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.