Sunday, September 3, 2017

September Services and Events

There are two great feasts and two special events during the month of September! Find details below about feasts of the Theotokos and the Cross, a community picnic, and piroshki frying!

FRIDAY, SEPT 8 - Nativity of the Theotokos; 
Akathist Hymn at 10:00am

We'll celebrate this feast by praying the Akathist Hymn, a profound, devotional poem on themes of the Annunciation, Nativity, Christ, and the Theotokos herself. Don't miss this beautiful service!


St. Nicholas' Community Picnic (after Liturgy)

It's time for our big community picnic! Following the Divine Liturgy at 10:00 AM, we're opening our doors to our community and friends for grilling, picnicking, games and activities. Bring your picnic blankets or lawn chairs, and come have some free hot dogs and fun with us!


THURSDAY, SEPT 14 - Exaltation of the Cross; 
Divine Liturgy at 10:00am

This feast is the commemoration of the finding of the Cross by the Empress Helen on Golgotha in 326 AD. Read the story here.  During the service, the Cross is placed on a tray surrounded by flowers or branches of basil, carried in procession, and placed in the center of the Church for veneration. Come venerate the cross and receive a blessed flower.


Piroshki Frying for the St. Nicholas Festival (after Liturgy)

The St. Nicholas Festival is only 3 months away! We'll have several work days leading up to the festival to make food and crafts. This month, Elaine Cox will teach us to make traditional Russian piroshki. Everyone is welcome to participate! Contact her for more information.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

New Church Year, Orthros and Church School

September 1st is the beginning of the Church Year, and with it we'll begin some new things at St. Nicholas! Starting Sunday, September 3 we will have Orthros at 9 AM on Sundays before the Liturgy. Children's church school will meet during Orthros for children from 0-6th grade (younger children in the nursery; K-6th in the downstairs classroom; older children are welcome to stay and help if they'd like). We'll also have a blessing for the students at the end of the Liturgy, so please come and start the new year with us!

Orthros is a greek word meaning "early dawn" (also called Matins) is the service of morning prayer. It is often called the "teaching service" because many of the instructive hymns and prayers of the seasons are included in this service. Its main focus is on the praise and glorification of God. Scriptural images are scat­tered throughout the text in such abundance that it can be said that the Sunday Orthros is, to a large extent, Scripture recast into verse and hymns, with the focus and emphasis on the hope and joy of the Resurrection.

If you come to church before the 10:00 Liturgy, you'll find Orthros is already going on. There is no break between these services--one begins as soon as the previous ends, and posted starting times are just educated guesses. Orthodox worshippers arrive at any point from the beginning of Matins through the beginning of the Liturgy, a span of well over an hour. No matter when they arrive, something is sure to be already going on, so Orthodox don't let this hamper them from going through the private prayers appropriate to just entering a church. This is distracting to newcomers, but soon you begin to recognize it as an expression of a faith that is not merely formal but very personal.