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Pan Orthodox Akathist Service
This year St.Luke hosted the Pan Orthodox Akathist service for the South Chicago area of the Orthodox Christian Clergy Association. Seven Priests and two Deacon's celebrated the service.
Fr. Nikolaj Kostur from St. George Serbian Orthodox Church in Joliet gave the homily.
At the end of the service all came forward to venerate the Vladimir Icon of the Theotokos which was brought to the church for this service by Fr. Andrew. It was copied from the original by Matushka Elcheninova.
After the service all joined for fellowship as St. Luke fellowship Ministry under the leadership of Lynn provided refreshments.
Each spring we ask parishioners to come out and lend a hand getting the church cleaned up and ready for Holy Week. During the cleanup, Father Andrew makes himself available to hear confessions. This year we had probably our biggest turn out ever.
All the woodwork needed to be cleaned and polished.
Two young ladies work on cleaning up the bookstore.
Diane removes wax from the chairs.
Mary does likewise with the carpet.
Our youngest wax remover hard at work.
The brass items were also polished. Laurie works on the candlestands.
Wendy teams up to get both candlestands shinning.
Other brass items are polished in the sacristy.
Mark cleans out the light fixtures.
Chuck and Matt teamed up on the windows and did a great job washing them.
Our thanks go out to all who came and worked so hard to get the church ready for Pascha.
Food For The Christian Soul: Next Stop Japan
This month we visited Kitaro Grill and Sushi Lounge in Lemont.
Japan was home for Saint Nicholas, Equal-to-the-Apostles, Archbishop of Japan. Matt provided us with internet links to do reading on Orthodoxy in Japan.
In addition to being delicious the food presentation was excellent.
Another beautifully presented dinner.
Another evening of food and fellowship was enjoyed by all.
The Feast of the Annunciation breaks into the Lenten cycle because it is one of the 12 major feast days of the church and is part of the Nativity cycle. March 25th is nine months before Christmas. It commemorates the angel Gabriel visiting the virgin Mary and announcing to her that she was about to become pregnant by the Holy Spirit. Since it is a feast day the fasting rules are lifted slightly. For Greek Americans this is a special day because this is the day that Greece became independent from the Ottoman Turkish empire in 1821 - 1827.Journey To Pascha - 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 feel free 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.
Sunday Of The Cross
The third Sunday of Lent is the half way point of Great Lent. On this Sunday a flower decorated cross is displayed in the center of the sanctuary during the Liturgy.
At the point in the Liturgy when normally "Holy God" is sung it is replaced with "Before Your Cross we bow down and worship You." During this hymn three prostrations are made. They signify our devotion to God and that we have accepted His cross. It is also given as a help to fight off the attacks of the Devil who during Lent wants us to fail in our fast and it helps us to keep our heart pointed toward the Cross and Christ's victory over death at Pascha.Journey To Pascha - 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 feel free 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.
Mission To Guatemala
Fr. Andrew went to Hogar Raphael orphanage to lecture about drug abuse and chemical dependency. Before the lecture he spent time with the little children.
David playing soccer with the boys. He came along to help Fr. Andrew with translation.
The presanctifed liturgy at Hogar Raphael orphanage with the children singing the responses.
Today David, Michaelyn, and Fr Andrew climbed a volcano with all the teens from Hogar Raphael orphanage. After the climb we all went to a hot springs to soak our hurting muscles.
A group photo only half way up to the summit of the volcano. In the background you can see the route. The evaluation is 6000 ft to 7,500 ft, 2.6 K very steep. You could take a horse if needed.
Fr. Andrew at the top. He planned to use the horse going down.
Fr. Andrew and David give the demonstration of what happens when illegal drugs enter the brain. This demonstration was developed by Dr. Erikson of the University of Texas and used with his permission.
On the third Sunday of great Lent the Cross is placed in the center of the church. The children of Hogar all sang: "Before your cross we bow down and worship You and Your holy resurrection.
Fr. Andrew caught meditating by the lake which borders the orphanage and monastery. There is a famous shrine of the child Jesus which is celebrated each year by the Catholic church close to where Father Andrew is sitting.
Sadly Fr. Andrew held a funeral for a boy who grew up at Hogar who died unexpectedly at age 22. His name is Manuel. His casket is being carried into the Church by friends and staff of Hogar Raphael orphanage.
Although it is still lent the color is white denoting the resurrection of Christ. The resurection Canan is sung at the time of burial.
Upon Father Andrew's return to Palos Hills he had another funeral for Maria who was Greek Orthodox, one of our PADS homeless guests. She has been part of the homeless program for several years. Now she has a home with our Lord.
A group photo after visiting with a group of Christian pastors in Atitlan interested in the Orthodox faith. Our St. Luke Mission team will be teaching and giving demonstrations on the Orthodox faith during their visit in June.
Mother Inez, Mother Yvonne, Staff and orphans attended a ground breaking liturgy for a new church with Bishop of the Syriac Orthodox Church in Guatemala. This was a western rite Orthodox service for the Mayan's who have converted from the Roman Catholic church.
The beginning of the Liturgy with a deacon censing as the bishop enters the tent where the liturgy will be held.
Mayan Women elders holding their symbols of spiritual leadership. The men stood in front of them.
Fr. Andrew, Mother Inez and Mother Yvonne enjoying traditional Mayan corn soup and tamales after the service. The were four different types of corn used.
Group Photo with Mother Ines, Mother Yvonne, Bishop Edgar of the Syriac Orthodox Church and his clergy.
Visiting the ruins of Mayan temple on our way back to Hogar after the service.
More of the ruins can be seen behind Fr. Andrew.
Saints Constantine and Helen Parish Vists For Presanctified Liturgy
For the nineteenth year St. Constantine and Helen and St. Luke joined together for mutual Presanctified Liturgies during Lent. Deacon John announces the beginning of the service.
The faithful of both parishes receiving Holy Communion. Fr. Danial Doss of Holy Trinity Parish in Bloomington Normal concelebrated.
Deacon John shared some thoughts on how we might receive the light of Christ on Holy Pascha and reflect it in our daily lives.
Fr. Nick was not able to serve due to illness. It is hoped he will be feeling better when St. Luke visits St. Constantine and Helen in several weeks. Fr. Andrew mentioned the many years these joint service have continued.
Fr. Nich blessing the food prepared by our fellowship ministry under the leadership of Lynn who also heads our bell ringers.
A very nice turn out for a mid week 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.Journey To Pascha - 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 feel free 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.
On Wednesdays during Lent the Presanctified Liturgy is celebrated. The word Presanctified refers to Holy Communion which has been consecrated on the Sunday before and distributed at the Presanctified Liturgy. One of the special features of this liturgy is the solemn blessing with a single lighted candle by the Priest who announces "The Light of Christ illumines all!" The faithful make a prostration. The scriptural readings are from Genesis, Exodus, Isaiah and Proverbs signifying the preparatory nature of this service.
Fr. Andrew will be teaching from the Lenten Synaxarion , which is a volume of sermons written by the Church Fathers that describe the significance of each Presantified Liturgy and its role in our Lenten preparations for Pascha
Following the service all are invited to join in a pot luck lenten meal.Journey To Pascha - 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 feel free 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.
Sunday of Orthodoxy
On the first Sunday of Lent, Orthodox Christians celebrate the official declaration of the 7th Ecumenical Council 787AD that the veneration of Icons is not the worship of images as the 2nd commandment describes. To celebrate the event, the parishioners of St. Luke held a procession of Icons, ( See Iconography) while the choir sang the hymn of the event. At its conclusion the proclamation of Orthodoxy and Creed were recited.
Proclamation of Orthodoxy:
As the Prophets beheld, as the Apostles have taught, as the Church has received, as the Teachers have dogmatized, as the Universe has agreed, as grace has shown forth, as Truth has revealed, as Falsehood has been dissolved, as Wisdom has presented, as Christ awarded; Thus we declare, thus we assert, thus we preach Christ Our True God, and honor His Saints in words, in writings, in thoughts, in sacrifices, in Churches, in Holy Icons; On the one hand worshipping and reverencing Christ as God and Lord, and on the other, honoring the Saints as true servants of the same Lord of All, and offering them proper veneration.
This is the Faith of the Apostles,
Scene from the procession.
Scene from the procession.
Scene from the procession.
The choir sings the hymn of the day during the procession.Journey To Pascha - 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 feel free 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.
Children's Sermon For March
Fr. Andrew held up a diploma and pointed out the gold seal. The seal proves that you completed all the necessary work to graduate. The seal that Jesus used to prove his teachings was his resurrection.
Father explained that all of us have received a seal which is holy oil blessed by the bishop called Chrism. It is our seal that we have received the gift of the Holy Spirit.
He then let the Children smell the Holy Chrism from a small bottle which is used when a child is baptized.
Fr. Andrew gave gold seals and small Icons seals which the children were instructed to put in their Lenten record books which shows all the Lenten services they have attended.