St. Nicholas Orthodox Church, McKinney, Texas
Electronic Newsletter
January 31/ February 13 2011
Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee


Who is St. Valentine?. 1

Announcements. 2

Prayer Requests. 2

Commemorations, past week, coming weeks. 2

Schedule of Divine Services in the Coming week.. 3

NO Fasting in the Coming week.. 4


Who is St. Valentine?

    The secular commemoration of Valentine's Day originates with the Roman Catholic observance of the memory of St. Valentine, an early Roman martyr. The Orthodox Church also commemorates St. Valentine, but at a different time in the year.

    St. Valentine's life, like that of all the martyrs, exhibits love for God taken to the end, for "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends" (John 15:13). St. Valentine, according to popular accounts of his life, suffered in prison during a time of persecution because of his love for Christ.

    Near the end of the saint's life, the account goes, he cured a young girl of blindness after first restoring her spiritual sight by bringing her to know our Lord Jesus Christ. At the end of his life, he left her a letter exhorting her to hold fast to Christ -- a letter signed "from your Valentine."

    The best way to honor St. Valentine's memory is then to follow his example and heed his exhortation to hold fast to Christ. The first and greatest commandment is to love the Lord our God with all of our heart. Let us then, on this day when the world celebrates commercialized romantic love, reaffirm first of all our love for God by honoring Him first.

    Monday evening is the Vigil service for the Feast of the Meeting of our Lord. On this day we celebrate the time when our Lord -- as a child 6 weeks old -- was brought into the temple and held in the arms of St. Symeon, who proclaimed his ministry as Savior of the world. Let us gather together in the holy temple to sing His praises, at the same time preparing our souls to love Him more deeply and looking ahead to our celebration of His Cross, Resurrection and Ascension in the coming months.

    More on St. Valentine can be found here.


Fr. Seraphim will be at the Monastery of the Holy Cross in West Virginia this week, for a much needed retreat. Our usual Wednesday and Thursday services will be canceled.

We will have reader's services for the Great Feast of the Meeting of the Lord on Tuesday:

  • 6:30 Monday: Vigil
  • 9:00 Tuesday: Typica

Our new facility brings with it many new maintenance and upkeep tasks. Matushka Marina and Reader David Hawthorne need volunteers to help get all the work done.If you can give a few hours of our time to help care for God's house, please contact Matushka Marina, Reader David or Deacon Nicholas and we'll tell you how you can help.

We have updated our list of things our parish needs. If you or somebody you know wish to supply one of these items, please contact us.

Metropolitan Hilarion (Alfeev), President of the Department for External Affairs of the Moscow Patriarchate, will be in Dallas this weekend for the performance of his composition, the St. Matthew's Passion. The performance will be held at 5:30pm on Sunday at Highland Park Presbyterian Church in Dallas and is free of charge.

Prayer Requests

For the Health and Salvation.

  • Kateryna (Kayla) Bayda.
  • Alexander (Yuliya Guzman's father)
  • David and Elizabeth Ash.
  • Priests Jean and Grégoire and all the faithful and suffering of Haiti

For a more complete listing, please see our parish prayer list (

Commemorations, past week, coming weeks

  • Saturday, February 12th is the anniversary of the repose of Ruth Ash. Please pray for her repose.


If you have corrections or additions, e-mail Deacon Nicholas. We would love to announce your birthdays and anniversaries as well, but our records are very incomplete, so please give us this information.

Schedule of Divine Services in the Coming week

Saturday, 2/5.

  • Confession, 4pm.
  • Vigil, 5pm.

Sunday, 2/12

  • Divine Liturgy, 10am
  • Church School, 12:45pm (Elementary and Adult)

Monday, 2/13

  • Vigil, 6:30pm

Tuesday, 2/14.

  • Typika, 9:00AM

Saturday, 2/19.

  • Confession, 4pm.
  • Vigil, 5pm.

Sunday, 2/20

  • Divine Liturgy, 10am
  • Church School, 12:45pm (Elementary and High School)


Our ongoing calendar of services is posted here:

Our "Redeeming the Time" blog usually has at least several posts a week -

NO Fasting in the Coming week

This Sunday we read the Gospel about the Publican and Pharisee. One of the reminders we are given in this reading is that our acts of piety -- such as fasting, which is specifically mentioned in the reading -- do not save us and should cause us to be lifted up with pride. Rather, we are saved by repentance and by humbly putting all of our hope in God.

Fasting is important for our spiritual life, and therefore forms one of the essential disciplines of Great Lent. However, we must not allow ourselves to think that fasting is a virtue in and of itself or to take pride in our labors.

For this reason, the Church has appointed that the week after the Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee be FAST-FREE. Eating freely of all foods during the coming week, let us reflect on the fact that we are saved by God's grace, received with humility and repentance. With the proper attitude, we will then be ready to fast profitably in a few weeks' time.


Permanent links to this document:


We confidently recommend our web service provider, Orthodox Internet Services: excellent personal customer service, a fast and reliable server, excellent spam filtering, and an easy to use comprehensive control panel.

St Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church, McKinney, Texas