St. George
Serbian Orthodox Church
Carmichaels, PA

St. George Lenten Retreat
April 20, 2005

The St. George Serbian Orthodox Church in Carmichaels, Pennsylvania held the annual lenten retreat on April 20, 2005. The day began with Midnight Office, Canon to Jesus Christ, Akathist for Communion, First and Third Hours and Liturgy of Presanctified Gifts.

Two discussion periods focused on preparation for Holy Confession including a review of the Ten Commandments and the extensive list of passions that must be confronted.

Dealing with peer pressure, reading of Holy Scripture, different preparations for Holy Confession and expectations regarding Holy Confession were among the topics covered.

Six Akathists were spaced in groups of three between the discussion periods: Akathist to the Holy Trinity, Akathist to Jesus Christ, Akathist to Christ's Passion, Akathist to the Cross, Akathist to the Mother of God and Akathist to St. John the Theologian.

Participants in the retreat included Very Reverend Lt. Colonel Adam Yonitch, Protonica Roberta Yonitch, Sonia Janson, Mildred Belch, Daniel Petrovich, Mary Trbovich, Nadezda Rogish and George Gapen. Milosh Serb Krewasky joined the group for a period of time.

Joseph Katusa, Grulja and Wilma Milosevich and Djelosh Milosevich were on hand for the Liturgy of Presanctified Gifts.

Retreats are held at the St. George Church during the Nativity Fast and Great Lent to emphasize the importance of the time and as part of the preparation for the coming feast.

Holy Confession is an essential part of Orthodox Christian life. The degree of seriousness ascribed to Holy Confession has a direct correlation to the benefits experienced by the believer.

If a believer prepares carefully for Holy Confession and utilizes fully the period of Great Lent for repentance and growth in Christ, he or she is intent on and takes important steps toward a better way of life.

The full schedule of Divine services enriches the day for the participants and gives a more definitive worship experience. The range of content of the services is extensive and challenging.

The Akathists offer an opportunity for each person in the retreat to participate. God has been good and provided interested individuals to attend when the retreats have been scheduled.

Fr. Rodney Torbic

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