Τετάρτη, 1 Μαρτίου 2017

New Afrikaans Orthodox parish in South Africa, dedicated to the Great Martyr St Theodore the Tyro


Khanya

Today we drove 255 km to Stilfontein in the North-West Province where Archbishop Damaskinos of Johannesburg and Pretoria blessed the St Theodore the Tyro Orthodox Mission Church. It is the second Afrikaans-speaking parish in the Archdiocese of Johannesburg and Pretoria (the first one was in Eldorado Park, in Johannesburg). Other parishes have had occasional services in Afrikaans, but these are the only parishes in the Archdiocese where the main liturgical language is Afrikaans.
The Church is dedicated to St Theodore the Tyro (“the Recruit”), whose feast day is 17 February (and the 1st Saturday of the Great Lent: The Miracle of the Boiled Wheat).


In a way the new parish is an offshoot of the Greek Orthodox parish in Klerksdorp, where Fr Seraphim (van Niekerk) has served as parish priest for several years. In Stilfontein there was a disused church building belonging to the Nederduitsch Hervormde Kerk, which the mission congregation bought, and converted to an Orthodox temple.

St Theodore the Tyro Orthodox Mission Church, Stilfontein

Extensive modifications were made to the church interior, which was originally a typical Reformed-style church with the pulpit as the central focus.


The ikonostasis of St Theodore Tyro Church, Stilfontein

Archbishop Damaskinos arrived with a visiting bishop from Tanzania, Metropolitan Demetrios of Irinoupolis (Dar es Salaam), and was greeted by members of the congregation.
We met first in a tent outside the church, where Archbishop Damaskinos blessed holy water for blessing the temple.
The Archbishop then blessed the entrance to the temple, and we began the Divine Liturgy, served by Fr Kobus (van der Riet), who, together with Fr Zacharias of Robertson in the Western Cape,  has played a large part in translating the liturgical texts into Afrikaans.
At the end of the Divine Liturgy we had a Memorial Service for the departed, since it was a Soul Saturday, being the Saturday before Meatfare Sunday (Soul Saturdays, of which there are several during the year, are equivalent to the Western celebration of All Souls on 2 November).

Memorial Service for Soul Saturday

At the end of the service the Archbishop addressed the congregation, wishing them well for the future, and Fr Kobus and others spoke, explaining something of the history and theology of the Orthodox Church for non-Orthodox visitors.
And after the service, refreshments were served in the hall.

The meal after the service

It was a great joy to share with this new parish in their celebration, and I hope they grow in both numbers and faithfulness.

The vision of St Eustathius

On the lawn in front to the church is a statue of a stag with a cross between its antlers. Fr Seraphim explained that it represented a vision of St Eustathius, who once when out hunting, saw a vision of such a stag. The statue was created by a Zimbabwean artist.

***** 

1st Saturday of Great Lent: The Miracle of the Boiled Wheat

Orthodox Church in America
Holy icon: St Great Martyr Theodoros the Tyro (from here)
 
Today we remember the miracle of Saint Theodore and the boiled wheat. Fifty years after the death of Saint Theodore, the emperor Julian the Apostate (361-363), wanting to commit an outrage upon the Christians during the first week of Great Lent, commanded the city-commander of Constantinople to sprinkle all the food provisions in the marketplaces with the blood offered to idols. Saint Theodore appeared in a dream to Archbishop Eudoxius, ordering him to inform all the Christians that no one should buy anything at the marketplaces, but rather to eat cooked wheat with honey (kolyva).
In memory of this occurrence, the Orthodox Church annually celebrates the holy Great Martyr Theodore the Recruit on the first Saturday of Great Lent. On Friday evening, at the Divine Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts following the prayer at the ambo, the Canon to the holy Great Martyr Theodore, composed by Saint John of Damascus, is sung. After this, kolyva is blessed and distributed to the faithful. The celebration of the Great Martyr Theodore on the first Saturday of Great Lent was set by the Patriarch Nectarius of Constantinople (381-397).
The Troparion to Saint Theodore is quite similar to the Troparion for the Prophet Daniel and the Three Holy Youths (December 17, Sunday Before Nativity). The Kontakion to Saint Theodore, who suffered martyrdom by fire, reminds us that he also had faith as his breastplate (see I Thessalonians 5:8).

See also - Sien ook

Afrikaans in our blog

Artikels in ons blog oor Kersfees
Oosters-Ortodokse Kerk
Ortodokse geestelike erfenis
Ortodokse Christene in Afrika
The Orthodox Church in the Republic of South Africa
Afrikaners en die transendente: Waarom ek die Ortodoksie gekies het




Historic day for the Patriarchate of Alexandria, the institution of «deaconesses women», on Friday 17th February 2016, feast day of the Saint and Great Martyr Theodore of Tyro

A Deer Lost in Paradise
LIVE, BEYOND THE LIMITS!
   
Orthodox Mission in Tropical Africa (& the Decolonization of Africa)
The Orthodox African Church (Patriarchate of Alexandria) denounces the exploitation of Africa by contemporary colonialists  
Orthodox Church & Capitalism: Orthodox Fathers of Church on poverty, wealth and social justice 
Is capitalism compatible with Orthodox Christianity?
The Passion of Jesus Christ and the Passions of Africa
 

Δεν υπάρχουν σχόλια:

Δημοσίευση σχολίου