SAINT JOHN THE BAPTIST RUSSIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH

March Message from St. John's...............

Feb 28, 2022
March Message from St. John's...............

All of the virtues and powers of God are attained primarily by prayer. Man prays in order to unite His mind and heart with God. He prays in order that God’s will would be done in his life.  He prays so that consciously and with full awareness he expresses the fact that all that he is, has and does is dependent on God. It is man who needs to pray. It is not God who needs man’s prayers.

 

 

During Great Lent there are several special Divine Services held to help us in our prayers. Since the Great Fast is a time of repentance and sadness, the services are designed to touch our hearts and minds to repent of our sins. The services are longer, the lights are dim, and the clergy wear somber colored vestments. Kneeling and bowing to the floor frequently occur as during the prayer of St. Ephraim, the Syrian, “O Lord and Master of my life….”

 

 

On Monday, March 7, the beginning of the Great Fast, The Great Compline with the Canon of St. Andrew of Crete is held and continued on Tuesday, March 8, Wednesday, March 9, and Thursday, March 10. The Great Canon of St. Andrew of Crete is a series of biblical reflections and meditations which focuses our attention on our need for repentance and the loving mercy and forgiveness of God.

 

 

On Wednesday, March 16 our first Pre-sanctified Liturgy is held. The Pre-sanctified Liturgy will also be held Wednesdays, March 23, March 30 and on April 13. We pray: “Lord, I call upon Thee, hear me. Hear me, O Lord, Receive the voice of my prayer, when I call upon Thee. Hear me, O Lord. Let my prayer arise in Thy sight as incense, and let the lifting up of my hands be an evening sacrifice. Hear me, O Lord. (from Psalm 141) The Entrance with the Presanctified Holy Gifts is made in silence while the people kneel and bow with their heads to the ground. And we sing the hauntingly beautiful hymn: “Now the powers of heaven do serve invisibly with us. Lo, the King of Glory enters. Lo, the mystical sacrifice is upborne, fulfilled.” A moving and beautiful expression of love and devotion to our God.  

 

 

Friday, March 18 is the Akathist to the Divine Passion followed on March 19 by Memorial Saturday. A Panikhida on Saturday, March 19, is followed by Great Vespers. Akathist services will be held also on Fridays, April 1 and April 8. The Akathist services include poetic hymns in honor of the Theotokos, the Divine Passion, or the Holy Cross.

 

 

The Great Fast services provide us with a great opportunity to grow in our faith. Remember that our sins can never outweigh God’s love towards us. “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:8-9) Please refer to the printable calendar for times of services.


 

Happy Birthday to all those celebrating in the month of March: Valentina Garcia, March 2; Rosemarie Petro, March 2; Sonya Finno on March 3; Lydia Bzik on March 9; Amy Kovalycsik Talley on March 11; Scott Cahayla on March 13; Robert M. Czech on March 14; Nicholas Kovalycsik on March 20; Genevieve Bobenko on March 22 and Chris Bzik on March 28. May God grant each of you Many Years!

 

 

We are being reminded that your donations to our food basket in the vestibule will be greatly appreciated to those who will benefit from your kindness. Helen Baron, our food basket coordinator, asks that you remember your neighbors who are unable to provide for their families in this difficult time. Helen thanks all of you who have been so generous in the past and may God bless you all.

 


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