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April 2009

Events Are In Sequence - Please Scroll Down


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.

Here Father Andrew reads the Gospel attended by some of our future altar servers. On this day Father Andrew likes to give some of our very young ones a taste of what it is like to be an altar server.

Scene from Agape Vespers And Egg Hunt.

Our altar servers lead the procession.

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.

Scene from the procession.

Scene from Agape Vespers And Egg Hunt.

Scene from the procession.

Scene from Agape Vespers And Egg Hunt.

Scene from the procession.

Scene from Agape Vespers And Egg Hunt.

Deacon Danial attended by our future altar servers.

Scene from Agape Vespers And Egg Hunt.

Brightly colored eggs appeared around our classrooms and tried to hide. This one decided that Noah's Ark might be a good place to hang out.

Scene from Agape Vespers And Egg Hunt.

The children await their chance at the eggs.

Scene from Agape Vespers And Egg Hunt.

One, Two, Three, Go!

Scene from Agape Vespers And Egg Hunt.

The little ones were allowed helpers.

Scene from Agape Vespers And Egg Hunt.

Better move quick!

Scene from Agape Vespers And Egg Hunt.

Do you see any more eggs?

Scene from Agape Vespers And Egg Hunt.

I had enough looking, I think I'll eat my candy instead.

Noctures and Procession, Matins of Pascha and Pascal Divine Liturgy

Scene from Holy Week - Holy Saturday Liturgy.

After much preparation and fasting, our new sign proclaims the Paschal Service.

Scene from Holy Week - Holy Saturday Liturgy.

All the preparations have been for this night. The church is ready and the faithful have spent the day in strict fast. 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 Holy Week - Holy Saturday Liturgy.

The nocturns are sung at the tomb of Christ.

To hear a small sample of The Nocturnes please click here.

Scene from Holy Week - Holy Saturday Liturgy.

The handmaidens guard the tomb.

Scene from Holy Week - Pascha Services.

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 Holy Week - Holy Saturday Liturgy.

Father Andrew spreads the Light to a single handmaiden and from there it spreads to all the congregation.

Scene from Holy Week - Holy Saturday Liturgy.

The entire congregation leaves the church in procession and proceeds around the church. While they are doing this, the tomb is removed from the church, all the lights are turned on, and all candles are lit once again symbolizing Christ's resurrection.

Scene from Holy Week - Holy Saturday Liturgy.

Scene from the procession.

Scene from Holy Week - Holy Saturday Liturgy.

Upon finishing the procession around the church, the congregation gathers at the closed front doors of 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.

Scene from Holy Week - Holy Saturday Liturgy.

Scene from the procession.

Scene from Holy Week - Holy Saturday Liturgy.

Scene from the procession.

Scene from Holy Week - Holy Saturday Liturgy.

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. The priest reenters followed by the congregation

Scene from Holy Week - Holy Saturday Liturgy.

Led by our new choir director, the choir sings the songs of the resurrection.

Scene from Holy Week - Holy Saturday Liturgy.

The entire tone of the service 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.

OCA - Christ is Risen! / Indeed He is Risen!
Greek Diocese - Christ is Risen! / Truly He is Risen!
Greek - Christos Anesti! / Aleithos Anesti!
Slavonic - Christos Voskrese! / Voistinu Voskrese!
Arabic - Al-Masih-Qam! / Hakkan Qam!
Romanian - Christos E Anviat! / Adeverat Anviat!
Spanish - Christo Ha Resucitado! / Verdaderamente, Ha Resucitado!
German - Christus ist Auferstanden! / Jawohl Er ist Auferstanden
French - Le Christ est ressuscite! / En verite il est resuscite!
Japanese - Harisutosu Siochatsu! / Makoto-ni Siochatsu

Scene from Holy Week - Holy Saturday Liturgy.

Fr. Andrew reads the sermon of St. John Chrysostom welcoming all to the celebration.

At the conclusion of the service, everyone present receives a red egg and the baskets are laden with food are blessed. All are invited to break the fast and break bread together.

Parishioners receive red egg.

Orthodox Christians as they are able, fast from all meat and dairy products for all of Holy Week and the preceeding forty days of Lent. After the Paschal Liturgy a pot luck dinner is served and as you can imagine, some serious eating goes on. The celebration lasts into the early hours of the morning.

Scene from Holy Week - Pascha Services.

Father Andrew blesses the baskets laden with food.

Scene from Holy Week - Pascha Services.

Father Andrew blesses the shared fellowship meal.

Scene from Holy Week - Pascha Services.

The congregation then breaks the fast by sharing a meal and fellowship.

Holy Week - Holy Saturday Liturgy

Scene from Holy Week - 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 Week - Holy Saturday Liturgy.

Historically this service was a time for new members to be chrismated into the church. Today St. Luke Parish chrismated two new members, Mark and Jeremy into the Orthodox Church.

Scene from Holy Week - Holy Saturday Liturgy.

Scene from the Chrismation.

Scene from Holy Week - Holy Saturday Liturgy.

Scene from the Chrismation. Our congratulations go out to Mark and Jemery as we welcome them into our church family. God Grant Them Many Years!

Scene from Holy Week - Holy Saturday Liturgy.

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

Scene from 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 before the strict fast begins.

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.

Vigil

Vigil at the tomb.

Following the Lamentations on Friday night, parishioners volunteer to stand watch and "guard" the tomb of our Lord. This vigil lasts for 24 hours until the Pashcal services the following night. The church remains open during this time for visitors to come and worship before the tomb. The mood is that of a present-day wake. Bible verses are read during this time.

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.

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?". During the singing of the 9th ode of the Canon, the priest blesses the congregation with rose water as rose petals are scattered around the church. Here we see some of our handmaidens standing guard at the tomb.

Scene From The Lamentations.

Father Andrew blesses the congregation with Rose Water while rose petals are scattered around the church.

Scene From The Lamentations.

During the service, the shroud is removed from the tomb and four men along with the priest, choir and entire congregation make a procession around the entire exterior of the church while the "Hymn of Noble Joseph" is sung. They return to the church to hear the reading Ezekiel about the valley of the dry bones. The service ends with the veneration of the shroud and the distribution of flowers. Immediately following this service the vigil of the tomb begins and continues all the way up to Saturday morning.

Scene From The Lamentations.

Father Andrew under the burial shroud leaves the church for the procession.

Scene From The Lamentations.

Scene from procession.

Scene From The Lamentations.

Scene from procession.

Scene From The Lamentations.

Scene from procession.

Scene From The Lamentations.

The procession is concluded as the parishioners reenter the church walking under the burial shroud.

Scene From The Lamentations.

At dismissal, parishioners venerate 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

Scene From 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 the tomb and kiss the wounds on the figure of Christ on the shroud. Here Father Andrew reads the Gospel.

Scene From Procession with the Burial Shroud.

Procession with the burial shroud.

Scene From Procession with the Burial Shroud.

Father Andrew stands in front of the tomb with the burial shroud in place.

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

Icon of Christ in place in the tomb.

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.

Following the crucifiction, the 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.

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.

The readers at the readers stand. The readers play an important role in all of the holy week services chanting responses to both the priest and the choir.

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.

Wednesday Holy Unction Service

Icon of Christ with the Oil of Holy Unction .

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 Wednesday Holy Unction Service.

Scene from the Holy Unction Service. Members from Saints Peter and Paul Parish were also in attendance at the service. Here Father Andrew and Father Herman pray over the holy oil.

Scene from Wednesday 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. 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.

Scene from Wednesday Holy Unction Service.

Father Herman anointing a parishioner.

Scene from Wednesday Holy Unction Service.

Father Andrew anointing a parishioner.

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.

Tuesday Bridegroom Service

Scene from Tuesday Bridegroom Service.

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.

The symbolic acts in the services draw us unto the life of Christ. Through these acts we venerate the individuals that these acts depict.

Tuesday's Gospel Lesson

John 12:17-50 "The hour has come for the son to be glorified."

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.

Monday Bridegroom Service

Scene from Monday Bridegroom Service.

On Holy Monday there is a Bridegroom Service - Bridegroom Services 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

Monday's Gospel Lesson

Monday's Gospel lesson is Matthew 22: 15-46 and 23: 1-30. "Woe unto you Scribes and Pharisees, Hypocrites"

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.

Palm Sunday

Scene from Palm Sunday.

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's 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.

Palm Sunday

Scene From Divine Liturgy.

Palm Sunday

Congregation leaves church in procession.

Palm Sunday

Scene from procession.

Palm Sunday

Scene from procession.

Palm Sunday

Scene from procession.

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.

Lazarus Saturday

Lazarus Saturday

Divine Liturgy was celebrated on Lazarus Saturday. In addition, two of our young men received their first confession.

Great lent officially ends on Lazarus Saturday. The Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom is celebrated to commemorate the raising of Lazarus. Notice that Fr. Andrew is wearing gold vestments. This change in color denotes the resurrectional nature of this service as a prelude to Holy Week. Because of it resurrectional character the hymn as many as have been baptized into Christ is sung. Historically this was a baptismal liturgy.

Lazarus Saturday

Our young men receive Holy Communion.

Lazarus Saturday

Father Andrew with our two young men.

Lazarus Saturday

Following Liturgy, Father Andrew heard confessions while many of the parishioners helped with our spring clean up to get everything ready for Pascha. The wood work was cleaned and waxed. The carpets and chairs were also cleaned and had candle wax removed from them. Others decorated the church with palms and branches for Palm Sunday.

Lazarus Saturday

Someone has to do the windows.

Lazarus Saturday

Here the candlestands are being cleaned and shined while the vestible walls get washed. Our grateful thanks go out to all those who gave of their time and efforts to help beautify the Lord's House.

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.

Sts. Constantine And Helen Parishioners Visit For Presanctified Liturgy

Sts. Constantine And Helen Parishioners Visit For Presanctified Liturgy

It has become a local tradition for St. Luke and St Constantine and Helen parishes to join together for a Presanctified liturgy during Great Lent. This is the evening entrance with Deacon Danial giving the exclamation.

Sts. Constantine And Helen Parishioners Visit For Presanctified Liturgy

Fr. Andrew, with Fr. Nicholas and Fr. Panteleimon from St. Constantine and Helen praying at the altar. Sub deacon John and altar server Nicholas are in the background.

Sts. Constantine And Helen Parishioners Visit For Presanctified Liturgy

With all of our guests from St. Constantine and Helen, it was necessary to use two chalices to give holy communion. Our hand maidens Alexandra, Emma, Emily and Adriana held the napkin.

Sts. Constantine And Helen Parishioners Visit For Presanctified Liturgy

Else gave a testimonial of her experience as a new Orthodox Christian. She is now leading our adult education ministry and our Adult school of the Seventy. The School of the Seventy - Join the "School of the Seventy" Adult Education Program. Listed under the Adult Education Ministry. Else Tennessen - Director.

Sts. Constantine And Helen Parishioners Visit For Presanctified Liturgy

Fr. Nicholas blesses the evening lenter meal.

Sts. Constantine And Helen Parishioners Visit For Presanctified Liturgy

All joined for fellowship after the service. We commend Luba for organizing the catered dinner. This was just one of many fellowship experiences during the year.

Stairwells Finished

Stairwells Finished

This week the stairwells leading to the fellowship hall were carpeted to improve the appearance. Once all the painting is complete we will look into doing some decorative work on the walls.

Youth Group Visits Garden Center

Youth Group Visits Garden Center

Our Youth Organization assisted Fr. Andrew in the Garden Center ministry. Fr. Andrew has been holding services at this home for almost ten years. After the service the youth got to know the clients by sharing cookies and a soft drinks with them .

Family Retreat For Lent

Family Retreat For Lent

One of the activities at the retreat was the making of Prosphora ( Altar bread). This is the leaven bread which is offered at the Divine Liturgy. Families can offer this bread in memory of their departed or of a specific petition. This is why it is so important that the youth know how to bake it.

Family Retreat For Lent

Another photo of the retreat participants. This is an annual Lenten event which is part of our church school program. Maria, our Church school director, was very pleased with the support and participation.

Children's Sermon For April

Children's Sermon For April

This Sunday St. Luke Parish held a Lenter Family Retreat. The theme of the retreat was missions. Our short term missionaries Luke, Clark, and Allison gave presentations and answered questions about there activities in the mission field. Fr. Andrew set the theme of the retreat by preaching a children's sermon on spreading the light of Christ Children's Sermon For April

He told the children about the missionary activities of St. Herman and St. Innocent in Alaska.


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