Great Lent Begins
March 7, 2011
Let us fast with a fast pleasing to the Lord. This is the true fast: the casting off of evil, the bridling of the tongue, the cutting off of anger, the cessation of lusts, evil talking, lies and cursing. The stopping of these is the fast true and acceptable.
The Lenten Prayer of St. Ephrem the Syrian
O Lord and Master of my life
Take from me the spirit of sloth, despair, lust of power and idle talk.
But grant rather the spirit of chastity, humility, patience and love to Thy servant.
Yea, O Lord and King, grant me to see my own transgressions and not to judge my brother,
For blessed art Thou unto ages of ages. Amen.
Fr. Jacob Myers Talks
We had a wonderful time here February 17-19 with Fr. Jacob Myers and his wife, Matushka Rebecca, from St. John the Wonderworker Church in Atlanta. Recordings of his first two talks can be heard here (unfortunately the third talk did not record properly).
Developing A Divine Friendship
With God And The Heavenly Host
How to be ready for it
The talks will begin at 7 p.m. each night in the Parish Hall behind the Church.
On Wednesday night there will be a Vespers service at 6 p.m. in the Church.
The public is invited to all. For more information call 601 924-2441.
Fr. Jacob was born and reared Jewish in Springfield, Illinois, and is a graduate of Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. He was a pastor in a Christian service order for many years, and was introduced to Orthodox Christianity in the 1980s. He has been at St. John the Wonderworker Church in Atlanta for 20 years. This is an active and interesting inner-city Church which has done service work with Atlanta’s poor and homeless for many years. The Orthodox Churches of Atlanta chose St. John’s as their joint outreach to the poor; they receive money, volunteers, and food from all over Atlanta. The Church also has an Orthodox school, St. Nicholas Orthodox Academy. Fr. Jacob is a warm and winsome person whose joy is contagious. He and his wife, Matushka Rebecca, have two teenage daughters.
Baptism of the Lord
We invite you to join us for all these services.
On January 6 Orthodox celebrate the Baptism of the Lord in the Jordan River (Mark 1:9-11 and parallels). His descent into it and rising from it show us in advance His Death and Resurrection. The voice of the Father calls Him His beloved Son, and the Holy Spirit descends on Him in the form of a dove, so the event is also a revelation of the Holy Trinity.
In celebration of this we bless a basin of water in the Church and plunge a Cross into it as an image of Our Lord's descent into the water. We drink some of this water and in the days ahead the priest visits each member's home and sprinkles the water as a sign of the renewal of the world by the Lord's descent into it.
The following Sunday all the local Orthodox Churches gather at the Ross Barnett Reservoir for an outdoor blessing. The Reservoir is part of the Pearl River, so we are asking the Lord's blessing on the whole Pearl River Valley and indeed the whole world. During this service we throw a Cross into the water and swimmers retrieve it.
Churches participating will be
At last year's service the Cross was retrieved by Ryan Harner, son of Father Chris Harner of Holy Trinity and St. John Greek Orthodox Church, Jackson.
On January 11 Andrew and Renee Caldecott of Clinton and Ed James of Brandon were received as members by Chrismation, anointing with blessed oil as the "seal of the gift of the Holy Spirit." They had already been baptized by other Christians and had spent some time as catechumens (learners). After Chrismation they received Holy Communion for the first time. January 10 was the year anniversary of the falling asleep in the Lord of Andrew's mother, Marlene Mackie, a long-time faithful member of our Church. We served a prayer service in her memory also.
Learn About Orthodox Christianity
The Orthodox Church is the Church which has existed continuously in the Middle East and Greece from the time of the Apostles. It is the second largest Christian communion in the world; over 200 million people identify themselves as Orthodox, including the majority of people in Bulgaria, the Republic of Georgia, Greece, Romania, Russia, Serbia, and Ukraine, and the majority of Christians left in the Middle East. With the exception of Rome, the local Churches mentioned in the New Testament which have existed continuously until today, such as Corinth, Thessaloniki, and Damascus, are Orthodox. There are more than 1,500 Orthodox congregations in the United States.