Young Adults

Dearly Beloved in the Lord

Please see attached flyer concerning a new  series of regular socials for Young Adults ( Ages 25-40) by our Archdiocese. Kindly encourage young adults to participate in this new endeavor of fellowship, faith, culture, and gastronomy.

For more information and to book tickets visit: https://enlightenedevenings.eventbrite.co.uk

The V. Rev. Fr. Nephon Tsimalis

Director, Office of Archbishop

New Antimensia

Beloved in the Lord,

We are pleased to inform you that the new antimensia that were consecrated by His Eminence Archbishop Nikitas at the Church of Saints Basil the Great and Paisios the Athonite in Lincoln last Saturday the 17th of July.

The new antimensia depict Saints of the British Isles. Every parish of the Archdiocese must have a new antimension that is signed and sealed by our Archbishop Nikitas, so that the Holy Liturgy may be celebrated upon it.

If anyone wants to contribute to the cost their names will be recorded in the Altar. The overall cost including postage is £260.

I looked up what this is and found the following:

The antimension, (from the Greek: ἀντιμήνσιον, “instead of the table”; in Slavonic: antimins), is among the most important furnishings of the altar in Orthodox Christian liturgical traditions. It is a rectangular piece of cloth, of either linen or silk, typically decorated with representations of the entombment of Christ, the four Evangelists, and scriptural passages related to the Eucharist. A small relic of a martyr is sewn into it. The Eucharist cannot be celebrated without an antimension.

The antimension is placed in the center of the altar table and is unfolded only during the Divine Liturgy, before the Anaphora. At the end of the Liturgy, the antimension is folded in thirds, and then in thirds again, so that when it is unfolded the creases form a cross. When folded, the antimension sits in the center of another slightly larger cloth, the eileton (Slavonic: Ilitón) which is then folded around it in the same manner (3 x 3), encasing it completely. A flattened natural sponge is also kept inside the antimension, which is used to collect any crumbs which might fall onto the Holy Table. When the antimension and eiliton are folded, the Gospel Book is laid on top of them.

The antimension must be consecrated and signed by a bishop. The antimension and the chrism are the means by which a bishop indicates his permission for priests under his omophorion to celebrate the Divine Liturgy and Holy Mysteries in his absence, being in effect the church’s license to conduct divine services. If a bishop were to withdraw his permission to serve the Mysteries, he would do so by taking back the antimension and chrism from the priest. Whenever a bishop visits a church or monastery under his omophorion, he will enter the altar and inspect the antimension to be sure that it has been properly cared for, and that it is in fact the one that he issued.

Only a bishop, priest, or deacon is allowed to touch an antimension. Since the antimension is a consecrated object, they must be vested when they do so—the deacon should be fully vested, and the priest vested in at least stole (epitrachelion) and cuffs (epimanikia).

The antimension is a substitute for the altar table. A priest may celebrate the Eucharist on the antimension even if the altar table is not properly consecrated. In emergencies, when an altar table is not available, the antimension serves a very important pastoral need by enabling the use of unconsecrated tables for divine services outside of churches or chapels. Formerly if the priest celebrated at a consecrated altar, the sacred elements were placed only on the eileton. However, in current practice the priest always uses the antimension, even on a consecrated altar that has relics sealed in it.

At the Divine Liturgy, during the Litanies (Ektenias) that precede the Great Entrance the eiliton is opened fully and the antimension is opened three-quarters of the way, leaving the top portion folded. Then, during the Litany of the Catechumens, when the deacon says, “That He (God) may reveal unto them (the catechumens) the Gospel of righteousness,” the priest unfolds the last portion of the antimension, revealing the mystery of Christ’s death and resurrection. After the Entrance, the chalice and diskos are placed on the antimension and the Gifts (bread and wine) are consecrated. The antimension remains unfolded until after all have received Holy Communion and the chalice and diskos are returned to the Table of oblation (Prothesis). The deacon (or, if there is no deacon, the priest) must very carefully inspect the antimension to be sure there are no crumbs left on it. Then, it is folded, followed by folding the eiliton, and after which the Gospel Book placed on top of it.

Church Open For Individual Prayer And Lighting Of Candles

From Sunday 21st June 2020

THE CHURCH WILL BE OPEN

Sundays only

(UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE)

From 11.00am to 12.30 pm

We ask you to follow Government Guidelines and strictly observe the following:

Enter from the Main Entrance and leave the Church from the side Entrance

  1. You can visit the Church only on the announced day and times
  2. You wear masks (please bring your own) and sanitise your Hands
  3. You keep 2 metres Social Distance at all times
  4. You stay in church for only 15 minutes
  5. You light Candles which will be given to you
  6. You DO NOT  touch or kiss the Icons
  7. You DO NOT USE  the toilets or other church facilities

Funeral – Stella Misiouri

Yiayia_Stilou_9_5_16

Stella Misiouri It is with our deepest sympathy, on 9th May 2016 Stella Misiouri, a church loving lady was called to the lords side. The funeral will be held at: The Greek Orthodox church of St Panteleimon and St Theodoros 30 Cavendish Place Eastbourne, East Sussex At 12.00 p.m noon Followed at Langney cemetery Hide Hollow Wake to be held in the church hall The Greek Orthodox Church of St Panteleimon and St Theodoros

The Epitaphios (The Tomb of Christ)

The service of Great Saturday is effectively a funeral service for Christ, and yet it is the most colourful service of Holy Week, because we have already begun to celebrate the Resurrection. The Epitaphios which represents the tomb of Christ, is adorned with an array of flowers, and is carried in a solemn and yet joyous procession outside the church. There is on Great Saturday a clear, steady progression from sorrow to joy. The Engomia or Lamentations – those beautiful dirges that we sing on the evening of Great Friday in honour of Christ’s death – begin in the sombre plagal first, then becoming brighter and ending in the joyful and festive third tone. This progression continues and accelerates into Great Saturday morning, when the celebration of the Resurrection becomes more explicit.

On Great Saturday we remember Christ’s burial and His descent into Hades, or Hell. Why is this important? The whole point of Christ becoming a man is to restore mankind’s relationship with God. Christ is both God and man at once, and so it is only through Him that this restoration can happen. Christ, therefore, had to undergo everything that we do; and one thing that we all undergo without exception is death. Whatever Christ has done, whatever He has taken on and made His own, has been made holy by virtue of His divinity – a way to salvation. In effect, He paved a road for us. It is the same road that we have always trodden, but He made it a road to the Father, to paradise. In order to make death a passage to paradise, he had to endure death Himself. By doing this, he destroyed the power of death, because God is the source of life. By undergoing a state of death, He altered the very nature of death and made it a source of new life. This defeat of death is beautifully expressed in a hymn which we sing on Great Saturday morning, again chanted in the joyful third tone. It is a poetic hymn, personifying Hell and telling us the story of Christ’s descent into Hades from Hades’ point of view:

Today Hell cries out groaning: “I should not have accepted the man born of Mary; He came and destroyed my power. He shattered the gates of brass; He has raised the souls which I had held captive”. Glory to your Cross and Resurrection, O Lord.

Today Hell cries out groaning: “My authority has been taken away; I received a mortal man as one of the dead; but I was powerless to contain Him; Because of Him I have lost those whom I ruled. For ages I had dominion over the dead, but behold, He raises all”. Glory to your Cross and Resurrection, O Lord.

Today Hell cries out groaning: “My power has been trampled on; the Shepherd has been crucified and Adam is raised. I have been deprived of those whom I ruled. Those whom I swallowed in my strength I have given up. He Who was crucified has opened the tombs. The power of death has been vanquished”. Glory to your Cross and Resurrection, O Lord.

Throughout our journey along Holy Week, the tension building up to the Resurrection has been growing steadily greater, and it finally reaches its climax at the Easter Vigil. I challenge anyone to be present at this midnight service without being caught up in the sense of universal joy. After all the anxious expectation of the Resurrection, there is an overwhelming sense of liberation, satisfaction and joy, as the church which was previously in darkness floods with light and we sing with inexhaustible joy:

“Christ is risen from the dead; by death He has trampled on death and to those in the tombs given life”.

The sense of liberation is even greater for those who have fasted and attended the services of Great Lent. The long austere fast is over. The time for kneeling and prostrations has ended. Religious disciplines have been relaxed. Furthermore, this joy is enhanced by Holy Communion at the liturgy which follows the midnight service. It is therefore a shame that so many choose to go home before the Liturgy begins. Indeed, it is quite embarrassing that, after the priest has sung the verse “let God arise and let His enemies be scattered”, half the congregation clears off! Before the distribution of Communion, we chant “Receive the Body of Christ; and taste of the Immortal Spring”. In other words, “the proof of the pudding is in the eating”. To really experience Christ, we ought to taste him in the Eucharist.

[Previous Publication: http://pemptousia.com/2016/04/the-twelve-gospels/]