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Memorial Day Ceremony
It was fitting that St. Luke had it's new flagpole installed just in time for memorial day. At the end of Liturgy, Father Andrew reminded us of the significance of the day and asked to keep in mind those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.
The parishioners went out side to hold a memorial prayer service for all those who have died. See Above and Below.
After dismissal a service was held at the St. Luke section of the Willow Springs Fairmont-Willow Hills Cemetery where Father Andrew blessed the New Monument and graves of loved ones.
This weekend St. Luke Parish once again participated in the Greek Olympics sponsored by Saints Constantine and Helen Parish. Above we see the St Luke Olympians with their banner and below we they in the opening parade.
Above we see the lighting of the olympic flame and below we see and overall view of the opening ceremonies.
While primary orientated for the youth, here we see that even those who are young at heart can be involved. Below interested onlookers observe.
Above and below we see images of our youth in competition.
Here we see one of our medal winners receiving a well deserved congradulations.
International Orthodox Christian Charities Dinner
Each year the Chicago Metropolitan Committee of the International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) hosts a Grand Banquet honoring those who have done exceptional charitable works. This year Bishop Dimitrios of Xanthos of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America was honored. Our Bishop Job was one of the three Bishops who attended. Pictured above is the delegation from St. Luke. In the photo below Anthea Lukashonak is pictured standing next to the icon written (based on the scripture Matthew 25:34-36) for the IOCC. Anthea was appointed as a member of the organizing Midwest Metropolitan Committee and is member of the 2003 Banquet Committee for the IOCC. In the future we would like to have more of St. Luke's members attend so they can hear about IOCC's activities in India, Kosovo, Iraq and other troubled places throughout the world.
Father Andrew Joins The Civil Air Patrol
After retiring for the Air Force Reserve, Fr. Andrew could not stay away so he joined the Civil Air Patrol, an auxiliary of the Air Force. In the above photo Fr. Andrew is standing next the briefing podium at the Waukegan airport where he participated in a training mission on Saturday. The Civil Air Patrol was founded in 1941. Its main purpose was the locate downed aircraft and participate in rescue missions. It now has become part of homeland security. In the photo below Fr. Andrew is participating in a planning session for a simulated mission to locate a downed airplane. Jerry Kincaid and Theodore Rizo also participate in the Civil Air patrol. If interested in joining see Fr. Andrew.
Chicago Christian High School Visits St. Luke Parish
As part of one of their religion classes, from time to time students from near by Chicago Christian High School visit St. Luke Parish. Father Andrew instructs them concerning the Orthodox faith and answers questions. The above picture is the latest class to visit.
A Taste Of Pascha At The Garder Center
During our monthly visit to the Garden Center, Father Andrew read a passage from the Bible concerning the resurrection. (See above picture) This was followed by a short service and prayers requested by the residents for their loved ones. Parishioners brought various ethnic dishes from Pascha to share with the residents and the staff. (See Below)
Christ is Risen! Images of Holy Week
After the preparation of lent, Holy Week begins with the Bridgegroom Services of Holy Monday and Holy Tuesday, where the priest represents the Bridegroom Christ, and the congregation is the Bride waiting for the Bridegroom.
Holy Wednesday features the service of the Sacrament of Holy Unction while Holy Thursday's service features the reading of the Passion Gospel.
During the Passion Gospel Service, the priest bears the Cross on his shoulder as the chants "He Who hung the earth upon the waters is now being hung on the cross."
"Before the Cross a group of young parishioners sing the Hymn of the Good Thief. Below we see the priest place a wreath of flowers on the Cross at the point of the sixth Gospel when it is read "He yielded up the spirit.
On Good Friday evening, we have the Lamentations. We see the handmaidens standing before the tomb of our Lord. Below we see a closeup of the tomb.
While singing the hymn "The Noble Joseph", the congregation process around the church carrying the body of Christ.
The Body of Christ is placed in the tomb and prayers are read and hymns are sung. Below a reader chants the reading from Ezekiel about the valley of the dry bones.
At the end of the service readers stand at the tomb reading from scripture while people pay their respects much in the same way as a modern day funeral wake. Parishioners stand guard at the tomb through out the night and until the resurrection service.
Holy Saturday begins with a Vesperal Liturgy. It was the custom is ancient times to have the cathecumens baptized into the faith on this day at this service. This year, Nickolas was baptized at this service.
Above and below we see more scenes from the baptism.
This year it was our pleasure to have Father Andrew's son Luke visit us for Holy Week. We hope that some day in the future he will visit us again.
Holy Saturday Night features the Nocturne and Paschal Liturgy Servies. Here we see a family of parishioners singing the nocturnes.
With all the lights and candles extinquished, Father Andrew comes from the altar carrying the Light of Christ and gives it to the people. Below we see the handmaidens spreading the Light to the congregation.
The entire congregation leaves the darkened tomb and processes around the church. See above and below.
Following the procession, the congregation waits at the doors for the tomb to be opened.
Returning to the church, the tomb is removed, the darkness has been replaced by light and the Paschal Liturgy commences. Christ is Risen! Indeed He is Risen
Following the Liturgy, Father Andrew blesses the baskets and the time of fasting is over. Let the feast begin. See below
Sunday Afternoon an agape vespers service is conducted.
During the service we get a possible glimpse of the future of our church choir.
Above and below the congregation process outside for the reading of the Resurrection Gospels.
Following the servce there is an Easter egg hunt for the children. Here we see one hidden under our flag.
Here we see scenes from the Easter egg hunt as the little ones search out the eggs.
CHRIST IS RISEN! INDEED HE IS RISEN!
For in depth information and pictures concerning Pascha and Holy Week please click here