Weekly Message From Fr. Peter

Dear Parishioners and Friends,

Glory to Jesus Christ!.

Last Sunday we had the great honor of receiving and blessing a new set of gold priest vestments and an icon of the Raising of Lazarus which were donated by our Parish Altar Society.

I used the blessing of the vestments as a teaching opportunity to explain the significance of each part of the vestments. In doing so, we were able to get a better understanding of the role of the priest.

From the priestly stole in seeing the two rows of fringe on the bottom we were reminded that one of the most important duties of the priest is to pray for the living and the departed, and that each soul whose spiritual care he has be entrusted with is represented by the many fringe tassels that are located in each row. The priestly stole reminds me that I am called to be your shepherd and carry the lost sheep on my shoulder. The fact that I am never to celebrate a service without wearing the priestly stole reminds me that I exercise my role as priest only by the Grace of God, which He richly pours on me, by virtue of my ordination. So anything that is good and holy about my ministry comes from the Lord and not me. The priest is supposed to be a living icon of Christ. The reason a priest wears these beautiful vestments is to remind those praying with him that it is Christ who is the great high priest and it is he who ministers to the faithful through the priest.

The vestments also are provided to the priest as a shield of armor to protect him against the workings of the Evil One, and that the spiritual life is one of spiritual warfare, and that he and all of the faithful are members of the army of Christ. We are all then soldiers, the church militant who are striving to make it to the promised Land, the Kingdom of Heaven. We are all members of the royal priesthood.

This tells us then that every member of the Church is of vital importance from the youngest child to the eldest member. Together we fight the good fight, for the cause of truth, meekness and righteousness. Our main weapon in this battle is prayer. When two or three are gathered in the Name of the Lord, He is with us. We are at our best when we allow the Grace of God to enter into our hearts so that we can pray with a heart filled with love and compassion for the life of the world and its salvation. We are at our best here at Holy Ghost Church when we are in our beautiful temple singing our hearts out and praying. It is our common prayer life that binds us closer together and propels us to go out into the world and be soldiers of peace, and agents of healing. Let us stay strong and focused as a community on the one thing needful and fulfill our priestly mission together by regularly participating in the liturgical life of the Church.

Until next week, with Love in Christ,

Fr. Peter