Entrance of the Theotokos

On November 20, the eve of the Feast of the Entrance of the Most Holy Theotokos into the Temple, our parish will celebrate an Evening Liturgy beginning at 6:30.

Honoring the benevolent memory of St. Nicholas

Since St. Nicholas was known far and wide for his love of children, it is our custom engage in a benevolence effort to honor our patron. This year, as in recent years, we will be taking up
a collection of items for babies and small children to donate to the Living Alternatives Pregnancy Resource Center, a charitable organization that provides support to women in crisis with unplanned pregnancies, that they might not despair and abort their children.

These are the items needed:

Diapers in size newborn, 4, 5, and pull ups. (Apparently they must have a good stock of sizes 2 and 3)
Baby lotion, bath wash, diaper ointment
newborn baby clothes
COATS from infant up through 5T

Bible Study

We continue our study of the Gospel of Luke this week with Luke 7:1-8:39
Youth and adults meet together every other week to study the Gospel. This Sunday evening we meet at the Kelley home, 208 Naples Drive, Rantoul at 6:00pm.

Don’t forget to “Fall Back”

Just a quick reminder to change your clocks this weekend.

Lazarus Saturday travel

The Illinois Marathon is this Saturday – Lazarus Saturday. Travel will be affected throughout Champaign and Urbana. You can see the race route and affected roadways here and you can read about MTD service and reroutes here.

Roads in Champaign will not close (but expect significant delays). Roads in Urbana will close but will be open for crossing when marathon traffic is low (also significant delays).

Unaffected routes: From the north use Lincoln to Springfield/Main to Elm. From the south you will need to go to Staley on the West or I-57 or to Hwy 130 on the East to get north of the Marathon route.

Holy week service schedule

All services will occur at St. Nicholas Orthodox Church unless otherwise noted.

Lenten services

Wednesday, April 24 at 6:30 PM- Presanctified Gifts  (No first hour this week)

Friday, April 26 at 7pm – Small Compline with Canon for Lazarus

Saturday, April 27, 8:30am – Orthros
9:30am - Chrismation Service
10:00am – Saturday of Lazarus Divine Liturgy

Holy Week Schedule
Saturday, April 27, 5:00pm – Great Vespers of the Triumphal Entry

Sunday, April 28, 9:00am – Palm Sunday Matins with Blessing of Palms
10:00am – Divine Liturgy of Palm Sunday

Sunday, April 28, 7:00pm -  Bridegroom Matins with Procession

Monday, April 29, 8:30am at Three Hierarchs GOC – Presanctified Gifts
7:00pm – Bridegroom Matins

Tuesday, April 30, 8:30am – Presanctified Gifts 8:30 AM
7:00pm – Bridegroom Matins

Wednesday, May 1, 8:30am at Three Hierarchs GOC – Presanctified Gifts
7:00pm – Holy Unction

Thursday, May 2, 10:00am – Divine Liturgy with Foot Washing
7:00pm – Twelve Passion Gospels (Crucifixion)

Friday, May 3, 9:00-11:00am – Royal Hours (decorating the tomb)
3:00pm – Holy Friday Vespers (Taking down from the Cross)
7:00pm – Holy Saturday Matins (Praises for the Resurrection)

Saturday, May 4, 10:00am – Vesperal Divine Liturgy of St. Basil
11:00pm – Pascha Rush Procession and Great and Holy Easter
Festal meal to follow

Sunday, May 5, 1:00pm-ish -  Agape Vespers

Lenten Retreat – The Transformation of the Human Soul: An exploration of our inner powers

Please join us for the 2013 Lenten retreat led by the V. Rev. Fr. John Bethancourt, pastor of Holy Trinity Orthodox Church in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Friday April 5
6:00PM Small Compline with the Akathist Hymn
7:00PM First Retreat Session: The Perceptive, Appetitive and Incensice powers of the soul:How they have become disordered and how they are healed.

Saturday April 6
9:00AM Memorial Saturday Liturgy
10:30AM Second Session with Lenten luncheon: Paschabilites: An Orthodox Exploration of Neuroscience. A look at the whole topic of brain plasticity and why joy, faith, hope, and love (along with patience, endurance, longsuffering, and delayed gratitfication) are powerful transformers of the brain… and by extension the whole human person.

5:00PM Great Vespers
6:00PM Third Retreat Session: Previous topics continued

Sunday April 7
9:00AM Matins
10:00AM Divine Liturgy with Fr. John as our homilist
6:00PM Final Session: No Theosis Without Kenosis

All events are free and will be held at St. Nicholas Orthodox church.

Zacchaeus, come down!

On Sunday February 3 we heard the Gospel passage from Luke 19 about the Lord’s call to Zacchaeus and his response. His desire to see Christ is an instruction to us to prepare for our Lenten journey with a desire to see and be seen by Jesus Christ.

Annual Meeting

Sunday, January 27, following the DIvine Liturgy, we will convene our annual Parish Meeting. The Parish Council is inviting nominations for a seat on the council. More importantly we will be discussing our “vision” for parish life and ministry at St. Nicholas going forward. Fr. James has challenged to pray and consider how we will answer the question “Why Are We Here?” in the context of Christ’s ‘Great Commission’ in Matthew 28.

Every member of the parish is encouraged to be present and prepare for this gathering by prayer and the keeping of the eucharistic fast.


On the 12th day after Christmas, we celebrate the Holy Theophany or sometimes called Epiphany. In the Orthodox Church this is a celebration of the Baptism of Christ in the Jordan by St. John the Baptist and the beginning of Jesus Christ’s public ministry.

Our tradition is to bless water, first on the Paramon of the Feast and then on Epiphany itself or the nearest Sunday afterwards at some large outdoor body of water. The schedule of services are all listed in the calendar section.

It is also the custom for the priest to bring some of the blessed water with him to the homes of his parishioners and bless the home and its residents asking God’s providential protection on all. Schedule your house blessing with Fr. James soon.

Blessed Feast!