February 27th – April 7th
April 8th – April 14th
PRESANCTIFIED LITURGY - Wednesday, March 7th @ 6:00 PM
The Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts offers communion of the Holy Gifts (Eucharist) consecrated at the Divine Liturgy the previous Sunday. It is an opportunity to receive the sustaining spiritual strength of Christ during the difficult journey of Lent. Although the Church forbids the celebration of the Eucharist on weekdays of Lent (except the Annunciation), it recognizes the need for spiritual food. Holy Communion will be offered, please refrain from eating food after 1:00 PM except for medical purposes.
THE 2nd SALUTATION SERVICE HONORING THE THEOTOKOS
Friday, March 9th @ 6:00 PM
On the first five Friday evenings of Lent, the Small Compline service and "The Akathist Hymn" honor the Virgin Mary. This Compline is a worship service with prayers and psalms. "The Akathist Hymn," one of the most beautiful and beloved hymns of Orthodoxy, is an ecclesiastical poem about the Annunciation of the Mother of God (which occurs during Lent) and the Nativity of Jesus Christ. Parishioners stand during the hymn; the word "akathistos" means "not seated." The hymn contains twenty-four stanzas in order of the Greek alphabet. Each stanza begins with a letter of the alphabet starting with Alpha and ending with Omega. A different stanza (referred to as "Salutations to the Virgin Mary") is sung on the first four Friday evenings of Lent. On the fifth Friday, "The Akathist Hymn" is sung in its entirety.
THE LENTEN PRAYER OF ST. EPHRAIM THE SYRIAN
Lord and Master of my life, take away from me the will to be lazy and sad, the desire to get ahead of other people, and to boast and brag.
Give me instead a pure and humble spirit, the will to be patient with other people, and to love them.
Grant Lord that I may see my own sins, and keep me from judging the things that other people do.
For You are Holy now and forever, and to the ages of ages.
SUNDAY OF ORTHODOXY (MARCH 4TH)
The Sunday of Orthodoxy celebrates the restoration of the icons to the Church and the affirmed dogma of Christ`s humanity as shown in the icons of Christ, the man. In 726 AD, icons were banned because many believed that Christ as God should not be depicted and that icons were being worshipped as idols. In 843 AD the Empress Theodora ordered them restored. This event is commemorated each year with a procession of icons through the church and the reading of the Synodikon Proclamation of the Seventh Ecumenical Council, which reaffirmed the Church`s beliefs and the role of icons.
We are taught to fast regularly as part of our Christian discipline. Why should we fast? How do we serve God by going hungry? Surely we need adequate food each day in order to work hard in God`s service. Jesus criticized most vehemently those who drew attention to their fasting, urging us to fast in secret; so clearly fasting is not a matter for personal pride. There are two reasons to fast. The first is to break our attachment to material things, of which food is the most central, and so compel us to depend on spiritual things. When we are eating regularly, food not only sustains our bodies, but provides pleasure and satisfaction. In itself there is nothing wrong with such pleasure. But when we do without food, we are reminded that the only true and lasting source of joy is spiritual. The second is to express solidarity with those whose poverty forces them to go hungry. We may fast from time to time as a discipline; but many people fast continually because they have no money to buy food. If we are truly to show compassion to the poor, we must experience within our own bodies the consequences of poverty. Fasting is thus an incentive toward generosity. And the money saved during a fast can be readily given to relieve the enforced hunger of another.
~From the writings of St. John Chrysostom
The purpose of fasting is to prepare for communion and rebirth at Easter. Foregoing food is a tangible symbol of controlling indulgences, both physical and mental. Fasting should not become an obsession or an end in itself, as stated in a hymn from Cheese Fare Wednesday: "In vain do you rejoice in not eating, O soul, for you abstain from food, but from passions you are not purified. If you have no desire for improvement, you will be despised as a lie in the eyes of God."
St. John The Baptist Greek Orthodox Church
3301 33rd Ave. Ext. North
Myrtle Beach, SC 29577
Phone: (843) 448-3773
Fax: (843) 946-7597
Proistamenos: Fr. Angelo Pappas