Palm Sunday Special Tray
Today, by directive of His Eminence Metropolitan JOSEPH, we ask you to be generous in donating to our second collection tray, which will be used to support our Mother Church, the Patriarchate of Antioch.
Fasting during Holy Week: Today (Palm Sunday), is a feast. Fsh, wine, & oil permitted.
During Holy Week, the fast is strict (no meat, fish (except shellfish), dairy, wine or oil) on Monday through Wednesday. On Holy Thursday, wine is allowed in remembrance of the Last Supper. During Holy Week, most people in good health will eat one simple Lenten meal per day in the evening before attending services. Holy Friday and Saturday are days of strict fasting (same rules as in the beginning of Holy Week). As little as possible should be eaten on Holy Friday, since it is the day of the Lord's Crucifixion. (Most people will keep a strict fast from all food and drink (except water) at least until after the 3 pm Vespers of the Un-Nailing.) Even those who have not fasted during Lent are urged to keep the fast on Holy Friday.
The fast continues on Holy Saturday. Most people will eat a lenten meal (no oil, but wine is permitted) on Saturday after the morning liturgy, and keep a strict fast throughout the day until after the Paschal Liturgy. At the very least, those in good health should fast from all food and drink a minimum of 6 hours before receiving communion on Saturday night. (The elderly, the very young, and those pregnant/nursing/on medication can adjust the fast as necessary to accomodate their health situations.)
Please do what you can in terms of fasting during Holy Week. Even if you can't meet the full rigors of the fast, please make some effort, and engage in some sort of fasting to prepare yourself as much as possible for Holy Pascha. God grant us all strength and grace for the journey of Holy Week, so that we can welcome the Resurrection of Christ with joy!
Church School Information
No Church School on April 9, and 16.
Annual Egg Hunt on Sunday, April 16 following the Agape Service. Bring your own baskets!
Teen SOYO Information
On Saturday May 20th, all of St. John’s is invited to join the Teen SOYO to deliver sack lunches to the poor and unfortunate. We will meet at 7:15 AM at the church to travel to the Franciscan House. Four drivers are needed. Please see David B. to volunteer.
Ladies Corner (not just ladies; anyone can participate!)
1. Please bring one dozen of uncooked eggs per family and place them in the refrigerator by Thursday, April 13th. If you have any yellow onion peels please save those and bring them to the kitchen by Thursday, April 13th.
2. Pascha Dinner (April 15th); please see Elaine for sign up. Please remember if bringing an item place it in a disposable container and make sure to help clean up that evening.
3. Next ladies meeting is scheduled for Monday, April 24th at 7 pm.
If you have any questions or concerns, please see Angela. Thank you all for your participation.
Bulletin info due by Monday, 11:59 pm to stjohnfortwaynebulletin at yahoo dot com.
An Explanation of Holy Week in the Orthodox Church
Palm Sunday (The Entrance of our Lord into Jerusalem): Our Lord enters Jerusalem and is proclaimed king -- but in an earthly sense, as many Jews of His time were seeking a political Messiah. Our Lord is King, of course, but of a different type --the Eternal King prophesied by Zechariah the Prophet. We use palms on this day to show that we too accept Jesus as the True King and Messiah of the Jews, Who we are willing to follow—even to the Cross.
Holy and Great Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday: The first thing that must be said about these holy services, and most of the other holy services of Holy and Great Week, is that they are 'sung' in anticipation. Each service is rotated ahead twelve hours. The evening holy service, therefore, is actually the holy service of the next morning, while the morning services Holy Thursday and Holy Saturday are actually the holy services of the coming evening. The holy services of these days are known as the Bridegroom services. At the first holy service of Palm Sunday evening, the priest carries the holy icon of Christ the Bridegroom, and we sing the "Hymn of the Bridegroom." We behold Christ as the Bridegroom of the Church, bearing the marks of His suffering, yet preparing a marriage Feast for us in God's Kingdom. Each of these Bridegroom Orthros (Matins) holy services has a particular theme. On Holy and Great Monday, the Blessed Joseph, the son of Jacob the Patriarch, is commemorated. Joseph is often seen as a type of Christ, Joseph was betrayed by his brothers, thrown into a pit, and sold into slavery by them. In the same way, our Lord was rejected, betrayed by His own, and sold into the slavery of death. Themes on the other days include the Parable of the 10 Virgins, warning us to be prepared for the Lord when He returns. On Holy Tuesday evening, the theme is repentance and forgiveness, and we chant the inspiring and wonderful "Hymn of Kassiane" (a hymn written by the nun Kassiane who was inspired by the sinful woman of the Gospel lesson.)
Holy Unction: The Mysterion or Sacrament of Holy Unction is celebrated on Holy and Great Wednesday evening. Actually this holy service can be celebrated any time during the year, especially when one is ill. However, because of our need for forgiveness and spiritual healing, we offer this holy service during Holy and Great Week for the remission of our sins. We should prepare for this holy Mysterion in a prayerful way, as we do for Holy Communion.
Great and Holy Thursday: On Holy and Great Thursday we turn to the last events of our Lord and His Holy Passion. Holy Thursday morning begins with a Vesperal Divine Liturgy commemorating the Mystical Supper. On Holy Thursday evening, we enter into the services of Great and Holy Friday (again, in anticipation) with The Holy Service of the Twelve Passion Gospels commemorating the solemn time of Our Lord's Crucifixion. During this service, the priest carries the Cross around the Church, and the Cross is venerated by all to commemorate the crucifixion of our Lord.
Great and Holy Friday: This is a day of strict fast. As little as possible should be eaten on this day. It is the only day in the entire year that no Divine Liturgy is celebrated.In the morning we celebrate the Royal Hours. These Solemn Royal Hours are observed as we read the various accounts and hymns concerning the Crucifixion. In the afternoon we celebrate the Vesper Service of the taking down of Christ's Holy Body from the Cross. During the Gospel reading, our Lord's body is taken off the cross and wrapped in a new, white linen sheet (shroud). This act commemorates the removal of Christ's body from the Cross by Joseph of Arimathea (St. John 19:38-42). Later in the holy service, the Epitaphios (a tapestry with an embroidered holy icon of Christ dead) is carried in solemn procession and placed in the recently decorated with flowers tomb. In the evening the Lamentations service is sung. After the Doxology, the Procession with the "Epitaphios" takes place, around the outside of the church.
Great and Holy Saturday: This day is a day of hope and waiting. In the morning we celebrate a Vesperal Divine Liturgy which commemorates Christ's victory over death. Bright vestments are worn as we anticipate Christ's Holy Resurrection. Laurel leaves are strewn throughout the church during the holy service, while the priest chants: "Arise O God, and judge Thou the earth: For Thou shall take all heathen to Thine inheritance." In the ancient world laurel leaves were a sign of victory.
Pascha Evening: After the Church is darkened, the priest, standing before the Holy Altar, lights a candle from the eternal vigil light on the Altar Table; and exiting from the Royal Doors chants aloud: "Come receive the light, that is never overtaken by night, and glorify Christ, Who has risen from the dead." Soon after everyone in the church has received the light, the priest reads the Gospel Lesson (outside the church). Following the Gospel Lesson the priest says, "Glory to the Holy and Consubstantial and Life-Giving and Undivided Trinity, always, now and ever, and to the Ages of Ages." Then the priest chants, raising the Paschal candle high: "Christ has risen from the dead, by death trampling upon death, and has bestowed life to those in the tombs." After we re-enter the now brightly-lit church, we celebrate the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom.
Paschal Agape Great Vespers (Vespers of Love) is served on Holy Pascha. The Gospel account of the empty tomb and first appearance of the Risen Lord to His holy disciples (St. John 20:19-25) is read in many different languages, demonstrating the universal nature of the Good News of Christ's victory over sin and death. Orthodox Christians who attend this holy service may also hold lit Paschal candles from the Resurrection service from the night before. It is also a tradition to bring small children who were not able to attend the evening service. After this service, Orthodox Christians will continue the celebration of the Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ for 40 days until the Holy Ascension Day.
Let us not be distracted by the so called "Easter bunny" and "Easter egg hunts" that have absolutely nothing to do with the celebration of the Resurrection of Christ and Pascha. Tell your Christian children the true story of the Resurrection of Our Savior by reading it from the Holy Bible. On Holy Pascha, teach them to say, "Christ is Risen! Indeed He is Risen!" God bless you and your families as you journey through Holy Week, and prepare to celebrate the Lord's Resurrection.