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2017 News Archive
Now available - the August 2017 issue of "Word of the Church" ("Церковное Слово") - 01/08/2017

The August 2017 issue of the official journal of the Australian-New Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia is now available in our parishes.  In addition to Epistle of the Council of Bishops of ROCOR in both Russian and English, there is a range of interesting articles in both languages.  In Russian: "На восстановление единства Русской Церкве была воля Божия"; "К 100-летию Февральской буржуазно-демократической революции"; "Успение Пресвятой Богородицы" and more.  In English: "Bishop George of Canberra visits the Eastern American Diocese"; "The opening of the relics of our Father among the Saints Mardarije, first Serbian bishop of America and Canada", "The Life of Saint Mardarije of Libertyville (+1935)"; and more.  Copies are $5.00.


Services on 29-30 July, the Eighth Sunday after Pentecost - 30/07/2017

On Saturday 29 July and Sunday 30 July we had services for the Eighth Sunday after Pentecost and in honour of the Fathers of the First Six Ecumenical Councils.  Many friends of our parish from Sydney were present at Divine Liturgy on Sunday.  Announcements were made concerning Bishop George's planned visit on Sunday 6 August and the services in honour of the Great-Martyr Panteleimon scheduled for Tuesday 8 and Wednesday 9 August.  Early on Sunday afternoon a memorial service was served at the grave of Alexander Momot in Point Clare Cemetery, it being the fortieth day of his repose.


Our July 2017 parish newsletter - 29/07/2017

On Saturday 29 July the July 2017 issue of our parish newsletter was published.  It contains news from June and July 2017, information about parish activities planned for August 2017, and more.  The newsletter can be viewed here or by visiting our newsletter page.


A collection to aid the construction of a church of Saint Nicholas in the Transbaikal Territory - 28/07/2017

Under the leadership of Sophia Mikhailovna Boikov, the Sydney-based Russo-Chinese Orthodox Mission is raising funds for the construction of a church in Shonoktui, a small village in the Borzinsky district of the Zabaykalsky Krai.  The Zabaykalsky Krai, or Transbaikal Territory, is a federal subject of Russia that shares borders with China and Mongolia.  The church is to be dedicated to Saint Nicholas, the wonderworker of Myra in Lycia, and will be within the Chita Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church.  The building project has the blessing of the Diocesan authorities in Russia and the collection of funds in this Diocese has the blessing of Metropolitan Hilarion and Bishop George.   In July 2016 a cross was blessed at the site on which the church will be constructed.   Donations can be made at the candle-desk in our church, or by direct deposit to the account of the Russo-Chinese Orthodox Mission (Commonwealth Bank of Australia BSB 062-130 ACN 10484933).  This is a worthy project – please give generously!


A Russian Orthodox Sacred Music Conference, Brisbane 2017 - 28/07/2017

From Wednesday 27 September until Monday 2 October this year, a Russian Orthodox Sacred Music Conference will be held in Brisbane.  Organised by the Diocesan Liturgical Music Committee, the conference programme will include lectures from eminent guest speakers including Archpriest Andre Papkov from Chicago, USA, intensive choral workshops and rehearsals at Saint Seraphim’s church and Saint Nicholas Cathedral, common meals, and a hierarchical All-night Vigil and Divine Liturgy at the church of Our Lady of Vladimir.  The cost – not including accommodation – will be $200.00 per person and $150.00 for students, with discounts available for early registration.  Details of accommodation packages will be made available in due course.  See also: https://www.facebook.com/ROCSingersANZ/ 


A series of lectures in Dogmatic Theology, Strathfield, 17-19 July - 16/07/2017

At the invitation of Metropolitan Hilarion, Metropolitan Jonah (Paffhausen) will give a series of lectures in Dogmatic Theology on the evenings of Monday 17 July, Tuesday 18 July, and Wednesday 19 July.  Dogmatic theology is that part of theology that concerns the theoretical foundations of our faith.  The lectures will be delivered in English in the Church Hall at Saints Peter and Paul Diocesan Cathedral, 3 Vernon Street, Strathfield.  A full-size flyer is available here.


Services on 15-16 July, the Sixth Sunday after Pentecost - 16/07/2017

On Saturday 15 July and Sunday 16 July we had services for the Sixth Sunday after Pentecost and in honour of the Martyr Hyacinth (+108 AD).  At Divine Liturgy on Sunday the Prayer for Ukarine was read.  Following the Prayer before the Amvon the prayers of blessing were read over a copy of the "Port Arthur" Icon of the Mother of God, a gift to our parish from Arthur and Natasha Tane.  In his sermon at Divine Liturgy the parish rector spoke about the history and significance of Saint Paul's Letter to the Romans, the specific guidance for Christian living given in the appointed reading from that Letter (Romans 12:6-14), and the example of Martyr Hyacinth in resisting the civic piety of his day and remaining faithful to Christ.


An article about Orthodox Christianity is published in the June 2017 edition of 'Aurora', the magazine of the Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle - 05/07/2017

An article about Orthodox Christianity entitled 'Feasts and fasts: the Eastern Orthodox Church', appeared in the July 2017 edition of Aurora, the magazine of the Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle.  Written by our parish rector at the invitation of Aurora 's editor, the article briefly summarises the history, beliefs and spiritual life of the Orthodox Church.  The article can be read here.


Services on 1-2 July, the Fourth Sunday of Pentecost - 02/07/2017

On Saturday 1 July and Sunday 2 July we had services for the Fourth Sunday after Pentecost and in honour of the Holy Apostle Jude, Brother of the Lord (+c.80 AD).  In his sermon at Divine Liturgy on Sunday the parish rector spoke about the evidence in the recently-published 2016 Census data of increasing unbelief in Australian society, of our Lord's words to the Apostle Jude that He will be manifest to those love Him and keep His words (John 14:21-24), and of the need "to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered unto the saints" (Jude 1:3).  Following the service many enjoyed a range Lenten piroshki - with mushroom, cabbage, rice and spinach, potato and apple fillings - freshly cooked by our hard-working Ladies' Auxiliary.


Our June 2017 parish newsletter - 01/07/2017

On Saturday 1 July the June 2017 issue of our parish newsletter was published - the first since February 2017!  The newsletter can be viewed here or by visiting our newsletter page.  The insert - a Russian-language copy of the Epistle of the Council of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia - can be viewed here.


The funeral and burial of Alexander Momot - 30/06/2017

On Friday 30 June the funeral service for the newly-reposed Alexander Sergeevich Momot was served in our church.  Born in China in 1936, Alexander was blind from his infancy.  After qualifying as a physiotherapist in 1956 in Harbin, China, he worked in that profession until coming to Australia in 1961.  Continuing his studies in Australia, Alexander qualified as a chiropractor in 1965.  He had a successful private practice in Gosford from 1965 until 1995, afterwards practising in Laurieton until his retirement in 2001.  He served for a number of years in the 1970s as President of NSW Branch of the United Chiropractors Association and was also a respected teacher in his field.  A spiritual son of the ever-memorable Archpriest Rostislav Gan (+1975), Alexander knew many parts of the Divine Services from memory and would in this way assist with the reading in church.  A great many family members, friends and colleagues gathered to farewell him, after which he was laid to rest at Point Clare Cemetery.  May his memory be eternal!


Services on 17-18 June, the Sunday of All Saints of Russia - 18/06/2017

On Saturday 17 June and Sunday 18 June we had services for the Sunday of All Saints of Russia, the Second Sunday after Pentecost. At Divine Liturgy on Sunday prayers were offered for Diocesan Administrator Bishop George and parish cleric Protodeacon Martin Naef, both of whom are travelling abroad.  It being a feast-day of particular significance for the Russian Orthodox Church, the Prayer for the Prosperity of the Russian Church was read.  After Divine Liturgy a collection was taken up to assist the construction of a memorial church in Sremski-Karlovci, Serbia, raising $390.00.


Diocesan Youth Symposium in honour of the Royal Martyrs of Russia - 14-17 July, 2017 - 08/06/2017

From Friday 14 July to Monday 17 July this year, Saints Peter and Paul Diocesan Cathedral will host a four-day youth symposium in honour of the Royal Martyrs of Russia.  The keynote speaker at the Symposium will be His Eminence Metropolitan Jonah (Paffhausen), retired First Hierarch of the Orthodox Church in America and now a bishop of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia.  All-night Vigil for the Royal Martyrs will begin at 10.00pm on Sunday 16 July and be followed by a midnight Divine Liturgy.  More information is available at www.syezd.com.au.


Services on 3-4 June, the Great Feast of Pentecost - 04/06/2017

On Saturday 3 June and Sunday 4 June we had services for the Great Feast of Pentecost, the commemoration of the Descent of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles.  All-night vigil with the blessing of five loaves, wheat, wine and oil was served on Saturday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Sunday morning.  On Saturday our small church was beautifully decorated with fragant herbs and green branches in honour of the the Holy Spirit, the Giver of Life.  Divine Liturgy on Sunday was followed by Vespers and the customary "kneeling prayers".


Our new postal address - 01/06/2017

As of 1 June 2017, our postal address will be PO Box 6039 West Gosford NSW 2250.  We ask our parishioners and friends to amend their records accordingly.


Services on 24-25 May, the Great Feast of the Ascension of the Lord - 25/05/2017

On Wednesday 24 May and Thursday 25 May we had services for the Great Feast of the Ascension of the Lord.  All-night vigil with the blessing of wheat, wine, oil and five loaves was served on Wednesday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Thursday morning.  As it was on this feast-day in 2007 that the Act of Canonical Communion between the Russian Orthodox Church outside Russia and the Moscow Patriarchate was signed, the Prayer for the Prosperity of the Russian Church was read after the Augmented Litany and a brief service of thanksgiving was served after the dismissal.  That evening, a moleben and akathist to Great-Martyr Panteleimon was served in Church Slavonic.


A service on Tuesday 23 May, the Eve of the Leave-taking of Pascha - 23/05/2017

On the evening of Tuesday 23 May, the Eve of the Leave-taking of Pascha, a small group of parishioners gathered for the final Paschal Matins of the year. In accordance with the practice of the Russian Orthodox Church, Matins was served as on the first day of Pascha itself – sung in its entirety, and with the doors to the sanctuary open.  The icon of the Resurrection of the Lord was then returned to the sanctuary, the Shroud of Christ was removed from the Holy Table, and the church was made ready for the festive services commemorating His Ascension.


Services on 20-21 May, the Sixth Sunday of Pascha - 21/05/2017

On Saturday 20 May and Sunday 21 May we had services for the Sixth Sunday of Pascha, the Sunday of the Blind Man, and in honour of the Holy Apostle and Evangelist John.  Following the Prayer before the Amvon, two beautiful new protodeacon’s oraria – an orarion is a vestment worn over the left shoulder by a deacon – were blessed; these were later presented to the parish deacon, Father Martin Naef, in honour of his November 2016 elevation to the rank of protodeacon.  After the dismissal, a memorial litia was served for Metropolitan Anastassy (Gribanovsky) (+1965), second First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia, in anticipation of the anniversary of his repose on 22 May.


Our Winter 2017 Schedule of Services - 21/05/2017

Our Winter 2017 Schedule of Services - covering June, July and August - is now available in PDF format.  A copy of the English-language Winter 2017 Schedule of Services is available here, and a copy of the Russian-language Winter 2017 Schedule of Services is available here.  Printed copies in both languages are now available in church.


The May 2017 meeting of the Parish Council - 16/05/2017

Our Parish Council held its third meeting for 2017 on Tuesday 16 May.  The rector presented a report on parish life and the treasurer presented financial reports for March and April.  Applications to renew parish membership were approved and preparations for our parish feast-day and Bishop George’s visit in August were discussed.  A new child-safe, child-friendly statement was ratified.  God willing, the Parish Council will meet next on Tuesday 13 June.


Services on 9 May, the Eve of Mid-Pentecost - 09/05/2017

Mid-Pentecost is the twenty-fifth day of Pascha, half-way to the Great Feast of Pentecost on the fiftieth day. On this day we commemorate Christ's teaching in the temple "in the midst of the Judaic feast" (John 7:14-30).  Although we were unable to have services on Wednesday 10 May, the day of Mid-Pentecost itself, on the eve of the feast we had Matins followed by the customary blessing of water.  The blessing of water occurs on this day as a sign of the grace of the Holy Spirit and with reference to the "living water" promised by our Lord Jesus Christ to all that believe in Him (John 7:37-38).


Services on 6-7 May, the Fourth Sunday of Pascha - 07/05/2017

On Saturday 6 May and Sunday 7 May we had services for the Fourth Sunday of Pascha and the Sunday of the Paralytic (John 5:1-15).  As Friday 5 May was the anniversary of the repose of the ever-memorable Archbishop Theodore (Rafalsky)(+1955), the first Ruling Bishop of our Diocese, a memorial litia was served following Divine Liturgy on Sunday.  Before serving the memorial litia the parish rector, noting that Vladyka Theodore was now known to most of the faithful only by his photograph in parish halls and his place of burial at the Strathfield Cathedral, spoke briefly about his life and his work as the founding hierarch of the Diocese.


The patronal feast-day of Saint Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church in Wallsend (Newcastle) - 01/05/2017

On 21-22 May Saint Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church in Wallsend (Newcastle) will have services in honour of the Translation of the Relics of Saint Nicholas from Myra in Lycia to Bari, Italy, the patronal feast of that parish.  All-night vigil with the blessing of wheat, wine, oil and five loaves will be served at 6.00pm on Sunday 21 May.  At 8.15am on Monday 22 May there will be a lesser blessing of water, and at 9.00am Divine Liturgy will be served.  Following the service there will be a moleben to Saint Nicholas with a procession around the church, after which there will have a festive lunch for those present.  All are welcome!


Now available - the April 2017 issue of "Word of the Church" ("Церковное Слово") - 01/05/2017

The April 2017 issue of the official journal of the Australian-New Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia is now available in our parishes.  In addition to Metropolitan Hilarion's Paschal Epistle in both Russian and English, there is a range of interesting articles in Russian and English.  In Russian: "Любимый ученик Христа: Апостол Иоанн Богослов"; "Подвижники Божии ХХ век: Игумен Ипполит (Халин)"; "Игуменья Тамара и паломники Елеонский горы".  In English: "The Ascension of the Lord"; "Not Abdication of the Tsar, but Abdication from the Tsar", the text of a lecture given by Tatyana Mironova at the International Historical-Theological Conference at Tsarkoye Selo; an interview with Metropolitan Onuphry (Berezovsky) about the newly-reposed Archimadrite Kirill (Pavlov); and more.  Copies are $5.00.


Services on 29-30 April, the Third Sunday of Pascha - 30/04/2017

On Saturday 29 April and Sunday 30 April we had services for the Third Sunday of Pascha, the Sunday of the Holy Myrrh-bearers.  On this day the Orthodox Church commemorates those who brought funeral spices and ointments to the tomb for Christ's burial: Mary Magdalene, Mary the Theotokos, Joanna, Salome, Mary the wife of Cleopas, Susanna, Mary and Martha of Bethany, Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus.  In his sermon at Divine Liturgy the parish rector spoke of the example of brave service given by the Holy Myrrhbearers.  Joing us on Sunday were a number of friends from Sydney.


Holy Week and Pascha in Gosford - 22/04/2017

This year, our parish had a number of traditional services for Holy Week and Pascha.  Matins with the singing of "Behold, the Bridegroom comes" ("Се, Жених грядет" - on the first three evenings) and the exapostilarion “Thy Bridal chamber” ("Чертог твой") was served in the evening on Sunday 9 April, Monday 10 April, Tuesday 11 April, and Wednesday 12 April.  Divine Liturgy was served in the morning on Great and Holy Thursday, 13 April.  On Great and Holy Friday, 14 April, Vespers with the bringing out of the Shroud of Christ was served in the afternoon.  On Saturday 15 April Midnight Office was served late in the evening, with Paschal Matins and Divine Liturgy following in the early hours of 16 April, the Sunday of Pascha.   The Paschal Hours and Vespers were served later that morning.  Easter eggs and cakes were blessed following Matins and again following Vespers.  In the evening on Friday 21 April Paschal Matins was served, and in the morning on Saturday 22 April, Divine Liturgy was served.  Following Divine Liturgy on Bright Saturday the artos was cut and distributed and Metropolitan Hilarion’s Paschal Epistle was read aloud in Russian and in English.


Russian and other Orthodox Kids' Camp, 10-16 December 2017 - 16/04/2017

A group of young families working under the auspices of the Intercession of the Holy Virgin parish in Cabramatta, NSW, is again organising a camp for Russian and other Orthodox children and young people aged 8-17 to be held in Toukley, NSW - here on the Central Coast - from 10 December - 16 December 2017.  The cost will be $399.00 per person.  For those interested, more information is available here.


Services on 7-8 April, Lazarus Saturday - 08/04/2017

On Friday 7 April and Saturday 8 April, the Sixth Saturday of Great Lent, we had services commemorating the Resurrection of Lazarus.   At Divine Liturgy the Prayer for Ukraine was read, and in anticipation of Palm Sunday bunches of pussy-willows were blessed following the Prayer before the Amvon.  After the dismissal a memorial litia was served for the newly-reposed Archdeacon Eugene Burbelo, with the parish rector speaking briefly about Father Eugene’s long and distinguished service to the Russian Orthodox Church outside Russia.  As we had no services scheduled for Palm Sunday, the customary Palm Sunday collection for the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in Jerusalem was then taken up, raising $300.00.


Services on 6-7 April, the Great Feast of the Annunciation - 07/04/2017

On Thursday 6 April and Friday 7 April, the final day of the Holy Forty Days of Great Lent, we had services for the Great Feast of the Annunciation.  All-night vigil - Great Compline with the blessing of five loaves, wheat, wine and oil, together with Matins and the First Hour - was served on Thursday evening.  On Friday morning we had the Third, Sixth and Ninth Hours and Typica, followed by Vespers with the Divine Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom.  Only a small number of worshippers were present as it was the final weekday before the Autumn school holidays, but almost everyone received Holy Communion.  After a festive lunch many helped clean and decorate our small church for the services that evening and on the following morning.


Services on 1-2 April, the Fifth Sunday in Great Lent - 02/04/2017

On Saturday 1 April and Sunday 2 April we had services for the Fifth Sunday in Great Lent, the Sunday of Saint Mary of Egypt.  At Divine Liturgy on Sunday a great many of the faithful received Holy Communion, amongst whom was the newly-baptised Grace Kobeleff.  Following the Prayer before the Amvon the parish rector blessed a new censer, a gift to our parish from Rimma Nagikh and her family.  The new censer will be used for the first time at the Paschal services.


Services on 18-19 March, the Third Sunday in Great Lent - 19/03/2017

On Saturday 18 March and Sunday 19 March we had services for the Third Sunday in Great Lent, the Sunday of the Veneration of the Holy Cross.  As Saturday 18 March was a day of commemoration of the departed there was a general pannikhida prior to the service on Saturday evening.  This year being the centenary of the Russian Revolution, prayers were  especially offered at this memorial service for "the repose of the departed servants of God who innocently died, endured suffering and torture, were exiled and imprisoned and tasted bitter death" during the harsh years of Soviet persecution.  Also commemorated was the ever-memorable Metropolitan Laurus (Skurla)(+2008), it having been the anniversary of his repose on Thursday 16 March.  At Divine Liturgy on Sunday many of the faithful, amongst whom were friends of the parish from Sydney, received Holy Communion.  Following the service a memorial litia was served for Metropolitan Laurus and for our parishioner Tatiana Krikunov, it being the fortieth day of her repose.


A baptism - Grace Annie Kobeleff - 18/03/2017

On Saturday 18 March the parish rector baptised Grace Annie Kobeleff, the infant daughter of Daniel and Megan Kobeleff and a younger sister to Mila.  Grace, who was baptised in honour of the Righteous Anna, mother of the Mother of God, had as her sponsors at Holy Baptism Stephen and Alicia Owen and Alexander and Nadine Lucas.  We offer warm congratulations to Grace's parents and godparents, and wish the newly-baptised handmaiden of God many years!


A baptism - Varvara Rezk - 05/03/2017

On Sunday 5 March the parish rector baptised Varvara Rezk, the infant daughter of Roufail and Olesya Rezk and a baby brother to Mina, Sylvia, Ricky, Arseny, Seraphim and Stephan.  Varvara, who was baptised in honour of the Great-Martyr Barbara, had as her sponsors at Holy Baptism Oxana Novosyolova and Nina Rezk.  We offer warm congratulations to Varvara's parents and godparents, and wish the newly-baptised handmaiden of God many years!


Services on 4-5 March, the First Sunday in Great Lent - 05/03/2017

On Saturday 4 March and Sunday 5 March we had services for the First Sunday in Great Lent, the Sunday of the Triumph of Orthodoxy.  Joining the parish clergy for Divine Liturgy on Sunday was Protodeacon German Polorotov of the Saint Xenia Church of the Saints Kyrill and Methodius Mission in Tweed Heads, NSW, a respected clergyman of our Diocese who has served faithfully as a deacon for over 25 years.  As is the custom  in parishes of the Russian Orthodox Church outside Russia on the Sunday of the Triump of Orthodoxy,  a moleben “For the Conversion of those in Error” was served following the Prayer before the Amvon.  A collection for the Holy Trinity Seminary was then taken up.  In the evening, Vespers with the Passia was served.


Useful information about when weddings can be celebrated, together with a list of available dates in 2017 and 2018 - 04/03/2017

In conjunction with Saint Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church, Wallsend, our parish has developed and published an explanation of the reasons why weddings cannot be celebrated on certain days and dates and during certain seasons. It incorporates a list of Sundays and Fridays on which weddings can be celebrated that has now been updated to include Sundays and Fridays in 2018.  This information, which can be accessed either here or via our ‘Needs’ page under ‘Weddings’, has been prepared to help our parishioners and friends when planning weddings in parishes of the Australian-New Zealand Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church. Should anyone have any questions about this information, please contact us.


Services on Forgiveness Sunday and during the First Week of Great Lent - 03/03/2017

On the evening of Sunday 26 February, Forgiveness Sunday, we had Vespers with the customary rite of asking forgiveness.  There having been no morning service, a small number of people came to pray, venerate the holy icons with prostrations and to ask forgiveness of one another.  On the following morning, Clean Monday, the solemn Great Lenten services commenced at 8.00am.  Matins was followed by the First, Third, Sixth and Ninth Hours, Typika, and Vespers, the services finishing only after 1.00pm.  On the first four evenings of the week Great Compline was served with the reading of the Great Canon of Saint Andrew of Crete.  The Odes of the Great Canon were read by the parish rector alternately in Slavonic and English.  At all of the weekday services the laity present assisted with the reading and singing.


Our Autumn 2017 Schedule of Services - 24/02/2017

Our Autumn 2017 Schedule of Services - covering March, April and May 2017 - is now available in PDF format.  It includes all our services for Great Lent, Holy Week, Pascha and the Great Feast of the Ascension of the Lord, on which day we will celebrate the Tenth Anniversary of the Signing of the Act of Canonical Communion between the Moscow Patriarchate and the Russian Orthodox Church outside Russia.  A copy of the English-language Autumn 2017 Schedule of Services is available here, and a copy of the Russian-language Autumn 2017 Schedule of Services is available here.  Both can also be accessed on our Services page, and printed copies are available in church.


Services on 18-19 February, the Sunday of the Last Judgment - 19/02/2017

On Saturday 18 February and Sunday 19 February we had services for Meatfare Sunday, the Sunday of the Last Judgement.  As Saturday 18 February was a day of commemoration of the departed there was a general pannikhida prior to the service on Saturday evening.  This year being the centenary of the Russian Revolution, prayers were  especially offered at this memorial service for "the repose of the departed servants of God who innocently died, endured suffering and torture, were exiled and imprisoned and tasted bitter death" during the harsh years of Soviet persecution.  At the end of Divine Liturgy on Sunday a collection was taken up to benefit Orthodox Action.  Afterwards many stayed behind to enjoy pancakes prepared by our Ladies’ Auxiliary in anticipation of Maslenitsa, Cheesefare Week.


The repose and funeral of Tatiana Krikunov - 16/02/2017

On Wednesday 8 February we learned with sadness of the repose of one of our oldest parishioners, Tatiana Krikunov.  Aged 92, Tatiana had been associated with our parish from its earliest days.  On Thursday 16 February our parish rector presided at her funeral at the Saints Peter and Paul Cathedral in Strathfield, after which she was laid to rest beside her husband in Rookwood Cemetery.  Tatiana is survived by her son Vitaly, his wife Irene and their son Nicholas, to whom we offer heartfelt condolences.  May God grant her rest!


Services on 14-15 February, the Great Feast of the Meeting of the Lord - 15/02/2017

On Tuesday 14 February and Wednesday 15 February we had services for the Great Feast of the Meeting of the Lord.  All-night vigil with the blessing of wheat, wine, oil and five loaves was served on Tuesday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Wednesday morning.  It being a working day, only small number of people gathered for Divine Liturgy.  As is customary in the Sydney parishes of our Diocese, following the Prayer before the Amvon the parish rector blessed seasonal fruit.  At the end of the service a memorial litia was served for the ever-memorable Archbishop Paul (Pavlov), the Ruling Bishop of our Diocese from 1980 until 1992, and Archpriest Nicholas Grant, his loyal friend and secretary.  Vladyka Paul reposed on this day in 1995, Father Nicholas having reposed on the previous day.  Prior to the litia the parish rector spoke about these two men and their contribution to the Diocese.  May their memory be eternal!


Services on 10-11 February, the day of commemoration of All Saints of Ekaterinburg - 11/02/2017

On Friday 10 February and Saturday 11 February we had services in honour of All Saints of Ekaterinburg, our parish rector having visited some of the holy places of that region - Ekaterinburg itself, Ganina Yama, Alapayevsk, Verkhoturye and Merkushino - in October 2015.  All-night vigil was served on Friday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Saturday morning.  Set forth for veneration was the parish icon of the saints, beautifully decorated by Ekaterina Waters.  At the prayer "Save, O God, Thy people" at All-night Vigil all sixty-four of the saints were commemorated by name.  Following the Prayer before the Amvon at the end of Divine Liturgy a brief moleben was served and a prayer to the saints was read.  After the dismissal, a memorial litia was served for the newly departed Monk Joseph - formerly the Reader Isaac Lambertsen - who reposed following a brief illness on 27 January 2017.  Father Joseph had translated the service to these saints from Slavonic to English in January 2016.  May his memory be eternal!


Services on 4-5 February, the Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee and of the New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia - 05/02/2017

On Saturday 4 February and Sunday 5 February we had services for the the Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee, the first preparatory Sunday for Great Lent, and in honour of the New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia.  At Divine Liturgy on Sunday the Prayer for the Prosperity of the Russian Church was read.  In his sermon the parish rector spoke about the importance of combining the humility and penitence of the Publican with the righteousness of the Pharisee (Luke 18:10-14) and of the example of steadfast faith presented to us by the New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia.


A fundraising dinner to benefit the Presentation Convent and the Holy Transfiguration Monastery - 01/02/2017

On the evening of Sunday 28 May 2017 a fundraising dinner will be held at the Fontana Amarosa Reception Centre, next to the Greek Orthodox Church of Saints Raphael, Nicholas and Irene in Liverpool, NSW, to assist the Presentation Sisterhood in Bungarby, NSW and the Holy Transfiguration Monastery in Bombala, NSW, monastic communities of the Russian Orthodox Church outside Russia.  During the evening there will be a performance by the Melisma Ensemble, a slideshow presentation by Abbot Sergei of the Holy Transfiguration Monastery on ‘Hagia Sophia: The Mother of Churches’, and a performance from the Russian Orthodox Choir.  Child-minding will be available.  Tickets are $50.00 for adults and $15.00 for children aged 15 and younger.  Seating will be at round tables of 12.  More information, including information about a fundraising raffle, is available at https://cabrapokrov.org/fundraising-for-monasteries.


Services on 28-29 January, Zaccheus Sunday - 29/01/2017

On Saturday 28 January and Sunday 29 January we had services for the Thirty-Second Sunday after Pentecost, Zaccheus Sunday.  In his sermon at Divine Liturgy on Sunday the parish rector spoke about the humility of Zaccheus and of how this reviled tax-collector came to be an apostle, the bishop of Caesarea in Palestine, and a model of Christian repentance.


The visit of the myrrh-streaming icon of the Mother of God, "Softener of Evil Hearts" - 26/01/2017

On Thurday 26 January, the Australia Day public holiday, our parish had the great honour of receving a visit from the miraculous myrrh-streaming icon of the Mother of God, "Softener of Evil Hearts".  The icon arrived in Gosford from Sydney at approximately 10.30am.  Our small church was full to overflowing, with our own parishioners joined by friends from Sydney, Abbess Philothei and the sisters of the Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Convent in Mangrove Mountain, and a number of the Greek Orthodox faithful.  A moleben with an akathist was served before the icon, with the sections of the akathist to the Mother of God read alternately in Slavonic and English and all those present commemorated by name.  The parish rector thanked the custodian of the icon, Sergei Fomin, for bringing it to Australia from Moscow, and spoke of the importance in these times of spiritual, social and military conflict of softness of heart.  Those present then venerated the icon and were anointed with the holy oil.  For those wishing to learn more about the icon, information is available in English here and in Russian here.  The icon's schedule for the remainder of its time in Australia is available here.  The final service will be an akathist at 7.00pm on Tuesday 7 February 2017 at Saints Peter and Paul Diocesan Cathedral, Strathfield, at which Bishop George and the clergy of the Greater Sydney region will concelebrate.


Services on 18-19 January - Theophany, the Great Feast of the Baptism of Christ - 19/01/2017

On Wednesday 18 January and Thursday 19 January we had services for the Great Feast of Theophany, the commemoration of the Baptism of the Lord.  All-night vigil - Great Compline and Matins with the blessing of wheat, wine, oil and five loaves – was served on Wednesday evening, and Divine Liturgy with the Great Blessing of Water was served on Thursday morning.  Following the service on Thursday and during the days that followed, the parish rector visited approximately thirty parish homes to sprinkle the Holy Water and offer prayers for the health and salvation of the faithful.


Services on 14-15 January, the Thirtieth Sunday after Pentecost - 15/01/2017

On Saturday 14 January and Sunday 15 January we had services for the the Thirtieth Sunday after Pentecost, the Forefeast of the Baptism of the Lord, and in honour of Venerable Seraphim, the Wonderworker of Sarov.  Following the Prayer before the Amvon at Divine Liturgy on Sunday a moleben was served to Saint Seraphim, one of the most beloved saints of the Russian Orthodox Church.  In his sermon the parish rector spoke of Saint Seraphim's teaching on the spiritual life, of his enduring example, and of the certainty of help through his prayers.


Services on 6-7 January, the Great Feast of the Nativity of Christ - 07/01/2017

On Friday 6 January and Saturday 7 January we had services for the Great Feast of the Nativity of Christ.  Great Compline with the blessing of wheat, wine, oil and five loaves was served on Friday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Saturday morning.  A great many people were present on Saturday morning, with friends from Sydney and Newcastle joining us.  Following the Prayer before the Amvon a brief moleben of thanksgiving was served to observe the anniversary of the deliverance on Christmas Day in 1812 of the Russian Church and Empire from the invasion of the French and twelve other nations.  In place of a sermon, the parish rector read aloud in Russian and in English the Nativity Epistle of Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America and New York, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church outside Russia.  Many stayed afterwards to share in a festive meal.


Services on 5-6 January, the Eve of the Nativity of Christ - 06/01/2017

On Thursday 5 January and Friday 6 January we had services for the Eve of the Nativity of Christ.  Matins was served on Thursday evening, with almost everyone present taking the opportunity to confess during the course of the service.  On Friday morning Vespers with the Divine Liturgy of Saint Basil the Great was served.  At Vespers the eight appointed readings from the Old Testament were read, some in Slavonic and some in English.  Following the service the troparion and kontakion of the Nativity of Christ, “Thy Nativity, O Christ our God” and “Today the Virgin giveth birth”, were sung.  The church was then prepared and decorated for the approaching festive services.


Services on 31 December-1 January, the Twenty-Eighth Sunday after Pentecost - 01/01/2017

On Saturday 31 December and Sunday 1 January we had services for the Twenty-Eighth Sunday after Pentecost and in honour of the Holy Fathers - all the righteous men and women who pleased God from the beginning of time until the coming of Christ - and the Martyr Boniface (+290 AD).  Prior to All-night vigil on Saturday evening and after Divine Liturgy on Sunday morning prayers were offered for the repose of the souls of the victims of the crash on 25 December of Russian Defence Ministry Tupolev Tu-154 into the Black Sea.  Following the Prayer before the Amvon on Sunday, a brief moleben was served for the beginning of the New Year on the civil calendar.


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