palm Sunday on April 12th. I'll try to get a short live service but I can't promise yet.

You are very important to me and we are very important to the Lord and each other. Please observe the rules and keep that virus at bay.

SUNDAY EPISTLE and GOSPEL:

Hebrews 9:11-14 Revised Standard Version (RSV)

11 But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come,[a] then through the greater and more perfect tent[b] (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation) 12 he entered once for all into the Holy Place, taking[c] not the blood of goats and calves but his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption. 13 For if the sprinkling of defiled persons with the blood of goats and bulls and with the ashes of a heifer sanctifies for the purification of the flesh, 14 how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify your[d] conscience from dead works to serve the living God.

St. Mark 10:32-45 Revised Standard Version (RSV)

32 And they were on the road, going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus was walking ahead of them; and they were amazed, and those who followed were afraid. And taking the twelve again, he began to tell them what was to happen to him, 33 saying, "Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man will be delivered to the chief priests and the scribes, and they will condemn him to death, and deliver him to the Gentiles; 34 and they will mock him, and spit upon him, and scourge him, and kill him; and after three days he will rise. 35 And James and John, the sons of Zeb'edee, came forward to him, and said to him, "Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you." 36 And he said to them, "What do you want me to do for you?" 37 And they said to him, "Grant us to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your glory." 38 But Jesus said to them, "You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or to be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?" 39 And they said to him, "We are able." And Jesus said to them, "The cup that I drink you will drink; and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized; 40 but to sit at my right hand or at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared." 41 And when the ten heard it, they began to be indignant at James and John. 42 And Jesus called them to him and said to them, "You know that those who are supposed to rule over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. 43 But it shall not be so among you; but whoever would be great among you must be your servant, 44 and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. 45 For the Son of man also came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."

For St. Mary of Egypt:

Galatians 3:23-29 Revised Standard Version (RSV)

23 Now before faith came, we were confined under the law, kept under restraint until faith should be revealed. 24 So that the law was our custodian until Christ came, that we might be justified by faith. 25 But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a custodian; 26 for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to promise.

St. Luke 7:36-50 Revised Standard Version (RSV)

36 One of the Pharisees asked him to eat with him, and he went into the Pharisee's house, and took his place at table. 37 And behold, a woman of the city, who was a sinner, when she learned that he was at table in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster flask of ointment, 38 and standing behind him at his feet, weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment. 39 Now when the Pharisee who had invited him saw it, he said to himself, "If this man were a prophet, he would have known who and what sort of woman this is who is touching him, for she is a sinner." 40 And Jesus answering said to him, "Simon, I have something to say to you." And he answered, "What is it, Teacher?" 41 "A certain creditor had two debtors; one owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. 42 When they could not pay, he forgave them both. Now which of them will love him more?" 43 Simon answered, "The one, I suppose, to whom he forgave more." And he said to him, "You have judged rightly." 44 Then turning toward the woman he said to Simon, "Do you see this woman? I entered your house, you gave me no water for my feet, but she has wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45 You gave me no kiss, but from the time I came in she has not ceased to kiss my feet. 46 You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment. 47 Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little." 48 And he said to her, "Your sins are forgiven." 49 Then those who were at table with him began to say among themselves, "Who is this, who even forgives sins?" 50 And he said to the woman, "Your faith has saved you; go in peace."

March 28, 2020

Message from Father David

Father Alexander, David the Subdeacon and I spent several hours on Saturday Morning attempting to record a short service so everyone could view it. It went wrong. David recorded it in Zoom and we couldn't find it afterwards. We tried and we shall try again. We were using Zoom but it is more complicated than anticipated. David is working hard to work it out. We shall overcome Zoom. When we find our way round Zoom we shall send a message to everyone.

Commemoration of St. John of the Ladder (Climacus)

St. John of the Ladder was born in Constantinople about 570. He was named that because of the book he wrote called "The Ladder", a book describing the spiritual journey from earth to Heaven as thirty steps that one must ascend. It was intended for monks, but became useful to other Christians seeking instruction on how to reach Heaven. The book is still in print and still read in monasteries during Lent.

The Epistle

Letter to the Hebrews 6:13-20

The Certainty of God's Promise

13 For when God made a promise to Abraham, since he had no one greater by whom to swear, he swore by himself, 14 saying, "Surely I will bless you and multiply you." 15 And thus Abraham, [2] having patiently waited, obtained the promise. 16 For people swear by something greater than themselves, and in all their disputes an oath is final for confirmation. 17 So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it with an oath, 18 so that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us. 19 We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, 20 where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.

The Gospel

St. Mark 9:17-31

Jesus Heals

17 And someone from the crowd answered him, "Teacher, I brought my son to you, for he has a spirit that makes him mute. 18 And whenever it seizes him, it throws him down, and he foams and grinds his teeth and becomes rigid. So I asked your disciples to cast it out, and they were not able." 19 And he answered them, "O faithless generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him to me." 20 And they brought the boy to him. And when the spirit saw him, immediately it convulsed the boy, and he fell on the ground and rolled about, foaming at the mouth. 21 And Jesus asked his father, "How long has this been happening to him?" And he said, "From childhood. 22 And it has often cast him into fire and into water, to destroy him. But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us." 23 And Jesus said to him, "'If you can'! All things are possible for one who believes." 24 Immediately the father of the child cried out [4] and said, "I believe; help my unbelief!" 25 And when Jesus saw that a crowd came running together, he rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, "You mute and deaf spirit, I command you, come out of him and never enter him again." 26 And after crying out and convulsing him terribly, it came out, and the boy was like a corpse, so that most of them said, "He is dead." 27 But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose. 28 And when he had entered the house, his disciples asked him privately, "Why could we not cast it out?" 29 And he said to them, "This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer." [5] Jesus Again Foretells Death, Resurrection 30 They went on from there and passed through Galilee. And he did not want anyone to know, 31 for he was teaching his disciples, saying to them, "The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill him. And when he is killed, after three days he will rise."

The prayer appointed to be read at the end of the Litany of the Catechumens:

O God Almighty, Lord of heaven and earth, and of all creation visible and invisible, in thine ineffable goodness, look down upon thy people gathered in thy name. Be our helper and defender in this day of affliction. Thou knowest our weakness. Thou hearest our cry in repentance and contrition of heart. O Lord who lovest mankind deliver us from the impending threat of the corona virus. Send thine angel to watch over us and protect us. Grant health and recovery to those suffering from this virus. Guide the hands of physicians, and preserve those who are healthy that we may continue to serve thee in peace and glorify thy most honorable and majestic name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.

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March 22, 2020

Third Sunday of Great Lent - Veneration of the Holy Cross

Message from Father David

Since we may not meet together as a parish community at this time, I remind us all to pray without ceasing. These are difficult and trying times but we must not give up hope; we must maintain our faith that God will protect us and bring us through.

These are the readings for the Sunday Liturgy, please read them.

Revised Standard Version (RSV)

EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS 4:14 - 5:6

4:14 Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we have not a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

5:1 For every high priest chosen from among men is appointed to act on behalf of men in relation to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. 2 He can deal gently with the ignorant and wayward, since he himself is beset with weakness. 3 Because of this he is bound to offer sacrifice for his own sins as well as for those of the people. 4 And one does not take the honor upon himself, but he is called by God, just as Aaron was.

5 So also Christ did not exalt himself to be made a high priest, but was appointed by him who said to him,

"Thou art my Son,
today I have begotten thee"

6 as he says also in another place,

"Thou art a priest for ever,
after the order of Melchiz'edek."

MARK 8:34-9:1 Revised Standard Version (RSV)

8:34 And he called to him the multitude with his disciples, and said to them, "If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 35 For whoever would save his life will lose it; and whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel's will save it. 36 For what does it profit a man, to gain the whole world and forfeit his life? 37 For what can a man give in return for his life? 38 For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of man also be ashamed, when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels." 9:1 And he said to them, "Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see that the kingdom of God has come with power."

Amongst the saints we remember today are the Holy Forty Martyrs of Sebaste.

This is an incredible story of bravery. As you will see, the soldiers would not give up their faith. They were protected but eventually were disabled and then burned. Their remains were eventually gathered up by Christians and buried.

May God give us the strength to persevere and maintain our Faith during these very trying times.

Even though we are not permitted Liturgy or other services, God willing, I shall be in the church during the time that we normally serve Liturgy on Sunday morning. We are bound to pray for each other and the parish at all times, but specially as we face this very nasty virus. May God protect us all.

The following prayer is the one sent by Archbishop Irénée that we were asked to pray at the end of the Litany of the Catechumens:

O God Almighty, Lord of heaven and earth, and of all creation visible and invisible, in thine ineffable goodness, look down upon thy people gathered in thy name. Be our helper and defender in this day of affliction. Thou knowest our weakness. Thou hearest our cry in repentance and contrition of heart. O Lord who lovest mankind deliver us from the impending threat of the corona virus. Send thine angel to watch over us and protect us. Grant health and recovery to those suffering from this virus. Guide the hands of physicians, and preserve those who are healthy that we may continue to serve thee in peace and glorify thy most honorable and majestic name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.

, , , , , . . , . , . . . . , , , , , .

Father Maximos of the Antiochian Orthodox Church of St. Antonios in Halifax is able to live stream his service on Sunday.

March 17, 2020

Archdiocese Closes All Churches until April 1, 2020

To all the Reverend Clergy, Monastics and Faithful of our Archdiocese of Canada My beloved Fathers, Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

For days we have been monitoring this crisis. Last night the Holy Synod assembled in teleconference to hear the advice of medical and legal counsels.

This is by far the most difficult decision I will probably have to make in my life. Considering that this COVID-19 virus has now begun to transmit within the community, it is essential that we abide strictly with the guidelines of our Civil and Medical authorities.

I realize that the Holy Eucharist will not harm anyone of us, but congregating in closed quarters could, therefore, I ask all our clergy to close the churches of the Archdiocese of Canada for the next two weeks, until April 1st, 2020. The situation will be reviewed then.

I ask you all to be safe and remain at home as much as possible. Clergy of the Archdiocese will do their best to accompany the faithful and keep them safe. Prayer is essential to our life. Remember to pray to the Holy Unmercenaries and Wonderworkers of Christ for help and strength in these difficult times.

Asking your prayers, in Christ our Saviour,

+AB Irénée
Archbishop of Ottawa and Canada (OCA)
and the Archdiocese of Canada

Father David adds the following message:

My Dear Friends,

This comes as no shock. I understand how the Archbishop feels as I'm sure you do and we pray for him and for the Archdiocese. I must however remind you of three things:

  1. Pray - not only for the Archbishop but for all of us.
  2. If you know of anyone in need, please let me know.
  3. Obviously, the expenses of the church continue so we must be even more aware of the necessity to give our offerings, even increase our giving to make up for some who may not receive this message.

May God bless us all.

March 14, 2020

Saturday, Mar 14 - Vespers: 6 p.m.

Sunday, Mar 15 - Liturgy: 10 a.m., 2nd Sunday of Great Lent followed by Coffee Hour.

Wednesday, Mar 18 - Presanctified Liturgy: 6:30 p.m.

Message from Father David about COVID-19

We are all aware of the situation involving other parts of Canada and the world as regards The Virus. I've had a couple of emails asking for some direction. We must not overreact nor should we panic. There has been ridiculous panic buying, as you know.

Archbishop Irénée has sent out a message on the Archdiocesan website. The Holy Synod of the Orthodox Church in America has also published this message.

Please read these messages at your convenience. (Father David will go over them with us on Sunday.)

In the mean time, these steps would be sensible:

  1. If you are feeling ill, then stay home but let someone know so we can pray for you and make sure you are being cared for.
  2. Since it is impossible to buy hand sanitizer at the moment (likely all across Canada), please bring enough for your family and to share with those who have none.
  3. The wine after Communion will be given in small paper cups instead of the one ladle.
  4. People will continue to take their own after Communion bread (Antidoron). We are not in the habit of having it distributed by anyone.
  5. We have access to the outside water tap on the next door neighbour's home. We shall use that as a source of water for hand washing. I'll ask David to arrange a short hose so the water soaks our property and not the neighbour's. No spraying of water after church, well not much anyway!
  6. Paper plates and mugs, as long as they are recyclable, in place of china and plastic for the time being; if one can find such these days.
  7. Instead of kissing icons, we may just bow the head and reverence that way.

March 6, 2020

Saturday, Mar 7 - Vespers: 6 p.m.

Sunday, Mar 8 - Liturgy: 10 a.m., First Sunday of Great Lent. Coffee Hour (Potluck) following the Liturgy. Please bring something (fasting food) for the Potluck if you are able to.

Sunday of Orthodoxy Vespers, March 8, at St. Antonios Orthodox Church at 5:30 p.m.

Father David writes:

I hope everyone can make it to the Vespers service at St. Antonios Antiochian Church at 5.30 on Sunday evening. Father Maximos made the arrangements for this service much earlier than usual, at my request, as being unfamiliar with happenings in Halifax, I didn't know what usually happened.

This is an important occasion for several reasons: it proclaims the Triumph of Orthodoxy (the restoration of Icons in 843). It also allows us to reaffirm our visibility as a parish to the other Orthodox in Halifax and our willingness to cooperate with other Orthodox communities, but it also, and this is really important, proclaims that the Orthodox Church is one, despite the adjectives that usually precede the word Orthodox; words like Greek, Antiochian, Russian or OCA.

Please make every effort to come to the service. (I bet there will be lovely lenten goodies after the service). May God keep the Orthodox faith and Orthodox Christians unto the Ages of Ages: Amen.

Congratulations to Eric and Crystal Hyun on the arrival of their baby daughter on Mar 6, a sister for Elijah!

Click here to see the schedule of Lenten Services at St. Vladimir's. Please note that there will be Presanctified Liturgy this coming week on Wednesday, Mar 11, at 6:30 p.m.

February 29, 2020

Saturday, Feb 29 - Vespers: 6 p.m.

Sunday, Mar 1 - Liturgy: 10 a.m., Forgiveness Sunday, followed by Forgiveness Vespers. Beginning of Great Lent. Coffee Hour after Forgiveness Vespers.

Confessions: Before and after Vespers, before and during Liturgy.

Canon of St Andrew of Crete: Monday, Mar 2, at 6:30 p.m., and Wednesday, Mar 4 at 6:30 p.m.

Reminder about Orthodox Sunday evening service, March 8 at St. Antonios Orthodox Church 5 p.m.

February 20, 2020

Saturday, Feb 22 - Liturgy: 10 a.m. Commemoration of the Dead
Vespers: 6 p.m.

Sunday, Feb 23 - Hours, Liturgy: 10 a.m. Sunday of the Last Judgement (Meat-fare Sunday) followed by Coffee hour.

For the Liturgy this Saturday morning, Father David asks everyone to bring an already prepared list of names of those Orthodox departed family members or friends that you wish to be remembered.

Confessions: Confessions are before or after Vespers on Saturdays and before the Hours on Sundays; also by appointment.

Volunteering: think about it! Is there just one little thing you could manage to do to help our Church, especially as an offering to the Lord during Lent?

The ladies/men of the Church who are bravely cooking for coffee hour, cleaning the church, washing dishes, baking prosphora, bringing flowers and shoveling snow are short in number and would very much appreciate some help!

If you are available to help, please contact Crystal Hyun or Heather & Dave Decaire. Everyone is encouraged to bring a small side dish each Sunday to supplement the main dish. Or just bring something! Some bread, crackers, fruit, cookies, dessert are just a few little suggestions. Men are also needed to shovel the front stairs, put sand on icy patches around the exterior of the church, clean candle stands, empty garbage, etc.

Let's all thank those ladies/men for the work they have faithfully done and are continuing to do! May we all do whatever we are able to do for the Lord and to His glory.

Sunday of Orthodoxy, March 8 at 5 p.m: at St. Antonios Orthodox Church, corner of Chebucto and Windsor Streets, Halifax.

February 8, 2020

Saturday, Feb 8 - Vespers: 6 p.m.

Sunday, Feb 9 - Hours, Liturgy: 10 a.m., Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee

Friday, Feb 14 - Vespers: 6 p.m. The Meeting of our Lord

Please contact Father David or Father Alexander if you would like to have your house blessed.

Crystal Hyun will give a talk on Sunday after the Liturgy about the Sisterhood and volunteering: think about it! Is there just one little thing you could do to help our Church?

Father David will be away for the next 2 Sundays.

February 1, 2020

Saturday, Feb 1 - Vespers: 6 p.m.

Sunday, Feb 2 - Hours, Liturgy: 10 a.m.

The Liturgy will be followed by the Induction of the new Parish Council members, the Choir Director, the Sunday School Co-ordinator and the Webmaster.

Crystal Hyun will give a talk about the Sisterhood (Ladies' Auxiliary).

Father David will be away for the next 2 Sundays.

January 25, 2020

This Sunday is the Sunday after Theophany. Newly-blessed Holy Water is available at church. Please bring a clean container if you would like to take some home.

If you would like to have your house blessed, please contact Fr. David or Fr. Alexander.

Saturday, Jan 25 - Vespers: 6 p.m.

Sunday, Jan 26 - Liturgy: 10 a.m. followed by the Annual General Meeting of the Parish

Fr. David would like to see everyone at the meeting, which will be as short as possible, followed by refreshments. The Membership Form is attached for you to fill out and there will be copies available at church. The form is necessary in order to renew your membership and to be able to vote at the meeting. Thank you for your co-operation.

January 17, 2020

Father Maximos of the St. Antonios Antiochian Orthodox Church invites the priests and parishioners of St. Vladimir Orthodox parish to the Feast of St. Anthony the Great on Jan. 17th in the evening:

Friday, Jan 17 - Vespers: 4:30 pm, Matins: 5:30 pm and Divine Liturgy: 6:30 pm

An Agape reception for everyone will follow at the end of the Liturgy.

For the address and directions to the church, please consult https://saintantonios.ca/directions

Saturday, Jan 18 - Vespers: 6 p.m. followed by Great Blessing of the Water

Sunday, Jan 19 - Holy Theophany. Liturgy: 10 a.m. followed by the Blessing of the Ocean

Annual General Meeting of the Parish:

The AGM will take place on Sunday, Jan. 26, 2020 after the Liturgy. A membership form will be sent out to everyone. Hard copies will also be available at church. Please print and fill out the membership form in order to be able to vote at the meeting. The forms are kept strictly confidential. (If you are a returning member, and there is no change of address or other information, please print and fill out the first page only.)

January 11, 2020

Saturday, Jan 11 - Vespers: 6 p.m.

Sunday, Jan 12 - Liturgy: 10 a.m. followed by Coffee hour (as usual)

Monday, Jan 13 - Vespers: 6 p.m. Circumcision of our Lord Jesus Christ and St. Basil the Great

January 3, 2020

Saturday, Jan 4: Work Bee - The Church will be open at 10 a.m. in order to clean as much as possible before the Feast of the Nativity of our Lord. Refreshments will be available. Please feel free to come and go as you are able to. The church and the basement need to be cleaned. Some clean rags or cloths would be appreciated.

Saturday, Jan 4 - Vespers: 6 p.m.

Sunday, Jan 5 - Sunday of the Holy Ancestors of Christ - Liturgy: 10 a.m.

Monday, Jan 6 - Nativity of our Lord & Saviour Jesus Christ: 9 p.m.

A shortened Matins service will begin at 9 p.m. followed by the Divine Liturgy. After the Liturgy there will be a Christmas potluck meal. All contributions to the meal are greatly appreciated. Please contact Heather Decaire at 902 440 3468 if you have any questions about what to bring for the potluck.

Confessions:

Confessions are before or after Vespers on Saturdays and before the Hours on Sundays; also by appointment. Confessions before the Feast of the Nativity are during the Matins service.

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