Dear faithful in Christ,
Let us be glad that we are entering into yet another season of the Feast of the Nativity of St. Mary. The details of the birth narrative of St. Mary are recorded in the Book of James or protoevangelion of the 2nd century, and also in the Quran. The Syrian Orthodox Church celebrates this feast on September 8. The Catholics, High Anglicans and the Oriental Orthodox churches also observe this feast on the same day. Over a period of time, the churches began to observe 8 days of lent, beginning from 1st to 8th of September, welcoming the feast of nativity of St. Mary on September 8th. However, it has not been entered into the canonical lent calendar of the church.
It has been an overwhelming concern for most of the faithful in the church, whether to endorse 8 days lent to its faithful. Nevertheless, my observation is such that on the one hand we should not avoid any time in meditating upon the life of Mother of God whose life also had been instrumental in the economy of salvation of the world and on the other hand, we should not lose any chance of systematic schedules of the prayers, in a context where we seldom find a scope of ‘prayer time’ by itself. We live in a time of ‘speed’ or ‘busy’ calendar in the civil life where ‘prayers’ are considered to be the avoidable item of the day. The scripture reminds us “Always rejoice, pray without ceasing. In everything be thankful, because this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you”. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18). Thus, observing any seasons of lent, or systematically organized prayer times or period, provide us an opportunity to be joyful and thankful in the Lord.
As noticed from our church calendar, we are thankful to God Almighty for having given us 8 days of orderly prayer in the name of the nativity of Mother of God. St. Mary’s family, Frankston, is always indebted to Mother Mary for her intercessory prayers to her Son, Our Lord. As we dedicate ourselves in the personal prayer time, during the next 8 days, we are committed to congregate in the evenings for the community prayer which will be held in different homes of our members.
On behalf of the parish, I would like to invite one and all to be a part of the evening and intercessory prayer schedules of the church and be blessed. The details can be followed through the notice of the church, posted in the ‘web site’ or the ‘face book page’ of St. Mary’s JSO church Frankston.
Wishing you a time of spiritual rejuvenation…
In Christ, Yours,
Fr. Jacob Joseph
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org