Icon of St.Vladimir, Prince of Kiev

St.Vladimir Orthodox Church

3163 Purcell's Cove Road, Halifax, NS

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News and Events

June 19, 2021

PENTECOST - TRINITY SUNDAY
Descent of the Holy Spirit on the DisciplesSixth Sunday of Pascha

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

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

Tuesday, June 22 at 10am - Liturgy

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

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

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

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

Email from John Joseph (Trevor):

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

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

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

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

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

June 11, 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Civic Calendar with Service Schedule

Year 2021
June
 Mon  Tue  Wed  Thu  Fri  Sat  Sun 
 010203040506
Sunday of the Blind Man
Hours, Liturgy (by appointment) 10:00am
07080910
Ascension
of our Lord
1112
Baptism of Jeffersons family 10:00am
13
Hours, Liturgy (by appointment) 10:00am
141516171819
Vespers 6:00pm
20
Pentecost
Hours, Liturgy, Kneeling Vespers 10:00am
21
Spirit Day
22
Hours, Liturgy 10:00am
23242526
Vespers 6:00pm
27
Hours, Liturgy, farewell to Nick 10:00am
28
Apostles’ Fast Begins
2930    

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

June 10, 2021

Sixth Sunday of Pascha, Tone 5, Sunday of the Blind Man

Readings
Acts of the Apostles 16:16-34
Gospel: St. John 9:1-38

Thursday June 10th: The Ascension of the Lord

Readings
Acts of the Apostles 1:1-12
Gospel: St. Luke 24:36-53

Remember about the Ascension pictures that the children are drawing.

Finally we are going to be baptizing the Jeffersons in the ocean somewhere near Goshen on Saturday June 12th, two days after the feast of the Ascension of the Lord. I hope there will be photos of the event for the week after next bulletin.

We are now permitted 10 people besides the priests at outdoor liturgies. There is, in the church, a tent style gazebo, eventually we'll get to erect it to make sure it is satisfactory as a cover and protection for the altar. We'll then need cover to keep the sun off of us when we serve the Liturgy outside again - soon. Any suggestions? Of course we can always use hats and umbrellas.

Let me ask again for people to come to the back door for Communion. There are several slots open for this Sunday. Please email or phone me to make the appointment, 11.50, 12 Noon and 12.10 are available.

If you need the instructions for depositing monies to the parish account, please check last week's bulletin. The same place to find the contact for ordering the two sorts of Ukrainian eggs from Alina, and for the Covid prayers.

The Icon below is a Georgian Icon of the Ascension. By far the most interesting picture of the Ascension I have come across was a window in a church near Leicester Cathedral in England, it showed the Apostle looking up at a pair of legs disappearing into heaven.

May God bless us all and protect us,
-- Father David

May 30, 2021

Fifth Sunday of Pascha, Tone 4, Sunday of the Samaritan Woman

Readings
Acts of the Apostles 11:19-26, 29-30
Gospel: St. John 4:5-42

The last couple of Sundays, there have been families coming to the back door of the church to receive Communion. This has been an experiment to see if it can work and indeed it can. We are not allowed to gather as a community but individually and with care we can come to receive Communion. The slots are: 11.30, 11:40, 11:50, noon, and 12:10. The requirements are that you be on time, and that you leave immediately afterwards, to make way for the next family. That way there is nobody waiting, and no more than one car in the parking area. Please contact me if you wish to come for Communion; my email address is: archimandrite.david.edwards@gmail.com. God willing, we shall be able to meet together as a complete parish soon.

I'm writing this on Victoria Day, Her Majesty's Official Birthday. I have seen the Queen several times and now our Spyridon has seen her. Apparently she was signing something on HMS Queen Elizabeth, the British aircraft carrier in Portsmouth Harbour, and that's where he saw her. You can tell where the Queen is, her Standard is always on display.

Challenge for children: Now here is a challenge for the children of the parish: Thursday June 10th is the feast of the Ascension of Our Lord. I challenge each child to draw and colour an Icon for the Feast of the Ascension. They could be sent to me via email. Remember that icons tell us who they are portraying, for example Jesus has IC XC, usually somewhere close to his head. Holy people are drawn with a Halo (like light) around their head. People who paint (or "write" icons) are called Iconographers, and because they are drawing very holy subjects, they do it very carefully. The account of the Ascension, when Jesus was taken bodily into Heaven can be found at the beginning of the Acts of the Apostles - 1:9-11. Say a little prayer before you start, because real icons are written through prayer.

May God bless us all.
He is Risen!
Love in Christ,
-- Father David

PS: Remember to pray for everyone, all the parish.

May 23, 2021

Fourth Sunday of Pascha, Tone 3, Sunday of the Paralytic

Readings
Acts of the Apostles 9:32-42
Gospel: St. John 5:1-15

During this week I have heard from Mark Blaauw, who is in Montreal, which is still suffering a curfew and limits on services. Mark's family is well and increasing by leaps and bounds. I have asked him to send pictures which I am sure he will do. We shall look forward to those photos.

I remember Archbishop Irénée telling me that he had to serve Pascha in the morning because of the curfew. I don't remember how many attendees he was permitted probably about the same as us. But then we served on Saturday night lit with only candles just in case someone became suspicious.

When is this Lock-down going to end, I ask. I have 11 people in Goshen desperate to be baptized and I'm even more desperate to get them baptized and Orthodox. I think when we get the OK to move around again, I'll get a pair of waders and Father Alexander and I will go there and get it done in their local lake Brrrr! Please pray for them.

I also heard from Spyridon who is travelling with the RCN. First he was in Derry Ireland and now in Portsmouth. That city being the next city from Southampton, my birth place. During "The War" Southampton and Portsmouth people used to watch each other being bombed. I'm sure this picture was taken from HMCS Summerside and not of it:

I know that the crew are not permitted to land, which is a shame but understandable under the circumstances. Nice ship anyway. I wonder what the Summerside looks like? No sooner were the words out of my computer keyboard than there she is, HMCS Summerside (below). The Internet is good for something after all. Spyridon says that they are just beside the Royal Navy Flagship, the HMS Queen Elizabeth, an Aircraft Carrier, and big. Never mind, the ship on the right is the one Spyridon is on.

Please remember to pray for all the people of the parish, including those who are unable to get out and I'm thinking of Thйrиse and perhaps there are others you know. Please let me know so I can include their name in the next bulletin. We must also pray for the Pemberton family reorganizing their farm, and the Jefferson family who are (patiently?) awaiting baptism.

Alina has Ukrainian Easter eggs for sale, she said: "I've got a parcel of real eggs, they are beautiful! They are $15 each, with $3 to be donated to the church for every egg purchased. I also have other Ukrainian Easter eggs (not real ones) at $5 each, just as beautiful. If anyone is interested in specific patterns or colours, I can set them aside and then meet them once the current lockdown restrictions are over. My contact phone is 902-830-7803." Orders also can be placed through Fr. David if necessary.

May God bless every one of you. I miss you, and I miss the sound of the children playing, please remember and pray for each other: ". . . A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another." (Gospel of Saint John 13:34-35 ESV)

Christ is Risen!
-- Father David

Let's remember who we are and pray for each other!

May 15, 2021

Third Sunday of Pascha, Tone 2, Sunday of the Myrrh-bearing Women: Mary Magdalen; Mary the wife of Clopas; Joanna; Salome (the mother of the sons of Zebadee); Suzanna; Mary and Martha (the sisters of Lazarus); and Mary (Mother of the Apostle James). Also of St. Joseph of Arimathea, and Nicodemus.

Readings
Acts 6:1-7
Gospel: St. Mark 15:43-16:8

Who then were the "Myrrh-bearing Women"? Their names are listed above and they are celebrated along with St. Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus. They were the women who ministered to Jesus during his life. Some carried spices to anoint the body of Jesus and were the first to see the opened tomb. The OCA website (oca.org) amongst others, has an explanation which is worth reading. We can't be in church so please take a moment to read this, and then look at the following site which has a really nice video explaining who the Myrrh-bearing Women were. It is clear and interesting.

Troparion (Tone 2) - The Noble Joseph, When he had taken down Your most pure Body from the tree, Wrapped it in fine linen and anointed it with spices, And placed it in a new tomb. But You did rise on the third day, O Lord, Granting the world great mercy.

Troparion (Tone 2) - The angel came to the myrrhbearing women at the tomb and said: Myrrh is meet for the dead; But Christ has shown Himself a stranger to corruption! So proclaim: the Lord is risen, Granting the world great mercy!

Kontakion (Tone 2) - You did command the myrrh-bearers to rejoice, O Christ! By Your Resurrection, You did stop the lamentation of Eve, O God! You did command Your apostles to preach: The Savior is Risen!

If you have been following the daily reading from the calendar, you would have come across one of the most well-known passages from Saint John's Gospel this week - Saint John 3:16 and following:

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him." (ESV)

The actual words of Saint John could not be clearer. We have just experienced the feast of the Resurrection of Christ. Most of us had to celebrate at home, but that does not make the feast any less important or real. We suffered through the trial and crucifixion and on the eve of Pascha we proclaimed that Christ is Risen, "conquering death by death, and upon those in the tombs bestowing life." Every Sunday is a remembrance of the glorious Resurrection. At home we can still read the assigned scripture readings and celebrate as we gather together for meals, remembering to thank God for the food and drink we enjoy and that nourishes us. It was while being assaulted by the tempter in the wilderness that Jesus said (and we must remember): "It is written, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God."" (Saint Matthew 4:4 ESV) So let us then give thanks for all things that God has given us, including His Son.

I have heard from Mary Pemberton that the family is back on their farm in Margaree, so they are back in Nova Scotia. She reports that Will's energy is up and down. We must keep them and especially Will in our prayers.

May God bless us all as we continue to battle the Covid Virus. Remember that each and every one of you is missed. I continue to serve, but just with Subdeacon David - we have both been inoculated. Father Alexander will be inoculated at the end of this month (God willing!) so will join us at the beginning of June. I look forward to him serving.

Alina has Ukrainian wooden eggs for sale she said, "I just got a new parcel of wooden eggs in any colour one can imagine. Please let me know if you need some. They are $5 each, and I'll be donating $1 for each egg sold through the church contacts." She is also expecting a shipment of real eggs. I'll let you know the details when they arrive.

Love in the Risen Christ,
-- Father David

May 8, 2021

Second Sunday of Pascha - Thomas Sunday

Readings
Acts 5:12-20
Gospel: St. John 20:19-31

Can you believe that eggs and cheese and butter and meat could taste so good; as though they had just been invented? Enjoy! There is a while before we are encouraged to fast again; we must always keep Wednesdays and Fridays in mind though.

I do want you to know that during Holy Week, the services of the Church were not ignored. Father Alexander and I served most of the proscribed services and were seldom alone. Palm Sunday Liturgy was about to begin when there was a tap on the back door and Nick was there. He said that he suspected that we would be serving Liturgy, and he was right. He came in and was choir along with Father Alexander. Nick came to sing for us at every opportunity, when he was not working that is. We did not ignore processions, even though they had to be indoors. We served the Thursday morning Vesperal Liturgy of St. Basil; the Commemoration of the Mystical Supper. We served the Matins and read the twelve Passion Gospels of Holy Friday on Thursday evening, then the Vespers of Great and Holy Friday when the Body of Christ is removed from the Cross. Friday evening we served the Matins of Holy Saturday which is the service that contains the Lamentations and the procession of the Body of Christ around the church. We had to keep it inside the church, but we did do the procession and sang "Holy God" the Trisagion. Saturday night the three part service of the Midnight Office, the Matins and the Great Paschal Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom began at 10.30pm. Again the procession was within the church and the lights were off (we served by candlelight.) But it was glorious, there were four of us (five was the number Dr. Strang told Father Maximos we could have) and the brightness was in our hearts. Following the Liturgy we blessed baskets and feasted for a short time before going home. Spyridon was there and was blessed for his sailing to the Baltic with the Navy; he will be away for a while and will certainly be missed. All in all it has been a good and inspiring week, if long and tiring. Personally, I feel I need a vacation and a change of scene but I'm not alone in feeling that, and God will provide.

Holly sent me two pictures this week. Just look at this beautiful dog which she says is a Russian Bear Dog but is really a Boxerdoodle. Even if I've never heard of that breed of dog, I bet he's good protection and a good companion.

Just look at that lake. We shall have to think of this place as a good place for eleven baptisms. If the water is not too cold; I can get the appropriate people together, and when the restrictions are lifted, perhaps we can consider going to Goshen (the Nova Scotia Goshen not the Ancient Egypt one) and baptize all eleven of the Jefferson/Holmstrom clan. Thank you Holly. Perhaps I'll look into getting a set of waders.

I wonder if you can name these people? I received these photos plus a couple more from Crystal and Eric who are now living in Winnipeg, as you know.

It was really good to get a telephone call from Crystal this past week, letting us know that they are all well and that Eric is enjoying his work there.

The weather is good but the restrictions still hold, and are a pain. Please remember that the church does not survive on prayer alone. Action is one of the necessities and the action of giving to the parish is very necessary. It is easy for us to believe that money just appears when the oil and electricity bills come in. Please consider using the formula here for transferring money directly to the church account.

I want to thank Father Alexander, Nick, Subdeacon David and Spyridon for supporting the services during Holy Week and Pascha; without them it just could not have happened. Let us pray that we will soon be back to having public services.

Love in Christ,
Christ is Risen, Kristos Boskrese,
-- Father David

May 1, 2021

Glorious and Holy

PASCHA

No Fasting Allowed

Christ is Risen! Reply: Truly He is Risen!

Christos Voskrese! Reply: Voistinu Voskrese!

Le Christ est Resucité! Reply: Vraiment est Resucité!

Christos Anesti! Reply: Alithos Anesti!

Al-Maseeh Qam! Reply: Haqqan Qam!

The Catechetical Homily 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.

But you are going to have to celebrate at home. At the night service on Saturday, we would be shouting "Christ is Risen - Christos Voskrese - Le Christ est Resucité! - Kristos Anesti - Al-Maseeh Qam!". We can still do that, or do it early on Sunday morning. The reading for Pascha Liturgy are: Lesson in place of Epistle Acts 1:1-8 and Gospel Saint John 1:1-17. Get together around your feasting table and proclaim that Christ is Risen and thank God for the feast and His seeing you and the family safely through the fasting time. Christ died and rose for us, so let us thank Him. Remember, Father David and Father Alexander both miss every one of you and greet you Christ is Risen!

My goodness! What havoc 24 hours can bring upon a group of people. There we were enjoying a beautiful liturgy and expecting a joyful Pascha with baptisms then Boom! the government comes wham and closes us all down. The baptismal candidates are disappointed, the altar servers are disappointed, Father Alexander is disappointed, Father David is disappointed plus there is no choir so they are disappointed. Everyone is disappointed. But the feast must go on, you'll have to celebrate at home. You've become used to this - last year, and now this year again. You've fasted-now feast; eggs, cheese, cream, chocolate, fish and meat, just don't get sick if you have been truly fasting.

Here's a question: Should we ignore and disobey the government? A good question and the answer would be "Yes" if we want Covid to continue to spread. If however we look at what St. Paul says in his letter to the Christians in Rome:

"Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God , and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those that resist will incur judgement. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad." (Romans 13:1ff)

I don't want the spread of Covid to increase. I don't want any of my parish to come down with it; it can be deadly I understand, and my people are very special to me. The Baptisms are a priority so we will accomplish them when we can. I shall decide when that will be; please resist the temptation of telling me when it will or should be, that just causes a lot of confusion and confusion is not welcome at this time, or any time. Pray instead, we all have to be patient.

Love in the Risen Christ,
Father David

Indeed He is Risen!

April 24, 2021

This is Entrance of Our Lord into Jerusalem - Palm Sunday, Tone 5

Readings
Epistle: Philippians 4:4-9
Gospel: St. John 12:1-18

Lent Ends and Holy Week Begins

CHURCH CLOSED DUE TO COVID

As ordered by the Government of Nova Scotia

Watch for further notices and information and PRAY

You will have to observe Holy Week and Pascha at home

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.

Боже Вседержителю, Господи небесе и земли, всея твари, видимыя же и невидимыя, по неизреченной благости Твоея призри на люди Твоя, к Тебе притекающия. Буди нам Помощник и Защититель в сей день скорби. Веси бо немощи наша, слышиши глас покаяния и умиления сердечнаго. Господи Человеколюбче, избави нас от напасти коронавируса на ны движимыя. Ниспосли ангела Твоего призирати на ны и избавити ны. Страждущим от болезни здравие и исцеление подаждь. Руки врачующих направи. Здравых в здравии сохрани, да в мире поработают Ти и да прославят пресвятое и великополепое имя Твое, Отца и Сына и Святаго Духа, ныне и присно, и во веки веков, аминь.

Love In Christ,

-- Father David

April 17, 2021

This is Fifth Sunday of Lent, Tone 4, St. Mary of Egypt

Saturday, April 17 at 6:00pm - Vespers
Sunday, April 18 at 10am - Liturgy
Wednesday, April 21 at 6:30pm Presanctified Liturgy
Saturday, April 24 at 10am Liturgy - Lazarus Saturday
Next Sunday is Palm Sunday and the week following - Holy Week
There will be numbers of services. They are listed below.

Readings
Epistle: Hebrews 9:11-14
Gospel: St. Mark 10:32-45

Please remember the "Monks' Basket" deal and order your weekly delivery of vegetables.

The question is always, "What services should you attend during Holy Week and Pascha?" I can tell you that it is really important that you attend and receive Communion during the Easter Season. You have my telephone number and that of Father Alexander; Confession and absolution can be served over the telephone, by appointment, or when one of the priests is available during a service. Try not to wait until the last moment, there are just more than two weeks until the Great Feast of Feasts - Pascha.

You can plan your Holy Week attendances - there will be:

Bridegroom Matins Sunday 25th April, at 6:30pm.

Great Thursday morning at 10am Liturgy - this is the Celebration commemorating the Last Supper (St. Matthew 26, St. Mark 14 and St. Luke 22, look it up).

The Twelve Passion Gospels are read at Holy Friday Matins at 6:30pm Thursday evening.

Great Vespers of Great and Holy Friday at 11.00am on Friday is the service during which the Body of Christ is removed from the Holy Cross.

Matins of Great and Holy Saturday at 6:30pm on Friday. (This is the service that contains the Lamentations and the Procession of the Body of Christ around the outside of the church - you won't want to miss this!).

Baptisms at 8.00am Holy Saturday.

Vesperal Divine Liturgy of St. Basil the Great on Saturday 10.00am followed by the blessing of Baskets and First Communion of the newly baptized. Dried fruit, nuts and wine to follow.

GREAT AND HOLY PASCHA

Celebrations will start with Midnight Office and Matins at 10.30pm Saturday. This is the service when we go around, and re-enter the church which is by then blazing with light and the radiance of Christ's Resurrection; at the end of this service, the blessing of Baskets that have not already been blessed.

Agape Vespers of Holy and Glorious Pascha 3:00pm Sunday.

Bright Monday May 3rd 10.00am Liturgy with blessing of Baskets that have not already been blessed.

May it Please God!

Love, strength, and perseverance; nearly there!
Love In Christ,

-- Father David

April 10, 2021

This is Fourth Sunday of Lent, Tone 3, St. John of the Ladder

Saturday, April 10 at 10:00am - Liturgy (for the Departed)
6pm - Vespers
Sunday, April 11 at 10am - Liturgy
Wednesday, April 14 at 6:30pm - Matins and Great Canon of St. Andrew of Crete

Readings
Epistle: Hebrews 6:13-20
Gospel: St. Mark 9:17-31

Reminders: During the Covid restrictions we are allowing Communions at the back door, which will be opened at Communion time. I'm assuming that those making use of this, will have read this Sunday's Epistle and Gospel (see above) ahead of time.

Two of the young men known to us in our parish, namely Spyridon, the coordinator of men's activities and Augustine, a member of St. George parish and frequent altar server at our Saturday Vesper, worked again at the Salvation Army kitchen doing things like peeling potatoes and carrots and generally helping. The third person is the chef at the Salvation Army kitchen, where they serve nourishing meals.

I enjoyed my Fish and Chips on Wednesday - delicious. The next fish day is Palm Sunday, Fish and Chips again? Perhaps Salmon with Dill and home-made chips?

There was a nice group of people for Tuesday evening Vespers; the Wednesday Morning Vesperal Liturgy for the Annunciation of the Lady Theotokos was well attended and the choir sang beautifully on both occasions.

Courage during this latter half of the Lenten Fast, don't give up now, we are almost there. I was explaining to the Catechumens about the baskets that we prepare for blessing after the Paschal Liturgies. We decorate the baskets which contain the things we don't normally eat during the Fast, things like hard boiled eggs, cheese, ham, Paska (bread made with eggs, raisins and the like, covered in icing), and garlic and horseradish (bitter herbs representing the bitter herbs of the Passover), all delicious things. You don't have to be Orthodox to have baskets blessed, it's to do with the ending of the fast, even if you haven't manages to fast - (St. John Chrysostom explains that in his Paschal Homily) - giving glory to God for all things, including what we eat. Here you will find an explanation of the Basket and its origins and a recipe for the Paska bread. If you search Google for easter cheese paska recipe you will find a number of sites that offer recipes for the wonderful cheese type of Paska, my favorite - so delicious and worth exploring. (It seems that Cottage Cheese with the moisture pressed out can be used for Farmers' Cheese.) But look it up, there are lots of recipes. I'm giving lots of notice about these things, for those who are Catechumens and others who may not be so used to Orthodox customs.

Let us pray for Her Majesty the Queen at the loss of her husband Prince Philip the Duke of Edinburgh, and all the Royal Family at the loss of their father. May God bless them as He blesses all of us.

"Even in laughter the heart may ache, and the end of joy may be grief.

The simple believes everything, but the prudent gives thought to his steps.

One who is wise is cautious and turns away from evil, but the fool is reckless and careless.

A man of quick temper acts foolishly, and a man of evil devices is hated."

Proverbs 14:13, 15-17

Love, strength, and perseverance
Love In Christ,

-- Father David

April 4, 2021

This is Third Sunday of Lent, Tone 2, Veneration of the Precious Cross

Saturday, April 3 at 6pm - Vespers
Sunday, April 4 at 10am - Liturgy

Wednesday April 7th Annunciation of the Most Holy Theotokos
Remember, it's the Patronal Festival of the Monastery
Tuesday evening, April 6 at 6:30pm - Vespers
Wednesday Morning, April 7 at 10am - Liturgy
At out church!

On this feast day we can eat Fish, so Fish and Chips are in order (yeh!)

Readings
Epistle: Hebrews 4:14-5:6
Gospel: St. Mark 8:34-9:1

Reminders: During the Covid restrictions we are allowing Communions at the back door, which will be opened at Communion time. I'm assuming that those making use of this, will have read this Sunday's Epistle and Gospel (see above) ahead of time.

This week I have asked that two files be added to the Bulletin, one is the Newsletter from the Monks of the Holy Annunciation Monastery and the other, information about their "The Monk's Basket" programme where they will provide vegetables, grown in their garden, to families each week for a small fee. Please read both of these files as they will certainly be of interest and to your benefit.

Again I can't be certain about weekday services so I shall announce them at Saturday Vespers and Sunday Liturgy. Please pass on the information to those who are absent - I don't want anyone to miss any of these very important and beautiful services as we enter April and wend our way towards Glorious Pascha.

This Sunday is Easter for the Western Church and we wish them love and Joy in their celebrations, and that God may bless them. In the event that you are part of a mixed family, please do not spoil the celebrations, but if you are asked, join with them; God is the Lord and should always be glorified.

I want to make sure you know about the usual rules for Confession. It is quite normal for Orthodox Christians to receive Communion every Sunday – Yes! Every Sunday! The usual practice is to go to Confession once a month, unless of course there is something major that needs to be confessed to God. Fasting before Communion is usual, unless you have a medical condition in which case you must have a little something to eat, and this does not preclude you from Communion. Communion every Sunday; Confession once a month. Children should start coming to confession when they have learned the difference between what is right and what is wrong. That consciousness comes at different ages for children, so parents must be aware - as I'm completely sure they are - and suggest to the child and the priest, when the time is right.

Love, strength, and perseverance
Love In Christ,

-- Father David

March 27, 2021

This is Second Sunday of Lent, Tone 1, Saint Gregory Palamas

Saturday, March 27 at 6pm - Vespers
Sunday, March 28 at 10am - Liturgy

Readings
Epistle: Hebrews 1:10-2:3
Gospel: St. Mark 2:1-12
For Saint Gregory Palamas
Epistle: Hebrews 7:26-8:2
Gospel: St. John 10:9-16

Reminders: During the Covid restrictions we are allowing Communions at the back door, which will be opened at Communion time. I'm assuming that those making use of this, will have read this Sunday's Epistle and Gospel (see above) ahead of time.

I am hoping to meet with as many Catechumens and recently baptized as possible on Thursday Evening April 1st at 7pm in the church. Please come loaded with questions to which I will try to find an answer or at least an explanation. This will be the final meeting before the mass baptism. That doesn't mean that you can't ask questions after the various church services. This session might also include any Orthodox parishioner who has questions about the Faith; not one of us is too old or has been Orthodox too long to have questions about the Church and the Faith. I shall ask Father Alexander if he would like to be part of this session.

The wonderful Canon of St. Andrew of Crete, a really Great Prayer was served a week ago Wednesday. Rather than serving it in four sections with Compline, we served it in its entirety, in one go. Long but the words are so inspiring.

We were to have a Presanctified Liturgy this past Wednesday evening but unfortunate circumstances arose making it impossible. Sorry about that.

We had a lovely procession around the church with the Icons. We were celebrating the Sunday of the Triumph of Orthodoxy when Icons were returned and the Iconoclasts defeated. Even the children carried Icons proudly around. It was good to see. There was still some snow around but we managed to overcome that. I'm sure there were some damp shoes and feet but it was all worth it and the children enjoyed the trek and the swings afterwards.

Too bad there were no snacks! See how hungry our people look, after all it's Lent.

Sorry there are no photos of the Men's group peeling Carrots and Potatoes, or eating fish and chips at the Salvation Army Kitchen where they were helping out. Perhaps next time.

Because of the difficulty arranging services this Lenten Season and not being sure of choir resources, I am announcing midweek services on Saturday at Vespers and Sunday at Liturgy. Please pass information on to others as it is published.

Thank you Alina for the pictures of the procession, the wooden eggs, the masks, the calendars and lots more. We are blessed with folk who do things. Thanks also to Seamus for vacuuming the nave, David for getting the vacuum fixed, and many others.

We are going to tile the floor of the nave. It is really unsightly and dangerous. We will put tiles over the top just in case there is asbestos underneath, and we do not want to disturb that. You will likely be asked to donate time to doing the tiling. The cracked basement needs fixing too.

Love, strength, and perseverance
Love In Christ,

-- Father David

March 14, 2021

This is the 40th Sunday after Pentecost, Tone 7, Expulsion of Adam from Paradise, Cheesefare, Forgiveness Sunday

Saturday, March 13 at 6pm - Vespers
Sunday, March 14 at 10am - Liturgy
Vespers of Forgiveness will follow directly after Liturgy

Readings
Epistle: Romans 13:11-14:4
Gospel: St. Matthew 6:14-21

Reminders: During the Covid restrictions we are allowing Communions at the back door, which will be opened at Communion time. I'm assuming that those making use of this, will have read this Sunday's Epistle and Gospel (see above) ahead of time.

The Sunday of Cheesefare is the last day for those of us who will be fasting, to consume dairy and egg products. We must not deprive the sick, infirm or children from their usual nutritious diet. This week is called Clean Week when we eat no food at all. The first week of Lent, which begins on Monday following Cheesefare, is a strict fast so getting us prepared for the continuing of Great Lent. After a week of no food, even a small snack will seem like a great feast, very filling. Do what you can, but don't be silly, you probably do not live in a monastery. Butter and cheese can be frozen.

Peter Togni's album Sea Dreams has been nominated for a JUNO award in the East Coast Music Awards for best classical composition. Congratulations Peter.

The men's group met at my apartment and has been reconstituted with rules set down, and their objectives in place. They will be looking to collect and donate any clothing that has become too large or too small; they will be looking to help serve meals to the less fortunate. To this end they have contacted the Salvation Army and others and are intending to help as they can. Any man who would like to join in with these endeavors, please contact Spyridon. This is not just a young men's group but for all the men of the three Orthodox churches. One must however, be a voting member of an Orthodox parish to participate.

I remind you that St. Antonios Church is much more able to hold midweek services than we are at the moment; Father Maximos' wife is his ever present choir so you might like to visit St. Antonios for the midweek services. I've posted his schedule in the church. Father Panagiotis has services also. When I receive his schedule, I'll post it in the church as well.

Our services this Lent are going to be severely limited. I can't ask Vladimir Ryan to do more than he already does, he works fulltime from home and looks after Ivan as well. Father Alexander is also working full time and is unavailable during the week. These are the two sources for choir responses at the moment, and as you know there must be someone to reply to prayers, a priest cannot serve without a choir of some sort.

Next Sunday we celebrate the Triumph of Orthodoxy and the restoration of Icons. We shall celebrate by having a procession at least inside the church but hopefully outside as well. Bring an icon to carry in the procession. If the weather is good enough, we shall proclaim the Gospel outside on the steps, just as we re-enter the church. Bring warm toques, mittens and scarves. Thank goodness our masks keep our faces warm.

Love, strength, and perseverance In Christ,

-- Father David

March 14, 2021

This is the 40th Sunday after Pentecost, Tone 7, Expulsion of Adam from Paradise, Cheesefare, Forgiveness Sunday

Saturday, March 13 at 6pm - Vespers
Sunday, March 14 at 10am - Liturgy
Vespers of Forgiveness will follow directly after Liturgy

Readings
Epistle: Romans 13:11-14:4
Gospel: St. Matthew 6:14-21

Reminders: During the Covid restrictions we are allowing Communions at the back door, which will be opened at Communion time. I'm assuming that those making use of this, will have read this Sunday's Epistle and Gospel (see above) ahead of time.

The Sunday of Cheesefare is the last day for those of us who will be fasting, to consume dairy and egg products. We must not deprive the sick, infirm or children from their usual nutritious diet. This week is called Clean Week when we eat no food at all. The first week of Lent, which begins on Monday following Cheesefare, is a strict fast so getting us prepared for the continuing of Great Lent. After a week of no food, even a small snack will seem like a great feast, very filling. Do what you can, but don't be silly, you probably do not live in a monastery. Butter and cheese can be frozen.

Peter Togni's album Sea Dreams has been nominated for a JUNO award in the East Coast Music Awards for best classical composition. Congratulations Peter.

The men's group met at my apartment and has been reconstituted with rules set down, and their objectives in place. They will be looking to collect and donate any clothing that has become too large or too small; they will be looking to help serve meals to the less fortunate. To this end they have contacted the Salvation Army and others and are intending to help as they can. Any man who would like to join in with these endeavors, please contact Spyridon. This is not just a young men's group but for all the men of the three Orthodox churches. One must however, be a voting member of an Orthodox parish to participate.

I remind you that St. Antonios Church is much more able to hold midweek services than we are at the moment; Father Maximos' wife is his ever present choir so you might like to visit St. Antonios for the midweek services. I've posted his schedule in the church. Father Panagiotis has services also. When I receive his schedule, I'll post it in the church as well.

Our services this Lent are going to be severely limited. I can't ask Vladimir Ryan to do more than he already does, he works fulltime from home and looks after Ivan as well. Father Alexander is also working full time and is unavailable during the week. These are the two sources for choir responses at the moment, and as you know there must be someone to reply to prayers, a priest cannot serve without a choir of some sort.

Next Sunday we celebrate the Triumph of Orthodoxy and the restoration of Icons. We shall celebrate by having a procession at least inside the church but hopefully outside as well. Bring an icon to carry in the procession. If the weather is good enough, we shall proclaim the Gospel outside on the steps, just as we re-enter the church. Bring warm toques, mittens and scarves. Thank goodness our masks keep our faces warm.

Love, strength, and perseverance In Christ,

-- Father David

March 5, 2021

This is the 39th Sunday after Pentecost, Tone 6, Sunday of the Dread Judgement, "Meatfare"

Saturday, March 6 at 6pm - Vespers
Sunday, March 7 at 10am - Liturgy

Readings
Epistle: 1 Corinthians 8:8-9:2
Gospel: St. Matthew 25:31-46

Reminders: During the Covid restrictions we are allowing Communions at the back door, which will be opened at Communion time. I'm assuming that those making use of this, will have read this Sunday's Epistle and Gospel (see above) ahead of time.

Just is a reminder that this is the last Sunday of "Standard Time" for a while. Next Saturday night (Cheesefare, but after Vespers) we switch to "Daylight Saving time" which means that being spring we shall jump forward. You won't want to come to church because it will feel as though it is an hour earlier. Don't give in to that feeling - come anyway!

I've been looking in to Lenten recipes. It is amazing how many resources there are on the Internet. Search orthodox fasting recipes and see what turns up for example: thegreekvegan.com, thespruceeats.com - greeklent, greekboston.com, orthodoxmom.com. I'm sure you will find more. My quick search found lots of seemingly good recipes that will make our lives much easier, more pleasant and much less worrisome.

I was asked, "Why do we give up wine and oil for lent?" I suggest you read psalm 103/104, the psalm we read at Vespers, it starts "Bless the Lord O my soul." There, you will find what oil and wine were created for, thus why we give them up for lent.

Please remember that next Sunday is not only Cheesefare, but also Forgiveness Sunday. We shall have Vespers directly following Liturgy after which we have the forgiveness ceremony. You won't want to miss that - it is a beautiful Orthodox ceremony. Come, and let us beg each other to forgive, and God to forgive us all.

Love in Christ,

-- Father David

February 28, 2021

This is the 38th Sunday after Pentecost, Tone 5, Sunday of the Prodigal Son

Saturday, February 27 at 6pm - Vespers
Sunday, February 28 at 10am - Liturgy

Readings
Epistle: 1 Corinthians 6:12-20
Gospel: St. Luke 15:11-32

Reminders: During the Covid restrictions we are allowing Communions at the back door, which will be opened at Communion time. I'm assuming that those making use of this, will have read this Sunday's Epistle and Gospel (see above) ahead of time.

Don't be frightened by the word "Xerophagy" which is the word describing the fasting we do on Wednesdays and Fridays and all of the days in Great Lent, except for certain feast days. It means "Dry Eating". I'll share a download from the Internet with you: On weekdays (Monday thru Friday), beginning with Clean Monday, a strict fast is observed without wine and oil. Furthermore on Wednesdays and Fridays, according to one's strength, unprocessed foods are consumed, (such as fruit and nuts). This is called Xerophagy or "dry-eating". The first week of the Great Fast, Clean Week is kept as strictly as possible. On Saturdays and Sundays, the partaking of wine and oil is allowed. On the Feast Day of the Annunciation of the Theotokos (25th of March) fish is allowed. The week after Palm Sunday, Holy Week is kept as strictly as possible. Holy Friday especially, if possible, is kept with total abstinence from food until after the Divine Liturgy on Holy Saturday when bread and wine are blessed for consumption in the church. As the Lord said to the Pharisees: "The days will come when the Bridegroom shall be taken from them, and then shall they fast" (Matt. 9:15) (Lenten Triodion in English pp. 611, 660). During all these days, an effort should be made to eat once a day in the evening, if possible. This is the ancient practice of the Holy fathers, if and when they ate at all during Great Lent or Holy Week.

I'll also point out an important condition in this statement "according to one's strength". People who are on medications and children may not fast. Remember, fasting is for us to come closer to God, it is not a torture. We observe what we are able and thank God for what we can achieve.

I was contacted by a Romanian priest in Scotland, Father Christopher. He asked to use a sermon from our website. We have continued to correspond from time to time and discovered many things we have in common, for example, his being at Durham University, as I was; his being a teacher as I was. I asked him to send photographs of him and his people, and he did. I thought I would share them with you so you could pray for this small community.

From Father Christopher's note: "We had Saint Columba's well just a few miles away which never ever froze or ran dry. Our church was dedicated to Saint Columba's abbott: Saint Finnan; who lived on an island in the loch near to our home." May God bless them.

Lenten Recipes are coming in. Thank you to everyone who has supplied simple and easy recipes for our use. There are some really interesting ones which will contrast my Baked Beans on Toast recipe which is simply Baked beans on Toast, and my bread with, for me Crunchy Peanut Butter (no additives) with Banana, both delicious and filling. At a push one could always put Hummus onto a plain or toasted Bagel. I think we should be careful not to be too searching about ingredients. I used to ask restaurants if their vegetable soup was made with chicken stock. I think that is going a little too far. I seldom look at ingredients now, unless it is for health reasons.

During this week, Father Alexander and I will meet and make a plan for the services we intend to serve during Lent and Pascha. The Military Padre, Peter who comes to Vespers from time to time, has suggested that we hold our Pascha night service in one of the military chapels. Subdeacon David and I went to view the church which would be ideal for us but way too far away for the comfort of our parishioner. That really is too bad. I could see us serving a wonderful Paschal Liturgy there; thank you Padre Peter for suggesting that chapel, and taking us to see it. I want to again make sure that the people who do things for the parish know that they are appreciated greatly. To that end I would like all the Parish Council members to please be at Liturgy this Sunday - we must have an induction ceremony which will take place before the blessing at the end of the Liturgy.

Following the Liturgy, Catechumens may remain behind and any question could be asked and hopefully answered. This is a continuation of sessions that became dislodged over the Christmas celebrations. The men's group will be meeting at my apartment after the Liturgy on March 7th; talk to Spyridon if you wish to be included. I expect they want to organize another meeting with a fire and hotdogs (vegetarian ones!). A Parish Council meeting, I believe, is on March 11th at 7pm, undisclosed venue but likely at my apartment.

Prosphora: I notice that the recipe on the St. Vladimir website contains sugar and I remember Archbishop Irénée explaining with some force, that we never put sugar in Prosphora. It will rise quite well without it. Flour, Salt, Yeast, and warm Water is all it takes; the flour itself contains enough sugar for the yeast to feed on.

May God bless us and protect us, and enfold us in His loving arms.
Love in Christ,

-- Father David

February 21, 2021

This is the 37th Sunday after Pentecost, Tone 4, Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee

Saturday, February 20 at 6pm - Vespers
Sunday, February 21 at 10am - Liturgy

Readings
Epistle: 2 Timothy 3:10-15
Gospel: St. Luke 18:10-14

Reminders: During the Covid restrictions we are allowing Communions at the back door, which will be opened at Communion time. I'm assuming that those making use of this, will have read this Sunday's Epistle and Gospel (see above) ahead of time.

Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee. That means this coming week is the Fast Free Week. There is more to this than just being able to eat meat on Wednesday and Friday, it is a reminder that fasting from meat is just around the corner and that we should be looking through our freezers and refrigerators to discover all the meat we have stored away, consume it so we can start afresh for Pascha. If you look on your calendars, you will see that Meatfare Sunday is March 7th (after Meatfare we don't eat meat again until Pascha).

I have asked for simple recipes to help jus through the Lenten fast but have received only four so far. Please send your favorite Lenten Recipes. They will help all of us. I shall include them in the bulletin before the fast begins - all of them! I hope that will be a long bulletin.

You will have heard that there was a note from Mary Pemberton asking for prayers for her husband Will who was in intense pain. I have asked for updates so will include anything Mary sends, at the end of this bulletin. Please pray.

We are slowly switching all the light bulbs in the church to LEDs. This means that the use of electricity will go down significantly. Four new bulbs in a chandelier will use less electricity than one of the previous bulbs. All in all, we might be able to use the microwave and the kettle at the same time, and have light in the church.

The sign indicating where the driveway is on Purcell's Cove Road fell down or at least I found it leaning against the church door. I expect Richard our next door neighbour found it; he also put lots of sand on the driveway so we could get up that steep slope for Vespers and Liturgy; thank you Richard. We owe him sand and more, for example, without his kind permission, we would have no access to water; he and his family kindly allow to take water from their outside tap.

Spyridon has been cleaning the brass candle holders in the altar. That is a good piece of work. Thank you for noticing, and doing that fussy job. I think he has been cleaning the woodwork beneath the altar table as well.

Can you believe, it is going to snow again just in time to give us the problem of getting up the steep driveway for Saturday Vespers and Sunday Liturgy. I hope we have lots of sand.

May God bless us all and protect us,

Love in Christ,

-- Father David

PS Mary says that Will has to go for a scan, we look forward to hearing the results. May God bless all of our families, but especially the Pemberton family at this time.

PPS Don't forget the recipes.

PPPS This is a fast-free week!

February 14, 2021

This is the 36th Sunday after Pentecost, Tone 3, Zaccheus Sunday

Saturday, February 13 at 6pm - Vespers
Sunday, February 14 at 10am - Liturgy
Sunday, February 14 at 6pm - Vespers and Litya - The Meeting of the Lord

Readings
Epistle: 1 Timothy 4:9-15
Gospel: St. Luke 19:1-10

Reminders: During the Covid restrictions we are allowing Communions at the back door, which will be opened at Communion time. I'm assuming that those making use of this, will have read this Sunday's Epistle and Gospel (see above) ahead of time.

The usual time for House Blessings is almost over. I am concerned that houses are not being blessed so please take some Holy Water and sprinkle throughout your home and say or sing the Troparion for Theophany: When You, O Lord were baptized in the Jordan the worship of the Trinity was made manifest, for the voice of the Father bore witness to You and called You His beloved Son. And the Spirit in the form of a dove confirmed the truthfulness of His word. O Christ our God, You have revealed Yourself and have enlightened the world, glory to You.

As regards the Lenten recipes I suggested we collect, I did receive some from a friend of mine in Edmonton, Professor Hani Henein, who sent Egyptian recipes. They are in the folder for you to copy along with a recipe for Vegan African Peanut Stew. Thank you Hani. So far that is all. Never too late, please forward recipes to me, they help to inspire us to be Lenten but also healthy in our eating. Who knows we may all lose weight during Lent this year although that must never be the reason for adjusting our eating during fasting times. Fasting is to do with concentrating on spiritual matters and not the body.

There is a fast free week coming up. Look on your calendars and enjoy it before the increasing austerity of the weeks following that.

I went to the church on Tuesday. The driveway had been mostly cleared of snow but there was significant ice remaining. I got half way up and had to stop. My tyres, have the snowflake emblem on the sides, but did not have protection against slick ice. Fortunately Richard from next door came with some sand, and that provided enough traction. Help also came from a gentleman from across the street. I think we'll have to get sand to sprinkle over the driveway. I shall ask Colin to look in to that.

Please pray for Christina a person who contacted Father Maximus first, who suggested she contact me. She lives too far away to get to us, but she will eventually. Please also pray for the parish and the Catechumens: Jeff and Seamus, the Jefferson family, Cameron, Carol-Ann, and Victor.

If you would like to learn how to make and seal Prosphora, please let Heather Decaire know. We really are looking for help. It is not difficult - how do I know that? I occasionally have had to make it myself and have been quite successful. I usually make the five breads for Lityas (don't forget Sunday at 6pm) and for Soul Saturdays. I have ordered two extra Prosphora seals and will order more if necessary.

May God bless us all and protect us,

With thanks to the people who help and support the parish in so many ways, by their prayers and constancy Sunday by Sunday, and day by day.

Love in Christ,

-- Father David

PS Saint Valentinus was a real 4th Century saint who was martyred in Rome. The internet will furnish the details of his martyrdom and why he became associated with romance, hearts, and love on February 14th in the Western Church - Orthodox celebrate him on July 6th. Saint Valentinus pray to God for us.

February 6, 2021

This is the 35th Sunday after Pentecost, Tone 2, Holy New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia

Saturday, February 6 at 6pm - Vespers
Sunday, February 7 at 10am - Liturgy

Readings
Epistle: 1 Timothy 1:15-17
Gospel: St. Luke 18:35-43

Readings for the Saints
Epistle: Romans 8:28-39
Gospel: St. Luke 21:12-19

Reminders: During the Covid restrictions we are allowing Communions at the back door, which will be opened at Communion time. I'm assuming that those making use of this, will have read this Sunday's Epistle and Gospel (see above) ahead of time.

Next Sunday is Zaccheus Sunday and the start of our looking towards the beginning of Great Lent. Meat-fare is March 7th and Cheese-fare the following Sunday which is also Forgiveness Sunday, that's March 14th. Great Lent starts on March 15th. During Great Lent there are certain Saturdays which are designed for the Commemoration of the Departed. I would like us to observe these Saturdays with a Liturgy, if at all possible. Please use the forms provide on the candle stand to list your relatives and friends. For these celebrations, we can celebrate Orthodox and non-Orthodox alike so please complete the forms in preparation for this. "Be Prepared", as the Scout and Guide Motto went.

I have finally worked out how to change the format of photos on my mobile phone. Suddenly, probably as a result on an automatic upgrade, the photos on my phone became HEIC files instead of JPEG files. Searching the internet, I found a free conversion programme so I downloaded it and can again add photos to bulletins (makes bulletins much less boring).

Here is the photo of Kevin and Dorothea, formerly known as Jeff and Krystal.

Recently we have added a new altar boy. I don't know if you have noticed but Alexy, the son of Father Alexander and Matushka Ksenia has been learning the altar ropes from David, Spyridon, and Augustine; a very good addition to the altar.

While polishing my shoes and thinking about this bulletin, and slow cooking some Lamb Shanks for the weekend, I started thinking about Great Lent and that numbers of us have come into the Orthodox Church from other places where the type of fasting that is usual in the Orthodox tradition, is not familiar. We know that we stop eating meat, and then all dairy products, plus eggs, but sometimes we find that Lenten recipes are complicated and a bother to think about. Personally I usually fall back on two pieces of bread with peanut butter in between, sometimes with jam or banana squashed onto it. So, I thought I could start a file of really simple recipes for meals; things that you have found that at a push are easy and take little time or effort to make. Let's do this, and gather some easy recipes and ideas together, and make a file. There are Lenten recipe books available, I know, and the Internet has lots of vegan stuff on line, but some of it is complicated with unfamiliar ingredients. I am suggesting this way before the Great Lent begins so we have time to get it together. It will be a help to me, and I hope to others as well.

Why is it that on a photo of Vladimir reading his mouth is closed. A photo of me and my mouth would be open; I must close my mouth more.

May God bless you all
Love in Christ,

-- Father David

January 29, 2021

This is the 34th Sunday after Pentecost, Tone 1

Saturday, January 30 at 6pm - Vespers
Sunday, January 31 at 10am - Liturgy

Readings
Epistle: Colossians 3:12-16
Gospel: St. Luke 18:18-27

Reminders: During the Covid restrictions we are allowing Communions at the back door, which will be opened at Communion time. I'm assuming that those making use of this, will have read this Sunday's Epistle and Gospel (see above) ahead of time.

This is not a long bulletin this week. We had a rather full week with Theophany and the blessing of the Atlantic Ocean. Unlike last year, this latter was accomplished with quite a crowd of us gathered to sing and witness the blessing. Let's hope that the fish, other creatures, and all who work on or in the water are blessed.

From now on, any official church group meeting must have the endorsement of one of the parish clergy. If you should meet in an informal manner, for example, a hike or around a bonfire etc., it must be clearly stated at that meeting that it is not an official church gathering and that the opinions stated are those of the individual, and not of the group, nor of the parish and not of any part of the Orthodox Church. Please do not ask me about this. I will not comment.

The baptism went well. It was sort of an experiment to see if we could bring warm water and baptize more than one person at a time. It worked. The water, I understand was lovely and warm and we baptized two people: Jeff who became Kevin, and Krystal who became Dorothea. The next scheduled baptism will be a wonderful time with the Jefferson family plus Cameron and Carol-Ann, plus Jeff and Seamus. This will be the day before Pascha, so May 1st since Pascha is May 2nd this year. I'm really looking forward to it. Father Alexander and I will be soaked to the skin as well, I think.

You have the prayers to help those with, or working to protect people with Covid, and you have the formula for donating to the Parish, thus the Church.

May God Bless us all,
May He encourage us to obey the distancing and Mask Rules,
May He encourage us to remind each other to distance, wear a mask, cleanse our hands, and sign in at the door,
May He protect us all as we go about our daily chores and work,
And may He Protect us,

Love in Christ,
-- Father David

January 23, 2021

This is the 33th Sunday after Pentecost, Tone 8

Saturday, January 23 at 6pm - Vespers
Sunday, January 24 at 10am - Liturgy

Readings
Epistle: Ephesians 4:7-13
Gospel: St. Matthew 4:12-17

Reminders: During the Covid restrictions we are allowing Communions at the back door which will be opened at Communion time.

Saturday January 30th is the feast of St. Anthony the Great on our calendar. I did greet Father Maximos on the New Calendar feast day, when they observe their Patronal Festival.

This has already been a busy week. Monday evening the Eve of Theophany, we served Vespers followed by the Great Blessing of Water. A beautiful service thanks to Father Alexander and the choir, as usual led by Vladimir/Ryan. A wonderful crowd of parish faithful attended and of course Holy Water was sprinkled copiously and taken home for blessings.

I was asked to bless a home on Wednesday evening - such a simple and short service; it was lovely, Each room is sprinkled with Holy Water as the priest and family sing the Troparion printed in last week's bulletin. The priest really does not look at the state of your home. If you don't have time to tidy, it doesn't matter, the priest doesn't go telling everyone that this or that person's home was tidy or untidy. The blessing though is important. Please contact either Father Alexander or me to arrange times for House Blessings.

Sunday morning two special things will happen: the Baptism of Krystal and Jeff, and the blessing of the Atlantic Ocean. The Baptism will take place during the Liturgy. The blessings of the Baptismal Water will take place during the reading of the Hours. The entry of the Gospel will be extended to include the Font and the Baptism itself. May God bless all of the Catechumens.

May God bless us all
And keep us in His love.

-- Father David

January 15, 2021

This is the 32th Sunday after Pentecost, Tone 7, Sunday before the Theophany; Synaxis of the Seventy Apostle

Saturday, January 16 at 6pm - Vespers
Sunday, January 17 at 10am - Liturgy

Readings
Epistle: 2 Timothy 4:5-8
Gospel: St. Mark 1:1-8

Reminders: During the Covid restrictions we are allowing Communions at the back door which will be opened at Communion time.

Tuesday January 19th is Theophany so Monday evening January 18th at 6:30pm Great Vespers with the Great Blessing of Water. Make sure you bring containers so you can take Holy Water home.

January 20th: Synaxis of the Holy Glorious Prophet, Forerunner, and Baptist John

Sunday January 24th: Holy Baptism and First Communion of Jeff and Krystal Frellick. Plus the blessing of the Atlantic Ocean after liturgy.

Calendars (English and English/Russian Version) are available at the candle stand and are valued at $12. This is a voluntary contribution towards the cost of the calendars. Please put the money in an envelope and mark it "Calendars".

There are several things I want to bring to your attention. The first is something that does not seem to happen in this parish and which should. I noticed last year that I was not asked to bless any homes. It is the custom within most Orthodox communities that the faithful have their homes blessed every year, and this takes place in association with the Theophany feast. I commend this practice to you and would like you to consider this in terms of your own home and having it blessed. We simply go around your home sprinkling it with Holy Water, which has been newly blessed at Theophany, and with lighted candles singing or saying the Theophany Troparion: When You, O Lord were baptized in the Jordan the worship of the Trinity was made manifest, for the voice of the Father bore witness to You and called You His beloved Son. And the Spirit in the form of a dove confirmed the truthfulness of His word. O Christ our God, You have revealed Yourself and have enlightened the world, glory to You. Please take this to heart. It is important that where you live day by day be filled with the Holy Spirit and the love and light of Christ. We shall bless the Atlantic Ocean as well.

I noticed that there were members of the parish missing for the Christmas liturgy at St. Antonios Church and I am wondering why that would be so? It could be that people were working that evening so couldn't come; it could be that being on the Julian (old) Calendar and the next morning being a work day, people didn't feel they wanted to be tired that next day. I asked for the use of St. Antonios, after remembering the stream of our people and others coming for Communion a year ago. It is important that we receive Communion on the great feasts of the Church, so I ask you to make sure you are prepared, and come for that purpose. Almost all of the Catechumens were present at St. Antonios, including those who travelled from Antigonish and Goshen. May God bless them.

I presented Father Maximos with a bottle of Champagne Cognac as a token; thanking him for allowing us to use his church for our Christmas Liturgy. He is always gracious and generous towards us.

It reminds me, what shall we do this year for Pascha? We can't fit everybody into our church if the Covid restrictions are still in force, and we can't ask to use another church since all Orthodox serve Pascha at the same time. Speaking to Father Maximos about this, he may have to ask permission to serve two Paschal Liturgies as it is; I may have to make the same request. We can pray that the weather on May 1st and 2nd be sunny and warm so we can serve the night liturgy outside, it's not an unreasonable prayer request, but we should start praying now. (It's unlikely there will be sun during the night Liturgy . that would take an awful lot of prayer! but perhaps not impossible.)

My Dear Friends, May God give us the courage to do His will, and may He bless us all,

In the Love of Christ,

-- Father David

January 8, 2021

This is the 31th Sunday after Pentecost, Tone 6, Sunday after the Nativity

Saturday, January 9 at 6pm - Vespers
Sunday, January 10 at 10am - Liturgy

Readings
Epistle: Galatians 1:11-19
Gospel: St. Matthew 2: 13-23

YOU CAN COME!

Here it is Friday morning, the bulletin not yet written when it is usually well under way at the beginning of the week. The nervous energy leading up to the liturgy at St. Antonios Church was quite draining and somehow the bulletin went right out of my head as did several other things. I thank God that we have Father Alexander who makes sure I have what I need. Thank you again Father Maximos for allowing us to use St. Antonios Church for what was a wonderful Christmas Liturgy; the choir sang and chanted beautifully; the three altar servers helped the service run smoothly, thank you to all. Thanks to Augustine who provided Jeff and Seamus with a place to stay so they didn't have to drive back to Antigonish after the service. Trevor and his family did travel back to Goshen after the liturgy and arrived home safely. It was good to see so many at the service. I know there are photographs because I saw Alina taking them. When I get them, I'll include some in the bulletin. Please pray for the parish and for the Catechumens most of whom were able to get to the Christmas Liturgy and receive a blessing - Glory to God.

May He who was Born in a Stable Bless each of us,

Love in Christ,

-- Father David

January 2, 2021

This is the 30th Sunday after Pentecost, Tone 5, Nativity Fast

Saturday, January 2 at 6pm - Vespers (Lots of Confessions)
Sunday, January 3 at 10am - Liturgy (Lots of Confessions)
Wednesday, January 6 at 9pm - Matins followed by Liturgy at St.Antonios church (2480 Windsor Street, Halifax)

YOU CAN COME!

I have rethought the three Christmas Liturgies I mentioned. Now that we are able to have people back in church it is really important that we Gather Together so we shall all celebrate at one Liturgy at St. Antonios, at a great Christmas Night Liturgy (thank you Father Maximos). Please come - it is the parish, the people of God celebrating the Birth of Christ - TOGETHER.

Reminders:

  1. Nativity Fast Ends on Wednesday January 6th, then a Fast Free Week.
  2. This Saturday/Sunday, January 2nd/3rd is Confession time, Father Alexander will be available during Vespers 6pm and Liturgy 10am and I'll be available before or after Vespers. Please don't wait for the last minute.
  3. Confessions can also be made by appointment or over the telephone. I want us all to receive Communion.

How to e-transfer money to the church account. To send, follow these easy-to-use instructions:

  • Log into your online or mobile banking app
  • Find and select the option 'Send an Interac e-Transfer.'
  • On the next screen, select an option 'Interac e-Transfer Recipient.'
  • Insert the name and the email address halifaxorthodox@gmail.com
  • Insert donation amount

Prayer for protection against the Covid virus: please use it:

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 honourable and majestic name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.

Боже Вседержителю, Господи небесе и земли, всея твари, видимыя же и невидимыя, по неизреченной благости Твоея призри на люди Твоя, к Тебе притекающия. Буди нам Помощник и Защититель в сей день скорби. Веси бо немощи наша, слышиши глас покаяния и умиления сердечнаго. Господи Человеколюбче, избави нас от напасти коронавируса на ны движимыя. Ниспосли ангела Твоего призирати на ны и избавити ны. Страждущим от болезни здравие и исцеление подаждь. Руки врачующих направи. Здравых в здравии сохрани, да в мире поработают Ти и да прославят пресвятое и великополепое имя Твое, Отца и Сына и Святаго Духа, ныне и присно, и во веки веков, аминь.

Last Saturday, Father Alexander served a Panikhida for Victoria, the mother of Leslee. Victoria was 100 years old when she fell asleep in Winnipeg. It is a blessing that Leslee was able to visit her in the autumn. We pray for Leslee and her family at this time. Just think what the world was like when Victoria was born in 1920, and all that happened during her lifetime.

Father David Remembers Christmas

I'm sitting here on December 25th, Christmas Day for most of the world and I am thinking back to the Christmases I knew as a boy. I was fortunate in that after the war, my father was posted to a military base in rural Dorset. We lived on the edge of moorland and a forest. We were about a kilometer and a half from where T. E. Lawrence (of Arabia) lived and was killed. We were fortunate to live there because everything about Christmas was real; the fir trees were covered in Ivy and the Holly bushes had real red berries. Christmas trees were growing in the woods and were not given to the garbage collectors on Boxing Day. Real socks were hung at the end of the bed to be replaced by Father Christmas with a pillow case full of wonders. Christmas lights didn't work if one of the bulbs burned out and the tinsel was made of real metal. Postmen actually delivered cards and presents from distant relatives and the smell of the roasting goose or turkey prepared one for the sumptuous dinner that was to follow. While mother was preparing that, we boys went up the hill, through the woods to the church. On the way we played in the woods but arrived in time since we were part of the choir. Perhaps cutting it fine, one of the older girls, and I remember her well, scrambled to find each of us a cassock, ruff and surplice; then the procession around the wooden church to the main door of the nave for the procession, singing one of the beautiful Christmas Carols; probably Once in Royal David's City.

We ran home anticipating the feast, and we would not be disappointed. There might be chicken, or goose, or turkey with lots of gravy. There would always be Brussels Sprouts, Mashed Potatoes, Stuffing, Roast Potatoes, Carrots, Parsnips and Swede; a feast indeed. But that was not all. There was the Christmas Pudding, the Mince Pies, the Custard. I remember all this because it was all homemade; it was real. There was nothing artificial about it at all. The meat came from the butcher shop, the vegetables from the greengrocers and the various fruits and fats from the grocers where you were served by someone wearing an apron. Stuff was weighed and wrapped in paper. We hadn't even heard of plastic bags in those days. Stuff was carried in shopping baskets made of woven branches or grasses, or cloth. It was real.

At tea time there was usually Bread and Butter, and Trifle and more mince pies. One had to eat the bread and butter before one was allowed to eat anything sweet. In those days children did not have a choice, you did what you were told, or else; some of us well remember those days and the "or elses."

Then there was the King's Christmas Message, later of course, the Queen's Message. The evening was quieter and children were sent early to bed on Christmas Day; not unreasonable since we had awakened early, anticipating the wonderful things left by Father Christmas.

Then Boxing Day. This was children's day; the only day we were allowed to stay up until we wanted to go to bed and there was no restriction on the number of sweets and goodies we could eat. That is where we learned to be careful with the amount of chocolate one should eat at one time. Well, some of us learned.

But you see, it was all real. I look around now and I see that the world has made Christmas plastic, artificial, and fake. Christmas Carols are used now to encourage us to buy stuff, animals are fed to make them fat, eggs are produced in goodness only knows what kind of conditions.

Can we have Christmases like that again? I don't know. It will be up to the children of today who will have to examine the world they will live in and ask themselves: "Is it satisfactory?" My answer at the moment would be a definite "No!" The world I live in at the moment is selfish and deceitful. The question again is: Will it continue to be? And for how long? How long before the Lord decides to wrap it all up?

I don't despair though, and I have hope. I look at the beautiful children who bless this parish of St. Vladimir Prince of Kiev in Halifax, and there are those of us who remember and who hold on to the Truths. Christmas is a marvelous feast. We shall each fill it with what it is meant to be, the Birth of the Son of God, Real not plastic or fake - His taking Flesh of the Most Holy Theotokos, becoming Man, just like us. He knows what we are about. Don't get tied up with "Season's Greetings," It's "Merry Christmas" - the Birth of Christ - "Christ is Born!" So Let us Glorify Him.

May God Bless each and every one of us. Merry Christmas!

From Father David, Father Alexander, the choir and Altar servers, and the Parish Council

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