Christ Is Born! Glorify Him!
Christmas Eve Dinner and Vigil
St. Luke Parish held it's annual Lenten Holy Supper on the Eve of the Nativity. This supper is pot luck style with the parishioners bringing different dishes that are non meat and non dairy. Tradition is that there should be twelve different dishes which is symbolic of the tweleve apostles and it should be eaten without pepper or knives. Pepper symbolizes arguments and knives the cutting of friendships. The parishioners gathered by candlelight for a short prayer service performed by Father Paul which began the Holy Supper.
It is our tradition that the youngest read the following passage from Matthew 2: 1-12. Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem saying, "Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him." When Herod the king heard this , he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. And when he had gathered all the chief priest and scribes of the people together, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. So they said to him, "In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it is written by the prophet:
'But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
Are not the least among the rulers of Judah,
For out of you shall come a Ruler
Who will shepherd My people Israel.'"
Then Herod, when he had secretly called the wise men, determined from them what time the star appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, "Go and search carefully for the young Child, and when you have found Him, bring back word to me, that I may come and worship Him also." When they heard the King, they departed; and behold, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy. And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshipped Him. And when they ahd opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Then, being divinely warned in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed for their own country another way.
The symbol of the lit candle: The Star of Bethleham and the Light of Christ.
The symbol of the boiled wheat: In memory of our departed loved ones. "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains by itself alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit."
Parishioners share the unleavened Bread called Oplacki. Christ is the Bread of Life.
The Lenten Holy Supper is served.
Following supper the Nativity Vigil Service was held.
Sunday following Liturgy our parish was treated to a Christmas Pageant by our church school students.
Scene from the pageant.
Scene from the pageant.
Scene from the pageant.
Our thanks go out to our children and all who worked to present us with this wonderful pageant.
Garden Center Visit For December
Fr. Andrew who has been bringing his special book about the life of St. Nicholas every year, brought it last night for the 18th time. With so many good stories to choose from, Fr. Andrew decided to start our visit with one story and end it with another. He then asked the residents which story they wanted to hear. The first was how St. Nicholas secretly and during the night, put gold coins in socks for three maidens so their father would not have to sell them into slavery.
Our second story was about when all the bishops were gathered together in Nicaea to decide the future of the church. During one of the long speeches, St. Nicholas fell asleep. As he slept, he heard voices calling his name, and leaving his sleeping body, followed the voices. Traveling a long way, he came to a place in the middle of the sea. A mighty storm raged and the sailors cried to St. Nicholas for help. St. Nicholas then calmed the waves and the thunder and lightning stopped. The sailors thanked God and St. Nicholas blessed them and then he returned to Nicaea.
Mike passing out presents of socks which he brought, to all the residents.
Laurie, in the tradition of St. Nicholas and gold coins, passed out chocolate gold coins to very happy residents.
Janet entertaining us with her Christmas poem.
St. Nicholas Visits St. Lukes
For the Feastday of St. Nicholas, Father Paul gave a children's sermon. He related to the children the story of St. Nicholas giving golden coins in secret to a man to prevent his daughters from being sold into slavery.
Following the sermon, St. Nicholas made an appearance.
Then St. Nicholas handed out golden chocolate coins to all the children.
Food For The Christian Soul Visits Outriggers"
This month our Food For The Christian Soul Ministry visited Outriggers Steak and Seafood in Palos Hills.
Group Photo. This month we had 17 in attendance.
The menu offered a wide variety of selections.
Our Ministry leader, Matt held a raffle and presented various gifts. We finished dinner singing Happy Birthday. Once again it was a wonderful night out.