“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.
24W Preston St, Baltimore, MD
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