Fr. Pimen's Notes- September 2013
At the parish supper discussion held at the Community Center after Vespers on August 1st, we discussed the following issues:
1. Encouraging more frequent participation in Holy Communion and assisting parishioners to do so. We decided to conduct Confession periodically during the Saturday evening Vigil in order to enable parishioners, who might find it difficult to attend regularly scheduled confessions, to make a confession and then to partake of Holy Communion the next day. We will do this at least once a month and will notify the parish when these confessions will be held by announcing the day for each month in the monthly newsletter. During September, these confessions will be heard on Saturday September 7th beginning immediately after Vespers (approximately 5:30 pm). Parishioners who choose to attend such confessions should be present for the opening and finishing parts of the Confession service, and in between, whole waiting for others to confess, should be in the church proper taking part in Matins that is continuing at the same time. Furthermore, we will include in the Newsletter the schedule of all Confession services for the month. These will be listed in the section that lists feast day services for the month.
2. Deciding on the best time to start services in light of work and school obligations that are a reality of 21st Century American life. The following starting times were agreed upon by all present:
a. Saturday Afternoon –Small Vespers or Compline – 4:00pm; Vigil (or Great Vespers) – 4:30pm. If, however, there is a celebration of a feast on a Sunday that includes Old Testament readings in Vespers and a Magnification in Matins, Vigil (or Great Vespers) will begin at 4:15 pm to keep the completion time standard on all Saturdays.
b. Weekday Feast – Small Vespers- 4:10pm: Vigil (or Great Vespers) – 4:30pm. If, however, there is a celebration of a feast that includes some significantly longer portions (a long Canon or veneration of the Cross or blessing of holy water), Vigil will begin at 4:15 pm to keep thecompletion time standard on all Feast Day Vigils.
c. Sunday afternoon - Vigil for a Monday Feast – Small Vespers at 4pm followed immediately by Vigil at 4:15pm.
3. Helping to encourage parishioners to schedule panahidi (memorial services) for deceased family and friends. In the Church Rubric, there is an option for conducting these services without singing the 17th Kathisma. This makes the service about 10-15 minutes shorter and hopefully will encourage parishioners to hold these services more regularly, and also to attend them as well have to have them served. This form of panahida will be served for all individual panahidi, but the full service with the 17th Kathisma will be served for “liturgical” panahidi (e.g. – panahidi during weeks of prayers for the deceased).