Икона Святого Равноапостольного князя Владимира

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3163 Purcell's Cove Road, Halifax, NS

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May 31, 2020

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

From Fr. David:

Readings for this Sunday

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

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

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

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

Gospel - St. John 17:1-13

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

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

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

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

We must continue to remember in our prayers those attending to the sick, and those infected by "the virus": May God bless, protect and heal.

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

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

PS Don't forget the Catechumens Evangeline, Braidyn, Jeffrey and Seamus.

May God bless us all.

Гражданский календарь с расписанием богослужений

Year 2019
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Воскресенья и большие праздники отмечены красным цветом. Постные дни отмечены серым фоном.

May 25, 2020

From Fr. David:

Christ is Risen!

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

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

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

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

The Sunday readings are:

Epistle - Acts 16:16-34:

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

Gospel - St. John 9:1-38

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

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

Epistle - Acts 1:1-12

Gospel - St. Luke 24:36-53

May 10, 2020

Christ is Risen!

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

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

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

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

Epistle: Acts 9:32-42

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

Gospel: St. John 5:1-15

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

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

April 25, 2020

From Fr. David:

Christ is Risen!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Indeed He is Risen!

April 19, 2020

Great and Holy Pascha:

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

From Fr. David:

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

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

The Catechetical Sermon of St. John Chrysostom:

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

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

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

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

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

April 12, 2020

Palm Sunday

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

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

HOLY WEEK

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

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

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

Monday of Holy Week:

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

Tuesday of Holy Week:

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

Wednesday of Holy Week:

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

Office of Holy Unction (in the evening)

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

St. James 5:14-16

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

Thursday of Holy Week:

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

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

Great and Holy Friday:

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

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

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

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

Holy Saturday:

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

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

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

Great and Holy Pascha:

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

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

The Catechetical Sermon of St. John Chrysostom:

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

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

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

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

April 6, 2020

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

https://youtu.be/iq6o76kBJlE

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

https://youtu.be/7-LPyKdEQDc

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

April 4, 2020

This sunday we commemorate St. Mary of Egypt

Message from Father David

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SUNDAY EPISTLE and GOSPEL:

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

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

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

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

For St. Mary of Egypt:

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

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

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

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

March 28, 2020

Message from Father David

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

Commemoration of St. John of the Ladder (Climacus)

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

The Epistle

Letter to the Hebrews 6:13-20

The Certainty of God's Promise

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

The Gospel

St. Mark 9:17-31

Jesus Heals

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

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

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

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

March 22, 2020

Third Sunday of Great Lent - Veneration of the Holy Cross

Message from Father David

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

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

Revised Standard Version (RSV)

EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS 4:14 - 5:6

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

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

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

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

6 as he says also in another place,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

March 17, 2020

Archdiocese Closes All Churches until April 1, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

Asking your prayers, in Christ our Saviour,

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

Father David adds the following message:

My Dear Friends,

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

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

May God bless us all.

March 14, 2020

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

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

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

Message from Father David about COVID-19

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

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

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

In the mean time, these steps would be sensible:

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

March 6, 2020

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

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

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

Father David writes:

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

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

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

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

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

February 29, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

February 20, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

February 8, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

Father David will be away for the next 2 Sundays.

February 1, 2020

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

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

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

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

Father David will be away for the next 2 Sundays.

January 25, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

January 17, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

Annual General Meeting of the Parish:

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

January 11, 2020

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

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

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

January 3, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

Confessions:

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

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