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 — 2022

December 30, 2022

Week 29 after Pentecost

Saturday December 31th 6:00pm Vespers
Genesis 14:14-20
Deuteronomy 1:8-11, 15-17
Deuteronomy 10:14-21

Sunday January 1st 10:00am Divine Liturgy, followed by Coffee Hour
Sunday before the Nativity
Hebrews 11:9-10, 17-23, 32-40
St. Matthew 1:1-25
Tone: 4

Here is the schedule for Next Week, for our all week celebrations:

Friday evening January 6th Matins and Liturgy of the Nativity starting at 9pm (Followed, I hope, with a party downstairs!)

Start preparing your Turkey, Stuffing, Mashed Potatoes, Christmas Cake, Shortbreads, Gingerbread, Christmas Pudding, Mince Tarts, Cranberry Sauce and the like and be prepared to celebrate the Birth of Christ. Let us hope all our travelers are back by then; we need to celebrate all together.

Now Confessions! we all want to start the New Year afresh so Confessions will be not only this weekend as usual, and if you make your confession this weekend, you will be ok until after Christmas. I therefore encourage you, as many as possible, use Vespers and around the Liturgy on Sunday to good advantage. Otherwise it is from 8pm on January 6th, through Matins and around the Liturgy of the Nativity.

Repeating last week's note from Alina:

1. Icons donated to our church by Father Theodore and Presbytera Joy will be available for purchase this and the following weekends. There are two types of icons: on rocks and on real shells. Prices vary from $20 to $30 depending on size. Please approach Leslee or Alina to make a payment so that we could track this sale separately from regular donations. All proceeds will go towards our church.

2. Gifts for three Ukrainian families. There are three large boxes downstairs where you can put your wrapped gifts. We should deliver them to the families #1 and #3 during the next week (before December 31), and to the family #2, after the next one (before January 6). If you cannot make it to the church in time but have something to contribute please contact Alina by email (alina@kirsanov.com) to arrange the pick up.

3. 2023 church calendars have arrived and will be delivered to the church this weekend. There are English only and English+Russian versions. The suggested price is $10. Please mark an envelope with your payment ("for calendars") and put it in the donation box (or send an EMT with the corresponding note) so that we could track them separately.

Speaking of Father Theodore, he is much improving in hospital. Thank God! Prayers for Presbytera Joy as well.

There are also the Beaded Prayer Ropes from the Hermitage of the Annunciation. Check with "New Josh" Abraham for the pricing of those.

I think I forgot to include the photos from the Family Evening. If you touch on this you should see all of them and they are really beautiful pictures.

The Good Samaritan I'm not quite sure I understand how the young man Yves arrived at the church in time for Vespers last Saturday evening. It is a mystery. Apparently, he arrived on his bicycle and waited for the service to begin. We were not aware that he was coming and he was not dressed for the cold. It seems that he had come from l'Universite Ste-Anne on the west coast of the province. He was quite prepared to stay the night in the grounds but it was cold and he was not dressed. That's when Kataryna and Sergey stepped in and although they do not have a lot of spare room took in Yves and eventually got him on the way home. That's why I have included the icon of the Good Samaritan. Kataryna and Sergey - Good Samaritans.

I received a message from Aline with pictures of the two families who received the Christmas Presents. See, there are many Good Samaritans.

Glory to God!
May God Bless us, Love in Christ,
-- Father David

December 23, 2022

Week 28 after Pentecost

Saturday December 24th 6:00pm Vespers
Wisdom 3:1-9, Wisdom 5:15-6:3, Wisdom 4:7-15

Sunday December 25th 10:00am Divine Liturgy St. Herman the Wonderworker of Alaska, followed by Coffee Hour
Sunday of the Holy Forefathers
Colossians 3:4-11; Galatians 5:22-6:2
St. Luke 14:16-24; St. Luke 6:17-23
Tone: 3

This is Christmas Day for the churches that follow the Reformed Calendar We pray and celebrate with them as we hope they will celebrate with us when we celebrate The Birth of Christ starting 9pm January 6th 2023.

You will have noticed that the days are now getting longer. We have passed the Winter Solstice and the Winter Season is finally upon us which means the days are getting longer and the nights are getting shorter. While we are experiencing the coming of the new light and eventually the spring, we are also celebrating the coming of the True Light, the taking flesh of the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, and that is why the Theotokos is so important, she was the vehicle of that taking of flesh; He is the real Light of the World. "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life." (St. John 8:12)

Thank you to all who turned out for the Moleben for the sick. Father Theodore was taken to hospital and is on a respirator. Many of our people who were able, came for the short service. Leslee informs that Father Theodore is improving. Thank God!

Please remember the icons that were prepared by Presbytera Joy and Father Theodore. Please check with Leslee or Alina for prices.

Note from Alina:

1. Icons donated to our church by Father Theodore and Presbytera Joy will be available for purchase this and the following weekends. There are two types of icons: on rocks and on real shells. Prices vary from $20 to $30 depending on size. Please approach Leslee or Alina to make a payment so that we could track this sale separately from regular donations. All proceeds will go towards our church.

2. Gifts for three Ukrainian families. There are three large boxes downstairs where you can put your wrapped gifts. We should deliver them to the families #1 and #3 during the next week (before December 31), and to the family #2, after the next one (before January 6). If you cannot make it to the church in time but have something to contribute please contact Alina by email (alina (at) kirsanov.com) to arrange the pick up.

3. 2023 church calendars have arrived and will be delivered to the church this weekend. There are English only and English+Russian versions. The suggested price is $10. Please mark an envelope with your payment ("for calendars") and put it in the donation box (or send an EMT with the corresponding note) so that we could track them separately.

There are also the Beaded Prayer Ropes from the Hermitage of the Annunciation. Check with New Josh for pricing of those.

A Christmas Carol

Lo, how a rose e'er blooming,
From tender stem hath sprung.
Of Jesse's lineage coming,
As men of old have sung;
It came, a flow'ret bright,
Amid the cold of winter,
When half spent was the night.
Isaiah 'twas foretold it,
The Rose I have in mind,
With Mary we behold it,
The virgin mother kind;
To show God's love aright,
She bore to men a Savior,
When half spent was the night.
O Flower, whose fragrance tender
With sweetness fills the air,
Dispel with glorious splendour
The darkness everywhere;
True man, yet very God,
From Sin and death now save us,
And share our every load.

Indeed May God Bless all of us, Love in Christ,
--Father David

December 16, 2022

Week 27 after Pentecost

Saturday December 17th 6:00pm Vespers
Sunday December 18th 10:00am Divine Liturgy, followed by Coffee Hour
Ephesians 6:10-17
St. Luke 17:12-19
Tone: 2

Monday December 19th St. Nicholas the Wonderworker (The true Santa Claus!)

If there was a choir, I would have Vespers on Sunday Evening. St. Nicholas is a very important saint and he should not be forgotten. The Secular world forgets the saint but remembers his shadow, that of Santa Claus. The gifts he brings is all because of the actions of the St. Nicholas the bishop of Myra in Lycia. You will remember he attended the Council of Nicaea in 325. St. Nicholas is the Patron Saint of Children. The stories range from providing dowries for three young women, to whisking a stolen boy back to his parents to returning to life three children who had become lost. It is really worth looking up the life and stories associated with St. Nicholas called The Wonderworker.

Please remember that donations to Taran for the soups he is making for the homeless would be very welcome. I'm pretty sure that the donations could be in the form of cash, and I believe there is a vessel reserved particularly for that, or vegetables. Since he is making nutritious soups, he is keen to include meat. I suggested bacon as it is fatty and has lots of calories. I'll leave that for you to discuss with Taran.

Don't forget Alina's outreach to the four Ukrainian families who have children. St. Nicholas will need to visit these families over Christmas, that means you and me.

We are coming up to the New Calendar Christmas. We will not ignore that even though it is not our Christmas. We are unique amongst the three Orthodox parishes in Halifax in that we celebrate the Birth of Christ on January 7th which is actually December 25th on our calendar, 13 days after the secular calendar. Our Liturgy will start with Matins at 9pm on Friday January 6th, it will be in our own church. If the weather should happen to be clement, we might even have a procession around the church. I doubt that though, we're much more likely to be snowed in. (I see that snow is forecast for new calendar Christmas.)

Looking forward: Following Vespers on Theophany, we shall serve the Great Blessing of Water. This is when we bring jars to collect Holy Water to last us for the year. I would like to remind you that this is the time when it is usual for our homes to be blessed. This is a short service when we sprinkle the home with Holy Water and sing as we go round. There should be a white cloth with a cross, a bowl with Holy Water, and a candle ready for the blessing. This is something we have overlooked but we must do as many homes as possible. This is not a one-off ceremony, it happens every Theophany. Let's do it!

I am really sorry that some received odd messages purporting to be from me. I can assure you I have not been sending messages asking for donations to me or to any fund or company. One by one we all get our address book compromised. The Archbishop had this happen not so long ago; perhaps it makes us special and famous. I would never start a message with "Hi". I usually use the greeting "Dear" followed by the name, or occasionally with "Hey" again followed by the name. Besides this, I'm sure that you all know my style of writing by now.

Please pray for Father Theodore and Presbytera Joy who are presently sick with the Covid virus.

I want to share Taran's email concerning the soup, chili, bread, and I think clothing that has been organized by Taran and I believe New Josh, and others, to feed and clothe in warmth the homeless in the parks. If you feel you can help, please contact our catechumen Taran. This is an incredible outreach from the parish. Here is his message:

Glory be to God for All Things! Amen.

Hello my family in Christ, I pray you are well and the Holy Spirit is firmly planted upon the throne of your hearts for all Eternity.

Regarding our first attempt to feed many of our homeless brother and sisters on Saturday.

As of now, it is still calling for large amount of Rain. Let us Pray that this weather be abated as it accords with God's will. Let us always say "Nevertheless, Thy Will be Done." And we will Trust God's wise plans. Let us also pray to Saint Nektarios who commanded the rains on Aegina, or Saint Paisios, who did not get wet when it rained. Let us remember also, that if we have faith as a mustard seed, even the very mountains will rise and fall at our prayer. God grant us this faith! Amen.

At any rate, We can either persevere in the weather or reschedule for Monday. Thoughts?

If we do go out Saturday, I propose meeting Here (6941 Tupper Grove, Halifax) for around 10 - 10:30 am. Loading up and rolling our from there. There are two main locations with many campers. The woods on Quinpool near the rotary, and the corner of Spring Garden and South Park has been re-filled with tents. There are also a few tents on Universities Avenue.

As it stands, I will have Chicken soup, Kristin is making some of her wonderful Chili, and Kateryna is baking some delicious bread loafs for us. Josh is picking up some boxes of coffee and tea from Tim Hortons, and Douglas and Morgan have provided us with Tables, and Cups to distribute our humble gifts to these Children of God. May we all meet again in the Heavenly Jerusalem at the End of Time. Grant this O' Lord, to Thy Humble and Unworthy Servants.

Forgive my Ramblings my dear family. Thank God for this mission and for each of you. Let us Remember the Cross is the Power of God, and with Him Anything is Possible.

Please let me know of any thoughts, changes, suggestions, or conflicts with the above mentioned plans.

Please forgive me, a sinner, and Pray for me, And Pray that God help us take care of His children. Blessed are the Poor. They are being Glorified in their sufferings. Let us help them. I thank God for all of you. Have a blessed rest of your week. Please call, text, email me any time!

May the Grace of our Heavenly Father, the Peace and Humility of our King Jesus Christ, and the Communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all unto the Unbounded Ages of Ages. Amen.

with Humble Love in Christ Jesus, your Brother/Son,

-- Taran.

I hesitate to put Taran's phone number in the Bulletin considering the trouble I have just recently experienced with fake emails. If you need his number please call or text me.

We must also remember Alina's collection for the Ukrainian families. I know that there are people signed up. Please make sure you know the details and dates for the stuff to be collected.

Regarding New Calendar Christmas. There are some who are very strict about the observance of New Calendar Christmas for those of us who are on the Julian Calendar. I would remind you that this is not our Christmas Feast and that we will still be fasting. I would also remind you not to be so determined that you refuse to celebrate with your Revised Calendar relatives and friends if you are invited. To refuse to celebrate with them would be Grinch-like and we would not want to spoil their celebration. You can, of course, invite them to our Christmas Celebration on the eve of January 6th at church, and January 7th at your home perhaps.

Mark, Dan and I were invited to visit Trinity Anglican with the idea of sharing their building. We discovered that it would be much more difficult for us to share with them than it would be for them to share with us, (logistics!).

Here is a reminder from Dan about the Family Night:

Dear Friends:

This is a reminder that there will be a Family Night at the Church this Friday, December 16 at 5:00 - 7:00 p.m.

It will be an evening of food, games, prayer and some children's education in the Orthodox Faith, for parents, grandparents, and children of all ages. We have some activities in mind based on the themes of the Nativity season. Father David has said he will host a quiz game. Given the timing, we are hoping that those who attend will be able to bring some food to eat and share. (Likely most of the children are not following the fasting rules strictly.)

On a monthly-or-so basis, we hope this sort of event will give the children in the parish an extra chance to strengthen the friendships they've already been forming week by week at church. And it will fill a need for some 'Sunday school' without interfering in families' participation in the Liturgy or adding too much to our Sundays. Please pray for the many children in our parish!

Thank you Dan and Michelle.

Don't forget to pray for the safe return of Father Alexander who is at a conference in the US. May God bless him and bring him safely home.

New Josh has brought some beaded prayer ropes back from the monks at the Hermitage of the Annunciation. There are some with 100 beads and some with 50; just think what wonderful Christmas gifts, as well as instruments to help us recite the Jesus Prayer, these ropes would make. They are made at the Hermitage so not only will the sale benefit the monks, but will benefit us, as well.

As well as beaded prayer ropes, there are Stone Icons for sale. These were made by Presbytera Joy and Father Theodore, and given to us for the benefit of the parish. Again what lovely Christmas gifts and so unusual; Alina has these, please speak with her.

Subdeacon David and his family are away in Winnipeg, please pray for them. May God bless all of us,

Love in Christ,
--Father David

A Remembrance of warmer days

December 9, 2022

Week 26 after Pentecost

Saturday December 10th 6:00pm Vespers
Sunday December 11th 10:00am Divine Liturgy, followed by Coffee Hour
Ephesians 5:8-19
St. Luke 13:10-17
Tone: 1

You may have noticed that after standing at the Altar for a long time last Sunday, I found it really difficult to walk and cense the Temple. This happens occasionally. I shall have to take steps to try to fix this. It doesn't happen all the time. Thank you for the concern those close to me showed.

I spoke to the Archbishop on Wednesday evening and I gave him a definite invitation to share my Name Day with us. He will be coming for either the Sunday before or the Sunday after March 1st. In that case we shall advance the Parish Photo to the Sunday that His Eminence visits. We will, by that time, be in Great Lent.

I had a note from Holly, that's JJ's mother who is presently in Texas visiting her mother. Very kindly she sent a photo:

"Hi Father David and Father Alexander! Thank you for your prayers. I made it safely to Texas and am having a wonderful time visiting with my Mom and family! I am attending St Barbara's Church in Fort Worth but miss you all so much. Please tell everyone there that I have emailed and send all my love and prayers! Christ is truly in our midst! Love" -- Holly Anna

Remember the Outside toilet!

I also have a note from Alina regarding the proposed gifts for Ukrainian children. Please read and let Alina know if you are able to contribute, also contact her if you have questions:

"Let's come together as a parish to prepare holiday gifts for some refugees from Ukraine! I have been in contact with three families so far. They gave me some suggestions of what their kids would like the most and what their families are in need of. It would be great if each family who could participate in this gift-giving initiative would buy one item, wrap and address it on behalf of the whole parish, and bring it to the church. We will set up boxes downstairs for each family where you could drop off your wrapped gifts. Some families could decide to buy more expensive items together, by splitting the cost. Some other families could take care of food baskets by buying a variety of festive food items and wrapping them up in a nice basket. Perishables such as fruits should be purchased just before the delivery date. The delivery dates will be announced later. Also, one woman asked for a small artificial Christmas tree (no more that 1.5 meters) and decorations for it, if anyone has a suitable tree at home or can purchase one, we can deliver it separately beforehand so that she could set it up as soon as possible. <...> Please contact me at alina (at) kirsanov (dot) com if you have any suggestions. Thank you!" - Alina

This past week I was with Taran who bought two large Stock Pots. They were on sale at Canadian Tire. He intends along with others in the parish to fill them with nourishing food and take them - hot - to the homeless in the various parks. I happen to know that one of the young men is collected warm clothing and will be distributing that as well. Anyone wishing, or is inclined to help with all this, please speak with Taran. I'll ask Taran to speak on Sunday about collecting money and foods for this venture.

May God bless all of you. These are really important outreach programmes that we are initiating. It shows that the Love of Christ lies - in the hearts of our Parish.

There is a couple recently arrived from Ukraine and have suddenly lost the husband; Halyna Ivchenko will be burying her husband Serge. Father Alexander will be serving the Funeral on Saturday while I'll be at a meeting to discuss with an Anglican Parish, the possibility of sharing space. Please pray hard for both situations, in fact for all the situations and projects we are involved with.

May the Lord Bless all of us,
Love in Christ,
-- Father David

December 2, 2022

Week 25 after Pentecost

Saturday December 3rd 5:30pm Panikhida for the victims of the war in Ukraine followed by Vespers
Exodus 40:1-5, 9, 10, 16, 34-35
3Kings 7:51, 8:1, 3-7, 9-11
Ezekiel 43:27-44:4

Sunday December 4th 10:00am Divine Liturgy for The Entry of the Most Holy Mother of God into the Temple, followed by Coffee Hour
Ephesians 4:1-6
St. Luke 12:16-21
For the feast
Hebrews 9:1-7
St. Luke 10:38-42, 11:27-28
Tone: 8

We collected food for a woman who appealed to us as having no food and recovering from surgery. She did not appear in the church, we did not have her address and she was unable to get to us. Because the stuff was left hanging around, we decided to donate it to Ryan and Jessica who are hosting Michael and Sophia. As Ryan was driving down towards the road, with the donated food, the woman (Zeinap) called and appealed again. This time we have her address and so I ask again that we donate food for this woman. It will be delivered to her apartment this time. Please bring non-perishable food to church this Sunday to donate to (Zeinap).

One of our parishioners called me and made a suggestion regarding the homeless in the parks of Halifax. He suggested that we collect winter coats etc. that we no longer use and take them to one of the venues for the homeless to choose. Please let Mark Blaauw know what you think of this and how we should go about it.

I've included a copy of the December Calendar. This will help those who don't have the calendar to know when Fish and wine plus oil are permitted (little symbols of a fish and grapes).

There is an outside toilet that should be used as much as possible in place of the downstairs one.

I had a call from Braidyn who is starting his apprenticeship at a company that deals with large engines which is exactly what he wanted to work with. He forwarded a photo. He said something like, he works 8 days on and 6 days off. Well, something like that. May God bless you, my son.

I want to say Thank You to Father Maximos of St. Antonios. When he returned from Greece and his time on the Holy Mountain, he brought us some incense, candle lighters and the beautiful vestments trimmed in blue for the Theotokos. He is a very giving and generous man. Please pray for him and for St. Antonios parish.

Pray also for Dan who has hurt his foot. He can explain the accident to you. He is getting used to having a cast on his foot and using crutches.

I'm just a little concerned about nutrition during the fasting seasons. Somewhere at the back of the church there is a binder with lenten type recipes in. I remember collecting recipes from our parishioners a couple of Great Lents ago. Have a look and add recipes if you have some. I suspect that protein is probably the most difficult to replace. We are used to meat and fish and suddenly that is sort of unacceptable. Most of us keep peanut butter to have on toast and with jam in sandwiches. What other sorts of protein can we eat? Well to start with, anything without a backbone like shell fish, scallops, shrimp, crab, lobster, clams, oysters, mussels, octopus, squid and then there are all the pulses like beans, lentils, and nuts. I'm sure you can think of more. I made a lovely Leek and Potato Soup. I boiled the potatoes until soft with a couple of bay leaves. In a frying pan I sautéed some Indian spices with the cut up leek in oil along with a few frozen winter vegetables (I think broccoli and cauliflower with a few frozen peas and perhaps corn, and thyme), dumped it into the potatoes, added more water and vegetable stock cubes, then simmered it for about twenty minutes, but kept it a bit thick; tested for pepper and salt. It was really nice, surprise, surprise.

Have you noticed all the pseudo Christmas music in the stores? It's meant to remind you that money should be transferred from our bank accounts to the bank account of the store, in exchange for some goods or other. Don't believe it. Wait for the real Christmas music.

How will you deal with "Western Christmas?" - Santa and the non-Orthodox part of your family that will want to feast on December 25th? Remember, food put before you must not be refused. "If an unbeliever invites you to dinner and you are disposed to go, eat whatever is set before you without raising any question on the grounds of conscience." (1 Corinthians 10:27 ESV)

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

Liturgy: Mon, Tues, Wed, Sat, St.
Antonios; Thurs, Fri, St. George.

November 25, 2022

Week 24 after Pentecost

Saturday November 26th 6:00 pm Vespers
Sunday November 27th 10:00am Divine Liturgy, followed by Coffee Hour

Readings for this Sunday:
Ephesians 2:14-20
St. Luke 10:25-37
Tone: 7

Monday November 28th Repose of Saint Herman Wonderworker of Alaska
Galatians 5:22-6:2
St. Luke 6:17-23

Beginning of the Nativity Fast. Today Fish Wine and Oil permitted. Check your wall calendar for allowed foods.

Tuesday November 29th Holy Apostle and Evangelist Matthew
1 Corinthians 4:9-16
St. Matthew 9:9-13

Please Note: Between now and Western Christmas (at 8am and concludes at 10am) there is Matins and Divine Liturgy every day, and it goes like this - Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday at St. Antonios; Thursday and Friday - St. George.

Regarding the Christmas Fasting Period, check your wall calendar for days when fish, or wine, or oil, are permitted.

I received the following from Alina and print it here for your attention and perhaps response:

Good day, dear community. We are reaching out to you on behalf of a group of volunteers of the Ukrainian Store (www.halifax-ukrainian-store.ca) who are helping displaced Ukrainian families in HRM and surrounding areas with their basic needs. There is a list of almost all the Ukrainian kids in HRM, including kids with special needs and single parents. It's about 67 kids. With the Christmas holidays approaching, volunteers are raising funds to provide a nice sweet present for each one of them. Nothing extraordinary, just a cute bag of various chocolates and sweets to make them smile and laugh. Children definitely deserve it. Even the smallest amount will make a big difference. Your monetary donations (e-transfer) can be sent to: theukrainianstore (at) gmail.com. Please add a note to your donation "Christmas Sweets". Thank you so much for your kindness. With hope for Peace, The Russian Society of the Maritimes

Thank you Alina.

Don't forget the Adult Discussion Group will meet in the basement of the church at 4.30pm on Saturday November 26th.

I had planned on receiving Jarod (who transferred his attendance from St. George to us after consulting with Father Peter and receiving his blessing) into the Catechumenate but it occurred to me that he became a Catechumen under the guidance of Father Peter, so on Saturday after the Discussion group and before Vespers, I shall formally welcome him into the Catechumenate in our parish. If I were to make him a Catechumen again, I would be implying that we are a different Church from the St. George parish. Whereas we are all Orthodox and therefore we, along with St. George, the Greek Parish, and St. Antonios, the Antiochian parish, are in Communion with each other, and are each part of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. We belong to different jurisdictions with a few different customs, but we are the Same in all important aspects. Jarod therefore is already a Catechumen, so we'll welcome him.

Just to remind you who we are. The next photo of the parish will be taken on the anniversary of this picture, that is Pentecost 2023, Sunday June 4th. Now you have been given 6 months warning to make sure you are at church that day. I would prefer all of us to be present (perhaps to show why we need a new church!).

Do you ever use the book of Psalms for meditation? They are worth looking over. They are the writings of many years ago and attributed to David the King, who slew Goliath. If you consult most Bibles, you will see that there are 150 Psalms, if you consult the Septuagint, there are 151 and the numbering of the Psalms is slightly different. They are worth reading and reflect many different moods. Give them a try and find for yourself how incredible these poems are.

Dan and Michelle have some interesting proposals for the teaching of our Children. For some reason, I have lost the file they sent to me, but I believe they are proposing to have the Children's Education Program meet on a Friday evening, making it an evening of fun and food for everyone, from babies to the elderly. That really is the way to learn The Faith. The Church is a family, we pray, worship, learn, and have fun together, and eat together too. We are a family, there is no doubt, we show that week by week. There are two distinct groups thanks to Dan and Michelle, The Adult Discussion Group, and the General Family Education and fun time. Praise be to God for all things!

May God bless each and every one of us.
Love in that same Christ, our God,
-- Father David

November 21, 2022

The following message was unable to be included in Father David's last newsletter, but he would like it to be sent out today. It is from our parishioner Maria Koutovenko:

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

My friend Natalia Pavlovskaya, an amazing pianist, is organizing a fundraiser to help Ukrainian children who want to study music in Canada. The concert will feature pieces by Rachmaninoff, Beethoven, Schumann and Schubert performed by Russian and Canadian musicians and will take place this Friday, November 25th at 6 p.m. at the Lilian Piercey Concert Hall of the Maritime Conservatory.

The entrance is by donation and all the proceeds will be donated to the Ukrainian Cultural Society in Halifax and the Scholarship Fund of the Piano Department Conservatory. The Ukrainian Cultural Society was established in 2022 to support and promote Ukrainian culture in Canada and abroad, aid Ukrainians fleeing the war in Ukraine, and help Ukraine preserve and rebuild its cultural heritage. Please invite your family and friends to this wonderful event! See the poster attached.

-- With love and gratitude in Christ, Maria

November 19, 2022

Week 23 after Pentecost

Saturday November 19th 6:00 pm Vespers

Sunday November 20th 10:00am Divine Liturgy, followed by Coffee Hour

Readings for this Sunday:
Ephesians 2:4-10
St. Luke 8:41-56
Tone: 3

Monday November 21st Synaxis of the Archangels Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, Uriel, Salaphiel, Jegudiel, and Jeremiel and the Other Bodiless Powers
Readings: I Thessalonians 2:20-3:8
St. Luke 12:13-15, 22-31

Saturday November 26th St. John Chrysostom, Archbishop of Constantinople
Readings: 2 Corinthians 11:1-16
St. Luke 9:37-43

I have just received a telephone call from a lady who is from Chechnya. She seems to be in quite a state having lost her job and has had surgery. She is in her 60s and cried to me on the phone. She has no income and has not food. I told her that I would bring this to the attention of the parish and that we would bring food for her. Her name is Zeinap Timurzieva and she will come to the church on Sunday morning at 10 (I'm pretty sure that this is her name). Please bring food (as though we were a food bank), that we can give her. We shall have to make sure that she can get to her apartment after the Liturgy. I thank God that I was awake when she called.

I arrived back at the Halifax Airport just before 5 this morning, Thursday. Braidyn had parked my car at the Park and Fly when he went to the airport to fly to Calgary. Thus I was able to pick up my car and drive home. You may remember that I was in Calgary visiting my Niece and her husband so was able to meet Braidyn at the Calgary Airport where I met his dad. He sent me a picture of his Grandma Maggie who is over 100 years. May God Bless her.

May God Bless all of us.
Love in Christ,
-- Father David

November 11, 2022

Week 22 after Pentecost

Saturday November 12th 4:30pm Adult Study Group; 6:00 pm Vespers

Sunday November 13th 10:00am Divine Liturgy, followed by Coffee Hour

Sunday, Nov 13 will be the last service when we will have Altar-server Braidyn Pollitt with us. He is returning to Alberta on Nov 14 and we wish him all the best and much success!

November 5, 2022

Week 21 after Pentecost

Saturday November 5th 5:30pm Memorial service regarding the war in Ukraine followed by Vespers
Sunday November 6th 10:00am Divine Liturgy

October 28, 2022

Week 20 after Pentecost

Saturday October 29th 6:00pm Vespers
Sunday October 30th 10:00am Divine Liturgy

Readings for this Sunday
Galatians 1:11-19
St. Luke 8:5-15
Tone: 3

Monday October 31st Holy Apostle and Evangelist Luke
Readings: Colossians 4:5-9,14,18
St. Luke 10:16-21

Father Alexander has had a lovely four weeks at St. Antonios. I'm sure the people there have really enjoyed his time with them. Now I'm going to be away for two to three weeks. I'm going to visit my Niece in Cochrane Alberta. Please continue to pray for me, and pray for the safe return of Father Maximos from his time in Greece.

Some have asked me about the book that contains the list of saints and special celebrations that we use day by day and week by week. It is the Saint Herman Calendar and is published by the St. Herman of Alaska Brotherhood P.O. Box 70 Platina California 96076. It contains the saints for each day, and the readings, plus very useful information such as rules for fasting. This last year it contained information on Orthodoxy in Montenegro, amongst other things. The 2023 edition can be ordered from their website: https://www.sainthermanmonastery.com/login.asp.

There will be no bulletins until I'm back from Alberta.

May God bless each of us.
Love in Christ,
--Father David

October 21, 2022

Week 19 after Pentecost

Saturday October 22th 6:00pm Vespers
Sunday October 23th 10:00am Divine Liturgy, Commemoration of the Fathers of the Seventh Ecumenical Council

Readings for this Sunday
2 Corinthians 11:31-12:9
St. Luke 7:11-16
Tone: 2

Readings for the Fathers of the Seventh Ecumenical Council
Hebrews 13:7-16
St. John 17:1-13

We didn't have quite as many at our Council meeting as were at the Seventh Ecumenical Council, but I think considering we are a parish of the Church in Nova Scotia and not a council of the whole Church, we did very well! The Seventh Ecumenical Council took place in Nicea in 787AD. This was the Council that re-established the Holy Icons as an essential part of Orthodox worship:

"I do not worship matter, but the Creator of matter, who for my sake became material and deigned to dwell in matter, who through matter effected my salvation..." - St. John of Damascus

This Saturday Father Cezar Pelin is visiting from New Brunswick and will serve Liturgy and a Baptism in our church. This was supposed to happen last year but was cancelled due to the snow blocking the entrance to the church. May God bless them.

Please remember the Adult Discussion Group this Saturday at 4.30pm.

The new Parish Council will be formally inducted during the Liturgy this Sunday.

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

October 15, 2022

Week 18 after Pentecost

Saturday October 15th 6:00pm Vespers
Sunday October 16th 10:00am Divine Liturgy, St. Dionysios the Areopagite, Annual General Meeting

Readings for this Sunday
2 Corinthians 9:6-11
St. Luke 6:31-36 Tone: 1

Annual General Meeting


  • Opening Prayer
  • Reports:
    • Rector
    • Parish President
    • Treasurer
    • Fabric
    • Others
  • Appointment of officers for 2022/2023

    You will be asked to ratify this roster or suggest alternatives.

    • President of the Parish Council: Mark Blaauw
    • President Emeritus: David Decaire
    • Secretary: Joshua Richardson
    • Treasurer: Oksana Lunyov
    • Building Fabric: Colin McInnis, Sergey Lukiian
    • Prosphora Coordinator: Katerina Lukiian
    • Adult Discussion Group: Dan Wilband
    • Children's Education: Boris Starcevic, Michelle Wilband, Dan Wilband
    • Coffee Hour: Kristin McInnis, Heather Decaire
    • Choir: Cameron Taylor, Ryan Dubowezky
    • Grounds and outside activities: Yan Tsehtik
    • Archivist and Membership: Leslee Mansour
  • New Business: this is where members of the Parish bring up things they would like the new Parish Council to consider

I find it hard to believe that it has been, as of November 1st, three years since I first stepped into St. Vladimir Prince of Kiev Church in Halifax Nova Scotia. I remember it well. Vespers. I even remember the shoes I was wearing. I also remember comments like, "What's the use of having a new priest who is even older than the previous one?" And I remember on that occasion, and the next morning that there were many people who came because the Archbishop was there to present the new priest, but certainly they wanted to see who the new priest was and what he looked like.

So, I settled in slowly. The very first Sunday, I was ill and had to be excused. Fortunately Father Alexander who knew the parish and was well known by the parish, was able to fill in. Ever since meeting Father Alexander, I have been able to depend on him. He and his family have become dear and supportive friends. Mind you, we still haven't managed to go fishing together. That's not quite true if you think about our task within the Parish, "And He said to them, 'Follow me and I will make you fishers of men.'" (Matthew 4:19) So Dear Father Alexander, we have been fishing, just not for Mackerel. Note well my dear people, when it says "men" it's the old way of meaning both men and women. We've noted that there are more men than women finding us, but I promise that we are angling for all people, as the Lord intended.

We are very blessed in the people we have. Just look at the floor of the church and see the wood where there used to be a floor that we were nervous to allow children to play on.

Look at the floor in the basement where we have our coffee after Liturgy and more recently hold our Adult Discussion Group. Look at the ceiling downstairs and the effort to cover it with drywall tiles. Look also at the increase in the number of those who are making Prosphora loaves. Look at the number of children we have who expect to be educated. How do I know that they expect to be educated in the faith? Look at what happened last Sunday. I intended a general sermon after the Gospel, I invited people to sit and when I look down, there was the horseshoe of children and adults sitting on the floor, just as though I was doing a children's sermon. They did that; and the responses I get from children. They know, they have learned, and they wish to continue learning. It is a miracle. Who was it who said, "Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven?" (Matthew 19:14). In our case the children would not permit us to hinder them. Thanks be to God!

From October of last year, there have been twelve Baptisms with Chrismation, one Crowning (Marriage) and two Funerals. We have two Catechumens plus one person waiting to become a Catechumen and a further two interested and finding out about the Orthodox Church. We have one Subdeacon, two priests, a Choir Director, an assistant director and a number of chanters. Our Altar is well looked after by a number of Altar Servants. We have two women who tirelessly look after our Coffee Hour and others who help. There are people who vacuum and clean and we have a whole Church full of people who help where they can and welcome visitors and new people. We rally around to help each other as was evidenced when Dmitry's father, Vladimir, new from Russia, suddenly died and we were able to gather to bury him in a respectful manner despite the rain.

As I look around the church, I see what the Lord commanded, people who respect each other and are not afraid to show the Love of God. As I put at the bottom of the latest Parish Photograph, "This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you." (John 15:12)

"O God thou art my God, early will I seek thee. My soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh also longeth for thee, in a barren and dry land where no water is. Thus have I looked for thee in holiness that I might behold thy power and glory. For thy loving-kindness is better than life itself, my lips shall praise thee. As long as I live will I magnify thee on this manner, and lift up my hands in thy name." (Psalm 63 or 62)

May God Bless you
Love in Christ,
--Father David

October 7, 2022

Week 17 after Pentecost

Thursday, Oct 13th 6:00pm Vespers for the Protection of the Most Holy Mother of God.

Please refer to The Protection of our Most Holy Lady the Mother of God and Ever-Virgin Mary - Orthodox Church in America.

Saturday October 8th 6:00pm Vespers
1 John 3:21-4:6
1 John 4:11-16
1 John 4:20-5:5

Sunday October 9th 10:00am Divine Liturgy, Repose of the Holy Apostle and Evangelist John the Theologian

Readings for this Sunday
2 Corinthians 6:16-7:1
2 Corinthians
Tone: 7

And For Saint John
1 John 4:12-19
St. John 19:25-27; 21:24-25

Please pray for the repose of Vladimir Trukhachev, the father of Dmitry.

Pray also for the Catechumen Taran whose grandfather Alison Murray died this week in New Brunswick.

Cameron was at a memorial for his Uncle Chris in Toronto.

"The Holy, Glorious All-laudable Apostle and Evangelist, Virgin, and Beloved Friend of Christ, John the Theologian was the son of Zebedee and Salome, a daughter of Saint Joseph the Betrothed. He was called by our Lord Jesus Christ to be one of His Apostles at the same time as his elder brother James. This took place at Lake Gennesareth (i.e. the Sea of Galilee). Leaving behind their father, both brothers followed the Lord." (This is a partial extract from the OCA website. Please look at the rest of this article to read the life of Saint John the Theologian.)

Please pray for the monks who seem to have been perhaps more unwell than they thought. I did advise them that Garlic is a good thing to take when one is ill. They are fine now so I hear. Speaking of the Monks, the note below tells of their available produce this week. Don't forget, they need your support.

We have all sorts of fall vegetables just in time for your Thanksgiving meal! Have a blessed Thanksgiving! Bulk Parsley: 400g for $5 (order by email only)


  • Garlic
  • Carrots!!!
  • Potatoes
  • Acorn Squash
  • Lettuce
  • Parsley...
  • And More...

The 2022 Garlic Harvest: order your garlic today! $13.50 / lb

Contact information: monks (at) goosechasemonastery.ca

By purchasing our garden produce and handmade items you support monastic life. May God bless you!

Something else to remember and that is the Adult Discussion Group led by Dan Wilband. It will meet this Saturday October 8th at 4.30pm, that's right before Vespers. As you will remember, the discussion will be the beginning of On the Incarnation by Saint Athanasius, with the Preface by C. S. Lewis. Dan will attempt to broadcast the session but since the church does not have wifi, he will have to use his cell phone. We'll see how that goes, please be forbearing (patient).

I can't get over the way our parish was able to come together at short notice, to provide for the funeral of Vladimir Trukhachev, the father of Dmitry Trukhachev, and husband of Tatiana. Vladimir and Tatiana arrived just days ago, on August 26th from Saint Petersburg Russia. Shortly after arriving in Halifax, Vladimir became ill and suddenly died. Dmitri and his family were faced with finding a burial site and organizing a funeral; Father Alexander had visited, anointed and given Communion to Vladimir. The Anglicans very kindly allowed the burial to take place in the cemetery adjacent to our church. Father Alexander contacted some of our parish who came together, not only to be part of the congregation, but to supply flowers, serve, and even carry the coffin into the church and thereafter to the grave site.

We came together as a parish to do this work of The Lord, and thanks be to God it all went well except for the rain. Even that did not stop us. It was interesting to see the back-hoe filling in the grave.

We are blessed to have a parish that comes together against many odds to provide for those in need.

Thank you!
May God bless all of us
--Father David

Remember: Parish Annual General Meeting October 16th following the Liturgy. Be there or be rectangular!

October 5, 2022

Dear Friends,

Our parishioner Dmitry Trukhachev's father Vladimir passed away this Monday, October 3, in Halifax. We are going to have a funeral tomorrow, October 6, at 12:30pm at St. Vladimir's; after the funeral, Vladimir will be buried at the Anglican cemetery adjacent to our church.

This is obviously very short notice, but it's only now that these details have been finalized. Most people will be working, of course, but if you happen to be off work and would be able - and would like - to come and help (with singing / altar serving / carrying the casket - strong men are needed to help carry it up to the church and then down to the cemetery), Fr. David and I as well as Dmitry and his family would greatly appreciate this.

Please pass this information to your families and anyone who might be available.

Thank you all, and please pray for the repose of the servant of God Vladimir. May God grant his soul rest in a place of light, a place of green pasture, a place of refreshment, from where pain, sorrow, and sighing have fled away and make his memory to be eternal! May God give comfort to Dmitry and his family.

Love in Christ,
--pr. Alexander

September 30, 2022

Week 16 after Pentecost

Saturday October 1st 5:30pm Vespers preceded by Panikhida for War in Ukraine
Sunday October 2nd 10:00am Divine Liturgy, Sunday after the Exultation of the Cross

Readings for this Sunday
2 Corinthians 6:1-10
St. Matthew 25:14-30
Tone: 7

And For the Cross
Galatians 2:16-20
Saint Mark 8:34-9:1

Thursday October 6th Conception of the Glorious Prophet, Forerunner and Baptist John
Galatians 4:22-31
Saint Luke 1:5-25

I took a few more photos of the Wedding of Vladimir (Donald) and Meagan. Here are a couple more.

Congratulations again to Donald and Meaghan on their crowning and marriage in the Church. They had previously been Civilly married, so it was only the "Crowning" and vows left to be done; a wonderful service.

I also received some photos from Daria in Winnipeg whose older son, Artem was Baptised at Holy Trinity Sobor in Winnipeg. She kindly sent me some pictures of the baptism and a nice picture of the family, Mark, Alyssa, and Amelia, whom you will remember. Congratulations to Artem, who took the baptismal name George.

Please don't forget: Parish Annual General Meeting on October 16 immediately, following the Liturgy.

Fill out your Membership Form for the 2022-2023 church year.

The Monks of the Hermitage of the Annunciation are depending on us to purchase garlic at $13.50 lb, and other vegetables as available. There are posters in the church.

As October begins we are now squarely into Autumn, or Fall. The leaves are still securely attached to the trees (except, of course, those blown off by the hurricane!), there is some colour on the maples, and stores are beginning to have pumpkins for sale. Some will make ugly faces from the pumpkins and others will make lovely and delicious pumpkin pies reminding us that Thanksgiving is just around the corner. We give thanks all the time for the blessings we receive from God.

I was invited to Ryan and Jessica's place for supper Thursday evening. It became dark so quickly.

May God bless all of us and keep us in Christ's Light!
Love in Christ
--Father David

September 23, 2022

Week 15 after Pentecost

Saturday September 24rd 6:00pm Vigil (that's Vespers and Matins)
Sunday September 25th 10:00am Divine Liturgy

Readings for this Sunday
2 Corinthians 4:6-15
St. Matthew 22:35-46
Tone: 6

Monday September 27th Great Vespers The Universal Exaltation of the Precious and Life-Giving Cross
Exodus 15:22-27; 16:1-2,
Proverbs 3:11-18
Isaiah 60:11-16
1 Corinthians 1:18-24
Saint John 19-16-11; 13-20; 25-28; 30-35

Also the repose of St. John Chrysostom archbishop of Constantinople


Please remember the Adult Education, including Catechumen instruction, at 4:30 Saturday October 8th, that's just before Vespers. Dan has emailed the sheets we will be looking at as the books (On the Incarnation by Saint Athanasius) have not yet arrived.


In the church are posters for the garlic produced by the Monks at the Hermitage of the Annunciation. Most of us use garlic and this particular garlic is not only Canadian but also local. Father JB happened to mention that the success of this year's Garden will depend on how much garlic they sell at just $13.50 per pound. Please take advantage of this offer. If you are not used to ordering from the monks have a word with David or Heather who order regularly from them. They will tell you how to order and pay. I'm going to order enough to last me for the whole year by freezing cloves (of garlic that is!) I'm sure Google will tell you how to freeze or preserve garlic (it's got everything else!) There is also the Monk's Garden: I've published the posters about this for several weeks.


  • Fresh Potatoes - Red or White
  • Celery
  • Parsley

CLICK THE LINK TO ORDER. Please, have your order in by Friday 12noon. Click here to order monk grown veggies Payments: cash (when you pick up your order) or by e-transfer: monks.ns.garden (at) gmail.com. Please wait to pay until we have confirmed that we have enough vegetables to fill your order.


Please also remember to send in your Registration, that's Membership Form. This must be done annually. For membership and voting privileges, you must be 18 years of age and a communicant of the Church. The Annual General Meeting is on October 16th which is the 18th Sunday after Pentecost. The meeting will immediately follow the Liturgy and before Coffee Hour. This is where the new Parish Council is presented to the congregation and where anyone can bring up things that need to be discussed under New Business. You also get to listen to the Rector's Report as well as the reports of the President, and the Treasurer, plus a report on the structure (fabric) of the building. Everybody needs to be present for this.


I'm glad to say that the number of Prosphora bakers is increasing. We have ordered several new Prosphora Seals so that the bakers don't have to go searching to find a seal. I have asked Kateryna Lukiian to organize a schedule for Prosphora baking thus making sure that we are never without bread for the Liturgy.


Congratulations to Vladimir and Meagan on their beautiful Wedding (Crowning) this past Sunday after Liturgy. May God bless Vladimir and Meagan as they proceed into the Life of the Church, the Body of Christ as King and Queen of their new Family in Christ, portraying the glory and honour that God has bestowed upon them.

May God bless all of us and keep us in His love,
--Father David

September 16, 2022

Week 14 after Pentecost

Saturday September 17rd 6:00pm Great Vespers
Sunday September 18th 10:00am Divine Liturgy

Readings for this Sunday
2 Corinthians 1:21-2:4
St. Matthew 22:1-14
Tone: 5

Tuesday September 20st Great Vespers (with Litia)
Wednesday September 21st The Nativity of Our Most Holy Lady the Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary

Please note that because we do not have a midweek choir, the main celebration of the Nativity of the Theotokos will be Vespers, please make sure you attend, if at all possible, and celebrate the Wednesday feast day at home.

St. Vladimir Orthodox Church Adult Education Programme

All are encouraged to join our new Parish Adult Education Programme. We will meet on the second and fourth Saturdays of each month in the Church basement, starting at 4:30 p.m (ending immediately before Vespers). Participants in the Study Group:

  • Welcome Orthodox (and non-Orthodox) who seek to "grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ" (2 Peter 3:18).
  • Read together and discuss important and spiritually nourishing books in the Orthodox Christian tradition that have shaped the minds of the faithful, both ancient and modern, in an easy-going way over coffee and tea.
  • Need not have completed the assigned reading in order to participate in discussion.
  • Are welcome to bring their children!

Sessions will be facilitated by parishioner Dan Wilband. Please email him at danwilband (at) gmail.com to receive updates on meetings and assigned readings. Participation by livestream may be possible for those who cannot attend in person.

We'll begin by reading together one of the classic texts of early Christianity, On the Incarnation by St. Athanasius of Alexandria.

This small, elegant and readable book expounds the Orthodox perspective that was upheld in the First Ecumenical Council in 325AD (which its author attended) and that is expressed in the Creed we still recite today. Its influence on all later theology cannot be overstated. Copies will be ordered - please contact Dan or Fr David to receive one.

First meeting: Saturday, September 24, 2022 at 4:30 p.m.

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

September 9, 2022

Week 13 after Pentecost

Saturday September 10rd 6:00pm Great Vespers
Isaiah 40:1-3, 9, 41:17-18, 45:8, 48:20-21, 54:1
Malachi 3:1-3, 5-7, 12, 18, 4:4-6
Wisdom 4:7, 16-17,19-20, 5:1-7
Followed by a Panikhida for Metropolitan Herman
May his memory be eternal!

Sunday September 11th 10:00am Divine Liturgy
1 Corinthians 16:13-24
St. Matthew 21:33-42
Tone: 4

Because of the solemn commemoration of the Beheading of Saint John the Forerunner, this Sunday is a day of fasting
Readings for the Beheading of St. John the Forerunner
Acts of the Apostles 13:25-33a
St. Mark 6:14-30

Troparion - Tone 2
The memory of the righteous is celebrated with hymns of praise,
but the Lord's testimony is sufficient for you, O Forerunner.
You were shown in truth to be the most honorable of the prophets,
for you were deemed worthy to baptize in the streams of the Jordan Him whom they foretold.
Therefore, having suffered for the truth with joy,
you proclaimed to those in hell God who appeared in the flesh,
who takes away the sin of the world,
and grants us great mercy.

Kontakion - Tone 5
The glorious beheading of the Forerunner,
became an act of divine dispensation,
for he preached to those in hell the coming of the Savior.
Let Herodias lament, for she entreated lawless murder,
loving not the law of God, nor eternal life,
but that which is false and temporal.

(The Icon is from the Uffizi in Florence, Italy)

September 14th (September 1st on our church calendar) is the Beginning of the Church New Year. On Tuesday September 13th we celebrate the Placing of the Cincture of the Most Holy Theotokos. You can read the story of the Sash on the OCA website.

A Visitor This morning (that's Tuesday), I had the great pleasure of welcoming Father Vincent Lehr of St. Herman of Alaska Church in Edmonton to my apartment for coffee. I've known father Vincent for many years from the days I spent in St. Albert and attended St. Herman Church. Good to see him!

The Orthodox Church in America announced the Falling Asleep in the Lord of His Beatitude Herman (1932-2022). May his memory be eternal! He was Metropolitan from 2002-2008. (I learned how to serve Eastern Rite Liturgy under Archbishop Herman in my short but significant stay at St. Tikhon's. I was terrified!) After the Liturgy on Sunday, Dan will make a short presentation about the new Adult Education Programme that we are embarking on. He will explain what we shall be studying, why, and what's good about it.

The Sunday School will also be starting soon. Michelle and Boris are discussing how it should happen, when, and how often. Please give your ideas to Boris and Michelle.

Here is the date of the Annual General Meeting: October 16th. Please put this date firmly in your mind and in your diary, as you know the continuance of the parish depends upon your support in terms of man and woman power and monetary support (that's physical work and donating money)!

Father Alexander and I had a lovely visit with the Monks at the Hermitage. Anna, the Secretary to the Archdiocese was there and it was so good to see her I think she is trying to arrange a date for the Archbishop to come to us. I think she mentioned October. The Archbishop had mentioned September.

Since I started this bulletin and then continued it, intending to finish it on Thursday as I try to do, the whole world has changed. The death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II truly brings an age to a close. I predict that she will come to be known as Elizabeth the Great. Charles has become King Charles III and if everything goes to order, there won't be another Queen for a long, long time. We have lived through a great Elizabethan age. Her Christian faith was there for all to see and I pray that the Lord will find a niche for her soul, and that her Memory will be Eternal!

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

September 2, 2022

Week 12 after Pentecost

Saturday September 3rd 5:30pm Panikhida for the victims of the War in Ukraine followed by Great Vespers
Sunday September 4th 10:00am Divine Liturgy

1 Corinthians 15:1-11
St Matthew 19:16-26
Tone: 3

Troparion - Tone 1
In giving birth you preserved your virginity,
in falling asleep you did not forsake the world, O Theotokos.
You were translated to life, O Mother of Life,
and by your prayers, you deliver our souls from death.

Kontakion - Tone 2
Neither the tomb, nor death could hold the Theotokos,
who is constant in prayer and our firm hope in her intercessions.
For being the Mother of Life,
she was translated to life by the One who dwelt in her virginal womb.

Appeal for assistance

I received a telephone call from Juanita Veaudry who has a quadriplegic son. She needs a caregiver for her son and will pay as well as provide a large basement room and board, at no cost. She is looking for someone, and thinks it might be ideal for someone who is a refugee from Ukraine. If you know of anyone who would like to investigate this position and might be able to be a caregiver, please let me, or Father Alexander know and we'll supply Juanita's telephone number.

Learning Opportunity

I received another message via email, from Maria, who has a plan for knitting socks and mitts for the people of Halifax and surrounds who will have cold hand and feet this winter. She plans on having a group that will meet infrequently to share ideas and knitting problems. What a good idea. Thank you Maria! As many as are interested please look out for Maria and her demonstration downstairs during Coffee Hour. She will have a practice piece of knitting for you to have a go with.

Knitting, if you look on the Montreal Metro, appears to be a woman's occupation, but that is not true. I have never seen knitting needles or knitting wool that has any sign saying, "Women Only!" I do know that during wars, men and women knitted to send warm scarves, socks, and gloves to those in the trenches or wherever cold hands and feet were. So everyone see Maria on Sunday and try it; it's fun! Ive done it and may do it again!

The Liturgy Baptism

Can you believe it? The weather was beautiful and not too hot; there were a lot of people present and the morning was wonderful as was the service and the feast afterwards. I'm still all agog because it all went so well. I'm really happy that parents and friends came for the occasion. Six new Orthodox Christians and may God bless them and all of their families and their friends. We were blessed to have an Anglican Priest, Father Gary Thorne, present at Vespers and two, Father Gary and Father Benjamin Lee, for the Baptism. Glory to God! In all the excitement both at Vespers and the Baptism, I had intended, but didn't manage to acknowledge them (probably due to age, mine that is!). A selection of photos.

The boy who walked from Sherbrook

You will remember the young man who walked from Sherbrook in Québec to the Hermitage in New Germany, his name is Yves and he had received a blessing from the Archbishop, via his parish Priest, Father Octavian Blaga, to make that pilgrimage. He had intended to reach us and so blessed us with his presence. I gave permission for him to stay in the church until his train back to Sherbrook, which was on Friday.

I was pleased to have him come to my apartment on the Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Thursday, as I explained to him, is my day for finalizing the weekly Bulletin, so he stayed at the church all day. I picked him up on Friday in time to take him to the Via Rail Station. We arrived early as I had intended to take him for coffee, but the downtown of Halifax always beats me; the parking meters are so unfriendly, so he had coffee alone in the station. I have had a message from him saying that he is safely back in his own place. We may see him again one day. Father Octavian has emailed to thank us for taking care of Yves; may God Bless Father Octavian and his parish.

First Aid

I've been thinking about our congregation which, as some have observed, is increasing. There is always the possibility that someone may become ill during our services. As well as the children and youth there are those of us who are older. Please use the internet to see how to resuscitate and how to administer an Epi Pen, and how to put someone into the "Recovery Position" after you have dialed 911 for an ambulance.

I also want to remind everyone that there are three exits to the church: 1. the door you came in by; 2. Through the Altar and to the left and; 3. Through the Altar and to the right. Exits 2 and 3 are through the anterooms and are used when the first is blocked and you have no other recourse than to go through the Altar. These two doors have "panic bars" attached. In an emergency do not worry about rule breaking. There is another exit from the Refectory; the basement. The stairs lead from what I think was the kitchen at one point and is now just a storage area. Going through the door at the opposite doorway from the toilet, there are the stairs that lead to the right anteroom and directly outside with a door that has a panic or crush bar. Please familiarize yourselves with this exit especially when you are in the basement. I shall ask the Altar servers to make sure the top of those stairs is free to open. You just have to push on the trapdoor and it will open.

May God bless and protect us
Love in Christ,
--Father David

August 26, 2022

Week 11 after Pentecost

Saturday August 27th 6:00pm Great Vespers
Sunday August 28th 10:00am Divine Liturgy and Baptism

For the Sunday
1 Corinthians 9:2-12
St Matthew 18:23-35
Tone: 2

For the Dormition
Philippians 2:5-11
Saint Luke 10:38-42

For the Baptism
Romans 6:3-11
St Matthew 28:16-20

Dormition Fast ends on Sunday.

Metropolitan Kallistos (Ware), 1934-2022. Fell asleep in the Lord this past week.

May his memory be Eternal Most of us are very familiar with Metropolitan Kallistos and with his writings. His books The Orthodox Church and The Orthodox Way, were the introduction to Orthodoxy for many of us and we remember him with respect and fondness. He will be greatly missed by the Orthodox and academic worlds, but also by the many he helped find Orthodoxy by his writings and also personal contact.

Please note the following, which is very important

Father Alexander is a wonderful priest and a great benefit to me and to the parish BUT please remember that he has a full-time job at Dalhousie University. He has a full schedule: he prepares lectures, delivers lectures in person and on line, does consultations with his students, supervises Masters and Doctoral candidates, reads and edits their theses, has a wife and a family of four beautiful children, and Saint Vladimir's Church to which he is very faithful. He has never let any of us down. Please be very sensitive in your requests and demands upon his time. I'm here and as the rector of the parish it is my job to protect all my people, including Father Alexander. Please therefore, be careful of your demands on him.

Appeal from family about to arrive in Halifax

Hi! I'm Sophia from Lisichansk, Ukraine. My husband Michael is Chinese and he is an Orthodox Christian. We met in China when I was studying at the university. He came to Ukraine to know more about Orthodoxy. After some time, he was baptized and we got married in Luhansk when the Eastern war started. We escaped to China but the environment here in China is not suitable for Christian life and the raising of our children. Later, we found out about Canadian help for Ukrainians and we were really touched that so many Canadians sincerely help people affected by the war. We applied for CUAET and finally got our visas and bought tickets for September 25th.

Leaving China is not easy as customs have a lot of regulations for Chinese. Travelling with two small kids is not easy either. We hope brothers and sisters in Christ will have mercy in their hearts and help us for the first 1-2 months in Canada. We are already looking for suitable accommodation and jobs and will try to assimilate into society as soon as we can.

If you have a spare bedroom or a job you can offer us, or can help us with kids' winter clothes or nappies (diapers), or toys, we would be very grateful. My husband has worked in trade and furniture and is willing to do house support, or take care of the elderly or do carpentry work. Any job offer would be welcome. May the Lord send His Grace upon you!

The family with their priest in China

The Baptism on Sunday

As usual, we serve the Baptism along with the Liturgy. We do this because Baptism is a welcoming into the family of the Church of God; a resurrection from the Old Life to the New Life; the Life in Christ, and so we must all be present to do the welcoming. The newly Baptised receive the glorious Body and Blood of Christ for the first time and that is a miracle. They receive this Body and Blood of Christ in the midst of the Body of Christ, The Church - you and me.

There will be some changes to a couple of the antiphons, and to the order of the Liturgy to accommodate the Baptism. I'll attach the order of the service at the end of this Bulletin so you can easily follow.

This is the feast of the Dormition of Our Most Holy Lady the Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary

Dormition, of course is another way of saying, The Falling Asleep, so we are talking about the death of the Mother of God. There is no mention anywhere in the bible of this; it is part of the Sacred Tradition of the Church and had been circulating since the 3rd Century and before. You will remember that from the Cross, Jesus gave His Mother into the care of St. John, who it is believed took her to his home. There were stories about her death, including suggestions that she was martyred. There is also the story that at her passing, all the disciples were called together and transported to the casket by angels, except Thomas who arrived after the sealing of the casket. Being Thomas, he asked that the seal be broken so he could see the body of the Theotokos. The story continues that the casket was empty, thus the belief that Mary, the Mother of God, was taken by her Son, directly to Heaven. In the icon of the Dormition, you will see Christ holding the Soul of His Mother.

I'm hoping David, Braidyn, and Mark, will agree that we can have the Baptism outside. It makes emptying the font much easier. It will be a warm day apparently!

May God Bless all of us,
Love in Christ,
--Father David

August 19, 2022

Week 10 after Pentecost

Saturday August 20th 6:00pm Great Vespers
Sunday August 21th 10:00am Divine Liturgy

1 Corinthians 3:9-17
St Matthew 14:22-34
Tone: 1

Dormition Fast

Monday is the feast of St. Matthias who was chosen to replace Judas Iscariot. Judas, you remember, hanged himself following his betrayal of Jesus. You will also remember that the Apostles cast lots to determine who would fill the vacancy in the twelve. Acts 1:15-26 tells that they chose two candidates; Joseph called Barsabbas who was also called Justus, and Matthias. They prayed and cast lots and it fell upon Matthias.

Acts 1:12-17, 21-26
Saint Luke 9:1-6

I want to talk a little about Bibles. The reason is that there are different translations of the Bible and that can be confusing to say the least.

The first English bible appeared in the 1500s; it was William Tyndale who produced it. The first Russian (Slavonic) Bible preceded the English Bible by about a decade and was collected by Gennady in about the 1490s.

The Old Testament in Greek, The Septuagint, had existed since Before the Common Era BCE, (that's BC for some of us). It was a Translation into Greek of the various Jewish scriptures. The Greek New Testament had existed from the time of the Apostles of course because the books had been written in Greek. There appears to have been a consensus that the 27 books that we know as the New Testament came together during the First Century. The Hebrew Bible (The Old Testament) came together a little later than that.

The first English Bible that most are familiar with is The King James Bible, which was published in 1611. This is the English Bible that was extant as the Protestant Churches started to emerge; there are 39 books in the Old Testament, 27 in the New Testament, and 14 in the Apocrypha of this Bible.

Today, the Roman Catholic Bible has 73 books all told, of which the same 27 are the New Testament.

The Orthodox Bible has at least 4 more books than the Roman Catholic Bible and 17 more than the Protestant Bible. I shall leave you to investigate this if you are interested. The good folk of Google will be pleased to help. If you look into the Oriental Churches, the number of books increases even more.

It important for us to know about the Bible and to choose the text we use with care. What is important is that the translations we use be true translations from the Given Text and not the interpretation of a translator or an editorial body. There are Bibles that change wording to suite the age; and are not true to the original text. You could ask Father Alexander which Russian Bible to read and Father Alexander or I can advise about the Bible in English. We are blessed in that we have the Orthodox Study Bible to fall back on; I believe it uses the New King James Bible for the New Testament and the Septuagint for the Old Testament.

I had a note from the Ladies who set out the Coffee Time downstairs, after Sunday Liturgy. They are concerned that some are beginning before the food is blessed, and a few other things:

Hello friends,

We have been blessed with many children in our parish, and this has led to some chaos during fellowship hour. Now that Fellowship hour has started again more regularly, there are just a few housekeeping notes I would like to mention to all the parents.

According to church etiquette, no one eats until the food is blessed by the priest. Please wait until one of the Fathers blesses the food before allowing the children to take anything from the potluck tables. Feel free to bring a snack for your child if you don't think they can make it until we all eat together. They may also have water from the water cooler - I think that would be okay.

The first people through the potluck line should be those preparing a plate for the Fathers. Father David and Father Alexander work very hard for our parish, and should be honoured for their special role bringing us the Eucharist.

Coffee and tea and the creamer and sugar should be handled by the adults only, please. Parents can prepare these drinks for their children if the children are allowed these beverages.

Please just ensure that all the adults have been through the line once before the children go back for seconds or thirds.

Thank you so much!

You will notice that the carpets have been professionally cleaned so please take care. Some of us got wet feet from walking on them and some got a wet butt from sitting on the wet carpet; never mind they look good.

Catechumen instruction is going well. The Baptism of Dan, Michelle, Stella, David, New Josh and Sem is happening on the last Sunday of this Month of August.

I shall remember next year to include in the bulletin a reminder that on Transfiguration, we bless honey. Do we have any bee hives in the parish? We can bless jars containing honey as well, you know the stuff we buy at the store. I love honey, how about you?

I think that's all for now.
May God bless all of us,
Love in Christ,
--Father David

PS Thank you to the Ladies who arrange the food downstairs

Thank you Mark and Rhoda for arranging the carpet cleaning

Thank you Altar servers

Thank you Choir

Thank you Father Alexander for keeping us going and helping me

Thank you Parish Council for agreeing with most things put before you

Thank you to all of us for being a loving and concerned parish (look at the words at the bottom of the recent parish photo!)

August 12, 2022

Week 9 after Pentecost

Saturday August 13th 6:00pm Great Vespers
Sunday August 14th 10:00am Divine Liturgy

1 Corinthians 3:9-17
St Matthew 14:22-34
Tone: 8

Procession of the Precious Wood of the Life-Giving Cross of the Lord
1 Corinthians 1:28-24
St John 19:6-11, 13-20, 25-28, 30-35

The Holy Transfiguration of Our Lord, God and Saviour Jesus Christ
Thursday August 18th Great Vespers
Exodus 24:12-18, Exodus 33:11-23, lll Kings19:3-9
Friday August 19th 10am Divine Liturgy
ll Peter 1:10-19
St Matthew 17:1-9

Dormition Fast begins at vespers.

We humans have, from the very beginning, been tasked with a number of problems to solve. The first one as recorded for us in the Book of Genesis is - How to obey ones Father, God. When you read the story at the beginning of and continuing in Genesis, you will find out exactly how that went and what a mess we made of it. Now, you might consider Genesis to be exactly what it is, a protracted Parable, but nevertheless, it speaks of truth. Are we, even today, having read that incredible story of the first beings, Adam and Eve, able and willing to obey God? I'll leave you to answer that question too, knowing exactly what your reply will be.

We are charged with the problem of getting along with our brother. Are we able to do that? Cain and Abel, two sons of Adam and Eve, were not: "The voice of your brother's blood is crying to me from the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother's blood from your hand." (Genesis 4:10 ESV) And there was the first murder, Cain killed Abel; not only murder but jealous fratricide to boot.

God's created mankind became so wicked, that God saw and decided to do something about it. "I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens, for I am sorry that I have made them." (Genesis 6:7 ESV)

Fortunately there was one righteous man, Noah, who built an Ark, a large boat and collected the animals and a few humans. God was not completely giving up on His creation, thankfully. When He created the Heavens and the Earth He saw that it was good: "And God saw everything that he had made, and it was good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day." (Genesis 1:31 ESV)

Think way into the future, or what we think as being way into the future (considering that the Genesis story really is timeless), little has really changed; There is disobedience; there is hate; there is murder; there is wickedness, and frequently it is in the name of what we see as "the good". Examples of real good are there, but far between; nations of the world can't even get along with each other.

Will God again wish to blot out His created beings?

This then is our problem, the problem of our time to solve.

To start with we have to reaffirm that we are God's created beings. You and I may believe that, but there are many who reject it; just look at the abortion rate as one example, indiscriminate killing, genocide, for another. I could go into the minefield of sex change, gender variants, and all sorts of things. God created man in His own image? (Genesis 1:27)

This Sunday you and I will celebrate the Procession of the Precious Wood of the Life-Giving Cross of the Lord. Before He was Crucified, Jesus said, "I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours." (St John 17:9 ESV) and: "I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me (St John 17:20-21 ESV).

Don't think for one moment that you and I are alone, we are not. What brings you here to the church each week? The family atmosphere? The knowledge that we are not alone but loved? The knowledge that God loves each and every one of us? That He was prepared to die for us? That He loves us so much that He feeds us with His Body and Blood; even if we hang back from receiving that beautiful Sacrament, He still loves us. We must be Noahs and not the mob; we must love as we are loved; take our Cross as Christ did. That is what leads to Resurrection. Jesus rose from the dead and promises that we shall rise as well. Christ loved us so much that He gave His life on the Cross - and rose from the dead! So will we!

May God bless all of us,
In Christ,
--Father David

August 6, 2022

Week 8 after Pentecost

Saturday August 6th 5:30pm Panikhida for the victims of the War in Ukraine followed by Great Vespers
Sunday August 7th 10:00am Divine Liturgy

1 Corinthians 1:10-18
Saint Matthew 14:14-22
Tone: 7

Dormition of Righteous Anna Mother of the Most Holy Theotokos
Galatians 4:22-31
Saint Luke 8:16-21

Tuesday August 9th Holy Great Martyr Panteleimon
1 Corinthians 12:12-26
Saint Matthew 18:18-22, 19:1-2, 13-15

My Dear Friends, I just can't get over it. The Picnic was a great success, the weather was a great success, the venue was a great success, the food was excellent; but most of all the people gathered together; The Parish of Saint Vladimir Prince of Kiev, Halifax Nova Scotia. What an incredible group of people. The love of being together was so obvious. The youngsters had a whale of a time. I hope Sergey found Mark and Jacob, who were hiding from him, before leaving. Who took pictures? I suddenly realized that there was no one taking pictures so I dug out my phone and these pictures are amongst the pictures I managed to snap (as we used to say when I was much younger), before we all dispersed.

St.Vladimir Patronal Feast Picnic

I did have that hotdog with relish, mustard and ketchup, just like the one I had that Canada Day in 1955.

Today is Thursday, and I still can't get over the Picnic. I suppose the thing that really impresses me is that we were all together and that there were so many present. The Catechumens were there, the kids were playing and everyone looked out for everyone. The food was laid out and there was plenty. I'm pretty sure that my life has been leading me to this place and to this time and this parish and that the Lord has waited and guided me to this place and time as Rector of St. Vladimir Orthodox Church in Halifax Nova Scotia; I can't possible believe otherwise. What the Lord has done and is doing in this parish is incredible and He allows me to be a part of it. For me that is a miracle. OK I really do have difficulty with numb legs sometimes especially after standing for a long time and then having to walk. That stool that Rhoda and Mark found for me, make things much more tolerable. You are tolerant and I thank God for that, as I thank God for Father Alexander, and for each of you.

St. Anne or Anna is the Mother of the Theotokos. She is not only the Patron Saint of the Province of Quebec, she is also considered the Grandmother of the Autochtone people of Nova Scotia, the Mi'kmaw.

May God continue to bless us as a parish, but also each family and individual,
In Christ,
--Father David

July 20, 2022

Week 7 after Pentecost

Saturday July 30th 6:00pm Great Vespers
Sunday July 31th 10:00am Divine Liturgy

Romans 15:1-7
Saint Matthew 9:27-30
Tone: 6

Fathers of the first six Ecumenical Councils
Hebrews 13:7-16
Saint John 17:1-13

Patronal Festival: The next Sunday July 31st Parish Party at York Redoubt

Message from Heather:


Woot! The plan is to have fellowship hour out at York Redoubt (300 Fergusons Cove Road). For the celebration - please make your fellowship hour contribution portable and easy to eat from a picnic table. (Bring your camping chairs or picnic blankets, as availability of picnic tables is not guaranteed.) Cake and pop will be provided, and I will bring some disposable plates and napkins.

Love in Christ,
-- Heather

The Family whose pictures I included last week will not be coming to us; they decided to go to New Brunswick instead. That is a shame but we wish them all the best.

Monastery Garden

Dear Friends,

Midsummer has arrived, but we seem to always be waiting for something.

  • This week we are waiting impatiently for the tomatoes to ripen. Many are pink, and God willing, next week, we will have tomatoes.
  • We are also starting to harvest the garlic. By mid to late September it will be cured and ready for sale.
  • And of course, like all who work the soil, we are already looking towards and planning and imagining the garden for next year.

Please, have your order in by Friday 12noon.

Click here to order monk grown veggies

Payments: cash (when you pick up your order) or by e-transfer: monks.ns.garden@gmail.com

Please wait to pay until we have confirmed that we have enough vegetables to fill your order.

Important: Please contact the monks (902-644-1388 - text or call) if any accommodations are needed in picking up your vegetables on time. Do not contact the hosts. All vegetable orders not picked up within the time window will return with the monks to the monastery.

Thank you!
-- The Monks

May God Bless all of us,
In Christ,
--Father David

July 22, 2022

Week 6 after Pentecost

Saturday July 22th 6:00pm Great Vespers
Sunday July 23th 10:00am Divine Liturgy

Romans 12:6-14
Saint Matthew 9:1-8
Tone: 5

Thursday July 28th 10am Divine Liturgy Holy Equal-to-the-Apostles Great Prince Vladimir Patronal Festival

The next Sunday July 31st Parish Party? Not sure about this. Our toilet won't stand it!

There is a movement to have a soldier, Yevgeny Aleksandrovich Rodionov who was taken prisoner in the first Chechan war and executed in captivity for not converting to Islam, declared a New Holy Martyr in the Russian Church. There are already Icons of this young man, who was 19 years old. It seems that the murderer confessed to the boy's mother, who was searching for her son's body, that he had given the young man a choice of being beheaded or remain alive as a convert to Islam. This young man chose The Cross. There has not been a formal sanctification because of the lack of evidence regarding his death.

The reason for my mentioning this is that there are surely many who refuse to give up their faith and maintain their Orthodox Christian Faith through all sorts of odds and wars that we cannot even imagine. I suspect there are many New Martyrs that will not be remembered as there surely are in all wars.

When I was abbot of the monastery in Ontario, I remember one of the Fathers brought an Icon of this young man, and that was about five years ago. We put it on the wall to remind us of all the unsung Martyrs in times of war. I wonder how many of us would refuse to remove our cross, and refuse to convert to save our lives.

I had a note from Father Alexander about a family arriving from Ukraine. I'll copy the body of the note:

Here are the pictures of the Tsebenko family from Dnepropetrovsk region, Ukraine. Their names are: Evgeny & Ksenia, with two children Elizaveta (19 y/o) and Nikolai (11 y/o).

They are arriving on September 8, 2022 (from Warsaw) and are planning to stay in Nova Scotia and look forward to being memers of our parish. It would be important for our people to get to know them, and pray for them.

IMPORTANT: They are looking for a place to stay for 2-3 weeks in September, upon arrival. Any help will be greatly appreciated.

We wish them every blessing and God speed. We will welcome them when they arrive.

We pray for all the victims of the war in Ukraine and pray for a cessation of hostilities.

The House Blessing that was to take place at the home of Morgan and Douglas has been cancelled for the time being. This is due to illnesses. We will reschedule at a later date.

We have been hit with a number of illnesses over the last couple of weeks. I think that we are all much better now; at least I hope we are all better. If you know of anyone who is still under the weather, please let me know so I can arrange help and make sure they have enough food and medication.

Regarding our Parish Party on the 31st. Unless we are able to arrange a supplementary toilet, this can't happen at the church and the Dingle is fully booked on the 31st. The wonderful fact is that we have outgrown our make-shift toilet. Wonderful in that our parish has increased and that is a miracle; just look at the number of children and adults we now have. The toilet we have downstairs was not designed for so many people, it was designed to be just a relief for the elderly and the few people we had when it was installed. Let's face it, the toilet is really inadequate and we need to do something about it. What are we thinking of? Suggestions please, and quickly, before it overflows again. And what to do about our much anticipated Patronal Feast on the 31st?

May the good Lord Bless us and inspire us; we need the blessing of more people, but we also need the space to accommodate them. PRAY!

Love in Christ,
-- Father David

July 16, 2022

Week 5 after Pentecost

Saturday July 16th 6:00pm Great Vespers
Sunday July 17th 10:00am Divine Liturgy

Romans 10:1-10
Saint Matthew 8:28-9:1
Tone: 4

This Sunday we celebrate the Holy Royal Martyrs of Russia: Tsar Nicholas II, Tsaritsa Alexandra, Crown Prince Alexis, Grand Duchess Olga, Grand Duchess Tatiana, Grand Duchess Maria, Grand Duchess Anastasia.

The readings for the commemoration:
Romans 8:28-39
Saint John 15:17-16:2

There are a couple of announcements this week. I received a notice from Hannah Griffin who is the Assistant Director of the Capella Regalis Men & Boys Choir in Halifax. Her announcement involves the launch of a new Girls Choir which is to be "A parallel program to the Capella Regalis Mens & Boys Choir. The choir will offer a free, mentor based music training program to girls aged 7-13, in Halifax. The girls will engage with the finest sacred music from the last 1,000 years, and will sing Evensong and concerts in the great Cathedral Church of All Saints. They will also have opportunity to participate for free in concert tours, choir camps, and collaborative projects with other musicians." For further information search: capellaregalis.com.

There is also a note from Morgan Vanwyck. I'll copy her email directly so you can see exactly what she in communicating:

"Morgan & Douglas invite all who are able, to attend our House Blessing on Friday, July 22nd. 95 First Avenue in Digby. Blessing at noon, followed by a Potluck celebration. RSVP greatly appreciated. Email: covehouse@eastlink.ca ; or C/T: 902-802-2184."

Many thanks.
Morgan Van Wyck

(July 22nd is a Friday and so fasting and non meat.)

I also remind all of us that the monks of the Hermitage of the Annunciation have lots of garden produce that should be enjoyed by all of us, well, all of us who are not allergic to vegetables! (See details.)

I was watching that programme called The Chosen on television. It's a free app which depicts Jesus and the life of that time. The way it is done is that it takes the Gospel Stories and locates them in the time that Jesus and His followers lived. It fills in the life as it probable was at the time. Most interesting! There is a scene when all the families are waiting for the first star to appear on Friday evening and therefor the beginning of the Sabbath. The interesting thing is that all are doing the same thing at the same time, and this is made very clear in the film. There is a sense of peace.

Then I was a child in Ontario and in Alberta, I was privileged to understand that feeling: public entertainment ceased at midnight on Saturday. I remember being at a drive-in cinema with our family one Saturday evening. As I remember, the film was Saskatchewan. I think we were still quite new to Canada, so we are talking about the 1950s. Before the end of the movie, suddenly God Save the Queen (yes, that is what was played at the end of Movies in Ontario in those days) took the place of the ending of the film; it was midnight and about to be Sunday and against the law to show movies on Sunday and so we had to go home.

I'm sure the other provinces, perhaps with the exception of Quebec, were pretty much the same. In Alberta, in Calgary, I worked in a cinema. One at least one occasion, the film ran over past midnight on a Saturday night. The management had to call the police to ask what to do. The answer was to turn off all the marquee lights and the bright lights of the foyer and pretend there is no one there. That was a little better than shutting the film off in the middle of a scene. It shows how much respect there was for the Lord's Day (They played movies on Christmas Day and Good Friday though!).

Where do we find that today? Sunday has become as commercial as any other day and perhaps even more so. For some of us it is a day for Coming to Church and receiving the strength, freely given, by the Body and Blood of Christ, and then family time. For others I suspect it is a time of rushing to the store to do the family shopping. We will not judge, but we'll pray for everyone.

I don't know about you, but when I get home from Liturgy, I am usually quite worn out so I sit in a chair and probably fall asleep!

If you are interested in The Chosen, you can search for it on the internet and decide for yourself if it's worth watching.

We are on the cusp of outgrowing our building. Think and pray about this.

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

July 9, 2022

Week 4 after Pentecost

Saturday July 9th 6:00pm Great Vespers
Sunday July 10th 10:00am Divine Liturgy

Romans 6:18-23
Saint Matthew 8:5-13
Tone: 3

Monday July 11th 6:00pm Great Vespers and Lity
Tuesday July 12th 10:00am Divine Liturgy Feast of Saints Peter and Paul

The Apostles' Fast continues until after Liturgy on Tuesday morning at 10am.

Wednesday July 13th Synaxis of the Holy, Glorious and All-Praised Twelve Apostles.

Next Sunday July 17th, we celebrate the Holy Royal Martyrs of Russia: Tsar Nicholas II, Tsaritsa Alexandra, Crown Prince Alexis, Grand Duchesses Olga, Tatiana, Maria, and Anastasia.

The icon of Pentecost, when we celebrate the Descent of the Holy Spirit upon those gathered in the Upper Room, shows the 12 Apostles and sometimes the Theotokos, gathered, waiting. But, there are only 11 Apostles because one of them had hanged himself for betraying Jesus to the Temple authorities. So why then are there 12 figures when there should be only 11? The answer is that St. Paul is included in the icon. Now at this point Paul wasn't physically present, but since icons tell theological truths rather than historical truths, and since St. Paul would encounter the Lord on the way to Damascus and would be given the commission to teach the Gentiles, (if you look at it in historical perspective); he is known as the Apostle to the Gentiles, and would receive the Holy Spirit on the road, so is included as one of the Apostles. The word "apostle" is from the Greek word "apostolos", meaning "one who is sent". Peter and Paul are considered two pillars of the Church. They were both martyred in Rome; Paul by beheading and Peter by being crucified, upside down. We owe a great deal to the Holy Apostles; it was through their teaching and for the most part, their willingness to suffer death for the Lord that we have The Faith, and through the laying on of hands, we have a descendent of those Apostles, our Archbishop, and every Bishop of the Church. May God bless their Calling and may He bless our calling to be the rational flock, The Church, the Body of Christ on earth.

Love in that same Christ,
-- Father David

July 1, 2022

Week 3 after Pentecost: All Saints of the several other countries

Saturday July 2nd 5:30pm Panikhida for victims of Ukraine followed by Great Vespers

Sunday July 3rd 10:00am Hours, Divine Liturgy

Romans 5:1-10
Saint Matthew 6:22-33
Tone: 2

The Apostles' Fast continues until the Feast of Saints Peter and Saint Paul on July 12th.

I hope you enjoyed Canada Day or are enjoying Canada Day. Do you remember the old days when we celebrated it as Dominion Day? I always associate Hot Dogs with Dominion Day. I think that was because the very first time I ever had a Hot Dog was Dominion Day in 1955. We lived in Petawawa on the Ottawa River, My father being a part of the Canadian Military. The taste of the Hot Dog with green relish and mustard was something quite new and it was delicious. It was so good that I could have done with a second but there were other things like Canadian style ice cream to be experienced and that was good too. When the Apostles' fast is over, I shall get a bag of Frankfurter, some green relish and some plain mustard and try it again. I'm not sure that I've had a Hot Dog like that first one, since then.

So, we have The Nativity of St. John the Baptist on Thursday July 7th and we shall serve a Liturgy at 10am, then Saints Peter and Paul coming up on Tuesday July 12th and we'll have a Liturgy at 10 in the morning, July 17th The Holy Royal Martyrs of Russia, then on July 28th we have St. Vladimir Prince of Kiev, our Patronal Festival. Again there will be Liturgy at 10 that morning but we shall have the Parish Party on the first day of that week which is Sunday July 24th. Reserve it, we shall have Hot Dogs with Green Relish and Mustard. (I can hardly wait!)

Have a wonderful and Blessed week. Summer arried on June 21st and now is the time to enjoy it. I have a fishing rod, I must try catching Mackerel; fresh fried I understand they are lovely.

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

June 24, 2022

Week 2 after Pentecost: Sunday of All Saints of the Americas

Saturday June 25th 6:00pm Great Vespers

Sunday June 26th 10:00am Hours, Divine Liturgy

Hebrews 11:33-12:2a
Saint Matthew 4:25-5:12
Tone: 1

Saturday July 2nd 10am Divine Liturgy (Hours at 9:30am) Apostles Jude, the Brother of the Lord also St. John Maximovich, archbishop of Shanghai and San Francisco

The Apostles' Fast continues until the Feast of Saints Peter and Saint Paul on July 12th.

It is really important that those of us who are Ukrainian or Russian attend the Sunday Liturgy to welcome the People who have been displaced or have fled from Ukraine. Many naturally find their way to us, Although we are a parish of the Archdiocese of Canada (OCA), the name of our parish lets people know that we welcome Ukrainian and Russian people. Our parish would be the natural place for Ukrainian refugees to find friendly faces and people who speak the same language.

The Saints of North America

When the first Orthodox missionaries came to North America, they came across the Bering Strait which in the winter can freeze thus making a bridge from Siberia to Alaska. At that time, Alaska belonged to Imperial Russia so the missionaries were technically still in Russia. The icon above shows saints who certainly helped form us as a Church in North America.

Saints of Ukraine

There is now a Ukrainian store. All donations for Ukrainian Refugees should go directly there: https://www.halifax- ukrainian-store.ca. Thanks to all who have donated from our parish and those who have come from outside the parish.

I wanted to talk more about the Saints of North America but as you see there have been important announcements which have used the space. You will now have to wait for the sermon, (the Lord bless you).

I do want to thank the parish for the gift and party celebrating my birthday. Can you believe 82! Thank you, you are a great and supportive people.

Father Alexander and I blessed the new home of Ryan, Jessica and Ivan. Braidyn was Altar boy. I forgot to take photos.

A note from Morgan Vanwyck:

"Hello dear Father David and Father Alexander:

It appears that we can go ahead with the date of Friday, July 22nd for the house blessing in Digby.

Please let me know what details you would like me to provide for inclusion in a newsletter. I include the following but you may want additional ones:

  1. Starting time for the blessing about 12:30. Place: 95 First Avenue, Digby. (I can provide driving directions separately if necessary)
  2. Everyone welcome.
  3. Potluck/picnic to follow.
  4. Everyone should bring their own chairs!

It would be great to have a rough of idea of the numbers as we head into the week of July 18."

By next Sunday we will have celebrated Canada Day and Daria and her family will be on their way back to Winnipeg.

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

June 17, 2022

Week 1 after Pentecost: Sunday of All Saints

Saturday June 18th 5:00pm Catechumen meeting
6:00pm Great Vespers

Sunday June 19th 10:00am Hours, Divine Liturgy
6:00pm Kneeling Vespers

Hebrews 11:33-12:2
Saint Matthew 10:32-33, 37-38, 19:27-30
Tone: 8

Monday June 20th Beginning of the Apostles Fast

Friday June 24th Apostles Bartholomew and Barnabas

The Apostles' Fast continues until the Feast of Saints Peter and Saint Paul on July 12th.

"Orthodox do not starve when they fast - we simply abstain from certain foods and generally eat less. At the same time we are taught to pray more, attend services more frequently, and to increase our generosity to others (alms). But it is a rhythm - fasts are followed by feasts. The fast of the Apostles begins on the second Monday after Pentecost and concludes on the Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul on June 29. Most of Christendom will know nothing of any of this - that Eastern Christians will have begun a Lenten period while the world begins to think of vacations." (OCA Website)

The Summer Solstice, as I'm sure you know is on June 21st this year. That means that spring is over and summer is finally here. It also means that days will start getting shorter, never mind we won't notice it for a while yet.


On a website I came across, I found a list of the various categories of saints. I don't think God categorizes saints but it is a convenient help for us. Here then is how they were listed:

  • Prophets - God's Old Testament spokesmen such as Elias or Isaiah who called the Jews back to the true God and His ways whenever they strayed.

  • Apostles - The Twelve closest followers of Christ as well as the Seventy who were their companions: eye-witnesses to the presence of Christ on earth.

  • Evangelists - The Gospel writers Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

  • Hierarchs - Saintly bishops like Nicholas of Myra, Spyridon of Cyprus or Basil the Great.

  • Ascetics - Giants of the monastic life, both men and women, including elders and solitaries, living in the forest or wilderness.

  • Martyrs - Those who gave their lives witnessing to Christ, from the Great Martyrs of the Roman persecutions, such as St. Barbara and St. George to the new martyrs who died under modern dictators or religious extremists.

  • Hieromartyrs - Hierarchs and priests who sacrificed their own lives as well as offered the Divine Sacrifice of Christ.

  • Confessors - Those who survived torture or imprisonment for the Lord but escaped with their lives, like St. Maximos the Confessor.

  • Unmercenaries - Those who gave of their talent freely to help the poor and the sick, such as Ss. Cosmas and Damian.

  • Fools for Christ - Those who pretended to be mentally incompetent so that their spiritual gifts would not be noticed and praised, like St. Xenia of Petersburg.

  • Passionbearers - Those who accepted suffering, even death, rather than to repay violence with more violence.

We have lists of saints and we remember some at the end of most services. There are lots of names; the lists get longer and longer. There is a problem though, and that is that there are many people who do things unnoticed by man but noticed, most certainly, by God Himself. That is why we celebrate the feast of All Saints. On this Sunday we recognize all the saints, whether known or unknown.

I received lots of photos this week, a batch of the Baptism of Madeleine Decaire, the daughter of Heather and David, and Anastasia McInnis, the daughter of Colin and Kristin.

Colin, Kristin and Anastasia

David, Madeleine and Heather

We again have a parish picture, this time with everyone's permission to display, and parents have all given verbal permission that their children may be photographed.

Last Sunday saw the baptism of Daria and her family. I have the lovely pictures that run sort of like a movie if they were all displayed. I was going to print the photographs here but it would be much more instructive to see them all in order so do open this file and see all the pictures.

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

June 10, 2022

PENTECOST (Trinity Sunday)

Saturday June 11th 5:30pm Panikhida for the victims of the war in Ukraine followed immediately by Great Vespers
Sunday June 12th 9:30am Holy Baptism followed by Divine Liturgy
6:00pm Kneeling Vespers

After this Saturday we will serve this Panikhida the first Saturday of each month.

Acts of the Apostles 2:1-11
Saint John 7:37-52 and 8:12
Tone: Pentecost

Fast Free Week
Monday June 13th Holy Spirit Day
(On Tuesday, we who use the Julian Calendar for the celebration of the saints, officially arrive at the 1st of June!)

This is one of the most incredible feasts of the Church's year. The followers of Jesus were gathered in the Upper Room, perhaps praying, perhaps just quietly talking and reading Scripture, when there was the sound as of a mighty rushing wind and what appeared to be tongues of fire descended and landed upon each of them (Acts of the Apostles chapter 2). Something strange happened to them; they were empowered. In their excitement, they went out and started telling all the people about Jesus. The incredible thing is that all those who listened to them, no matter where they were from and no matter what was their native language, heard the message in their own tongue; they understood the message.

That is exactly what we are celebrating today. We shall witness the descent of the Holy Spirit, several times today. Each of the four to be Baptised will receive Chrism and that is the mark of the Holy Spirit. We shall serve the Liturgy and there will be the calling upon the Holy Spirit to make bread and wine the Body and Blood of Christ.

The Holy Spirit does not act against our will. In Baptism, the candidate must be willing to be baptised; in the case of a baby or young child, it is the family that the child is born into that makes the decision and brings the infant to the font. There is at least one Godparent to ensure that the child is brought up in the Faith. The family, or individual, is willing that the Holy Spirit descend upon the candidate. The Church shows its willingness that the sacrament be administered by being there to greet and welcome the candidate into the family.

We are all the Laity, the People, the Family of the Church, the Body of Christ in the world. As such we have great power. The Church is the Body of Christ and this Body regularly receives the Holy Spirit. Every time we celebrate a Sacrament, the Holy Spirit that Jesus said He would send, works for and with us. In Baptism and Chrismation, the Chrism; in the Liturgy, the Body and Blood of Christ, and we agree with this by consuming the Body and Blood in the form of bread and wine. In Unction the Oil that we are Anointed with; in Marriage, the Uniting of the Couple into One Flesh; in Confession, the Holy Spirit uses the bishop or priest who has been given the commission "Whose sins you forgive will be forgiven and whose sins you retain will be retained (St. John 20:23, paraphrased). In the Ordination of Bishops, Priests, and Deacons, the Holy Spirit descends through the hands of the Bishop. How then are the People of God, we, the Laity, involved in ordinations? There is the scary moment when the Bishop turns to the people and shouts "Axios" (worthy). The People must reply "Axios! Axios! Axios!" This is shouted three times. It is shouted when at least three Bishops Consecrate a man to be Bishop, or the Bishop ordains a Deacon or a Priest. The Laity proclaims the Work of the Holy Spirit and assents to the ordination by shouting. Without the say of the Laity, the People of God, the ordination will not be completed.

So you see, The Laity working with the Bishop and the Priest are really vital. The Holy Spirit does not usually work alone in the Church, but with the assent of all of us.

Today we celebrate the beginning of the Church, the time that the Followers of Jesus, received the Spirit and the Courage to go out into the world and proclaim the same message that we have been shouting ever since we celebrated the wonderful feast of Pascha: "Christ is Risen!" and we shouted it in as many languages as we were able, and often as was possible. It is important that we remember this, and proclaim that Christ is Risen. It is not Christ was Risen or that Christ will be Risen; it is that Christ is Risen NOW! And for ever.

Just a reminder, Fast Free means we can eat meat on Wednesday and Friday as well as any other days of this week. Enjoy it because the "Apostles Fast" is fast approaching; in fact it starts on Monday the 20th of June, just before the Summer Solstice, and lasts until the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul on Tuesday the 12th of July.

In this icon, the Apostles and others are gathered around the Mother of God. They now have halos because they have received the Holy Spirit. The Prophet Joel is sometimes portrayed in a gap at the bottom of the Pentecost icon, but some say it is King David.

May God The Holy Trinity, thus completely revealed this day, bless us, and each and every member of our families,

-- Father David

June 3, 2022

Seventh Sunday of Pascha: Sunday of the 318 Holy Fathers of the First Ecumenical Council (325)

Saturday June 4th 5:30pm Panikhida for the victims of the war in Ukraine followed immediately by Great Vespers
Sunday June 5th 10am Divine Liturgy

After this Saturday we will serve this Panikhida the first Saturday of each month.

Acts of the Apostles 20:16-18, 28-36
Saint John 17:1-13
Tone 6

Tuesday June 7th Third Finding of the Honourable Head of the Holy Glorious Prophet, Forerunner, and Baptist John

Friday June 10th Apodosis of the Ascension

Reminder that Sunday June 12th is Descent of the Holy Spirit - Pentecost

We will be baptizing Daria, Mark, Amelia, and Alyssa on Pentecost, before they leave to return to Winnipeg. We'll start the Baptism at 9:30am. Baptism being one of the major sacraments of the Church, the Sacrament of Initiation, it will take precedence over the Third and Sixth Hours that we normally recite at that time. Please also remember that at the end of the Liturgy, we'll go directly into the Kneeling Prayers.

You will want to know why there are special Kneeling Prayers on Pentecost Sunday; haven't we been kneeling and prostrating all the time? The simple answer to that is NO! Kneeling between Pascha and Pentecost is frowned upon (Canon of the First Ecumenical Council). Kneeling and prostrating are acts of humility and penance. Pascha is the season when we give thanks to God for the Resurrection of His Son. To show that this is the Great Feasting Season, and set aside as such, we refrain completely from kneeling and prostrating. To remind us that the Paschal Season has drawn to a close, we will serve Vespers with the Kneeling Prayers right after the Liturgy just like we did on Forgiveness Sunday. Of course the Vespers should be in the evening when the sun has set thus the next day, but rather than ask everyone to return, we'll serve it right after the Liturgy. Again, Sundays are reminders of the Resurrection and we should not kneel or prostrate on Sundays either, according to the Fathers of the First Eumenical Council. (I got severely told off by a priest who was serving with me some time ago, for being holy, and prostrating at the Epiclesis on a Sunday!) From Vespers of Saturday until the Vespers of Sunday, we don't kneel, but stand.


Forasmuch as there are certain persons who kneel on the Lord's Day and in the days of Pentecost, therefore, to the intent that all things may be uniformly observed everywhere (in every parish), it seems good to the holy Synod that prayer be made to God standing. Ancient Epitome of Canon XX: On Lord's days and at Pentecost all must pray standing and not kneeling.

"In the Nicean Creed, the holy Fathers set forth and confirmed the Apostolic teachings about Christ's divine nature. The heresy of Arius was exposed and repudiated as an error of haughty reason. After resolving this chief dogmatic question, the Council also issued Twelve Canons on questions of churchly administration and discipline. Also decided was the date for the celebration of Holy Pascha. By decision of the Council, Holy Pascha should not be celebrated by Christians on the same day with the Jewish Passover, but on the first Sunday after the first full moon of the vernal equinox (which occured on March 22 in 325)." (Copied from OCA website)

You can search and read the Canons of the First Ecumenical Council on the internet.

The Nicene Creed

I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of Heaven and Earth and of all things visible and invisible.

And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the only-begotten, begotten of the Father before all ages. Light of light; true God of true God; begotten, not made; of one essence with the Father, by Whom all things were made; Who for us men and for our salvation came down from Heaven, and was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary, and became man. And He was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate, and suffered, and was buried. And the third day He arose again, according to the Scriptures, and ascended into Heaven, and sits at the right hand of the Father; and He shall come again with glory to judge the living and the dead; Whose Kingdom shall have no end.

And in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the Giver of Life, Who proceeds from the Father; Who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified; Who spoke by the prophets.

In one Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. I acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins. I look for the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come. Amen.

May God bless all of us, in Christ,
-- Father David

May 27, 2022

Sixth Sunday of Pascha: Sunday of the Blind Man

Saturday May 28th 5:30pm Panikhida for the victims of the war in Ukraine followed immediately by Great Vespers
Sunday May 29th 10am Divine Liturgy

Acts of the Apostles 16:16-34
Saint John 9:1-38
Tone 5

Wednesday June 1st 6pm Great Vespers with Litia
Thursday June 2nd The Ascension of Our Lord
10am Divine Liturgy

This icon (above) reminds me of the medieval stained glass window of the Ascension in a church nearby to Gloucester Cathedral in England, which shows the legs and feet of Jesus as he is disappearing into the heavens. The disciples are wondering what is happening, where has He gone? They are depicted without halos because they have not yet received the Holy Spirit. As of now, they are confused and that confusion will remain until the event of Pentecost. The Most Holy Theotokos faces outward and by her hands she tells us that she knows exactly what is happening. She is depicted with a halo, because the Holy Spirit came upon her when she accepted that she would become the Mother of God, Theotokos. Christ is shown in the Mandorla (a circle) indicating His Glory. He is seated as he is being lifted, because He is seated at the Right Hand of His Father, and He will come again in Glory. What amazing iconography; we learn so much from icons.

Friday June 3rd Holy Equal-to-the-Apostles Emperor Constantine and his mother, Helen.

You will remember that Constantine (272-337AD) was the Emperor during whose reign as Roman Emperor, Christians who were persecuted by a succession of Roman emperors were at last safe; the Christian faith became the religion of the Roman Empire. Constantine and his men saw the Cross in the heavens just before the battle of Milvian Bridge. It was accompanied by the words "In Hoc Signo Vinces" (in this sign conquer), and he did. It was the Emperor Constantine who commissioned the Ecumenical Councils, the first of which we shall celebrate on the first Sunday in June.

His Mother, Helen (about 246-330AD) took upon herself the task of finding the actual Cross upon which Jesus had been crucified. There were certain tests performed to ensure that the cross she found was indeed the right one.

And then there are the English legends. St. Helen is purported to be the daughter of King Cole of Colchester where she built a chapel, which today is an Orthodox Church, in which I was blessed to serve. I understand that Cole, the king, was a "Merry old Soul" and that really is who that old Nursery Rhyme celebrates; the British version of the origins of St. Helen, the mother of the Emperor Constantine the Great. She inspired, if not had built, many churches in the Holy Land. You can certainly find many more details on-line.

I must thank the iconographers whose icons I use from time to time.

Catechumens meet this Friday May 27th at 6pm at the church. Prepare yourselves for a Bible Study/Reading Group soon.

I think I've got everything.

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

May 20, 2022

Fifth Sunday of Pascha: Sunday of the Samaritan Woman

Acts 11:19-26, 29-30
Saint John 4:5-42
Tone 4

Celebrating also the Translation of the relics of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker from Myra to Bari.

Saturday May 21st 5:30pm Panikhida for the victims of the war in Ukraine followed at 6pm by Great Vespers (there are three readings at Vespers)

Sunday May 22nd Divine Liturgy at 10am

This week on Monday we celebrate the Holy Apostle Simon the Zealot and on Tuesday we celebrate Holy Equals-to-the-Apostles Cyril and Methodius (first teachers of the Slavs). Just to note that the alphabet of the Slavs is called Cyrillic because it was developed by St. Cyril.

I wonder if you ever look at one of the great poetry books of the Church called The Psalms? There are 150 Psalms plus one that is not usually included with the others. They are attributed to King David and so called The Psalms of David, and some were written by him. The numbering of the Psalms can be confusing if you don't know that the numbering is different in Protestant Bibles and Orthodox Bibles. The Orthodox Bible Old Testament is based on the Septuagint. (You can look this up on the Internet; it is very interesting how the Septuagint came to be.)

A couple of days ago I was thinking and praying about the war in Ukraine, and was also reading Psalm 9 (10):

Why standest thou so far off, O Lord and hidest thy face in the needful time of trouble?
The ungodly for his own lust doth persecute the poor. Let them be taken in the crafty wiliness that they have imagined.
For the ungodly hath made boast of his own heart's desire and speaketh good of the covetous, whom God abhoreth.
The ungodly is so proud, that he careth not for God in all his thoughts.
His ways are always grievous, thy judgements are far above out of his sight, and therefore defieth he all his enemies.
For he hath said in his heart, Tush, I shall never be cast down, there shall no harm happen to me.

The remainder of this Psalm is worth reading as are all of the Psalms. It's amazing how they reflect feelings and happenings today as they obviously did when they were written, perhaps between the 9th and 5th centuries BC.

Speaking of Poetry, the sight of Dandelion flowers against the green of lawns and fields reminded me of a poem written by Robert Frost. It is a poem very apt for this season of Spring when that beautiful gold of the new Dandelion flowers are so fresh.

Nothing Gold Can Stay

Robert Frost - 1874-1963

Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

Many people consider Dandelions a nuisance and I suppose in many ways they are, after all they are so tenacious, just as we Orthodox are about our faith. We should adopt the Dandelion as our flower; it really is one of the most beautiful flowers and really difficult to get rid of; Orthodox to the very end.

May God Bless all of us. Please pray for the Catechumens, the victims of the war in Ukraine, for the people and safety of other independent countries that share a border with Russia, and let us pray for each other.

Love in Christ,
-- Father David

May 14, 2022

This Sunday is the Fourth Sunday of Pascha, named The Sunday of the Paralytic. We celebrate St. Athanasius the Great and Sts. Boris and Gleb.

I received the following from Alina:

Dear Fr. David, Please pass this information from the Russian Society of the Maritimes in the next newsletter:

We would like to express our sincere gratitude to Nova Scotians, Haligonians and kind people beyond the Atlantic provinces for your help and support for arriving Ukrainian families. As of today, our fundraising and collection of clothes and household items are completed.

During the fundraising campaign, we raised 2,990 CAD. Gift cards were received for an amount of 150 CAD. All funds have been distributed to the families accordingly to the number of family members.

Some of the donated items are available for viewing in the photo gallery.

If you still have some items you wish to donate, please reach the volunteer community called Atlantic Canada hosts for Ukrainians.

-- Alina

It is much appreciated that you have taken charge of the donations received at St. Vladimir Church. Thank you.

The Readings for this Sunday are, Acts of the Holy Apostles 9:32-42 and Saint John 5:1-15, and the readings for St Athanasius Hebrews 7:26-8:2 and Saint Matthew 5:14-19. Tone 3.

Saturday May 21st, we celebrate the Holy Apostle and Evangelist John the Theologian. Being a Saturday, we will serve a Liturgy at 10am. Remember Saturdays 5.30pm Panikhida followed by Vespers.

We had a very good and interesting session with the Catechumens last Saturday. We spend an hour and about a half talking about the Nicene Creed. The next session was to have been on Saturday May 21st but that has become unlikely so I will meet with the Catechumens after Liturgy this Sunday, when we can fix a time and date for our next meeting.

Remember those old "long hair" days when all you had to worry about was the amount of sleep the new baby allowed you? Ask David, whose hair is much shorter now, and Heather; and Colin and Kristin. Thanks New Josh for the picture from Palm Sunday.

Wednesday May 18th is the feast of Mid-Pentecost which is the mid-point between Pascha and Pentecost. It lasts until Wednesday May 25th but I'm afraid we don't get to miss the Wednesday and Friday fasts, but we can eat fish and that's a blessing. It's all on your wall calendar.

That's all for this week, May God bless all of us,
Love in Christ,
-- Father David

May 7, 2022

46th Sunday after Pentecost, Tone 2

Readings for this Sunday, the Sunday of the Myrrh- bearing Women Acts 6:1-7 and Saint Mark 15:43-16:8, and for the feast of the Holy Apostle and Evangelist Mark, 1Peter 5:6-14 and Saint Mark 6:7-13. Tone 2

Who were the Myrrh-bearing Women? They are named as Mary Magdalen, Mary the wife of Cleopas, Joanna, Salome the mother of the sons of Zebedee, Susanna, Mary and Martha the sisters of Lazarus, Mary the mother of the Apostle James. These are the women who came to the tomb of Jesus with Myrrh and Aloes, early in the morning, to embalm the body, and found the tomb to be empty.

The Righteous Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus are associated with the Myrrh-bearing Women and celebrated with them. Joseph of Arimathea was the man who took the responsibility regarding the burial of Jesus' Body. Nicodemus was the Pharisee and member of the Sanhedrin who reminded them that according to the law, a person must be heard before judgement is passed.

Saturday at 4pm there is the Catechumens' meeting at the church followed by the Panikhida for the victims of the war in Ukraine at 5.30pm, and then Vespers at 6pm and of course 10am on Sunday is Liturgy, followed by a get together in the basement, and a Parish Council Meeting.

Please pray for the people of Ukraine, and for this parish.

Love in Christ,
Christ is Risen!
-- Father David

April 23, 2022

44th Sunday after Pentecost, Tone 3

23rd Saturday10am Baptism
9pm Confessions
10pm Matins and
Paschal Liturgy with Procession, Blessing of Baskets
This is Pascha - Great Feast!
24th Sunday3pm Agape Vespers
25th Monday10am Liturgy, Blessing of Baskets


A message Alina regarding wooden egg donations:


I've counted the money collected through our Easter egg campaign. It was just a couple of dollars short of $400! I'll pass $400 to the Russian society to distribute among the Ukrainian families arriving to Halifax.

-- Alina

Remember to pick up the information about the Monks and their Garden fresh vegetable Baskets.

Christ is Risen!
Joyous Paska!

-- Father David and Father Alexander

Palm Sunday Pictures, thank you Alina

Parish Sunday School

April 15, 2022

43th Sunday after Pentecost, Tone 2

Reminder of services between now and Pascha St. Vladimir Halifax:

16th Saturday10am Liturgy Lazarus Saturday
5.30pm Panikhida and Great Vespers
17th Sunday10am Liturgy Palm Sunday
21st Thursday10am Vesperal Liturgy Institution of the Lord's Supper
6pm 12 Passion Gospels
22nd Friday3pm Great Vespers - Removal of Christ's body from the Cross
Lamentation service - with procession of Pleschanitza around the church
This is Great Friday - Strict Fast!
23rd Saturday10am Baptism
9pm Confessions
10pm Matins and
Paschal Liturgy with Procession, Blessing of Baskets
This is Pascha - Great Feast!
24th Sunday3pm Agape Vespers
25th Monday10am Liturgy, Blessing of Baskets

Please note: Confessions at 9pm right before the Paschal Liturgy.

Note also the added Presanctified Liturgy on Tuesday morning of Holy Week.

On Saturday evening just before the Panikhida, we were blessed with a visit from our first Ukrainian Refugees, Louisa and Dennis; please pray for them, and for Katja their host.

Reminder of services between now and Pascha Holy Lady of Vladimir St John's:

Direct from Ivan (Modified by Fr. David and Teo):

Dear All, Fr. Nathanael will be arriving for Holy Week on Tuesday April 19. Here is the schedule of services.

Wednesday, 20 April 6:00 pm Holy Unction

Thursday, 21 April, 9:30 am Last Supper Vesperal St. Basil Liturgy

6:00 pm the Twelve Gospels Matins.

Friday, 22 April, 6:00 pm Shroud Vespers + Lamentations Matins. This is Great Friday - Strict Fast!

Saturday, 23 April 9:30 am Vesperal St. Basil Liturgy 11:00 pm Paschal Vigil & Liturgy. Blessing of baskets.

This is Pascha - Great Feast! Sunday, 24 April, 3:00 pm, Agape Vespers. Blessing of baskets.

As in past years, the Gospel at this Vespers will be read in several languages. The passage is from St. John, 20:19 - 25. Please bring the text in the language you would like to read in case we don't have it.

Fr. Nathanael will depart Monday 25 April. Otherwise, Saturday 16th April 6pm Vespers and Matins for Palm Sunday, Sunday 17th we have Hours & Typica at 10am as usual. At the end there will be a short prayer for Ukraine, not a full paraklesis/molieben.

In Christ,
-- Ivan

It was a great blessing to have so many at the Liturgy on Sunday. We are blessed indeed to have babies and children. Weekday services have been quite well attended and that is also a blessing for the parish. So Great Lent ends and the Fast of Holy Week begins. Please try to attend some of the services. The journey from the Raising of Lazarus to the Rising of Our Lord and God and Saviour Jesus Christ is a journey that we should all take very seriously. We ride into Jerusalem with the Lord, we shout Hosanna with the crowd, we are present at the Supper of the Lord, when he gives us His Body and Blood thus instituting the Holy Liturgy, and afterwards, when Jesus prays in the Garden of Gethsemane; is betrayed into the hands of the Temple authorities, beaten and crucified by the Roman soldiers then placed in a tomb. All of nature waits. Then we are there at the Glorious Resurrection of Christ, foretold by the resurrection of Lazarus. By attending the services of Holy week, we shall see all these things and more as we progress through the week.

Love in Christ,
-- Father David

April 8, 2022

42th Sunday after Pentecost, Tone 1

Reminder of services between now and Pascha:

April 7th Thursday10am Vesperal Liturgy Annunciation
9th Saturday5.30pm Panikhida and Great Vespers
10th Sunday10am Liturgy
13th Wednesday6pm Presanctified Liturgy
16th Saturday10am Liturgy Lazarus Saturday
5.30pm Panikhida and Great Vespers
17th Sunday10am Liturgy Palm Sunday
21st Thursday10am Vesperal Liturgy Institution of the Lord's Supper
6pm 12 Passion Gospels
22nd Friday3pm Great Vespers - Removal of Christ's body from the Cross
Lamentation service - with procession of Pleschanitza around the church
This is Great Friday - Strict Fast!
23rd Saturday10am Baptism
10pm Matins and
Paschal Liturgy with Procession
This is Pascha - Great Feast!
24th Sunday3pm Agape Vespers
25th Monday10am Liturgy

St. Vladimir in Halifax NS
Saturday, April 9, 5:30pm - Panikhida and Vespers
Sunday, April 10, 10:00am - Hours and Divine Liturgy, St. Mary of Egypt
Wednesday, April 13th, 6:00pm - Presanctified Liturgy

Holy Lady of Vladimir in St. John's NL
Sunday April 10rd, 10:00am - Reader's Hours and Typica

Sorry to announce the death of Maria Luca, the mother of Alexandra Kokyrtsa, with her husband Iouri. They are from Moldova and members of our parish. Maria was 90 years of age. She did attend liturgy from time to time, and I remember her well. Father Alexander was able to take her Communion the week before her death. Her daughter Alexandra, and family mourn her passing; May her memory be eternal!

We continue to pray for the victims of the war in Ukraine.

We are coming to the final two weeks of Great Lent. Let us try to make an effort to really observe the Fast. If we have not been able, or have forgotten the Fast up to this point, let us make a sincere effort for the next two weeks. Fasting will make the great Feast of Pascha much more poignant. Remember that children, the elderly, and those under medical care, and those taking medication, must be very careful of fasting and should take great care when doing so.

Thinking ahead - Baskets will be blessed after the Saturday night Paschal Liturgy and after the Monday morning Liturgy. I"m hoping that after the blessing of baskets on Saturday night, which will surely be very early Sunday Morning by that time, we can have a feast in the basement. We could perhaps have such wonderful goodies in our baskets that we can all share, making it a party.

For those of us not used to Orthodox customs, we bless baskets full of all the things we don"t eat during the Fast. There is usually a loaf called Paska, which is a loaf made with butter and eggs and sometimes dried fruits, and frequently glazed with white icing, and sometimes sprinkles. That loaf is placed in the centre of the basket and a candle is stuck in the top of it and is lit during the blessing. The basket may contain meats, eggs, fats, frequently garlic and horseradish, cheese, and anything else you can think of. In the same way we have restricted our eating, we splurge and feast. The sermon of Saint John Chrysostom, which is read at the Pascha Liturgy, tells us that whether we have fasted or not, we must feast at Pascha.

Can you believe, yesterday we were asking each other to forgive, and next Sunday will be Palm Sunday and then Holy Week with lots of services (check the listing above).

May God give us strength, and may He bless each of us,
Love in Christ,
-- Father David

April 2, 2022

41th Sunday after Pentecost, Tone 8

St. Vladimir in Halifax NS
Saturday, April 2, 10:00am - Liturgy, Commemoration of the Departed, Please prepare your list and this list can contain Orthodox and non-Orthodox
5:30pm - Panikhida for the victims of the war in Ukraine followed by Vespers
Sunday, April 3, 10:00am - Hours and Divine Liturgy, St. John of the Ladder
Thursday, April 7th, 10:00am - Vesperal Liturgy of the Annunciation of the Most Holy Theotokos

Holy Lady of Vladimir in St. John's NL
Sunday April 3rd, 10:00am - Reader's Hours and Typica

This past week saw the 35th Anniversary of Father Maximos' Ordination to the Holy Priesthood. Father Alexander arranged a lovely lunch meeting for the priests serving in Halifax. Father Maximos, Father Panagiotis, Father George, Father Alexander and I, we had lunch in an Indian restaurant; and very pleasant it was too. Since we are fasting, we were limited to the Vegan menu but surprising how delicious vegan Indian food can be. We couldn't have dessert because almost all of the Indian sweets are made with some form of milk, and delicious they are as well. Another time we will have to visit when we can have lamb, and goat, and very sweet desserts. We actually wanted to go to a restaurant where Father Maximos is not known, but the moment we walked in the door, Father Maximos was greeted like a long lost friend. I believe there is nowhere in Halifax that Father Maximos would not be known and greeted. May God bless him for another 35 years.

We are thinking of the problems being faced because of the war in Ukraine. You read about this in the special appeal bulletin we sent out; the appeal for help and goods to aid the Refugees we are expecting to arrive in Halifax. We suspect that Refugees will be sent to larger communities across the country, but we must be ready here in Halifax to receive our share. A lot of Ukrainians are Orthodox Christians and so we must be prepared to accommodate them in our parish. Our name - "St. Vladimir," and "Prince of Kiev," will likely and immediately suggest a Ukrainian parish. While that is not so, (we are a parish for all Orthodox, no matter their nationality), we do have Ukrainian and Russian parishioners who have relatives still in their home land, and therefore we would be able to make refugees feel very "at home" in our community. We must be prepared for this. Father Alexander and I have discussed it and we will watch carefully, and take any necessary steps to accommodate them within our worshiping community.

We have had a good number of people attend the Wednesday Presanctified Liturgies. This next week there will not be a Presanctified on Wednesday because we will be celebrating the feast of the Annunciation of the Most Holy Theotokos on Thursday April 7th with a Vesperal Liturgy at 10am. Our last Presanctified for this Great Lent will be on Wednesday April 13th at 6pm.

Last Sunday's Liturgy; Father Alexander's sermon.

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

Pray for Peace and Justice in Ukraine

March 25, 2022

40th Sunday after Pentecost, Tone 7

Saturday, March 26, 5:30pm - Panikhida and Great Vespers
Sunday, March 27, 10:00am - Hours and Divine Liturgy
Wednesday, March 30rd, 6:00pm - Presanctified Liturgy

Ivan wrote:

Dear All,

We very much thank Fr. Nathanael for visiting us this weekend. Though Newfoundland weather and Air Canada conspired to try to keep him here a little longer, he finally arrived back home at around 2am this (Tuesday) morning.

The Great Feast of the Annunciation of the Most Holy Theotokos is this Friday, March 25. As such we will have reader's Vespers and Matins on Thursday evening, March 24, at 7pm. Otherwise, Hours and Typica will take place on Sunday at 10am as usual.

In Christ,
-- Ivan

Coffee time with Father Nathanael after Liturgy - St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador.

Over the past week, I have received several calls from people wishing to help with refugees arriving from Ukraine. Several of those people have come to the church to find out what they can do to help. At the moment we have not had any contact from refugees. When and if we do, it will be mentioned on our website and in the bulletin and we'll do what we can to help. I am also explaining that as a Canadian charity, we are not permitted to send monies outside of the country; therefore we are sending our parish contributions via the Canadian Red Cross, earmarked for the relief of people in Ukraine. I am suggesting that people do that individually by sending to the Canadian Red Cross or other international charity, that way their tax receipt will come directly from that charity. Each family will have its own way of dealing with charitable giving. Our wooden eggs supplied by Alina, is one of the ways we, as a parish, are raising money towards the relief of those suffering in Ukraine.

I want to thank those who have made such a great effort to finish the basement floor. The new Josh and his dad spent a lot of time finishing the tiling and making it look good. Thank you for that; it really does look good now, smooth and light. We must also thank David for coordinating this project, not an easy task, thank goodness he is on maternity leave. Now he is looking for opinions about possible colours for painting the basement walls.

The readings for Liturgy this Sunday are:

Epistle, Hebrews 4:14-5:6
Gospel, Saint Mark 8:34-9:1

That seems to be it for this week. Braidyn was awarded a medal by NATO and I'm hoping to get a picture of him being presented with it. Holly wrote a poem but corrected it so I'll try to include it next week. Keep praying for Ukraine and ask God to deal with that situation.

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

March 18, 2022

39th Sunday after Pentecost, Tone 6

Saturday, March 19, 5:30pm - Panikhida and Great Vespers
Sunday, March 20, 10:00am - Hours and Divine Liturgy
Wednesday, March 23rd, 6:00pm - Presanctified Liturgy

Holy Lady Vladimir St. John's:

Father Nathanael is visiting this weekend and will serve Saturday March 19th 5.30 pm Panikhida/Parastas - Great Vespers with time for Confessions afterwards

Sunday March 20th 10am Hours and Liturgy followed by Moleben/Paraklesis for peace in Ukraine

March 25th is the feast of the Annunciation of the Most Holy Theotokos. The Epistle and Gospel for this feast are Hebrews 2:11-18 and Saint Luke 1:24-38.

March 24th 7pm Reader's Vespers - Annunciation

Last Sunday, the feast of The Triumph of Orthodoxy and the Restoration of Holy Icons, Father Maximos organized a Vespers service. There were five priests present, Father Maximos, Father Panagiotis, Father George, Father Alexander and me. A good number of our parishioners attended. This year the Icons were processed around the inside of the church, it was just a bit cold to go around the block as we did the year before. Please check the St. Antonios Antiochian Orthodox website and the St. George Greek Orthodox website for their schedules of services during Great Lent.

If you've been downstairs you will notice the incredible difference to the floor. The installation of tiles is almost complete. I believe the guys are planning on finishing the work this coming Saturday. David knows all the details of that. A great THANK YOU to all who have been involved in the acquiring and putting down of the tiles. It makes such a difference and we shall soon be able to have coffee and snacks after Liturgy. We won't have to go home hungry.

I want to THANK those who make Prosphora as well. They seldom get recognized and this is such an important task, the making of the loaf that provides the Lamb that is consecrated, and the Antidoron. If you are able to contribute to the making of this, please let Colin know, we need more. It is not a difficult task, you need white flour, yeast, salt, and water, plus a seal, and a few muscles for the kneading and then an oven for baking. Colin or Kristin will give you the recipe and instructions.

Please remember the wooden eggs that Alina has donated to raising money for Ukraine, $5 or more each. All money should be placed in an envelope with your name clearly indicated so you can receive credit for Income Tax Deduction purposes.

Can you see five priests who are happy to be in each other's company? Look very carefully and you may see Braidyn! Thank you Alina for the photos.

May God bless us,
Love in Christ,
-- Father David

March 11, 2022

38th Sunday after Pentecost, Tone 5

Saturday, March 12, 5:30pm - Panikhida for those who have lost their lives during the war in Ukraine
Saturday, March 12, 6pm - Vespers
Sunday, March 13, 9:30am - Hours and Divine Liturgy

This Saturday, March 12th, Vespers as usual at 6pm with a Panikhida for those killed in Ukraine, starting at 5.30pm; Sunday March 13th, Liturgy at 10am, again as usual. You will remember that extra hour of sleep we enjoyed in October, well now we have to return it. Daylight Saving Times begins after we have gone to bed on Saturday night. There is an extra service on Sunday, Vespers at St. Antonios Church, 2480 Windsor Street B3K 5B9. This is Triumph of Orthodoxy Sunday when we celebrate the return of icons and the defeat of the Iconoclasts (those against Icons). This happened on the first Sunday of Lent March 11, 843, we meet for this extra service when we celebrate this event and display icons.

The readings for this week have been from the beginnings of Genesis, Proverbs and Isaiah and makes good reading. The readings for this Sunday are Hebrews 11:24-26, 32-12:2 and Saint John 1:43-51. Try to read these ahead of the Liturgy.

Let's us turn now to Ukraine. My heart breaks for the people of Ukraine. Since we, as a Canadian Charity are not permitted to send charitable donations out of the country, any monies given to the parish for the relief of Ukraine, will be sent via the Canadian Red Cross. Of course, you can donate individually to the Red Cross or other charities, or via the parish. Please make sure you mark you donation clearly. There are also the beautiful wooden Easter Eggs that Alina has so generously provided; they are $5 or more per egg. I believe they are Ukrainian in origin. They may be your remembrance of an Independent Ukraine, if Russia gets its way. Let us pray for Ukraine and for the people who have to exist under the cruelty of war, and those who are fleeing to safety. Pray also for the countries that are accepting an incredible number of refugees. May God bless and protect them all.

Attached you will find the proposed schedule of services planned for Great Lent. Sometimes we have to change the schedule at the last minute due usually to a lack of choir. Our choir director is a doctor and liable to being called suddenly. Father Alexander teaches full-time classes and is not always available. We work around these obstacles giving thanks to God for the love and privilege all our people bring to the parish. I am older; you are younger, so we depend upon you to deal with the fabric of the building, and the many other things necessary to help the parish operate. Thank you to everybody. May God bless all of us.

This photograph was several years ago when we paraded the Icons and Reliquaries around the block. Father Antonios later took the relics and icons in his car and blessed the whole of Halifax. I hope we have a good number of our people to help carry icons; I further hope we shall have weather that will allow us to have a procession.

For anyone who was not at the Liturgy and Vespers last Sunday, Forgiveness Sunday, I ask you to Forgive me, as I forgive; May God forgive us both!

Love in Christ to all,
May God bless all of us,
-- Father David

March 5, 2022

37th Sunday after Pentecost, Tone 4

Saturday, March 5, 5:30pm - Panikhida for those who have lost their lives during the war in Ukraine
Saturday, March 5, 6pm - Vespers
Sunday, March 6, 9:30am - Hours and Divine Liturgy

For the time being we also include Holy Lady of Vladimir Mission, St. John's Newfoundland, Canadian Orthodox Church - Archdiocese of Canada (OCA), Under the Omophore of His Eminence Archbishop Irénée (Rochon), Archimandrite David (Edwards) Rector and Father Alexander Treiger

We have begun the lead up to Great Lent and this Sunday is Cheesefare which is also Forgiveness Sunday. We shall follow the usual pattern of serving Forgiveness Vespers immediately after the Liturgy with the ceremony of asking forgiveness of each other. Liturgy will begin at 9:30am and just one Liturgy with everyone attending as best we can. During the forgiveness ceremony, we approach each other and say, "Please forgive me, I forgive you, may God forgive us both."

The readings for this Sunday are Romans 13:11-14:4 and Saint Matthew 6:14-21. Remember that Tomorrow, February 7th is the beginning of Great Lent, and Wednesday is the Commemoration of the First and Second findings of the Precious Head of Saint John the Baptist with the readings 2 Corinthians 4:6-15 and Saint Matthew 11:2-15. Saturday is the Commemoration of the Great Martyr Theodore the Recruit when the readings are Hebrews 1:1-12 and Saint Mark 2:23-3:5.

Services this week: Saturday March 5th at 5.30pm Panikhida, for those who have lost their lives during the war in Ukraine, followed by Vespers. Sunday March 6th at 10 am Liturgy followed immediately by Forgiveness Vespers and the Act of Forgiving. This is also Cheesefare so Dairy and eggs join meat on the no-go list. Wednesday March 9th The Great Canon of St. Andrew of Crete. Instead of reciting this Canon on three evenings, well do all three segments on the one evening.

Looking forward: Sunday March 13 is The Sunday of Orthodoxy when we celebrate and give thanks for the return of Icons to the Church. We will have a procession of icons so please bring a favourite icon for each member of your family to carry. Saturday March 19th Liturgy and Commemoration of the Departed. Please prepare your lists of those to be commemorated. These lists can contain non- Orthodox as well as Orthodox. It's when we commemorate our family and friends to be included on the Diskos (plate) at the Proskomedia before Liturgy that we commemorate only the Orthodox living and departed.

On my name day, St. David's Day, March 1st, I bought a leek which is an ancient symbol of St. David, and made a buttered leek side dish; it was indeed delicious.

I was hoping to report on a lovely holiday but as it turned out there was no holiday. I managed one week of quiet, but the rest of the month was full of Newfoundland and Covid. I don't put the two in the same category because I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Newfoundland and Father Alexander and his family were completely frustrated by the Covid positive results that went through each member of their family. They are all better now, thank God.

I was met in Saint John's, after the screening and picking up the 5 packs of Covid indicators, by the choir director and president of the Holy Lady of Vladimir Mission. I've known Ivan Saika and his family for years, from when I served that mission about ten or more years ago. There were folk that I knew and was very pleased to meet again. There were many confessions, a Panikhida for all the departed of the parish, Vespers, and since they did not have any Holy Water, I served the Great Blessing of Water. There was Liturgy and a very nice gathering for tea, coffee and snacks afterwards. I hope we can get back to doing this soon. I certainly miss the camaraderie and chatter that is really important for us as a community. (Speaking of that, I would ask that you to please keep the noise down for the reading of the Post Communion Prayers. As a community it is really important for us to gather and talk. Please just keep the noise down during those prayers.)

I happen to have a couple of photos taken during the services in St. John's

It was really good to be amongst the people of this mission. They have just rented a building that used to be a dog grooming parlour; a very nice space. I was particularly pleased to have Ivan and Theodora's son Alexander as my Altar Servant. He and his sister Anastasia were young children when I last saw them.

As you see, a beautiful group of people. I was invited along with Ivan and Teo, to the home of Octavia and Adrian Dobre where I first tasted the lovely Plum Brandy called Ţuică (Romanian Moonshine!). Since they have not been back to Romania for a while, we had shots of Tequila which apparently is similar in taste but not nearly as nice. I certainly enjoyed the meal of slow cooked Moose. Wow! It was lovely. It's interesting that Slivovitz, (another name for Suika), is available in most provinces but not in Newfoundland and Labrador, nor in Nova Scotia. What a shame.

Ukraine: We share the same Liturgy with most Orthodox, the Greek Church, the Antiochian Church, and others. It is that which makes it very difficult to understand what is really going on in Eastern Europe. May God bless and Protect all the innocent.

I point out that we, the Parish of St. Vladimir Prince of Kiev, are part of the Canadian Orthodox Church, which in turn is part of the Autocephalous Orthodox Church in America (OCA) under His Beatitude Metropolitan Tikhon (Mollard), Archbishop of Washington, and Metropolitan of all America and Canada, and under the Omophor of His Eminence Archbishop Irénée (Rochon), Archbishop of Ottawa, and the Archdiocese of Canada.

Alina has a number of Wooden, Decorated Easter Eggs that she was planning to use as a money maker for the parish, but now intends to sell them to raise money for the situation in Ukraine. She suggests $5 or more for each egg. Our own Charity status prevents us from sending money directly to Ukraine, so the Parish Council will have to devise a means to send money, if they so desire, perhaps via another charity such as the Red Cross and designate it as Ukrainian Relief.

Please continue to pray for the people of Ukraine and for all who have lost their lives. May God protect all the innocent. May He also protect the countries surrounding Ukraine that are accepting the great number of refugees. There will be many saints who go unrecognized; God will know them because they belong to Him.

Orthodox Sunday: We shall celebrate this important feast The Triumph of Orthodoxy at St. Antonios Church (2480 Windsor Street) at 5 pm, that's Sunday March 13th.

(March 13th is also the beginning of Daylight Saving Time!)

May God bless all of us,
-- Father David

February 25, 2022

36th Sunday after Pentecost, Tone 3

Saturday, February 26, 6pm - Vespers
Sunday, February 27, 9:30am - Hours and Divine Liturgy

My Dear People

Please pray earnestly for the people of Ukraine, Russia, and surrounding countries. Pray that intelligence and compassion will rule.

May God bless you and your Russian and Ukrainian Families.

Since tomorrow will be difficult for us to get to the church due to weather conditions, on Saturday, Feb. 26, we shall start a half an hour before Vespers (5:30pm) with prayers for Ukraine and Russia.

-- Father David

Please also read: https://www.oca.org/holy-synod/statements/his-beatitude-metropolitan-tikhon/statement-on-war-in-ukraine

February 19, 2022

35th Sunday after Pentecost, Tone 2

Services this weekend will be as usual:

Saturday, February 19, 6pm - Vespers
Sunday, February 20, 9:30am - Hours and Divine Liturgy (ONE SERVICE FOR EVERYONE - there's no longer separation between adults & families)

Fr. David, who is back from Newfoundland, will do these services (thank you, Fr. David!); Fr. Alexander is still isolating due to Covid in the family.

The readings are:
1 Corinthians 6:12-20
Luke 15:11-32

This is "The Sunday of the Prodigal Son". The Gospel reminds us of the journey of repentance that we should all take to meet the Heavenly Father, whom we have left and who is always waiting for us.

February 12, 2022

34th Sunday after Pentecost, Tone 1

Because of a Covid case in Fr. Alexander's family, he is required to self-isolate effective today. Therefore, services this weekend will be READER SERVICES (without a priest):

Saturday, February 12, 6pm - Reader's Vespers

Sunday, February 13, 9:30am - Reader's Third and Sixth Hours + Typika [the Typika looks like an abbreviated liturgy - with the same "variables" (hymns, Apostle and Gospel readings, etc.), but obviously without consecration of the Gifts and without communion]

NOTE: During the Sunday service, we won't do the separation into Adults vs. Families - as there is no liturgy and no communion, we do not expect many people will come.

The readings are:
2 Timothy 3:10-15
Luke 18:10-14

This is The Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee - the beginning of the pre-Lenten period. Our journey to Pascha is about to begin!

We are also going to celebrate the Feast of the Meeting of Our Lord with Vespers on the eve of the Feast:

Monday, February 14, 6pm - Reader's Vespers for the feast of the Meeting of the Lord - Due to bad weather and driving conditions, tonight's Reader's Vespers for the feast of the Meeting of the Lord has been cancelled.

Cameron and David, thank you for taking care of these services!

You are welcome to read the following sermons about the feasts that we are celebrating this weekend:

http://www.mitras.ru/eng/eng_29.htm (Metropolitan Anthony of Sourozh on the Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee)

https://orthochristian.com/44773.html (St. Theophan the Recluse on the Meeting of the Lord)

The coming week is FAST-FREE (no fasting on Wednesday and Friday).

Please pray for Fr. David as he is travelling to Newfoundland. He will be doing lots of services there this weekend - a liturgy, blessing of the water, confessions, and more! Fr. David, travel safely! We miss you here very much!

February 5, 2022

33th Sunday after Pentecost, Tone 8

Services this weekend will be as usual:

Saturday, February 5, 6pm - Vespers
Sunday, February 6, 9:30am - Hours and Divine Liturgy (adults)
Sunday, February 6, 11:30am - Holy Communion (families with children)

We are celebrating the Holy Martyrs & Confessors of Russia. We are also commemorating St. Xenia of Saint Petersburg.

The readings are:
1 Timothy 4:9-15 & Romans 8:28-39
Luke 19:1-10 & Luke 21:12-19

This is "Zacchaeus Sunday" - the last Sunday before the pre-Lenten period begins. We are about to start our journey to Pascha.

January 29, 2022

32th Sunday after Pentecost, Tone 7

Saturday, January 29 Vespers CANCELLED due to the snowstorm
Sunday, January 30 at 9:30am and 11:00am - Liturgy

I am going to take a break. I shall be away from the parish for the month of February. Please contact Father Alexander for anything you need remembering, of course, that Father Alexander is a full time professor teaching at the University, so he may not be able to respond immediately.

During the time I am absence, if you check your 2022 Parish Calendar (available at the candle stand by the entrance), we have:

  • Zacchaeus Sunday on February 6th
  • Sunday of the Publican and Pharisee on the 13th (this is the fast free week!!!)
  • The Meeting of the Lord on Tuesday the 15th
  • Sunday of the Prodigal Son on the 20th; and can you believe it
  • Meatfare Sunday on the 27th

Meatfare Sunday, of course, ushers in Cheesefare Week. Father Alexander will inform you if he intends to serve a Vespers on the evening of the 14th, the Eve of the Meeting of the Lord, and Liturgy on Saturday the 26th as a Commemoration of the Departed.

My goodness but how time does fly when we are having fun and feasting. I have had two house blessings which is a good beginning since I don't remember any at all last year. If you are planning to have your home blessed, please contact Father Alexander to make an appointment. The picture was taken by Peter Togni's wife Patricia. We were discussing the Liturgy and listening to Sergei Rachmaninoff's beautiful setting of the Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom. As usual, Father David has is mouth open.

A couple of days ago, I took some old oats down to the water to feed to the ducks. When I did that, they were almost all over me and it was wonderful. I sat on a rock and spread the oats out. They seemed not to have fear and that I liked. As I continued along the path by St. George Orthodox Church, that's Father Panagiotis' parish, I slipped on some black ice and fell to the ground. A woman was approaching so I had to assure her that I was fine as I lay there, and I was fine except that I had, I discovered when I got home, grazed my right knee on the rather sharp flint like stones that make up the pathway. I sprayed Hydrogen Peroxide, which foamed like mad and put a couple of sticky plasters on it. The cormorants never come near the shore, only the ducks do that.

This Sunday is the feast of St. Anthony the Great. Please remember to pray for Father Maximos and his Parish of St. Anthony. The readings for the Commemoration of Saint Anthony are, Hebrews 13:17-21 and Saint Luke 6:17-23.

Please remember to pray for the Newfoundland Parish.

May God Bless us and keep us safe in His Love,
-- Father David

PS - I shall not be writing Bulletins during the time I am away.

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!

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!

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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