Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Ordination of Fr. Mark Christian
to the Sacred Order of Priests...

...took place at Saint Seraphim Orthodox Cathedral in Dallas, Texas on Sunday, February 22, 2009. According to the Lenten Triodion, this was the Sunday of the Last Judgment, or Meatfare Sunday, the third of our Pre-Lenten Sundays.

The day began with the enrollment of eleven catechumens at the cathedral. At the beginning of the Hierarchical Liturgy, Fr. Mark served as third deacon and took his turn leading several litanies.

His Eminence, the Most Reverend DMITRI, Archbishop of Dallas and the South preached on the Gospel Reading from the Gospel of St. Matthew. In his sermon, His Eminence reminded the congregation that our judgment in the last day will be concerned with the mercy and care we show for those whom the world considers worthless and marginal. By loving our neighbors, we demonstrate our love for Christ. And if we refuse to merciful and charitable, the day of judgment will not go well for us.

At the singing of the Cherubic Hymn at the Great Entrance, the deacon being ordained to the priesthood leads the procession with his head covered by the aer, the veil which typically covers the Holy Gifts.

As he approaches the altar guided by the other deacons, he makes a series of full prostrations. At the Royal Doors, he is met by the priests who lead him in procession around the altar, kissing each of its four corners.

This reflects the processions which take place in the Holy Mysteries of Baptism, Chrismation, and Marriage. In each of these sacramental actions, the person is being transfigured in relation to Christ and His Church.

After kneeling before the Bishop, the ordinand kneels before the Holy Altar with his head upon his crossed hands. The Bishop lays hands upon his head and says a series of prayers.

The new priest is then vested according to his new order, with epitrachalion (stole), zone (belt), and phelonion (chasuble).

A pectoral cross and service book are also presented to the new priest.

At the end of the Liturgy, Fr. Mark reads the Prayer before the Ambo:

And afterwards, greets and offers a blessing to the faithful.

Glory to Jesus Christ! Glory to Him forever!

Many thanks to Daniel Rudder, of www.crosscrafter.com, for the magnificent photography!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

The Recent Diocesan Conference in Jacksonville...

...at St. Justin Martyr Orthodox Church included the tonsuring of Fr. Mark Christian as Reader by His Eminence, the Most Reverend DMITRI, Archbishop of Dallas and the South, followed by his ordination as Sub-Deacon and Deacon by His Beatitude, the Most Blessed JONAH, Archbishop of New York and Washington and Metropolitan of All America and Canada.

This represents a tremendous milestone in our life as a mission congregation in Baton Rouge. Father Deacon's ordination to the Holy Order of Priests has been scheduled for Sunday, February 22 at St. Seraphim Cathedral in Dallas.

There will be no services in Baton Rouge this weekend, February 21-22.

Schedule for February 28-March 1:

Saturday, February 28: Great Vespers at 5:00 PM

Forgiveness Sunday (Cheesefare), March 1:

The Adult Class WILL NOT MEET. New Schedule TBA

Hours at 9:40 AM

Divine Liturgy at 10:00 AM, followed by Forgiveness Vespers

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

The Enthronement of His Holiness, Patriarch KIRILL
of Moscow and All Russia

MOSCOW, RUSSIA [OCA Communications] -- On Sunday, February 1, 2009, a delegation representing the Orthodox Church in America took part in the enthronement of His Holiness, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, at Christ the Saviour Cathedral in Moscow.

The OCA delegation consisted of His Grace, Bishop Tikhon of Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania; His Grace, Bishop Benjamin of San Francisco and the West; Archimandrite Zacchaeus, Representative of the Orthodox Church in America to the Moscow Patriarchate; and Archpriest Leonid Kishkovsky, Director of External Affairs and Interchurch Relations.

At the banquet following the enthronement services, His Grace, Bishop Tikhon read a letter of greeting to Patriarch Kirill from His Beatitude, Metropolitan Jonah.

"Your Holiness' election brings us great joy in knowing that the special relationship between the Russian Church and the Orthodox Church in America will continue," Metropolitan Jonah wrote. "The support and encouragement of the Mother Church to her American Daughter is of utmost value to us. As we move toward greater maturity as a Church and assume the full responsibilities of Autocephaly, which your predecessors endowed us with, we will look to Your Holiness as a collaborator in our common mission to establish the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace."

Read it all here.

In news closer to home, the Diocesan website has posted an announcement regarding Mark Christian's scheduled ordination to the Holy Order of Deacons in Jacksonville, Florida.