During Holy Week, we follow the footsteps of Christ, Who passed from Death to Life.  We, too, experience Christ’s journey to the Cross.  This journey takes us to the reality of sin and death.  Christ conquered sin and death, and His triumph is ours as well.  By uniting ourselves with Christ, we discover that death has no power over us.

Open your heart to Christ!  The events of Holy Week are the most moving of the year.  To get the most out of them, participate in each day’s services.  Make prayer, fasting and Holy Communion essential parts of your Holy Week.


Saturday of Lazarus, April 4, Divine Liturgy, 9:30 a.m. followed by Pancake Breakfast and the making of the Palm Crosses


On Lazarus Saturday, we find that death is the enemy which Christ cam to conquer, and that Christ is truly the giver of life!  The raising of Lazarus is celebrated on this day.  We, too, receive the promise of new life.  We celebrate the divine love that brought Lazarus back to life --- the same love that Christ offers to each one of us today.  The Scripture readings are Hebrews 12:28-13:8 and John 11:1-45.


Palm Sunday, April 5, Orthros 9:00 a.m./Divine Liturgy 10:00 a.m., followed by the annual Palm Sunday Tea sponsored by the Ladies Philoptochos Society


Palm Sunday celebrates Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem.  We receive Palms on this day to show that we too accept Jesus as King, and that we are willing to follow Him to the Cross.  The scripture readings are Philippians: 4:4-9 and John 12:1-18.


Holy Sunday, April 5, Service of the Bridegroom, 7:00 p.m.


This Service helps us understand Christ’s passage from death to life – and how each of us can also become free from sin and death.  So we commemorate:  1) Christ the Bridegroom.  The priest carries the Icon of Christ the Bridegroom in procession.  We behold Christ as the Bridegroom of the Church, bearing the marks of suffering, yet preparing a marriage Feast for us in God’s kingdom; 2) The Blessed Joseph, who was thrown into a pit and sold into slavery by the brothers, and who later became a powerful ruler.  In the same way, Christ was rejected, betrayed and crowned with glory in God’s Kingdom; 3) The Barren Fig Tree, which Christ cursed and withered because it bore no fruit.  The tree is like those who have heard God’s word but fail to bear fruit by not obeying it.  The Gospel reading is Matthew 21:18-43.


Holy Monday, April 6, Service of the Bridegroom, 7:00 p.m.


This Service urges us to be spiritually prepared to receive Christ.  We should take this time to reflect on the Parable of the Ten Virgins.  The maidens who filled their lamps with oil were prepared to receive the Bridegroom.  Those with empty lamps where shut out of the marriage feast.  So each of us should light our lives with faith and good works and be ready to receive Christ.  The Gospel reading is Matthew 22:15-46; 23:1-39.


Holy Tuesday, April 7, The Service of the Bridegroom, 7:00 p.m.


This Service asks us to repent our sins and to forgive others.  We remember the sinful woman who anointed Christ in anticipation of His death.  Her repentance and love of Christ is the theme of the Hymn of Kassiane changed tonight.  We, too, may be forgiven if we confess our sins and obey God’s will.  The Gospel reading is John 12:17-50


Holy Wednesday, April 8, Sacrament of Holy Unction, 6:00 p.m.


The Sacrament of Holy Oil is celebrated on Holy Wednesday Evening when we seek to be reconciled with God.  The priest anoints us with holy oil that we may be healed physically and spiritually. The Orthodox Church has always viewed body and soul as inseparable, and for that reason has stressed the necessity for preserving both in good health. The Sacrament of the Holy Unction is an enduring sacrament of faith for healing the sick and forgiving sins, with the most familiar celebration of the sacrament on Great Wednesday of Holy Week.


Holy Thursday Morning, April 9, Divine Liturgy of Saint Basil, 10:30 a.m.


At this solemn service, we celebrate the meaning of what Christ said and did at the Last Supper.  Before the great entrance, this special hymn is changed:  “At Thy mystical supper, O Son of God, accept me today a communicant, for I will not speak of Thy mystery to Thine enemies, neither like Judas will I give Thee a kiss, but like the thief will I confess Thee:  Remember me, O Lord, in Thy kingdom.”  Holy Communion from the Lamb (The “Amnos”) is consecrated at this Liturgy.  It is used throughout the rest of the year for Holy Communion for the sick and for those who cannot come to Church.


Holy Thursday Evening, April 9,  The Passion of Jesus Christ, 6:30 p.m.


On this day, our Lord went to the Cross and died to atone for our sins.  The power of death and the reality of evil rule the world on this dreadful day.  Yet, Christ’s death marks the beginning of His – and our – victory over death’s power.  This solemn service consists of 1) The Twelve Gospel Readings.  These narratives from the four Gospels relate the events of Jesus’ Holy Passion, and His last instruction to His disciples; 2) The procession.  The Cross is adorned with a flower wreath, and carried in procession.  This symbolizes Christ’s coming to Golgotha to offer Himself as sacrifice for the sins of the world.

Holy Friday Morning, April 10, Royal House 10:30 a.m. Also, Sunday School Retreat and adorning the Epitaphios with flowers


This Friday Morning Service retells the story of Christ’s passion with the addition of prophecies, psalms and hymns.  These services, or “Royal Hours,” help us keep vigil at the side of the crucified Christ, and relate Jesus’ suffering to our own redemption.


Holy Friday Afternoon, Descent from Cross, April 10, Vespers, 3:00 p.m.


During this Service, the priest takes Christ’s body from the Cross, wraps it in a white cloth and places it on the Altar, as a sign of His burial by Joseph of Arimathea.  The Gospel during the Friday afternoon serve are Matthew 27:1-38, Luke 22:39-43; Matthew 27:39-54; John 19:31-37; Matthew 27:55-61


Holy Friday Evening, April 10, The Lamentations, 7:00 p.m.


We lament Jesus’ undeserved death for our salvation.  With both sorrow and joy we sing the Lamentations to Him Who is symbolically buried, yet Who we already know is the Risen Lord.  The Epitaphios is taken in a candlelight processing around the Church.


Holy Saturday Morning, April 11, Divine Liturgy of Saint Basil, 10:30 a.m.


Today is a day of hope and waiting.  We know that because Christ died, death is no longer the end of life.  Today’s Liturgy anticipates the Resurrection.  It includes readings form the Old Testament and special hymns.  The Scripture readings are from Romans 6:3-11 and Matthew 28:1-20


Holy Saturday Evening, April 11, Resurrection Service, 11:00 p.m.

Tonight we celebrate our Lord’s glorious Resurrection.  In a darkened Church, the faithful receive the Resurrection light from the priest.  The congregation hears the good news of Christ’s triumph from the Gospel.  The joyous hymn of Christ’s Resurrection is triumphantly changed – Christ is Risen!  The Paschal Liturgy and sermon of Saint John Chrysostom invites us to take part in the feast of the Resurrection.


Easter Sunday Afternoon, April 12, Agape Vespers, 12:00 p.m. followed by the annual Easter Agape Picnic at 1:00 p.m. at our temporary location, the Old Camarillo Library.  For more information call our Church office at 805-482-1273.




Just in case you haven't yet heard, the last weekend in May has been chosen as the new date for our Thyranoixia or "Opening of the Doors" of the new Saint Demetrios Agape Chapel. His Eminence Metropolitan Gerasimos will be with us and the activities will be the same as those laid out in our first plan. There will be an open house on Friday, May 29th, a Vespers Service on Saturday May 30th followed by a Gala Dinner, and a Hierarchical Divine Liturgy and celebratory luncheon on Sunday, May 31st. Fr. Gary and the Parish Council have chosen this date, with the input of the Metropolis, the builder and the City of Camarillo to insure that we have occupancy of the building. You will be receiving invitations by mail in the near future with all the details. Please consider being a part of the Commemorative Album: details and costs below.




The Office of Rev. Fr. Gary Kyriacou

Church: 3100 Ponderosa Drive, Camarillo, CA 93010

Mailing Address:  PO Box 1970, Camarillo, CA 93011

805-482-1273 office

805-443-3376 Fr. Gary cell

Visit our website at

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                

December 15, 2014




Camarillo, CA

St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church is planning its annual Epiphany Celebration and Blessing of the Waters Ceremony at 12 noon on Sunday, January 11, 2015 at Ventura Harbor.

The feast day of Epiphany commemorates Christ’s Baptism in the Jordan by St. John the Baptist.

After Sunday services at St. Demetrios, the entire congregation and guests from all over Southern California gather dockside outside the Greek at the Harbor Restaurant in Ventura Harbor.  Prayers are recited over the ocean asking the Lord to bless the ocean, protect those that sail on it, provide temperate weather and guard the faithful.  A large cross is dipped into the harbor’s water and a dove is released to symbolize the descent of the Holy Spirit.

While prayers are read and the choir chants, there are two separate dive-for-the cross events: one for kids 12 and up, and one for adults. For each dive, Fr. Gary Kyriacou throws a cross into the ocean and the group of divers plunge into the frigid harbor waters and swim toward it, hoping to reach and retrieve it first.  A prayer is read over the youth and adult who come up with the cross; they are believed to have special blessings the rest of the year.  Another prayer is said over all the divers who were brave enough to compete in the event.

A celebratory meal and party with music and dancing follow the ceremony at the Greek at the Harbor Restaurant.  The public is welcome at all aspects of the Epiphany Celebration, and tickets for the after-party at the Greek at the Harbor are available by calling the St. Demetrios Church office at (805) 482-1273.  If you are just interested in watching the Blessing of the Waters and Dive for the Cross outside, it is recommended you arrive at Ventura Harbor by 11:30 am.


PHOTO OP AT 11:45 am, Sunday, January 11, 2015 on the dock outside the Greek at the Harbor Restaurant in Ventura Harbor


OR PHOTOS from previous years available: contact Pam West at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (805) 482-1273.


The annual AHEPA BBQ is being held here at church this Saturday, September 27th. Tickets are $25 each and can be purchased at the door. As always, it's helpful if you let us know you're coming; you can reply to this email with your name and the number of people in your party. Bring your friends! WHO: YOU! WHAT: AHEPA Tri Tip BBQ Dinner with all the Fixings & Dessert WHEN: THIS Saturday, September 27: no-host cocktails at 5 pm, dinner at 6 pm WHERE: HERE! At St. Demetrios, 3100 Ponderosa Drive in Camarillo HOW: $25 per person in cash or check made out to AHEPA at the door THEN: ENJOY dinner, friends and Greek and American music and dancing! This is a great evening of food and fun for a wonderful cause. St. Demetrios AHEPA and Daughters of Penelope give out two college scholarships to deserving St. Demetrios college-bound students each year in honor of the late, and much-beloved William & Florence Gatsios. Incidentally, we will celebrate Bill and Florence's 15 and 10-Year Memorials(respectively) at St. Demetrios on Sunday, October 12, 2014.

Message from Fr Gary

Fr Gary

Christ-Centered Parish

I learn a lot of interesting things at committee meetings. At one meeting, when discussing the newsletter of our parish, The Myrrh-Bearer, someone frankly said, “Nobody reads that.” That person is either right or wrong depending on how much further you go into this message. At our most recent Parish Council meeting, a parish council member, politely, combined the conversation about healthy church finances with the status of our relationship with Christ.

It wasn’t me, I wasn’t preaching, it was one of YOUR ELECTED OFFICERS, that was sharing this thought. I was mesmerized by his conviction; I looked around at the other members and they were too! The Holy Spirit was present. His inspiration moved us to take the conversation about Parish financial health to a new level.

“Every year we consider ways to raise money. What fundraisers can we hold? How will we meet our obligation to the Metropolis and Archdiocese? How can we motivate better giving? Instead,” he went on, “How can we serve Christ? How can we instill a deep love for Jesus, in every member, young and old, so that our Parish becomes financially healthy and shows greater concern for how Christ-Centered we are as a group?”

It was refreshing to hear a leader of our community express these thoughts. I have offered them in the past, but it is cliché for the priest to say it, because I’m supposed to. A group begins to reexamine the metric for success when a respected member of the Parish Council looks intently at his peers and says, “Are you concerned for your salvation?” If we look at our challenges through the lens of salvation, that is, how what we do will enhance our relationship with Christ, a new perspective is born.

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