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St.Vladimir Orthodox Church

3163 Purcell's Cove Road, Halifax, NS

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January 22, 2022

31th Sunday after Pentecost, Tone 6

Saturday, January 22 at 6pm - Vespers
Sunday, January 23 at 9:30am and 11:00am - Liturgy

We made it through the Christmas fast and we have enjoyed all the wonderful foods that go with the Christmas season, in fact by being on the Julian Calendar, we probably enjoyed it all twice. I really is impossible for a family especially a family with little ones, to ignore the great commercialized lead up to one of the most holy feasts of the Church, the Birth of Christ. We are fortunate in that we can celebrate in quiet reverence and adoration, along with the Shepherds the Wise Men the sheep cows and donkeys and other animals, of the Christ Child. The down side is that with our habit of celebrating Christmas as a late evening set of services including Liturgy, we disadvantage those who work the next morning. These days industry really needs its people to continue the work. It is a difficulty. We are always 13 days out of step with the other two Orthodox Parishes in Halifax. When we claim that the Orthodox Church is ONE as Christ is ONE, it is difficult to explain that, when two of us are out of step with the other one. We must be careful. The Orthodox Church in America has both Old and New Calendar churches as does the Archdiocese of Canada. It is difficult. Personally, I would be New Calendar, but I am aware that there are Russians who are brought up knowing the Church as Old Calendar, and they depend on us to be there when and as they are used to celebrating. I am also aware that the St. Vladimir Parish was started some time ago, by Father Vladimir, as an English Mission. This all needs thinking about, and I task the Parish Council to make suggestions in consultation with Alina, who is head of the Russian School, and others.

What a pleasant surprise to see that the Vesperal Liturgy on the Eve of Theophany was quite well attended. I thought it would be Father Alexander and me, but no, others came and it was very good. The only problem being that since Father Alexander was serving, I had to be the choir and that is always a recipe for an "interesting" time. I know the music but for some reason, I can never start it right. The Liturgy on the feast itself was also well attended. We blessed water after the Liturgy (the resulting Holy Water will be available for people to fill bottles, for a while), and then Father Alexander, Subdeacon David and I went down to a rocky beach not far from my apartment and proceeded to bless the Oceans. We placed the cross and the Holy Water jug at the water line and proceeded with the short service.

A woman who was passing came and joined us, and pointed out that the cross was now under several centimeters of water and the jug was afloat. The tide had certainly and swiftly come in. David had to step into the water to recover both. The Ocean was duly blessed. When you look out over the ocean remember that it is blessed water. It will have been blessed, not just by us, but by many priests and bishops throughout the world.

In Newfoundland, some of the parishioners waited for us to bless the Ocean before taking their dip into those icy waters. It turns out that they actually didn't jump in but poured ocean water over themselves while Ivan Saika, their choir director and maintainer of the parish during the absence of a priest, sang the Troparion and Kontakion of the feast. Please pray for the Newfoundland parish, during the interregnum they are depending on us for prayer and support, if only the Newfoundland government would allow us to occasionally serve them. I have written to the NL government expressing my sorrow that their regulations prevented me from serving Christmas Liturgies for them, and this may continue. Here is the note Ivan Saika sent,

Dear Fr. David,

The blessing of the waters done in Halifax has reached our shores! With our usual protected spot under reconstruction and completely unavailable, even those normally brave enough to immerse themselves were contented with gathering the water with cups and a mild dousing accompanied by the troparion and kontakion. In the background is Dmitry Diyanov, crouching and dark against what looks like white foamy water, collecting the blessing from the boisterous bay. In the foreground is his son, Alexei.

Thank you.
I am sorry for the quality of the photo, the best of three attempts.
Happy Theophany!
Ivan

At the moment, I have only two appointments for House Blessings. Please make an appointment; the blessing takes only a few minutes and is certainly something members of the parish should do. Please contact me or Father Alexander and make arrangements. There should be a small cross, a candle, and some holy water prepared ready for the blessing. I, or Father Alexander will bring the sprinkler, and the words that we sing. All we do is sing, and sprinkle Holy Water throughout the home. This is a very old Orthodox custom.

If you flip the page of your calendar to February, you will notice that we are getting very close to Great Lent. The week following February 13th is the fast free week that precedes the fast. How time does fly when we are feasting. Pascha will be early this year and will fall on April 24th. There are four Saturdays for commemorating the departed. Please prepare your lists now and make sure that no one is missed out. Since these names are not included on the Diskos, we can remember Orthodox and non-Orthodox on the lists.

Calendars are available for purchase on the candle stand in the Narthex. Some parishes have sponsored calendars where the sponsor pays for the calendars and shipping thus making the calendars free with perhaps a small donation to parishioners. Anyone have any ideas about this?

This is the 31st Sunday after Pentecost, it is Tone 6 and the Sunday readings are Ephesians 4:7-13 and Saint Matthew 4:12-17. Please remember Saturday Vespers at 6pm and Sunday Liturgy at 9:30am for adults, then at 11:30am the Typica with conclusion of the Liturgy for families with children. Masks and distancing are prescribed by the Nova Scotia government; they have not closed us down and they have not demanded that parishioners show Covid passports for scheduled services, so I ask that you please comply. (Why does the word "comply" sound suspiciously like something borgly out of Star Trek?)

Remember: House Blessings, Calendars, something to get Holy Water in for home

May God bless us, His flock,
and keep us truly safe,
Love in Christ,
-- Father David

Ducks obviously recognize blessed water!

Civic Calendar with Service Schedule

Year 2022
January
 Sun  Mon  Tue  Wed  Thu  Fri  Sat 
      01
Vespers 6:00pm
02
Hours, Liturgy 9:30am/11:00am
03040506
Nativity Eve
Vigil of Nativity 9:00pm
07
Christís Nativity
08
Hours, Liturgy 10:00am

Vespers 6:00pm
09
Hours, Liturgy 9:30am/11:00am
1011121314
Circumcision of Jesus
15
Vespers 6:00pm
16
Hours, Liturgy 9:30am/11:00am
1718
Theophany Eve
Vesperal Liturgy, Blessing of Water 11:00am
19
Theophany
202122
Vespers 6:00pm
23
Hours, Liturgy 9:30am/11:00am
242526272829
Vespers 6:00pm
30
Hours, Liturgy 9:30am/11:00am
31     

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

January 15, 2022

30th Sunday after Pentecost, Tone 5

Saturday, January 15 at 6pm - Vespers
Sunday, January 16 at 9:30am and 11:00am - Liturgy
Tuesday, January 18 at 11:00am - Vesperal Liturgy followed by the Great Blessing of Water

The custom of the Church is that on the great feast of Theophany (The Baptism of the Lord), sometimes called Epiphany, a priest is invited to every home for the blessing of the home. This is not a one off thing, it happens every year. The home does not have to be made ready for the priest, except for a candle, a cross and a bowl for the Holy Water, so there should not be any extra work involved in these blessings. The best thing would be to make an appointment with the priests and it can easily be done; there is no big fuss, it is just singing as we go around the home and sprinkle Holy Water everywhere. Please do not be afraid of this, it is easy and not time consuming at all. Please make an appointment for immediately after Theophany.

Theophany (The Baptism of the Lord) is on January 19th and is the feast when we bless Holy Water. The parish will want to bring jars to fill with Holy Water to last throughout the year. There will be two Liturgies, on Tuesday January 18th there will be a Vesperal Liturgy at 11am followed immediately by the Great Blessing of Water and then the blessing of the Atlantic Ocean. On Wednesday January 19th at 10am will be the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom. The Wednesday liturgy will depend upon the availability of a choir, so will be confirmed by an announcement on Sunday. The readings for the Sunday before Theophany (January 16th) are, 2 Timothy 4:5-8 and Saint Mark 1:1-8 and it is Tone 5. Vespers as usual at 6pm on Saturday and Liturgy in two parts on Sunday, that's 9.30am for adults and about 11.15 for families with children.

Don't forget to bring a jar to replenish your supply of Holy Water. You will need it for the Blessing of your home and for use during the year. There is always a supply of Holy Water in the church if you should need a refill, we keep it in a large bottle in the altar, to protect its freshness. Please do not be afraid to ask.

May God bless us with His Love,
-- Father David

January 8, 2022

29th Sunday after Pentecost, Tone 4

Saturday, January 8 at 10:00am - Liturgy
Saturday, January 8 at 6pm - Vespers
Sunday, January 9 at 9:30am and 11:00am - Liturgy

Saturday January 8th at 10am - Synaxis of the Most Holy Theotokos - Liturgy for Families with children (snow permitting!). Readings for the Saturday after the Nativity, 1Timothy 6:11-16 and Saint Matthew 12:15-21 and for the Theotokos, Hebrews 2:11-18 and Saint Matthew 2:13-23

Saturday January 8th at 6pm - Vespers (snow permitting)

Sunday January 9th at 9:30am - Liturgy with Communion for adults followed at 11am "Typica" with Communion for families with children. Readings for the Sunday after the Nativity (Tone 4) Galatians 1:11-19 and Saint Matthew 2:13-23

Sunday is also the commemoration of the Proto-martyr and Archdeacon Stephen, readings Acts of the Apostles 6:8-7:5,47-60 and Saint Matthew 21:33-42

This week is a fast-free week enjoy it!

In Christ,
-- Father David

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