Pastoral Letter Oct. 2016
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
A memorial service is a liturgical solemn service for the repose of the departed. It is served on Memorial Saturday prior to the feast of Venerable Cyriacus of Palestine in October. The service is composed of Psalms, litanies, hymns and prayers. In its outline it follows the general order of Matins and is, in effect, a truncated funeral service. For the memorial service, koliva is often prepared and is placed in front of the memorial table. Afterwards, it is blessed by the priest. The koliva is then taken to the refectory and is served to all those who attended the service.
St. John the Theologian is a patron saint of our choir. He was one of the original twelve Apostles, and wrote the Gospel bearing his name; three canonical letters: I John, II John, and III John; and the Book of Revelation. His symbol is the eagle. St. John was the son of Salome the myrrh-bearer and Zebedee, a fisherman. His brother was St. James, another apostle. He refers to himself as “the disciple whom Jesus loved” rather than use his name. He was the youngest of the twelve apostles, and especially close to the Lord. This closeness is often portrayed in icons of the mystical supper, where St. John leans on Jesus. He was present for the Transfiguration of Christ with Peter and his brother James. St. John was exiled to the island of Patmos by Emperor Domitian around 90-95 A.D., and it was there that he received and wrote the Book of Revelation.
St. Paraskeva was born into a pious family during the eleventh century in the village of Epivato, between Silistra and Constantinople. Upon the death of her parents, Paraskeva was tonsured into monasticism at the age of fifteen. St. Paraskeva departed to the Lord at the age of twenty-seven and was buried near the sea. Because of the many miracles which took place at her grave, her relics were uncovered and found to be incorrupt.
I wish you happy and blessed beginning of Slava season.
Prayerfully in Christ,