Services for the Feast of the Annunication

posted Apr 6, 2011, 9:13 AM by rthompson@stjohnsacademysf.org   [ updated Apr 6, 2011, 12:52 PM ]
This Thursday, April 7, is the day that the Church celebrates a most joyous holiday, the Annunciation. On this day, Archangel Gabriel came to announce to a young maiden living in Nazareth that she had been chosen by God to be the mother of the Savior. She was to become the bridge that connected earth with Heaven. Through Her, the Son of God descended to receive His humanity and became God-man in order to offer salvation to the fallen human race. Therefore, this day is an especially precious and holy day for us. Old Russian folk wisdom claimed that on this day birds did not weave their nests, nor did maidens braid their hair. It is such a holy day that in the past times, people stopped all personal activities as a way of honoring the Mother of God.

Due to work, many of you will be unable attend the Liturgy on Thursday morning. To miss both the vigil and the liturgy is not something that a person who is truly an Orthodox Christian should allow himself to do. Therefore it is especially important that you make efforts to attend at least the vigil for the holiday which begins at 6:00 PM, Wednesday evening.  This is especially important since your child has to be there anyway. By being present you will set an example for your child. Attending services and praying together as a family is the core means of building a healthy family which lives in harmony and focuses on God.

Two liturgies are to be offered on Thursday. The first will begin at 6:30 AM and will be served in the lower church. This is being offered to allow people to come to the liturgy and then go to work with a minimum impact on their work day. The main liturgy will begin 9:00 AM and will be served in the upstairs Cathedral.

Attendance at both the vigil and one of the liturgies is absolutely required for your child. This is counted as a school day and part of the students' Orthodox education. That said, please be aware there will be no classes on Thursday and that uniforms are not required. As families should be attending the Great Feasts together, parents are to be responsible for their children during the services. After attending the Liturgy, your children will need to be taken home to celebrate the holiday.

Due to the joyous nature of this Feast, the Church gives us an added bonus. This is one of only two days which it is permitted to eat fish during Great Lent.

In closing, please accept my heartfelt best wishes for this celebration, and I look forward to sharing this wonderful day with you in Church.

With Love in Christ,
Archpriest Serge Kotar, Chaplain
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