April 2018

ANNUNCIATION-AGIA PARASKEVI

GREEK ORTHODOX CHURCH

www.aapgoc.mi.goarch.org

 

18000 Behner Road

New Buffalo, MI

Mailing address: P.O. Box 93, New Buffalo, Michigan 49117

 

Presiding Priest: Rev. Fr. Paul Martin

fatherpaulmartin@gmail.com

Cell: (708)717-1841

 

Council President: Gust Anton

soanton1928@yahoo.com

269-468-4161

 

April, 2018

 

Services

 

Orthros begins at 9:30 a.m.,

Divine Liturgy at 10:30 a.m.

Confessions are heard on Sundays at 9:15 a.m.

and on Saturdays by appointment

 

Saturday, March 31, 10:30 a.m.........Lazarus Saturday Divine Liturgy

 

Sunday, April 1........................................Palm Sunday.  Fish dinner provided by Gus and Ekaterina Korellis.  $10 per person donation to the parish.

 

HOLY WEEK

 

Wednesday, April 4, 6:30 p.m. Holy Wednesday Annointing

 

Thursday, April 5, 10:30 a.m., Vesperal Divine Liturgy of St. Basil

                                   6:30 p.m....Orthros of Great Friday-Passion Service

 

Friday, April 6, 1:00 p.m.........Great Friday Vespers, The Apokathelosis

                                                        (Taking down from the Cross)

                             6:30 p.m.........Orthros of Holy Saturday-The Lamentations

Saturday, April 7--Sunday, April 8:  GREAT AND HOLY PASCHA.  PLEASE ARRIVE ON TIME.  LIGHTS WILL BE EXTINGUISHED AT 11:30 p.m.

                            11:00 p.m....................Orthros of the Resurrection

                            11:30 p.m...........Resurrection Service and Divine Liturgy.  Those who live a distance and cannot drive are encouraged to see Fr. Paul.  (See below, concerning transportation to the Resurrection Service.)  Those who will not be attending our Resurrection Services are encouraged to attend Agape Vespers.

 

Sunday, April 8…….Pascha Agape Vespers, 11:45 a.m. 

 

Sunday, April 15….Thomas Sunday.  COUNCIL MEETING FOLLOWS SERVICES

 

Sunday, April 22….Sunday of the Myrrh-Bearing Women

 

Sunday, April 29….Sunday of the Paralytic

 

`Altar Servers and Men Urgently Needed!

 

On Holy Thursday evening, April 5 servers are needed to assist at the Passion service.  On Great Friday, April 6 at 1 p.m., two men (other than chanters) are needed to assist at the Apokathelosis (Taking down from the Cross).  Please arrive one half hour before services (no later than 12:30 p.m.) and see Fr. Paul.

 

A number of men are needed to assist on the evening of Great Friday, April 6 during the procession around the church with the Kouvouklion.  Please arrive no later than 5:45 p.m.

 

Men and altar boys are needed to assist at the Orthros and Resurrection Service on Holy Saturday night.  Please arrive no later than 10:15 p.m., before the beginning of Orthros to help organize the events.

 

Transportation to the Resurrection Service

 

We are trying to arrange transportation for those living a distance and who do not wish to drive late at night. Two members of our community have come forward and are willing to transport parishioners living in the Benton Harbor / St. Joseph / Stevensville areas. Please see Fr. Paul if you wish to have a ride to church or if you wish to offer transportation.

 

Fr. Basil Stamas’s Passing

 

Fr. Basil Stamas passed away at 1 a.m., 3/21/18.  He will be buried by Fr. George Wilson, priest of Holy Trinity Cathedral in New Orleans.  At the time of writing, funeral arrangements have not been finalized.  Let us keep Fr. Basil in our prayers and thoughts.

We are having a memorial service for Fr. Basil on Sunday, 25 March following divine liturgy.

 

+++

 

Holy Wednesday: The Sacrament of Holy Unction: "The Sacrament of Holy Unction is given for spiritual and physical healing, 'unto soul and body,' as the prayers state repeatedly throughout the service.  We should listen intently to all the Hymns and Prayers, and, more importantly, commit to live the words we hear.  The Sacrament of Holy Confession is presupposed, and indeed very necessary for soul cleansing.... In this particular Service, we can readily see how the Sacrament of Penance is closely allied to the Sacrament of Holy Unction." (Adapted from an introduction to Holy Wednesday Evening services, compiled and translated by Fr. George Papadeas, Patmos Press, 1976)

 

Holy Thursday Morning: The Institution of Holy Eucharist:  On Holy Thursday morning, the Church is mystically present at the Lord's Last Supper.  The Vesperal Divine Liturgy of St. Basil is served with great compunction and reverence, for here and now Christ God is giving us his very Body and Blood as we prepare for His Holy Passion. 

 

The Holy Eucharist is the source and ground of all meaning in our lives.  The Gifts sustain us through our joys and sorrows; they shed light on all that we are, everything we do, think, and say.  If we cooperate with God's grace, the Holy Eucharist forms us into what we were made to be--a fully human, forgiving, merciful, and godly people: God's very likeness.  Our participation in the Mystical Sacrifice is therefore the most human act of all, for thereby we become what humanity was created to be, partakers of the divine, vessels of the Holy Spirit. 

 

St. Gregory Palamas says this about the Holy Eucharist:

 

"Christ has become our brother by sharing our flesh and blood and so becoming assimilated to us...He has joined and bound us to Himself, as a husband his wife, by becoming one single flesh with us through the communion of His blood; He has also become our Father by divine baptism which renders us like unto Him, and He nourishes us at His own breast as a tender mother nourishes her babies...Come, He says, eat my Body, drink my Blood...so that you be not only made after God's image, but become gods and kings, eternal and heavenly, clothing yourselves with me, King and God!"

 

On Holy Thursday morning we offer the sacred Vesperal Divine Liturgy of St. Basil.  Please come and experience the Institution of the Holy Eucharist. 

 

Holy Thursday Evening--Passion Service (Orthros of Great Friday):   On Holy Thursday evening, we hear all of the Gospel accounts concerning Christ's trial and passion, a solemn and sobering experience. All should attend.  It is our very real way of being there with our Lord as He suffers and dies for the life of the world. 

At the conclusion of the service, all come forward to venerate the Cross (Estavromenos).

 

Great Friday: Vespers and Orthros of Holy Saturday:   On the morning of Great Friday, the Kouvouklion (sepulchre or tomb) is decorated with flowers.

 

Early Great Friday afternoon, we serve Great Friday Vespers, concluding the remembrance of events of the Lord's passion.  Yet, for the first time during Holy Week, the order of a festive service is used--"It is finished," as Christ says from the Cross; all has been accomplished!   This signals the beginning of the transformation of lipi (sorrow) into xara (joy).  The corpus of Christ is removed from the large Cross (Apokathelosis--literally, "un-nailing"), wrapped in a sheet, and taken up to the altar, where it will remain until the Apodosis of Pascha.  We process around the church with the Epitaphios (the embroidered icon of Christ's body), finally placing it in the Kouvouklion, which is moved to the middle of the solea, in front of the Holy Doors.

 

On the evening of Great Friday, we serve Orthros of Holy Saturday, which is festive by nature-- mourning is being transformed into joy.  Following The Lamentations, which are sung in a spirit of xarmolipi (joyful-sadness), and after the procession around the church with the Kouvouklion, all pass under the Epitaphios, thus expressing our belief that in Christ we have already passed from life to death.  The priest then receives the Epitaphios from the tomb and places it on the altar, demonstrating the truth of Christ's victory over death.  At the end of the service, the people come forward to venerate the empty tomb.

 

Great and Holy Pascha!

 

HAVING WITNESSED CHRIST'S SAVING PASSION AND HIS GLORIOUS RESURRECTION, WE RECEIVE THE EUCHARIST, CRYING OUT WITH JOY, "CHRIST IS RISEN!  INDEED HE IS RISEN!"  "CHRISTOS ANESTI!  ALITHOS ANESTI!"  

 

Your Pascha Gift

 

Please find enclosed an envelope for your Paschal gift to the parish.  We appreciate your prayers and support.  May God bless you for your generosity.