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Paraklesis to the Theotokos (Supplications to the Mother of God)
Paraklesis (Greek: Παράκλησις) or Supplicatory Canon in the Orthodox Church is a service of supplication (appeal) for the welfare of the living. It can be addressed to a specific Saint, but more often is offered to the Most Holy Theotokos. These intercessions are sought through the chanting of the supplicatory canon together with psalms, hymns, and prayerful petitions. Names of the living (especially those suffering from a physical or spiritual illness) can be offered to be mentioned during the service. Please indicate that the names are for the “Tuesday Paraklesis.”

Message from Fr Gary

Fr Gary

God’s Holy Word


A great benefit of spending time at summer camp is the opportunity to disconnect from technology. Not having a phone or internet connection gets you excited to receive mail. A great joy is receiving a (good old fashioned) letter from home. The delight in holding an envelope with the familiar handwriting of a loved one is a highlight for all the staff, counselors and campers. Everyone gets electrified when they get mail (real, handwritten, stamped envelope mail).

One afternoon at St. Sophia Camp, the Director handed me a small envelope sent to me from Christie. I took it, looked at it and put it in my pocket. “You gonna read it?” He asked. I nodded, smiled and walked to the chapel to prepare for evening vespers. I placed it on the altar and put my vestments on for the service.

Vespers ended and the kids were excited to go up the hill to mail call, anticipating their own letters and packages. Prior to their leaving the chapel I shared with them the unopened envelope from my wife. I asked, “What if I just set this letter from my wife on my night stand and never opened or read it?” The responses were touching and hilarious.

One little guy said, “I think you should read it, it will make you happy!” Another jokingly said, “You might end up sleeping on the couch if you don’t.” An older teen girl said, “That’s just coldhearted, what if...

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