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ALL SAINTS - NOTICES: AFTERFEAST OF THE HOLY CROSS, 2021

GREETINGS, IN CHRIST

Beloved Christians,

If we examine the text parallel to today's Holy Gospel (Matthew 21:33-42), in the Holy Gospel according to Mark, we discover a very curious thing. There is an admission of guilt by the Jews, which is present in  the official Konstantinopolitan (Orthodox) edition of the Gospels as used by the Church, but which has been silently expunged from the King James text and from other heterodox western Bibles.  At Mark 12:7a we read ‘Having seen him coming’. That is, that the Jews having known from the prophecies that the messiah would come, and that Christ is the messiah, killed Him any way...

So, in spite of the Covenant and the many centuries of sacrifice, preparation and faith, and the voices of the prophets, when the moment came to choose life in Christ the rulers of the Jews instead chose self-interest, power and for themselves and their people: death.

​This must not be understood as anti-semitism. It is not that. Anti-semitism is vile, and as with all forms of racism and hatred of others is a sin condemned by God.

Instead, it is a dire warning to us  that, in spite of faith and preparation, any of us can go astray, fall away from Truth, fall from Grace, and slide into death.

Let us hope and pray that we do not join those who hate Christ in making the same suicidal mistakes, but that we are able, as the Apostle encourages us to ‘Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong.  Let all that you do be done with love'.

ORTHODOXY 101:  SAINT-NAMES, NAME-DAYS

All Christians (i.e., 'Orthodox Christians') have a Christian name, are named after a saint. Our name-saint should be seen as a close guide, a family member, our inspiration and constant and true companion. We read the Troparion to our saint every day as part of our domestic prayers. We ask the prayers of our name-saint. (NOTE: we do not pray to the saints. We ask their holy prayers).

Our most important annual personal celebration is our name-day (not our birthday). If this feast falls on or before a Wednesday then we celebrate in church on the Sunday before the feast. If it falls on a Thursday or following, then on the next Sunday.

We bring to the holy temple a round bread (it is especially good to bake your own), and our holy eikon of our name-saint. We pray the Artoklasia, then share the bread with our church family.

ORTHODOXY 101:  AGAINST PERSONAL INTERPRETATION OF HOLY SCRIPTURE                                                                                                         The opening line of today’s Epistle (1 Corinthians 16:13-24) is the key to today’s Gospel. Correct interpretation of Holy Scripture is not a personal matter.
Christ speaks in parables so as feed those who are ready to be fed but not force-feed those who are not; in doing so, He continues the  Old Testament tradition of teaching which is emulated by the Orthodox Church in our liturgical life, in prayer and in song.                                                                                                                                                
Holy Scripture is a divine revelation understood only correctly by and within the Church.  The Gospels are the principal book of the Church and a product of the Church.  And it is only within the Church that Holy Scripture lives and is preserved. 

There is no such thing as ‘direct access’ to Holy Scripture. We cannot – and should not ever try to - circumvent the living interpretation of the Holy Spirit. Outside of the Church there is confusion and error and lies; within the Church there is the fullness of the charismatic revelation.
Only in the Holy Spirit, who has guided the Church for 2,000 years, are we able to read Scripture correctly, and go from the Synoptic Kingdom to Saint John’s concept of eternal life and from Saint Paul’s Christology to the Patristic theology of the Holy Trinity.                                              
We ought therefore always to read Scripture ‘patristically’, for the Holy Fathers show us how to read Scripture.

THIS SATURDAY, 25th SEPTEMBER

ESPERINOS -- Starts 4:30 pm

The Esperinos forms the start of our Christian Sunday worship; and is an  important component of preparation for those partaking of the Holy Eucharist. This short and beautiful service brings us into a state of stillness and receptivity.

Those wishing to make confession before the holy service should contact Father Jakob ASAP.

A WORD OF A CONTEMPORARY HOLY ELDER

"You will not bring anyone to God unless you are close to God; you will not lead anyone in the way of God unless you yourself are following that example."
-- Patriarch Pavle of Serbia

ALL GLORY TO GOD

Our parish Trustees - and those who attended today's annual meeting
Father Vasilios and Presbytera Maria - returned to us

Sophia - for rose water

Valeriya - for holy oil from Saint Spyridon
Daniel - belated happy birthday - many years!

Ariadne, Sophia, Nadezhda, Lyuben - happy name-days - many years!

Father Deacon Mark - ordained today

YOUR HOLY PRAYERS

Andrei and baby Andrei - unwell

Iulius - unwell

Rafaella - unwell

Raluca - interview on Tuesday

Nyla Aleksandra - baby, recently born

Susan (non-orthodox) - unwell

TODAY'S SAINTS

Martyr Zosimas, hermit of Kilikia (4th century)

Saint Felix and Konstantia, martyrs under Nero in Nocera near Naples, in Italy (1st century)

Hieromartyrs Januarius, Bishop of Benevento, and his companions, at Pozzuoli (305): Festus, Proclus, and Sossius, Deacons; Desiderius, Reader; and Gantiol,

Eftychios, and Acutius.

Saint Efstochios, Bishop of Tours in France (461)

Saint Seguanos, in the diocese of Langres in France, Confessor (580)

Saint Goeric [Abbo],  Bishop of Metz in France (647)

Saint Pomposa, a nun at Peñamelaria near Cordoba in Spain, beheaded by the Moors in Cordoba (853)

Saint Theodore of Tarsos, Archbishop of Canterbury (690) * Holy patron of our God-blessed Archdiocese *

Blessed Igor (George), tonsured Gabriel, great prince of Chernigov and Kiev (1147)
Blessed Prince Theodor of Smolensk and Yaroslavl (1299) and his children Saints David (1321) and Constantine (c. 1322)

New Hieromartyr Konstantin [Golubev], Priest, of Bogorodsk, and two martyrs with him (1918)

New Hieromartyr Nikolai [Iskrovsky], Protopresbyter (1919)

Venerable Alexei, Hiero-Schemamonk of Zosima Hermitage (1928)

New Hieromartyr Konstantin [Bogoslovsky], Priest (1937)

New Martyr Nilus [Smirnov], Priest (1938)

Virgin-martyr Maria [Mamontova-Shashin], at Bamlag (1938)

 

With love in Christ God,

the sinner and unworthy presbyter,
Father Jakob

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LOOKING AHEAD -- TWELVE GREAT FEASTS
To help you plan ahead, for those of you who are able to take time off work, etc., here are the dates of GREAT FEASTS for the year ahead.
These are dates upon which we should try to be in Church (sadly, many of us do not always have this choice).
These are days upon which the Divine Liturgy should be served at All Saints. Servers, singers, helpers- please do what you're able.

14th SEPTEMBER -- EXALTATION OF THE HOLY CROSS
21st NOVEMBER -- ENTRY OF THE THEOTOKOS INTO THE TEMPLE
25th DECEMBER -- NATIVITY OF CHRIST
6th JANUARY -- HOLY THEOPHANY
2nd FEBRUARY -- PRESENTATION OF OUR LORD IN THE TEMPLE
25th MARCH -- HOLY ANNUNCIATION
17th APRIL -- ENTRY OF OUR LORD INTO IERUSALM*
24th APRIL -- HOLY PASCHA*
2nd JUNE -- HOLY ASCENSION*
12th JUNE -- HOLY PENTEKOST*
6th AUGUST -- HOLY TRANSFIGURATION
15th AUGUST -- HOLY DORMITION

[ * The dates of these feasts vary from year to year. ]

 

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ORTHODOXY 101 : ATTENDING THE DIVINE LITURGY

Christianity is experiential; it is not just 'read about', it must be lived. The Holy Eucharist is at the centre of our worship, at the centre of our Life in Christ.

We come to the Church, we remain in the Church in order that our souls be saved. That is all. It is our soul's salvation - there is nothing else.

The Holy Services are a store-house of spiritual treasures. To be saved, we need to gain knowledge of ourselves. We do this by discovering our sins and weaknesses, and by fighting against their pull. Our faith is war on personal pride. When our pride is wounded in the course of Church life, we should thank God! 

We fight best when we are supported. For support we have the Holy Gospels; the Holy Fathers, their Lives and Teachings; we have God and we have each other.

The Church Community (both living and departed) is our Family in Christ. Our God is LOVE. And we are giving of our best, when we give love to God and to each other.

The Holy Eucharist is the body and Blood of Christ. It is life itself, it is Salvation. It is our treasure: "Where your treasure is there will your heart be also"​(Matthew 6:21). We spend time with - we are attentive to - the people, the things we love the most.

Canon LXXX (Sixth Oecumenical Council) reads, "A cleric or layman shall not go three consecutive Sundays without attending church, unless some necessary business requires him to leave his town. The usual penalties apply: deposition for a cleric; excommunication for a layman".

It is not always possible to come to every holy service, but our good practice, and simple good manners, is to notify the priest of our absence, or if we have moved away. Notification demonstrates love and humility, and allows the priest and community to pray for us, for example - when we are sick.

We pray for those who are absent from the divine services for legitimate reasons. The others, who come infrequently or have not attended for long periods, have become prodigal sons, wanderers. They have distanced themselves from Christ and from their Christian family. Their love has become luke-warm. A full and proper return to Church requires a full and proper repentance, taking responsibility for our failings.

Church life is about responsibility. It is about stepping up and being adult. This is done by singing, standing throughout the holy services, fasting, making regular confession, reading in Church, serving, cleaning and tidying, cooking, reading the morning and evening prayers every day, preparing properly for confession and communion. Above all it is about praying.

To be blunt, Church (parish) life is about giving time and money to the glory of God. Church life is about commitment. Without commitment, we will never become deeply Orthodox or even remain Orthodox.

Love of God and love of neighbour are entwined. We cannot love God if we do not love our neighbours, especially our fellow Christians; and we cannot love our neighbours if we do not love God (1 John 4:20).

We spend time with God, we spend time with each other. We do so not because we feel 'obliged' or even because we 'want to' but simply because our heart draws us, and we follow Christ's new commandment (Luke 10:27): "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbour as yourself".

 

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AΓAΠH = CARITAS = CHARITY = LOVE

John 4:16: Ὁ Θεὸς ἀγάπη (koine Greek) = Deus caritas est (Latin) = God is Love (English)

 

GIVING TO OTHERS

All glory to God! Our small parish has been able in little ways to help the poor, offer love to the stranger, to help heal the wounded.

GIFTAID

This past year we received £2,000 back from the UK government. Our parish trustees have authorised this and future monies raised through giftaid to be passed on to our poorer neighbours. If more of us donated by giftaid we could do even more to help the poor, the wounded, and the marginalised who are our neighbours.

 

'HOW CAN I HELP?'

Every penny helps! Donate to our parish via gift aid. If you pay tax in the UK you can use giftaid. It's free, it's easy, and as you can see above, it helps us to help others. The UK government pays us back for what you give to us via gftaid. This is the only official help that UK charities receive.

Our hope and ambition is that every penny given to us by you comes through giftaid.

 

LAZAROS, OUR NEIGHBOUR

The dying Lazaros is lying outside our door (Luke 16:20). We Christians have a duty of care (John 21:17), this is a constant in our life (Matthew 26:11), we must not ignore him (1 John 3:17). Let us do all that we are able to help to help our neighbour (John 15:12). May I ask you - please make a start, and donate to the parish by giftaid.

 

CHRIST IS RISEN!

 

In the Risen Lord,

Father Jakob 

Presbyter, All Saints North Benfleet

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SERVICES DURING COVID-19

EVERY SUNDAY:

*** THE HOLY TEMPLE IS OPEN FROM 9:00 FOR PRAYER ***

ORTHROS [Matins] Starts at 09:30.

DIVINE LITURGY [Holy Eucharist] Starts at 10:30.

We observe social-distancing; face coverings must be worn. Stewards (our trustees) might have to show you where to stand/sit. Households must stay together. Limited numbers admitted.

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Welcome to the website of All Saints' Orthodox Church, Basildon, Essex.

Our congregation is diverse in terms of background and nationality and age; we are thoroughly multi-cultural, have many young families, and are a lively and friendly parish. We very much welcome visitors and all enquirers who are eager to learn about the Orthodox Christian faith. We look forward to meeting you soon!

Please use the links above to navigate the site.

Please see the services page for details of services.

IN NON-COVID TIMES:

EVERY SUNDAY:
*** THE HOLY TEMPLE IS OPEN FROM 09:00 FOR PRAYER ***
ORTHROS [Matins] Starts at 09:30.
DIVINE LITURGY [Holy Eucharist] Starts at 10:30.
Fellowship and refreshment follow the holy services. 

EVERY WEDNESDAY:
*** THE HOLY TEMPLE IS OPEN FROM 09:30 FOR PRAYER ***
THIRD HOUR and SIXTH HOUR, or AKATHIST Starts at 10:30. 
Followed by Catechesis, Confession and cleaning the Holy Temple.

SATURDAY (usually, last Saturday in the month):
*** THE HOLY TEMPLE IS OPEN IN THE AFTERNOON FOR PRAYER ***
ESPERINOS [Vespers] starts at 4:30pm.

SATURDAY (First in the month):
*** at Our Lady Star of the Sea, 96 Dock Road, Tilbury, Essex, RM18 7BT ***
DIVINE LITURGY [Holy Eucharist] Starts around 10:20.