Saturday, February 14, 2015

Excerpts from the February Newsletter

2015 Lenten and Paschal Cycle

Zacchaeus Sunday – Jan. 25. Begins the Three Weeks of Pre Lent

Publican and Pharisee – Feb. 1

Prodigal Son – Feb. 8

Meatfare – Feb. 15. Last day to eat meat, if Fasting.

Cheesefare – Feb. 22. Last day to eat eggs or dairy products, if Fasting. Also, Forgiveness Sunday.

Begin Great Lent – Feb. 23

Palm Sunday – April 5. The beginning of Holy Week. Also the date of Western Easter this year

Pascha – April 12


St Raphael, Bishop of Brooklyn

February 27
Our holy Father Raphael was born in Syria in 1860 to pious Orthodox parents, Michael Hawaweeny and his second wife Mariam, the daughter of a priest of Damascus. From his youth, Saint Raphael’s greatest joy was to serve the Church. When he came to America, he found his people scattered abroad, and he called them to unity. He never neglected his flock, but traveled throughout America, Canada, and Mexico in search of them so that he might care for them. He kept them from straying into strange pastures, and he protected them from spiritual harm. During twenty years of faithful ministry he nurtured them and helped them to grow.  In 1915 he fell ill, on February 27 he rested from his labors. Find out more at:

Others, A story by Anastasia Bartlett (a member of our parish)

Once upon a time, there was an old man. He was a widower who lived and worked in a few rooms below street level. He was reaching the end of his life and deeply regretted never having seen God though he had always faithfully attended church.
                One night, he had a vision. He saw an image of Christ and heard the words, “Prepare, for today I will visit you”.
                The old man awoke full of wonder and immediately set about cleaning his rooms. He heated up some soup from the day before, found some small cakes and put the kettle on to boil for tea. As the light dawned, through his window, he could see the feet of the watchman making his rounds. He went to his door.
                “Come in, come in and warm yourself, it has been a cold night and I have breakfast and tea ready.”
                The watchman nodded, “It has been bitingly cold. Your warm room and tea is the highlight of my day.” As the watchman entered, he noticed the signs of cleaning, “It looks as though you are expecting someone.”
                “I am,” the old man replied.
                “Well then I won't overstay my welcome.”
                “Not at all, stay for as long as you want,” and the old man served breakfast while the two conversed comfortably until the watchman returned to his rounds.
                The old man puttered around cleaning up after breakfast and set the kettle to boil for a fresh pot of tea. As the day progressed, others visited the store.
                Each time, as the old man saw feet approaching, he anticipated the arrival of his Lord, but it was just a regular customer, occasionally impatient to conclude their business, one angry at the world but most were friendly. Each time, the old man welcomed the visitor warmly, hiding his disappointment, while offering them tea and what few cakes he had.
                As the day drew to a close, the old man sighed heavily because his Lord had not arrived. He climbed the stairs to the street to take one last look before locking up for the night. In the growing darkness, he saw a young woman clutching a baby huddled against the building.
                “Young women,”  the old man said, “Are you waiting for someone?”
                “I'm waiting for the bus to take me to my husband on the other side of town.”
                “I'm afraid the last bus has already gone for the night. Why don't you come in where it is warm.” The old man helped the woman into his rooms, served her tea and the last of the cakes and listened to her story. She had just come from the country and was supposed to joining her husband. But since she had missed the bus and had no way to contact him she didn't know what to do.
                 As she finished talking, the old man saw the watchman pass and ran to the door to ask him to come in. After hearing the young woman's plight, the watchman contacted a friend who was willing to drive the young woman to her destination for the price of gas. The old man gave the driver the little money he had and the young woman left wearing his departed wife's winter coat and her baby wrapped tightly in warm blanket.
                After she had gone, the old man locked the door, his heart heavy since his special visitor had not come. He cleaned up and went to bed. As he was drifting off to sleep, he heard voice say, “Thank-you for your hospitality today.”
                Confused, the old man replied,“But, Lord, but I don't understand, you never came.”
                “I was with you all day. I am your friend, the watchman. I am your customers and visitors, even the angry ones, all of whom you treated with respect and kindness. I am the young wife and her child. I am every person you encounter every day. How you treat them is how you treat me. If you love them, then you love me.”
                The old man smiled and fell asleep, joyfully anticipating all his Lord's visits the next day.

Great Lent

The original purpose of the pre-Pascha fast (now known as Great Lent) was the fasting of catechumens who were being prepared for baptism and entry into the Church. However, it quickly became a time for those who were already Christian to prepare for the feast of the Resurrection of Christ. It is the living symbol of man's entire life which is to be fulfilled in his own resurrection from the dead with Christ. It is a time of renewed devotion: of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. It is a time of repentance, a real renewal of minds, hearts and deeds in conformity with Christ and his teachings. It is the time, most of all, of return to the great commandments of loving God and neighbors.

"What sacrifices we make, let them be sacrifices that transform us. They are not ends in and of themselves. They are the tools by which we can become a little closer to God’s image, a little closer to Christ’s life." St. John Chrysostom. 

The goal of fasting is simple. We fast so that we may better love, know, reveal, and enjoy God.  . . . . The affirmation at the heart of fasting is not a secret that emerges only when all fasting is over. Rather, it permeates the whole range of the activities of fasting.  . . . . We need affirmation in fasting because we cannot live without joy. Jesus bade us to anoint our heads when we fast. Surely He didn’t intend for us to only seem to be happy. He meant for us to actually be happy, to be anointed with joy . . . “But what if my fasting is not joyful? Asking me to enjoy my fast is absurd, since I can’t in my present state enjoy God by a simple act of the will. And if I could, then perhaps I would not need to fast at all.” I hear this questioning voice in myself, and the Scripture answers with the word “hope.” Hope is the joyful expectation of the promises of God. We can experience this joyful expectation anywhere, including while we fast. Excerpts from an article by Richard McCombs (This article originally appeared in AGAIN Vol. 28 No.1, Spring 2006.)

St.Aidan Orthodox Church
Father Andrew and Matushka Sonia Applegate
201-7th Avenue South.
Cranbrook, BC. V1C 2J6

Tel. (250) 489-8006 (church)
Tel. (403)554-0193 (Fr. Andrew)
Tel. (403)217-9151 (Fr. at home)
Tel. (250)421-6013 (Admin – Ellen)
Fr. Philip Erikson  587-433-4270
Bishop Irenee  613-233-7780

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