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Events Are In Sequence - Please Scroll Down

Processional Cross Blessed

Scene from Processional Cross Blessed.

This Sunday following Liturgy, Father Andrew blessed a new processional cross that was donated by one of our parishioners.

Agape Vespers And Egg Hunt

Scene from Agape Vespers And Egg Hunt.

Sunday afternoon following Paschal Liturgy, the Agape Vespers service is celebrated. The church is bright and alive and full of children anticipating the Pascha egg hunt. Following a procession proclaiming the Risen Christ, the congregation gathers together to hear readings from the four Gospels in different languages proclaiming that Christ is Risen.

Scene from Agape Vespers And Egg Hunt.

During a procession there four Gospels are read at the four corners of the church.

Scene from Agape Vespers And Egg Hunt.

Father Andrew took this time to begin training some of our future altar servers.

Scene from Agape Vespers And Egg Hunt.

Here we see some unsuspecting eggs filled with candy enjoying the beautiful weather amidst the landscaping.

Scene from Agape Vespers And Egg Hunt.

One, Two, Three. Look out eggs here they come.

Scene from Agape Vespers And Egg Hunt.

The eggs never stood a chance.

Resurrection Service

Scene from Resurrection Service.

All during lent and Holy Week the services were somber and the interior of the curch was dim. Now in the resurrection service everything is changed. The dim interior of the church is gone. The dark vestments and candle holders are also gone. The tomb and somber music are also gone. The church is as bright as possible. The vestments are bright and the singing joyous. It is the triumphal resurrection of Christ saving us from death and granting us resurrection. Christ is risen! Glorify Him. The Hymn "Christ is Risen from the Dead" is sung repeatedly with joy and power. The Cry of "Christ is risen" and the response "Indeed he is risen." fill the air. This is proclaimed in many different languages.

Scene from Resurrection Service.

Father Andrew reads the Gospel during the Divine Liturgy.

Scene from Resurrection Service.

At the end of the service Father Andrew greets each of the faithful and presents them with a red egg.

Scene from Resurrection Service.

The congregation then gathered in the fellowship hall to celebrate the breaking of the fast with a meal and fellowship. Here Father Andrew is blessing the baskets of food to be shared.

Scene from Resurrection Service.

Parishioners enjoy their meal and fellowship.

We at St. Luke Parish wish to all a happy, healthy, and blessed Pascha.

Christ Is Risen! Indeed He Is Risen!

Nocturnes Of Pascha

Scene from Nocturnes Of Pascha.

All the preparations have been for this night. The church is ready and the faithful are gathered.. There is a sense of anticipation in the air. The church is darkened and the music selections are somber as during all of lent.

Scene from Nocturnes Of Pascha.

The nocturnes are sung at the tomb of Christ.

Scene from Nocturnes Of Pascha.

All lights in the church are extinquished and there is a total darkness. At midnight the flame from a single candle appears at the altar. The priest brings forth the light of Christ and gives it to the rest of the faithful.

Scene from Nocturnes Of Pascha.

The entire congregation leaves the darkened church and makes a procession around the church.

Scene from Nocturnes Of Pascha.

Following the procession, the congregation gathers around the entrance to the church. The Priest knocks on the doors three times saying: Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. And a voice asks: Who is this King of Glory? The priest answers: The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle. The priest the knocks again saying: Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift them up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. And again the voice asks: Who is this King of Glory? The priest then replies: The Lord of hosts, he is the King of Glory. The doors are swung open and the priest reenters followed by the congregation.

Scene from Nocturnes Of Pascha.

The doors of the church are opened, the tomb has been removed, the entire building is filled with light and it is now time to begin the joyous Resurrection Service.

Holy Saturday Liturgy

Scene from Holy Saturday Liturgy.

Holy Saturday Liturgy celebrates Christ's decent into hell to free Adam and Eve and all who lived and died in anticipation of the coming of Christ. During this Vesper service, 15 different readings from the bible are read. The readings all refer to resurrection.

Scene from Holy Saturday Liturgy.

Here Father Andrew reads the 15th reading concerning the three Holy Youths and the Fiery Furnace.

Scene from Holy Week - Holy Saturday Liturgy.

At the point when Christ raises out of hell, the covers are changed. The priest, deacon, and altar servers change their vestments from the somber dark colors of lent to white. The words "Let God arise," are said. The altar cloths and candle holders are also changed at this time. The Eucharist is extended into an agape meal consisting of wine, bread, fruit, dates, figs, and nuts.

We invite all to join us at St. Luke's on our lenten journey to Pascha. If you are unable to attend in person please visit "Journey To Pascha" on our website to follow along and for more information on the faith and services. Each year we try to update this part of our site with new pictures so you can look ahead or follow along as we progress towards Pascha.

The Lamentations

Scene from The Lamentations.

The Lamentations - As the name suggests the service is a mournful one lamenting the death of Christ. Psalm 119 "Blessed are those who walk in the law of the Lord." is chanted by the priest. The refrains are sung by the congregation, "O Life, how can You die?".

Scene from The Lamentations.

During the singing of the 9th ode of the Canon, the priest blesses the congregation with rose water as rose pedals are scattered around the church.

Scene from The Lamentations.

Photo of handmaidens scattering rose petals around the tomb.

Scene from The Lamentations.

During the service the congregation makes a procession around the church following the clergy and the Burial Shroud.

We invite all to join us at St. Luke's on our lenten journey to Pascha. If you are unable to attend in person please visit "Journey To Pascha" on our website to follow along and for more information on the faith and services. Each year we try to update this part of our site with new pictures so you can look ahead or follow along as we progress towards Pascha.

Procession With The Burial Shroud

Friday Afternoon Procession With The Burial Shroud

Scene from Holy Week - Friday Afternoon Procession With The Burial Shroud.

Procession with the Burial Shroud - At this service the icon of Christ is removed from the Cross as the priest reads,"And taking Him down they wrapped Him in a linen shroud." The tomb prepared by the women stands empty in the center of the church. The shroud is carried by four men over the head of the priest who is carrying the gospel as the choir sings the "Hymn of Noble Joseph". The procession ends as the shroud is placed in the flower-decorated tomb. While the lamentations of the Virgin Mary are sung, the faithful make a prostration before thetomb and kiss the wounds on the figure of Christ on the shroud.

Scene from Holy Week - Friday Afternoon Procession With The Burial Shroud.

Icon of Christ in place in the tomb.

Scene from Procession With The Burial Shroud.

Parishioner venerates the Burial Shroud.

We invite all to join us at St. Luke's on our lenten journey to Pascha. If you are unable to attend in person please visit "Journey To Pascha" on our website to follow along and for more information on the faith and services. Each year we try to update this part of our site with new pictures so you can look ahead or follow along as we progress towards Pascha.

Preparing The Tomb

Scene from Preparing The Tomb.

Our myrrh bearing women prepared the tomb and Christ for burial. The women of the parish decorate the tomb of Christ with flowers.

Scene from Preparing The Tomb.

Group Photo.

We invite all to join us at St. Luke's on our lenten journey to Pascha. If you are unable to attend in person please visit "Journey To Pascha" on our website to follow along and for more information on the faith and services. Each year we try to update this part of our site with new pictures so you can look ahead or follow along as we progress towards Pascha.

Passion Gospel Service

Scene from Passion Gospel Service.

Passion Gospel Service - This is one of the most important and solemn Holy Week services. It is a remembrance and an entrance into the suffering and death of Christ. The priest, standing in the center of the church surrounded by twelve lighted candles, reads the words of the apostles who witnessed the events. As each Gospel is read one candle is extinguished.

Scene from Passion Gospel Service.

During the fifth reading, the priest processes with the Cross carried his shoulder as he chants, "He who hung the earth upon the waters is now being hung on the cross." As Simon carried the cross for Christ during his walk to the crucifixion, the priest now carries the cross. In doing so here presents the entire congregation.

Scene from Passion Gospel Service.

At the point of the sixth Gospel when "He yielded up the spirit" is read, the priest places a wreath of red flowers over the cross." (This is the moment in the scripture reading when Christ died).

Scene from Passion Gospel Service.

Following the placing of the wreath, several of the young ladies of the congregation sang the hymn "The Wise Thief" in remembrance of the thief who was crucified with Christ and accepted Him while on the cross.

We invite all to join us at St. Luke's on our lenten journey to Pascha. If you are unable to attend in person please visit "Journey To Pascha" on our website to follow along and for more information on the faith and services. Each year we try to update this part of our site with new pictures so you can look ahead or follow along as we progress towards Pascha.

Holy Unction Service

Scene from Holy Unction Service.

Sacrament of Holy Unction - The Church is called the Body of Christ. We are members of the Body through our Baptism, Chrismation, Confession, and Holy Communion. As the sinful woman anointed Christ, we are also anointed with the oil of healing, so we can go with Christ to the Cross, suffer, die, and be resurrected with Him.

Scene from Holy Unction Service.

Scene from the Holy Unction Service.

Scene from Holy Unction Service.

During the service all who are in need of special healing gather together in the center of the church. The priest holds the open Gospel over them and reads the Prayer of Absolution.

Scene from Holy Unction Service.

At the conclusion of the service, the faithful are anointed with the sacrament of Holy Unction. The priest anointes each of the faithful with the oil of healing on various parts of the body: forehead, eyes, ears, mouth, chest, palm, and the back of each hand. These areas are associated with the senses of smell, hearing, taste, and touch. The neck or chest is anointed for breath and for the heart.

We invite all to join us at St. Luke's on our lenten journey to Pascha. If you are unable to attend in person please visit "Journey To Pascha" on our website to follow along and for more information on the faith and services. Each year we try to update this part of our site with new pictures so you can look ahead or follow along as we progress towards Pascha.

Bridegroom Services

Scene from Bridegroom Service.

Bridegroom Services are held on Holy Monday and Holy Tuesday. They instruct us in our faith, as does all the preparation for Holy Week. Even more they help us to make Holy Week more than simply a ritual that tells a story. The Bridegroom Services help us to enter into the story, the life of Jesus Christ, and live it. On Monday night, the priest represents Christ and the congregation represents the bride waiting for the bridegroom. As the virgins were called to be vigilant and prepared for the coming of the bridegroom lest they be shut out of the bridal chamber; let us be likewise vigilant and prepared, lest we be shut out of the eternal kingdom. - Matthew 25: 1-13.

Tuesday's Bridegroom Service with the procession of the hymn of St. Cassian describes the life and conversion of the sinful woman who anointed Christ. The congregation is blessed with rose water. The rose water is symbolic of the sweet smelling myrrh with which the sinful woman anointed Christ. The scriptures tell us that the whole room was filled with the scent of myrrh. Once again it is important to understand that this is simply not a play being reenacted, but rather we are attempting to enter the life of Christ.

We invite all to join us at St. Luke's on our lenten journey to Pascha. If you are unable to attend in person please visit "Journey To Pascha" on our website to follow along and for more information on the faith and services. Each year we try to update this part of our site with new pictures so you can look ahead or follow along as we progress towards Pascha.

Holy Week Begins

Scene from Holy Week Begins.

On the last Thursday of Great Lent, member clergy of the Orthodox Christian Clergy Association of Chicago gather at the Serbian Monastery of the Theotokos at Grays Lake Illinois. In this beautiful Monastery church the Akathist to the Theotokos was celebrated and the responses were sung by the Pan Orthodox Choir of Greater Chicago.

Scene from Holy Week Begins.

Example of the iconography done by Fr. Gregory.

Scene from Holy Week Begins.

Example of the iconography done by Fr. Gregory.

Palm Sunday

Scene from Palm Sunday.

On Palm Sunday we continued our journey to Pascha with the celebration of Christ's triumphant entry into Jerusalem. The hymn of Palm Sunday proclaims the children holding the emblems of victory singing, "Hosanna blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord." We experience Christ triumphal entrance into Jerusalem by processing around the church holding palm and pussy willow branches as symbols of Christ's ability to overcome death by raising Lazarus.

We invite all to join us at St. Luke's on our lenten journey to Pascha. If you are unable to attend in person please visit "Journey To Pascha" on our website to follow along and for more information on the faith and services. Each year we try to update this part of our site with new pictures so you can look ahead or follow along as we progress towards Pascha.

Scene from Palm Sunday.

Scene from the Palm Sunday Liturgy.

Scene from Palm Sunday.

Following the Liturgy, the entire congregation led by the clergy and the choir made a procession around the church singing the Troparion of the day.

Scene from Palm Sunday.

Scene from the procession.

Scene from Palm Sunday.

Scene from the procession.

Scene from Palm Sunday.

Scene from the procession.

Scene from Palm Sunday.

Scene from the procession.

Scene from Palm Sunday.

Scene from the procession.

Scene from Palm Sunday.

Upon the return into the church, each parishioner venerated the Cross and was annointed with oil.

Scene from Palm Sunday.

After Liturgy was concluded, parishioners adjourned to the fellowship hall and a birthday celebration.

Spring Cleanup

Scene from Spring Cleanup.

Following Lazarus Saturday Liturgy, many of our parishioners assembled for our annual spring cleanup in preparation for Pascha. This day gives us a chance to show our love for God and St. Luke Parish. Everything from windows and walls to woodwork got the once over.

Scene from Spring Cleanup.

The altar items were cleaned and polished.

Scene from Spring Cleanup.

Our resident candlestand expect removed old wax from the candlestands.

Scene from Spring Cleanup.

Obviously some places were harder to clean than others.

Scene from Spring Cleanup.

The walls were also cleaned.

Scene from Spring Cleanup.

Also in preparation for Palm Sunday, palms and pussywillows were set up and wax removed from the carpet in front of the altar.

Thanks to all those who came out and worked so hard. For those who could not make it, there will come another chance next year to earn some of those "treasures in heaven".

Lazarus Saturday Liturgy And Blessing Of A New Bell

Scene from Lazarus Saturday Liturgy And Blessing Of A New Bell.

It is traditional at St. Luke and may other OCA parishes to have all the children who have reached the age of seven to have their first confession. Up to seven the children do not have to fast before receiving Holy Communion.

Scene from Lazarus Saturday Liturgy And Blessing Of A New Bell.

The children receive certificates acknowledging there first confession.

Scene from Lazarus Saturday Liturgy And Blessing Of A New Bell.

Photo of St. Luke's new bell - Adulphus.

Scene from Lazarus Saturday Liturgy And Blessing Of A New Bell.

Fr. Andrew blessing a new Bell in memory of his father who fell asleep in the Lord last November. The new bell will be rung for the first time on Pascha.

Scene from Lazarus Saturday Liturgy And Blessing Of A New Bell.

The blessing of a new bell is composed of prayers for heavenly protection against storms and the sprinkling with holy water. Click Here for more information concerning the service for the blessing of a bell.

Scene from Lazarus Saturday Liturgy And Blessing Of A New Bell.

It is also anointed with holy unction and give a name. The name of this bell is Adulphus who was a 6th century bishop who lived in Germany but died in England.

Sidewalk Completed

Scene from Sidewalk Completed.

This week we were able to get the sidewalk around the parish building completed. Here we see a scene from the preparation phase of the project.

Scene from Sidewalk Completed.

The area is prepared.

Scene from Sidewalk Completed.

Here is a view of the completed project. This sidewalk now allows us to have our processions on Palm Sunday and Pascha around the building instead of going into the street.

Scene from Sidewalk Completed.

Another view of the completed project.

Saints Constantine and Helen Parish Visits For Presanctified Liturgy

Scene from Saints Constantine and Helen Parish Visits For Presanctified Liturgy.

For the past seven years our neighbor, SS. Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox parish and St. Luke have had joint Presanctified Liturgies during Lent. Fr. Jonas and Fr. Andrew are reciting the Lenten prayer of St. Isaac the Syrian during the Liturgy.

Scene from Saints Constantine and Helen Parish Visits For Presanctified Liturgy.

After fasting during the day the faithful come to receive the Presanctified gifts which were consecrated on the prior Sunday. During the weekdays of Lent the church also fasts by not having Divine Liturgies. The Holy Gifts are prepared on Sundays since they are not counted as part of the 40 days of Lent.

Scene from Saints Constantine and Helen Parish Visits For Presanctified Liturgy.

Fr. Nicholas Jonas is blessing the food for the fellowship hour which followed the Liturgy. Members of both parishes were able to get to know each other.

Scene from Saints Constantine and Helen Parish Visits For Presanctified Liturgy.

All were served by our fellowship ministry. Nadia Doss, leader of the Fellowship Ministry, organized the dinner with the help of others on her team.

Scene from Saints Constantine and Helen Parish Visits For Presanctified Liturgy.

Fr. Nicholas and Presbytera with Fr. Andrew discussing the Holy Unction service in which Fr. Andrew will participate.

Yo Lenten Retreat And Instructional Liturgy

Scene from Yo Lenten Retreat And Instructional Liturgy.

As part of our Lenten Retreat Program, Fr. Andrew held a teaching Liturgy in the Church Fellowship Hall for the Church School Children. Parents and members were invited to observe. In this photo Father Andrew is explaining the Preparation which takes place before the actual beginning of the Divine Liturgy. He explained how the Prosphora (offering bread) is cut and placed on the Diskos ( Paten). He told the children about their preparation at home and how every act that is done before going to church is a sacred offering to God.

Scene from Yo Lenten Retreat And Instructional Liturgy.

Here Fr. Andrew holds up the offering bread (Prosphora) to show how it is made with a wooden stamp. He related this to St. Basil's prayer where he calls the offering of bread and wine Antitypes.

Scene from Yo Lenten Retreat And Instructional Liturgy.

Here Fr, Andrew is telling the children about St. Mary of Egypt and about how she was a very sinful woman who changed her ways and devoted her whole life to the love of God. The children were all seated in front and could see all that was taking place. Each child had a picture book of various parts of the Divine Liturgy.

Scene from Yo Lenten Retreat And Instructional Liturgy.

This photo shows Fr. Andrew reciting the prayer at the end of the Liturgy when all the children received a special blessing .

Scene from Yo Lenten Retreat And Instructional Liturgy.

After the service the Youth Club served Lenten soup and bread. The proceeds from the dinner will be used to support Project Mexico. The activities continued throughout the day. The Church School children had craft projects and the adults met with the Movie Club to discuss a popular film. The retreat ended with a prayer at 2:30 PM.

Old Basement Remodel Continues

Scene from Old Basement Remodel Continues.

This weekend work continued as several parishioners gathered together to remove the old tile floor.

Scene from Old Basement Remodel Continues.

The job was made much easier thanks to Pete Zekios who brought his friend who had a floor stripping machine.Mant thanks go out to all who came to help.

Akathist Service

Scene from Akathist Service.

In some Orthodox Churches of the Russian Tradition the Presanctified Liturgy is celebrated both on Wednesday and Friday. Churches of the Greek Tradition celebrate the Akathist (salutations) to the Virgin Mary of Friday. An Akathist Hymn is a liturgical prayer of praise written about Christ, a certain saint or a need such as thanksgiving. The Akathist Hymn to the Virgin Mary portrays her as a compassionate mother who cares for us through her prayers. During Lent this is necessary because of the spiritual battle which we have undertaken.

We invite all to join us at St. Luke's on our lenten journey to Pascha. If you are unable to attend in person please visit "Journey To Pascha" on our website to follow along and for more information on the faith and services. Each year we try to update this part of our site with new pictures so you can look ahead or follow along as we progress towards Pascha.

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