Mark your calendars! Please note that beginning this coming Sunday, March 17, 2019, the first Sunday of Great Lent, the new start time for the Divine Liturgy will be 9:00AM. The Prayers of the Hours will begin at 8:45AM. Please check the parish calendar for details, changes, or additions.
Christ is Risen! Indeed He is Risen!
It won’t be long until we will greet each other with this joyous phrase. In sharing the greeting and joy of this glorious Feast, we are sending a Pascha (Easter) card to the friends and families of our parish. To add your name(s) or to remember the name(s) of your departed loved ones on our Pascha card, we humbly ask for a small donation as we attempt this outreach. Our card will also contain a schedule of our Pascha services along with a greeting letter from Fr. Gregory.
If you wish to have your name(s) included on our card, please complete and return the attached form to Fr. Gregory or Alex Krowzow (or mail it to the listed address) no later than April 1, 2019. Checks may be made out to Four Evangelists Orthodox Church. All proceeds will benefit our parish.
O Lord and Master of my life! Take from me the spirit of sloth, faint-heartedness, lust of power, and idle talk. But give rather the spirit of chastity, humility, patience, and love to Thy servant. Yea, O Lord and King! Grant me to see my own errors and not to judge my brother; For Thou art blessed unto ages of ages. AmenLenten Prayer of Saint Ephrem the Syrian
Today, along with all Orthodox Christians world-wide, we began the journey of Great Lent with the Rite of Forgiveness at the end of Vespers. (In many parishes it is common to celebrate a portion of “Forgiveness Vespers”, along with the Rite of Forgiveness, after the Sunday Liturgy as opposed to the evening proper).
As the choir sang selected hymns from the Paschal Canon – hymns we won’t hear again until Great and Holy Pascha – the faithful, one-by-one, asked each other for mutual forgiveness (cf. Gospel of St. Matthew 6:14-15) and the altar vestments were changed to purple to reflect the penitential mood of the season.
We wish everyone a fruitful and joyous Lent as we turn anew to seek the Lord.
Open to me the doors of repentance O Lifegiver; for my spirit rises early to pray towards Thy Holy Temple, bearing the temple of my body all defiled. But in Thy Compassion purify me by the loving kindness of Thy Mercy…
Great Lent is almost upon us. Please join us as we begin this season with the Rite of Forgiveness this Sunday, March 10, immediately following the Divine Liturgy. Lent begins with forgiveness. Our forgiveness begins with forgiveness. (If you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will forgive you; but if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your heavenly Father forgive you your trespasses – Gospel of St. Matthew 6:14). During this time the choir will be singing hymns from the Paschal Canon, reminding us and pointing us toward the goal of Lent, repentance, and fasting – the Resurrection of Our Lord and our communion with and in Him.
On Monday and Tuesday of this week (Clean week) we will pray the Great Canon of St. Andrew of Crete, a canon of repentance prayerfully sung during the first week and then again during the fifth week of Lent. Please don’t miss this wonderful opportunity to start Lent “in the right direction”, so to speak.
Regarding the Great Canon, Fr. Alexander Schmemann in his wonderful book Great Lent: Journey to Pascha says the following:
At the commencement of Lent, as its inauguration, as the “pitch” which is to begin the entire “melody,” we find the great penitential Canon of St. Andrew of Crete. Divided into four parts, it is read at Great Compline on the evenings of the first four days of Lent. It can best be described as a penitential lamentation conveying to us the scope and depth of sin, shaking the soul with despair, repentance, and hope. With a unique art, St. Andrew interwove the great biblical themes – Adam and Eve, Paradise and Fall, the Patriarchs, Noah and the Flood, David, the Promised Land, and ultimately Christ and the Church – with confession of sin and repentance. The events of sacred history are revealed as events of my life, God’s acts in the past as acts aimed at me and my salvation, the tragedy of sin and betrayal as my personal tragedy. My life is shown to me as part of the great and all-embracing fight between God and the powers of darkness which rebel against Him.
On Wednesday and on the following Wednesdays until Holy Week, we will celebrate the Liturgy of the Presancrified Gifts. This solemn and ancient service is an evening Liturgy that is held in order to sustain our lenten effort by our participation in Holy Communion. A light Lenten potluck supper will follow.
We hope you can join us.
An updated copy of our schedule of services for Lent, Passion Week, and Pascha can be found here.
“And though every day a man lives may rightly be a day of repentance, yet is it in these days more becoming, more appropriate, to confess our sins, to fast, and to give alms to the poor; since in these days you may wash clean the sins of the whole year.” – St. John Chrysostom
Please join us for the services listed below during this coming Great Lent, Passion Week, and Holy Pascha. A printable copy can be found here. Hard copies will also be available in the March newsletter made available in the narthex. Please check the calendar for changes.
Sunday, March 10 – Sunday of the Expulsion of Adam from Paradise (Cheesefare) w/ Rite of Forgiveness immediately after Liturgy
Monday, March 11 – 7PM Great Canon of St. Andrew of Crete
Tuesday, March 12 – 7PM Great Canon of St. Andrew of Crete
Wednesday, March 13 – 7PM Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts followed by Lenten Potluck Supper
Sunday, March 17 – Sunday of Orthodoxy Procession with Icons and Rite of Orthodoxy immediately after Liturgy
Wednesday, March 20 – 7PM Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts followed by Lenten Potluck Supper
Sunday, March 24 – Sunday of St. Gregory Palamas
Sunday, March 24 – 6PM Vigil for the Feast of the Annunciation of the Theotokos
Wednesday, March 27 – 7PM Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts followed by Lenten Potluck Supper
Sunday, March 31 – Sunday of the Holy Cross
Wednesday, April 3 – 7PM Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts followed by Lenten Potluck Supper
Sunday, April 7 – Sunday of St. John of the Ladder
Wednesday, April 10 – 7PM Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts followed by Lenten Potluck Supper
Thursday, April 11 – 7PM Great Canon of St. Andrew of Crete
Sunday, April 14 – Sunday of St. Mary of Egypt
Wednesday, April 17 – 7PM Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts followed by Lenten Potluck Supper
Palm Sunday, April 21 – Blessing of Willows and Palms at end of Liturgy
Holy Wednesday, April 24 – 7PM Service of Holy Unction
Holy Thursday, April 25 – 7PM Passion Gospels Service
Great & Holy Friday April 26 – 2PM Vespers of the Cross
Great & Holy Friday, April 26 – 7PM Jerusalem Matins with Procession
Great & Holy Saturday, April 27 – 10AM Vesperal Liturgy of St. Basil the Great
Great & Holy Saturday, April 27 – 11:30PM Rush Service
Great & Holy Pascha, April 28 – 12AM Procession and Paschal Matins, Festal Divine Liturgy, Blessing of Pascha Baskets, Agape Feast
The 12th Annual Pan-Orthodox Bible Bowl will be held on Saturday, February 9th, 2019 at St. Mary Antiochian Orthodox Church in Hunt Valley, MD. The competition begins at 2:00PM. Following the competition, Great Vespers will be served at 5:00PM with an awards ceremony concluding the evening. Come watch and encourage our youth and all the youth of the Church schools as they participate in this annual event!