Church Starts at 10:00 a.m. Sharp beginning November 30 – Really – No, REALLY!
27/10/14, 06:00 PM
Posted by Fr. Gregory
Every now and then we need to readjust our start time at St. Vladimir's. That is not to say we need to CHANGE our start time. We have started at 10:00 a.m. every Sunday for as long as anyone can remember and we don't need to change that. What we need to change is that we really will start at 10:00 a.m. Beginning November 30 – the first Sunday of the Nativity Fast. And by 10:00 a.m. we do not mean 10:10, 10:15, or even later. We mean 10:00 a.m. sharp. What this means is: we are growing. We are in fact the largest parish in the diocese by the metric of membership. Sometimes we only have one priest to hear confessions and perform all other duties on Sunday mornings. That would sound pretty funny to most parishes since most always have at most one priest for every service. We are blessed to have two or three priests at every service. But we simply cannot be soft about the start and end times for Confessions on Sunday morning any more. It is not fair to those who come on time to the Divine Liturgy to wait 10, 15, 20 minutes or more for those to go to Confession WHO COULD HAVE COME SATURDAY NIGHT OR EARLIER ON SUNDAY. We are a regional parish – we have people that come from far and wide to our Divine Services and that is a good thing. But we need to reserve Confession on Sunday mornings (from 9:00 a.m. To 9:45 a.m. only - Confession endS at 9:45 a.m. sharp) for those folks who are traveling from more than an hour away or who are too ill to confess on Saturday afternoons/evenings. This includes children – they too will need to confess on Saturday if they do not live far away. We encourage our parents with children of the age that they have the privilege to confess to bring them on Saturday afternoon for Church School, Confession, and to attend at least a portion of the Vigil services. Those who attend Vigils are much more likely to feel attached to the Church and thus much more likely to persist in their faith as they grow into adulthood.
We hope sincerely that our parish family will not see this as a punishment or that somehow someone is upset about this situation. No one is upset! It is GREAT that we have so many who attend the Divine Services and who have the pious initiative to partake of the Holy Mysteries! This is something to be HAPPY about. This is just one of those “growing pains” that we will experience from time to time as we continue to grow as a parish family. Let us rejoice that more and more people join us and struggle to live a pious Christian life centered around the Eucharist. In fact, we are all called to this same struggle as Orthodox Christians. May it be that even MORE people come more often to confess their sins and partake of the Holy Mysteries! Please contact Fr. Gregory with questions.