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!
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.
“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.
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 kat' oikon 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
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,
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!
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.
Kindly subscribe to the YouTube Channel for our parish.
Dearly Beloved in the Lord:
The wisdom that we have from the Saints of our Church can inspire us and give us the courage to face the challenges we face in our lives. The words of St. John of Kronstadt remind us to be compassionate towards one another at all times but especially today confident that “God, the Angels, and the Saints will be compassionate to you.”
Today, as we struggle to find a cure for COVID19, the coronavirus, it is important that we pray, look for inspiration and comfort from the words of our Lord, God, and Savior Jesus Christ, and be guided by the wisdom of the Saints of our Church. At the same time, we are expected to follow the recommendations made by health agencies of our nation, our state, and our county.
I had mentioned that we would be continuously be evaluating the conditions of the coronavirus and how it affects our Parish life. Today, we have made the following decisions regarding our ministry schedule:
1. Divine Services will continue. At this time, you will be able to pray the services on our Facebook page. It has been in our plans to allow online services and are making every effort to allow you to participate.
2. Fellowship Hour after Divine Services will be suspended until further notice.
3. The Lenten meal AFTER the Great Vespers and Divine Liturgy of our Parish Feastday, have been cancelled.
4. All other Parish ministries, meetings, and events are being suspended until further notice (Sunday School, Greek School, Dance Practice, Choir, Choir practice, and Adult Religious Ed., etc).
The Cathedral cannot sustain without your presence and it is imperative that you continue to keep all in your prayers. It is also important that, respectfully, you continue your support to the Cathedral. If you have not made a pledge, or wish to make donations to the Cathedral, go to www.annunciationbaltimore.org. To the right side of the screen is the donate button. I thank you from now for your consideration.
Our Parish will continue to provide Divine Services and ministries to the faithful. All services from this point forward, until further notice, will be held in the Cathedral. The Parish Office will remain open; however, this is not the time to just stop in, call ahead of time. Our staff is limited and with this pandemic, we are also dealing with this situation.
Permit me to also say that we should be following the practices of Great Lent in our homes. The daily reading of Holy Scripture, the offering of daily prayers, the many videos that can be found on YouTube regarding our Faith (TrisagionFilms.com is excellent), or viewing Divine Services from our Facebook site can be helpful.
As we enter our own desert, read the lives of the saints, live your faith, and continue to offer prayers for guidance, prayers for those in health care, prayers for those who are working in various industries that are need, prayers for those who are not able to work due to these circumstances, and as we begin every service, In peace, let us pray to the Lord – Lord, have mercy!
During this time while you are home, take time to pray. Take some time to consider helping those in need – with our closets overflowing with so much, and when it is permissible, take items to those who will make good use of them. Check on your family members or neighbors that may need assistance. Try not to get so wrapped up in social media, but rather take advantage of this time with your family in not getting wrapped up in the busyness of life. As the weather begins to clear and warmer days are ahead, enjoy time outside. Consider taking a walk and instead of being tethered to a headset and listening to music, offer prayers, and most simply the Jesus prayer, “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner.”
I remind you the importance of Saint Ephraim the Syrian, “But rather give me the spirit of prudence, humility, patience, and love.”
You continue to be in my prayers,
24W Preston St, Baltimore, MD
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