In this email
Message from Fr Alexander — Let my prayer arise
Stay connected to the Church — A few calendars still available
How to pray — Be the Bee
Live stream information
News of Future Services
Saints and Feasts — 14th–21st January
Offer of help
Christians pray. This is a fundamental definition of who a Christian is. We pray. This is not necessarily asking for things—though this is one important aspect of prayer—but of bringing our mind to God, focusing on him. This is why in our tradition we have the Jesus Prayer,
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me.
A short, easily memorised prayer which we can repeat often to learn to empty our mind of all extraneous thoughts and focus on Christ.
Yes, we pray. We pray for ourselves, our families, our friends—and hopefully, too, by the grace of God for our enemies—that we may be one in God. We also ask each other to pray: Scripture tells us,
The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.
Even if we believe our own prayers are weak, we ask that our neighbour prays too since his righteousness and holiness could become infectious and make our own prayer righteous. Accustom yourself to asking the prayers of others and, in turn, praying for them that we may become a community of prayer, a beacon of prayer, a Church of prayer.
St James tells us more in the immediately preceeding verses.
Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the presbyters of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.
And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.
We are all sick with sin, suffering the consequences of our own and of others. Given our present lockdown I regret that I cannot come to you. Yet I—as your presbyter (priest)—can still pray for you at the Liturgy each Sunday.
Back in the early summer I asked for you to send me the names of those for whom you would like me to pray: I have been commemorating these at the Liturgy each Sunday since. I propose starting again with this. Please email me a list of the names of anyone you would like me to pray for. Please separate them into 4 groups:
Living — Orthodox
Living — Not Orthodox
Departed — Orthodox
Departed — Not Orthodox
Just their Christian name (first name) is needed.
Please pray. Please pray for me and for our community that we may be able to find a home soon and come to praise the Lord more fully in our home in Eastleigh.
Stay connected to the Church — Still some copies left
I still have some copies of the Calendar produced by our Archdiocese: could you make room for it on your walls?
It features pictures from our monastery in Shropshire. There are the saints and the Bible readings for each day of the year as well as a guide to fasting.
Contact me for details, firstname.lastname@example.org: £6 per copy.
How to pray
Worries are increasing on the possible increase in the spread of the disease. Yet there is a division: one side is accused of scare-mongering while the other of irresponsibility. The situation is becoming fractious and each side’s position is becoming more entrenched.
Our duty as Christians is to stand for truth and to bring about unity. But to stand for truth does not mean to ridicule nor deride those who are wrong, it is to act patiently, humbly, lovingly: in other words to be Christ-like. We do not shy away from the truth nor do we separate ourselves from others.
The Church has a clear position as given by our bishops: we are to obey the civil authorities on these matters. We follow the law while maintaining our Faith and thus provide a witness—a martyrdom—of the Gospel. And then, by trusting in the power of God and not our own, we may become an icon of unity and concord.
Would you like help? Advice? Support? Then let me know.
The Monastery of Saints Antony and Cuthbert, Shropshire, is live-streaming its services for all who are unable to go to their own churches. These are over YouTube and can be accessed here:
Usually Vespers on Saturday evenings at 5 pm and Matins and Liturgy on Sunday mornings from 7.30 am.
News of Future Services
We want to start to hold services together: things are difficult now but they remind us that we can do nothing by our own power. Only when we place our hope in the Lord—and not in our own skills, talents, ideas, imaginations—will we be able to build a house for the Lord.
Our Facebook Page, facebook.com/orthodoxeastleigh, too, has daily additions during the week as well as on feast days. Please do like and share our page and content so we may reach a wider group of people.
Do you receive the weekly (on Fridays) text message? If not, then let me know.
Saints and Feasts
Thursday 14th January — Leavetaking of the Theophany of our Lord. The Memory of the Venerable Fathers massacred at Mount Sinai. The Memory of the Forty-Three Holy Fathers massacred at Raithu. St Nino (Nina), Equal-to-the-Apostles and Illuminator of Georgia. St Sava, first Archbishop of Serbia and founder of the Monastery of Chilandar on the Holy Mountain (12th/13th).
Friday 15th — St John the Hut-Dweller (5th). St Ceolwulf of Northumbria (8th).
Saturday 16th — Veneration of the chains of the Apostle Peter. St Sigebert the Martyr and St Fursey of East Anglia (7th).
Sunday 17th — Twelfth Sunday of Luke. St Anthony the Great of Egypt (4th).
Monday 18th — Saints Athanasius and Cyril, Patriarchs of Alexandria.
Tuesday 19th — St Mark, Bishop of Ephesus (15th). St Branwallader, Bishop of Jersey. St Brewand if Cornwall and the Channel Islands (6th).
Wednesday 20th — The Righteous Euthymius the Great.
Thursday 21st — St Maximus the Confessor (7th).
Can I help you?
I am here for you, you need only ask. Is there a way I can support your life of faith? Get in touch.
Can you help the mission?
Yes, absolutely. Offer yourselves to the Lord: pray! Make available to him all your talents and ask him how he would like you to use them — listen for his reply.
I ask your prayers for me.
With love in Christ