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Greek Orthodox Parish and Community of Bankstown St Euphemia -  6-12 East Terrace, Bankstown NSW, 2200 Τηλέφωνο Εκκλησίας - Church Phone :  (02) 9709 6908 ΄Ωρες Γραφείου Δευτέρα-Παρασκευή - 4.30 - 6.30μ.μ   -   Office Hours Monday to Friday  -  4.30pm to 6.30pm Για Μνημόσυνα και Αρτοκλασίες  -  (02) 9709 6908   -   Memorial Services & Artoklasies  -  (02) 9709 6908 ΤΗΛ ΙΕΡΕΩΝ: π.Παναγιώτης Πρωτοψάλτης  (Fr Panagiotis) : 0402 219 214        π.Παναγιώτης Μαυρομμάτης  (Fr Peter) : 0416 145 300
St Euphemia Greek Orthodox College 202 STACEY STEET BANKSTOWN NSW 2200 PHONE : (02) 9796 8240 FAX : (02) 9790 7354 Yet again, our College was one of the High Achieving Schools in New South Wales and one of the best in the local area. Our results in 2014 were again exceptional and highlight the status of our College. There are limited vacancies from Kindergarten to Year 12 for those considering to enrol their children. Give your child the gift of a safe and successful learning journey by enrolling them at Saint Euphemia College. For more information, please contact the Principals on 9796 8240.
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Our Patron Saint Euphemia
‘St Euphemia’ is a canonical Greek Orthodox Church serving the spiritual and community needs of the Bankstown area in Sydney. It functions through the authority of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia under the jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. St Euphemia Parish is also responsible for the founding and continuing development of St Euphemia College.
St. Euphemia Fellowship     Join the St Euphemia fellowship and  learn everything about our Orthodox  Christian faith !  Our fellowship is  open for all ages  ! Divine liturgy in English   Bible study  Talks & group discussions    Social events & monastery trips. Fellowship is held at the parish hall  and commences at 7.30am.  The  group usually meets in a classroom  on top of the hall.  Also, the Divine Liturgy in English  is held the third tuesday of every  month commencing at 7.30 pm.  For more information please contact Fr Panagiotis on 0402219214 or Fr Peter on 0416145300. You can also email us at 
Μέγα Απόδειπνο Κατά τις καθημερινές (Δευτέρα, Τρίτη και Πέμπτη) της Μεγάλης Τεσσαρακοστής θα ψάλλεται το      Μεγάλο Απόδειπνο 6.00μμ - 7.00μμ. ΜΑΡΤΙΟΣ 2018 2α Παρασκευή - Θεία Λειτουργία των Προηγιασμένων Δώρων 7.30πμ - 9.00πμ. Βράδυ - Β’ Χαιρετισμοί 7.00μμ - 8.15μμ.  4η ΚΥΡΙΑΚΗ - Β’ ΝΗΣΤΕΙΩΝ (Γρηγορίου Παλαμά) Όρθρος και Θ. Λειτουργία                                                          7.00πμ - 10.30πμ. 7η Τετάρτη - Θεία Λειτουργία των Προηγιασμένων Δώρων 6.30μμ - 8.00μμ. 9η Παρασκευή - Θεία Λειτουργία των Προηγιασμένων Δώρων 7.30πμ - 9.00πμ. Βράδυ - Γ’ Χαιρετισμοί 7.00μμ - 8.15μμ.  11η ΚΥΡΙΑΚΗ - Γ’ ΝΗΣΤΕΙΩΝ (Σταυροπροσκυνήσεως) Όρθ και Θ. Λειτουργία                                                         7.00πμ - 10.30πμ. 14η Τετάρτη - Θεία Λειτουργία των Προηγιασμένων Δώρων 6.30μμ - 8.00μμ. 16η Παρασκευή - Θεία Λειτουργία των Προηγιασμένων Δώρων 7.30πμ - 9.00πμ. Βράδυ - Δ’ Χαιρετισμοί 7.00μμ - 8.15μμ.  18η ΚΥΡΙΑΚΗ - Δ’ ΝΗΣΤΕΙΩΝ (Ιωάννου της Κλίμακος) Όρθ και Θ. Λειτουργία                                                          7.00πμ - 10.30πμ. 21η Τετάρτη (Πρωί) - Θεία Λειτουργία των Προηγιασμένων Δώρων 7.30πμ - 9.00πμ. Βράδυ - Ο Μέγας Κανών 6.00μμ - 8.00μμ.  23η Παρασκευή - Θεία Λειτουργία των Προηγιασμένων Δώρων 7.30πμ - 9.00πμ. Βράδυ - Ο Ακάθιστος Ύμνος 7.00μμ - 9.00μμ 24η Σάββατο -  Του Ακαθίστου  Όρθρος και Θεία Λειτουργία  7.30πμ - 9.30πμ. 25η ΚΥΡΙΑΚΗ - Ε’ ΝΗΣΤΕΙΩΝ (ΕΥΑΓΓΕΛΙΣΜΟΣ) Όρθ και Θεία Λειτουργία                                                          7.00μμ - 10.30πμ. 28η Τετάρτη (Πρωί) - Θεία Λειτουργία των Προηγιασμένων Δώρων 7.30πμ - 9.00πμ. 30η Παρασκευή - Θεία Λειτουργία των Προηγιασμένων Δώρων 7.30πμ - 9.00πμ. Βράδυ - Κανών του Λαζάρου   6.00μμ - 7.00μμ.  31η Σάββατο -  Έγερσις του Λαζάρου  Όρθρος και Θεία Λειτουργία                                         7.30πμ - 9.30πμ. 1η (Απριλίου) ΚΥΡΙΑΚΗ - Των Βαΐων Όρθρος και Θεία Λειτουργία                                                7.00πμ - 10.30πμ. Great Compline On weekdays of Great Lent we will be serving the Great Compline from 6.00pm to 7.00pm each Monday, Tuesday and Thursday evening. MARCH 2018 2nd Friday - Pre-Sanctified Liturgy 7.30am - 9.00am Evening - 2nd Salutations to the Theotokos  7.00pm - 8.15pm 4th SUNDAY - Saint Gregory Palamas Matins and Divine Liturgy 7.00am - 10.30am 7th Wednesday - Pre-Sanctified Liturgy 6.30pm - 8.00pm 9th Friday - Pre-Sanctified Liturgy 7.30am - 9.00am Evening - 3rd Salutations to the Theotokos  7.00pm - 8.15pm 11th SUNDAY - Veneration of the Holy Cross Matins and Divine Liturgy                                                          7.00am - 10.30am 14th Wednesday - Pre-Sanctified Liturgy 6.30pm - 8.00pm 16th Friday - Pre-Sanctified Liturgy 7.30am - 9.00am Evening - 4th Salutations to the Theotokos  7.00pm - 8.15pm 18th SUNDAY - St. John Climacus Matins and Divine Liturgy 7.00am - 10.30am 21st Wednesday (morning) - Pre-Sanctified Liturgy 7.30am - 9.00am Evening - The Great Canon  6.00pm - 8.00pm 23rd Friday - Pre-Sanctified Liturgy 7.30am - 9.00am Evening - The Akathist Hymn 7.00pm - 9.00pm 24th Saturday - Saturday of the Akathist Matins and Divine Liturgy                                                          7.30am - 9.30am 25th SUNDAY - Annunciation of the Theotokos Matins and Divine Liturgy                                                         7.00am - 10.30am 28th Wednesday - Pre-Sanctified Liturgy 7.30am - 9.00am 30th Friday - Pre-Sanctified Liturgy 7.30am - 9.00am Evening - Canon of Lazarus 6.00pm - 7.00pm 31st Saturday - The Raising of Lazarus Matins and Divine Liturgy                                                          7.30am - 9.30am 1st (April) SUNDAY - Palm Sunday Matins and Divine Liturgy                                                          7.00am - 10.30am
Memorial service
ΙΕΡΑ ΕΞΟΜΟΛΟΓΗΣΗ Ο εξ Αγίου ΄Ορους Εξομολόγος π. Δαμασκηνός, θα βρίσκεται στον Ναό μας την Δευτέρα  26 Μαρτίου από 9.00πμ έως 6.00μμ για το Μυστήριο της Ιεράς Εξομολογήσεως. Εν συνεχεία θα ομιλήσει με θέμα «Η έννοια του αγαθού και του κακού» (7-8μμ) SACRAMENT OF CONFESSION On Monday 26th March, the Very Rev. Fr Damaskinos, who is visiting from Mount Athos, will be hearing confessions from 9:00am until 6:00pm. No appointment is needed for Fr Damaskinos. Following this he will talk in Greek on the topic “The concept of good and bad”.
Great Lent - A Week by Week Meaning The Institute of Lent There are institutes and symbols adopted by nations, churches or groups of men which represent certain ideals accumulated in the past. These institutes, that is precepts recognized as authoritative, and symbols represent the thoughts and feelings of those who created or adopted them and put in them all the experience of the past, often through struggle and sacrifice. A few feet of ribbon for instance, red, blue and white in color, have little value as is. But if one puts them in a certain pattern of stripes and stars, they become the flag of the United States and represent the ideals and unity of the people of America. The flag reminds us of the people's struggle for liberty. It represents the national unity which attained for them their rights as a people. The same could be said for the institutes of a nation, army or any group of people. These institutes are created by the people and are used by them in certain ways for certain aims. Some of these institutes are the means for achieving certain values and ideals. In the life of the Church of Christ there are many institutes created and maintained to meet the needs of the people - the Ecclesia. Among these is the Great Lent which falls within the year-cycle of the life of the Church before Pascha-Easter. Lent is the period of time for self-examination by the believer; of putting on the spiritual armor of the Militant Church; of applying the riches of prayers and almsgiving; of adopting deeply the meaning of repentance; of atonement and reconciliation with God Almighty. This great period of Lent before Easter is called by the Orthodox Church, Tessaracoste (Quadragesimal), which comes from the word forty (the 40 days of "fasting"). This Institute of the 40 days of Lent precedes the Resurrection of Christ. The celebration of the Resurrection of Christ does not fall on the same date each year, but according to the determination of the position of the moon and spring equinox, which is based on the original setting during the last Events of the life of Christ on earth. This 40-day period of Lent is a period of "abstinence" from foods, but primarily from personal iniquities. Abstinence from foods (fasting) alone is a means of attaining virtue; it is not an end in itself. During the period of fasting one makes a special attempt to evaluate his calling as a Christian; to listen to the voice of the Gospel and heed its commandments; to accept the constant invitation to enter Christ's Kingdom. It is an open invitation to everyone willing to enter; who believes in Christ and repents his iniquities; who makes an "about face" directly to Christ. To accomplish this - Which is a year- round concern - the Christian Church, dating back many years, out of experience and according to the nature of man instituted certain days of prayer and fasting as steps in a ladder to help those who need guidance to reach this spiritual plateau. All of these steps must have genuine personal meaning to avoid becoming merely a habit and routine. Fasting encompasses the entire pious life of the Christian, as Christ proclaimed, that symbolizes a deep acceptance of His admonition to "repent". This can be achieved not so much in terms of time, but in deeds in love of God and one's fellow man. During the period of the Great Lent the awakening of the spirit of man comes about through inspiration from the Head of the Church, Jesus Christ. It is a time of self-examination and preparation, and of taking an inventory of one's inner life. He and Christ know his exact condition. At this time one sees himself in the mirror of the Gospel - how he looks. One finds the means and ways to correct and improve himself. Lent is a period of time when one delves into himself with the light of the Holy Spirit in order to rid himself of the impediments which hold him back. It is a period when one strengthens his faith by more prayer and devotional life. The Origin of Fasting One may ask how the Institute of fasting originated. Was it a tradition handed down by the Apostles? Was it determined as such by the early Church? Was the duration of fasting established from the beginning? These and similar questions require an answer. Fasting before Easter was not determined by the early Church as such either in specific days or for certain foods. In the New Testament the word for fasting, nesteia, means abstinence from food entirely, and was originally a Jewish custom reluctantly practiced by the Jews, although it was not an official requirement. Bishop Irenaios of Lyon (192) wrote a letter to the Bishop of Rome that there is a great difference about the duration of fasting before Easter. Some people, he wrote, fast one day, others two, still others more days. Some of them fast 40 hours continuously, day and night, from all foods (Eusebuis, Ecclesiastical History, 524,12). Tertuuian, an ecclesiastical writer of the 3rd century, refers to abstinence from foods as being two days, Friday and Saturday. Some of the early Christians abstained from foods the whole day and ate only in the evenings, while others ate not at all, day or night, as did those who were fasting for 40 hours. Other Christians extended the period of fasting beyond the two days to one week (during the mid-third century),'but everyone was allowed to extend the duration of fasting as long as he wanted. Thus, these Christians added hours and days of fasting at their own will, beyond the customary duration of time (Dionysios, Bishop of Alexandria, P. G. Migne 10, 1278). The Seven Sundays of the Great Lent First Sunday of Lent - Sunday of Orthodoxy (John 1:43-52) This Sunday commemorates the return of the Icons into the churches, according to the decision of the Seventh Ecumenical Synod (787). The Church determined that this celebration would take place each year on the first Sunday of Lent, as the Sunday of Orthodoxy, starting March 11, 843. On this Sunday every year the triumph of the faith of Orthodoxy is celebrated with ceremony. The Icon of Christ, according to St. John Damascus, is a distinct affirmation and a reminder of the fact of His Incarnation, which has a vital significance for the salvation of the faithful, an affirmation which prevails to this day in the Orthodox Church. The celebration of the day includes the procession with the Icon of Christ around the inside of the church with pomp and reverence. The Sunday of Orthodoxy calls upon the people to rededicate themselves to the deep meaning of their faith and to declare in unison, "One Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all". Second Sunday of Lent - St. Gregory Palamas (Mark 2:1-12) This Sunday commemorates the life of St. Gregory Palamas (14th century). The Church dedicates this Sunday to St. Gregory for his orthodox faith, theological knowledge, virtuous life, miracles and his efforts to clarify the orthodox teaching on the subject of Hesychasm (from the Greek, meaning quiet.) Hesychasm was a system of mysticism propagated on Mt. Athos by 14th century monks who believed that man was able, through an elaborate system of ascetic practices based upon perfect quiet of body and mind, to arrive at the vision of the divine light, with the real distinction between the essence and the operations of God. Gregory became noted for his efforts to explain the difference between the correct teaching and this theory. Gregory was dedicated to an ascetic life of prayer and fasting, which are practices of Lent. Third Sunday of Lent - Adoration of the Cross (Mark 8:34-38; 9:1) This Sunday commemorates the venerable Cross and the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ. The Cross as such takes on meaning and adoration because of the Crucifixion of Christ upon it. Therefore, whether it be in hymns or prayers, it is understood that the Cross without Christ has no meaning or place in Christianity. The adoration of the Cross in the middle of Great Lent is to remind the faithful in advance of the Crucifixion of Christ. Therefore, the Dassages from the Bible and the hymnology refer to the Passions, the sufferings, of Jesus Christ: The passages read this day repeat the calling of the Christian by Christ to dedicate his life, for "If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me (Christ)" (v. 34-35). This verse clearly indicates the kind of dedication which is needed by the Christian in three steps: 1. To renounce his arrogance and disobedience to God's Plan, 2. To lift up his personal cross (the difficulties of life) with patience, faith and the full acceptance of the Will of God without complaint that the burden is too heavy; having denied himself and lifted up his cross leads him to the, 3. Decision to follow Christ. These three voluntary steps are three links which cannot be separated from each other, because the main power to accomplish them is the Grace of God, which man always invokes. The Adoration of the Cross is expressed by the faithful through prayer, fasting, almsgiving and the forgiveness of the trespasses of others. On this Sunday the Adoration of the Cross is commemorated with a special service following the Divine Liturgy in which the significance of the Cross is that it leads to the Resurrection of Christ. Fourth Sunday of Lent - St. John Climacus (Mark 9:17-31) This Sunday commemorates St. John of the Climax (6th century) who is the writer of the book called The Ladder (climax) of Paradise. This book contains 30 chapters, with each chapter as a step leading up to a faithful and pious life as the climax of a Christian life. The spirit of repentance and devotion to Christ dominates the essence of this book, along with the monastic virtues and vices. He was an ascetic and writer on the spiritual life as a monk-abbot of Sinai Monastery. These steps of the ladder as set forth by St. John are to be practiced by the Christian especially during this period of the Great Lent. Each step leading to the top step of the ladder, is the climactic essence of the true meaning of a Christian life. Fifth Sunday of Lent - St. Mary of Egypt (Mark 10:32-45) This Sunday commemorates the life of St. Mary of Egypt, who is a shining example of repentance from sin through prayer and fasting. She lived a sinful life for many years, but was converted to a Christian life. She went into the wilderness to live an ascetic life for many years, praying and fasting in repentance of her previous sinful life, and dying there. St. Mary's life exemplifies her conviction about Christ, which motivated the changing of her life from sin to holiness through repentance. Her understanding of repentance involved not a mere change from small things in her life, but an extreme change of her entire attitude and thoughts. The Church commemorates St. Mary for her recognition of her own sins as an example of how one can free oneself from the slavery and burden of wrongdoings. This recognition of sin is imperative during Lent for the faithful as a means of self-examination and preparation for a more virtuous life in anticipation of the Crucifixion and the Resurrection of Christ. Palm Sunday (John 12:12-18) This Sunday commemorates the triumphant entrance of Jesus Christ into Jerusalem. The people of Jerusalem received Christ as a king, and, therefore, took branches of palms and went out to meet Him, laying down the palms in His path. The people cried out the prophecy of Zechariah: "Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel" (v. 13; of Zechariah 9:9). The celebration of the Jewish Passover brought crowds of Jews and converted Jews to Jerusalem. They had heard of the works and words of Christ, especially about the resurrection of Lazarus. All the events related to Christ had a Messianic meaning for the Jews at the time. This vexed the high priests and pharisees. As usual, Christ went to the Temple to pray and teach. That evening Christ departed for Bethany. The tradition of the Church of distributing palms on this Sunday comes from the act of the people in placing the branches of palms in front of Christ, and henceforth symbolizes for the Christian the victory of Christ over evil forces and death. Holy Week The period of Great Lent includes the days of Holy Week. This is the time when Christians who went through the whole period of Lent in prayer and fasting approach the Feast of Feasts to celebrate the Passions of Christ and His Resurrection. During the entire Lent the faithful try to practice and live the ideals and standards of this period in the light of Easter. This is why the Hymnology of the entire period of Lent, especially during Holy Week, refers to the Resurrection of Christ as the center of the Christian Faith. Each day of Holy Week is dedicated to the Events and teachings of Christ during His last week on earth. The faithful who participate in the services of this week are more conscious of their duties to themselves and to their neighbors through fasting, praying, giving alms, forgiving the trespasses of others; in other words, participating, day by day, in the spirit of the Gospel of Christ. The Significance of Great Lent Great Lent before Easter is when the Christian participates fully in preparing himself to praise and glorify his God as Lord and Savior. Great Lent is like a "workshop" where the character of the faithful is spiritually uplifted and strengthened; where his life is rededicated to the principles and ideals of the Gospel; where the faith culminates in deep conviction of life; where apathy and disinterest turn into vigorous activities of faith and good works. Lent is not for the sake of Lent itself, as fasting is not for the sake of fasting. But they are means by which and for which the individual believer prepares himself to reach for, accept and attain the calling of his Savior. Therefore, the significance of Great Lent is highly appraised, not only by the monks who gradually increased the length of time of the Lent, but also by the lay people themselves, although they do not observe the full length of time. As such, Great Lent is the sacred Institute of the Church to serve the individual believer in participating as a member of the Mystical Body of Christ, and, from time to time, to improve the standards of faith and morals in his Christian life. The deep intent of the believer during the Great Lent is "forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal of the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus", Philippians 3:13-14. Rev. George Mastrantonis