On the evening of Tuesday 16 April our parish rector presided at a General Service of Anointing with Oil. Serving together with him was Priest Dalibor Pavlovic of the Serbian Orthodox Church of Saint Nahum of Ohrid in Broadmeadow. Together with the clergy, approximately 35 faithful from both parishes gathered in our church to pray and receive anointing with oil for the healing of soul and body. For Orthodox Christians this service, otherwise served only for individuals who are grievously ill, is a customary part of Great Lent.
On Saturday 23 March and Sunday 24 March we had services for the Second Sunday of Great Lent and in honour of Saint Gregory Palamas, Archbishop of Thessalonica (+AD 1359). As Saturday 23 March was a day of commemoration of the departed, the service on Saturday evening was preceded by a general panikhida at which many departed clergymen of our Diocese, parishioners, relatives and friends were commemorated by name. In his sermon at Divine Liturgy on Sunday the parish rector spoke about the life and teaching of Saint Gregory Palamas and about the approachability and mercy of God. Following Divine Liturgy a collection was taken up to benefit the Holy Trinity Orthodox Seminary in Jordanville, NY.
On Saturday 9 March and Sunday 10 March we had services for the Sunday of Forgiveness and Cheesefare Sunday. After the Prayer before the Amvon at Divine Liturgy on Sunday, the prayer of blessing was read over two beautiful new server's vestments, one red and one black. At the end of Divine Liturgy the newly-blessed vestments - the work of the Convent of Saint Elisabeth in Minsk, Belarus - were presented to Subdeacon Luke Goura as a gift from the parish in antcipation of the fifteenth anniversary of his tonsure as a reader in May 2004. Vespers was then served, during which the church vestments were changed from gold to black and the ordinary melodies gave way to the solemn melodies of Great Lent. In accordance with Orthodox practice, at the end of Vespers all present asked forgiveness of one another. At Bishop George’s request, a collection was taken up to benefit Saints Cyril and Methodius Orthodox Institute, the theological and higher education institute of the Australian-New Zealand Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia.
On Saturday 23 February the parish rector baptised Anastasia Crawford, the infant daughter of Stephen and Deborah Crawford and a younger sister to Florence. Anastasia had as her godparents Nathalie Crawford and Duncan Crawford. We warmly congratulate Stephen, Deborah, Nathalie and Duncan and wish the the newly-baptised Anastasia many years!