39th Annual SFGOCM Choir Conference

Conducted by Composer Christopher Kypros

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St. Stefanos

Greek Orthodox Church

St. Petersburg, FL

Reverend Fr. Soterios Rousakis

Presbyter

St Stefanos Greek Orthodox Church

Reverend Deacon John Pantelis

Pastoral Assistant

St Stefanos Greek Orthodox Church

Divine Liturgy

Sunday Mornings at 10 AM

Visitors are always welcome.

Register for the 39th Annual SFGOCM Choir Conference

Holy Week 2015 At a Glance

The services of Holy Week transform us into eyewitnesses and direct participants in the awesome events of the Passion and Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Saturday of Lazarus, April 4

9:00am Orthros 10:00am Divine Liturgy

Lazarus’s resurrection is an event that carries a very deep meaning. It is mysteriously linked to the resurrection of Christ Himself–it is like prophecy in action.

It also announces the resurrection of the dead, which is a consequence of Jesus’ Resurrection. The dual nature of Christ is revealed in that He could weep for His friend, yet command death with authority.

Palm Sunday, April 5

8:30am Orthros - 10:00am Divine Liturgy

Jesus comes to us today as our King. The King is seated on a lowly animal, an example of humility and meekness. He will come again in glory, but now He lays aside all the trappings of majesty and power. The crowd held palms and branches, symbolizing victory and peace.

7:00pm  Bridegroom (Nymphios) Service

This evening's service presents the beginning of Jesus’ suffering. The Gospel describes the plotting of the priests and elders to trap Jesus into convicting Himself. Through parables, Jesus tells us of His coming betrayal, trial, conviction and execution by crucifixion. The hymns of this service commemorate two things: First, Joseph, who suffered prophetically at the hands of his brothers before being greatly rewarded; second, the cursing of the barren fig tree which is symbolic of Israel which becomes barren by rejecting Christ, but also of lukewarm Christians whose souls fail to bear fruit.

Holy Monday, April 6

9:00am  Pre-Sanctified Liturgy - 7:00pm Bridegroom (Nymphios) Service

This evening's theme is the need for watchfulness and preparation, lest we be called unprepared before the judgment seat of Christ. The Gospel reading contrasts the efforts of the Pharisees to trick and discredit Jesus, with the forceful resistance with which Christ combats their evil. The hymns recall the parable of the Ten Virgins, in which the faithful Christian is urged to vigilance.

Holy Tuesday, April 7

9:00am Pre-Sanctified Liturgy - 7:00pm Bridegroom (Nymphios) Service

The need for true repentance is the concern of this evening’s service. This transformation from the life of sin to a life of faith and obedience is exemplified for us in the person of the sinful woman who received the gift for forgiveness when she anointed Jesus with myrrh and washed His feet. The highlight of the service is the hymn written in honor of this woman by St. Kassiani.

Holy Wednesday, April 8

  • 9:00am  Pre-Sanctified Liturgy
  • 4:00pm  Holy Unction Service
  • 7:00pm  Holy Unction Service

The primary theme of Holy Wednesday is our human need for healing and forgiveness when we establish a relationship with God through Jesus Christ. In the Sacrament of Holy Unction, the faithful are anointed and thus healed both physically and spiritually. They are also reconciled to God and one another so that they might receive the gift of Holy Communion on the next day.

Holy Thursday, April 9

9:00am  Vesperal Liturgy of St. Basil

On Holy Thursday morning, we ascend Mt. Zion with Christ and the Twelve, and
enter into the upper room. Once there, we witness the awesome moment when, at the Last Supper, Christ abolishes the ritual practice of the Old Covenant and establishes the New Covenant, prophesied by Jeremiah, through the Sacrament of Holy Communion.

7:00pm Service of the Passion - Reading of the Twelve Gospels

In this service, we commemorate the suffering of Jesus Christ, endured for our sake, so that we might be reconciled to God our Father. The Gospel readings relate to us the betrayal and arrest of Jesus, His trial and conviction, and finally His torture, crucifixion and death at the hands of a sinful humanity. This evening's service also includes the procession representing Christ carrying His own cross and ends when we see before us the King of Glory crucified.

Holy Friday, April 10

9:00am  Royal Hours of Pascha

Each of the four Hours bears a numerical name, derived from one of the major daylight hours as they were known in antiquity: the First, Third, Sixth, and Ninth. These services consist of hymns, psalms, and readings from the Old and New Testaments, all related prophetically and ethically to the Person of Christ. Originally four separate services, the Hours are now read in succession as one service.

3:00pm  Apokathilosis Vespers

In this service, we are once again reverent witnesses to the suffering of Christ. What is remembered, in a special way through liturgical commemoration and procession, is the faithfulness and love of Joseph of Arimathea who tenderly removed Christ's body from the cross, wrapped it in clean linen, and carried it to his own unused tomb for burial.

7:00pm The Service of the Lamentations

The theme is Christ's descent into Hades during which the gospel of repentance and reconciliation with God is shared with those who died before Christ's saving work began. The service begins with lamentations sung as we stand before the tomb of Christ. The service ends on a note of joy and hope with the reading of the Prophet Ezekiel in which he describes his vision of our resurrection yet to come; in the midst of despair, there is hope, for not even death can separate us from the love and power of God. Death is about to be conquered and faithfulness rewarded.

Holy Saturday, April 11

9:00am Vesperal Liturgy of St. Basil

On Holy Saturday morning we celebrate the theme of faithfulness receiving its reward. The crucifixion is over, Christ is buried, the twelve apostles and other disciples are scattered and defeated. And yet, three myrrh-bearing women come in faithfulness to perform the last act of love-to anoint Jesus according to the Jewish burial custom. Their unwavering devotion is rewarded--they are the first to share in Christ's triumph over evil and death. They are the first witnesses to the Resurrection. This joy is commemorated through the scattering of bay leaves and flower petals by the priest.

11:00pm Canon of the Holy Pascha

The church is plunged into darkness to symbolize the despair and defeat experienced before the dawn of Christ's victory over the Enemy of our salvation. At midnight, a single light emerges from the altar representing the victory of Christ over death, the defeat of the Prince of Darkness by Jesus, the Light of the World. As the light is passed from person to person, it pushes back the darkness of the church and defeats it completely. The Resurrection is proclaimed in song and triumphant procession, and after the Divine Liturgy, its light is carried into our homes so that they too might be filled with its light and warmth and triumph.

Pascha Sunday, April 12

12:00am Resurrection Service and the Divine Liturgy of Pascha

12:00pm Agape Vespers

1:00pm Easter Egg Hunt for the children

Christ's Resurrection and victory is affirmed in this morning's theme. The Gospel is read in several languages to illustrate the universality of the Good News of the Resurrection and its proclamation to the very ends of the earth.

St Stefanos Annual Greek Festival
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St Stefanos Annual Greek Festival

St. Stefanos Annual Super Greek Festival is a FUN for The Whole Family event and we welcome the entire Tampa Bay Community. Celebrate Greek Food and Greek Culture.
39th Annual SFGOCM Choir Conference
39th Annual SFGOCM Choir Conference

39th Annual SFGOCM Choir Conference

You Are Cordially Invited to Attend The 2015 Choir Conference Thursday July 23rd – Sunday July 26th Hosted by St. Stefanos Greek Orthodox Church
Saint Stefanos Greek Orthodox Church is dedicated to the continuation of our Lord and Savior
Jesus Christ’s ministry of salvation through the proclamation and teaching of the Gospel;
through the grace of God; faith; Baptism and through loving service to God and to mankind.

O Stephen, a crown of royalty was laid on your head for contests you courageously endured for Christ our God,
as first among Martyred saints. You stood in accusation of the raging Judeans; and you saw your Savior
at the right hand of the Father. We pray that you will ever entreat Him to save our souls.
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