Annoucnements for March 1-7, 2009

Today:  Matins, Liturgy, Enrollment into the Catechumenate, Rite of Forgiveness, Brunch

Monday:  7:00 pm Canon of St. Andrew of Crete & Confessions

Tuesday:  6:00 pm Vespers, Quietude & Confessions

Wednesday:  6:00 pm Liturgy of the Presanctified & Confessions

Thursday:  7:00 pm Canon of St. Andrew of Crete & Confessions

Friday:  6:00 pm Liturgy of the Presanctified, Confessions, Pot-Luck

Saturday:  9:00 am to noon SNOC / SOLV joint Grounds Work Party (planting / ivy removal); 5:00 pm Catechumenate; 5:30 Choir; 6:00 pm Vespers, Panikhida & Confessions

Sunday:  8:30 am Matins; 9:30 am Liturgy, Classes, Brunch (also: Pan-Orthodox Celebration of the Triumph of the Orthodox Faith at Holy Trinity @ 10:00 am)

Saturday, March 14:  9:30 am Divine Liturgy (St. Benedict) & Lenten Quiet Day of Recollection (until 1:00 pm)

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As with the above ivy removal work party, please plan to take care of your spiritual invasives and make your Lenten confession EARLY during the season.  There are plenty of opportunities following Divine Services (i.e., nearly every night) during the Great Fast.

I shall put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; it will bruise your head and you will strike its heel. (Gen. 3:15)

“The knot of Eve’s disobedience was loosened by Mary’s obedience. The bonds fastened by the virgin Eve through disbelief were untied by the Virgin Mary through faith…. The one lying in wait for the serpent’s head is the one who was born in the likeness of Adam from the woman, the Virgin.”  – St. Irenaeus of Lyons (+202) Against the Heresies,3:22

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From a sermon of St. Leo of Rome (+461): Sermon 6 on Quadragesima, 1-2

During these days which remind us more vividly of the mystery of humanity’s salvation and of the paschal celebration soon to come, we are bidden to purify ourselves more carefully by way of preparation.

In the paschal celebration the whole Church experiences the forgiveness of sins.  For, though baptism is the chief instrument in humanity’s renewal, there is also a daily renewal from the corruption inherent in mortality, and everyone, however advanced, is called to be a better person.  All of us must strive forever with a greater purity against the day of our salvation.  To this end we follow with care and devotion the apostolic custom of a forty-day fast in which we abstain not simply from bodily food but primarily from all evildoing.

For such a holy fast there can be no better companion than almsgiving.  But we must note that “almsgiving” or “mercy” here includes the many pious actions which make possible a familial equality among the faithful, whatever be the disparities between them in worldly wealth.  For in the love of God and humanity one is always free to will the good.  The angles sang: Glory to God in the highest and peace to people of good will, and he who is loving compassion on those in need is blessed not only in the virtue of benevolence but in the possession of peace as well.

There are, then, all kinds of pious works which make it possible for all true Christians — not only the rich and well-off, but the average person and even the poor — to engage in almsgiving.  Those who are less able to give material things can rival their richer neighbors in good will and love.