Welcome to the Orthodox Church of St. Stephen the Protomartyr!

Cheesefare Week

This week is Cheesefair week as we continue to prepare for Great and Holy Lent by abstaining from meat products.  On Saturday (Feb 21
st) we will be celebrating the Divine Liturgy in Slavonic with Fr. Arkady at 10 am and following we will be having Масленица/ Cheesefare with Russian food and outfits. Bring a dish to share  (please no meat) and we celebrate together and finish up at 3pm with Vespers in English. 

The next day, Sunday (Feb 22
nd) is Forgiveness Sunday and the last day before Great Lent.  It is the Sunday when we commemorate the expulsion of Adam and Eve from the garden and become more aware of our need for forgiveness.  It is a tradition in the Orthodox Church to ask people for forgiveness  before we begin Great Lent . In keeping with that tradition We will be having vespers following the service and will ask each other for forgiveness. 

Clean Monday (Feb 23rd) we will begin our journey through Great Lent with the Great Canon of St. Andrew of Crete. One part of this penitential service will be chanted each night from Clean Monday through Clean Thursday at 7pm.  One of the most beloved services of the Orthodox Church the Great Cannon is a conversation between St. Andrew and his soul, where using examples from the Bible he encourages himself (and us) to wake up and turn back to Christ. 

Friday (Feb 27th)  will be our first Pre-Sanctified Liturgy of Great Lent at 6:30 pm.  We normally each bring a small Lenten dish to share after the service of the Pre-Sanctified gifts. 

Then on Saturday (Feb. 28th) , we will have a Pretzel Night for Movie Night with a very short film, Pretzel making and Lenten discussion for Middle School aged children following Vespers at 5pm. 

Youth Fun

Our older youth on a trip to funspot, the younger youth went to Fr. Daniel's for movie night and games. 


Feast of the Meeting of the Lord in the Temple

The Feast of the Meeting of the Lord in the Temple (or Presentation of the Lord in the Temple) is this coming Monday (Feb. 2) when secular world is celebrating Groundhog’s Day. Instead of groundhogs and weather predictions we will be commemorating when Christ’s presentation at the temple forty days following his birth with a Divine Liturgy at 9:30 AM. You can learn more about the Meeting in the Temple and about the Elder Symeon and the prophetess Anna, here

Being 40 days after Christmas, the Meeting of the Lord in the Temple marks that Lent is near. So near that this coming week (Feb. 1- Feb. 7th) is the Week of the Publican and the Pharisee, a week where the normal Wednesday and Friday fasting (abstinence from animal products) is not practiced as a preparation for the fasting of Great Lent. 

This time before Lent been busy at St. Stephen’s with events like the Senior Outing at Bahama Breeze. But we still have even more events coming up.

 Saturday, Feb 14th - Youth Lock-in, fun and games.  For Middle and High School Age Youth.  This in an overnight pre-lent retreat Starting at Vespers at 5pm on Saturday and having the children picked up on Sunday after Liturgy.

Saturday, Feb. 21st - Russian Cheese Fair/ Shrovetide Party. It’s a Tradition to celebrate Масленица/ Cheesefare with music, dancing, games for kids and adults, and eating lots of blini/crepes!!! Please join us on February 21, 2014 after Slavonic Liturgy.

Saturday Feb 28th - Short film, the Butterfly Circus and Pretzel Making (for Movie Night) after Vespers at Fr. Daniel’s house.


Three Holy Hierachs

At the end of this month we will celebrate the feast of the Three Holy Hierachs. This is a feast that celebrates three great leaders in the Church, St. Basil, St. John Chrysostom and Gregory the Theologian. All three Heirachs have feasts toward the end of the year and this joint feast displayed the unity of these great theological figures in the Orthodox Church.

We will be celebrating with a Divine Liturgy at 9am on Friday Jan 30th.

Congratulations to the newly married Brian and Rania, may God Grant them Many Years.

There are a lot of events coming up here at Stephen:

  • This Saturday (Jan 17t) we will be hosting the Slavonic Divine Liturgy which we host every Third Saturday of the Month. 
  • Jan 25 - We will be having our Annual Parish Meeting 
  • Jan 31 Saturday – Movie Night, this should be a fun one we are planning to watch a Tolkien film over Fr. Hickman's after Vespers. 
  • Feb 1 - Mustard Seed Cafe, Sunday School Program and later a Super bowl Party at the Gidus' house.
  • Feb 8 - Volunteer Fair 
  • Feb 14th – Youth Lock-in, fun and games and positive place youth and teens , a Great Chance for the Adults to get away


The Russian Children at St. Stephen's put on a play and sang traditional Russian Carols, called Kolyadky. It is a traditional way to celebrate the Christmas holidays in Russia and all of Eastern Europe. 


Our Parish

Orthodox Church of St. Stephen the Protomartyr

1895 Lake Emma Road
Longwood, Florida 32750
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