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Now available - the December 2021 issue of "Word of the Church" ("Церковное Слово") - 31/12/2021

The December 2021 issue of “Word of the Church” (“Церковное Слово”), the official journal of the Australian-New Zealand Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia, has recently become available in our parishes. This edition continues the beautiful glossy colour format introduced in December 2021.  Content includes Metropolitan Hilarion’s 2021-22 Nativity Epistle in Russian; ‘Скорбней Юбилей’, a Russian-language article about the centenary of the 1922 Soviet decree confiscating church valuables; details of clergy movements and awards; a Russian-language list of living and departed Diocesan clergy for commemoration in church and in private prayer; ‘The Relationship Between the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia and the Serbian Orthodox Church in Australia in the period from 1950 until 1969’, the text of a lecture presented to the ROCOR Centenary Conference; and more.  Copies are $5.00.


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2021 - The year in review - 31/12/2021

This year, like 2020, was dominated by the spread of the coronavirus COVID-19 and the public health measures implemented to manage it.  Our parish had no public services from Saturday 3 July until Saturday 30 October – a period of almost four months! – and various other restrictions were in place for the entire year.  We had five baptisms: Marta Apale, Yana Starikova, Amy Newcombe, Michael Trigg, Maria Rezk and Richard Elphick.  Stan Baric and David Baric were received into Orthodoxy by confession of faith and chrismation.  George Biankin and Amy Newcombe were married in our church in June.  Prayers were offered on the two-hundredth anniversary of the assassination of Emperor Paul I of Russia and the fiftieth anniversary of the repose of Archpriest Seraphim Slobodskoy.  Together with the Wallsend parish we provided an English-Russian wall calendar commemorating the First All-Diaspora Council of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia.  Our website provided updated information to help with the planning of weddings and instructive material about Sunday commemorations and readings and certain Great Feasts of the Orthodox Church.  We arranged for the manufacture of a new iconostasis for our parish centre and saw with great satisfaction that much progress was made during the year.  Our parish rector made pastoral visits to the Mid North Coast of New South Wales in January and May.  All the news from 2021 can be read here.  Glory be to God for all things!


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Services on 25-26 December, the Sunday of the Holy Forefathers - 26/12/2021

On Saturday 25 December and Sunday 26 December we had services for the Twenty-Seventh Sunday after Pentecost, the Sunday of the Holy Forefathers.  All-night Vigil was served on Saturday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Sunday morning.  For Divine Liturgy our church was full, with regular worshippers joined by friends from Sydney and elsewhere holidaying on the Central Coast, and many received Holy Communion.  Our parish rector was assisted at Divine Liturgy by Protodeacon Alexander Kotlaroff of Saints Peter and Paul Diocesan Cathedral, Strathfield.  Our choir, led by visiting conductor Reader Nektary Kotlaroff - the conductor of the Russian Orthodox Male Choir of Australia - and augmented by many visiting singers, sang beautifully.  The Prayer in time of Devastating Epidemic was read.


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Useful information about when weddings can be celebrated, together with a list of available dates in 2022 and 2023 - 17/12/2021

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 2023.  This information, which can be accessed either here or via our Baptisms, Weddings and Funerals page, 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 Outside Russia. Should anyone have any questions about this information, please contact us.


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A baptism - Maria Rezk - 05/12/2021

On Sunday 5 December the parish rector baptised Maria, the infant daughter of Rafael and Olesya Rezk and a baby sister to Sylvia, Ricky, Arseny, Seraphim, Stephan, and Varvara.  Maria, who was baptised in honour of Saint Mary of Egypt, had as her godparents Oxana Sharpe and Konstantin Belikov.  We warmly congratulate Rafael and Olesya and their family, together with Maria’s godparents, and pray that God will grant His newly-baptised handmaiden many years!


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Our 2021 Annual General Meeting - 05/12/2021

On Sunday 5 December our parish held its 2021 Annual General Meeting.  The 2021 Annual Report was presented and accepted.  The path of parish life and plans for the future were discussed, following which Vladimir (“Rick”) Golovin, Anna Kourbatov, Anne Nielsen, Nina Golovin, Kate Marcotrigiano and Alexei Kozlovski were elected to serve on the 2021-22 Parish Council.  


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Services on 4-5 December, the Twenty-Fourth Sunday after Pentecost - 05/12/2021

On Saturday 4 December and Sunday 5 December we had services for the Twenty-Fourth Sunday after Pentecost, the Afterfeast of the Entry of the Mother of God into the Temple, and in honour of the Holy Apostles of the Seventy Philemon and Archippus.  Matins was served on Saturday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Sunday morning.  At Divine Liturgy, the Prayer in time of Devastating Epidemic was read and the newly-illumined servants of God Stanley Baric, David Baric and Michael Trigg received Holy Communion for the first time.  Following Divine Liturgy an announcement was made concerning the parish Annual General Meeting to be held that afternoon.


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A baptism - Michael Trigg - 04/12/2021

On Saturday 4 December, the Great Feast of the Entry of the Mother of God into the Temple, the parish rector baptised the infant Michael, the first child of Ben and Ekaterina Trigg.  Michael, who was baptised in honour of the Holy Archangel Michael, had as his godfather Alexander Smirnov.  We warmly congratulate Ben, Ekaterina and Alexander, and pray that God will grant His newly-baptised servant Michael good health, every blessing from above, and many years!


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Services on 3-4 December, the Great Feast of the Entry of the Mother of God into the Temple` - 04/12/2021

On Friday 3 December and Saturday 4 December we had services for the Great Feast of the Entry of the Mother of God into the TempleAll-night Vigil with the blessing of wheat, wine, oil and five loaves was served on Friday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Saturday morning.  At Divine Liturgy, the Prayer in time of Devastating Epidemic was read. 


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The reception of two converts to Orthodox Christianity - Stanley Baric and David Baric - 01/12/2021

With the blessing of Bishop George, on the evening of Wednesday 1 December the parish rector received Stanley Baric and David Baric, father and son, into the Orthodox Church by confession of the Orthodox Faith and chrismation. Upon his reception into Orthodoxy Stanley took the name John in honour of Saint John of Damascus; David retained his name in honour of Righteous David the King.  We warmly congratulate Stanley and David, and pray that God will grant His newly-illumined servants many years!


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Our 2021 Annual Report - 27/11/2021

Our 2021 Annual Report, including the independently audited 2020-21 Financial Statements, is now available.  It includes information about the governance of our parish and gives a little parish history.  It also summarises the life and activity of the parish in 2020-21 and provides details of some future projects.  A copy of the report, which will be formally presented to our parish Annual General Meeting on Sunday 5 December 2021, is available here.  We encourage our parishioners and friends with questions or comments concerning our Annual Report to contact us.


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Our Summer 2021-22 Schedule of Services - 21/11/2021

Our Summer 2021-22 Schedule of Services - covering December, January and February - is now available in PDF format.  A copy of the English-language Summer 2021-22 Schedule of Services is available here, and a copy of the Russian-language Summer 2021-22 Schedule of Services is available here.  Printed copies in both languages are available in church as of the weekend of 20-21 November.   Services of note will be for the Great Feasts of the Entry of the Mother of God into the Temple on 3-4 December; the Nativity of the Lord (Christmas) on 6-7 January; the Baptism of the Lord (Theophany) on 18-19 January; and the Meeting of the Lord on 14-15 February.


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Services on 20-21 November, the Twenty-Second Sunday after Pentecost - 21/11/2021

On Saturday 20 November and Sunday 21 November we had services for the Twenty-Second Sunday after Pentecost and in honour of the Holy Archangel Michael and the other Bodiless Hosts: Archangels Gabriel, Raphael, Uriel, Salaphiel, Jegudiel, Barachiel and Jeremiel.  All-night Vigil was served on Saturday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Sunday morning.  As Protodeacon Martin Naef was assisting at the hierarchical service for the patronal feast of the Archangel Michael parish in Blacktown, our parish rector served Divine Liturgy alone. The Prayer in time of Devastating Epidemic was read, and there was a blessing of honey following the Prayer before the Amvon.  After Divine Liturgy, a collection was taken up to benefit the Fund for Assistance of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia and an announcement was made concerning the parish Annual General Meeting to be held, God willing, on Sunday 5 December 2021.


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Saint Jonah's Russian Orthodox School Committee hosts an online forum about home-schooling - 07/11/2021

On Sunday 7 November Saint Jonah’s Russian Orthodox School Committee, a Sydney-based charitable organisation supporting initiatives in education from a Russian Orthodox perspective, hosted an online forum on home education.  Participating in the forum were Bishop George, Archpriest George Lapardin, members of the Committee, teachers from within the Russian Orthodox community, and parents considering home education.  Presentations were given by two home educators, Katherine Iliuk and our own Matushka Marie Carles.  Matushka Marie, who has over 25 years’ experience as a home educator, spoke about the reasons for home-schooling, the various methods of home-schooling, the practicalities of each method, and the pros and cons for parents and children.  Candidly reflecting on her own experience as a home educator, she emphasised the need to consider the long-term personal, social, and occupational implications of home-schooling for the children involved.  Following the presentations, participants were able to ask questions of the speakers, share their own experiences, and make comments.


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Services on 6-7 November, the Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost - 07/11/2021

On Saturday 6 November and Sunday 7 November we had services for the Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost and in honour of the Martyrs Marcian and Martyrius, notaries of Constantinople (+355 AD).  Matins was served on Saturday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Sunday morning.  As Saturday 6 November was Saint Demetrius Saturday, a day of commemoration of the departed, a general panikhida was served immediately before Matins on Saturday evening.  It being the centenary year of the First All-Diaspora Council of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia, we commemorated the ever-memorable archpastors and pastors of our Diocese and of the Russian Diaspora, particularly the renowned Archpriest Seraphim Slobodskoy (+5.11.1971), together with our own parishioners and relatives and the many clergy and monastics of the Russian Orthodox Church who have departed this life as a result of the coronavirus.  A number of people attending the panikhida brought non-perishable foods to be passed to a local charitable organisation for relief of the homeless.  At Divine Liturgy the Prayer in time of Devastating Epidemic was read. Following the Prayer before the Amvon, a prayer of blessing was read over new black vestments for our altar-servers.  In his sermon the parish rector spoke about the Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31) and the importance of using the time we have in this world to properly prepare ourselves for the world to come.  Following Divine Liturgy, an announcement was made concerning the parish Annual General Meeting to be held, God willing, on Sunday 5 December 2021.


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Now available - the October 2021 issue of "Word of the Church" ("Церковное Слово") - 01/11/2021

The October 2021 issue of “Word of the Church” (“Церковное Слово”), the official journal of the Australian-New Zealand Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia, has recently become available in our parishes. This edition continues the beautiful glossy colour format introduced in December 2021.  Content includes, in both Russian and English, Metropolitan Hilarion’s Jubilee Epistle; details of clergy awards and movements; an appeal and a statement from Bishop George relating to the COVID-19 pandemic; ‘Why Keep the Ten Commandments’; material on Saint Alexander Nevsky; ‘About the Power of a Child’s Prayer’; ‘The Beginning of Construction of the First Church [in Australia] in Memory of the All-Russian Wonder-Worker, St John of Kronstadt’; and more.  Copies are $5.00.


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Services on 30-31 October, the Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost - 31/10/2021

On Saturday 30 October and Sunday 31 October we had services for the Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost and in honour of the Holy Apostle and Evangelist Luke.  All-night Vigil was served on Saturday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Sunday morning.  At Divine Liturgy the Prayer in time of Devastating Epidemic was read.  Serving together with our parish clergy was Deacon Michal Matys, a cleric of the Australian-New Zealand Diocese who has recently moved to the Hunter region.  In his sermon the parish rector spoke about the life and significance of the Apostle and Evangelist Luke and about hearing the word of God, keeping it, and bearing fruit with patience (Luke 8:15).


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Parish life in the first half of October 2021 - 17/10/2021

As COVID-19-related restrictions continued into October 2021, no public services were held in our parish on the first three weekends of the month.  With just one singer assisting, our parish rector served behind closed doors on the following days: Saturday-Sunday 2-3 October, the Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost and the Afterfeast of the Exaltation of the Cross; Saturday-Sunday 9-10 October, the Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost; and Saturday-Sunday 16-17 October, the Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost.  At each Divine Liturgy the Prayer in time of Devastating Epidemic was read and prayers were offered for our living and departed founders, benefactors, parishioners and friends.  Although our church could have been open on the weekend of 16-17 October to those with COVID-19 vaccination, the Parish Council had previously agreed to recommence services in our parish only after the 80 per cent vaccination target is reached in New South Wales and vaccination status has no impact on church attendance.


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The October 2021 meeting of the Parish Council - 05/10/2021

On Tuesday 5 October, the Parish Council met by teleconference.  A detailed 2020-21 financial report was presented by the parish treasurer, and the independent auditor’s report for the financial year was tabled.  A decision was made to recommence services in our parish only after the 80 per cent vaccination target is reached in New South Wales and vaccination status has no impact on church attendance.  In making this decision, the Parish Council was guided by the desire to avoid conflict in the parish over vaccination status, a concern for individual privacy, and a commitment to compliance with the law. It was further agreed that the 2021 Annual General Meeting of the parish would be convened on Sunday 5 December.  The Parish Council is due to meet next in November 2021.


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Parish life in September 2021 - 30/09/2021

As COVID-19-related restrictions continued throughout September 2021, no public services were held in our parish.  With just one singer assisting, our parish rector served behind closed doors on the following days: Saturday-Sunday 3-4 September, the Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost and the Apodosis of the Great Feast of the Dormition of the Mother of God; Saturday-Sunday 11-12 September, the Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost; Saturday-Sunday 18-19 September, the Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost; Monday-Tuesday 20-21 September, the Great Feast of the Nativity of the Mother of God; Saturday-Sunday 25-26 September, the Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost; and on 26-27 September, the Great Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross.  At each Divine Liturgy the Prayer in time of Devastating Epidemic was read and prayers were offered for our living and departed founders, benefactors, parishioners and friends. On Sunday 19 September, at Bishop George’s request, the full “Moleben sung in time of devastating epidemic and death bearing pestilence” was served.


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Australian parishes of our Diocese to serve a moleben on Sunday 19 September - 18/09/2021

At the request of Bishop George of Canberra, Administrator of the Australian-New Zealand Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia, the Australian parishes of our diocese will on Sunday 19 September serve the “Moleben sung in time of devastating epidemic and death bearing pestilence”.  Noting “the turmoil in our country at the present time”, Bishop George has asked that the moleben be served after Divine Liturgy “so that God may have mercy on us and grant us peace and health”.  Although our church in Gosford remains closed for public services our parish rector continues to serve Divine Liturgy each Sunday, and so the moleben will also be served in our parish.  May our merciful God indeed deliver us from sickness, death, and strife amongst His people!


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Parish life in August 2021 - 01/09/2021

As a result of ongoing COVID-19-related restrictions, no public services were held in our parish during August 2021.  With just one or two singers assisting, our parish rector served behind closed doors on the following days: Saturday-Sunday 7-8 August, the Seventh Sunday after Pentecost; Sunday-Monday 8-9 August, the commemoration of Great-Martyr Panteleimon; Saturday-Sunday 14-15 August, the Eighth Sunday after Pentecost; Wednesday-Thursday 18-19 August, the Great Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord; Saturday-Sunday 21-22 August, the Ninth Sunday after Pentecost; Friday-Saturday 27-28 August, the Great Feast of the Dormtion of the Mother of God; and on Saturday-Sunday 28-29 August, the Tenth Sunday after Pentecost.  At each Divine Liturgy the Prayer in time of Devastating Epidemic was read and prayers were offered for our living and departed founders, benefactors, parishioners and friends.


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Jubilee Epistle of Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America and New York, First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad - 28/08/2021

In a Jubilee Epistle to the clergy and faithful of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia, Metropolitan Hilarion writes: “In this special year of the 800th anniversary of the birth of the Holy Right-Believing Alexander, that wise diplomat and ruler, and the centennial of the I All-Diaspora Council – which took place from November 21 to December 2, 1921, in Sremski Karlovci – the Russian Orthodox people living in the Diaspora are called to augmented prayer, the doing of good deeds in all respects, and a private examination of the tablets of history, so that, by drawing from it much-needed strength and inspiration, they might continue in fortitude and renewal of spirit the patient bearing of their life’s cross. We celebrate anniversaries in our lives and honour the jubilee celebrant; so must we also unite ourselves in one common assembly and with great zeal confirm ourselves in Holy Orthodoxy, by no means shaming the memory of the Venerable Prince and of our ever-memorable forebears in the Diaspora, or the honour of our dear Mother – the Local Russian Orthodox Church”. The complete Jubilee Epistle can be read in Russian here and in English here.


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An academic conference to mark the Centenary of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia - 27/08/2021

In 2020 our Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia observed the centenary of its foundation.  To mark this historic anniversary, an academic conference will be held in Belgrade, Serbia, in November this year.  Titled ‘Links between Times: Conclusions and Perspectives – On the Centennial of the Russian Church Abroad’, the conference has been organised by the Archive of the Serbian Orthodox Church and the website Historical Studies of the Russian Church Abroad.  The conference will be broadcast live.  A detailed program with information about registration is available here.


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Services on 11-12 July, the commemoration of the Holy, Glorious and All-Praised Leaders of the Apostles, Peter and Paul - 12/07/2021

On Sunday 11 July and Monday 12 July, in compliance with COVID-19-related Public Health Orders in New South Wales, we had closed-door services in honour of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul.  All-night Vigil with the blessing of wheat, wine, oil and five loaves was served on Sunday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Monday morning.  At Divine Liturgy on Monday the Prayer in time of Devastating Epidemic was read.  In addition to our parish clergy, just two others were present to help the services to proceed.


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Services on 3-4 July, the Second Sunday after Pentecost - 04/07/2021

On Saturday 3 July and Sunday 4 July, in compliance with COVID-19-related Public Health Orders in New South Wales, we had closed-door services for the Second Sunday after Pentecost, the Sunday of All Saints who have shone forth in the Russian Land.  In addition to our parish clergy, just two singers were present to allow for Divine Liturgy to be served.


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The June 2021 meeting of the Parish Council - 28/06/2021

On Monday 28 June, the Parish Council met by teleconference.  The usual reports on parish life and finances were tabled and discussed.  Consideration was given to several requests from ROCOR institutions and projects for charitable assistance, with the Parish Council resolving to donate to the Holy Trinity Orthodox Seminary in Jordanville, New York.  Plans for our parish feast-day celebrations on 8-9 August were discussed, but final arrangements will depend on the extent of any COVID-19-related restrictions in effect at the time.  The Parish Council is due to meet again late in July 2021.


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Services on 19-20 June, the Great Feast of Pentecost - 20/06/2021

On Saturday 19 June and Sunday 20 June we had services for the Great Feast of Pentecost.  All-night Vigil with the blessing of wheat, wine, oil and five loaves was served on Saturday evening and Divine Liturgy with Vespers and the "kneeling prayers" was served on Sunday morning.  Our small church, beautifully decorated beforehand with green branches in honour of the Life-Giving Holy Spirit, was full almost to capacity, with friends from Sydney joining our regular worshippers.  In his sermon the parish rector spoke of the history of the feast of Pentecost, of the coming of the Holy Spirit as the fulfilment of prophecy, and of the acquisition of the Holy Spirit as the goal of Christian life.


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Services on 9-10 June, the Great Feast of the Ascension of the Lord - 10/06/2021

On Wednesday 9 June and Thursday 10 June 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 canonical communion was re-established within the Russian Orthodox Church, the Prayer for the Prosperity of the Russian Church was read at Divine Liturgy and a moleben of thanksgiving was served following the Prayer before the Amvon.  In his sermon the parish rector spoke about the exaltation of human nature in Christ, the promise of the gift of the Holy Spirit, and the blessing of unity in the Russian Orthodox Church.


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A service on the evening of Tuesday 8 June, the Eve of the Apodosis of Pascha - 09/06/2021

On the evening of Tuesday 8 June, the Eve of the Apodosis of Pascha, a small group of our parishioners gathered for the final Paschal Matins of 2021. In accordance with the practice of the Russian Orthodox Church, Matins was served as it is during Bright Week – 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 for the Ascension of the Lord.


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Services on 5-6 June, the Sixth Sunday of Pascha - 06/06/2021

On Saturday 5 June and Sunday 6 June we had services for the Sixth Sunday of PaschaAll-night Vigil was served on Saturday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Sunday morning.  At Divine Liturgy on Sunday the Prayer in time of Devastating Epidemic was read.  In his sermon the parish rector spoke about the miracle of the physical and spiritual healing of the man born blind (John 9:1-38), of this miracle as a response to those who doubted the divinity of Christ, and of Christ's power to heal our own spiritual blindness.


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Services on 25-26 May, Mid-Pentecost - 26/05/2021

On Tuesday 25 May and Wednesday 26 May we had services for Mid-Pentecost.  Mid-Pentecost is the twenty-fifth day of Pascha, half-way to the Great Feast of Pentecost on the fiftieth day. On this day the Orthodox Church commemorates Christ's teaching in the temple "in the midst of the Judaic feast" (John 7:14-30) and customarily blesses water 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).  Matins was served on Tuesday evening and Divine Liturgy with the Lesser Blessing of Water was served on Wednesday morning.  At Divine Liturgy the Prayer in time of Devastating Epidemic was read.


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The May 2021 meeting of the Parish Council - 25/05/2021

On Monday 24 May the Parish Council met in person at our parish centre.  The usual reports on parish life and finances were tabled and discussed.  In view of the ongoing challenges facing the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission (REM) in Jerusalem because of COVID-19 and conflict in the Middle East, the Parish Council resolved to increase the $260 collected for the REM on Lazarus Saturday to $2000.  Progress on our new iconostasis was reviewed, and the parish rector’s decision to progress to Stage 2 of the manufacture was ratified.  The Parish Council is due to meet again in mid-June 2021.


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Our Winter 2021 Schedule of Services - 16/05/2021

Our Winter 2020 Schedule of Services - covering June, July and August - is now available in PDF format.  Services of note during this period include those for the Great Feast of the Ascension of the Lord on Wednesday-Thursday 9-10 June; for the Great Feast of Pentecost on Saturday-Sunday 19-20 June; for the Protomartyrs of China on Wednesday-Thursday 23-24 June; for the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist on Tuesday-Wednesday 6-7 July; for Saints Peter and Paul on Sunday-Monday 11-12 July; Bishop George’s visit on Sunday 8 August; the commemoration of Saint Panteleimon on Sunday-Monday 8-9 August, and for the Great Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord on Wednesday-Thursday 18-19 August.  A copy of the English-language Winter 2021 Schedule of Services is available here, and a copy of the Russian-language Winter 2021 Schedule of Services is available here.  Printed copies in both languages are also available in church.


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Services on 15-16 May, the Third Sunday of Pascha - 16/05/2021

On Saturday 15 May and Sunday 16 May we had services for the Third Sunday of Pascha.  All-night Vigil was served on Saturday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Sunday morning.  In place of a sermon, the parish rector read aloud Metropolitan Hilarion’s Paschal Epistle in Russian and in English.


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Services on 10-11 May, Radonitsa - 11/05/2021

On Monday 10 May and Tuesday 11 May we had services for Radonitsa, the Day of Rejoicing.  In the Russian Orthodox tradition this is the first day after Pascha on which the departed are commemorated.  Matins was served on Monday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Tuesday morning.  Following Divine Liturgy a general panikhida was served in church, and later individual graveside services were served at Point Clare Cemetery.  This was the first time that services for Radonitsa had been served in our parish.


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Holy Week, Pascha and Bright Week in Gosford, 2021 - 08/05/2021

This year, our parish again 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 on Sunday 25 April, Monday 26 April, Tuesday 27 April, and Wednesday 28 April.  Divine Liturgy was served in the morning on Great Thursday, 29 April.  On Great Friday, 30 April, Vespers with the bringing out of the Shroud of Christ was served in the afternoon.  On Saturday 1 May Midnight Office was served late in the evening, with Paschal Matins and Divine Liturgy following in the early hours of 2 May, the Sunday of Pascha.   The Paschal Hours and Vespers were served later that morning.  Easter baskets with cakes, eggs and other festive foods were blessed following Matins and again following Vespers.  In the evening on Friday 7 May Paschal Matins was served, and in the morning on Saturday 8 May, Divine Liturgy was served.  Following Divine Liturgy on Bright Saturday the artos was cut and distributed.


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The 2021 Paschal Epistle of Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia - 02/05/2021

The 2021 Paschal Epistle of Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia may be read in English here and in Russian hereAn extract: "From year to year, from century to century, from millennium to millennium, this thanksgiving triumphantly resounds throughout the world – resounds despite all temptations, hardships and ordeals. And it does not stop today, when the world is suffering from the baneful pestilence.  At these trying times it is particularly important to support those diseased and infirm, those grieving over the loss of their relatives and friends, those who have lost their livelihood, those who cannot come to church. Let us do what we can to help the afflicted, let us not walk with indifference past the people in need of our concern, attention and care".


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The 2021 Paschal Epistle of Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America and New York, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia - 02/05/2021

The 2021 Paschal Epistle of Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America and New York, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia, may be read in English here and in Russian hereAn extract: "Together, as we send up gratitude to God, Who has spared our souls from death, for the preservation of our life and the opportunity to spend the present highly-exalted days in church, we should not forsake those lessons that are given to us by current events. Let us not neglect the health measures implemented for staving off the coronavirus infection, as the Sacred Scriptures say: “before you fall ill, take care of your health” (Sirach 18:19). This means that precaution is itself a lifesaving medicine. Let us also not forsake prayer that the plague – which has distressed many with the fear of death – will pass, that the Lord, just as in the Old Testament, will relent “concerning the disaster” and say to the Angel who is afflicting us, "Enough! Withdraw your hand" (2 Samuel 24:16)".


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Now available - the April 2021 issue of "Word of the Church" ("Церковное Слово") - 02/05/2021

The April 2021 issue of “Word of the Church” (“Церковное Слово”), the official journal of the Australian-New Zealand Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia, has recently become available in our parishes. This Paschal edition continues the beautiful glossy colour format introduced in December 2021.  Content includes Metropolitan Hilarion’s Paschal Epistle in Russian and English; details of ordinations and clergy appointments; a list of living and departed clergy of the Diocese for commemoration in prayer; a letter from the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in Australia to the NSW Attorney-General concerning confession and mandatory reporting of child sexual offences; a directory of clergy and parishes; ‘Christian Morals and Values Shaping the Future of the Russian World’, a paper presented at a seminar in Germany in 2015; and more.  Copies are $5.00.


00040
Services on 23-24 April, Lazarus Saturday - 25/04/2021

On Friday 23 April and Saturday 24 April we had services for the Sixth Saturday of Great Lent, Lazarus Saturday.  On this day the Orthodox Church commemorates the raising of Lazarus from the dead after four days in the grave (John 11:1-45).  Matins was served on Friday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Saturday morning.  As we had no services for Palm Sunday this year, pussy-willows were blessed following the Prayer before the Amvon.  After Divine Liturgy a collection was taken up to assist the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in Jerusalem.  Later in the afternoon, a newly-blessed cross was elevated and mounted on the front of our parish centre.


00041
Services on 17-18 April, the Fifth Sunday of Great Lent - 18/04/2021

On Saturday 17 April and Sunday 18 April we had services for the Fifth Sunday of Great Lent.  Matins was served on Saturday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Sunday morning.  At Divine Liturgy on Sunday the Prayer in time of Devastating Epidemic was read.  In his sermon on Sunday the parish rector spoke about the life and example of Saint Mary of Egypt and of Righteous Zosima.  Following the service on Sunday the prayers of blessing were read over a beautiful new stainless steel cross, the work of long-term parishioner Victor Bendevski, to be mounted on the front of our parish centre.


00042
Services during the Fifth Week of Great Lent - 18/04/2021

In addition to services on Saturday-Sunday 17-18 April, during the Fifth Week of Great Lent we had Great Compline in the evening of Wednesday 14 April and the General Service of Anointing with Oil in the evening on Sunday 18 April.  At the latter service, twenty-seven of our parishioners received anointing with oil for the healing of soul and body.


00043
The April 2021 meeting of the Parish Council - 13/04/2021

On Tuesday 13 April the Parish Council met in person at our parish centre, the first face-to-face meeting since August 2020.  The usual reports on parish life and finances were tabled and discussed.  The recent repose of two parishioners, Boris Levitsky and Olga Binetsky, was noted.  The arrangements for a church clean-up on Saturday 17 April and for managing attendance at the Easter services were considered, together with preliminary plans for our patronal feast of the Great-Martyr Panteleimon on 8-9 August.  It was noted that the Ladies' Auxiliary had decided to purchase new white vestments for the parish clergy, new black vestments for our servers, and new purple vestments for the church, clergy and servers.  The Parish Council is due to meet again in mid-May 2021.


00044
Services during the Fourth Week of Great Lent - 11/04/2021

In addition to services for the Great Feast of the Annunciation of the Mother of God, during the Fourth Week of Great Lent we had Great Compline in the evening of Wednesday 7 April and Vespers with the Fourth Passia in the evening on Sunday 12 April.


00045
A baptism - Yana Starikova - 10/04/2021

On Saturday 10 April the parish rector baptised Yana, the infant daughter of Ruslan Starikov and Elena Kazurova, and a baby sister to Nina.  Yana, whose godparents were Pavel Markov and Lydia Han, was baptised in honour of the Holy Myrrh-bearer Ioanna.  We warmly congratulate Ruslan, Elena, Pavel and Lydia, and wish the newly-baptised handmaiden of God Ioanna many years!


00046
Services on 6-7 April, the Great Feast of the Annunciation - 07/04/2021

On Tuesday-Wednesday 6-7 April we had services for the Great Feast of the Annunciation of the Mother of GodAll-night Vigil with the blessing of wheat, wine, oil and five loaves was served on Tuesday evening, and the Hours, Typika, Vespers and Divine Liturgy were served on Wednesday morning.  Our small church was beautifully adorned in blue vestments for the services, and many of the people present on Wednesday morning received Holy Communion.


00047
Services on 3-4 April, the Third Sunday of Great Lent - 04/04/2021

On Saturday 3 April and Sunday 4 April we had services for the Third Sunday of Great Lent.  Matins with the bringing-out of the Cross was served on Saturday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Sunday morning.  As Saturday 3 April was a day of commemoration of the departed, Matins was preceded by a general panikhida during which prayers were offered for the ever-memorable Emperor Paul I of Russia (+March 1801), Metropolitan Laurus (Shkurla) (+ March 2008), Archimandrite Kyprian (Pyzhov) of Jordanville (+ March 2001), Russian Orthodox clergy victims of the coronavirus, and our departed founders, benefactors, parishioners and relatives.  At Divine Liturgy on Sunday the Prayer in time of Devastating Epidemic was read.  In his sermon the parish rector spoke about the conditions of Christian discipleship: forgetting oneself, taking up one’s cross, and following after Christ.


00048
Services during the Third Week of Great Lent - 04/04/2021

During the Third Week of Great Lent we had Lenten Matins with the First Hour early on Tuesday and Thursday mornings and Great Compline on Wednesday evening.  On Tuesday-Wednesday 30-31 March our clergy participated in the Great Lenten Pastoral Conference of the Australian-New Zealand Diocese.  In addition to services on Saturday-Sunday 3-4 April for the Third Sunday in Great LentVespers with the Second Passia was served on the evening of Sunday 4 April.


00049
Services during the Second Week of Great Lent - 28/03/2021

During the Second Week of Great Lent we had Lenten Matins with the First Hour early on Tuesday and Thursday mornings and Great Compline on Wednesday evening.  In addition, Vespers with the Second Passia was served on the evening of Sunday 28 March.


00050
Services on 20-21 March, the First Sunday of Great Lent - 21/03/2021

On Saturday 20 March and Sunday 21 March we had services for the First Sunday of Great Lent, the Sunday of the Triumph of Orthodoxy.  All-night vigil was served on Saturday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Sunday morning.  At Divine Liturgy the Prayer in time of Devastating Epidemic was read.  Many of those present received Holy Communion. In his sermon the parish rector spoke about the history of the veneration of icons, the place of icons in the defence of the doctrine of the Incarnation of Christ, and the importance of spiritual struggle and faithfulness to tradition in the preservation of Orthodoxy from heresy and schism.  In accordance with the practice of parishes of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia, 'The Order for a Hymn of Supplication for the Conversion of those in Error' was served at the end of Divine Liturgy.  Also on this day, a collection was taken up to benefit the Holy Trinity Orthodox Seminary in Jordanville, New York.


00051
Services during the First Week of Great Lent - 19/03/2021

During the First Week of Great Lent we had services in the morning and evening on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.  On each of these days, Lenten Matins with the First Hour was served at 7.00am and Great Compline with the reading of the Great Canon of Saint Andrew of Crete was served at 7.00pm.  In addition to services on Saturday-Sunday 20-21 March for the First Sunday of Great Lent, Vespers with the First Passia was served on the evening of Sunday 21 March.


00052
A Pastoral Conference of the Australian-New Zealand Diocese - 19/03/2021

On Tuesday 30 March and Wednesday 31 March many of the clergymen of our 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, 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, Strathfield with Bishop George presiding and the clergy concelebrating.  Our parish clergy, Archpriest James Carles and Protodeacon Martin Naef, both plan to attend.  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 privately to discuss a range of pastoral, liturgical and administrative matters.


00053
Prayers to be offered on the anniversary of the assassination of Emperor Paul I of Russia (+1801) - 16/03/2021

Paul I (1754-1801) was Emperor of Russia from 1796 until his assassination on 24 March 1801.  Devoted to Russia and steadfast in the Orthodox faith from his childhood, he opposed the revolutionary and anti-religious currents then disturbing Europe.  During his brief reign he improved the circumstances of peasants, serfs and soldiers, and did much to aid the education and living conditions of the Orthodox clergy.  He was brutally murdered by members of the nobility and military leaders who resented his reforms.  Emperor Paul’s memory having long been revered by the Russian Orthodox Church, the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia has directed that prayers be offered in his memory on the Saturday closest to the two-hundred and twentieth anniversary of his assassination, Saturday 27 March.  In this parish he will be commemorated at the general panikhida to be served at 5.00pm on Saturday 3 April.


00054
A service on Sunday 14 March, the Sunday of Forgiveness - 14/03/2021

Early in the evening on Sunday 14 March, the Sunday of Forgiveness, we had Vespers with the rite of asking forgiveness.  During this service the church vestments were changed from gold to black and the festive melodies gave way to the solemn Lenten melodies.  At the end of the service the parish rector spoke briefly about the Gospel injunction to grant forgivenss if we are to hope for forgiveness from God (Matthew 6:14-15).  Following this, all present venerated the holy icons and asked forgiveness of one another in accordance with Orthodox custom.


00055
Updated information concerning weddings in the Russian Orthodox Church - 13/03/2021

The information on this website concerning weddings in the Russian Orthodox Church has been updated to address modesty of attire and the visibility of tattoos and piercings during the wedding ceremony.  The updated information can be viewed here.  Any questions about this information should be directed to the parish rector.


00056
The March 2021 meeting of the Parish Council - 10/03/2021

On Wednesday 10 March the Parish Council met by teleconference.  The usual reports on parish life and finances were tabled and discussed and an update was given on our new iconostasis.  A contract for the manufacture of the iconostasis was signed in January 2021, a video conference with the designer was held on 5 March 2021, and completion is expected by February 2022.   Attention was also given to charitable activity during Great Lent and plans for our patronal feast-day in August 2021.  It is expected that the Parish Council will next meet early in April 2021.


00057
Services on 6-7 March, the Sunday of the Last Judgement - 07/03/2021

On Saturday 6 March and Sunday 7 March we had services for the Sunday of the Last JudgementMatins was served on Saturday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Sunday morning.  As Saturday 6 March was a day of commemoration of the departed, Matins was preceded by a general pannikhida.  In his sermon on Sunday the parish rector spoke about preparing for the Last Judgement by responding to others as if to Christ Himself.  It being just one week before the beginning of Great Lent, the parish Ladies’ Auxiliary prepared pancakes before the service that the faithful could take home with them.


00058
Our Autumn 2021 Schedule of Services - 24/02/2021

Our Autumn 2021 Schedule of Services - covering March, April and May 2021 - is now available in digital format.  It includes all our services for Great Lent, Holy Week and Pascha.  A copy of the English-language Autumn 2021 Schedule of Services is available here, and a copy of the Russian-language Autumn 2021 Schedule of Services is available here.  Both can also be accessed on our Services page, and printed copies are available in church.


00059
Services on 20-21 February, the Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee - 21/02/2021

On Saturday 20 February and Sunday 21 February we had services for the Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee and for the Afterfeast of the Great Feast of Meeting of the Lord.  All-night vigil was served on Saturday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Sunday morning.  In his sermon at Divine Liturgy the parish rector spoke about the need to emulate the best of both the Publican and the Pharisee – humility and a zeal for righteousness – while avoiding the worst in them – a sinful life and vainglory.  On Sunday a collection was taken up to benefit a Diocesan charitable organisation, Orthodox Action, raising $140.  Following Divine Liturgy on Sunday, a number of parishioners gathered at Point Clare Cemetery for a graveside pannikhida in anticipation of the second anniversary of the repose of the ever-memorable Reader Paul Douriaguine.


00060
Archpastoral Epistle of Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America and New York, First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad, to the Clergy and Flock of the Eastern American and Australian-New Zealand Dioceses - 18/02/2021

On 18 February 2021 Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America and New York, First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad, published an Archpastoral Epistle to the Clergy and Flock of the Eastern American and Australian-New Zealand Dioceses.  The full text of the Epistle can be read in English here and in Russian hereAn extract: "Dear fathers, brothers, and sisters! Bowing reverently before the memory of the above-mentioned giants of the Russian Church, let us take an interest in their lives, labors, and legacies, and let us take up the “exhausting and difficult task” of working on ourselves during the approaching Great Lent. Let us augment our prayers and reading, and take care for the doing of good deeds, taking hold of ourselves and declaring war on our sinful habits. It is truly comforting to observe how, in preparation for this salvific time, full of the most beautiful and meaningful services of the Church year, the pandemic has begun to die down, quarantine measures are being relaxed, and the normal flow of life is gradually returning. Nevertheless, I call on the rectors of the parishes and monasteries to continue to act with careful circumspection, adhering to common sense, sanitary norms, and the regulations set by local authorities, taking the recommended precautionary measures as circumstances dictate, while the order of receiving Communion should remain unchanged. Manifestations of disobedience and "zeal not according to knowledge" (Romans 10:2) on these matters, as the pandemic has shown us, lead not only to outbreaks of sickness, but also to serious divisions among the people, to say nothing of every manner of other temptations. Therefore, obey readily and without complaint the directives of the Hierarchy and local governments, which in the present circumstances are being undertaken precisely for our benefit. Calling on God’s aid, let us also call on doctors and medics to offer assistance in the parishes, remembering the words of the most wise Sirach: "the Lord hath created the physician… and medicines out of the earth; and he that is wise will not abhor them" (Sirach 38:1,4). The great luminaries of Christ’s Church respected doctors and medical science. The Holy Hierarch Basil the Great says, “Humanity is the regular business of all you who practice as physicians… for health we are dependent on your skill” (Letter to Eustathius the Physician). In his Letter to Olympias, the Holy Hierarch John Chrysostom asks for remedy for himself, and counsels others to make use of the aid of physicians and medicines".


00061
Services on 14-15 February, the Great Feast of the Meeting of the Lord - 15/02/2021

On Sunday 14 February and Monday 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 Sunday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Monday morning.  Prayers for deliverance from the coronavirus were offered at Divine Liturgy.  In accordance with Orthodox tradition and the custom of the Sydney parishes of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia, there was a blessing of candles and of fruit at the end of Divine Liturgy.  A memorial litia was then served for the ever-memorable Archpriest Nicholas Grant and Archbishop Paul (Pavlov) who reposed on 14 February and 15 February 1995 respectively, and for the newly-reposed Protodeacon Vasily Hadarin.  Present in our church for veneration at these services was a very old hand-painted copy of the wonderworking Smolensk Icon of the Mother of God belonging to the Erzikoff family.  This copy, painted in Russia and later taken to China before coming to Australia, was badly burned many years ago but has since, through the grace of God, wondrously restored.


00062
Services on 6-7 February, the Thirty-Fifth Sunday after Pentecost - 07/02/2021

On Saturday 6 February and Sunday 7 February we had services for the Thirty-Fifth Sunday after Pentecost and in honour of the Holy New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia.  All-night vigil was served on Saturday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Sunday morning.  Prayers for deliverance from the coronavirus were offered at Divine Liturgy.  In his sermon on Sunday the parish rector spoke about the history of the commemoration of the New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia; the faithfulness to Christ of those from the highest ranks of Russian society as well as the lowest; and the particular witness of the New Martyrs Lydia, Kyril and Alexey.  Attendance at the services remained restricted by public health regulations to a total of thirty people.


00063
Services on 18-19 January, the Great Feast of the Baptism of the Lord (Theophany) - 19/01/2021

On Monday 18 January and Tuesday 19 January we had services for Theophany, the Great Feast of the Baptism of ChristAll-night Vigil with the blessing of wheat, wine, oil and five loaves was served on Monday evening and Divine Liturgy with the Great Blessing of Water was served on Tuesday morning.  As is customary at this time of year, we were joined for the services by friends from Sydney holidaying on the Central Coast.  Attendance at the services remained restricted by public health regulations to a total of thirty people.


00064
Services on 16-17 January, the Thirty-Second Sunday after Pentecost - 17/01/2021

On Saturday 16 January and Sunday 17 January we had services for the Thirty-Second Sunday after Pentecost, for the Forefeast of Theophany, and in honour of the Seventy Holy Apostles.  All-night vigil was served on Saturday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Sunday morning.  Prayers for deliverance from the coronavirus were offered at Divine Liturgy.  In his sermon on Sunday the parish rector spoke about the advice given by Apostle Paul to Apostle Timothy, “But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry” (2 Timothy 4:5), and the work of the Seventy Holy Apostles.  Attendance at the services remained restricted by public health regulations to a total of thirty people.


00065
Services on 6-7 January, the Great Feast of the Nativity of Christ - 07/01/2021

On Wednesday 6 January and Thursday 7 January we had services for Christmas, the Great Feast of the Nativity of ChristAll-night Vigil – Great Compline, Matins and the First Hour – with the blessing of wheat, wine, oil and five loaves was served on Wednesday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Thursday morning.  At the end of Divine Liturgy, 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 the Nativity Epistle of Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America and New York, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church outside Russia.  Sadly, attendance at both services was limited by public health regulations to a total of thirty people.


00066
Services on 2-3 January, the Thirtieth Sunday after Pentecost - 03/01/2021

On Saturday 2 January and Sunday 3 January we had services for the Thirtieth Sunday after Pentecost and the Sunday before the Nativity of Christ.   All-night Vigil was served on Saturday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Sunday morning.  After a brief period during December when up to 65 people were permitted, attendance at the services was again restricted by public health regulations to a total of thirty people.


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