Twelve Apostles' Church Eastleigh

I am the Pharisee

In this email

Message from Fr Alexander — I am the Pharisee

News …
Organising the Parish
Wednesdays at 7 pm on Zoom
WhatsApp Group
Twitter Feed
Names for prayer
Monastery of St John the Baptist talks
Archimandrite Philip: Ten at Ten

Lockdown Response
Live stream information


Saints and Feasts — 18th–25th February

Offer of help

Dear Friends

We have arrived. We are on the precipice of the Triodion, the book with the special services for the period of Pre-Lent, Lent and Holy Week. Now is the time when we reflect where we are in our Faith, where we look deeply into the mirror to examine ourselves.

For the mirror to be useful, we first need to clean it. And when we clear away the dirt and imperfections in the mirror we realise it is not the mirror which is dirty—we are. The dirt and sin, that we have explained as being dust on the mirror, are on ourselves.

It is with this spirit that the publican in this Sunday’s Gospel reading entered the Temple: also a pharisee entered; yet the latter was not able to see his sin as the former.

The Lord said this parable, “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week, I give tithes of all that I get.’ But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
— Luke 18:10–14

I am the Pharisee. I am the one who prays with himself rather than with the living God.

This is fundamental to our preparation for Lent. We need to see ourselves as the hypocrites, as the ones who need God, really need him. My hypocrisy stands between me and God.

My dear brothers and sisters, dear friends, the Lord has granted us the blessing to prepare, once again, for his blessed Pascha. Be cleansed from sin. The Church, in her love for us, has given us the following prayers which are said during Sunday Matins in the period of the Triodion. Use this prayer that the Lord will open to you, too, the doors of repentance that you too may be justified as the publican.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
Open to me the doors of repentance, O Life-giver; for my soul goeth early to the temple of Thy holiness, coming in the temple of my body, wholly polluted. But because Thou art compassionate, purify me by the compassion of Thy mercies.

Both now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.
Prepare for me the way of salvation, O Theotokos; for I have profaned myself with coarse sins, and consumed my whole life with procrastination. But by thine intercessions purify thou me from all abomination.

Have mercy upon me, O God, according to Thy lovingkindness; according to the multitude of Thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.
If I think upon the multitude of my evil deeds, wretch that I am, I tremble for the terrible Day of Judgment. But, trusting the compassion of Thy mercy, I shout to Thee like David, Have mercy upon me, O God, according to Thy Great Mercy.


Organising the Parish

We are putting together a constitution for our new parish. This should, ultimately, allow us to open a bank account and allow us to make dealings with potential landlords and take out the insurance necessary to open a community.

We will need to organise a meeting, perhaps in our present situation this will be online, where we can formally come into being. Then we can start the process of getting a bank facility.

Keep a look out for news on this: we will need you. And please pray!

Wednesdays at 7 pm on Zoom

We are saying together the Paraklesis—the Canon written in honour of the Mother of God—asking her prayers before the Lord that the Coronavirus Pandemic may be lifted from our world. Would you like to join us?

Get in touch and I will send you the details:

WhatsApp Group

A new WhatsApp group has been created for the Twelve Apostles community: would you like to be a part of this? Let me know!

Twitter Feed

I have also created a new Twitter account for the community: do follow us @12ApostlesHants.

Names for prayer

If you have not yet done so, please do send me a list of those whom you would like me to pray for at the Liturgy. Please separate them out into four groups:

Living who are Orthodox
Living who are not Orthodox
Departed who are Orthodox
Departed who are not Orthodox

Just their Christian (first) names are needed. Please include your own names at the top of the list.

Monastery of St John the Baptist talks

Each Sunday evening, 5.30–7pm, the Monastery in Essex, founded by St Sophrony, produces a talk on Zoom. Up until now these have been given either by Archimandrite* Peter, the abbot, or by Archimandrite Zacharias. You need to register for these in advance.

If you would be interested in joining the talks, please get in contact and I can send you the registration details. They are of great benefit.

[* Archimandrite is a title for a senior priest who is celibate.]

Archimandrite Philip: Ten at Ten

Also online, Archimandrite Philip of the monastery of our Archdiocese in Shropshire produces a Bible-study every weekday at 10 am from his YouTube channel—if you cannot watch live they are archived. Although called Ten at Ten, its length is somewhat a changeable feast.

You can reach his YouTube channel by clicking here or by searching “Archimandrite Philip” on YouTube.

Lockdown Response

We are in lockdown and our Metropolitan has given a clear directive that churches which cannot maintain enough social distancing in the Archdiocese are to be closed until the end of February at least. Our Archdiocese, without judging what others are doing, has taken the position that we do not want any transmission to take place in our churches and we want to keep everyone safe.

This is not what any Church wants to do: all want to welcome people for worship, yet our worship is not the totality of what we do as Christians and now is an opportunity to make even more use of other aspects of our Faith. Pray. Really pray. Make prayer a regular part of your life. Study. Read the Scriptures, read what the Fathers say about the Scriptures. Give. Give to the poor and needy. Give you time to a friends: call them and say hello.

I am here for you: get in contact if you would like help and support. Together, by the grace of God, we can emerge with a stronger Faith.

Live stream

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.


Have a look at our website —
If you click on the “Blog” link, or directly here, you will see all past emails as well as sermons etc.

Our Facebook Page,, 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.

Our community has a Twitter handle, @12ApostlesHants.

Do you receive the weekly (on Fridays) text message? If not, then let me know.

Saints and Feasts

Thursday 18th February — St Leo the Great, Pope of Rome (461). St Colman, Bishop of Lindisfarne (676).

Friday 19th — Apostles Philemon and Archippus of the Seventy. St Philothei of Athens.

Saturday 20th — St Leo, Bishop of Catania.

Sunday 21st — Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee. Beginning of the Triodion. St Timothy, Bishop of Symbola. S Eustathios, Archbishop of Antioch.

Monday 22nd — The finding of the Precious Relics of the Holy Martyrs in the Quarter of Eugenios.

Tuesday 23rd — Hieromartyr Polycarp, Bishop of Smyrna (167). St Boswell, Abbot of Melrose Abbey (664). St Millburga of Wenlock (715).

Wednesday 24th — First and Second Finding of the Head of the Forerunner. St Cumine the White, Abbot of Iona (c 669).

Thursday 25th — St Tarasius, Patriarch of Constantinople. St Ethelbert, High King of Kent (616).

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.

Your prayers!

With love in Christ

Fr Alexander