Bulletin

Holy Trinity Orthodox Church:
What’s Happening March 2021

"Let us not give up the habit of meeting together... Instead, let us encourage each other all the more,"
the earliest Christians said (Hebrews 10:25). So join us for worship and fellowship. To find us, click here: Find HTOC.
For a printer-friendly PDF version of our monthly newsletter, click here: HTOC Newsletter.

A Month of More at HTOC!

Life in Christ is in progress at Holy Trinity Orthodox Church — so come join us in it! With our priest Father Alexis Woytek on board and common-sense pandemic precautions in place, we continue to gather safely for Sunday Divine Liturgy at 9:30 a.m. and do good in the larger community by collecting groceries for our hungry neighbors in partnership with People Helping People in Hernando County. Plus, this month brings special seasonal opportunities for worship and spiritual growth as Great Lent kicks in. See our calendar below for details!

Calendar

Sunday, March 7
Thirty-Ninth Sunday After Pentecost
Last Judgment Sunday
Divine Liturgy
9:30 a.m.

Sunday, March 14
Fortieth Sunday After Pentecost
Forgiveness Sunday
Divine Liturgy and Forgiveness Vespers
9:30 a.m.

Monday, March 15 - Saturday, May 1
Great Lent

Tuesday, March 16
Great Lent Prayer Service
Faith and Spirituality Enrichment Hour for Adults
7 p.m.

Wednesday, March 17
Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts
12 noon

Sunday, March 21
First Sunday of Great Lent
Triumph of Orthodoxy Sunday
Divine Liturgy
9:30 a.m.

 

Tuesday, March 23
Great Lent Prayer Service
Faith and Spirituality Enrichment Hour for Adults
7 p.m.

Wednesday, March 24
Prayer Service to the Virgin Mary
12 noon

Thursday, March 25
Annunciation to the Virgin Mary

Sunday, March 28
Second Sunday of Great Lent
Saint Gregory Palamas Sunday
Sunday Observance of Annunciation Day
Divine Liturgy
9:30 a.m.

Tuesday, March 30
Great Lent Prayer Service
Faith and Spirituality Enrichment Hour for Adults
7 p.m.

Wednesday, March 31
Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts
12 noon

Milestones

"Rejoice with those who rejoice" (Romans 12:15). Best wishes to our kinfolk in Christ celebrating special milestones this month. Birthdays: Father Bill Mattis (March 2), Nick Panagopoulos (March 14), and Jennifer Feola (March 31). God grant you many years!

Time for Spring Cleaning!

This month brings us to Clean Monday (March 15 this year), the start of Great Lent (March 15 through May 1) — our trek toward celebrating the risen Christ on Pascha (May 2). "Lent" meant "spring" in Old English, so think of it as time for some spiritual spring cleaning, a chance to clear clutter and cobwebs from our hearts and lives, in line with God's call in Isaiah 1:16-17:

Wash yourselves clean!
Get your sins out of my sight.
Stop doing evil.
Learn to do good.

That word wash conjures up our own washing in baptism. Pascha was long the prime occasion for baptism, with Great Lent as preparation for both, since both point to Jesus' death and resurrection: "By being baptized, we were buried with Christ into his death. Christ has been raised from the dead by the Father's glory. And like Christ we can live a new life" (Romans 6:4). How will we strive, this Great Lent, to grow in that new life born in the personal Pascha of our own baptism?

Spiritual Fitness

"Physical exercise has some value, but spiritual exercise is valuable in every way, because it promises life both for the present and for the future" (1 Timothy 4:8). Great Lent (March 15 through May 1 this year) reminds us of the need to practice three holy habits that Jesus prescribed as an exercise program for our spiritual therapy: almsgiving, prayer, and fasting (Matthew 6:1-18). But we must understand them aright. They don't make up for sins — God freely and willingly forgives those. Nor do they score points in God's eyes — his love is a gift, not a reward. Rather, they are ways and means of taming our egos and appetites, so they don't hinder us from loving God and loving fellow human beings — what Jesus billed as the two top priorities in his gospel agenda (Mark 12:30-31). What effort will we make at almsgiving, prayer, and fasting this Great Lent to grow more Christlike in love for God and neighbor?

Safe Church Regathering: Parish Pandemic Precautions

Safety first! Reopening our church amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic means we must adjust our familiar churchgoing habits for the safety of one and all. Please join us in following these precautions:

If you are feeling ill, please stay home, follow doctor's orders, and take good care of yourself.

Face masks and hand sanitizer will be available in the entryway of the church in case you forgot yours at home. Please use them!

Please practice social distancing and respect personal space. The seating and choir stands have been rearranged to ensure safer leeway between each other.

Please do not kiss icons, crosses, or the hands of clergy. Until less contagious days return, a simple bow is ample sign of reverence and respect.

Please drop any offerings in the collection plate set in the entryway of the church, so we do not have to pass it hand to hand.

To avoid any possible cross-contamination, there will be no "coffee hour" or other re-freshments served after church until after the pandemic.

Thank you for doing your part to keep our church experience as safe as possible amid these challenging times. It's all part of doing what Christ Jesus told us to do: "Love others as much as you love yourself" (Mark 12:31).