On Monday 12 April the Parish Council met by teleconference. The usual reports on parish life and finances were tabled and discussed and an update was given on our renovations and other proposed improvements to the parish facilities and grounds. The arrangements for managing attendance at the Easter services were considered, together with plans for our patronal feast of the Translation of the Relics of Saint Nicholas on 21-22 May. It was noted that the Ladies' Auxiliary, having received donations for this purpose, would be purchasing new blue and green covers for the altar table and icon stands. The Parish Council is due to meet again in mid-May 2021.
On Saturday 10 April and Sunday 11 April we had services for the Fourth Sunday of Great Lent. Matins was served on Saturday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Sunday morning. As Saturday 10 April was a day of commemoration of the departed, Matins was preceded by a general panikhida during which prayers were offered for the newly-reposed Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh (+9 April 2021), Russian Orthodox clergy victims of the coronavirus, the ever-memorable departed clergy of the Australian-New Zealand Diocese, and our departed founders, benefactors, parishioners and relatives. At Divine Liturgy on Sunday the Prayer in time of Devastating Epidemic was read. In his sermon the parish rector spoke about Saint John of the Ladder and the significance of his life and work.
On Saturday 27 March and Sunday 28 March we had services for the Second Sunday of Great Lent. Matins was served on Saturday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Sunday morning. As Saturday 27 March was a day of commemoration of the departed, Matins was preceded by a general panikhida during which prayers were offered for the ever-memorable Emperor Paul I of Russia (+23 March 1801), Metropolitan Laurus (Shkurla) (+16 March 2008), Russian Orthodox clergy victims of the coronavirus, and our departed founders, benefactors, parishioners and relatives. At Divine Liturgy on Sunday the Prayer in time of Devastating Epidemic was read. In his sermon the parish rector spoke about Saint Gregory Palamas and his defence of the Orthodox Christian experience of God in prayer. On Sunday a collection was taken up to benefit the Holy Trinity Orthodox Seminary in Jordanville, New York.
On Tuesday 30 March and Wednesday 31 March many of the clergymen of our Australian-New Zealand Diocese will gather in Sydney for their customary Great Lenten Pastoral Conference. On Tuesday evening the clergy will meet at the church of All Saints of Russia, Croydon for the Rule of Preparation for Holy Communion at 5.00pm and Lenten Matins and confession at 6.00pm. On Wednesday morning from 8.00am the Hours and the Divine Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts will be served at Saints Peter and Paul Diocesan Cathedral, Strathfield, with Bishop George presiding and the clergy concelebrating. Our parish rector Archpriest James Carles plans to attend. Those of the faithful who wish to do so are welcome to attend the service on Wednesday morning and – if properly prepared – to receive Holy Communion. Following Divine Liturgy the clergy will meet privately to discuss a range of pastoral, liturgical and administrative matters.
On Saturday 13 March and Sunday 14 March we had services for the Sunday of Forgiveness. Matins was served on Saturday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Sunday morning. At Divine Liturgy the Prayer in time of Devastating Epidemic was read and the newly-baptised infant Gabriel Golovodovski received Holy Communion for the first time. In his sermon the parish rector spoke about forgiveness, the Lenten obedience of fasting and the approach to it set out in the Holy Scriptures, and Great Lent as a time to “lay up treasures in heaven” (Matthew 6:19-20). Vespers with the rite of asking forgiveness was served immediately after Divine Liturgy.
Paul I (1754-1801) was Emperor of Russia from 1796 until his assassination on 24 March 1801. Devoted to Russia and steadfast in the Orthodox faith from his childhood, he opposed the revolutionary and anti-religious currents that were then disturbing Europe. During his brief reign he improved the circumstances of peasants, serfs and soldiers, and did much to aid the education and living conditions of the Orthodox clergy. He was brutally murdered by members of the nobility and military leaders who resented his reforms. Emperor Paul’s memory having long been revered by the Russian Orthodox Church, the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia has directed that prayers be offered in his memory on the Saturday closest to the two-hundred and twentieth anniversary of his assassination, Saturday 27 March. In this parish he will be commemorated at the general panikhida to be served at 5.00pm that day.
The information on this website concerning weddings in the Russian Orthodox Church has been updated to address modesty of attire and the visibility of tattoos and piercings during the wedding ceremony. The updated information can be viewed here. Any questions about this information should be directed to the parish rector.
On Saturday 27 February and Sunday 28 February we had services for the Sunday of the Prodigal Son. Matins was served on Saturday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Sunday morning. In his sermon at Divine Liturgy the parish rector spoke about the willingness of our Heavenly Father to accept our repentance even though we, like the Prodigal Son, have been insolently wasteful with all that God has given us. On Sunday a collection was taken up to benefit a Diocesan charitable organisation, Orthodox Action.
Our Autumn 2021 Schedule of Services - covering March, April and May 2021 - is now available in digital format. It includes all our services for Great Lent, Holy Week, Pascha and our patronal feast of Saint Nicholas. A copy of the English-language Autumn 2021 Schedule of Services is available here, and a copy of the Russian-language Autumn 2021 Schedule of Services is available here. Both can also be accessed on our Services page, and printed copies will be available in church from the weekend of 27-28 February.
On 18 February 2021 Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America and New York, First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad, published an Archpastoral Epistle to the Clergy and Flock of the Eastern American and Australian-New Zealand Dioceses. The full text of the Epistle can be read in English here and in Russian here. An extract: "Dear fathers, brothers, and sisters! Bowing reverently before the memory of the above-mentioned giants of the Russian Church, let us take an interest in their lives, labors, and legacies, and let us take up the “exhausting and difficult task” of working on ourselves during the approaching Great Lent. Let us augment our prayers and reading, and take care for the doing of good deeds, taking hold of ourselves and declaring war on our sinful habits. It is truly comforting to observe how, in preparation for this salvific time, full of the most beautiful and meaningful services of the Church year, the pandemic has begun to die down, quarantine measures are being relaxed, and the normal flow of life is gradually returning. Nevertheless, I call on the rectors of the parishes and monasteries to continue to act with careful circumspection, adhering to common sense, sanitary norms, and the regulations set by local authorities, taking the recommended precautionary measures as circumstances dictate, while the order of receiving Communion should remain unchanged. Manifestations of disobedience and "zeal not according to knowledge" (Romans 10:2) on these matters, as the pandemic has shown us, lead not only to outbreaks of sickness, but also to serious divisions among the people, to say nothing of every manner of other temptations. Therefore, obey readily and without complaint the directives of the Hierarchy and local governments, which in the present circumstances are being undertaken precisely for our benefit. Calling on God’s aid, let us also call on doctors and medics to offer assistance in the parishes, remembering the words of the most wise Sirach: "the Lord hath created the physician… and medicines out of the earth; and he that is wise will not abhor them" (Sirach 38:1,4). The great luminaries of Christ’s Church respected doctors and medical science. The Holy Hierarch Basil the Great says, “Humanity is the regular business of all you who practice as physicians… for health we are dependent on your skill” (Letter to Eustathius the Physician). In his Letter to Olympias, the Holy Hierarch John Chrysostom asks for remedy for himself, and counsels others to make use of the aid of physicians and medicines".
On Saturday 13 February and Sunday 14 February we had services for the Thirty-Sixth Sunday after Pentecost, Zaccheus Sunday; the Forefeast of the Great Feast of the Meeting of the Lord in the Temple; and in honour of Martyr Tryphon (+250 AD). Matins was served on Saturday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Sunday morning. Prayers for deliverance from the coronavirus were offered at Divine Liturgy. In his sermon on Sunday the parish rector spoke about Zaccheus (Luke 19:1-9) as a model of repentance and on the importance of allowing the possibility of repentance in others, no matter their way of life.
On Saturday 23 January and Sunday 24 January we had services for the Thirty-Third Sunday after Pentecost and for the Sunday after Theophany. Matins was served on Saturday evening and Divine Liturgy with the Great Blessing of Water was served on Sunday morning. Following the blessing of water a moleben with prayers of thanksgiving was served for the founders, benefactors and parishioners of the former Theophany church (1994-2009), all of whom joined our parish in 2009.
On Saturday 9 January and Sunday 10 January we had services for the Thirty-First Sunday after Pentecost and for the Sunday after the Nativity of Christ. Matins was served on Saturday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Sunday morning. In place of a sermon at Divine Liturgy, the parish rector read aloud the Nativity Epistle of Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America and New York, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church outside Russia.
On Tuesday 5 January, our parish rector served the funeral of 97-year-old Anna Morhun, our long serving Head Sister and a tireless worker for our church. In view of concern about the COVID-19 pandemic, the funeral was a small gathering of close family and friends. Following the service, the newly reposed Anna was laid to rest in Sandgate Cemetery beside her beloved husband Ivan (+1998).