Friday, 1 August 2014

Services in August 2014

at Audley and Dresden

Dormition Fast starts on 1st August!
Sat 2nd       Pilgrimage to Ilam (no local service)
Sun 3rd      10am Matins; 11am Divine Liturgy
Tue 5th       7pm Great Vespers of the 
                   Feast of the Transfiguration
Wed 6th     11am Divine Liturgy of the 
                   Feast of the Transfiguration

Sat 9th        6pm Great Vespers
Sun 10th     10am Matins; 11am Divine Liturgy
Wed 13th    11am Paraklesis to the Theotokos
Thu 14th     7pm Great Vespers of the Dormition

Fri 15th       11am Divine Liturgy of the Dormition

Sat 16th      6pm Great Vespers
Sun 17th     10am Matins; 11am Divine Liturgy
Wed 20th    11am Divine Liturgy or Akathist

Sat 23rd      6pm Great Vespers
Sun 24th     10am Matins; 11am Divine Liturgy
Wed 27th    11am Divine Liturgy or Akathist
Thu 18th     7pm Great Vespers of the 
                   Beheading of Saint John the Baptist
Fri 29th       11am Divine Liturgy of the 
                   Beheading of Saint John the Baptist

Sat 30th       6pm Great Vespers
Sun 31st     10am Matins; 11am Divine Liturgy

Name Days
16th     Sub-Deacon Radu
20th     Fr Samuel
Parish Feasts
9th       Saint Matthias, Lincoln
31st     Saint Aidan, Levenshulme

Feast of the Dormition of the Theotokos
According to Orthodox Tradition, Mary died like all humanity, "falling asleep," so to speak, as the name of the feast indicates. She died as all people die, not "voluntarily" as her Son, but by the necessity of her mortal human nature which is indivisibly bound up with the corruption of this world. The feast was added to the Roman calendar in the seventh century as the Dormitio. In the eighth century, the title was changed to the Assumptio (Assumption).
The Apostles were miraculously summoned to this event, and all were present except Thomas when Mary passed from this life. She was then buried.
Thomas arrived a few days later, and desiring to see her one more time, convinced the others to open her tomb. Upon doing so, the Apostles discovered that her body was no longer present. This event is seen as a firstfruits of the resurrection of the faithful that will occur at the Second Coming of Christ. The event is normally called the Dormition, though there are many Orthodox parishes in English-speaking countries with the name Assumption. In Greek, Dormition is Koimisis - falling asleep in death - from which the word cemetery derives.
As with the nativity of the Virgin and the feast of her entrance to the temple, there are no biblical or historical sources for this feast. The Orthodox Church teaches that Mary is without personal sins, as well that Mary truly needed to be saved by Christ as all human persons are saved from the trials, sufferings, and death of this world. She truly died and was raised up by her Son as the Mother of Life and participates already in the eternal life of paradise. This life of paradise is prepared and promised to all who "hear the word of God and keep it." (Luke 11:27-28)
The feast is preceded by 14 days of strict fasting, with the exception that fish is eaten on the Feast of the Transfiguration (August 6).
On the eve of the feast, Vespers is served and contains three Old Testament readings that have New Testament meaning. In Genesis 28:10-17, Jacob's Ladder which unites heaven and earth points to the union of God with men which is realised most fully and perfectly in Mary the bearer of God. "How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven!" In Ezekiel 43:27-44:4, the vision of the temple with the door to the East perpetually closed and filled with the glory of the Lord, symbolizes Mary. And in Proverbs 9:1-11, Mary is also identified with the "house" which the Divine Wisdom has built for herself.
Sometimes Matins is served on the morning of the feast. The Gospel reading is from Luke 1:39-49, 56. It is read on all feasts of the Theotokos and includes the Theotokos' saying: "My soul magnifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour, for he has regarded the low estate of his handmaiden, for behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed."
Divine Liturgy is served on the day on the feast. In some churches, it is the custom to bless flowers on this feast before the Liturgy. The epistle reading is from Philippians 2:5-11, and speaks of "Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men." The gospel reading is taken from Luke 10:38-42 and 11:27-28 together; this reading is also always read on all feasts of the Theotokos. In it, the Lord says, "blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it!"

Feast of the Transfiguration of Christ
The Transfiguration of Christ is one of the Great Feasts of the Orthodox Church, celebrated on August 6.
Jesus had gone with his disciples Peter, James, and John to Mount Tabor. Christ's appearance was changed while they watched into a glorious radiant figure. There appeared Elijah and Moses, speaking with Jesus. The disciples were amazed and terribly afraid.
This event shows forth the divinity of Christ, so that the disciples would understand after his Ascension that He was truly the radiant splendour of the Father, and that his Passion was voluntary (Mark 9:2-9). It also shows the possibility of our own theosis.
This event was the subject of some debates between Gregory Palamas and Barlaam of Calabria. Barlaam believed that the light shining from Jesus was created light, while Gregory maintained the disciples were given grace to perceive the uncreated light of God. This supported Gregory's larger argument that although we cannot know God in His essence, we can know Him in his energies, as He reveals Himself.
Accounts of the Transfiguration are found in the Bible: Matthew 17:1-8, Mark 9:2-9, Luke 9:28-36, and II Peter 1:16-19.
Like all feasts of the Master, the Transfiguration is a vigil-ranked feast, though in parish practice a full All-Night Vigil is usually not celebrated.
Typically, Great Vespers is conducted on the eve of the feast, and on the morning of the feast, the Divine Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom is celebrated, traditionally preceded by the Matins service.
The Vespers service includes the readings: Exodus 24:12-18, 33:11-23, 34:4-6, 8; I Kings 19:3-9, 11-13, 15-16. The Matins service includes the reading: Luke 9:28-36. And the Divine Liturgy: II Peter 1:10-19; Matthew 17:1-9.
It is believed that Christ's transfiguration took place at the time of the Jewish Festival of Booths, and that the celebration of the event in the Christian Church became the New Testament fulfilment of the Old Testament feast. Presently it is celebrated on the sixth of August, forty days before the feast of the Elevation of the Holy Cross. Just as Peter, James, and John saw the transfiguration before the crucifixion so that they might know who it is who will suffered for them, the Church connects these two feasts to help the faithful understand the mission of Christ and that his suffering was voluntary.
The feast of the Transfiguration of Christ once belonged to the season of Great Lent, but may have been considered too joyous for that time. Saint Gregory Palamas, a great teacher of the Transfiguration, is now celebrated on one of the Sundays of Lent instead.

In Greece and Romania the harvest season traditionally began on the Transfiguration. Grapes, in particular, were not eaten before August 6. In some parishes, the first grapes would be brought to church for a blessing and distributed to parishioners.

Friday, 4 July 2014

Services in July 2014

at Audley and Dresden

Wed 2nd 11am Divine Liturgy or Akathist 

Sat 5th 6pm Great Vespers 
Sun 6th 10am Matins; 11am Divine Liturgy 
Wed 9th 11am Divine Liturgy or Akathist 

Sat 12th Pilgrimage to Crowland 
6pm Reader Vespers 
Sun 13th 10am Matins; 11am Divine Liturgy 
Mon 14th 7pm Meeting of the Trustees at Dresden 
Wed 16th  11am Divine Liturgy or Akathist 

Sat 19th 6pm Great Vespers 
Sun 20th 10am Matins; 11am Divine Liturgy 
Wed 23rd 11am Divine Liturgy or Akathist 

Sat 26th  Liturgy & Blessing of the Waters at Stoney Middleton 
6pm Great Vespers 
Sun 27th  10am Matins; 11am Divine Liturgy 
Wed 30th  11am Divine Liturgy or Akathist 

August 1st ~ Beginning of the Dormition Fast 
August 2nd ~ Pilgrimage to Saint Bertram in Ilam (No Local Services) 

Name Days 
10th Alexander Oliver Joy 
12th Veronica Irene Dobson 
17th Marina Guinness 
18th Dara Elizabeth Davidchack; Elizabeth Nash; Elizabeth Ella Jade Reeves 
20th Monk Elia; Ghassan Ayoub 
22nd Mary (Maria) 
24th Anca Bostan 

23rd Tameena Ayoub (2011) 
26th James Arthur Carter (2008) 
31st Tsinara (2008) 

Parish Feasts 
17th Agia Marina, Longton; St Marina, Grimsby. 

July 12th - Pilgrimage to Croyland

The year 870 is especially memorable for the cruel outrages of the pagan Danes, who in
different parts of the country slaughtered innumerable victims, in their thirst for
conquest and hatred of our holy religion. Lincolnshire and East Anglia were among the
provinces which suffered most, and there, shortly before the glorious martyrdom of St
Edmund, the chief monasteries were utterly destroyed. Bardney in Lincolnshire, where
the relics of St Oswald had long reposed, was entirely demolished, and all the monks
murdered, without leaving so much as a record of their names. The same took place at
Ely, where the two communities of men and women founded by St Etheldreda were put
to the sword. At Peterborough, then called Medehampstead, the Abbot Hedda and all
his monks, in number 
eighty-four, were also 
exterminated, the shrines 
of the Saints profaned, and 
the library burned. It was 
on the 26th or 30th of 
August that the barbarians 
reached Croyland, the 
celebrated retreat of St 
Guthlac. The solemn Mass 
was just ended but the 
clergy had not left the 
sanctuary, when the 
pagans broke into the 
church. The celebrant, 
who was the Abbot 
Theodore, the Deacon Elfgetus, and the Sub-deacon Savinus, were murdered in the 
sacred vestments before the altar, and shortly 
afterwards the Acolyths Egdred and Ulrick.
Some of the community escaped, and hid
themselves in a neighbouring forest; but those 
who sought to conceal themselves within their 
own walls seem all to have been discovered 
and cruelly butchered. Amongst these were 
Askegar, the Prior, and Sethwin, the Sub-prior, 
as well as two venerable monks, Grimkeld and 
Agamund, who had attained their hundredth 
year. The shrine of St Guthlac was profaned, 
and the holy place left in a state of complete 
desolation. It was about the same time that the 
Monastery of Bennet Hulme in Norfolk was 
destroyed in the like manner, and the holy man 
Suniman, for whom it had been built about half 
a century before, put to death with all his 

Troparion to All the Saints of Lincolnshire (Tone 8) 
As the bountiful harvest of your sowing of salvation, 
the shire of Lincoln offers to you, Lord, 
all the saints who have shone in these lands. 
By their prayers, keep the church and our land in abiding peace, 
through the Theotokos, O most merciful One. 

July 27th - Saint Panteleimon

His parents were Eustorgius of Nicomedia, a
pagan, and Saint Eubula (March 30). They
named him Pantaleon, which means in all
things like a lion, but when he converted to
Christianity, he changed his name
to Panteleimon, which means all-merciful. He
learned about Christianity from the priest who
later baptized him, Saint Hermolaus.
Hermolaus was living with two other priests,
Hermippus and Hermocrates; the three were
"survivors of the massacre of 20,000 Christians
in 303 (December 28)."
St. Panteleimon had been educated as a
physician, and he "dedicated his life to the
suffering, the sick, the unfortunate and the
needy. He treated all those who turned to him
without charge, healing them in the name
of Jesus Christ. He visited those held captive in
prison. These were usually Christians, and he
healed them of their wounds. In a short time, reports of the charitable physician spread
throughout the city. Forsaking the other doctors, the inhabitants began to turn only to
St. Panteleimon."
Other physicians brought his case before the Emperor Maximian. St. Panteleimon
confessed to being a Christian and refused to offer sacrifice to the state gods.
"[He] suggested that a sick person, for whom the doctors held out no hope, should be
brought before the emperor. Then the doctors could invoke their gods, and Panteleimon
would pray to his God to heal the man. A man paralyzed for many years was brought in,
and pagan priests who knew the art of medicine invoked their gods without success.
Then, before the very eyes of the emperor, the saint healed the paralytic by calling on
the name of Jesus Christ. The ferocious Maximian executed the healed man, and gave St.
Panteleimon over to fierce torture."

Hermolaus, Hermippus, and
Hermocrates were brought forth;
they confessed and were beheaded.
Throughout the many tortures, St.
Panteleimon remained untouched.
Enraged, Maximian ordered that St.
Panteleimon be beheaded. The
soldiers took him to an olive tree,
but when they struck him while he
was praying, the sword melted like
wax. After he finished his prayer, "a
Voice was heard from Heaven,
calling the passion-bearer by his new
name and summoning him to the
heavenly Kingdom." He instructed the soldiers to rise from their knees where they had
fallen in fear and to complete the execution. After they followed his instruction, the
olive tree became covered with fruit.
Although his body was thrown into a fire, it came out unharmed and was buried by
Christians. His head is located on the island of Andros at the Panachrantos
monastery and, on occasions, is taken to other monasteries for veneration. Some of
his relics can be found at the Putna Monastery (Bucovina, Romania), as well as in the Ss.
Peter and Paul Cathedral in ConstanĊ£a, Romania.
"St. Panteleimon is invoked in the prayers at the blessing of water and the blessing of oil,
together with St. Hermolaus and the other unmercenaries and wonder-workers." There
is an Akathist hymn in his honour.

Holy Passion-bearer and healer Panteleimon, 
entreat the Merciful God, to grant our souls forgiveness of 

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Services in June 2014 Audley and Dresden

Sat 31st May 6pm Great Vespers 
Sun 1st June 10am Matins; 11am Divine Liturgy 

2nd June– Meeting of the Trustees at 7pm in Dresden 
Wed 4th 11am Divine Liturgy or Akathist 

Sat 7th 6pm Memorial and Great Vespers 
Sun 8th10am Matins; 11am Divine Liturgy 

8th - 15th Fast Free for Pentecost 

Wed 11th 11am Divine Liturgy or Akathist 

Sat 14th  6pm Great Vespers 
Sun 15th 10am Matins; 11am Divine Liturgy 

16th June  - Beginning of the Apostles Fast 
Wed 18th  11am Divine Liturgy or Akathist 

Sat 21st  6pm Great Vespers 
Sun 22nd 10am Matins; 11am Divine Liturgy 
Wed 25th  11am Divine Liturgy or Akathist 

28th June- Summer Fayre in the Scout Hall 
Sat 28th 6pm Great Vespers 
Sun 29th 10am Matins; 11am Divine Liturgy (Feast of the Holy, Glorious  and All-praised Leaders of the Apostles, Peter and Paul)

Name Days
15th All Saints: Sorin and Roxana
22nd Alban Robert Cooke
29th Paul Dominic; Pavlos Harvey; Pauline Baiasu

3rd Bede (2009)

Parish Feasts 
9th Saint Columba, Doncaster
17th Saint Botolph, London

(Icon source:

Summer Fayre

Although you may not be able to tell that spring has arrived by looking out of the window, it
apparently has. I wonder if 28th June is going to seem a little early for a “Summer Fayre”,
but there you go.
It brings with it an appeal for saleable goods, raffle prizes and homemade produce as well
as help on the day – the usual stuff which you are now familiar with.
I am sure Kim would appreciate help before the event too for sorting, pricing and such.
If you can hang around after the event and help tidy up and move anything unsold back to
the church, your assistance would be very welcome.
Speak to Kim if you can offer yourself, your expertise or your goods.
The event takes place in the Scout Hall at Dresden on Saturday 28th
Come along and support it or we will never speak to you again!

Refurbishing works at Dresden and building up of Funds 

We are going to have a little pause in the disruption of life at Dresden for a while.
Both of the side aisles will almost have been completed by the time you read this.
That will only leave the nave and the outside of the building.
The nave ceiling is going to be especially tricky and the West wall of the church is going to
require some work to the plastering where cracks can plainly be seen.
Outside, there may be some woodwork to replace and the drainage may well need
Now is the time for rebuilding the funds.
The work so far has been done very cheaply indeed – all to exacting Church of England
surveyor specifications as regards the use of lime mortar and special paints. This is due in
no small part to Alban and his team of painters and decorators who have given their labour
at Alban’s expense. Donations have also provided the materials.
There is also the iconostasis to finish and although two additional icons – of the Holy
Forerunner and Baptist John and the Holy Resurrection – have been ordered from Efrem in
Manchester, it will be a while before he has time in his heavy workload to write them for
us. Do make an offering specifically for these icons if you wish.
Meanwhile, if any more of you would consider making your donations to the church
through direct debit, or better still filling in a Gift Aid Form with your details if you are a tax
payer, it would help us hugely. Appropriate forms will be at the back of church in Dresden
and you can easily set up direct debits through your online banking.
Sort Code: 30-90-16 / Account Number: 01961148 / ST MICHAELS ORTHODOX CHURCH
Slowly but surely, our church in Dresden is being made a worthy temple.

More thanks... 

A big thank you to all who contributed financially and skilfully to Great and Holy Week and 
Pascha in our two churches. 
I am not sure what it was this year that made all of our services so particularly moving 
again, but certainly the posies, the dressing of the bier and the church with the most 
amazing floral displays added to the experience. 

Dates for the Diary (days away from the parish) This Month:

21st June
We are invited again to the delightful surroundings of the Pisani Chapel in Derbyshire by
Chris Tsielepi.
The chapel is on the site of the Pisani Marble works just outside Whatstandwell (DE4 5HN
for SatNav users) and while tiny, is marvellously adorned with beautiful marble.
The company which invites us to celebrate services each year supplies marble to luxury
hotels, banks and other institutions around the world and has also been involved in
restoration works at St Peter’s in Rome and St Mark’s Venice.
We serve the Blessing of the Waters at the spring adjacent to the chapel at 11am and after
lunch provided by our hosts, an Akathist at 2pm.

Looking forward... 

26th July 
Organised by Chris Tsielepi again, this event at Stoney Middleton in Derbyshire coincides 
with the village festival of Well Dressing. 
A Divine Liturgy is served in the village church dedicated to Saint Martin of Tours at 11am 
and immediately afterwards we walk around to one of the larger wells in the village to 
serve a Blessing of the Waters. 
A light lunch is provided by the villagers and we are finished in plenty of time to get back for 
Vespers at Dresden. 

2nd August 
The first Saturday in August traditionally sees our hosting of the pilgrimage to Ilam. 
This is a full day of services which start I think at 10.30am with the Divine Liturgy in the 
church adjacent to Ilam Hall followed by a picnic lunch. 
After lunch, those who are more mobile take a short trek to the spring of Saint Bertram for 
the Blessing of the Waters, while those who cannot make the spring walk round to Saint 
Bertram’s Cave on the banks of the river Manifold. 
The day finishes with the veneration of the shrine of Saint Bertram followed by Great 
Vespers in the church. 
Each year more and more people from more and more parishes are attracted to this 
wonderful day out. 
Already people are asking about the event this year and some members of the Greek 
Orthodox Church in Walsall have also expressed an interest in attending. 
Ilam is becoming a real centre for the Orthodox as Ilam Hall which is now a Youth Hostel, 
also plays host to an Orthodox Youth Camp each year. 
Speak to Reader Martin if you require directions or more information on any of these 
Chris Tsielepi who organises the Derbyshire events is an Orthodox Christian whose family 
are from Northern Cyprus and who now lives in Stoney Middleton. 

Gird up your Brooms

As soon as you read this, please volunteer yourself for cleaning duties at Dresden before
the grand re-opening of the church on the first weekend in June.
There is a lot to do from mopping to dusting and polishing as well as pew hauling for the fit.
Please do not leave it to the usual victims to carry out all the work.
Last time many people answered the call and made relatively light work of the whole

Visit of the Kursk Root Icon of the Mother of God – Friday 6th June

We are invited again this year to join with the parish of Saint Elisabeth the New Martyr (ROCOR) in Wallasey as the miraculous icon tours the UK. 
I have written at length about this icon in past newsletters so if you want to read more, there are archives on our website and much other information through the web. 
Services will begin at approximately 6pm and the icon will leave the church promptly at 8pm. 
Directions to the church are on the Saint  Elisabeth’s website. 

Talking of Nuns... 
A party of nuns from Minsk in Belarus will be joining us on Wednesday 4th June and will be 
displaying their handicrafts at Dresden. I am hoping Fr Samuel will have more information
beforehand to indicate how long they are staying and if those of us who keep office hours
will be able to swell their pockets (if nuns have pockets) by buying something that evening.