The joy of the feast! Today we celebrate the feast of Ss. Peter and Paul. What a special time it was for us last night at Vigil and this morning at Liturgy. The OCA is having a parish ministries conference just a few miles down the road from me. They used my parish to have the services for the feast!
Normally, I’m used to traveling to a monastery or a bigger parish for these type of large celebrations. To have our own small building filled with so many faithful was a joyous occasion.
His Beatitude, Metropolitan JONAH celebrated the services, along with His Grace, Bishop MELCHISEDEK. I was so thankful that Bishop MELCHISEDEK came from the Pittsburgh Diocese to be present, but it reminded me that we were missing someone. Our widowed Midwest Diocese is still mourning the loss of our dear Archbishop JOB. May his memory be eternal!
The celebration for our parish was increased as our priest was elevated to Archpriest and our deacon was elevated to Protodeacon. Axios!
With the Metropolitan, a Bishop, about twenty priests, several deacons and monastics, countless subdeacons, and two of the candidates for our episcopacy vacancy to look at, where was Hilary looking??? Oh, well! She did say that the Metropolitan was her favorite. She likes his hat. 🙂
Our sister parish in a nearby town is dedicated to Ss. Peter and Paul, and the priest was so kind to bring the relics of both saints, so we could venerate them. My husband’s saint is St. Paul, and my son’s saint is St. Peter, so today is their namesday. To venerate the relics was a deep honor and privilege for our family.
The Apostle’s Fast has ended. I’m kind of at a loss for what to do with July! It seems like it’s been one constant fast and/or feast since way back in February when Lent began. The tendency can be to just get lazy and neglect prayer when there’s nothing “special” going on. I’m looking forward to approaching this upcoming time with attention and devotion. You never need a special time to seek God!
What a glorious time of celebration! How much I’ve learned from contemplating the mission of the Apostles. As His Beatitude encouraged us today in his sermon…continue to think on the acts of the Apostles. Remember the things that changed them from learning Disciples to church-founding Apostles. These are the same things that will lead us on our own journey. It’s not enough to stay by the sidelines and watch. There’s more past the first phase of learning and approaching God. We are all called to more. We are all called to move from Disciple to Apostle.
Troparion – Tone 4
First-enthroned of the apostles,
teachers of the universe:
Entreat the Master of all
to grant peace to the world,
and to our souls great mercy!