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

St. Mary of Egypt

This Sunday, March 25th is the Sunday of St. Mary of Egypt.  St. Mary was harlot and infamous sinner who became a saint of great holiness through fasting, prayer and sincere repentance.   This Sunday is a reminder that while Lent is almost at an end it is not too late to repent and turn to Christ.  

There is only one Pre-Sactified Liturgy left this year ( April 1st at 6pm) and on Friday (April 3rd) we will be meeting at 6pm at St. Andrew in Eustis for the Stations of the Cross.  Because Pascha (Easter) falls and different dates than the Western Easter please be aware of the dates.  We are celebrating Holy Week from April 5th to 11th and Pascha is celebrated the early hours of April 12th. 

  • On Saturday (March 28th) the we are cleaning the Church to get ready for Pascha.  Also that morning the Middle School youth will be heading out to St. Augustine to visit the St. Photios Shrine and OCMC (Meeting at the church at 8:30am).  Then this Sunday Rachelle Hood of the Ephraim Project is returning to St. Stephen to give instruction on personal evangelism.  

 

Adoration of the Cross

The Sunday of the Adoration of the Cross marks that we are halfway through the Lenten Season.  St. Stephen’s parish has been active and prayerful this Lent and there are many opportunities to make the most of the Lenten season.  The Pre-sanctified Liturgy that is served on Wednesdays and followed by a light vegan potluck meal is one way to celebrate the bright sadness of Lent.  And the Memorial Saturdays where we pray for the dead is another. On March 14th and 21sts we with serve Memorial Panikhidas before Vespers at 4:45 p.m.   You can commemorate your departed loved ones by filling out the one of the Memorial forms are in the Narthex.

We are also growing closer to other Orthodox Christians in Central Florida by joining Holy Trinity Orthodox for the Akathist to the Theotokos on March 13th at 6pm.  We also will be celebrating the Pre-sanctified Liturgy together at St. Petka’s Serbian Orthodox Church on the 18th at 6pm (no service that night at St. Stephen’s).  

Up coming events

March 13th - Friday Pan-Orthodox Akathist at Holy Trinity at 7pm 

March 15th  - Rachelle Hood from Ephraim Project teaching adult Sunday school class

March 18,  7pm - Presanctified Liturgy at St. Petka’s

March 22nd ,6pm - Lenten dessert social at Deeter’s 

March 27th -  High School Youth Feeding the Homeless at St. George Orthodox Chruch

March 28th , 9am - Middle School Youth will be taking a trip to St. Photios Shrine in St. Augustine 

 

 

 

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.

 

Our Parish

Orthodox Church of St. Stephen the Protomartyr

1895 Lake Emma Road
Longwood, Florida 32750
1-407-260-6003
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