Saint Panteleimon's is an Orthodox Christian parish of Russian tradition serving the New South Wales Central Coast and the northern suburbs of Sydney. We are a parish of the Australian and New Zealand Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia, a self-governing part of the Russian Orthodox Church. Established in 2000, our parish is one of the newest in our Diocese. Download an English-language copy of our Autumn (March, April and May) 2019 Schedule of Services in PDF format here. A Russian-language copy of the Summer 2019 Schedule of Services can be downloaded here.
Late in the afternoon on Sunday 10 March we served Vespers for Forgiveness Sunday, the final Sunday before the beginning of Great Lent. During this service the church vestments were changed from gold to black and the ordinary melodies gave way to the solemn melodies of Great Lent. At the end of the service the parish rector gave a brief sermon on the importance of asking and bestowing forgiveness. In accordance with Orthodox custom on this day all present then venerated the Holy Gospel, the Cross and the icons before asking forgiveness of one another.
On Wednesday 6 March and Thursday 7 March our parish had a series of services for the repose of the soul of our dear friend and Parish Council member Reader Paul Douriaguine (+ 26 February). At 7.00pm on Wednesday evening Paul’s body was brought to the church and a Great Panikhida (“parastas”) was served, after which family and friends – in accordance with Orthodox custom – took it in turns to read each section ("kathisma") of the Psalter and the appointed prayers for the departed. This continued throughout the night, ceasing at 7.00am on Thursday morning. The Order of Preparation for Holy Communion was then read before the commencement of the Hours and Divine Liturgy at 8.00am. A great many people gathered for the funeral service at 10.30am, amongst whom were Paul’s family, our parishioners, his many friends, and his work colleagues. A small choir under the direction of Reader Eustratius Papageogiou sang beautifully at the funeral service. Paul was afterwards laid to rest at Point Clare Cemetery. A memorial meal was then held at our parish centre in West Gosford. May God grant forgiveness of sins and eternal rest to His newly-departed servant the Reader Paul!
On Saturday 2 March and Sunday 3 March we had services for the Sunday of the Last Judgement. As Saturday 2 March was a day of commemoration of the departed, All-night Vigil on Saturday evening was preceded by a general memorial service at which prayers were particularly offered for the newly-departed Reader Paul Douriaguine (+26 February). Receiving Holy Communion for the first time at Divine Liturgy on Sunday was the newly-baptised infant Alexander. At the end of the Sunday service prayers of blessing were read over a new set of green vestments for the altar and church and a new set of black vestments for the rector, both sets of vestments being the work of the Convent of Saint Elisabeth in Minsk, Belarus. A memorial litia was then served for Reader Paul, after which the parish rector offered condolences to the Douriaguine family on behalf of the parish. At Bishop George’s request, a collection was taken up to benefit Saints Cyril and Methodius Orthodox Institute, the theological and higher education institute of the Australian and New Zealand Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia. It being just one week before the beginning of Great Lent, the parish Ladies’ Auxiliary served pancakes following the service.
Our Autumn 2019 Schedule of Services - covering March, April and May 2019 - is now available in PDF format. It includes all our services for Great Lent, Holy Week and Pascha . A copy of the English-language Autumn 2019 Schedule of Services is available here, and a copy of the Russian-language Autumn 2019 Schedule of Services is available here. Both can also be accessed on our Services page, and printed copies are available in church.
On Tuesday 26 February we learned with profound grief of the sudden unexpected death of our dear friend, Parish Council member, and tonsured reader Paul Douriaguine (b. 1975). We ask our parishioners and friends to pray fervently for the repose of his soul and for the consolation, in particular, of his grieving wife Elena and their children Alexey, Polina, Tatiana and Fyodor.
On Saturday 16 February and Sunday 17 February we had services for the Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee and the Afterfeast of the Meeting of the Lord. This Sunday, the first Sunday of preparation for Great Lent, is so named for the appointed reading from the Holy Gospel (Luke 18:10-14). At Divine Liturgy on Sunday prayers were offered for Orthodox Church unity and for peace in Ukraine. Following the Sunday service a collection was taken up to benefit Orthodox Action, raising $188.00.
On Thursday 14 February and Friday 15 February we had services for the Great Feast of the Meeting of the Lord. On this day we commemorate the presentation of the Lord in the Temple on the fortieth day after his birth and his acknowledgement by the Righteous Symeon and the Prophetess Anna (Luke 2:22-38). All-night vigil with the blessing of wheat, wine, oil and five loaves was served on Thursday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Friday morning. The Prayer before the Amvon was followed by a blessing of fruit – customary in many parishes of our Diocese on this day – and the customary blessing of candles. After the dismissal a memorial litia was served for the ever-memorable Archbishop Paul (Pavlov), Ruling Bishop of our Diocese from 1980-1992, and for his Diocesan Secretary and friend, Archpriest Nicholas Grant. Vladyka Paul reposed on this feast-day in 1995, and Father Nicholas reposed on the eve of the feast-day that same year. May their memory be eternal!
On Saturday 2 February and Sunday 3 February we had services for the Thirty-Sixth Sunday after Pentecost and in honour of Venerable Maximus the Confessor (+662 AD) and Martyr Neophytus of Nicaea (+303-305 AD). Our parish rector Archpriest James Carles presided at the services for the first time since seriously injuring his ankle in November 2018. Following Divine Liturgy on Sunday the Ladies’ Auxiliary served a festive meal in honour of Father James’ name day (5 November) and the twentieth anniversary of his ordination as deacon (29 November) - the celebration of which had been delayed by his accident - and of his fiftieth birthday in late January. At lunch Parish Council member Anya Nielsen congratulated Father James on behalf on the parish and he was presented with a beautiful new set of gold vestments.
On Tuesday 26 March and Wednesday 27 March 2019 the clergymen of the Australian-New Zealand Diocese will gather in Sydney for their customary Great Lenten Pastoral Conference. On Tuesday evening the clergy will meet at the church of All Saints of Russia in Croydon for the Rule of Preparation for Holy Communion at 5.00pm and Lenten Matins and confession at 6.00pm. On Wednesday morning from 8.00am the Hours and the Divine Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts will be served at Saints Peter and Paul Diocesan Cathedral in Strathfield with Bishop George presiding and the clergy concelebrating. Those of the faithful who wish to do so are welcome to attend the service on Wednesday morning and – if properly prepared – to receive Holy Communion. Following Divine Liturgy the clergy will meet to discuss a range of pastoral and liturgical matters.