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Cathedral of the Annunciation

24W Preston St, Baltimore, MD 21201



Cathedral News

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  • Monday, June 01, 2020 4:19 PM | Anonymous

    To the
    Devout Orthodox Christians of the Parish Communities of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of New Jersey

    My Beloved in the Lord,

    Χριστὸς Ἀνέστη! Christ is Risen!

    I pray this letter finds you all well and in good health as our Holy Orthodox Church, our Metropolis, our Ecclesiastical Communities, and our nation continue to confront the challenging effects of COVID-19 (Coronavirus).

    The past couple months have been particularly challenging for all people as the devastating effects of the Coronavirus have permeated all facets of society. Nevertheless, there have been noticeable improvements to the present situation which has made it possible for some states and communities to recommence in-person gatherings, albeit, in a limited capacity. As such, the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of New Jersey has been developing a Parish Reopening Strategy so that Parishes and parishioners alike may adequately prepare once the Parishes are permitted to once again open their doors to the devout faithful. A critical element of this strategy centers around the parishioners of each community complying with a series of requirements which conform to State and Local regulations, CDC guidance, and additional Metropolis of New Jersey directives/requirements. A list of these requirements are as follows:

    • Parishioners must register their attendance with their full names and contact information. Your Parish Priest will notify you of the registration process and platform which the Parish will use.
    • Parishioners must screen themselves prior to coming to church including a temperature check even if they have not experienced any symptoms of COVID-19. If they have any symptoms, they are not to attend Church.
    • Parishioners shall not come to the Church by a ride share (Uber, Lyft), taxi, or by means of public transportation. It is strongly recommended that Parishioners arrive in their own vehicle or arrange for another parishioner to transport them.
    • Parishioners must sanitize their hands upon entering the Church.
    • Parishioners must wear protective masks throughout the Services.
    • Parishioners must adhere to the social distancing guidelines of keeping a six foot distance from other parishioners at all times in the pews and throughout the Church. The only exception being for families that have quarantined together, as they will be able to sit together in a designated section of the Church.
    • Parishioners are not to wander in the Church, in the Parish facilities, or outside on the parish grounds.
    • Small children shall not be allowed to roam the aisles.
    • Only one parishioner will be allowed in the restroom at a time. Parishioners must thoroughly wash their hands after using the restroom.
    • Parishioners must leave the Church premises, including the parking lot and exterior grounds, upon conclusion of the Divine Liturgy, all the while maintaining social distancing standards.
    • If after attending any service a parishioner experiences symptoms of or tests positive for COVID-19, in addition to immediately contacting their medical provider, they must contact the Church office to inform the parish of the date that they attended service.

    These measures will help to ensure that all of our Clergy and devout faithful remain as safe as possible during these turbulent times as we start to reopen our Ecclesiastical Communities for the Divine Services. It is my sincerest prayer that as we move forward, we do so safely and with thoughtfulness for our own health and for the health and safety of those around us. Praying that our loving Lord, who is the Physician of our souls and bodies, continues to guard and guide each of you and your families, I remain,

    With Paternal Love and Blessings in the Risen Lord,

    † EVANGELOS Metropolitan of New Jersey


    Encyclical To Faithful Regarding Reopening Requirements.pdf

  • Saturday, April 04, 2020 3:20 PM | Anonymous

    Beloved Cathedral family and friends,

    We know that at this time it can be difficult to pray from home and
not physically be in our church. One of the first things faithful do upon entering an Orthodox church is to light their candle and offer prayers for one?s personal needs or that of a family member or friend. We also light candles to pray for protection. During this period of time, when the world is stricken with COVID, we ask for our Lord to guide us in all things.

    I know that a number of our faithful have either been laid-off, terminated, or living under serious financial constraints as a result of this virus. It is an unbelievable reality in which we are living. At this point, sadly, we know of a number of friends, family, or acquaintances that are living under a number of adverse conditions and we are constantly in prayer. If anyone is living under serious financial constraints as a result of this, kindly contact me and let us see what can be done to assist.

    Even though parish services and events have been postponed for the safety of our parishioners, we can still participate in the life of the Church through prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. Online donations are available through our parish website, annunciationbaltimore.org. Click the Donate button in the upper right-hand corner of the page. We are grateful for your continued stewardship during these difficult times. Many of you typically make a stewardship donation when attending services, either writing a check or with cash. During these difficult times, I, along with the parish council, and staff, have enrolled in the online giving program through our website, and you are invited to do the same. It allows us to continue our commitment to stewardship and to make those weekly offerings.

    It is typical that there are a number of faithful who light candles for various reasons. For those wishing to light a candle, the suggested donation for a multi-day votive candle is $10. Click on the Donate button in the upper right corner. You will see space for you to enter the amount, in the space next to that, simply type your names to be commemorated. A separate email if you wish to complete in google will be sent to you.

    Faithful are also encourage you to make donations using your mobile devices by downloading the Give+ app. Type in “Annunciation Cathedral Baltimore” and follow the prompts.

    As we pray the upcoming services, I ask you to have that time in your homes peaceful and focused in prayer. Listen carefully to the service and take that time for you to offer your prayers and petitions.

    God is with us! May the Theotokos protect us!
    Father Dean

    Join us in prayer tomorrow, 8:00 AM, Orthros, 9:30 AM, Liturgy, www.annunciationbaltimore.org

    Online coffee hour, 11:45 AM - https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/368622509

    Sunday School, 12:15PM - https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/971089341

  • Wednesday, April 01, 2020 1:31 PM | Anonymous

    Good Afternoon Cathedral Community,

    Tonight we will celebrate the service of Compline with the Great Canon at 6pm.  Although this service is long, it is one of the most beautiful and introspective services during the Lenten season.  You can follow along with us during the live stream using the text here. https://www.agesinitiatives.com/dcs/public/dcs/p/s/2020/04/01/co4/gr-en/index.html  Tonight’s we will pray the service of Compline with a canon inserted into the middle.
     

    Compline
    Compline (ἀπόδειπνο) is a service done after dinner.  ἀπό (after) + δείπνο (supper) = ἀπόδειπνο.  The Compline service is typically done in monasteries— sometimes together in the church, and sometimes as private prayer in their cells.  Many parishes do a form of Compline during Lent, and some people read parts or the whole Compline service as their evening prayer before bed.  If you have “My Orthodox Prayer Book” by the Archdiocese Religious Education Department you can find a selection of prayers from Compline to use in your personal prayers.
    The Compline service can have other liturgical parts inserted into it, such as canons or kontakia.  In this way, Compline can serve as a shell for new material or new services.  The Service of the Akathist Hymn on Friday evenings during Lent is simply Compline with a canon for the Theotokos inserted into the middle.  Tonight’s service is simply Compline with a canon by St. Andrew of Crete inserted into the middle.

    Canon
    A canon is a long poem of odes typically found in the Orthros service (the morning prayer service).  Canons introduce a melody and add hymns (called “troparia”) following the same melody, with refrain verses interspersed.  Since many people are familiar with the Akathist Hymn, here is how that canon starts.

    • Melody: “I open my mouth and pray the Spirit fill it, like David said…”
    • Refrain: “Most-holy Theotokos, save us.”
    • Troparion: “O Maiden and Virgin pure, the great Archangel saluted you…”
    • Refrain: “Most-holy Theotokos, save us.”
    • Troparion: “Hail, O Virgin Bride of God! Through you was Adam restored to life…”
    • etc.

    Tonight we will add the Great Canon, composed by St. Andrew of Crete, into the Compline Service.  This canon is unique in that it is very long (250 troparia!), it contrasts many Biblical images of good and bad, and it is a dialogue between the person praying it and his/her own soul.  Some people will cross themselves or do a prostration during each refrain.  The canon starts like this.

    • Melody: “He became for me a helper and a shelterer for salvation…”
    • Refrain: “Have mercy on me, O God. Have mercy on me.”
    • Troparion: “Where shall I begin to weep for the actions of my wretched life…”
    • Refrain: “Have mercy on me, O God. Have mercy on me.”
    • Troparion: “Come, wretched soul, with your flesh to the Creator of all…”
    • etc.

    Themes
    St.  Nicholas Orthodox Church in McKinney, Texas has outlined some general themes that we can pay attention to while praying this canon.

    • How we should think about ourselves
      • “Where shall I begin to weep for the actions of my wretched life? What first-fruit shall I offer, O Christ, in this my lamentation? But in Your compassion grant me forgiveness of sins.” (Ode 1, Troparion 1)
    • Desire to change – dialogue with the soul
      • “Come, wretched soul, with your flesh to the Creator of all. Make confession to Him, and abstain henceforth from your past brutishness; and offer to God tears of repentance.” (Ode 1, Troparion 2)
    • Recognizing reality
      • “The end draws near, my soul, the end draws near; yet you do not care or make ready. The time grows short, rise up: the Judge is at the door. The days of our life pass swiftly, as a dream, as a flower. Why do we trouble ourselves in vain?” (Ode 4, Troparion 2)
    • How to pray – laments and supplications to God
      • “You are the Good Shepherd: seek me, the lamb that has strayed, and do not forget me.” (Ode 3, Troparion 6)
    • Old Testament and New Testament examples of righteousness and unrighteousness, for emulation or avoidance
      • “Do not look back, my soul, and so be turned into a pillar of salt. Fear the example of the people of Sodom, and take refuge in Zoar. (Genesis 19:26)” (Ode 3, Troparion 24)
      • “All the names of the Old Testament have I set before you, my soul, as an example. Imitate the holy acts of the righteous and flee from the sins of the wicked.” (Ode 8, Troparion 12)

    I hope this outline and explanation of the service was helpful.  Join us tonight at 6pm by going to our parish website: https://annunciationbaltimore.org/Live-Stream.

    In Christ,
    Trevor

  • Sunday, March 29, 2020 5:16 PM | Anonymous

    Greetings –

    With Coronavirus that is crippling the world, it is a time for us to ask for our Lord’s guidance in everything. We have paused our lives and instead of always being on the go, our commute for some is from one room in our house to the other. For those in the medical field, hospitality, or others who need to be out in public, it is creating new ways in which we live. As a parish, it is allowing to use different and “high tech” methods to reach our faithful.

    The live streaming of services is very popular with our faithful. I am extremely grateful to everyone involved in making this possible. I am grateful for your patience while we try this new platform of attending and praying the liturgy online. This will eventually become something permanent, but in no means a replacement for attending services. It is being done, for as said in Liturgy today, “for those absent with good cause.” This has been something that I have wanted to have added to our ministries, and it is being developed quickly. I thank John Hall, Trevor Bullock, and all involved in these temporary measures. I again thank you for your patience and again, invite you to subscribe to our YouTube channel. Plan on joining us in prayer for the Compline Service which begins at 6:30 PM. Log onto our website, www.annunciationbaltimore.org.

    On Sundays, following Liturgy, we enjoy the fellowship in coffee hour. Today was our first “virtual coffee hour.” It sounded like we were in the hall with everyone at the same time either greeting one another, waving, offering a kind word, or – can you hear me? Needless to say, it was wonderful to see each other – we will continue this as long as needed.

    Keeping our young people connected is important. We had Sunday School today and we are grateful to our director, Maria Durham, and our pastoral assistant, Trevor Bullock, leading in discussion. We will continue this next Sunday and also add other meetings for Young Adults and GOYA. Encourage those of this age group to participate. Even if they have never participated before, now is a good time to start – it is never too late.

    The days that have passed have been difficult, and the days approaching, only God knows. God give us all strength – God give us all courage – God give us all patience!

    You are intently in my prayers and know that you are sincerely missed.

    May God bless you, always!
    Father Dean

  • Sunday, March 29, 2020 11:05 AM | Anonymous
    1. Dear Cathedral Community,

      Here are the 5 tips for worship at home from today's sermon. I hope you find them useful during these difficult times. Go to our Live-Stream page to view the whole sermon.

    2. In Christ,
      Trevor


    3. Dress up for services
      • On Sundays, try to offer your “Sunday best” as a sacrifice to God.
    4. Create a place for prayer
      • If you are able to watch the service from a laptop, tablet, or phone, take it into a quiet room, close the blinds, light a candle, silence your phone, and remove all distractions. Create an environment that is conducive to prayer.
    5. Pray as you pray in church
      • Stand up, make the Sign of the Cross, follow along in a service book or text, or sing along with the live-stream. You are attending the service, and your prayers are added to ours.
    6. Keep a Sabbath
      • Dedicating Sunday to God Put away work and distractions. Read a little Scripture or something spiritually edifying. Spend time contemplating one of Fr. Dean’s “spiritual wisdom” quotes. Enjoy family time. See how long you can go without electronics. Find some way to make "the Lord’s day" different than other days of the week
    7. Take advantage of new opportunities
      • If you now have a more flexible schedule, use this time to participate in services and events that you may not have in the past. We have Great Compline on Monday evenings and the Akathist Hymn on Friday evenings. Today after Liturgy there’s a virtual coffee hour and online Sunday School, and we’re going to start offering some youth and young adult meetings online. So look for these opportunities to participate whenever you are able.
  • Tuesday, March 24, 2020 1:11 PM | Anonymous

    “It is impossible to imagine an Orthodox church in which candles are not lit.” (Blessed Simeon of Thessalonica, 15th century)

    “I am the light of the world; he who follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12)

    We know that at this time it can be difficult to pray from home and not physically be in the church. One of the first things most people do upon entering an Orthodox church is to light their candle and offer prayers for one’s personal needs or that of a family member or friend. We also light candles to pray for protection.

    Even though parish services and events have been postponed for the safety of our parishioners, we can still participate in the life of the Church through prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. Online donations are available through our parish website, annunciationbaltimore.org. Click the “Donate” button in the upper righthand corner. We are grateful for your continued stewardship during these difficult times. Many of you typically make a stewardship donation when attending services, either writing a check or with cash. During these difficult times, I, along with the parish council, and staff, have enrolled in the online giving program through our website, and I invite you to do the same.

    Our Parish feastday begins tonight with Great Vespers at 6:30 p.m. and the Orthros and Divine Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom at 9:00 a.m. tomorrow. This celebration will be a stark contrast. Instead of the pews being filled with faithful, we will be participating through our monitors. Instead of an overwhelming amount of artoclasia (sweet bread, blessed for the faithful), it will be a few. Instead of greeting one-another at a reception, we will be in our homes. We will celebrate together in prayer!

    It is typical that there are a number of candles lit in front of the icon of the Theotokos. For those wishing to light a candle, the donation for a multi-day votive candle is $10. You may go directly to our website, annunciationbaltimore.org, and click the “Donate” button in the upper right corner. You will see space for you to enter the amount, in the space next to that, simply type your names to be commemorated. During these times we will prayerfully light the candles for you and read the names that have been submitted during the Divine Liturgy.

    I also encourage you to make donations using your mobile devices by downloading the Give+ app. Type in “Annunciation Cathedral Baltimore” and follow the prompts.

    God is with us! May the Theotokos protect us! A blessed feastday to all and our sacred community.
    Father Dean


  • Saturday, March 21, 2020 2:19 PM | Anonymous

    Greetings beloved parishioners,  

    Over the last week, as we are experiencing these extreme circumstances in remaining home, our Cathedral continues to have the cycle of prayers and services.

    Tomorrow morning, I invite you to join us in prayer online at our Facebook page.  Orthros begins at 8:00 AM, the procession of the Holy Cross, and the Divine Liturgy of Saint Basil the Great to follow. 

    It has been wonderful to know that since we have been live-streaming our services, Liturgy this past Sunday had well over 3,000 views, and services last night, nearly 2,000.  It is reassuring to know the importance of worship in our lives.  In Saint Paul’s Letter to the Romans (16.5), he tells us the significance of our homes to be as church katoikon ekklesia The designation of our homes being as church allow us the opportunity to continually be in prayer—and especially at this time, our prayers intensify.

    Worship tomorrow will be different watching a church that has no one in the pews – but we have countless watching from our homes – homes as church. I invite you in your household to step away from what you are doing, pause for a few hours, and join together as a community in prayer.  If you don’t have a liturgy book at home, you can go to this link - http://www.agesinitiatives.com/dcs/public/dcs/dcs.html.  It will take you to a page where on the left side, you can view the Orthros Service, and the Divine Liturgy.  On which you choose, click on GR-EN  PDF/print.

    Over the past week, I’ve invited you to subscribe to our YouTube channel. When we have at least 1,000 subscribers, we will be able to live-stream from there, which is much easier since many do not use Facebook.  I also remind you, all of this is new, and every effort is being made to allow you to participate in the life of the church.  The latest message on the third Sunday of lent can be viewed here – again click on SUBSCRIBE - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lDxa-3bxBuw

    Good strength in all things!

    My prayers and my humble blessings,
    Father Dean

  • Friday, March 20, 2020 12:20 PM | Anonymous

    Greetings in our Lord,

    I pray this electronic communication finds you to be well.

    Attached is a link for a message from me sent out on Facebook a few moments ago. It is a prayer that was offered, along with a reminder about services this evening. Click SUBSCRIBE on the YouTube site - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cjwF4Et0EXk

    I invite you to join us on Facebook. If you have not “liked” the page, go to Annunciation Cathedral Baltimore – you will find the site. Make sure that you click on LIKE. It will be live- streamed and respectfully remind you that, in accordance with regulations issued by the State of Maryland, remain in your homes. We will be joined together in person soon enough.

    I have also included a link for the service text for this evening for you to follow in prayer. You may follow this link - http://www.agesinitiatives.com/dcs/public/dcs/p/s/2020/03/20/co2/gr-en/se.m03.d21.co2.pdf

    Our parish has always offered assistance to those in need. If you know of someone who needs assistance in picking up groceries, medications, or running errands, do not hesitate to contact me. There are a number of volunteers that are ready to assist.

    There is so much in which today we offer in prayer – and just simply as we end the service tonight, we say loudly, LORD, HAVE MERCY – LORD, HAVE MERCY – LORD, HAVE MERCY!

    May God bless you and protect you!

    With all my humble blessings and prayers,
    Father Dean

  • Wednesday, March 18, 2020 4:32 PM | Anonymous
    Greetings,

    Below is a revised directive from His Eminence Metropolitan Evangelos of New Jersey.

    Revised Patriarchal Directive.pdf

    You will be notified of the format of the platform, either Facebook or YouTube. We are making every effort to have this available to you.   

    We will also be adjusting some of the times of the weekday services.  Our first service held in this manner is the Salutations to the Theotokos on Friday, March 20th.

    Although this does not take the place of worshiping in our church, it is being offered in this manner to allow you to participate with your church family.  It is also being done for your health, and the health of others. I ask you to be respectful of this. 

    May God bless each of us!
    Father Dean

  • Wednesday, March 18, 2020 2:30 PM | Anonymous

    Greetings in our Lord - 

    Today marks the 114th anniversary of the founding of the Annunciation Cathedral in Baltimore.  For decades it was the only Orthodox Church within the State of Maryland.

    I invite you to enjoy this short greeting and message. 
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCOWO1xfcz-Iq53nYxqIJV4Q
    Kindly subscribe to the YouTube Channel for our parish.

    God bless, 
    Father Dean

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Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Annunciation

24W Preston St, Baltimore, MD
(410) 727-1831

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