March 7, 2021 ~ Forgiveness Sunday
The Holy Fathers have appointed the commemoration of Adam’s exile from the Paradise of delight here, on the eve of the holy Forty-day Fast, demonstrating to us not by simple words, but by actual deeds, how beneficial fasting is for man, and how harmful and destructive are insatiety and the transgressing of the divine commandments. For the first commandment that God gave to man was that of fasting, which the first-fashioned received but did not keep; and not only did they not become gods, as they had imagined, but they lost even that blessed life which they had, and they fell into corruption and death, and transmitted these and innumerable other evils to all of mankind. The God-bearing Fathers set these things before us today, that by bringing to mind what we have fallen from, and what we have suffered because of the insatiety and disobedience of the first-fashioned, we might be diligent to return again to that ancient bliss and glory by means of fasting and obedience to all the divine commands. Taking occasion from today’s Gospel (Matt. 6:14-21) to begin the Fast unencumbered by enmity, we also ask forgiveness this day, first from God, then from one another and all creation.
Benedict the Righteous of Nursia
Commemorated on March 14
This Saint, whose name means “blessed,” was born in 480 in Nursia, a small town about seventy miles northeast of Rome. He struggled in asceticism from his youth in deserted regions, where his example drew many who desired to emulate him. Hence, he ascended Mount Cassino in Campania and built a monastery there. The Rule that he gave his monks, which was inspired by the writings of Saint John Cassian, Saint Basil the Great, and other Fathers, became a pattern for monasticism in the West; because of this, he is often called the first teacher of monks in the West. He reposed in 547.
Resurrectional Apolytikion in the Grave Mode
Κατέλυσας τῷ Σταυρῷ σου τὸν θάνατον…
Thou didst abolish death by Thy Cross; Thou didst open Paradise to the thief; Thou didst transform the myrrh-bearers’ lamentation, and didst bid Thine Apostles to preach that Thou art risen, O Christ God, granting great mercy to the world.
Apolytikion of St. Demetrios in the Third Mode
Μέγαν εύρατο εv τοίς κιvδύvοις …
Greatness has been found in danger. You are champion of the world. A victor who could turn the nations back. You boldly encouraged Nestor to defeat Lyaeus in the arena. Therefore, holy great martyr Demetrios, intercede with Christ our God, to grant us His great mercy.
Seasonal Kontakion in the Plagal Second Mode
Τῆς σοφίας ὁδηγέ, φρονήσεως χορηγέ…
O Master, Prudence, Guide of Wisdom, Instruction to the foolish and Defender of the poor, strengthen my heart and grant it discernment. Give me words, Word of the Father, for behold, I shall not keep my lips from crying out to You, “O Merciful One, have mercy on me who has fallen.”
Prokeimenon. Plagal Fourth Mode. Psalm 75.11,1.
Make your vows to the Lord our God and perform them.
Verse: God is known in Judah; his name is great in Israel.
The reading is from St. Paul’s First Letter to the Romans 13:11-14; 14:1-4..
Brethren, salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed; the night is far gone, the day is at hand. Let us then cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light; let us conduct ourselves becomingly as in the day, not in reveling and drunkenness, not in debauchery and licentiousness, not in quarreling and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.
As for the man who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not for disputes over opinions. One believes he may eat anything, while the weak man eats only vegetables. Let not him who eats despise him who abstains, and let not him who abstains pass judgment on him who eats; for God has welcomed him. Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for God is able to make him stand.
The Reading is from Matthew 6:14-21
The Lord said, “If you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father also will forgive you; but if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
“And when you fast, do not look dismal, like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by men. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, that your fasting may not be seen by men but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”
Argyro Louvaris (40 days) survived by her sons John, George and Steve and by her 7 grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren.
Kiriaki Giannopoulos (1 year) survived by her daughter Rita (Platon) Bakatselos, grandchildren and great grandchildren.
Constantine Lycouris survived by his son Stephen and by his grandsons Alexander and Constantine.
The Artoklasia, for the health of and in thanksgiving for the St. Demetrios Church Family, is offered by Klio Georgakakis.
Schedule of Church Services
- 3/14 Sunday: 9am/10am Orthros/Divine Liturgy
- 3/19 Friday: 7pm Salutations to the Theotokos
- 3/20 Saturday of Souls: 9am/10am Orthros/Divine Liturgy
Also, we are live streaming our services.
Visit https://stdemetrios.org/ where a link to the broadcast will be found.
Celebration in Thanksgiving for our St. Demetrios Church Family
This Sunday, March 14, will mark the close of the Festival Replacement Fund campaign. Join us as we chant the prayers of the Artoklasia service.
The rich have become poor and hungry: but they that seek the Lord shall not want any good thing.
If you would like to donate, you may mail a check to: (make sure to note Festival Replacement in the memo)
St. Demetrios Church
820 NE 14 Ave.
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33304
Or, visit https://stdemetrios.org/make-a-donation/ , choose General Donation from the drop down menu and note “Festival Replacement” in the comment section.
Clean Up day
Join us on Saturday, March 20, after the Saturday of Souls service for a clean out of the classrooms. We will move tables, chairs, desks, bookcases and supplies. All this will be done in preparation for the classrooms renovation!
Mental Health Resources
Late last year, the Assembly of Bishops assembled a Mental Health Task Force to assist our Churches in this very important ministry to the faithful. I am therefore very pleased to announce that, as the result of the work of the Task Force, a National Directory of Orthodox Mental Health providers has been created. Visit https://www.assemblyofbishops.org/directories/mental-health/ .
I join my fellow Hierarchs in thanking the Steering Committee of the Mental Health Task Force, and all those Orthodox Professionals who participated in the creation of this directory, so that it might help the greatest number of individuals.
Praying for the continued health of all, both in body and soul, I remain,
Paternally yours with love in Christ,
+ A L E X I O S
Metropolitan of Atlanta
Resources for Lent, Holy Week and Pascha
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Saturdays of Souls
The Saturdays of Souls are March 6, March 13, and March 20. Matins will start at 9:00am with Divine Liturgy following at 10:00am. You may reply to this email to list the names of your beloved who have fallen asleep in the Lord. In order for them to be included, we must have the names by Wednesday prior to the Saturday Service.
“…The Greatest Of These Is Love” 1 Cor 13:13
We ask you to support the worship, service and activities of St. Demetrios Church. Giving to His Church is a way to thank God for His grace, His generosity and His many blessings. Let’s Step Up our gifts of Time Talent and Treasure!
Please fill out a pledge form by either visiting https://stdemetrios.org/our-parish/stewardship/stewardship-form/ or downloading this form. You can make contributions towards your financial pledge by visiting https://stdemetrios.org/make-a-donation/ .
Sunday School News
- Oratorical Festival
The St. Demetrios Oratorical Festival is set for Sunday, March 21. The event will take place after liturgy in the church. To learn more, students and parents may contact James W. Carras at firstname.lastname@example.org. Below are the topics. Visit https://www.goarch.org/en/oratorical for tips and resources on the topics, the rules, the various scholarship opportunities, and the Metropolis level and Archdiocese level dates.
Junior Division (Grades 7–9) Topics
1. Discuss the challenges and opportunities of watching a church service that is live streamed.
2. Prayer is called a “conversation with God.” Discuss the meaning of prayer in your life.
3. During the pandemic, people noticed that our natural environment became cleaner. What can this teach us about our care for the natural world?
4. Why is the Church still relevant, especially for young people, in our increasingly secular, post-COVID world?
5. Choose one parable from the Gospel of Luke chapters 15 or 16 that is particularly meaningful to you and explain what we can learn from it.
Senior Division (Grades 10–12) Topics
1. During the stay at home period of the pandemic, Orthodox Christians had to find ways to practice their faith without attending church in person or participating in parish activities. Discuss what you learned during those days.
2. In July 2020, a Turkish court gave permission for Hagia Sophia to be converted from a museum into a mosque. Discuss the significance of Hagia Sophia in the history of Christianity and the power of monuments like it to inspire religious identity.
3. We live in a highly polarized society – left vs. right, personal liberty vs. common good, and other issues where it seems everything is politicized. How are we as Orthodox Christians called to navigate this environment?
4. St. Peter writes, “Live as free men, yet without using your freedom as a pretext for evil; but live as servants of God.” (1 Peter 2:16). What is freedom and how does it become a basis for being a servant?
5. In the Psalms we read, “If you, Lord, should mark iniquities, Lord, who could stand? But there is forgiveness with you.” (Psalm 130:3-4, NRSV). Discuss how an Orthodox Christian understands sin, forgiveness, mercy, and repentance.
Applications for the Dr. Helene Tzitsikas Scholarship for students enrolled in higher education as well as applications for St. Stephen’s Summer Camp are open. More information about the Dr. Tzitsikas Scholarship can be found on the St. Demetrios website www.stdemetrios.org. Information about St. Stephen’s Camp can be found on their website St. Stephen’s Summer Camp – Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Atlanta – Atlanta, GA (atlmetropolis.org)
Scholarship applications are available on line at the St. Demetrios website or call the Church Office 954-467-1515 Monday – Thursday. Deadlines for all applications are May 1, 2021.
Hellenic Initiative Events
In Celebration of the bicentennial of the Greek Revolution, join us for the March 14 and March 28 online live events.
On Sunday March 14 at 3:00 pm join a conversation with Professor Anthony Kaldellis titled “Loving Greek Culture in Byzantium: Hellenism in Byzantium”. After the presentation an informal coffee hour will follow. In this conversation – “Loving Greek Culture in New Rome: Hellenism in Byzantium” – Young Richard Kim will discuss with Anthony Kaldellis, Professor of Classics, The Ohio State University, the persistence and perseverance of Greek culture in the eastern Roman Empire, known today as the Byzantine Empire. They will explore what (Phil)Hellenism meant to the people of the Byzantine world, especially its complicated relationship with Christianity. They will also consider how the idea of Byzantium influenced the Greeks on the eve of the Revolution.
To join the event AND the coffee hour OR the Coffee Hour only
Join Zoom Meeting
For more information call Malvina 954-993-7456
The March 14 event is under the auspices of the Embassy of Greece in the USA and in collaboration with the Classics and Mediterranean Studies Department at the University of Illinois Chicago, HALC, the Metropolis of Chicago, the Foundation for Hellenic Studies, Illinois, and the Consulate General of Greece in Chicago part of the series “Philhellenism through the Ages,” a series that explores the impress and influence of Hellenic Culture from antiquity to the present.
For those unable to attend on March 14, please mark your calendar for a special presentation on March 28at 6:00 pm!
A Message from His Eminence Bishop Sevastianos
March 10, 2021
To the Reverend Clergy of the Metropolis of Atlanta:
My Brothers in Christ,
Looking forward to Lent, we are blessed to observe the 200th anniversary of the Greek Revolution for Independence on March 25th, 2021. As Hellenes in the United States are especially fortunate to live in a country whose own Revolution was not only inspired by the ideals of Ancient Greek Democracy, but later encouraged those patriots of 1821 to stand for freedom after 400 years of Occupation.
In recognition of this historic date, a special committee was tasked with organizing two major events in our Metropolis. The first will take place at the Cathedral of St. Nicholas in Tarpon Springs on March 25, (and can be viewed at www.stnicholastarpon.org/livestream). This event shall feature special guest speakers speaking on topics such as the contributions of both Cyprus & America towards the Revolution.
The second event will follow on March 28th at the Cathedral of the Annunciation in Atlanta (and can be viewed at www.atlgoc.org/live-stream), where the program will feature special presentations of, among other things, a recitation of the patriotic poem that inspired the Revolution, Θούριος του Ρήγα.
For more detailed information on both programs, please click here to view the specially prepared flyer, as well as the itineraries prepared for both events. To ensure the greatest possible participation for both events–which are distinct and will be live-streamed–we ask that our parishes please print the attachment to make use of it in your weekly bulletins, or else to transmit it through email.
Finally, the Greek Consul General of Tampa Bay has announced that a special concert presentation of the full text to the Hymn to Liberty by Dionysios Solomos, will also stream live from the Athens Concert Hall on March 25th at 2:30 PM ET. The concert, which is free to stream, can be accessed by clicking this link.
I pray that we will all take the time to view these programs, honoring the patriotism of our forefathers, and giving glory to God who gives us our freedom.
Yours with paternal love and blessings in the Lord,
+Bishop Sevastianos of Zela
- Coming Soon- A Pascha Bake Sale
Plan to buy your tsourekia, pitas, and sweets from St. Demetrios Philoptochos, and help us help the needy. Look for a flyer in the bulletin and in your mailbox.
- Metropolis Philoptochos Spiritual Retreat
The annual Metropolis Philoptochos Spiritual Retreat will be virtual this year, so we can engage with popular Orthodox author Federica Matthews-Greene and have fellowship with other women from across the Metropolis without the long trek to the Diakonia Center,
All women are invited. See the flyer attached and click here to register https://atlmetropolis.org/virtual-spiritual-retreat-2021
Matthews-Greene has written 10 books on the Greek Orthodox faith, and is Khouria/Presvytera at Holy Cross Antiochian Church in Baltimore.
Dear Ladies of St. Demetrios,
This has been a year like none other. Many of us and our loved ones have faced illness, unemployment, and loneliness. And yet the women of St. Demetrios have reached out to fill our spiritual, material, and emotional needs. It was women, through the Ladies Philoptochos, St. Elpis (Hope) chapter, who called to check on parishioners, got food and money to families who were suddenly unemployed, called and sent cards to the sick, reached out to our young people, and donated to the needs of greater Ft. Lauderdale.
But our patron St. Elpis wasn’t alone. She was the daughter of Sophia (Wisdom) and the sister of Pistis (Faith) and Agape (Love). To continue its work, Philoptochos needs ALL the wisdom, hope, faith, and love of ALL the women of St. Demetrios.
Please use the form below to join or renew for 2021.
- National Philoptochos Department of Social Services
Daughters of Penelope News
- Food Drive The Daughters of Penelope are having an Easter Food Drive Drive starting Sunday, February 28th thru March 28th. Non perishable items, grocery store gift cards or monetary donations will be greatly appreciated.
- Membership Drive We would love to have you join our wonderful Chapter!! Our next initiation will be in January 2021. Please contact Erin Ryan at 954 683-6452 or email@example.com
- Comedy Night
Light a Candle & Say a Prayer at Saint Demetrios
“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 and safety so that we may live this life without fear.
If you wish to light a candle, visit https://saintdemetrios.square.site After you select the candle(s) that you would like us to light and before pressing the “Place Order” button, please submit the names of your loved ones, those who are alive and/or those who have departed this life. During these times we would be happy to light the candle for you and read the names that have been submitted during the Divine Liturgy.
Dear St. Demetrios Family,
St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church, Ft. Lauderdale is open to the faithful. We are complying with all CDC, State, Local and Archdiocese guidelines. Here is the list of things that will be taking place on Sundays.
1) Everyone must wear a mask in order to enter the church.
2) Before entering the church, the temperature of each person will be taken by a designated person. If the person’s temperature is above 100.4 F he or she will be kindly asked to return to their home, both for their safety and the safety of others.
3) Parish Council will direct each parishioner to the designated X in the pews for each person or household to sit starting in the front of the church and working their way to back.
4) A place to accept offerings will be provided in the Narthex upon entering or leaving.
5) Parishioners are not to move around the church during the services to light candles or venerate icons.
6) Names and phone numbers of each attendee at every service will be taken in the event that a subsequent infection requires tracing.
7) If you have any symptoms of coronavirus, COVID-19 (fever, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell), you must NOT attend church, and immediately seek medical attention for yourself and your household.
8) Parishioners who are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 as defined by civil authorities are given dispensation not to attend services and will be asked to refrain from attending.
9) In terms of preventing the spread of this virus, we ask parishioners to follow CDC directives, which currently include: washing of hands thoroughly and frequently, covering your coughs and sneezes, avoiding sharing personal items, wearing a mask, and maintaining a social distance of six feet.
10) Honor is to be shown to Holy Icons and the Holy Cross by only doing your cross and bowing, keeping in mind not to kiss or to touch the Holy Icons and the Holy Cross.
11) No one is to enter the Holy Altar except the clergy and assigned adult helpers.
12) For Memorials, please write the names of your deceased for the clergy to pray for their souls (without Koliva).
13) Artoclasias will be celebrated as normal.
14) No service books will be left out for common use. This includes papers of any kind (bulletins etc.). Parishioners are encouraged to bring their own service books.
15) During Holy Communion – Communicants must line up row by row (with help from Parish Council) and remain six feet apart using the designated social distancing X’s that have been placed in the church. Communicants may remove their masks only momentarily to receive Holy Communion.
16) For the continued safety of those attending church services in person, parishioners should immediately leave when the service is finished. For the sake of others, please do not socialize in the Narthex or other areas of the church or its surrounding buildings or parking lots. Additionally, Sunday Coffee Fellowship hours will be suspended until further notice.
Yours In Christ,
Fr. Peter Zougras