Beloved in Christ,
We have already welcomed the arrival of Spring and warmer temperatures and are also well into observing the “Lenten Spring.” We now look ahead, in a few brief weeks, to our celebration of the Lord’s Paschal Mystery. Chief among the events that take place in April (and indeed, the “main event” of the entire year), we joyfully anticipate our annual solemn services of Holy Week and Pascha. Once we have completed the course of the Fast, the services of Holy Week offer us the opportunity to accompany the Lord in His last days, the saving days of His Passion, Death, and Resurrection. The Divine Services of Holy Week offer a unique vantage point that allows us to not only observe, but to truly enter into the experience of the Lord’s salvific death and life-giving resurrection. We walk with the Lord as He enters Jerusalem in triumph, carries His cross to Golgotha, and is laid in the tomb. And then, with the Holy Myrrhbearing Women, we discover that the tomb is empty and that Christ is risen. The realities of these great mysteries are made available to us through the Holy Spirit who enlightens our hearts and grants us to know, experience, and understand the meaning of that in which we participate.
Those who have been faithful in attending the profoundly moving services of Holy Week in the past can attest to the power of the experience, indeed, there is no experience like it found outside the Orthodox Church. And there is no celebration of Pascha like one that has been prepared for beforehand by participation in the services of Holy Week. The schedule of our parish Holy Week and Pascha Services is included in this monthly newsletter and may also found on our parish website; feel free to copy it and share it with family and friends and others you might wish to invite to share in this deeply spiritual and life-changing experience.
As part of the joy that awaits us, we look ahead joyfully to receive several members into the fullness of the Orthodox Faith through baptism, chrismation, and reception of the Divine Mysteries. This will take place the weekend of Palm Sunday.
I look forward to celebrating and praying the Divine Services of Holy Week with you all. May our participation in the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of Our Savior bring all of us to the eternal joy of the Kingdom He has opened unto us.
With love in the Lord Who goes to His Saving Passion,
Saturday: Vespers, 5:00 pm
Sunday: Divine Liturgy, 9:00 am
1614 E. Monte Vista Rd.
Phoenix, Az 85006