PARISH NEWS AND EVENTS
Blessing and Dedication of the New Icon and Proskinitarion:
This morning at the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy, we will bless and dedicate the “Icon of the Panagia Portaitissa”, the Icon commissioned exclusively for the 90th Anniversary of our Blessed Parish of Assumption last year. This Icon will now prominently be placed in the newly constructed Proskinitarion that will be unveiled at the dedication service. It is most fitting that this Icon is unveiled today as we celebrate the ‘Sunday of Orthodoxy’, commemorating the restoration of the Holy Icons back into the Churches in the Ninth Century A.D. The Proskinitarion is a gift by Mrs. Tula Ellis and family, in loving memory of Tula’s husband, John. We thank the Ellis family for their most generous gift that will now house the Panagia Icon for generations to come.
40 Days ~ Claudia (Calliope) Kutrubis, Right Rows 1 - 3
3 Years ~ Vasiliki Trambas, No Pews
12 Years ~ Maria Dallas, No Pews
53 Years ~ John (Ioannies) Kutrubis, Right Rows 1 - 3
Today’s Coffee Fellowship is hosted by the Vlagos Family to celebrate the names-day of Evangelia. Join us in Plato Hall for fellowship.
Sunday Church School:
Our Panagia Sunday Church School Divine Liturgy begins promptly at 9:45am. Sunday Church School classes takes place immediately following the Divine Liturgy in Plato School. If you have not, as yet, registered your child for the 2015-16 school year, please do so by contacting the Church Office, securing a registration form online at our Church’s Website (www.assumptionchicago.org), or by speaking with our SCS Director, Mrs. Christina Arvanites.
Dates to Remember:
PLEASE NOTE: The * indicates that the service will be streamed live that day.
Sunday, March 20th
SUNDAY OF ORTHODOXY
6:30 pm – Sunday of Orthodoxy Vespers Service at
St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church
893 Church Road, Elmhurst, IL
Monday, March 21st
6:00 pm – Compline Service
7:00 pm – Adult Bible Study will meet in
St. Catherine’s Meeting Room
Wednesday, March 23rd
9:00 am – Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts
Friday, March 25th
Annunciation of our Lord
8:30 am – Orthros
9:30 am – Divine Liturgy *
7:00 pm – 2nd Salutations to the Theotokos*
Monday, March 28th
6:00 pm – Compline Service
Wednesday, March 30th
6:00 pm – Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts *
Friday, April 1st
7:00 pm - 3rd Salutations to the Theotokos *
Sunday, April 3rd
Veneration of the Holy Cross
Parish Oratorical Festival following service
Monday, April 4th
6:00 pm - Great Compline Service
7:00 pm – Adult Bible Study will meet in
St. Catherine’s Meeting Room
Wednesday, April 6th
9:00 am - Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts
Friday, April 8th
7:00 pm - 4th Salutations to the Theotokos *
Saturday, April 9th
9:00 am - 2:00 pm - Annual Lenten Youth Retreat
Monday, April 11th
6:00 pm - Great Compline Service
Wednesday, April 13th
6:00 pm - Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts *
Friday, April 15th
7:00 pm - Akathist Hymn to the Theotokos *
Saturday, April 23rd
Saturday of the Resurrection of Lazarus
8:30 am - Orthros
9:30 am - Divine Liturgy *
Sunday, April 24th
8:30 am - Orthros
10:00 am - Divine Liturgy
Annual Palm Sunday Luncheon following the Services
7:00 pm - Service of the Bridgroom
Monday, April 25th
Great and Holy Monday
7:00 pm - Service of the Bridegroom *
Tuesday, April 26th
Great and Holy Tuesday
7:00 pm - Service of the Bridgroom *
Wednesday, April 27th
Great and Holy Wednesday
2:30 pm - Sacrament of Holy Unction
7:00 pm - Service of the Bridegroom *
Holy Unction will be distributed after the service
Thursday, April 28th
Great and Holy Thursday
9:00 am - Vespers and Divine Liturgy of Saint Basil
7:00 pm - The Holy Passion of Our Lord *
Friday, April 29th
Great and Holy Friday
9:00 am - Reading of the Royal Hours
3:00 pm - Removal of Christ from the Cross *
7:00 pm - Service of the Lamentations *
Saturday, April 30th
Great and Holy Saturday
9:00 am - Vespers and Divine Liturgy
11:00 pm - Canon of the Holy Resurrection *
Sunday, May 1st
12:00 Midnight Resurrection Service and Divine Liturgy *
11:00 am - Vesper of the Feast of Agape
The Next Orthodox Adult Bible Study Monday March 21, 2016:
Our Adult Bible Study will meet Monday evening, March 21, 2016, at 7:00 pm, in Saint Catherine’s Meeting Room. We will continue our study of St. Paul’s Epistle to Timothy. This class is open to all, and it is hoped that you will avail yourself to the opportunity to study the Bible in-depth. All you need to bring along with you is your Bible. For further information and/or questions, please see Father Timothy.
Adult Education Program:
Father Dimitrios continues his 3-part adult education program on Sunday, March 27th, in our St. Catherine's Chapel immediately following SCS Divine Liturgy.
Thinking of Converting to Orthodoxy?
If you, a family member, or friend, who are not of the Orthodox Faith, and may be considering conversion to Orthodoxy, please contact the Church Office (773.626.3114) or speak with Fr. Timothy or Fr. Dimitrios. A Confirmation/Chrismation Class is being formed to prepare those who have expressed interest to convert to Orthodoxy. This also includes couples who are planning to be married in the Orthodox Church in the near future, and where one of the couple is contemplating converting to the Orthodox Faith. We plan to begin this process in late March.
As we enter the Lenten Season and as in the past we look for donors for the flowers that are used during the Lenten/Easter Season. Should you wish to offer a donation for one of the items below, please call the Church Office - 773-626-3114
Icon for The Salutations to the Theotokos (5 Friday’s)
March 18th, March 25th, April 1st, April 8th - $175 per week (2 have been Donated)
Jonquils for the Sunday of the Veneration of the Cross - $245
Palm Leaves for Palm Sunday April 24th- DONATED
Icon for Bridegroom Services, April 24th, April 25th, April 26th and April 27th - $175
Large Icon of the Last Supper – April 27th - $400
3 Wreaths for Holy Thursday, April 29th - $325 each – (1 has been Donated)
Rose Pedals, Holy Friday, April 29th - Donated
Carnations, Holy Friday, April 29th - Donated
Lavaro, April 30th and May 1st -Donated
Easter Lilies for Holy Pascha, April 30th and May 1st- $624
Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago Family Synaxis Ministry:
Lentin Family Retreat: Join other Orthodox families at St. Spyridon Church in Palos Heights on Saturday, April 2 for a one-day Lenten Retreat Title Family & Forgiveness, given by Dr. Peli Galiti, Program Manager for the International Forgiveness Institute at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Workshops for adults and children, as well as child-care for babies! Find more information and
register online at www.GOCFamilySynaxis.org or email Chicago.Family.Synaxis@gmail com
The Annual Lenten Retreat will be held on Saturday, April 19th from 9:15 am to 1:45 pm in St. Catherine’s Chapel for all grades Pre-K through 8th Grades. The topic is The Prodigal Son, The Story of Repentance and Forgiveness. The High Schoolers will help facilitate games and crafts. Lunch will be provided. Please call the church office at 773-626-3114 to RSVP.
Registration is open for Fanari Camp 2016 at the St. Iakovos Retreat Center. There will be four one-week sessions in June and July, but spots are filling up quickly. Please visit Fanari.org for information and to register. Also, there is a unique opportunity through the Pick Up Your Cross and Follow Me ministry for special needs campers to attend Fanari Camp from Thursday to Saturday of the third session (July 14th-16th). If anyone is interested in this opportunity, please contact Presvytera Toni Mihalopoulos at firstname.lastname@example.org. The registration code for the three-day package is SPECIALPRICE16.
The Greek Women’s University Club:
The Greek Women’s University Club (GWUC) was founded in 1931. It has been the mission of our organization to promote higher education and to support a variety of endeavors in the arts, literature, and sciences within our community. Since its inception, the GWUC has supported women of Greek descent by offering academic scholarships. The Greek Women’s University Club is pleased to offer two (2) scholarships of $2,500 each for the 2016-17 schoolyear.
Selection of Award Recipients is made by an independent selection committee appointed by the GWUC Board of Directors. This committee will work independently and make decisions based on the criteria set forth in the scholarship application, including academic achievement, a written statement of academic objectives, faculty recommendations, and extracurricular activities. The semi-finalists are then invited for a personal interview. All candidates are advised of their status after each step in the process. Final notifications will be made by mid-May, 2016.
Application forms are available to any eligible women in the Church Office. Please call 773-626-3114 if you wish to receive an application.
Application materials must be returned by March 31st, 2016, via email to:
AJM Architecture & Design Scholarship:
The Andreas J. Mourelatos Architectual & Design Scholarship fund is presented by the Mourelatos family in honor of Andreas who passed away in August of 2014. The scholarship is open to all Greek American students across the United States in the fields of architecture, interior and exterior design, and construction management. Please contact the AJM Architecture and Design to receive an application at: www.AJMscholarship.com or AJMarchdesign@gmail.com. Due date is May 30th.
Church School on FACEBOOK:
Our Sunday Church School has created a FACEBOOK page. Like our page: Assumption Sunday Church School! Keep up to date on upcoming events and view photos from recent events.
Coffee Fellowship Hosts Needed:
Have you considered selecting a day to host the Weekly Fellowship Hour following Worship Services on a specific Sunday in 2016? You might want to celebrate a family event, a memorial, or just want to share time with the Church family. Please call the Church Office (773.626.3114) to book a date and for more information. Available dates for the 2016 year are:
March 27 June 5 July 10 Sept. 11
April 10 June 12 July 17 Sept. 18
May 15 June 19 July 31 Sept. 25
May 22 June 26 Aug. 21 Oct. 2
May 29 July 3 Sept. 4 Oct. 9
Assumption Prayer Ministry:
The Assumption Adult Bible Study Group has developed an idea that may be of interest to parishioners and friends of our Panagia Parish. They are interested in being able to form a ministry comprised of individuals who would like to pray for the health of those individuals who may be ill or experiencing health issues. Our Orthodox Faith teaches us that the ‘power of prayer’ literally works miracles, and Jesus instructs us in the Bible that we should “always pray for one another in the fellowship of love and through the Holy Spirit”. As a Panagia Parish, we are united as brothers and sisters in Christ, and we are encouraged to pray for one another as any family would do. So, how do we plan to do it? It’s simple, easy, and spiritually uplifting and rewarding. Here is what we can all do:
- If you are interested in participating, you need only submit your name and email address to the Church Office or Fr. Timothy.
- When a name is submitted to be prayed for, you will be contacted by email, given the first name of the person to be prayed for, along with the prayer to be read by you, offering the prayer for the intercession of God upon that individual, and asking that the afflicted be healed by God’s abundant blessing.
- Your prayer, together along with the many others who are offering a prayer for the person who is ill, will bring comfort beyond comprehension.
Just think about that….our prayers collectively praying for a person who needs the loving and tender Hand of God during his/her special time of need. It’s that simple. Just provide us with your email address, and you can join this ministry team who will pray for the person who needs help the most. It costs nothing, takes only a few seconds to do, but will make us all part of a spiritual family that looks and cares for one another.
Do you need gifts for your family or relatives? Then please visit the Bookstore in Plato Hall after the Divine Liturgy on Sundays. There you will find unique gifts for everyone, such as books for children and adults, icons of your or your children’s patron saints, crosses, key chains and other beautiful items, which will make much appreciated gifts this year. Please stop in and browse, you’ll be glad you did.
Prosfora Bakers Needed:
One of the blessings of Stewardship that we are given is the ability to serve our Church in a number of ways. Our Church is in need of individuals who can offer the weekly Prosforo (Bread) for the Divine Liturgy. Should you be able to offer your service, please inform the Church office or see either Fr. Timothy or Mrs. Demetra Spyropoulos. With the help of each steward/member, we come together as a Church family to better offer our thanks to our Lord.
College Students -- Check Out OCF (Orthodox Christian Fellowship):
To our young people who are going away to college for the first time, or to those returning to school to continue their studies, Orthodox Christian Fellowship (OCF) is the organization which keeps you connected to your Church and your Orthodox Faith. OCF has 300 chapters in colleges and universities throughout North America. So be sure to check out their web site to locate and find out about your chapter -- WWW.OCF.NET. We also encourage our college young people to share their e-mail addresses with our Church so that we may keep them informed of their “Spiritual Home” while they are away. And always remember, your Assumption Church’s weekly Divine Liturgy Services are just a click away on your computer each Sunday as we now broadcast live each Sunday. Just access it by going to our website at: www.assumptionchicago.org
Cemetery Graves Update:
Individuals/Families interested in purchasing graves at Elmwood Cemetery, please be advised of the following rates: $1,995.00 (members), and $2,295.00 (non-members). Our Parish has only twenty-six (26) graves remaining in the Panagia section, and the Church pricing is about 50% less than the graves that are being sold at Elmwood. For more information, please call the Church office and speak with Gail (773.626.3114).
PROPER CHURCH ETIQUETTE FOR WORSHIP
ENTERING THE CHURCH
When entering an Orthodox church, reverently make the sign of the Cross. First, light your candle. Candles represent the light of Christ and the flame of the Holy Spirit. Candle-stands are in the narthex. You may then venerate the icons before you.
THE IMPORTANCE OF PUNCTUALITY
The Orthodox Divine Liturgy begins when the priest intones, “Blessed is the Kingdom of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.” We need to arrive early enough to receive this blessing. Arriving later causes a distraction for others who are praying. If an occasional problem occurs and you have to come in late, enter the church reverently and quietly. Try not to interrupt the Liturgy by your entrance. The best way to avoid this situation is to arrive on time.
STANDING IN CHURCH
It is the custom of some Orthodox Christians to stand throughout the Divine Liturgy. If you choose to stand, please do so near the sides so that the view of the Altar is not blocked for those who are seated. If you are accustomed to sitting during the Divine Liturgy, remember to stand at these times:
- When the Liturgy begins and the priest gives the blessing;
- During the Small and Great Entrances
- When the priest turns and faces the congregation, giving his blessing
- When the priest is censing the icons and congregation
- During the Gospel reading
- At the Anaphora
- For Holy Communion
- At the final blessing
RECITATION OF NICENE CREED AND LORD’S PRAYER
We must remember that when the Orthodox Divine Liturgy is celebrated, it is ‘interactive’. That means we are not merely spectators but participants. The Nicene Creed is the foundation and principle tenets of our Orthodox Faith. Therefore, we should recite it together, loudly and with conviction, as it defines us as ‘believers’ and ‘Orthodox Christians’. Likewise, the Lord’s Prayer is to be recited loudly and boldly. It is the one prayer that Jesus Christ authored and recited when preaching here on earth.
Orthodox Christians are invited to approach and receive Holy Communion if they are properly prepared. The church school students and their teachers should approach first. All others who are prepared to do so may then approach the holy chalice. The cloth held by the priest and the altar servers is there to prevent any particles of the gifts from falling onto the floor.
If a baby or toddler needs a snack, please clear away any leftover pieces. However, the child should not have anything in his/her mouth when he/she comes to Holy Communion. It is not acceptable at any time to chew gum in church (at any age). Plan to have your children use the restroom and get a drink before church begins, and don’t allow them to come and go continually.
Remember that you are in church to worship God, the Holy Trinity. The priest says, “With the fear of God, faith, and love draw near.” Let this be the way you approach your worship:
- Refrain from socializing during the Liturgy: Save your greetings and conversations for the fellowship hall. We are in the Liturgy to pray and worship God, not to distract others.
- Mobile devices: The use of mobile phones is never proper during the Liturgy. If you have a professional reason to carry one for emergencies, keep it on mute, not vibrate, and sit near the exit so that leaving for an emergency will not be a distraction to others. Otherwise, turn off your phone before entering the sanctuary.
- We do not clap in church.
- Lipstick: Do not wear lipstick while taking Holy Communion or when kissing the cross, an icon, the priest’s or bishop’s hand, or any sacred object. It is best not to wear it at all in the church.
- Leg crossing: One should not be too casual in the Divine Liturgy. In our North American culture, we tend to cross our legs to get comfortable when sitting. Crossing one's legs in church is not permitted, not because it is "wrong" but rather because it is too casual and relaxed for being in church. Keeping your feet on the ground also enables you to remain attentive and to stand when necessary.
- Church Dress: Respectful attire is also an important part of attending Orthodox services. You do not need to be dressed "fancy" but respectfully and modestly so as to present yourself to God. No shorts, short skirts, or revealing clothing please. Men and boys must remove their hats when entering the church.
HANDLING THE HOLY BREAD (ANTIDORON)
At the end of the Divine Liturgy, it is customary to receive a piece of holy bread or antidoron. While antidoron is not Holy Communion, it is blessed bread and as such should be eaten carefully so that crumbs do not fall. Both adults and children should always remember to eat the antidoron with respect. Leaving Church without receiving antidoron and the final blessing from the priest is foreign to our Orthodox culture. This includes the chanters, choir, parish council members, and ushers as well.
LEAVING BEFORE DISMISSAL
Leaving church before dismissal deprives us of a blessing. Worship has a beginning ("Blessed is the Kingdom...") and an end ("Let us depart in peace..."). To leave immediately after Communion is to treat the church with disrespect.
NOTE: Worship services are vital instruments and components to our prayer development. In order to do this, we need to be cognizant of our fellow parishioners and all those around us. For those parents with children, we encourage you to expose them to the worship experience. If a child is in need of attention, please feel free to take him/her to the Narthex or Cry Room. You are most welcome to enter and exit the Church proper as many times as necessary. By doing this, all who are in attendance will be afforded the opportunity to worship and pray together. Please keep in mind that we are also privileged to have a complete Sunday School Liturgy celebrated in Saint Catherine’s Chapel each week for your use as well. We ask for your cooperation. Ushers will be available to help you, if needed.
Holy Communion Announcement:
While we pray and work for the reconciliation and unity of all the world’s Christians, the reality remains that there is still no intercommunion between our Orthodox Churches and the Churches of the West. This means that only baptized, chrismated, and observant Orthodox faithful are allowed to receive Holy Communion in our churches. At the same time, we warmly welcome all non-Orthodox to join us in prayer and celebration, and humbly offer to all present the Antidoro bread of fellowship at the end of the worship service. We offer this important symbol ‘instead of the Gifts’, in the words of the Apostle Paul, ‘Till we all come to the unity of the Faith’ (Eph. 4.13).
We Need Your E-mail Address:
Are you receiving the weekly bulletin online in your e-mail mailbox each week? How about our Assumption Church’s Newsletter and the Saint Catherine’s Newsletter? If not, please give the Church Office your e-mail address so that you can stay informed about the schedule of religious services, events, and news of our Community.
In addition our Parish’s website, we encourage you to keep abreast on the latest news and happenings about Orthodoxy from our Metropolis of Chicago and our Holy Archdiocese.
Please use the links below to access any of the three sites:
Assumption Church: www.assumptionchicago.org
Metropolis of Chicago: www.metropolisofchicago.org
Archdiocese of America www.goarch.org
All three websites will provide you with articles and resources for the Orthodox Church. They include the history of Orthodoxy, special Services and Blessings, Spirituality, Teachings of the Orthodox Church, how to become a member of the Orthodox Church, the meaning and celebration of The Holy Eucharist, the form and characteristics of Orthodox worship, the Sacrament of Confession, Holy Week Meditation and Study Guide, Fasting, the Orthodox Calendar, and much more. Specifically, on our Parish’s website, we have uploaded past and current editions of the Assumption Newsletter and the St. Catherine Newsletter, and are available for reading online.
Our Sunday Church Services are broadcast live on the Internet each week:
A reminder to all, our Parish of Panagia began broadcasting live to the internet each Sunday. This is of particular benefit to our shut-ins, elderly, college students, and vacationers who are away from home, yet need to receive the benefit and blessing of the weekly Divine Liturgy experience. All you need to do is log on to our website www.assumptionchicago.org, and click the link to begin watching the Worship Service live. We have also archived our Services allowing anyone to click and watch the Service/sermon at their leisure. We encourage you to give it a try.
NOTE: Please note that this morning’s Divine Liturgy, as well as prior Divine Liturgies, are available for rebroadcast. Simply log on to our Parish’s website (www.assumptionchicago.org), and click on the “Watch Worship Services Online” link.
Dean Bastounes, Nick Mansour, John Vassiliades, Joann Stavropoulos, Mary Zouras