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Blessing Of St. Basil's Bread
At the conclusion of the Feast day Liturgy the cutting of the St. Basil's bread is celebrated. This is primarily a Greek Orthodox custom which is called Vasilopita. Fr. Andrew is blessing the loaf with holy water with the words. This bread is blessed and sanctified by the power of the Holy Spirit.
The bread is then cut by the priest and slices are distributed to those present at the service.
Baked into the loaf is a gold coin which symbolizes the charitable activities of St. Basil. The person who receives the coin will have a prosperous year so they to can be generous to the poor.
The coin fell out of the bread and Fr. Andrew retrieved it. This was interpreted that the coin went to the parish to acknowledge St. Luke's participation in the homeless shelter program. Fr. Andrew gave the coin to his granddaughter Emily who was visiting from Colorado.
Christ Is Born! Glorify Him!
The great entrance at the Nativity Divine Liturgy with Fr Andrew and our altar servers, John, Leonidis, Nicholas and Joseph.
Nativity Eve Dinner And Service
The table is set for the Holy Supper Ritual. This celebration proceeds the Nativity vigil and commemorates the Old Covenant which ends with the birth of Jesus. Unleavened bread is broken and eaten with wine. Also garlic and twelve fasting food ( no meat or dairy) dishes are served.
Each year the youngest child reads the Christmas story for the gospel of Matthew. This year Olivia read assisted by Proto-deacon Andrew.
Father Andrew is distributing the unleavened Bread called Oplacki.
Honey is being place of the foreheads of those present with the words, let us love one another like the bee loves honey.
After the Holy Supper ritual, the food is blessed and served. This custom originates in Eastern Europe and is shared by both Orthodox and Roman Catholics.
The reading of the Gospel at the Nativity Vigil. All await to partake of the special sweet bread prepared by Aristea for this service.
Church School Christmas Pagent
This years Church School Christmas Pagent opened with a song from some of youngest performers.
This was followed by a dramatic reading about the nativity.
During the reading the wise men made an appearance.
A dance routine to Christmas music was next on the adgenda.
The skits were performed in from of an almost full house.
The finale was a instrumental version of Silent Night.
Following the pagent, lenten refreshments were served.
Mission To Tanzania
St. Luke Parish member Clark recently went on a mission to Tanzania. Here is Clark with members of the team, at the equator in Uganda.
Here is a picture of the students in the classroom, from the viewpoint of the instructor. There were two classes with about 70 students total.
Here is a photo from Divine Liturgy showing the children lined up to receive Communion.
Restaurant Rovers Go Greek
This Sunday the restaurant rovers descended on the Dionysos Greek Restaurant in Worth, Illinois. A family style meal was served with lemon soup, greek salad, greek chicken, and lamb. Good food and excellent company were enjoyed by all.
St. Nick Is Coming To Town
Following Liturgy, Father Howard gathered the children and taught them about St. Nicholas.
Right on cue, St. Nick entered the building.
He greeted all the children and gave them golden coins filled with chocolate.