Pastoral Letter Sept. 2016
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
The Beheading of St. John the Forerunner is a strict fast day because of the grief of Christians at the violent death of the saint. It was in the 32nd year after the Birth of Christ. Feast is commemorated by the Church on September 11. The accounts about the martyrdom of John the Baptist are provided by Sts. Matthew (Mt.14:1-12) and Mark (Mark 6:14-29).
The first day of the Church New Year is also called the beginning of the Indiction. It should be noted that to the present day, the Church has always celebrated the beginning of the New Year on September 14.
The Nativity of the Theotokos is one of the Twelve Great Feasts of the Orthodox liturgical year. It is celebrated on September 21. The Feast commemorates the birth of the Mother of Jesus Christ. According to the sacred tradition of the Orthodox Church, Mary was born to elderly and previously barren parents by the names of Joachim and Anna, in answer to their prayers.
The Elevation of the Holy Cross is celebrated on September 27. This feast is also referred to as the Exaltation of the Cross. This is a holy day of fasting and repentance. On this day the faithful make dedication to the crucified Lord and pledge their faithfulness to him by making prostrations at the Lords feet on the life creating Cross. For the feast, the Cross is placed on a tray surrounded by flowers or branches of basil, and placed in the center of the Church for veneration.
Greetings and blessings as we begin the 2016 Church School year!