This Sunday following Liturgy, St. Lukes held its annual meeting. Led by Fr. Paul parishioners discussed
new and old business, reviewed council reports, and approved the parish budget. Council elections were also held. We pray that
God guides the council members and parishioners that we do His work.
St. Luke Parish celebrated the feast called
Epiphany or Theophany which means shining forth or manifestation. The emphasis in the
present-day celebration is on the appearance of Jesus as the human Messiah of Israel and
the Divine Son of God, One of the Holy Trinity with the Father and the Holy Spirit.
Thus, in the baptism by John in the Jordan, Jesus identifies Himself
with sinners as the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world (John 1:20), the
“Beloved” of the Father whose messianic fate it is to redeem men from their sins
(Luke 3:21, Mark 1:35). And He is revealed as well as One of the Holy Trinity, testified to
by the voice of the Father, and the Spirit in the form of a dove. This is the central
epiphany glorified is the feast day, the Holy Trinity. (Taken from Worship, The Orthodox
Faith Vol. II by Fr. Thomas Hopko)
Above we see Father Paul holding the cross high above the holy water,
he plunges the cross into the water. He does this three times
symbolizing the Baptism of Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. During this the congregatition
sings the troparion for the day.
TROPARION: WHEN YOU, 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!
Following the service, Father Paul blessed each parishioner with holy
water and those who wished had a drink of the holy water as well for healing of soul and body.
Some parishioners took holy water home as well in special containers.
Open Microphone Sunday
Recently St. Luke Parish held its first ever “Open Microphone Sunday” inviting the parishioners to perform.
Protinica Michelle and her daughter Catherine led the way with a Christmas Carol.
Not to be out done, Deacon Andrew with Fr. Paul on guitar came next.
Lee took his turn at the microphone.
Fr. Alexis accompanied by Sharon.
We were treated to an impressive classical performance.
There was no age limt for our performers.
Finally we were treated to a guitar and fiddle trio. Thank you to all who performed for us.
Garden Center Visit For January
Fr. Andrew read the story about John Baptist de la Salle. He was born in France, ordained in 1678 and was
known for his work with the poor. He was very involved in education and founded the Institute of the Brother of the Christian
Schools. He was one of the first to emphasize classroom teaching over individual instruction.
Fr. Andrew blessing St. Basil’s Sweet Bread. Wishing to distribute money to the poor in a discreet manner,
St. Basil had some women bake sweetened bread, in which he placed gold coins. This tradition started in the 4th century in
Cappadocia and is very much alive in our Orthodox homes each year on January 1st.
Steven was the lucky one to find the coin and is considered the blessed one for the year.
Our evening ended enjoying the sweet bread with Stea, the talented baker.
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. The loaf is blessed with holy water and with the words. This bread is blessed and sanctified by the power of the Holy Spirit. Aristea explaining the tradition of St. Basil’s Sweet Bread and how it should be sliced and served.
Fr. John prays over the bread.
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.
Fr. Jonas was the lucky one to get the coin and he who finds the coin is considered the blessed one for the year.