St Nicholas Orthodox Church Southbridge Massachusetts

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Wednesday April 8 2020

Dear Parish Family,

Attached to our St. Nicholas Group page ( )   is the latest edict from our Metropolitan regarding services during Holy Week and Pashka. I was my intention to bless and pass out palms in the church driveway this coming Sunday. We have been specifically instructed not to do this.

His Beatitude's instructions are based in his desire to see his flock protected. It is our duty to be obedient to him and to listen carefully to what he has to say to us in his letter.
During their time of exile and diaspora the Jewish people prayed that the Passover might be celebrated, “next year in Jerusalem”.  

May the Lord grant us all to live to celebrate the Great Fast and the Glorious Feast of the Lord's Resurrection together in the Jerusalem of our own parish church.

Dear Parish Family,

After a lot of prayer and thought I believe it to be best to completely close the church this coming Sunday March 29, 2020. While I can be reasonably certain to cleanse the sacramental items, none of us can be sure what we bring into the church ourselves. It seems that the pandemic is moving toward the most critical and dangerous stage in terms of numbers ill and dying. Therefore, for the sake of all we will close.

I will still be available to come out to bring home communion, do confession, simply talk with anyone who wants. It is also imperative that I am able to visit anyone who falls ill with anything. This will be the case so long as I am capable of doing so.

God willing this curse will be passing us soon and we will be able to celebrate Holy Week and Pashka in church.

If the situation allows for it, and we cannot have regular Liturgy, I will at least resume individual communions in the church on April 5. We'll just have to wait and see.

God Bless you all and keep you well,

In Christ's love

Father John

Letter to Parishioners Regarding Church During the COVID19 Emergency
March 16 2020

My Dear Parish Family,
Governor Baker has issued an edict prohibiting the gathering of more than 25 people at a time during the COVID19 Emergency. As a result the following things will happen at St. Nicholas.

1. Services are cancelled for the short term, BUT,  I will be at the Church from 10 – 1 on Sunday so that people may come in small groups (family or individuals) at any time during that period to receive prayer and Holy Communion from the reserved sacrament.

2. I will be posting a great deal more on the parish Facebook account, our website, and by email so that people will be able to have good religious literature, videos,  and church music available to uplift them during the crisis.

3. I will be making home visits to bring communion or simply to talk to anyone in the parish who would like this. I encourage you to take this offer seriously. I am you priest and pastor. I am here for you. Your requests are not a burden to me.

4. You may call me on my cell phone at any time at 508 450 1517. I will do my best to answer/return calls as quickly as I can. You can text me also and I will get back to you quickly.

5. If you become ill (with anything) and want the sacraments or simply to talk, please do not hesitate to call immediately.

In this time of general anxiety in our society, let’s remember that we belong to Christ and that we live and die to eternal life in Him.   We have no reason to live in fear. St John the Evangelist tells us, “There is no fear in love but perfect love casts out fear” (1 John 4:18). Christ is our “perfect love” and His love is more than sufficient to comfort us in anxiety and fear.

We also have one another; in our thoughts and prayers and in our ability to stay in contact by phone, email, and social media. Let’s use those resources to uphold and uplift one another.

So, casting out all anxiety and fears, let’s open our eyes to the bright beauty of this Lenten spring and to the great and perfect hope of the Resurrection.

In Christ’s love,
Father John


During the Time of the Covid-19 Pandemic

Let us pray to the Lord.

Choir: Lord, have mercy.

O God Almighty, Lord of heaven and earth, and of all creation visible and invisible, in thine ineffable goodness, look down upon us, thy people gathered in thy Holy Name.
Be our helper and defender in this day of affliction.
Thou knowest our weakness.
Thou hearest our cry in repentance and contrition of heart.
O Lord who lovest mankind, deliver us from the impending threat of the Corona Virus. Send thine angel to watch over us and protect us.
Grant health and recovery to those suffering from this virus.
Guide the hands of physicians and preserve those who are healthy.
Enable us to continue to serve our suffering brothers and sisters in peace
that together we may glorify thy most honorable and majestic name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages.
Choir: Amen.

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