Pastoral Letters

Pastoral Message March 3, 2024

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Next Saturday Morning, March 9th, and for the following two Saturdays, we will gather in the church for what have been collectively known as the “Saturday of the Souls” Liturgies. Technically, only the first of the three are specifically dedicated to the memories of our departed in Christ. The other two, are in memory of the Holy Ascetics and the Miracle of the Kollyva by St. Theodore of Tyron. There will be general Memorial Services chanted at all three, and the Faithful are encouraged to make and bring Kollyva (boiled memorial wheat) in honor of their departed loved ones. 

These services are celebrated on the two Saturdays before the beginning of Great Lent, and on the first Saturday once Great Lent has commenced. For the many, many people who are new to Orthodoxy and to St. Anna’s, as well as everyone who needs a prayerful reminder on the importance of Great and Holy Lent, Holy Week, The Crucifixion of Christ and His glorious Resurrection, you need only look to the divine services, appointed readings, ascetical practices and teaching opportunities during these coming, sacred days. 

I have attached this year’s Lenten Schedule of Services as well as the flyer for our parish Lenten Retreat. The Fast begins on March 18th, and though that may seem far away, it is literally just around the corner. The schedule of speakers and host ministries of our Wednesday Evening Lenten Potluck Dinners and Lectures is nearly complete and I will send that information out shortly. Each of this year’s speakers brings a unique experience, fresh perspective and engaging delivery. You will not want to miss a single one of them.

Seems like each year we have a scheduling discrepancy between the Lenten Schedule and the times printed in the Bulletin Calendar. We will make every effort to make sure there is no confusion or mistake in our communication, but always refer to the Lenten Schedule on the Flyer. You can’t go wrong there. 

This will be the first Lenten Journey in our new worship space. I look forward to every hymn, prayer, reading, and message that will be shared up through our celebration of Pascha. Let us not take a single moment for granted or allow ourselves to be lulled into a spiritual laziness by not attending services. We get our what we put in. And we have every good reason to receive every blessing afforded to us. Get ready. We are set for an amazing journey.

With Love in Christ,

Fr. Anthony Savas