1 March/April 2014 March/April 2014 Page 1 Greek Orthodox Church The Voice of Saint George of Saint George ΔΙΜΗΝΙΑΙΟ ΔΕΛΤΙΟ ΤΗΣ ΕΛΛΗΝΙΚΗΣ ΟΡΘΟΔΟΞΗΣ ΚΟΙΝΟΤΗΤΑΣ ΑΓΙΟΥ ΓΕΩΡΓΙΟΥ Volume 12, Issue 2 A Publication of the Piscataway, New Jersey The voice of one crying in the wilderness: Make straight the way of the LORD. (Matt.3:3) «Φωνὴ βοῶντος ἐν τῇ ἐρήμῳ, Ἑτοιμάσατε τὴν ὁδὸν Κυρίου» (Ματθ. Γ:3) A MESSAGE FROM OUR PRIEST In This Issue Festival 2014 Our Faith Stewardship Greek Parade Concert Review Greek Easter Holy Land Pilgrimage ΚΑΛΟ ΠΑΣΧΑ In Every Issue Priest s Message President s Message Church Calendar PTO News Sunday School News Greek School News G.O.Y.A. News Philoptochos News Dear Faithful, One of our Church's most outstanding modern theologians has called the PreSanctified Liturgy the heart and soul of Great Lent. Without exaggeration, this service can be called the Liturgy of Great Lent because it is the most characteristic service of this sacred period of the year. It is indeed tragic that too many of our people know it only by name, if at all. The name of the Liturgy is taken from it s nature. It is, as its name implies, a "liturgy of the pre-sanctified gifts." It is not a liturgy like the familiar liturgies of St. John Chrysostom or St. Basil the Great, during which we have an offering and a consecration of the bread and wine. In this liturgy these gifts of bread and wine have been preciously consecrated at a regular liturgy during the preceding Saturday or Sunday. The Pre-Sanctified gifts are made available in the liturgy so the faithful can receive them and become sanctified themselves. In other words, the "Pre-Sanctified Liturgy is a receiving of Holy Communion. To learn the reason for its creation one must return to its history. Its roots are found in the early practice of the Church. Today, our Christians receive Holy Communion infrequently. However, in the early centuries of the Church, people received Communion at every liturgy and only those who had sinned severely were precluded for a certain period of time. During lent, however, liturgies are forbidden except on Saturdays and Sundays. Wednesdays are days of fasting and mourning and celebrations are forbidden, even celebrations of liturgies. The sole exception is the great feast of the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary irrespective of the day of the week. The Divine Liturgy is a paschal sacrament, that of a vigorous service of celebration, joy and victory. The celebration of the liturgy was inconsistent with the daily character of Lent. This created a problem for the Church. The Christians were used to receiving Communion during the week as well, and all of a sudden it stopped. This gave birth to the Holy Communion at the end of the Vespers Service on Wednesdays. This custom gave rise to the present action of the Church. The Pre-Sanctified Liturgy is a Vesper Service in which Holy Communion, already consecrated is offered. Its development in the context of Lent gave it a "mourning" character. In the Vesper are sung hymns of contrition, the clergy are vested in mourning vestments and the holy altar table, the chalice and plate are also covered with dark coverings, while the prayers are filled with humility and contrition. Included in this bulletin is the schedule of Pre-Sanctified Liturgies which will be celebrated during the Lenten period. Please follow the schedule closely and come to church with your family. Rev. Fr. Nicholas Pastrikos Have a Blessed Great Lent and a Happy Easter
2 Page 2 March/April 2014 ST. GEORGE GREEK ORTHODOX CHURCH ΕΛΛΗΝΙΚΗ ΟΡΘΟΔΟΞΟΣ ΕΚΚΛΗΣΙΑ ΑΓΙΟΥ ΓΕΩΡΓΙΟΥ Parish Ministries Reverend Father Nicholas Pastrikos, Priest Parish Council President George Petrantonakis Vice President / Administration Lampros Ε. Bourodimos Vice President / Operations George Zalokostas Secretary Dimitra Bairaktaris Treasurer Mona Sarafoglou Comptroller Dean Solomos Members Demetrios Anastasatos Constantine Apostolakis George Athanasopoulos Thomas Kalanekos John Mellos John Millas Jerry Moschonas Perry Petsanas Andreas S. Savva The Voice of St. George Published bi-monthly by the St. George Greek Orthodox Church, 1101 River Rd, Piscataway, NJ Tel.: Fax: Editor in Chief: Alexandra Avgitidis Committee Members: Arete Bouhlas, Eftihia Karayiannidis, Polly Ploussiou, Katina Kehayas, Georgia Peterson. Periodical postage paid at Kilmer, NJ 08817, Permit # 379. The Voice of St. George is produced entirely in-house. Past issues can be found on the internet at Subscription is free for the members of St. George Greek Orthodox Church. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to St. George GOC, 1101 River Road, Piscataway, NJ Philoptochos Society - St. Barbara Effie Bouziotis, President Georgia Peterson, 1st Vice President Malvina Wilkens, 2nd Vice President Virginia Theokas, Rec. Secretary Anna Stevens, Corresp. Secretary Evangelia Manolakis, Treasurer Georgia Kouridakis, Asst. Treasurer Cantors and Choir Dimitrios Fousteris, Director Sunday School Lemonia Malahias Miko, Paul Stevens, Maggie Stavrianidis Greek School Panos Georgopoulos, Superintendent Toula Karamarkos, Principal Sofia Amaxopoulos, Teacher Katerina Kourti, Teacher Angeliki Papasavas, Teacher Chrisoula Plias, Teacher Iro Mavrianos, Teacher Church Organizations Parent Teacher Organization Helen Sirimis, Co-Vice President Maria Petrou, Co-Vice President Kathy Miller, Secretary Irene Drakopoulos, Treasurer GOYA George Stavrianidis President Ioanna Kontos, Vice President Joanna Kantilierakis, Corresp. Secretary Evangelia Makropoulos, Rec. Secretary Demetri Demos, Treasurer Hope Sirimis, Historian GOYA Advisors Fotini Mangafas, Head Advisor John DeLaurentis, George Demos, Aliki Doninger, Sophia Exarchakis, Evie Georgopoulos, George Kostis, Rita Polos, Peter Sirimis JOY/HOPE Lefki Hadjiloucas Love & Faith Dimitra Kambitsis Church Committees GET INVOLVED We need your help! Sign Up, Make a Difference, Have Fun! Call the Church Office Annual St. George Dinner Dance Bookmobile Capital Improvements Events/Fund Raising Greek Festival Greek Independence Day Parade Greek and Catechism Schools Historic Committee House & Grounds Insurance Library Memorial Fund Parking Rutgers Public Relations Religious Artifacts Stewardship Technology Services Voice of St. George To Our St. George Parishioners The above ministries are the lifeblood of our parish and perform many activities to promote the growth of our church. Your participation in these organizations makes our community more spiritually complete.
3 March/April 2014 Page 3 ECCLESIASTICAL SCHEDULE OF SERVICES Matins 9:00 a.m. Divine Liturgy 10:00 a.m. Weekday Services 9 a.m. Saturday 1 Sunday 2 Monday 3 Wednesday 5 Friday 7 Saturday 8 Sunday 9 Monday 10 Wednesday 12 Friday 14 Sunday 16 Monday 17 Wednesday 19 Friday 21 Sunday 23 Monday 24 Tuesday 25 Wednesday 26 Friday 28 Sunday 30 MARCH 2nd Saturday of Souls Cheese Fare Sunday Great Lent Begins Great Compline 7 p.m. Presanctified Liturgy 9 a.m. 1st Salutations 7 p.m. 3rd Saturday of Souls Sunday of Orthodoxy Great Compline 7 p.m. Presanctified Liturgy 7 p.m. 2nd Salutations 7 p.m. 2nd Sunday of Lent Great Compline 7 p.m. Presanctified Liturgy 9 a.m. 3rd Salutations 7 p.m. Veneration of the Holy Cross Great Compline 7 p.m. The Annunciation 9 a.m. Presanctified Liturgy 7 p.m. 4th Salutations 7 p.m. 4th Sunday of Lent ΕΚΚΛΗΣΙΑΣΤΙΚΟ ΕΟΡΤΟΛΟΓΙΟ Όρθρος 9:00 π.μ. Θεία Λειτουργία 10:00 π.μ. Καθημερινές ώρες 9 π.μ. Σάββατο 1 Κυριακή 2 Δευτέρα 3 Τετάρτη 5 Παρασκευή 7 Σάββατο 8 Κυριακή 9 Δευτέρα 10 Τετάρτη 12 Παρασκευή 14 Κυριακή 16 Δευτέρα 17 Τετάρτη 19 Παρασκευή 21 Κυριακή 23 Δευτέρα 24 Τρίτη 25 Τετάρτη 26 Παρασκευή 28 Κυριακή 30 ΜΑΡΤΙΟΣ Β Ψυχοσάββατο Κυριακή της Τυρινής Καθαρά Δευτέρα Μέγα Απόδειπνο 7 μ.μ. Προηγιασμένη Θεία Λειτουργία 9 π.μ. Α Χαιρετισμοί της Θεοτόκου 7 μ.μ. Γ Ψυχοσάββατο Κυριακή της Ορθοδοξίας Μέγα Απόδειπνο 7 μ.μ. Προηγιασμένη Θεία Λειτουργία 7 μ.μ. Β Χαιρετισμοί της Θεοτόκου 7 μ.μ. Β Κυριακή Νηστειών Μέγα Απόδειπνο 7 μ.μ. Προηγιασμένη Θεία Λειτουργία 9 π.μ. Γ Χαιρετισμοί της Θεοτόκου 7 μ.μ. Της Σταυροπροσκυνήσεως Μέγα Απόδειπνο 7 μ.μ. Ευαγγελισμός της Θεοτόκου Προηγιασμένη Θεία Λειτουργία 7 μ.μ. Δ Χαιρετισμοί της Θεοτόκου 7 μ.μ. Δ Κυριακή Νηστειών Wednesday 2 Friday 4 Sunday 6 Monday 7 Wednesday 9 Saturday 12 Sunday 13 Monday 14 Tuesday 15 Wednesday 16 Thursday 17 Friday 18 Saturday 19 Sunday 20 Wednesday 23 Friday 25 APRIL Presanctified Liturgy 9 a.m. The Akathist Hymn 7 p.m. 5th Sunday of Lent Great Compline 7 p.m. Presanctified Liturgy 7 p.m. Saturday of Lazarus Communion Breakfast for the youth Palm Sunday Bridegroom Service 7 p.m. Holy Monday Bridegroom Service 7 p.m. Holy Tuesday Bridegroom Service 7 p.m. Hymn of Kassiani Holy Wednesday Holy Thursday Holy Friday Holy Saturday Holy Pascha-The Resurrection St. George 9 a.m. Life-giving Fountain Τετάρτη 2 Παρασκευή 4 Κυριακή 6 Δευτέρα 7 Τετάρτη 9 Σάββατο 12 Κυριακή 13 Δευτέρα 14 Τρίτη 15 Τετάρτη 16 Πέμπτη 17 Παρασκευή 18 Σάββατο 19 Κυριακή 20 Τετάρτη 23 Παρασκευή 25 ΑΠΡΙΛΙΟΣ Προηγιασμένη Θεία Λειτουργία 9 π.μ. Ακάθιστος Ύμνος 7 μ.μ. Ε Κυριακή Νηστειών Μέγα Απόδειπνο 7 μ.μ. Προηγιασμένη Θεία Λειτουργία 9 π.μ. Σάββατο του Λαζάρου Πρόγευμα μετά την Θεία Κοινωνία Κυριακή των Βαΐων Ακολουθία Νυμφίου 7 μ.μ. Μεγάλη Δευτέρα Ακολουθία Νυμφίου 7 μ.μ. Μεγάλη Τρίτη Ακολουθία Νυμφίου 7 μ.μ. Ύμνος της Κασσιανής Μεγάλη Τετάρτη Μεγάλη Πέμπτη Μεγάλη Παρασκευή Μεγάλο Σάββατο Άγιον Πάσχα Αγίου Γεωργίου 9 π.μ. Ζωοδόχου Πηγής The Easter Calendar will be mailed separately. Το Ημερολόγιο του Πάσχα θα ταχυδρομηθεί ξεχωριστά.
4 Page 4 March/April 2014 ΜΗΝΥΜΑ ΤΟΥ ΙΕΡΕΑ ΜΑΣ Αγαπητοί εν Χριστώ Αδελφοί, Ένας από τους πιο αξιόλογους σύγχρονους θεολόγους ονόμασε την Προηγιασμένη Λειτουργία την καρδιά και την ψυχή της Τεσσαρακοστής. Χωρίς υπερβολές, η λειτουργία αυτή μπορεί να ονομαστεί η Λειτουργία της Μεγάλης Τεσσαρακοστής, διότι είναι η πιο χαρακτηριστική λειτουργία της αγίας αυτής περιόδου. Είναι ειλικρινά τραγικό το ότι πολλοί από τους πιστούς τη γνωρίζουν μόνο σαν όνομα. Όπως δηλώνει το όνομά της είναι η «Λειτουργία των Προηγιασμένων Δώρων». Δεν είναι η λειτουργία αυτή όπως οι γνωστές μας λειτουργίες του Αγίου Ιωάννου Χρυσοστόμου και του Αγίου Βασιλείου κατά τις οποίες έχουμε την προσφορά και την αγίαση του άρτου και του οίνου. Στην Προηγιασμένη, τα δώρα αυτά, ο άρτος και ο οίνος, αγιάσθηκαν στην κανονική λειτουργία του προηγούμενου Σαββάτου ή της Κυριακής. Τότε τα Προηγιασμένα Δώρα (δηλαδή η Θεία Κοινωνία) φυλάγονται για να κοινωνήσουν οι πιστοί κατά την Προηγιασμένη Λειτουργία της Τετάρτης. Για να μάθoυμε την αιτία της ίδρυσης αυτής της λειτουργίας θα πρέπει να πάμε πίσω στην ιστορία της Εκκλησίας. Σήμερα οι χριστιανοί κοινωνούν κατά αραιά διαστήματα. Τους πρώτους όμως αιώνες της Εκκλησίας, οι πιστοί κοινωνούσαν σε κάθε Θεία Λειτουργία και μόνο όσοι έπρατταν σοβαρά αμαρτήματα έπρεπε να περιμένουν κάποιο χρονικό διάστημα. Όμως, κατά την Μεγάλη Τεσσαρακοστή, οι Λειτουργίες απαγορεύονται τις καθημερινές, εκτός από το Σάββατο και την Κυριακή. Η Τετάρτη είναι μέρα νηστείας και πένθους και οι εορτασμοί απαγορεύονται, ακόμη και η Θεία Λειτουργία. Η μόνη εξαίρεση είναι ο Ευαγγελισμός της Θεοτόκου. Η Θεία Λειτουργία είναι ένα πασχαλινό μυστήριο εορτασμού, χαράς. και νίκης! Ο εορτασμός αυτός δεν συμφωνούσε με τον χαρακτήρα της Σαρακοστής και αυτό δημιούργησε πρόβλημα για την Εκκλησία. Οι χριστιανοί ήταν συνηθισμένοι να κοινωνούν τόσο την Κυριακή όσο και στο μέσο της εβδομάδος και ξαφνικά η συνήθεια αυτή κόπηκε. Έτσι έδωσε αφορμή να μεταλαμβάνουν οι πιστοί στο τέλος του Εσπερινού της Τετάρτης. Η Προηγιασμένη Λειτουργία είναι, λοιπόν, Εσπερινός κατά τον οποίο προσφέρεται η Θεία Κοινωνία που αγιάσθηκε την προηγούμενη Κυριακή! Το ότι γίνεται την περίοδο της Σαρακοστής του δίνει τον χαρακτήρα του "πένθους". Κατά τον εσπερινό της Τεσσαρακοστής ψάλλονται ύμνοι μετανοίας, οι κληρικοί είναι ντυμένοι πένθιμα και η αγία Τράπεζα και τα ιερά αντικείμενα είναι καλυμμένα με σκούρα καλύμματα, ενώ οι προσευχές είναι πλήρεις ταπεινοφροσύνης και μετανοίας. Στο τεύχος αυτό θα βρείτε το πρόγραμμα όλων των Προηγιασμένων Λειτουργιών αυτής της Τεσσαρακοστής. Πατήρ Νικόλαος Παστρικός ΝΑ ΕΧΕΤΕ ΜΙΑ ΕΥΛΟΓΗΜΈΝΗ ΣΑΡΑΚΟΣΤΗ ΚΑΙ ΚΑΛΗ ΑΝΑΣΤΑΣΗ OUR PARISH OUR PEOPLE In our previous issue, some of the Sacraments did not print properly. We apologize for the error and we are displaying them again below. Baptisms November 17 Penelope Daughter of Frederick & Elpida Hanna Godparent: Vasiliki Fania January 18 Jake William Son of: William & Melissa Hadjimichalis Godparent: Lauren Hadzimichalis Mormando December 21 Vasilios Athanasios Son of Athanasios & Foteini Bizekis Godparent: Alexandros Stamatiades February 15 Annabelle Elizabeth Daughter of Andrew & Andrea Lagermasini Godparents: Sandra & Bogdan Donose Weddings December 31 David Patrick & Maryann Elaine Teichman Koumbaro: William J. Solomos January 18 Georgios & Christina Moutafis Koumbaro: Michael Giannos Funerals May Their Memory Be Eternal November 25 Larry Minguet
5 March/April 2014 Page 5 GREEK INDEPENDENCE DAY PARADE 5 th Avenue, New York City Sunday, March 30, 2014 The busses will be leaving from the Church parking lot 11:30 a.m. sharp Please be at the bus by 11:15 a.m. The cost is $25 for adults and $10 for college students with ID. All GOYA members, Sunday school & Greek school students are free of charge. **A complimentary lunch will be provided on the bus** Church attire is mandatory. No sneakers or jeans will be allowed if you are marching with the church and representing our community. Children that have Greek costumes should proudly wear them. For reservations please contact: George Zalokostas (732) George Petrantonakis (732) Seating is limited and will be provided on a first come-first serve basis. Η Ελληνορθόδοξη Κοινότητα του Αγίου Γεωργίου προσκαλεί όλα τα μέλη της στην ετήσια Παρέλαση για την Ημέρα της Εθνικής μας Ανεξαρτησίας, 25 ης Μαρτίου Η Παρέλαση θα γίνει στην 5 η Λεωφόρο της Νέας Υόρκης την Κυριακή 30 Μαρτίου Θα υπάρχουν λεωφορεία που θα φύγουν από τον χώρο στάθμευσης του Αγίου Γεωργίου το πρωΐ της ημέρας της παρέλασης, 11:15 π.μ.. Το κόστος των εισιτηρίων είναι $25 για τους ενήλικες (δωρεάν για τα παιδιά). Αν ενδιαφέρεστε να παρελάσετε με το άρμα της κοινότητας, πρέπει να είστε ντυμένοι κατάλληλα. Για περισσότερες πληροφορίες και λεπτομέρειες αποταθείτε στους υπεύθυνους της παρέλασης: Γιώργο Ζαλοκώστα (732) ή Γιώργο Πετραντωνάκη (732)
6 Page 6 March/April 2014 STEWARDSHIP STEWARDSHIP REQUIREMENTS Any person can give any amount for Stewardship. However, to be considered a member in good standing, to participate in the sacraments of Baptism or Wedding, and to have one vote in the General Assembly, the following minimums must be met: $350 for single adult or husband and wife (age 18-64): one vote (if both the husband and wife pay $350); ($700 total, both can vote) $250 for a married senior couple (age 65+): one vote (if both the husband and wife pay $200); ($400 total, both can vote) $200 for single senior and college student (age 18-24, must show proof of attending college full time) Greater than the required contributions: those who have been blessed should consider a greater contribution. ΕΚΟΥΣΙΑ ΕΙΣΦΟΡΑ ΑΠΑΙΤΗΣΕΙΣ ΕΚΟΥΣΙΑΣ ΕΙΣΦΟΡΑΣ Ο καθένας μπορεί να προσφέρει ότι μπορεί. Όμως, για να θεωρηθείτε κανονικό μέλος, να μπορείτε να πάρετε μέρος στα Mυστήρια της Βάπτισης και του Γάμου και να έχετε δικαίωμα ενός ψήφου στην Γενική Συνέλευση, απαιτούνται οι κάτωθι ελάχιστες εισφορές: $350 ανά ανύπαντρο άτομο ή οικογένεια (18-64 ετών): μία ψήφος (εάν ο σύζυγος και η σύζυγος πληρώσουν $350 έκαστος (σύνολο $700) ψηφίζουν και οι δύο) $250 ανά ηλικιωμένο ζευγάρι (άνω των 65 ετών): μία ψήφος (εάν ο σύζυγος και η σύζυγος πληρώσουν $200 έκαστος (σύνολο $400), ψηφίζουν και οι δύο) $200 για μόνους ηλικιωμένους και φοιτητές (18-24 ετών, πρέπει να αποδείξουν ότι είναι φοιτητές): μία ψήφος Πέραν του καθορισμένου ποσού: όσοι έχουν ευλογηθεί με οικονομική ευχέρεια θα πρέπει να προσφέρουν περισσότερο από ότι καθορίζεται πιο πάνω. ALTAR BOYS Altar Boys are required to be in the Altar on the Sundays that they are on duty, no later than 10:10 a.m. All Captains are asked to be in the Altar a little earlier, by 10:00 a.m., to make sure that everything is ready and to get instructions from Father Nicholas as to what will be happening for that day. As always, the appropriate dress code for All Altar Boys that are serving, without exception, is recommended; dress shirt, tie, dress socks and dress shoes. No one will be admitted in the Altar with a polo shirt, jeans or sneakers or boot shoes. All Altar Boys, if they are not serving in the Altar, are required to be in Catechism School. This rule will be strictly adhered to, because attendance will be taken every Sunday for ALL Altar Boys. PLEASE COME AND JOIN!!! GROUP A George Stavrianidis (Captain) Gerasimos Georgopoulos (Co-Captain) Philip Catanzaro Michael Chiotis Elias Kavouras Yianni Kavouras George DeLaurentis Chris Henriquez GROUP B Dimitri Demos (Captain) Yianni Apostolakis (Co-Captain) Vasilios Petrou Kyriakos Sirimis Seraphim Sirimis Constantine Stavrianidis Dino Zalokostas Demetrios Kontos Yianni Petrakis GROUP C Jason Stavrianidis (Captain) George Wadsworth (Co-Captain) Andrew Apostolakis Konstantine Hantsoulis Nicholas Kehayas Apostolos Petsanas Gabriel Sirimis George Bizos George Gianoukakis Michael Gianoukakis GROUP D George Exarchakis (Captain) Konstantine Lyssikatos (Co-Captain) Nicholas Koutsoubis Demetrios Gad Antonis Kalogridis Demetrios Kalogridis Nicholas Koumis Anastasios Chiotis ALTAR BOYS SCHEDULE FOR MARCH/APRIL 2014 Sunday, March 2 Group A Sunday, April 6 Group B Sunday, March 9 Group B Saturday, April 12 Group C Sunday, March 16 Group C Sunday, April 13 Group D Sunday, March 23 Group D Sunday, April 27 Group B Sunday, March 30 Group A HOLY WEEK SCHEDULE Holy Monday Group A Holy Friday (3pm) Group C Holy Tuesday Group B Holy Friday (evening) Groups D & A Holy Wednesday (3pm) Group C Holy Saturday (9am) Group B Holy Wednesday (6pm) Group D Holy Saturday (11pm) Groups C & D Holy Thursday Groups A & B Pascha Sunday, (11am) Group A
7 March/April 2014 Page 7 GENERAL ASSEMBLY MEETING SUNDAY MARCH 16, 2014 We ask that everyone attends this very important meeting. Many important issues will be discussed concerning the progress of our community. First Call: March 9, Cash Raffle 1st Prize..25% 2nd Prize.15% 3rd Prize..10% Drawing: Sunday, May 18, 2014, 5 p.m. St. George Church Festival - Proceeds to Benefit St. George Greek Orthodox church General Fund Donation: $5:00 Additional Raffle Books available by contacting the Church Office in person or by calling (732) We need your help! HOLY LAND PILGRIMAGE TO ALL PARISHIONERS OF ST. GEORGE As was previously announced, our St. George parish is planning a once in a lifetime Pilgrimage to the Holy Land. This trip has been scheduled for July The Pilgrimage s coordinator, Father Nicholas, is working very closely with Cloud Tours to give all of us the best opportunities at the best price. If you are interested in joining us on the Pilgrimage, please contact Father Nicholas as soon as possible at
8 Page 8 March/April SAINT GEORGE GREEK ORTHODOX CHURCH 41 st ANNUAL FESTIVAL 1101 RIVER ROAD PISCATAWAY, NEW JERSEY PHONE: FAX: * 41 st Annual Greek Festival Our 41 st Annual Festival will be held on May 16 th, 17 th and 18 th. As always, this is the weekend directly following Mother s Day. The Festival Committee will be meeting on Tuesdays (schedule below) during the months of March, April and May. Meetings will be held from 7:00 to 9:00 pm, with the exception of Holy Week. We welcome all parishioners who are interested in supporting this year s festival to attend the meetings. Our goal is to reach out to the local community to solicit advertising of businesses who wish to sell their services. Examples would be banks, mortgage, insurance, and realtors. As with prior years, we are always in the need for help prior, during, and after the festival. As always, no help will ever be turned away. We are always open to suggestions and ideas. Please do not hesitate to share them with the Festival Committee. We will have a calendar outlining all the cooking dates for the kitchen and the bakery. We will be baking and cooking in March, April and May. As always, we again are seeking out everyone s help. This is our community s biggest Fund Raiser. Help is needed! Please call me at to volunteer for any of these Departments: Advertising, Food Preparation, Kitchen, Loukoumades, Coffee Shop, Bakery, Salads, Gyro, Souvlakia, Take-out, Bar, Gift Shop, Set-up and Clean-up. The more people who get involved, the easier the activities and the more fun we will have. We cannot depend upon the same people year-in and year-out. The Festival is a vital fundraiser for our church. Please show your stewardship by helping at this year s Festival. It only takes a few hours a day of everyone s time in order to make a difference. This is a great event in which to get involved, gather with your fellow church members and show our Greek hospitality. We will have Festival sign-ups after church on Sundays in March and April. We look forward to seeing everyone at this year s Festival. George Athanasopoulos, Chairman Festival Meeting Calendar March 4 and 25 April 8, 21 and 29 May 6 and May ANNUAL FESTIVAL PREPARATION SCHEDULE Baklava March 4 9 am Galaktoboureko March am Tyropites March am Koulourakia April 1 10 am Melomakarona April 7 11 am Kourambiedes April 8 11 am Keftedes April am Diples May 6 10 am
9 BIGGER & BETTER THAN EVER! EAT, DRINK & BE MERRY AT OUR OUTDOOR TAVERNA! March/April 2014 Page 9 41 ST ANNUAL ST. GEORGE GREEK ORTHODOX CHURCH Greek Festival St. George Greek Orthodox Church 1101 River Road Piscataway, NJ Phone: Directions I-287 to Route 18 River Road South or 1 Block West of Rutgers Stadium 3 BIG DAYS - RAIN OR SHINE MAY 16, 17 & 18, 2014 Friday 11 am - 11:30 pm Saturday 11 am - 12:30 am Sunday 12 noon - 8 pm LIVE MUSIC & ENTERTAINMENT BOUZOUKIA - GREEK FOLK DANCING - SINGING Also in our Community Center gift & novelty shop * pastry shop * arts & crafts * religious tours customized t-shirts * and as always our food take out order booth ( your order in to our Take-Out Department Free Admission Friday, May 16 only 11 am-4 pm Donation $2 - Children Under 12 Free Free Parking & Shuttle Bus Available
10 Page 10 March/April 2014 The St. George Christmas Concert For everyone involved in the preparation of our Community s first Christmas Concert, the arrival of the day, December 14th 2013, was approaching with great anticipation. The AHEPA Hall was transformed into a beautifully decorated, intimate space, thanks to the good taste and hard work of Dimitra Kambitsis and her many helpers. The participants went through their last rehearsals, including the dress rehearsal and proclaimed themselves ready to perform. And then, as if the challenges of organizing such an event were not enough, the weather decided to throw in yet another challenge!! Hours before the Concert was to start, snow started falling harder and harder making the roads very difficult to navigate and drive on. Cancelling the event at this late hour was not an option. The burning question was: In this weather, who is going to take the risk and come? The answer was a gratifying: Many indeed. The interest had been so high, the thirst for something new, something unusual, something exciting was so great, that over 300 People The Youth Choir of St. George with Coro Lirico in the background showed up, a substantial turnover considering the circumstances. Those who came were treated to a beautiful, unforgettable musical experience. The concert started with a well-done performance of Christmas carols by our children s choir, tutored, prepared and presented by Mrs Helen Bictasheva Fousteris and the St. George Junior Choir. The children s choirs are where our children are being introduced into the rich musical heritage of our Orthodox faith and tradition. They are being trained to become the future members of our youth choir and ultimately our adult choir. It was really gratifying to see them and hear them perform. Then followed a series of solo performances by members of our Youth choir. Joanna Kantilierakis, Markos Kantilierakis, and Zoe Makropoulos filled the AHEPA Hall with their beautiful voices. It was enlightening and very impressive to see how much musical talent there is already in our The young children's choir of St. George Community and to see it fully displayed. After that, there was a brief performance of Christmas hymns, by our newly formed Byzantine choir, another first in the Metropolis of New Jersey, under the tutelage and direction of our own choir director Maestro Dimitri Fousteris. It was moving to hear hymns composed many hundreds of years ago, during the early days of the Byzantine Empire, performed in the manner of the centuries old, uninterrupted Orthodox tradition. The first part was completed with more Christmas Carols, sung by the voices of the Coro Lirico, a group well known in New Jersey, and of members of our own adult choir and our youth choir and by a solo performance by soprano Helen Fousteris. Finally, the performance moved into part two, the main event of the evening, the performance of excerpts of Handel s Messiah. The blend of the music by the orchestra, and the The Byzantine Choir of St. George voices of the soloists, brought in specifically for this event, including sopranos Helen Fousteris and our own Eleni Catanzaro, all under the dynamic direction of Maestro Fousteris, made for an unforgettable musical experience. AHEPA Hall was never filled with more beautiful music. The musical event ended with a rousing version of the well-known Halleluiah Chorus piece, with everyone standing at the urging of Maestro Fousteris. This event, the first in our Church s 96-year-old history, met with very good response in our Community. It demonstrates once again that we have the talent and the capability to do great things: we can cultivate and grow the already started musical education program; we can organize and train our youth and expose our parishioners to new experiences. All we have to do is come together and work together. Vassilis G. Keramidas
11 March/April 2014 Page 11 LADIES PHILOPTOCHOS SOCIETY ST. BARBARA We started the new year with a full house at the annual Vasilopita Celebration sponsored by the Ladies Philoptochos Society on January 12, 2014 in the AHEPA Hall. After Fr. Nicholas Pastrikos led us in prayer, President Effie Bouziotis welcomed and thanked everyone for attending; she reminded the gathering that their donations will be benefiting the children at St. Basil Academy. In attendance was the President of the St. Basil Board of Trustees Mrs. Evellyn Tsiadis and Mr. Charles Theokas, member of the St. Basil Board of Trustees, who spoke to the gathering about St. Basil Academy. A delicious pastichio luncheon was prepared by Mr. Demetrios Anastasatos and was served by the Philoptochos ladies to all who attended. Fr. Pastrikos presided over the cutting and distribution of the delicious pites provided by the ladies. The lucky recipient of the Vasilopita coin was Mr. Kosta Apostolakis, who was also the recipient of the gold coin donated by Mr. Panos Stavrianidis. We wish Mr. Apostolakis a very happy year ahead. Because of the generosity of our parishioners the Philoptochos has sent $1,000 to St. Basil Academy. We thank chairladies Anna Kalogridis and Christina Petrantonakis and all those who worked so hard to make this activity such a success. And, again, we thank all those who attended and for their generous donations for St. Basil HAPPY EASTER Academy. At our January meeting, the membership voted to sponsor a Cypriot child through the Children s Cyprus Fund. Our Philoptochos and The Daughters of Penelope cosponsored Go Red Sunday on February 2 when our parishioners had their blood pressure checked and were informed on the benefits of heart and blood pressure checkups. The donations on this day benefitted the American Heart Association. We welcomed new members at our annual Membership Luncheon which took place on February 16. On Sunday, March 9 (Orthodoxy Sunday), a memorial service for our deceased members was held. On that same Sunday and following the Divine Liturgy, our annual Lenten Luncheon for the entire community took place with a delicious luncheon prepared and served by our ladies. Donations given at this luncheon benefited Hellenic College/Holy Cross Theological School. The annual Easter Bread Sale will take place on April 12 and 13 (Palm Sunday)--ORDER YOUR EASTER BREAD EARLY. As always, we are involved with many activities and we need the assistance of all our members and our community. We invite and encourage all the ladies of our St. George Community who are not yet members of our Philoptochos organization to join us. Our next meetings are scheduled for March 29 and April 26 at 11:00 a.m. in the Memorial Room. To all our members and to the entire St. George Community, we extend our best wishes for a very Happy Easter! Remember to direct your United Way donation to the St. George Needy Cases Fund United Way Reference Easter Tsourekia Sale April 12, 13, 2014 To order your tsourekia call early: E. Manolakis K. Athanasopoulos Go Red For Women hosted by Philoptochos and DOP
12 Page 12 March/April 2014 G.O.Y.A. GREEK ORTHODOX YOUTH ASSOCIATION As an organization, we must thank God for the beautiful GOYA experiences we have been given this year. I pray that we all remain healthy and are able to continue with God's work through our GOYA mission. I also hope that all the new GOYANS are having a wonderful first year. As new friends are making memories of a lifetime, everyone is eager for some exciting upcoming events. On January 10th, our GOYA had the opportunity to give back to the community at Charity Night. Thanks to everyone for dedicating their time making bagged lunches for the local shelters. Events like these are important for the whole family to participate in and learn the importance of helping others in need. On January 19th, GOYA had their gyro fundraiser. Fundraisers are the key to continuing this organization's growth and helping support the young people of our church. As basketball and volleyball games come to an end, the GOYA calendar becomes busier with preparations for Sights and Sounds. Sights and Sounds, most GOYAN s favorite event, is a competition between churches in the area of the arts ranging from dance, singing, acting, music, writing, and more. We are blessed to have so many gifted young people in our church. St. George Piscataway is known for always doing well at Sights and Sounds. In February, GOYANs have the opportunity to make new friends and create more fun memories at the Valentine s Dance on February 14th. The St. George dance group will be performing at the Apokreatiko on February 22nd. Please support this important community event and watch our beautiful culture come to life through dance. Finally after weeks of hard work, GOYA will be hosting their annual Sights and Sounds show on February 23rd.. We welcome all to come enjoy the show together as a family. The exciting Sights and Sounds event will be held on March 1st at Holy Trinity Church in Westfield! GOYANs have been waiting for this day the whole year, and we wish everyone the best of luck. Even when Sights and Sounds comes to an end, Junior Olympics practice immediately begins. May God bless the GOYANs in the upcoming competitions and continue to bless us all with happiness and love. Respectably submitted, Hope Sirimis, GOYA Historian HAPPY EASTER ΚΑΛΟ ΠΑΣΧΑ
13 March/April 2014 Page 13 P.T.O. PARENT TEACHER ORGANIZATION Dear Parents, We would like to thank all that assisted in organizing and coordinating our very special tribute to the teachers of our Greek School and Religious Education School on January 26th, in celebration of the Three Hierarchs. We would also like to thank the ladies and gentlemen who helped make this event a success. On Sunday February 9 th, the P.T.O. celebrated Godparents Day. We would like to thank Ms. Aliki Donniger for decorating the lambades and everyone who assisted in making the corsages. We also would like to thank everyone who celebrated the day with their Godchildren and Godparents and for purchasing lambades and corsages. On Saturday February 22 nd, we will be celebrating our annual Apokreatiko Glendi. Flyers with more information have been distributed to both Greek and Sunday School students. For additional information check the PTO announcement in the Sunday bulletin or visit the PTO bulletin board for a copy of the flyer. You may also RSVP by at reserve soon as seating is limited. On Saturday March 22 nd at 1:00 p.m., our Greek School students will celebrate Greek Independence Day by reciting poetry in memory of this very important day in our history. Please join them and their families in the AHEPA Hall. Coffee and desserts will be served at the end of the program. Girls between seven and fourteen years old are needed to participate in Holy Thursday and Holy Friday services as Myrofores. Flyers with more information will be given to girls after April 7 th. Send an to or call Helen Sirimis at (732) to sign up your daughter or granddaughter. On Saturday April 12 th, the Day of Lazarus, the P.T.O. will host the Lenten Communion Breakfast after the church services. Everyone in our community is welcome to join us. The children will color Easter eggs right after the breakfast and Myrofores will get their robes. On Easter morning, April 20 th, following the Agapi service, the children and their families will enjoy an Easter Egg Hunt. Send an to if you can help with the Egg Hunt setup that morning. It is with your continued support and contributions that we are able to celebrate our culture and heritage which in turn gives our children a solid future PTO Calendar of Events: March 22 March 25 th Greek School Program April 12 Easter Communion Breakfast April 20 Pascha-Easter Egg Hunt June 14 Greek School Graduation The Saint George PTO Board Officers: Helen Sirmis - Vice President Maria Petrou Co-Vice President Irene Drakopolous Treasurer Kathy Miller - Secretary ST. GEORGE MEMORIAL FUND All donations to the Memorial Fund are greatly appreciated. As we all know, we have a beautiful Memorial Tree located in the Memorial Room of the Community Center. Anyone wishing to purchase a leaf ($350), a dove ($2,000), or a stone ($1,500) in memory of a loved one, May their memory be eternal, please contact either John Stroumtsos or Fr. Nick Pastrikos by calling the church office
14 Page 14 March/April 2014 ΕΛΛΗΝΙΚΟ ΣΧΟΛΕΙΟ - GREEK SCHOOL Αγαπητοί Γονείς και Πάροικοι της ενορίας μας, Στις 26 Ιανουαρίου γιορτάσαμε την εορτή των Τριών Ιεραρχών και των Ελληνικών Γραμμάτων με Αρτοκλασία από τον Σύλλογο Γονέων και εν συνεχεία με γεύμα που παρέθεσε ο Σύλλογος προς τιμή των δασκάλων του Ελληνικού και Κατηχητικού σχολείου. Παιδιά της τετάρτης και πέμπτης τάξης απήγγειλαν ποιήματα σχετικά με την γιορτή και η παιδική χορωδία τραγούδησε. Ακολούθησε ομιλία από τον Πατέρα Νικόλαο, ο οποίος μίλησε για την σπουδαιότητα της γιορτής και την συμβολή των Τριών Ιεραρχών στα Ελληνικά Γράμματα και την Ορθοδοξία. Ευχαριστούμε θερμά τον Σύλλογο Γονέων για την τιμή που μας έκαναν και όλους όσους μας τίμησαν με την παρουσία τους. Το Σάββατο, 1 Φεβρουαρίου, έγινε στην Νέα Υόρκη η καθιερωμένη εορτή των Ελληνικών Γραμμάτων, όπου ο Αρχιεπίσκοπός μας έδωσε βραβεία στους μαθητές που αρίστεψαν στις εξετάσεις των Regents, τον Ιούνιο του Μεταξύ των αριστούχων ήταν και δύο μαθητές μας, ο Φοίβος Χριστοδουλίδης και ο Παναγιώτης Χριστοδουλίδης, οι οποίοι πήραν 100. Τα θερμά μας συγχαρητήρια και ευχόμαστε πάντα να προοδεύουν. Στις τρεις με επτά Μαρτίου θα γίνουν τα διαγωνίσματα και την επόμενη εβδομάδα θα γίνει συνάντηση δασκάλων και γονέων για να δοθούν οι έλεγχοι και να συζητήσουμε την πρόοδο των παιδιών μας. Επίσης τον Μάρτιο μήνα, προετοιμαζόμαστε για την γιορτή της 25ης Μαρτίου που θα γίνει το Σάββατο, 22 του μηνός στις 11:00 η ώρα. Μέρος στην γιορτή θα λάβουν τα παιδιά της τετάρτης, πέμπτης και έκτης τάξης. Θα γιορταστεί δε με ποιήματα, δραματάκια και τραγούδια. Θα είναι χαρά μας αν μας τιμήσετε με την παρουσία σας για να καμαρώσουμε όλοι μαζί τα παιδιά μας που πάντοτε καταβάλλουν μεγάλη προσπάθεια τόσο στην τάξη, όσο και στην συμμετοχή τους σε κάθε γιορτή του Ελληνικού μας σχολείου. Ευχόμαστε σε όλους Καλό Πάσχα και περιμένουμε να σας δούμε στις 22 Μαρτίου για να γιορτάσουμε μαζί την εθνική και θρησκευτική εορτή του Ελληνικού Έθνους! Με εκτίμηση, Οι Δασκάλες του Ελληνικού Σχολείου ΚΑΛΗ ΣΑΡΑΚΟΣΤΗ ΚΑΛΗ ΑΝΑΣΤΑΣΗ Dear Parents and Members of our parish, The Feast of the Three Hierarchs and Greek Letters was celebrated again this year on January 26 with the Blessing of the Loaves (Artoklasia) and a luncheon that was offered by the PTO in honor of our Greek and Sunday school teachers. Students of the fourth and fifth grade recited poems relating to the Feast and the children s Choir sang different songs. After the poems, a speech was given by Rev. Father Nicholas who spoke about the importance of the Feast and the contribution of the Three Hierarchs to the Greek Letters and to Orthodoxy. We extend our warmest thanks to our PTO for honoring us and to everyone who honored us with their presence. On Saturday, Feb. 1, the celebration of the Feast of the Three Hierarchs took place in New York, where our Archbishop gave awards to those students who excelled at the Regents Test in the June 2013 examination. Among the awarded students were also two students from our Greek School, Phivos Christodoulides and Panagiotis Christodoulides, who got a perfect score (100%) on the test. We congratulate them and wish them every success in their future endeavors. Our second annual examination period will take place during the week of March 3th to March 7th. The week after the exams parent-teacher conferences will be held in order to hand out the report cards and to discuss our students progress. In addition, during the month of March, we will be preparing for the celebration of March 25 th which will take place on Saturday, March 22 at 11:00 pm. Students of the fourth, fifth and sixth grade will participate in the celebration. The celebration will comprise of poems, songs and skits. With great pleasure we invite you to attend our school s celebration so that we can admire our children who strive for excellence not only in class, but also when participating in any event organized by our school. We wish everyone a Happy Easter and we anticipate seeing you on March 22 to celebrate together our National and Religious Holiday. Sincerely, The Teachers of the Greek School JOY & HOPE Joy and Hope is an organization designated for bringing together children 3-11 years old. Our next meeting is scheduled for March 15th during which the children will be making Prosforo. Fr Nick will be explaining the significance of this special bread in our religion. During our meeting, the children will also participate in games and enjoy snacks. Looking forward is seeing everybody!! Please note that during the month of April we will not be meeting. Our final meeting of the year will be on May 3rd, in which we are planning on having a picnic at Johnson Park... For more information, please us at Thank you,
15 March/April 2014 Page 15 Dear Parents and Members of our St. George Community, We hope you are anxiously awaiting the arrival of spring and with the Lenten period upon us, we wish everyone Καλή Σαρακοστή. On behalf of Father Nicholas, the teachers and staff, we would like to thank everyone for the support and trust you have placed in us in providing an Orthodox Christian foundation of faith and values to your children. We are very proud of our religious education program and of the many committed volunteers. We would like to share with you recent news of our program. We participated in the Three Holy Hierarchs festivities of 26 January with the oration of our student George Stavrianidis. We were also honored to have our 1st floor bulletin board displayed with essays of the Three Hierarchs by our 7 th grade students. We held an Open House on the 5 th of January. Parents joined us following Holy Communion and witnessed/participated in the activities of their child s class. Wonderful delights were offered to all parents, compliments of our program. We would like to tell you that we are very excited about the upcoming St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival that is to be held on the 29 th of March. Students from Grades 7 th, 8 th, 9 th and Teen Rap are currently preparing for our parish s St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival. The purpose of this festival is to give our youth an opportunity to research, learn, write and speak about their Orthodox Faith, Church and Heritage. We truly would like to encourage all parents to bring your children to us each Sunday. Each lesson of a given week builds on that for the following week, and thus the importance of your children s presence must be noted. The set curriculum developed by the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America Department of Religious Education, the liturgical hymnology, the participation in the Divine Liturgy and the many projects carried out throughout the year provide a complete picture of our Catechism Program. In each issue of the Voice of Saint George we present a summary of the curricula followed by several grades. Today we will present the curriculum of Grades 7, 8 and 9. Grade 7: Worship of God in the Orthodox Church exploring the development of the interior and exterior of the church from the times of the early Israelites; exploring the interior of the Orthodox Church (i.e., sacred vessels, sacred vestments, liturgical books, iconostasis, murals, sanctuary and its furnishings ), etc. This grade also learns the Beatitudes (Matt 5: 3-12), a set of teachings that Jesus delivered. SUNDAY SCHOOL Grade 8: History of the Church from its birth (at Pentecost) to today - the life and struggles of early Christians including that of many saints; the teachings and four journeys of Saint Paul; the Seven Ecumenical Councils; the rise and fall of Constantinople; the Great Schism; Orthodoxy under Turkish occupation; Orthodoxy under communism, Orthodoxy in America in the 20th Century, etc. Grade 9: Connecting the Bible to our everyday lives Jesus Christ as the Way, the Shepherd, the Good News, the Truth, the Life of the World, the Resurrection, etc. Also discussed is the fulfillment of the many prophesies found in the Old Testament of the coming of Jesus Christ. Photograph of our 8 th -9 th Grade Class having an Agape meal The students in these grades also read the Sunday Bible verses (readings from the Epistles and Gospels), attend the Divine Liturgy once a month, and discuss the lives of the Saints celebrated that week. An Agape feast was a communal meal that included bread and wine and was practiced by early Christians. At these small secret gatherings, the early Christians were encouraged to live as Jesus had lived. They would read from scripture, pray together, chant hymns, and of course, they would receive the consecrated Holy Gifts. These gatherings were secret because they were not free to worship publicly; for the first 300 years after Jesus Christ was resurrected, early Christians were persecuted. We would like to express our deep gratitude to our volunteer organization for their efforts, dedication and perseverance. We pray that we continue to have a successful year. For your valuable feedback, please contact me at Respectfully in Christ, St. George-Piscataway Catechism Staff
16 Page 16 March/April 2014 Lent for us Orthodox Christians is upon us, starting Monday, March 3. Great Lent precedes the most important event in the Church, Christ's Resurrection at Easter. Lent presents a tremendous challenge for every Orthodox Christian. For six weeks (seven including Holy Week) the faithful are asked to modify their diet and behavior while preparing for spiritual renewal. The preparation includes three basic components: fasting, of body and soul, prayer and philanthropy. Through self-examination, fasting and giving to charity, the old way of life can be shed. Just as Christ received new life after His death, a new life is given at Easter to those individuals who have prepared themselves. You can observe Lent by attending church frequently, praying along with other friends and parishioners, fasting, giving of yourself, going to confession, and reading religious materials to enhance your knowledge of this very special period. During this time, certain social events such as parties and dancing should be avoided. For this reason, the Orthodox Church prohibits weddings, baptisms (if there is going to be music and dancing afterwards) and dances during the whole period of Lent. In particular, during this time, we must do more to build up our spiritual responsibilities and our soul, rather than continue our everyday routine of doing very little for our soul and very much for our physical existence. FASTING The purpose of fasting during this period is to prepare for communion and rebirth at Easter. Forgoing food is a tangible symbol of controlling indulgence both physical and mental. Some parishioners observe a strict fast for the entire Lenten season: no meat, fish, animal products, olive oil or alcohol. A less strict approach eliminates these foods to first week of Lent, each Wednesday and Friday, and all of Holy Week. Today, with all that is available to us, we should not complain about the lack of food. The point here is, how much of an effort are we exercising in fulfilling these practices in our lives. WEEKLY SCHEDULE The weeks of Lent follow a pattern. Each Sunday emphasizes a special theme relating to preparation for Easter. The most important Sunday service, the Veneration of the Holy Cross, reminds us how Jesus carried the Cross, letting no obstacle prevent Him from carrying it to the end. It is the same with the life of the Christian during Lent. Easter is reached through the crucifixion of one s passions. A cross decorated with flowers is carried in procession to the middle of the church during the service and everyone receives a flower from the cross to be saved at the home Ikonostasi (where the icons are in the home.) The Sunday of Orthodoxy celebrates the OUR FAITH WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT LENT restoration of the once banned icons to the Church and the affirmed dogma of Christ's humanity as shown in the icons of Christ, the Man. The event is commemorated each year with a procession of icons through the Church. SPECIAL SERVICES Pre-Sanctified Liturgy: Special services also occur during this very important period. On Wednesdays of Lent, the Pre-Sanctified gifts are offered. This liturgy offers the Eucharist consecrated at the Divine Liturgy of the previous Sunday. It is an additional opportunity to receive the sustaining spiritual strength of Christ. The Akathist Hymn: One of the most beautiful and beloved poems of Orthodoxy, is an ecclesiastical poem about the Annunciation of the Mother of God (which occurs during Lent) on March 25 and the Nativity of Jesus Christ. Parishioners stand during the hymns out of reverence and respect; that is why the hymn is called the Akathist which means not seated. Saturday of Souls: The deceased are remembered during the services on the Saturdays of Souls that occur on the first two Saturdays preceding Lent and the third one during Lent. A general prayer is said for the souls who have departed from this life, so that our Lord may have mercy and forgiveness upon them and, if it be His will, to place them in His Kingdom during the Second Coming. It is very important that parishioners bring with them small dishes of Kollyva to the church and submit a list of the first names of the deceased loved ones to the priest for their commemoration. EXCEPTIONAL DAYS During Lent, the two significant events celebrated on March 25th break the solemn mood of Lent. The Annunciation of the Mother of God and Greek Independence Day. Although one event is religious and the other secular, the two are linked together by the common themes of birth and liberty. One event marks the good news that the Virgin Mary will give birth to the Son of God; the other commemorates the liberation of the modern Greek state in 1821 from the Ottoman Empire. On that day (March 25th) the Church celebrates with a Divine Liturgy, and many Greek organizations hold programs, including children in Greek costumes who recite poems, sing the national Anthems and dance. The observants break the Lenten fast on that day by eating fish. One week before Easter, Palm Sunday also breaks the somber mood, with its joyous remembrance of Christ s triumphant entry into Jerusalem after resurrecting Lazarus from the dead. A procession through the church re-enacts Christ s entry into Jerusalem and small crosses made of palms are given to everyone at the end of the service, which is kept in the home Ikonostasi out of reverence and in commemoration of that eventful day. Fasting on that day is once again modified to allow fish.
17 March/April 2014 Page 17 Η Μεγάλη Τεσσαρακοστή αρχίζει για μας τους Ορθοδόξους χριστιανούς στις 3 Μαρτίου. Η Μεγάλη Τεσσαρακοστή προηγείται, όπως γνωρίζετε, της Αναστάσεως του Χριστού. Η περίοδος αυτή είναι για τους χριστιανούς ένα μεγάλο ταξίδι. Για επτά εβδομάδες ζητείται από πιστούς να αλλάξουν την δίαιτα τους και την συμπεριφορά τους, ενώ ετοιμάζονται για την πνευματική τους ανανέωση. Η προετοιμασία αυτή αποτελείται από τρία μέρη: νηστεία σώματος και ψυχής, προσευχή και αγαθοεργία. Με αυτοκριτική, νηστεία και καλές πράξεις επιτυγχάνεται η μεταστροφή από τον παλιό τρόπο ζωής. Όπως ο Χριστός έλαβε νέα ζωή με τον θάνατο Του, έτσι και όσοι έχουν προετοιμαστεί θα λάβουν καινούργια ζωή. Ο χριστιανός διανύει την περίοδο αυτή με τακτικό εκκλησιασμό, προσευχή μαζί με φίλους και άλλους πιστούς, νηστεία, δίνοντας από τον εαυτό του, με την εξομολόγηση και διαβάζοντας θρησκευτικά βιβλία για να πλουτίσει την γνώση του αυτή την τόσο σημαντική περίοδο. Κατά την Σαρακοστή πολλά κοινωνικά γεγονότα αναστέλλονται. Για τον λόγο αυτό η Ορθόδοξος Εκκλησία απαγορεύει γάμους και βαπτίσεις (αν πρόκειται να ακολουθήσει μουσική και χορός), τις χοροεσπερίδες και τα γλέντια. Την περίοδο αυτή θα πρέπει να εντείνουμε τις προσπάθειες μας για τα πνευματικά μας καθήκοντα και για την ψυχή μας αντί να συνεχίσουμε την συνηθισμένη ρουτίνα της ζωής, φροντίζοντας μόνο για την φυσική μας ύπαρξη. ΝΗΣΤΕΙΑ Ο λόγος της νηστείας είναι να μας ετοιμάσει για την Θεία Κοινωνία και την αναγέννηση μας με την Ανάσταση. Αποφεύγοντας διάφορα φαγητά είναι σύμβολο της πειθαρχίας μας, φυσικής και πνευματικής. Πολλοί πιστοί ακολουθούν αυστηρή νηστεία για όλη την Σαρακοστή, αποφεύγοντας το κρέας, το ψάρι, γαλακτικά προϊόντα, ελαιόλαδο κα ποτό. Μια Η ΘΡΗΣΚΕΙΑ ΜΑΣ ΤΙ ΠΡΕΠΕΙ ΝΑ ΓΝΩΡΙΖΟΥΜΕ ΓΙΑ ΤΗΝ ΜΕΓΑΛΗ ΤΕΣΣΑΡΑΚΟΣΤΗ λιγότερο αυστηρή νηστεία, αποφεύγει όλα αυτά την πρώτη εβδομάδα, κάθε Τετάρτη και Παρασκευή και την Μεγάλη Εβδομάδα. ΕΒΔΟΜΑΔΙΑΙΟ ΠΡΟΓΡΑΜΜΑ Οι εβδομάδες της Σαρακοστής ακολουθούν ένα πρόγραμμα. Κάθε Κυριακή παρουσιάζει ένα ειδικό θέμα σχετικό με την προετοιμασία για το Πάσχα. Η πιο σημαντική Κυριακή είναι αυτή της Σταυροπροσκυνήσεως, η οποία μας υπενθυμίζει πως ο Χ ιστός έφερε τον Σταυρό στους ώμους Του μέχρι τον Γολγοθά και αυτό ταυτίζεται με την ζωή του χριστιανού κατά την διάρκεια της Σαρακοστής. Η Ανάσταση επιτυγχάνεται με τον θάνατο των παθών μας. Η Κυριακή της Ορθοδοξίας εορτάζει την αναστήλωση των εικόνων στην εκκλησία και την επιβεβαίωση της ανθρώπινης υπόστασης του Χριστού όπως παρουσιάζεται στις εικόνες. Το γεγονός αυτό εορτάζεται με την περιφορά εικόνων μέσα στην εκκλησία. ΔΥΟ ΣΗΜΑΝΤΙΚΕΣ ΗΜΕΡΕΣ Κατά την διάρκεια της Σαρακοστής τα δυο γεγονότα που εορτάζονται την 25η Μαρτίου σπάνε την θλιβερή διάθεση της Νηστείας. Αυτά είναι ο Ευαγγελισμός της Θεοτόκου και η Ελληνική Ανεξαρτησία. Αν και το ένα γεγονός είναι θρησκευτικό και το άλλο κοσμικό, τα δύο ενώνονται με το κοινό θέμα της γέννησης και της ελευθερίας. Το ένα γεγονός μας υπενθυμίζει τα καλά νέα πως η Θεοτόκος θα γεννήσει τον Υιό του Θεού και το άλλο μας υπενθυμίζει την ελευθερία του Ελληνικού γένους το 1821 από την Οθωμανική Αυτοκρατορία. Την ημέρα εκείνη επιτρέπεται το ψάρι. Η Κυριακή των Βαΐων σπάει και πάλι την θλιβερή διάθεσή μας εορτάζοντας την θριαμβευτική είσοδο Χριστού στα Ιεροσόλυμα μετά την Ανάσταση του Λαζάρου. Η περιφορά μέσα στην εκκλησία αναπαριστάνει το γεγονός αυτό και μικρά σταυρουδάκι από βάγια δίνονται σε όλους τους πιστούς, τα οποία φυλάσσονται στο εικονοστάσι του σπιτιού. LENT BEGINS MARCH 3 On March 3, as Orthodox Christians, we will be entering the period of Great Lent. The 40 days of Great Lent, plus Holy Week, is a period of fasting, devout reverence, personal reflection, prayer and sincere repentance. Our church offers us the opportunity for participating frequently in the Sacraments of Confession and Holy Communion for our spiritual edification and for forgiveness of our sins. This year and the coming Lent, let us make good use of what the church is providing us. COME ON MONDAY NIGHT, MARCH 3 TO THE GREAT COMPLINE. The first day of Great Lent, March 3, is called Kathara Deftera - Clean Monday. It is our Orthodox Tradition that beginning on that Monday, we observe a fast where we eat only pure or clean foods, such as greens, vegetables and natural foods. Also on Clean Monday and all the Mondays of Great lent we hold special services called the Great Compline. During Great Lent, let us all plan to dedicate ourselves to all the services that are provided for us, so that our minds, our bodies and our souls may be edified and spiritually fed. I hope to see you all at the Great Compline of Clean Monday, at 7:00 p.m. Η ΜΕΓΑΛΗ ΣΑΡΑΚΟΣΤΗ ΑΡΧΙΖΕΙ ΣΤΙΣ 3 ΜΑΡΤΙΟΥ Στις 3 Μαρτίου μπαίνουμε στην περίοδο της Μεγάλης Σαρακοστής. Οι 40 μέρες της Σαρακοστής μαζί με την Μεγάλη Εβδομάδα, είναι μια περίοδος νηστείας, προσευχής και μετάνοιας. Κατά την διάρκεια της περιόδου αυτής, η εκκλησία μας δίνει την ευκαιρία να λάβουμε μέρος στα Μυστήρια της Εξομολόγησης και της Θείας Κοινωνίας για την πνευματική μας ωρίμανση και για την άφεση των αμαρτιών μας. ΕΛΑΤΕ ΤΗΝ ΚΑΘΑΡΑ ΔΕΥΤΕΡΑ ΣΤΟ ΑΠΟΔΕΙΠΝΟ. Όπως γνωρίζετε, κάθε Δευτέρα της Μεγάλης Σαρακοστής γίνεται απόδειπνο στις 7:00 το βράδυ. Ας αφοσιώσουμε λοιπόν τον εαυτόν μας και τα μέλη της οικογένεια μας σε αυτές τις Ακολουθίες της Μεγάλης Σαρακοστής που έχει προγραμματίσει η εκκλησία μας για να εποικοδομήσουμε πνευματικώς την καρδιά μας και την ψυχή μας. Περιμένω να σας δω όλους την Καθαρά Δευτέρα στον Μέγα Απόδειπνο στις 7:00 μ.μ.
18 Page 18 March/April 2014 GREEK ORTHODOX EASTER Food and Traditions By Nancy Gaifyllia Easter is the most sacred observance in the Greek Orthodox faith. Preparations and customs remain some of the most traditional in modern Greek life. Preparations for Easter come to a climax toward the end of Holy Week, between Palm Sunday and Easter. While there are many local customs associated with Easter, there are several observed by all. Holy (or Great) Thursday Easter preparations begin on Holy Thursday when the traditional Easter bread, tsoureki, is baked, and eggs are dyed red (red is the color of life as well as a representation of the blood of Christ). From ancient times, the egg has been a symbol of the renewal of life, and the message of the red eggs is victory over death. (More on the history of red eggs at Easter.) In times gone by, superstitions grew into customs that included placing the first-dyed red egg at the home's iconostasis (place where icons are displayed) to ward off evil, and marking the heads and backs of small lambs with the red dye to protect them. Holy Thursday evening, church services include a symbolic representation of the crucifixion, and the period of mourning begins. In many villages - and in cities as well women will sit in church throughout the night, in traditional mourning. Holy (or Great) Friday The holiest day of Holy Week is Holy Friday. It is a day of mourning, not of work (including cooking). It is also the only day during the year when the Divine Liturgy is not read. Flags are hung at half-mast and church bells ring all day in a slow mournful tone. Many devout do not cook on Holy Friday, but if they do, traditional foods are simple, perhaps boiled in water (no oil) and seasoned with vinegar - like beans - or thin soups like tahinosoupa, a soup made with tahini. Traditionally, women and children take flowers to the church to decorate the Epitaphio (the symbolic bier of Christ). The Service of Lamentation mourns the death of Christ and the bier, decorated lavishly with flowers and bearing the image of Christ, is carried on the shoulders of the faithful in a procession through the community to the cemetery, and back. Members of the congregation follow, carrying candles. Holy (or Great) Saturday On Holy Saturday, the Eternal Flame is brought to Greece by military jet, and is distributed to waiting Priests who carry it to their local churches. The event is always televised and if there's a threat of bad weather or a delay, the entire country agonizes until the flame arrives safely. On the morning of Holy Saturday, preparations begin for the next day s Easter feast. Dishes that can be prepared in advance are made, and the traditional mayiritsa soup is prepared, which will be eaten after the midnight service, to break the fast. The midnight Service of the Resurrection is an occasion attended by everyone who is able, including children, each holding a white candle. Special candles made for Easter are called labatha (lahbah-thah) and are often given as gifts to children from their parents or God-parents. These candles can be lavishly decorated with favorite children s heroes or storybook characters, and may be as much as three feet tall, but the candle itself is usually white. These candles are only used for one Easter midnight service. Crowds are so big that churches fill to overflowing as anticipation mounts. Shortly before midnight, all lights are extinguished and churches are lit only by the Eternal Flame on the altar. When the clock passes midnight, the Priest calls out "Christos Anesti" (Christ is risen), and passes the flame, the light of the Resurrection, to those nearest him. The flame is then passed from person to person, and it isn't long before the church and courtyard are filled with flickering candlelight. The night air is filled with the singing of the Byzantine Chant "Christos Anesti," and the "fili tis Agapis" (kiss of Agape) and wishes are exchanged. As is the custom, as soon as "Christos Anesti" is called out, church bells ring joyously non-stop, ships in ports all over Greece sound their horns, floodlights are lit on large buildings, and great and small displays of fireworks and noisemakers are set off. Traditional Easter Wishes Once the Priest has called out "Christos Anesti," friends and neighbors exchange the same, saying "Christos Anesti" and, in response, "Alithos Anesti" (truly, He is risen) or "Alithinos o Kyrios" (true is the Lord). It is the custom to carry the Eternal Flame home and use it to make the sign of the cross on the door frame in smoke. The smoke cross is left there throughout the year, symbolizing that the light of the Resurrection has blessed the home. The candles are used to light icon candelabra, and are put on the table for the midnight meal. The sight of hundreds of candle flames moving from churches to homes on that night is beautiful, indeed. Once home, everyone gathers around the table for a traditional meal to break the fast, which includes the mayiritsa soup, tsoureki (sweet bread), and the red eggs. But before the eggs are eaten, there's a traditional challenge: "tsougrisma." Holding your egg, you tap the end against the end of your opponent's egg, trying to crack it. It's a game enjoyed by children and adults alike. Eggs are often made in very large quantities since the game continues on the next day with more friends and family. Easter Sunday At dawn (or earlier) on Easter Sunday, the spits are set to work, and grills are fired up. The customary main attraction of the day is whole roasted lamb or goat (kid) to represent the Lamb of God, however many prefer oven and stovetop lamb or kid dishes. Ovens are filled with traditional accompaniments and all the trimmings. Great Greek wines, ouzo, and other drinks flow freely, and preparations for the meal turn into festive celebrations even before the eating begins. These highspirited gatherings often last long into the night.
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