St. Nicholas Orthodox Church
Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese
9100 Youree Drive, Shreveport, LA 71115
February 24, 2011

The Triodion - We are now in the middle of the three preparatory weeks leading up to Great Lent.  The "Triodion" period, which lasts from the 4th Sunday before Great Lent through Holy Saturday, has begun.  This period takes its name from the Liturgical book used during these weeks of preparation and all of Great Lent, known as the Triodion ("Three Odes" - because only three odes are sung in many Lenten canons). The 4 preparatory Sundays of the Triodion highlight important themes in the Christian life, themes that we would do well to keep in mind during the Lenten journey that lies ahead of us.  The first Sunday of the Triodion was the Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee, on which we are reminded that "everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted." (Luke 18:14).  Last Sunday was the Sunday of the Prodigal Son, on which we are reminded the Heavenly Father's magnificent love for us sinners, and the forgiveness and restoration that is ours when we return to Him in repentance.  We were also reminded to rejoice when we see others repenting and receiving mercy, for there is great rejoicing in heaven over one repentant sinner. (Luke 15:7,10)  This coming Sunday is the Sunday of the Last Judgment, when we will meditate on the theme of the final judgment of all people when we stand before the Throne of God.  We are reminded that Sunday to be merciful to others, seeing people in need as the "least of these," the brethren of the Lord (Matt. 25:40)  That Sunday is also known as Meatfare Sunday, as it is the last day on which we eat meat until Pascha.  The 4th and final Sunday of the pre-Lenten period is known as Forgiveness Sunday.  We are reminded of the immeasurable value of granting and receiving true forgiveness, as we participate in the beautiful Vespers of Forgiveness that day.  Because it is the last day before Great Lent begins, that Sunday is also known as Cheesefare Sunday.  Having finished up our "cheesefare" (dairy, eggs, etc.), we begin the strict fast the following day, which is known as "Clean Monday."

Upcoming Services
This evening (Wed.) 6pm - Vespers (for St. Theodore the Soldier), followed by Catechism
Friday, 7:15am - 1st Hour and Men's Meeting
           5:30pm - Vespers w. Trisagion for the Departed
Saturday, 8am - Akathist for Departed
               9am - Divine Liturgy (Saturday of Souls)
               5:45pm - 9th Hour; 6pm - Great Vespers (Followed by Fellowship potluck)
Sunday services as usual

Saturday of Souls - This Saturday, the day before the Sunday of the Last Judgment, is known as a "Saturday of Souls."  Special services are offered with commemorations of our departed loved ones.  There will be Vespers at 5:30 on Friday evening, and on Saturday morning, the Akathist for the Departed at 8am and the Divine Liturgy at 9am.  If you haven't already, please send me names of your departed loved ones to be commemorated.

Altar servers' meeting - at 4:30pm this Saturday afternoon there will be a meeting of our altar servers.

Fellowship Potluck - our next parish fellowship potluck will be this Saturday, Feb. 26, following Great Vespers, at the Lahayes' home.  It is being graciously hosted by Ethelyn Lahaye and Eddie Marsh.

Meatfare and Cheesefare - Remember that this Sunday is the last day on which we eat meat.  The following week, known as cheesefare week, we abstain from meat but eat everything else (including Wednesday and Friday) in order to finish up all our cheese, eggs, milk, etc.

Akathist to St. Juliana - Next Wednesday, March 2, we will pray the Akathist to St. Juliana of Lazarevo, the patroness of our Ladies' Group, in place of Vespers.

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