CHRIST IS BORN! GLORIFY HIM!
We at St. Luke would like to take this opportunity to wish each and
everyone a happy and blessed Christmas. Let us all rejoice as God has given us the
greatest gift of all. He has given us his only begotten Son that he might save us.
Icon depicting the Nativity of Our Lord.
CHRIST IS BORN! GLORIFY HIM!
Nativity Eve Lenten Holy Supper
It has become our custom at St. Luke to have a 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. Above we see the tables being prepared. Below we see Father Andrew's table
prepared with wine, honey, bread, and garlic.
The parishioners gather by candlelight for a short prayer service which begins the Holy Supper.
One of the children reads 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.
Next the Troparion and the Kontakion for the day are sung and followed by a prayer. Father then places honey on the forehead of everyone with the words, "May we all love one another as the bee loves honey."
Following this wine is shared by all saying, "Unite us in Faith and Love."
Next Father Andrew breaks the prepared bread for all to share.
Above and below, Deacon Andrew distributes the bread to the parishioners
who dip the bread into the honey with the words, "Let us love one another." Next everyone
takes a piece of garlic and eats it saying,"May God Spare us from all Evil."
After a closing prayer, the service is concluded and all share in the prepared feast.
Following the Holy Supper, the Service for the Nativity begins.
CHRIST IS BORN! GLORIFY HIM!
Annual Christmas Pagent
Our annual Christmas pagent began with a scene enacted by some of our older children. See pictures above and below.
Next groups our of younger children entertained us with various songs of the season. Pictures above and below.
St. Nicholas apparently drawn by the singing arrived to present the children with gifts.
From the looks on the faces of the children, they were pretty happy with their gifts.
As you can see from this picture, talking to St. Nicholas can be some preety serious business
The appearance of St. Nicholas was a fitting end to a wonderful and highly popular event.
For a short video of the children's performance, click
Christmas Presents for PASS
Once again this year, St. Luke parishioners are donating presents to
Pass (Pregnancy Aid for the South Suburbs). These gifts of articles for babies and
diapers will go to help the unwed mothers that Pass is striving to help.
Blessing Julie's New Car
Today, Father Andrew blessed one of our parishioners new cars for safety
when traveling. It is traditional for Orthodox Christians to request blessings in the
manner. We are asked to pray continually and is is appropriate to ask for blessings in
our lives. If you would like to have your home blessed or would like prayers for healing
or for a safe trip, please contact Father Andrew.
New Year's Eve Party to be Held in New Fellowship Hall
With the completion of the new fellowship hall, we now have the space to
hold more activities. This year for the first time we will be having a New Year's Eve
Party. The party will begin following the New Year's Vesperal Liturgy and the Blessing of
the St. Basil's Bread. Reservations are required. Details can be found on the flyer
St Luke Parishioners Attend Sing Along Messiah
A group of parishioners along with Father Andrew and Pat Harrison
attended the Sing Along Messiah Concert this week. The conductor shown below leads the
entire audience, and it is they who actually perform the concert.
Above we see the audience performing the concert and below we see Pat apparently having a great time.
Click Here for a video from the concert
Parish Council Prepares For Annual Meeting
The parish council held it's monthly meeting at the Grecian Corners
restaurant preparing for the upcoming annual church meeting in January. The annual meeting
is the single most important meeting of the year and includes comprehensive reports from
all our ministries, approval of the new budget, a fincial report by our auditor, and
elections as necessary. All parishioners should make it their business to attend if at all
Out of the Old and Into the New
Here we have a picture of our old fellowship hall. At long last the new basement floor has been installed, cleaned, sealed, and waxed. Today was moving day and many parishioners showed up to help with the move.
All the cabinets, books, icons, and pamphlets that comprise the bookstore had to be relocated, cleaned and set up.
Our crack team worked hard to set up tables and chairs in order to be ready for fellowship on Sunday.
One of our parishioners either was working hard at removing this cabinet or had found himself a nice place for a little nap.
When the dust cleared, everything was in place and ready for fellowship on Sunday. Many expressed their joy at the result and although much work yet remains we look forward to many years enjoying our time with each other in the wonderful new fellowship hall.
Raising the Bells
The work of placing the new bells into the bell tower began with a
prayer service to bless the work and the workers involved. Below Father Andrew blessed
each worker individually with Holy Water.
Beams were secured to the bells to help distribute the weight when carrying them. The largest bell weighs 350 pounds and the second largest weighs 250 pounds. Due to this excessive weight, they had to be handled with care to prevent injury.
The bells were brought up thru the choir loft to get to the bell tower.
Once in the bell tower, the bells had to be brought up two flights thru small openings in the floors. A pulley system was used. Here we see the bell being secured to the pulley and below we see the bell going up to the next level.
Here we see the bell in position for raising it to the final level at the top of the bell tower.
The final step involved wenching the bells up to the beams where they were secured using U bolts.
Above and below we see the bells in their final positions. A system of pulleys and ropes will he attached to the clappers and hung down through the floors so that they can be rung at services.
Many Years to Peter and Aristea
Many Year to Peter and Aristea on their 40th wedding anniversary. Following Liturgy, Father Andrew called them up for a short prayer and blessing. Then everyone enjoyed a luncheon celebration.
Choir Concert in Lemont
Once again our choir was asked to sing at the Annual Christmas Concert at
the Lemont Historical Society. A selection of hymns relating to the Nativity was sung and
at the end the choir received a standing ovalation. The concert will be on local access
Children's Sermon on St. Nicholas
Father Andrew's sermon dealt with a story St. Nicholas. St Nicholas
appeared to some thieves that had stolen the wealth of a greedy man and as a result they
returned the money to him. The greedy man asked St. Nicholas how he could prevent his
money from being stolen again. St Nicholas told him to go and buy all the bricks and
stone that he could. The greedy man did so and a church was built that stands to this
day. After the sermon as is custom, Father Andrew gave all the children golden candy
Vesperal Liturgy for St. Nicholas and Blessing of the New Bells
The evening began with a Vesperal Litugry Sevice in honor of St
Following the Liturgy, the new bells were blessed and consecrated.
Above we see the beginning of the service with the priests praying over the bells.
A table is set with the Holy Water, Holy Chrism, and censer needed for the blessing.
Above and Below: Each Priest names a bell saying " In the Name of the
Lord Jesus Christ, you shall be called by the name ( ), according to the grace granted
to us from the life-creating Spirit. The bells were named Luke, Eugene, Mary, Andrew
John, Helen, and Juliana.
While kneeling, each priest places a hand on one of the bells and
prays over them.
The bells were censed with incense on all sides including the inside. Here the largest bell is tipped while Father Andrew censes the inside. During this process the reader recites form Psalm 69(70).
The priest blesses the bells inside and out with Holy Water.
The bells having been named and censed and blessed with holy water are now anointed with Holy Chrism while the priest says "To the glory of the holy Trinity, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia. The following three pictures depict this.
After the service the donors of the bells were invited to each ring the bell that they donated.
After dismissal, the congregation gathered for a lenten feast that was thumbs up according to one of our parishioners.
Click Here for the complete service
Readers who wish more information about the history, ringing and purchase of bells can reach the Blagovest Russian Bell Site thru this link.
It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas
Several members of the choir arrived early today to prepare the church for the Nativity Season. The church was decorated and the tree completed. Below we see Father Andrew topping off the tree with an angel.
St. Luke's Bells To Be Blessed
The new bells for the church were moved into the church today in anticipation of the blessing this week. Thursday December 5th at 6:30 p.m. there will be a Vesperal Liturgy and the bells will be blessed and named as is the custom. All are invited to share in this service. Following the service the bells will be placed in position in the new bell tower