The fast is almost over… Let’s feast!

Now that the Apostle’s Fast is almost over, we actually have three opportunities for feasting coming up!

  1. The Feast of St. Peter and Paul, which we will celebrate as a community this Sunday (June 28th) after the liturgy, while still respecting the last day of the fast, by everyone bringing (I hope) lots of yummy fish to feast on!
  2. Not exactly an Orthodox holiday, but Dn. Kurt Jordan and his family are continuing theirCanada Day tradition of inviting all and sundry over to their home in Chilliwack for a grand, uncharacteristically patriotic celebration of the anniversary of the formation of our nation on July 1st, 1867. I would suggest (and Dn. Kurt has enthusiastically seconded the suggestion) that as many of us as are able to should all carpool our way out to Chilliwack to celebrate Canada Day with our brothers and sisters from St. Herman’s. Details can be found on the collaborative Spruce Island blog here:
  3. Our summer Patronal Feast Day, the feast-day of St. John of Shanghai and San Francisco, which we will celebrate, according to the established custom, with a Divine Liturgy on the Saturday following his repose, followed by as much feasting and communal celebration as we can manage! The Americans in our midst will have a double reason for celebration, as the liturgy and feast for St. John will begin at 9am on Saturday, July 4th!
Looking forward to feasting and celebrating with you all!
Love in Christ,
Fr. Justin.

To clarify…

You might have noticed that the date for our celebration of our Lord’s Ascension with a Vesperal Liturgy has just jumped from Thursday, May 28th to Wednesday, May 27th. Just to clarify, this was not a mistake but rather a deliberate change of dates. I have figured out a way (or, rather, will figure out a way) to celebrate Vesperal Liturgy for Ascension on the proper day (namely, Wednesday). So…

Ascension will be celebrated with a Vesperal Liturgy at 7:30pm on Wednesday, May 27th in the secondary chapel in the monastic house. Please come fasting from about noon onwards if you are planning to receive communon.
On a more minor note, it has been brought to my attention that in the move to our new website, our contact information got buried. This has been rectified with a new Contact page at – and I’ve also started a gallery for pictures of our mission. Please send me any that you think would be appropriate for posting!
Love in Christ,
Fr. Justin.

Radontisa and the Panikhida this Saturday

Christ is risen!

In the Slavic tradition that we, in the OCA, have inherited from the Russian Mission to North America, a particularly important celebration is Radonitsa, “The Day of Rejoicing”. This celebration is essentially the Christian “baptism” of the remembrance of the departed that is so fundamental to us as human beings and which, in Christianity, is transformed by the joy of the Resurrection. This joyful remembrance of the departed is traditionally clebrated (in a custom which may stretch as far back as the time of St. John Chrysostom) on the first day that commemorations of the dead are allowed after Bright Week – namely, the Tuesday of the week following Bright Week – and, in the Slavic tradition, is celebrated with a general Panikhida (memorial service), blessing of Paschal food, and a procession to bless the graves in the church cemetery.

We obviously missed the “official” day of Radonitsa (and have no church cemetary to bless, yet!), but, in honour of the day, we will celebrate a general Panikhida just before Vespers this Saturday at 5:30pm. It is perhaps fitting that, after Vespers this Saturday, many of us will also be celebrating the departure of our beloved not-yet-departed medical students, David and Jeff, who have survived their intensive studies and will soon be leaving us to undertake their two-year residency training in Montreal and Victoria. Death, in the Christian understanding, is rather like departure – “we sorrow,” as the Apostle Paul says, “but not as those who have no hope.” In the joy of the Resurrection, no parting is permanent!

Love in Christ,
Fr. Justin.

Bright Saturday Liturgy

It seems that people keep wanting to celebrate this week, for some reason… Accordingly, for those who wish to rejoice in our Lord’s Resurrection even more, we will be celebrating Divine Liturgy on Bright Saturday at 9am, followed by the distribution of the Artos – and, I imagine, a communal breakfast! My apologies for the late notice – this is a spur-of-the-moment response to the desire to celebrate the very festal Bright Saturday Divine Liturgy. Please feel free to come if you can!

Love in Christ,

Fr. Justin.

Christ is Risen!

Christ is risen! Indeed, He is risen!
Hristos vosskresse ; vo iss-ti-nou vosskresse.
Christos anesti ; aléthos anesti.
Le Christ est ressuscité ; en vérité, il est ressuscité.
Gaydolk folkwoot leew ; tchan tek, ta folkwoot leew.
Jidu fuhuo liao ; zhende, ta fuhuo liao.
Christus ist auferstanden ; er ist wahrhaftig auferstanden.
Khristus er oppstanden; Han er sanneleg oppstanden.
Harisutosu hukkatsu ; jitsu ni hukkatsu.
Hristos a-înviat ; adev?rat a-înviat.
Tá Criost éirithe ; go deimhin tá sé éirithe.
Christ is risen! Indeed, He is risen!