St. Nicholas Orthodox Church
Publish Date: 2020-06-07
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St. Nicholas Orthodox Church

General Information

  • Phone:
  • 434-973-2500
  • Street Address:

  • 7581 Rockfish Gap Turnpike

  • Charlottesville, VA 22906
  • Mailing Address:

  • PO Box 6981

  • Charlottesville, VA 22906

Past Bulletins

Weekly Update



Feast of Pentecost

This weekend we celebrate the Feast of Holy Pentecost. Under our current restrictions we will celebrate the Divine Liturgy on Sunday followed immediately by a portion of the Kneeling Vespers for the Feast.  We are also preparing to open the church for broader participation by the faithful in services -- see below.

St. Nicholas Re-Opening

With the blessing of His Eminence Metropolitan Antony, St. Nicholas will begin to open up the Sunday Divine Liturgy to broader attendance by the faithful.  The first such "open" Divine Liturgy will be on Sunday 14 June.  This will give us time to implement procedures in accordance with Virginia state law and the Department of Health.  For your safety and in accordance with state regulations we are keeping the number of people low at each Sunday's Liturgy.  We ask everyone to please go here as soon as possible to sign up for one of four groups, each of which will meet on a successive Sunday.  Out of respect for and to help protect our parishioners who are of advanced age and/or in high-risk categories, we would ask that families with young children please consider one of the two designated Sundays (see below).  Each group will make the same re-entry into the church in the same way.  We will adjust the groups and bring more people into each Liturgy when we are able to safely do so.  Please keep an eye on the parish website and email communications from Father for details on new procedures for returning to church.

Group A (14 June) - Families with young children
Group B (21 June)
Group C (28 June) - Families with young children
Group D (5 July)
As it is a requirement of the Church, everyone should receive the sacrament of Holy Confession prior to their first Liturgy.  Father will publish an on-line sign-up sheet for each group, so each person/family in that group may schedule a time.  Look for that in the next few days.
St. Nicholas Live Streaming Services
Thank you to everyone who have been participating in the St. Nicholas Virtual Coffee Hour on Sundays. We are continuing to refine our efforts to make Sunday services as widely available as possible via streaming.  Here are ways to connect:
Divine Liturgy: Live-streamed on YouTube, beginning with the 3rd and 6th Hours at 9:00am and the Liturgy at 9:30am (note new link):

Virtual Coffee Hour: Connect via Zoom, beginning at 11:30am:

Meeting ID: 835 0800 0853
One tap mobile
+19292056099,,83508000853# US (New York)
+13017158592,,83508000853# US (Germantown)

To protect privacy, all services live-streamed from the church will show only the priest, server(s) and cantor(s), and will be removed regularly from the site.

Parish Communications

There have been some cases where parishioners are receiving some, but not all, email communications intended for the parish at large -- we are working on rectifying that and greatly appreciate everyone's patience as we optimize our ability to reach and serve all parishioners.

Continuing Weekly Series on St. Basil the Great

Next week, Father Charles will continue our series of weekly discussions on critical homilies by the great ecumenical teacher and doctor of the Church, Saint Basil (the Great), Archbishop of Caesarea in Cappadocia.  In these one-hour sessions Father will give a brief summary of the homily for the week and facilitate a group discussion. The objective is not to get deep into patristic theology, but rather to find the practical, personal and social implications of the message St. Basil was communicating -- what it means for us today in real terms in the contemporary Christian life. 

These talks will occur on Wednesdays at 6:30pm via teleconference.  The next session will cover St. Basil's homily "Against Those Who Lend at Interest."  For those who want to catch up on some of what we have discussed these past few weeks, a good overview by the translator of both last week's homily and the forthcoming one is available at .

Join Zoom Meeting at

Meeting ID: 823 2516 0816
One tap mobile
+13017158592,,82325160816# US (Germantown)
+13126266799,,82325160816# US (Chicago)

Opportunities to Serve Your Neighbor

As we celebrate the Lord's Resurrection, we must continue to remember the critical importance of loving our neighbor (Mt 22:34-40), as the Lord commanded us to do ( "my neighbor is my salvation").  Love is demonstrated both in prayer and deed.  Please remember your neighbors in this time of acute need. Here are some specific ways to help:

  • Virginia hospitals across the state are experiencing a severe shortage of blood, and the UVA Medical Center is encouraging healthy and eligible individuals to contact the American Red Cross to make an appointment to donate.  Our Archbishop Daniel and our seminarians have already done so!

  • Grace Grocery, our neighborhood food pantry at Crozet United Methodist Church, has several volunteer opportunities including set up, client help and clean up for food distributions, unloading food from truck, computer assistant, which are listed on the website. They provide training for first time volunteers. You can ask to be placed on their volunteer email list. Email: Phone: 434-823-4420

  • Please also keep an eye on Support Charlottesville, which is a hub for opportunities to give (and receive) material support.  This is a very good way to stay informed, get involved and help your neighbors in need.

  • The Blue Ridge Area Food Bank needs healthy volunteers to assist them at multiple locations, as well as in-kind and monetary donations (even more critical as the needs increase). Our Bishops, seminarians and Consistory staff have all been involved in similar work to address food insecurity in New Jersey -- let us emulate their example, and get involved.

  • Charlottesville Community Cares has published a resource guide with information on how to receive financial assistance, request for grocery/prescription delivery, COVID-19 hotline, emergency shelter, and Region Ten Emergency Services Hotline. Join the network: Donate: Email:
  • Consider making masks for one of the following insitutions:
    • Sentara Rockingham Memorial Hospital: 540-689-8545
    • Augusta Health Hospital: 540-332-5174
    • UVA Hospital: 434-924-5251

Weekly Sermons from Father

During this period of curtailment of the parish's ability to gather in worship, audio sermons, written meditations and other resources will be posted regularly to the parish website ['Updates from Father Charles' link on the homepage]. Weekly bulletins and email communications will continue. Please use these resources to remain connected to your parish family.

Stewardship Reminder

Despite the current (temporary) modification to the parish's schedule of services, meetings, and events, all parishioners are reminded of the pledges they have made as part of their stewardship commitment of time, talent and treasure. Some parishioners may encounter financial hardship during this time of crisis, and we can only give as we are able. That said, the parish must continue to meet its budgetary obligations and operating expenses.  Please continue sending your contributions by to the church via US Mail:

St. Nicholas Orthodox Church

PO Box 6981

Charlottesville, VA 22906

Special Intentions, Needs and Requests

A reminder to contact Father directly ( | 443-204-4542) with any special prayer requests, intentions or concerns/needs, and he will make sure these are addressed.

Recent Prayer Requests

+All who have reposed in the Lord this week due to the pandemic

Stanley and Elena (health and healing)

Elaine (healing)

Donald (healing)

Christian (friend of Florin M.) and his family (healing)

Ruth G. and her family

Karen (healing)

Alice (healing)

Beverly (healing)

Josephine & Daniel Jr. (health)

Theo (recovery)

Heidi (illness)

Elizabeth (illness)

Lisa and Daniel (illness)

Bill (mission work)

Elaine (mission work)

Fr. Robert and Pani Dobrodyka Christine (health)

All of those struggling financially during the pandemic, and for those whose basic necessities are out of reach

All medical personnel, first responders and others ministering to the sick, and those rendering vital services to their neighbors

All those in high-risk populations during this pandemic



Hymns of the Day

Apolytikion for Pentecost in the 8th Tone

Blessed art Thou, O Christ our God, Who hast shown forth the fishermen as supremely wise by sending down upon them the Holy Spirit, and through them didst draw the world into Thy net. O Befriender of man, glory be to Thee.

Seasonal Kontakion in the 8th Tone

Once, when He descended and confounded the tongues, the Most High divided the nations; and when He divided the tongues of fire, He called all men into unity; and with one accord we glorify the All-holy Spirit.

Gospel and Epistle Readings

Matins Gospel Reading

Holy Pentecost
The Reading is from John 20:19-23

On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being shut where the disciples were gathered, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, "Peace be with you." When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you." And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained."

Epistle Reading

Prokeimenon. 8th Tone. Psalm 18.4,1.
Their voice has gone out into all the earth.
Verse: The heavens declare the glory of God.

The reading is from Acts of the Apostles 2:1-11.

WHEN THE DAY of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly a sound came from heaven like the rush of a mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire, distributed and resting on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven. And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in his own language. And they were amazed and wondered, saying, "Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us in his own native language? Parthians and Medes and Elamites and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontos and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabians, we hear them telling in our own tongues the mighty works of God."

Gospel Reading

Holy Pentecost
The Reading is from John 7:37-52; 8:12

On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and proclaimed, "If any one thirst, let him come to me and drink. He who believes in me, as the scripture has said, 'Out of his heart shall flow rivers of living water.'" Now this he said about the Spirit, which those who believed in him were to receive; for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.

When they heard these words, some of the people said, "This is really the prophet." Others said, "This is the Christ." But some said, "Is the Christ to come from Galilee? Has not the scripture said that the Christ is descended from David, and comes from Bethlehem, the village where David was?" So there was a division among the people over him. Some of them wanted to arrest him, but no one laid hands on him.

The officers then went back to the chief priests and Pharisees, who said to them, "Why did you not bring him?" The officers answered, "No man ever spoke like this man!" The Pharisees answered them, "Are you led astray, you also? Have any of the authorities or of the Pharisees believed in him? But this crowd, who do not know the law, are accursed." Nikodemos, who had gone to him before, and who was one of them, said to them, "Does our law judge a man without first giving him a hearing and learning what he does?" They replied, "Are you from Galilee too? Search and you will see that no prophet is to rise from Galilee." Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, "I am the light of the world; he who follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."


Wisdom of the Fathers

Goings up, and advances and progress from glory to glory, the Light of the Trinity might shine upon the more illuminated. For this reason it was, I think, that He gradually came to dwell in the Disciples, measuring Himself out to them according to their capacity to receive Him, at the beginning of the Gospel, after the Passion, after the Ascension, making perfect their powers, being breathed upon them, and appearing in fiery tongues...You see lights breaking upon us, gradually; and the order of Theology, which it is better for us to keep, neither proclaiming things too suddenly, nor yet keeping them hidden to the end...He said that all things should be taught us by the Spirit when He should come to dwell amongst us. Of these things one, I take it, was the Deity of the Spirit Himself, made clear later on when such knowledge should be seasonable and capable of being received after our Saviour's restoration, when it would no longer be received with incredulity because of its marvellous character. For what greater thing than this did either He promise, or the Spirit teach. If indeed anything is to be considered great and worthy of the Majesty of God, which was either promised or taught...Look at these facts:--Christ is born; the Spirit is His Forerunner. He is baptized; the Spirit bears witness. He is tempted; the Spirit leads Him up. He works miracles; the Spirit accompanies them. He ascends; the Spirit takes His place.
St. Gregory the Theologian
5th Theological Oration

For as thirsty men, when they have taken a bowl, eagerly drain it and then desist, so too they who hear the divine oracles if they receive them thirsting, will never be weary until they have drunk them up. For to show that men ought ever to thirst and hunger, "Blessed," It said, "are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness" (Matt.5:6)
St. John Chrysostom
Homily 51 on John 7, 4th Century

For the grace of the Spirit, when it has entered into the mind and has been established, springs up more than any fountain, fails not, becomes not empty, stays not. To signify therefore at once its unfailing supply and unlimited operation, He has called it "a well" and "rivers," not one river but numberless.
St. John Chrysostom
Homily 51 on John 7, 4th Century


Saints and Feasts

June 07

Holy Pentecost

After the Saviour's Ascension into the Heavens, the eleven Apostles and the rest of His disciples, the God-loving women who followed after Him from the beginning, His Mother, the most holy Virgin Mary, and His brethren-all together about 120 souls returned from the Mount of Olives to Jerusalem. Entering into the house where they gathered, they went into the upper room, and there they persevered in prayer and supplication, awaiting the coming of the Holy Spirit, as their Divine Teacher had promised them. In the meanwhile, they chose Matthias, who was elected to take the place of Judas among the Apostles.

Thus, on this day, the seventh Sunday of Pascha, the tenth day after the Ascension and the fiftieth day after Pascha, at the third hour of the day from the rising of the sun, there suddenly came a sound from Heaven, as when a mighty wind blows, and it filled the whole house where the Apostles and the rest with them were gathered. Immediately after the sound, there appeared tongues of fire that divided and rested upon the head of each one. Filled with the Spirit, all those present began speaking not in their native tongue, but in other tongues and dialects, as the Holy Spirit instructed them.

The multitudes that had come together from various places for the feast, most of whom were Jews by race and religion, were called Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and so forth, according to the places where they dwelt. Though they spoke many different tongues, they were present in Jerusalem by divine dispensation. When they heard that sound that came down from Heaven to the place where the disciples of Christ were gathered, all ran together to learn what had taken place. But they were confounded when they came and heard the Apostles speaking in their own tongues. Marvelling at this, they said one to another, "Behold, are not all these which speak Galileans? And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?" But others, because of their foolishness and excess of evil, mocked the wonder and said that the Apostles were drunken.

Then Peter stood up with the eleven, and raising his voice, spoke to all the people, proving that that which had taken place was not drunkenness, but the fulfilment of God's promise that had been spoken by the Prophet Joel: "And it shall come to pass in the last days, that I shall pour out of My Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and daughters shall prophesy" (Joel 2:28), and he preached Jesus of Nazareth unto them, proving in many ways that He is Christ the Lord, Whom the Jews crucified but God raised from the dead. On hearing Peter's teaching, many were smitten with compunction and received the word. Thus, they were baptized, and on that day about three thousand souls were added to the Faith of Christ.

Such, therefore, are the reasons for today's feast: the coming of the All-holy Spirit into the world, the completion of the Lord Jesus Christ's promise, and the fulfilment of the hope of the sacred disciples, which we celebrate today. This is the final feast of the great mystery and dispensation of God's incarnation. On this last, and great, and saving day of Pentecost, the Apostles of the Saviour, who were unlearned fishermen, made wise now of a sudden by the Holy Spirit, clearly and with divine authority spoke the heavenly doctrines. They became heralds of the truth and teachers of the whole world. On this day they were ordained and began their apostleship, of which the salvation of those three thousand souls in one day was the comely and marvellous first fruit.

Some erroneously hold that Pentecost is the "birthday of the Church." But this is not true, for the teaching of the holy Fathers is that the Church existed before all other things. In the second vision of The Shepherd of Hermas we read: "Now brethren, a revelation was made unto me in my sleep by a youth of exceeding fair form, who said to me, 'Whom thinkest thou the aged woman, from whom thou receivedst the book, to be?' I say, 'The Sibyl.' 'Thou art wrong,' saith he, 'she is not.' 'Who then is she?' I say. 'The Church,' saith he. I said unto him, 'Wherefore then is she aged?' 'Because,' saith he, 'she was created before all things; therefore is she aged, and for her sake the world was framed."' Saint Gregory the Theologian also speaks of "the Church of Christ ... both before Christ and after Christ" (PG 35:1108-9). Saint Epiphanius of Cyprus writes, "The Catholic Church, which exists from the ages, is revealed most clearly in the incarnate advent of Christ" (PG 42:640). Saint John Damascene observes, "The Holy Catholic Church of God, therefore, is the assembly of the holy Fathers, Patriarchs, Prophets, Apostles, Evangelists, and Martyrs who have been from the very beginning, to whom were added all the nations who believed with one accord" (PG 96, 1357c). According to Saint Gregory the Theologian, "The Prophets established the Church, the Apostles conjoined it, and the Evangelists set it in order" (PG 35, 589 A). The Church existed from the creation of the Angels, for the Angels came into existence before the creation of the world, and they have always been members of the Church. Saint Clement, Bishop of Rome, says in his second epistle to the Corinthians, the Church "was created before the sun and moon"; and a little further on, "The Church existeth not now for the first time, but hath been from the beginning" (II Cor. 14).

That which came to pass at Pentecost, then, was the ordination of the Apostles, the commencement of the apostolic preaching to the nations, and the inauguration of the priesthood of the new Israel. Saint Cyril of Alexandria says that "Our Lord Jesus Christ herein ordained the instructors and teachers of the world and the stewards of His divine Mysteries ... showing together with the dignity of Apostleship, the incomparable glory of the authority given them ... Revealing them to be splendid with the great dignity of the Apostleship and showing them forth as both stewards and priests of the divine altars . . . they became fit to initiate others through the enlightening guidance of the Holy Spirit" (PG 74, 708-712). Saint Gregory Palamas says, "Now, therefore ... the Holy Spirit descended ... showing the Disciples to be supernal luminaries ... and the distributed grace of the Divine Spirit came through the ordination of the Apostles upon their successors" (Homily 24, 10). And Saint Sophronius, Bishop of Jerusalem, writes, "After the visitation of the Comforter, the Apostles became high priests" (PG 87, 3981B). Therefore, together with the baptism of the Holy Spirit which came upon them who were present in the upper chamber, which the Lord had foretold as recorded in the Acts, "ye shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days hence" (Acts 1:5), the Apostles were also appointed and raised to the high priestly rank, according to Saint John Chrysostom (PG 60, 21). On this day commenced the celebration of the Holy Eucharist by which we become "partakers of the Divine Nature" (II Peter 1:4). For before Pentecost, it is said of the Apostles and disciples only that they abode in "prayer and supplication" (Acts 1:14); it is only after the coming of the Holy Spirit that they persevered in the "breaking of bread,"that is, the communion of the Holy Mysteries-"and in prayer" (Acts 2:42).

The feast of holy Pentecost, therefore, determined the beginning of the priesthood of grace, not the beginning of the Church. Henceforth, the Apostles proclaimed the good tidings "in country and town," preaching and baptizing and appointing shepherds, imparting the priesthood to them whom they judged were worthy to minister, as Saint Clement writes in his first Epistle to the Corinthians (I Cor. 42).

All foods allowed during the week following Pentecost.

June 07

The Holy Martyr Theodotus of Ancyra

This Martyr contested in Ancyra during the reign of Diocletian (284-305), when Theotecnus was Proconsul. After the martyrdom of the virgin Tecusa and her seven companions (the virgins Alexandria, Claudia, Phaeina, Euphrasia, Matrona, Julia, and Theodota; they are celebrated on May 18), Saint Theodotus recovered their holy relics and buried them. For this, he was seized by Theotecnus, tormented, and beheaded.