From Archimandrite Gerasim:
Dear Brothers and Sisters, Faithful of the Diocese of the South,
Christ is in our midst!
On March 4 and 5, 2016, with the blessing of His Beatitude, Metropolitan TIKHON, we will re-inter the late Archbishop Dmitri in the new Memorial Chapel at St Seraphim Cathedral in Dallas. The services will coincide with the Saturday for the Commemoration of the Reposed that precedes the Sunday of the Last Judgment.
On Friday afternoon the body of Archbishop Dmitri will be brought from Restland Cemetery to be greeted at St Seraphim Cathedral by clergy and faithful. His Beatitude, Metropolitan TIKHON will preside. The new coffin in which the Archbishop will be placed will be brought into the Memorial Chapel above the prepared crypt. He will lie in state in a sealed coffin during the Vespers of Friday. Vespers will begin at 6:30 PM on Friday evening, March 4, 2016. Friday evening both clergy and faithful will have the opportunity to pray in the Memorial Chapel and read the Holy Scriptures.
In the morning His Beatitude, Metropolitan TIKHON will preside at the Divine Liturgy in the Cathedral. The Divine Liturgy will begin at 9:30 AM on Saturday morning, March 5, 2016. Following the Divine Liturgy a Panikhida will be served, after which we will solemnly lower the coffin containing the body of Archbishop Dmitri into his final earthly resting place. This re-interment will conclude with the placing of prepared marble tiles over the crypt.
Texas-style hospitality will follow the festivities on Saturday.
St John of the Ladder will hold its annual meeting this coming Sunday (February 7) following coffee hour (at approximately 12:15 PM) in the nave of the church. The purpose of the meeting is as follows: to elect new members for the Parish Council, delegates for the upcoming DOS Assembly, and parish auditors; to discuss and approve a budget for 2016; and to discuss the status of our building project.
The custom of blessing homes during the Theophany season is of special beauty and significance. It is not simply a sentimental tradition without meaning, nor is it a custom whose meaning we have forgotten, like an old friend whose face we remember, but whose impact on our life has been forgotten. When an Orthodox Christian believer moves into a new home, he dedicates his new home as the abode of a follower of Christ. He asks that God, the source of all goodness and the Giver of every perfect gift, to bless his house and all that is within it; he recalls that Jesus Christ, His Son, came to bring Salvation to all, even as He brought Salvation to the house of Zacchaeus; he prays that the Holy Spirit may abide in it, guiding those who dwell in it on the paths of righteousness.
On the Feast of Theophany we rededicate our homes for this original purpose, just as we must periodically rededicate our life to Christ. We do it especially on this Feast because this is the day on which we remember in the Church Year the coming of Christ who began His Ministry when He descended into Jordan to be baptized by St John the Forerunner and Baptizer. He enters again into our lives reminding us that we must "repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand." An Orthodox Christian must dedicate not only himself and his house to the Lord, but his daily work and all his efforts as well. All things are to be done to the glory of God. That is why in the Orthodox Church, not only religious objects, such as icons, crosses, churches and vestments, are blessed, but also homes, fields, animals and all objects which are used in our daily life for the good of man. In this the Church expresses its faith that the Holy Spirit's sanctifying action extends over the whole Creation.
Contact Fr Marcus to schedule your house blessing. He will be available on Saturdays, Sundays, and by appointment for House Blessings from January 11th until February 21st. Fr David will also have some availability. As in years past, clusters of parishioners who live close to one another may schedule several house blessings for the same day.
The service of house blessings with some instructions on how to prepare can be found here.