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From the Weekly Bulletin (week of February 27, 2011)

posted Mar 12, 2011, 1:54 AM by Ilya Buchkin
Welcome to Fr. Lev and  Fr. Deacon Maximos-
       We welcome visiting clergy Father Lev Smith and Deacon Maximos Herman, both of the St. John the Wonderworker Mission of Des Moines, who concelebrated at the altar today.
 
Fr. Ignatius is Traveling-
      
Fr. Ignatius will be on the road visiting distant parishioners, and then going on a clergy retreat this week.  He will be gone from Sunday afternoon until Thursday evening.  There will be no matins on Monday or Wednesday.

Church Calendars Available-
       The printed St. Raphael Church March and April calendar is now available.  If you use Google Calendar, then you can see the church's schedule posted online at www.straphaelorthodoxchurch.org/schedule      
 
Church Directory Updates-
       We are in the process of updating our church directory which will be printed soon.  If you haven't been contacted by Fr. Ignatius, and you know that your directory listing needs updating, please contact him.

Call for Lenten Recipes-
      
If you would like to share a Lent-friendly recipe with other members of the parish, please send one to Fr. Ignatius and they will be included in the weekly emailed bulletins during Lent.

Change in Sunday School Timing-
       The Sunday School teachers for our school aged children have decided it would be best to dismiss the children for Sunday School before the announcements are given after Liturgy.  So, immediately after the dismissal, we will sing to all those who are remembering special days.  Then the children will be dismissed for Sunday School where they will have snacks ready for them.  Then announcements will be given, and after the post-Communion prayers, we will gather downstairs for our Fellowship time. 

Catechumen Classes-
       All are welcome to attend Catechumen classes which meet on Saturdays at 3:30PM.  In this 10-12 week series, we are watching videos which outline many of the basics of Orthodox Christianity.

Free Lunch Program Volunteering-
      
We are scheduled to volunteer at the Free Lunch Program on Tuesday, March 1 from 11:30AM-1:30PM.  If you are able to help, please let Fr. Ignatius know.  This is a great way to demonstrate our Christian faith in a practical way by "loving our neighbor as ourselves." 

Lent is Coming-
      
Lent begins with the beautiful service of reconciliation called Forgiveness Vespers at 6PM on Sunday, March 6.  Following, is the schedule of services for the rest of the first week of Lent.
Monday, March 7- Compline with Canon of St. Andrew, 7PM
Tuesday, March 8- Compline with Canon of St. Andrew, 7PM
Wednesday, March 9- Presanctified Liturgy, 6PM
Thursday, March 10- Compline with Canon of St. Andrew, 7PM
Friday, March 11- Compline with Akathist Hymn to the Theotokos, 7PM

Preparation for the Lenten Fast-
      
Today, Sunday, February 27, we say "farewell" to meat until Pascha, April 24.  Sunday, March 6 is the last day for the eating of dairy products and eggs until Pascha.  After Forgiveness Vespers at 6PM on March 6, we fully enter into the Lenten fast.  Please plan accordingly.  If you have any questions about the Orthodox approach to fasting, please speak with Fr. Ignatius.  The practice of fasting should not cause us anxiety or distress.  It may make us a bit uncomfortable, but it is a means to draw us closer to God.

Lenten Wednesday Evenings-
      
On Wednesday evenings during Lent, we celebrate a unique service called the Liturgy of the Pre-Sanctified Gifts.  What this means is that the bread and wine are consecrated to be the Lord's Body and Blood on the Sunday before, and not during the Wednesday service.  On Wednesday evenings, Fr. Ignatius will be giving a sermon series which focuses on the Canon of St. Andrew, a lengthy hymn that we will be singing at other services during the first week of Lent.  The Canon of St. Andrew is a penitential meditation on the sinfulness of mankind and the all-encompassing love and forgiveness of God.  If you want to know more about the history of salvation that is contained in the pages of Scripture, both Old and New, there is no better way to do it than to listen to or to sing St. Andrew's Canon and to hear the sermons given on this monumental Bible-study-put-to-song.  Following the Pre-Sanctified Liturgy each Wednesday, we will gather downstairs for a simple Lenten soup supper.  We need volunteers to sign-up to provide the soup.  A sign-up sheet is posted at church.

Sunday Lenten Pan-Orthodox Vespers-
       On Sunday evenings at 5:30PM during Lent, we will gather together with the Orthodox churches in Cedar Rapids to worship together at our various locations.  This year, the Orthodox churches of Waterloo and Dubuque are also participating.  St. Raphael will be hosting this service on the Sunday of Orthodoxy, March 13.  A sign-up sheet is posted for the meal we will provide for our guests after the service.  Following, is the rest of the schedule.  If you want to catch a ride with Fr. Ignatius to any of these services, please let him know.
March 20- St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church (613 W. 4th St.) Waterloo
March 27- St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church (3650 Cottage Grove Ave. SE) Cedar Rapids
April 3- St. Elias the Prophet Greek Orthodox Church (1075 Rockdale Rd.) Dubuque
April 10- St. John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church (501 A Ave NE) Cedar Rapids 

Orthodox Christian College Opportunities-
      
St. Katherine College, in San Diego, CA, will be opening up its doors this Fall.  This brand new college will teach from an Orthodox Christian perspective and is open to all.  For more information, go to www.stkath.org.  Also, Hellenic College, in the Boston, MA area, another Orthodox Christian college, announces their "Come and See" scholarship.  This provides all accepted incoming students with an 80% tuition scholarship for up to four years!  For more information, go to www.hchc.edu.

Do You Have a Prayer Request?
     Please give it to Fr. Ignatius and he will distribute it by email to all those on the Prayer Chain.  If you wish to join the Prayer Chain, please let Fr. Ignatius know.  

Holy Bread-
       On Sunday, March 6, the holy bread will be provided by the Peterson/Branch family.  Thank you in advance.
 
Coffee Hour-
      On Sunday March 6, the food for coffee hour and clean-up of the fellowship hall will be provided by the St. Nicholas team.

Choir Leadership-
      
For the weekend of March 5-6, Tania Van Dinter will lead the choir.

Church Cleaning-
      
During the week following Sunday February 27, cleaning of the nave, narthex, bookstore/library, stairs, bathrooms and nursery room will be done by the St. Nina team. 
       
Food For Thought-

F rom lips tainted and defiled, from a heart unclean and loathsome, from an unclean tongue, and out of a polluted soul: receive my prayer, O my Christ.

Do not reject me, nor my words, nor my ways, nor even my shamelessness, but give me courage to say what I desire, O my Christ; and even more, teach me what to do and what to say.

I have sinned more than the harlot who, on learning where You were lodging, bought myrrh and dared to come and anoint Your feet, my Christ, my Lord and my God.

As You did not repulse her when she drew near in her heart, neither, O word, reject me, but grant that I may clasp and kiss Your feet , and dare to anoint them with a flood of tears as with most-precious myrrh.

Wash me with my tears and purify me with them, O Word.

Forgive my sins and grant me pardon.

You know the multitude of my evil-doings, You also know my wounds, and You see my bruises.

But You also know my faith, and You behold my willingness, and You hear my sighs.

Nothing escapes You, my God, my Maker, my Redeemer, not even a tear-drop, nor part of a drop.

Your eyes know what I have not achieved, and in Your book things not yet done are written by You.

See my depression, and see how great is my trouble: take from me all my sins, O God of all, that with a clean heart, a trembling mind, and a contrite spirit I may partake of Your pure and all-holy Mysteries by which all who with sincerity of heart eat and drink You are quickened and deified.

For You, my Lord, have said: "Whoever eats My Flesh and drinks My Blood abides in Me and I in Him;" wholly true is the word of my Lord and God.

For whoever partakes of Your divine and deifying Gifts certainly is not alone, but is with You, my Christ, the Light of the Triune Sun Which illumines the world.

That I may not remain alone without You, the Giver of Life, my Breath, my Life, my Joy, the Salvation of the world, I have therefore drawn near to You, as You see, with tears and with a contrite spirit.

Ransom of my offenses, I beseech You to receive me, that I may partake without condemnation of Your life-giving and perfect Mysteries, and that You may remain as You have said with me, thrice-wretched as I am, lest the tempter find me without Your grace and craftily seize me and, having deceived me, seduce me from Your deifying words.

Therefore I fall at Your feet and fervently cry to You: as You received the prodigal and the harlot who drew near to You, so also have compassion and receive me, the profligate and the prodigal, as I now draw near to You with a contrite spirit.

I know, O Savior, that no other has sinned against You as I have, nor has done the deeds that I have committed.

But I also know this: that neither the greatness of my offenses, nor the multitude of my sins, surpasses the great patience of my God, and His extreme love for men.

Despite our offenses, You purify and enlighten with the oil of compassion those who fervently repent, and You make them children of the light and sharers of Your divine nature.

And You act most generously, for what is strange to Angels and to the minds of men You often tell to the repentant as to Your true friends.

These things make me bold, my Christ, these things give me wings, and I take courage from the wealth of Your goodness to us.

With rejoicing, yet with trembling, I who am but straw partake of Fire and, strange wonder., I am ineffably bedewed, like the bush of old which burnt without being consumed.

Wherefore with thankful mind, and with thankful heart, and with thankfulness in all the members of my soul and body, I worship and magnify and glorify You, my God, for You are blessed, now and ever, to all ages. Amen.


Prayer of Preparation for Holy Communion by St. Symeon the Translator
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