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Sanctity of Life Sunday
Each year Orthodox Churches in America commemorate Sanctity of Life Sunday on the third Sunday in January. This year, Fr. Andrew read the letter from Metropolitan Herman, he also read the official position of the Orthodox Church on the practice of abortion. The commemoration ended with a memorial service for all aborted children. The letter and position are posted in Contemporary Issues on this web site.
Click Here to view the Metropolitan's letter.
The Baptism of Andrew
This year the feast of Theophany was very special, Andrew was baptized during the Divine Liturgy. Theophany in ancient times was one of the special holy days in which new Christians were baptized. In this photo Andrew is receiving the anointment with the Oil of Gladness.
The moment when Andrew becomes a Christian and receives the new covenant of faith in Jesus Christ. Andrew dies with Adam in the baptismal waters and is resurrected into new life with Jesus Christ.
Here Andrew is now tonchured. Hair is cut from is his head as a first offering. It is a sign that he is now a member of the Church and a partaker in the priesthood of believers.
At this point Andrew is churched with the words. "In the midst of the congregation he will sing praises to our God".
Blessing Of The Waters
This year we processed on our new walkway around the church for our annual Theophany well water blessing.
Father Andrew's hands got very cold as he made the sign of the cross, even though the outside temperature was over 40 degrees - a welcome gift on a January day in Chicago.
Our Handmaidens participated in the blessing by plunging lighted candles into the water commemorating Elijah's defeat of the priests of Baal. (1 Kings 18:30-39)
At this point in the blessing service, Fr. Andrew dipped the cross into the water three times while the choir under the direction of Maria sang the hymn of the feast. During the singing, bells were rung by our bell ringer Lynn. Proto-Deacon Andrew and Sub-Deacon John assisted.
The final blessing and sprinkling with Holy Water ended the celebration. Each parishioner was anointed with the Holy Water using a specially made brush.
Subdeacon John along with Pearl, and Anthea escorted Fr. Andrew singing the Hymn of the Theophany as he sprinkled the entire church, church school building and fellowship hall.
Hymn of Theophany in Tone 1 - When You, O Lord were baptized in the Jordan the worship of the Trinity was made manifest. For the voice of the Father bore witness to You and called You His beloved Son. And the Spirit, in the form of a dove, confirmed the truthfulness of His word. O Christ, our God, You have revealed Yourself and have enlightened the world, glory to You!
New Year's Liturgy And St. Basil's Bread
Following the Liturgy on New Year's Eve, Fr. Andrew blessed the St. Basil bread - (Vasilopita). The tradition of the St. Basil bread comes from a legendry story about how St. Basil practiced charity by baking gold coins into bread which was distributed to the poor.
After blessing the bread, it was sliced and given to each parishioner. They searched in the bread for the gold coin. The one who finds it is granted a year of special blessings from God.
This year Matushka Alexandria found the coin. Fr. Andrew said that it is our prayer that the New Year will bring her many blessings. In his sermon he reflected on how this tradition should be a reminder for all of us to be more charitable like St. Basil.
New Year's Eve Celebration
St. Luke Parish held it's annual New Year's Eve Celebration this week. Things got started with a little "fiddlin" music provided by two of our parishioners.
All were invited to participate in the festivities both young and old.
Parishioners from Saints Peter and Paul from Burr Ridge were guests at the party.
Parishioners and clergy enjoy the fellowship and the meal.
Our parish band, Kruzin got things jumping. Out in front we see Paul, Deacon Andrew, Caye and Peter.
Nick tickles the ivories.
George on guitar.
Jim maintained the beat on the drums.
Some spontaneous dancing.
Father Andrew sings karoke. The song he was singing was Little Star.
Even the youth got into the action.
A wonderful time was had by all. Our thanks go out to all who worked so hard on planning and working for this event. Mark your calenders for next year so you won't miss out.
Presents For Pass
In keeping with the spirit of Christmas, Church school students and parishoners donated diapers and baby clothes. Here they are seen under the Christmas Tree. They will be given to Pregnancy Aid South Suburbs (PASS). Many mothers and babies will benefit from their generosity.
We had three charitable projects during the Nativity lent. We collected diapers and baby clothing for PASS, we supported two local food pantries as part of an on going project and we collected pharmacy items to be taken to an orphanage in Guatemala by our missionary. Thanks to those who gave of their time and resources.