ORTHODOX EASTER (PASCHA)
This year, Orthodox Christians will celebrate Easter on April 20th. The Orthodox date for Easter is based on a decree of the Council of Nicae, Asia Minor, held in 325 A.D. under Emperor Constantine the Great. According to this decree, Easter must be celebrated on the Sunday following the first full moon of the vernal equinox but always after the Hebrew Passover to maintain the Biblical sequence of events of the Crucifixion and the Resurrection. The Orthodox Christian Churches have adhered strictly to this formula, but the Easter of other Christian Churches is not necessarily preceded by the Passover.
Click here for the Holy Week and Easter Services Schedule:
The Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts is conducted only during the Wednesdays and Fridays of Lent and on the first three days of Holy Week. The Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts, as its name implies, is unlike other Liturgies, such as that of St. John Chrysostom, in that there is no consecration of the elements. Rather, the consecration takes place on the preceding Sunday. These Presanctified Liturgies exist in order to offer more opportunities for the faithful to receive Holy Communion without the general splendor of the regular Divine Liturgy.
The service consists of the first part of a Vespers and the last part of the Divine Liturgy. The mood is inspired by the repentance characteristic of the Lenten Period. One way of showing the spirit of repentance and humility, while acknowledging the Holy Gifts carried in the Great Entrance procession, is for the priest to cover his head with the “aer” cloth, rather than placing it on his back (Greek Tradition) or shoulder (Slavic Tradition). It is not that you are prohibited from looking at the priest, but that the solemnity of the transfer of the already consecrate Holy Gifts of the Body and Blood of Christ, is being emphasized by this practice.
HERETISMOI - SALUTATIONS
The Akathyst Hymn was composed and sung, according to tradition, as a thanksgiving to the Theotokos for the protection of Constantinople from a siege by the Persians in 626 A.D. The twenty-four verses, each beginning with a letter of the Greek alphabet form a beautiful religious poem regarding the coming of Christ for the salvation of the world. The hymns honor the Theotokos. The Heretismoi services are portions of these verses (six each week) and are sung on the first four Fridays of Great Lent. The whole Akathyst Hymn is sung on the fifth Friday of Lent.
GREAT LENT AND EASTER FLOWERS
The Great Lent and Easter Season is approaching quickly and once again we are asking for your contributions and donations towards the adornment of our St. Athanasios Church during the Lenten and Pascha season. Please keep in mind that Great Lent begins on Monday, March 3rd. Please call the Church Office if you are interested in donating any of the following items:
Flowers for the 5 Icons
Daffodils for the Veneration of the Holy Cross
Palms and Vaia for Palm Sunday
Flowers for the Icon of the Nymphios (Bridegroom)
2 Candles for the Bridegroom
Holy Wednesday, Holy Unction Items
Flowers for the Icon of the Last Supper
12 Candles for the 12 Gospels
9 Candles for Cross, Holy Thursday
Wreath of flowers for the Crucified
Floral Arrangement for the foot of the Cross
1 White Single Flat Sheet for Good Friday
Flowers for the Epitaphio
8 Candles for Altar Table
Rosewater for the Epitaphio
Flowers for Resurrection Icon
Wreath for the Resurrection Lavaro
30 Easter Lily plants
6 Paschal Candles
Communion Wine (Koumantaria, St. John’s or Nama)
If you are available and willing to assist in the festival preparations, please contact the church office for the schedule of preparations.
This year’s Festival is
May 15-18th, 2014
THE SUCCESS OF OUR FESTIVAL DEPENDS ON ALL OF US!
COMMUNITY FOOD PANTRY
As part of our new parish ministry, “Diakonia Agape” Food Pantry Ministry - Feeding the Hungry”, we will be collecting non-perishable items. This will be an on-going Parish Ministry. All donations can be placed in the designated boxes as you enter the Community Hall. All food items will assist needy families of our parish and food pantries of our neighborhood. We wish to thank all our parishioners and friends of St. Athanasios for your donations and ask that you continue to help us help those in need. Please remember the bank for the needy is at the entrance of the Community Center.
RESPONDING TO THE NEEDS OF THE
GREEK ORTHODOX COMMUNITY FOR OVER 80 YEARS
Has a loss of employment put you behind with your rent, mortgage or utility bills?
Are you swamped by out-of-pocket medical costs?
Do you need help finding homecare for your elderly parents?
Do you know someone who needs help, a friendly call or visit?
CONFIDENTIAL ASSISTANCE IS AVAILABLE!
Contact Philoptochos locally by calling Thea Portelos at 201-446-9144
Contact Metropolis of NJ Social Service
Chairperson Eleni Adronikou at 908-218-5073
Contact National Philoptochos at 212-977-7782
The Greek Orthodox Ladies Philoptochos Society, Inc., assists Greek Orthodox Christian individuals and families throughout the United States, as well as Greek and Cypriot Nationals, regardless of their immigration status, who are in the USA. We welcome new members and your ideas!
Sanctify those who love the beauty of Thy House
ΑΓΙΑΣΟΝ ΤΟΥΣ ΑΓΑΠΩΝΤΑΣ ΤΗΝ ΕΥΠΡΕΠΕΙΑΝ ΤΟΥ ΟΙΚΟΥ ΣΟΥ
Iconography / Phase I and II