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April

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.

Scene from Agape Vespers And Egg Hunt.

Here Father Andrew reads the Gospel attended by some of our altar servers.

Scene from Agape Vespers And Egg Hunt.

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

Scene from Agape Vespers And Egg Hunt.

Eggs wait patiently for the children to find them.

Scene from Agape Vespers And Egg Hunt.

The children await their chance at the eggs. Get Ready! Get Set!

Scene from Agape Vespers And Egg Hunt.

Go!

Scene from Agape Vespers And Egg Hunt.

This seems like a nice place to pick up some eggs.

Scene from Agape Vespers And Egg Hunt.

An Egg Plant.

Scene from Agape Vespers And Egg Hunt.

That basket looks pretty full.

Scene from Agape Vespers And Egg Hunt.

Thanks to all who set up the egg hunt for the children.

Pascha

Scene from Holy Week - Holy Saturday Liturgy.

After much preparation and fasting, our 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.

Scene from the Nocturnes.

Scene from Holy Week - Holy Saturday Liturgy.

The handmaidens guard the tomb. The light from the tomb throws shadows on the ceiling of the church.

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 Haidmaidens spread the Light of Christ.

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.

Scene from the procession.

Scene from Holy Week - Pascha.

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

Scene from Holy Week - Pascha.

Scene from the procession.

Scene from Holy Week - Pascha.

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.

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 choir director, the choir sings the songs of the ressurrection.

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 - Pascha Services.

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

Scene from Holy Week - Pascha Services.

Our bell ringers proclaim the Glory of the Risen Christ.

Scene from Holy Week - Pascha Services.

Father Andrew bless the Arthos.

Parishioners receive red egg.

At the conclusion of the service, the parishioners venerate the Arthos and receive a red egg. All are invited to break the fast and break bread together.

Scene from Holy Week - Pascha Services.

Father Andrew blesses the baskets laden with food.

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.

Saturday Morning

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. Historically this service was a time for new members to be chrismated into the church.

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 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.

Scene from Holy Week - Holy Saturday Liturgy.

The Eucharist is extended into an agape meal consisting of wine, bread, fruit, dates, figs, and nuts. Here Father Andrew blesses the meal.

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.

Friday Evening 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.

Scene From The Lamentations.

Rose petals are scattered around the church by the handmaidens.

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.

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

Scene From The Lamentations.

Scene from procession. This year due to inclement weather, the procession stayed indoors.

Scene From The Lamentations.

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

Scene From The Lamentations.

The reading of The Prophecy of Ezekiel.

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 the tomb and kiss the wounds on the figure of Christ on the shroud.

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

Here Father Andrew reads the Gospel.

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

Christ is removed from the Cross.

Scene From Procession with the Burial Shroud.

Procession with the burial shroud.

Scene From Procession with the Burial Shroud.

Procession with the burial 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.

Friday Morning - Preparing The Tomb

Scene from Holy Week - The

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 Holy Week - The

Even the myrrh bearing women can use a little help.

Thursday Evening

Father Andrew and Deacon prepare for the readings of the Passion Gospels .

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 Holy Week - Reading Of The Passion Gospels.

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 Holy Week - Reading Of The Passion Gospels.

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 Holy Week - Reading Of The Passion Gospels.

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.

To hear the hymn "The Wise Thief", click here.
Scene from Holy Week - Reading Of The Passion Gospels.

Parishioners venerate the cross.

Thursday Morning

Icon of the Mystical Supper .

Vesperal Liturgy of St. Basil - This service relives the Lord's Supper and betrayal by Judas. The hymn "Of Your Mystical Supper, O Son of God" is sung throughout the service. At the conclusion of the service, breakfast is served as an agape meal.

Father Andrew serves the Liturgy .

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.

The Gosoel Reading.

The reading of the Gospel.

Clergy pray over Holy Oil .

Father Andrew prays over the Holy Oil.

Parishioners receive prayers of special healing .

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. Epistle and Gospel lessons regarding healing are read. "The prayer of the faithful will save the sick." (James 5:15) We prepare for this service by prayer and fasting from noon.

Father Andrew anoints parishioner with the Oil of Holy Unction .

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.

Tuesday Bridegroom Service

Father Andrew reads the Gospel .

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.

Father Andrew blesses congregation with rose water.

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 - Bridgegroom Service

Scene from 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.

Scene from Bridegroom Service.

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.

Scene from Palm Sunday.

Scene from the Liturgy.

Scene from Palm Sunday.

Scene from the Liturgy.

Scene from Palm Sunday.

At the end of Liturgy, the parishioners all received palms and branches and went outside for a procession around the church singing the Troparion of the day.

Scene from Palm Sunday.

Scene from procession.

Scene from Palm Sunday.

Scene from procession.

Scene from Palm Sunday.

Scene from procession.

Scene from Palm Sunday.

Scene from procession.

Following the procession, the parishioners were annointed with oil.

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

Father Harrison holds Bible

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.

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.

Soul Saturday

Father Harrison blesses wheat

Saturday, the Sabbath day is considered the day devoted to the departed in the Orthodox Church. It is the day God rested and the day Christ rested in the tomb while his soul descended into Hades. On the Saturdays of Great Lent a liturgy is celebrated to commemorate departed parish and family members. Each person is commemorated by name. A special cake of boiled wheat, honey and raisins is prepared and is blessed during the memorial service. This cake is symbolic of the dead planted as a grain of wheat waiting for the resurrection to life eternal in heaven, the land of milk and honey. The raisins symbolize the fruits of the Holy spirit.

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.

Pan-Orthodox Akathist Hymn

Scene from Pan-Orthodox Akathist Hymn

The Orthodox Christian Clergy Association sponsored two Akathist services to the Theotokos on the sixth week of Great Lent. Clergy and faithful from the Southern part of the Greater Chicago area attended St. Luke while at the same time Clergy from the north area gathered at New Gracanica Monastery in Grays lake Illinois.

Scene from Pan-Orthodox Akathist Hymn

Fr. Mousa Haddad from Holy Virgin Mary Antiocian Orthodox Church in Alsip gave the homily on devotion to Mary who "heard the word of God and kept it". He raised questions about how we are keeping the word of God during Lent and through out our life.

Scene from Pan-Orthodox Akathist Hymn

Fr. Andrew welcomed the visiting clergy and guests and invited everyone for fellowship and refreshments. He mentioned having the Akathist service in two areas made it available for more people to attend.

Autocephaly Day

Scene from Autocephaly Day

The 41st Anniversary of the Orthodox Church in America was celebrated with the Akathist to all the Saints of North American . The OCA became an Autocephalous (self governing) Orthodox Church on April 10, 1970. This is documented by a Tomos Click Here given by the Orthodox Patriarch of Russia. Full acceptance of this status has not been accepted by all of the Orthodox Patriarchs. In the service there were prayers for the future and blessings upon all the Orthodox faithful of North America with the hope that there will be a Patriarch of America someday.Click Here to view an excerpt from the service.

Spring Cleanup

Scene from Spring Cleanup

Spring Cleanup Day began with Soul Saturday Liturgy with prayers for the departed. During the cleanup, Father Andrew heard confessions for the workers.

Scene from Spring Cleanup

Phil waxes the front doors.

Scene from Spring Cleanup

Cleanup crew removes wax from the carpets and chairs.

Scene from Spring Cleanup

Aristea was in charge of getting the classrooms spic and span.

Scene from Spring Cleanup

Laurie removes the excess wax from the candlestands.

Scene from Spring Cleanup

Mike vacuums up.

Scene from Spring Cleanup

Subdeacon John works on the altar and sacristy.

Scene from Spring Cleanup

This candlestand never stood a chance.

Our thanks to all who came out and gave of their time and efforts to help get the building and grounds ready for Pascha.

St. Luke Parish Hosts Presanctified Liturgy

Scene from St. Luke Parish Hosts Presanctified Liturgy

Fr. Nicholas Jonas and members of St. Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox parish in Palos Hill were hosted by St.Luke congregation for the celebration of the Presanctified Liturgy.

Scene from St. Luke Parish Hosts Presanctified Liturgy

Mark who is studying in the Chicago Deanery Advanced Education and Late vocations program presented a paper on the Personhood of Christ.

Children's Sermon For April

Scene from Children's Sermon For April

The sermon was on St. John of the Ladder. Fr. Andrew pointed to a small ladder as an example of St. John teachings. He taught the children about how to climb the ladder by avoiding certain bad behaviors like lying.

Scene from Children's Sermon For April

Using an acronym for faith he explained the importance of strong faith as the goal of Christian life which is the purpose of St. John teachings. Forsaking All I Take Him.

Saints Constantine And Helen Parish Hosts Presanctified Liturgy

Scene from Saints Constantine And Helen Parish Hosts Presanctified Liturgy

For the past 14 years St. Luke and St. Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church have celebrated the Pre- sanctified Liturgy together during Lent. Father Nicholas Jonas is celebrating while Fr. Andrew is assisting at the altar.

Scene from Saints Constantine And Helen Parish Hosts Presanctified Liturgy

After receiving Holy Communion the parishioners of St. Luke gathered together with parishioners of St. Constantine and Helen for fellowship and a delicious evening fasting meal. Next Wednesday we will be together again attending St. Luke for the Liturgy.


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