Feasts

The liturgical year is an annual journey of remembrance and living out the reality of Christ’s incarnation for all of mankind.  Participation in the feasts of the year is essential to assist each person in his path to knowing God. Each day recalls one or more of the saints or major events in the history of Christendom that call us to experience the life in Christ and to know the Holy Trinity.  Especially important are the Twelve Great Feasts and the Feast of Feasts, Pascha, the feast of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, called Easter by most non-Orthodox Christians. It is celebrated on the first Sunday after the Paschal Full Moon.

The Twelve Great Feasts commemorate the historic and major events in the lives of our Lord Jesus Christ (seven) and the Most Holy Theotokos (five).  They are:

  1. September 8, the Nativity of the Theotokos
  2. September 14, the Elevation of the Holy Cross
  3. November 21, the Entrance of the Theotokos in the Temple
  4. December 25, the Nativity of Christ (Christmas)
  5. January 6, Theophany, the Baptism of Christ
  6. February 2, the Meeting of Christ in the Temple
  7. March 25, the Annunciation
  8. The Sunday before Pascha, Palm Sunday
  9. Forty Days after Pascha, the Ascension of Christ
  10. Fifty Days after Pascha, Pentecost
  11. August 6, the Transfiguration
  12. August 15, the Dormition (Falling Asleep) of the Theotokos

Other significant feasts of the year celebrated annually in our parish include the following:

  1. September 26, Apostle John the Theologian (repose)
  2. November 1-7, Raphael Hawaweeny of Brooklyn (the first Saturday of November)
  3. December 6, Nicholas of Myra
  4. May 8, Apostle John the Theologian (‘manna’)
  5. June 29, Chief Apostles Peter and Paul
  6. August 29, Beheading of St. John the Forerunner

In the future, more information will be added to this site to more fully outline the significance of each or these feasts.  In the meantime, the major parochial PASCHAL TRADITIONS AT ST. JOHN follow.

 

PASCHAL TRADITIONS AT ST. JOHN

 

CANDLES (Palm Sunday & Pascha)

During the services of the Triumphal Entry (Palm Sunday) and Pascha, we have outdoor
processions (weather permitting). Traditionally at St. John, we bring our baptismal/chrismation
candle if you have one. For those who do not have one, you are welcome to bring your own
white candle decorated with ribbon, flowers, greenery…whatever you feel is festive. Bringing
candles is completely voluntary.

 

 

HOLY FRIDAY CHILDREN’S ACTIVITIES

Following Royal Hours on Holy Friday, the children of the parish gather to assist in the
preparation for the upcoming services. The girls decorate the bier with flowers while the boys
assist Fr. John with various chores around the church.

DECORATED BASKETS for Paschal Feast

It has been our tradition at St. John to bring foods that we have been fasting from in a
basket decorated with flowers. When you come to the services on Saturday night, April 3rd,
you will put your basket on the solea. After the liturgy, you pick up your basket and take it to
the fellowship hall and place it on one of the food tables. (If you have food that needs to be
kept warm, the ovens will be on warm and the warming trays will be out in the kitchen.) Please
be aware of the limited space in the refrigerator and avoid bringing large platters that would
take up an entire shelf. The decorated baskets are beautiful on the solea during liturgy and the
fellowship Hall where we celebrate the feast.

Another tradition concerning the baskets, is to bring a decorated basket to take home after
the feast is over to share with their families. If you choose to do this, please also bring food to
share with everyone at the Paschal Feast.

AGAPE PICNIC

The parish gathers for our annual BBQ picnic following Agape Vespers on Sunday
afternoon. The picnic is catered by Corky’s BBQ which is supplemented by desserts provided
by the parishioners. This is a Bring Your Own Beverage & Lawn Chair event and a wonderful
way to spend Pascha in fellowship, fun, and food. The musicians amongst us normally join
together for an impromptu concert, so bring your guitar, ukulele, mandolin, etc. if you’d like to
join in.

EGG HUNT

Our annual egg hunt is for children in the 4th Grade and under. They should bring a
dozen plastic candy-filled eggs per child and a basket(s) for hunting the eggs! Please put eggs in
the room next to the kitchen before Vespers. NO HARD-BOILED EGGS, PLEASE, for they
will not be hidden.

BRIGHT WEEK PIZZA PARTY
Each year we enjoy pizza in the parish hall following our Liturgy for the Life Giving
Font. Join us!