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A moleben and akathist to Blessed Xenia of Saint Petersburg - 06/02/2018

On the evening of Tuesday 6 February, the day of commemoration of Blessed Xenia of Saint Petersburg, a moleben with an akathist – a liturgical hymn in thirteen parts –to the saint was served.  The moleben – or service of intercession – was served in Church Slavonic and the akathist was read in English.  All our parishioners were commemorated by name together with those who have asked for our prayers and the family and friends of those present.  Following the service the parish rector congratulated Nina Golovin, the Senior Sister, on the feast-day of the parish Ladies’ Auxiliary.  Many years was sung for Nina and the members of the Ladies Auxiliary and for Xenia (Janet) Strickler, celebrating her name-day.  Those present later gathered in the church hall for a light festive meal.  Holy blessed Xenia, pray to God for us!

Services on 3-4 February, the Sunday of the Prodigal Son - 04/02/2018

On Saturday 3 February and Sunday 4 February we had services for the Sunday of the Prodigal Son – so named for the appointed Gospel reading, Luke 15:11-32 – and in honour of the New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia.  A large number of people were present for Divine Liturgy on Sunday morning.  It being an important feast-day in the Russian Orthodox Church, the Prayer for the Prosperity of the Russian Orthodox Church was read.  In his sermon the parish rector spoke about the parable of the Prodigal Son as an encouragement to repentance and about the history and significance of the commemoration of the New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia.  Following Divine Liturgy a collection was taken up for Orthodox Action, raising $195.00.

The Final Report of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse - 01/02/2018

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse completed its work late in 2017.  The seventeen-volume Final Report of the Royal Commission, which looked into the history of abuse in a range of institutions and organisations in Australia including religious groups, was published on 15 December 2017.  The Final Report Preface and Executive Summary summarises the findings and lists all the recommendations. There is also a brief guide to the Final Report.  The Royal Commission made 28 recommendations that set out governance standards – including the ten Child Safe Standards – and compliance mechanisms designed to ensure that children stay safe in religious institutions.  Our Parish Council is now familiarising itself with the findings and recommendations of the Royal Commission so as to develop, in conjunction with the Diocesan authorities, policies and procedures to ensure that our parish and our Diocese remain child-safe and child-friendly.

Services on 20-21 January, the Sunday after Theophany and Zaccheus Sunday - 21/01/2018

On Saturday 20 January and Sunday 21 January we had services for the Sunday after Theophany.  This year, the Sunday after Theophany coincided with Zaccheus Sunday, the final Sunday before the beginning of preparation for Great Lent.  On this day the appointed Gospel reading is Luke 19:1-10, the account of the repentant tax collector Zaccheus of Jericho.  In his sermon the parish rector noted the shift in focus in the life of the Church from the joy of the Great Feasts of the Nativity and the Baptism of Christ to the need for repentance.  This shift is also evident in the Gospel reading appointed for the Sunday after Theophany, Matthew 4:12-17.

Services on 18-19 January - Theophany, the Great Feast of the Baptism of Christ - 19/01/2018

On Thursday 18 January and Friday 19 January we had services for the Great Feast of Theophany, the commemoration of the Baptism of the Lord.  All-night vigil - Great Compline and Matins with the blessing of wheat, wine, oil and five loaves – was served on Thursday evening, and Divine Liturgy with the Great Blessing of Water was served on Friday morning.  Following the service on Friday and during the days that followed, the parish rector visited parish homes to sprinkle the Holy Water and offer prayers for the health and salvation of the faithful.

Russian Orthodox Christmas in Gosford - 07/01/2018

Over the weekend of 5 January – 7 January we had a number of services to prepare for and celebrate the Nativity of our Lord, God and Saviour Jesus Christ.  Matins for the Eve of the Nativity and in honour of the Martyr Eugenia (+AD) was served on the evening of Friday 5 January.  On the morning of Saturday 6 January Divine Liturgy and Vespers with the eight prophetic readings from the Old Testament were served, after which we decorated our small church for the main festive services.  On Saturday evening we had All-night Vigil with the blessing of wheat, wine, oil and five loaves and on Sunday morning the Divine Liturgy of Saint Basil the Great.  In place of a sermon, our parish rector read aloud the Nativity Epistle of Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America and New York in Russian and in English.  In accordance with parish custom, prayers of thanksgiving were offered at the end of the Christmas Day service to commemorate the deliverance of the Russian Church and Empire from the French and Twelve Other Nations on this day in 1812.  Following the service many gathered in the church hall for a festive meal.

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