FIRST SUNDAY OF THE GREAT FAST MARCH 1, 2020

6 03 2020

Saturday, Feb. 29 Good’s Blessings for good health
4:00 PM Father Stephen Saffron
Sunday, March 1 FIRST SUNDAY OF THE GREAT FAST
8:30 AM God’s Blessings and Good Health for all Parishioner
4:00 PM STATIONS OF THE CROSS – SS Peter & Paul, Wilkes-Barre, PA

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Wednesday, March 4
4:00 PM Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts
Saturday, March 7
4:00 PM ✞ Mary Ambrose – Rosemarie Kachinko
Sunday, March 8 SECOND SUNDAY OF THE GREAT FAST
8:30 AM God’s Blessings and Good Health for all Parishioners
4:00 PM Deanery Stations of the Cross – SS Peter & Paul, U.C.C. Plymouth, PA

LENTEN RETREAT
There will be a Lenten Retreat on Saturday and Sunday March 7th and 8th here in Ss. Peter and Paul, Plymouth.  Fr. Paul Makar, the Pastor of St. Nicholas in Minersville, PA and Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Middleport, PA, will visit Ss. Peter and Paul and celebrate the Divine Liturgy.  The “retreat” will part of the liturgy and will in essence be a longer homily than you are normally accustomed to receiving.  As we have no “extra” priests available to provide our parish a Lenten Retreat, Fr. Paul Makar and I have agreed to swap parish assignments for this weekend so he could give you a Lenten Retreat and I could provide a Lenten Retreat for his parishes.  Please give him a warm welcome as you do with all visitors to our parish.  For the Stations of the Cross at 4 p.m. on Sunday, I fully expect to return in time for this and the reception that will follow.

THE SUNDAY OF ORTHODOXY

The first Sunday of the Great Fast is called the Sunday of Orthodoxy. What do we mean by “orthodoxy”? The word “orthodoxy” stems from the Greek word “orthodoxia” (orthos=right; doksa=opinion) which signifies the true faith and the true worship of God. We are not speaking here of orthodoxy as we understand it today as being separated from Rome, but orthodoxy, as applied to the whole Church of Christ until the schism when Rome left behing the other 4 Patriarchates, which occurred in the eleventh century during patriarchate of Cerularius (1054). The orthodoxy that we celebrate this Sunday is catholic (universal) orthodoxy, professed by the entire Church of Christ of the first centuries in the battle against the heresy of Iconoclasm (Gr – eikon=image; klastes=a breaker; – an image breaking heresy). Because God became man, the Son of God took on flesh we can write icons and depict the Son of God in image. The Sunday of Orthodoxy is a festival for the whole Church, both Eastern and Western. It is the festive celebration of the decisive victory over Iconoclasm and other heresies.
The purpose of this feast is to pay solemn public homage and veneration to Jesus Christ, the Blessed Mother of God, and all the Saints in image.
The Church of Christ deeply respects and honors the holy icons as it also does holy relics. She places them in church for public veneration and recommends that we venerate them privately in our homes, and wear small icons around our necks in the form of little crosses or medals because these are windows into heaven and Jesus and the saints are present to us in iconography (via proxy).

SUNDAY OF ORTHODOXY
 We remember the restoration of icons and we venerate to the holy icons of the Son of God, Jesus Christ, the Most Blessed and Ever Virgin Mother of God Mary, and all the Saints.

THE GREAT FAST
Although our time has brought with it many changes in traditions, and discipline, and the bishops have relaxed the rules for fasting, including the Great Fast, nevertheless, the Forty Days Fast still has massive importance for our spiritual life. For various reasons, today we can still fast as our ancestors did even though bishops may not direct you to; yet even today we are still obliged to fast – that is, we are obliged to refrain from sin, and from giving in to our evil inclinations. We are also obliged to pray and to practice virtue and good deeds. In reality then, the most important goal of the Great Fast is our spiritual growth.
The Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts:
A typical Lenten service is the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts. Already in the first centuries there was a custom during the Forty Days Fast to omit the celebration of the Divine Liturgy because, at that time, it was still linked with agape, that is the love banquet, and this was not in keeping with the spirit of fasting. Furthermore, the Divine Liturgy is regarded as joyful mystery; for this reason, its celebration was limited to Saturdays and Sundays. On the other days of the week to give the faithful an opportunity to receive Holy Communion, the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts developed which is Vespers with Communion added. Actually, this is not a Divine Liturgy in the sense of the word, for it does not have the consecration of bread and wine, the Anaphora; but rather, it is a Vespers service with the distribution Holy Communion, the Body and Blood of Christ reserved since Sunday, from which the bread was consecrated and became Christ! Hence, the name of Presanctified Gifts.
The Council of Laodicia (c.364) prescribed: “It is not permitted during the Great Fast to offer up the Bread (that is the Holy Liturgy), except on Saturday and Sunday” (rule 49). The Sixth Ecumenical Council of Trullo (691) decreed: “On all the days of the Great Fast, with the exception of Saturday and Sunday, and the feast of the Annunciation, the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts must be celebrated. “ (rule 52).

SUNDAY LITURGIES DURING LENT:
WHY DO THEY SEEM LONGER?

Our Byzantine Church prescribes that the Liturgy of St. Basil the Great is to be celebrated on all of the Sundays of Lent, instead of the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, which is celebrated throughout the rest of the church year.  St.
Basil’s Anaphora prayers are older and has longer priestly prayers than the St. John Chrysostom Liturgy (which was derived from the Liturgy of St. Basil the Great), and is celebrated ten times during the church year:  the five Sundays of Lent (not Palm Sunday), Holy Thursday, Holy Saturday, Christmas Eve, Epiphany Eve, and on the actual Feast of St. Basil which we celebrate on January 1.
SANCTUARY LIGHT: NO REQUEST.
WOMEN’S SOCIETY: The date has been changed again for the next Women’s Society meeting. The meeting will be held on Tuesday, March 3rd at 11:00 AM in the church hall. This is necessary due to the fact that the Hall must be prepared for the Fellowship serving after the Stations of the Cross on Sunday, March 8th. Please try to be present as you are needed to set up for this occasion.
DESSERTS: We ask our great dessert makers to help with the serving of fellowship on Sunday, March 8th after the Stations of the Cross. Your contribution or any dessert you wish to donate will be greatly appreciated.

BIRTHDAY GREETINGS; Father Walter will celebrate his Birthday on Saturday, March 7th. May God grant him many more Happy, Healthy Years. Mnohya Lita!

CALENDAR LOTTERY: It is time for our May Lottery tickets. Mike Sinko had the tickets printed and ready for distribution. Please, if you can take a few to sell it would be a great help as we are missing a few of our sellers. Ask your family and friends to purchase a chance to win.

TIME CHANGE: It is time to spring forward. Turn you clocks forward one hour next Sunday, March 8th at 2:00 AM. This is the beginning of Day Light Saving Time.

LUC MEETING: The North Anthracite Council of the LUC will meet on Thursday, March 12, 2020 at 6:00pm at Grotto Pizza, Edwardsville. Discussion will include the March 27 to 29 Lenten Retreat at St. Mary’s Villa Spiritual Center, Sloatsburg, NY; the May 16 bus trip to New York City; and, the September 2020 National Convention in Upstate New York hosted by the Niagara Frontier Council. A warm invitation is extended to all parishioners of our Anthracite Deanery to become members of the LUC to further the richness and beauty of our Ukrainian Greek Catholic heritage. For further information contact Janina Everett, Membership Coordinator,


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