Monday, June 15, 2015

Welcome to Saint Aidan's Orthodox Mission!

We are a community of Orthodox Christians dedicated to proclaiming and living the Orthodox faith in the East Kootenay region. Feel free to explore our web site. Contact information is in the sidebar.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

July 20th Reading

St Aidan story #9: King Oswald and the Island

King Oswald of Northumbria 
photo from

Oswald wanted to know about their journey. He asked for news about Iona and Abbot Segene. He mentioned other names, only some of which were familiar. Soon they were offered a place to rest and a meal to refresh them. This king was in no way barbaric, although he was obviously a mighty warrior. All around were battle-shields and spears, great swords and bows. There were animal skins on the floor and a great fire burning. The meal was more than they would normally eat but today was special. For a while Aidan felt nervous, but he realized Oswald was personally determined to make them feel at home.

Soon they were talking over a campaign of teaching. Oswald was anxious that his closest subjects should be educated. If the kingdom was to grow it had to be built on more than a foundation of conquest. A school was of the utmost importance. He knew they would need a church. He understood that they would want to deal with the British also. In all this he was willing to give them whatever resources they needed. He kept emphasizing the importance of getting started. Never once did he mention Corman. Oswald insisted that the brothers remained in the most comfortable part of his palace and that they allowed themselves to be looked after by his servants. Aidan was about to object, then realized that this could be a good way of making contact with these Angles, and beginning to learn how to communicate with them.

There was certainly some interest shown when they said their prayers at night and again in the early morning. The monks did not make a show of their devotions, but they made sure that their hosts knew what they were doing.

 Over the next few days Oswald proved that he was true to his word. His generosity knew no bounds. If Aidan or his men needed anything Oswald supplied it. In fact they had to be careful in stating their needs, for Oswald seemed to be able to produce most things almost immediately. He made sure they had space for their worship, giving them a room to be set aside as sacred for the purpose. He offered them the full use of the palace. More than this, he gave them much of his time. He was also ready to worship with them. Sometimes they would find he had been the first to enter their little sanctuary and was sitting with his hands open and upturned and resting on his knees, his eyes closed, and praying. They were to discover that this was the posture that Oswald most often took up for his prayers. In the early days Oswald himself acted as an interpreter for them when he was able. When other duties prevented him, he delegated the task to one of the thanes who had been with him in Dalraida. Aidan was thrilled to discover that a few of the leading men at the palace could speak his language and were willing to help him learn their native tongue.

Oswald would have liked the school to have been in Bamburgh. He waved his arms and said, “You can have any land you like to build your monastery on.” At this Aidan was silent, and could not answer. He knew that if he was in the shadow of the royal residence, many of the British would find this offensive, or would be afraid to come. Another difficulty was all the activity that was going on around the palace. It was far too busy a place for them to establish themselves. Aidan said he would talk it over with his brothers. He knew that they would have to decide quickly, or Oswald might think that they did not appreciate his offer. Not one of them wanted the protection of the palace. They realized that it would not be good either for their mission or their development. They needed to distance themselves a little from the king.

 When Oswald was told this, he frowned a little but was his usual generous self. They could have anywhere in his kingdom. They could go to one of the great towns, they could have some of the wonderful rolling hill country, they could have a settlement by one of the rivers. The kingdom was large and it was at their disposal.

 What Aidan did next Oswald found hard to understand. He looked out to sea and pointed to some islands not far from the fortress. “How large are those?” Some of his companions, missing their island home, thrilled to the question.

“Not large enough nor productive enough for you to do your work on them,” came a rather blunt reply.
 “What, none of them?” Aidan asked in disappointment.

View of Lindisfarne, from Bamburgh beach.
Photo from

 “Well there is one, if you can call it an island,” said Oswald as he turned northwards and pointed. “It is the farthest one away from here. It is larger than the rest. It has its own water supply, which the others do not have. There is much hazel growing there that could be used in building. But it is not a proper island.”

 Those listening to Oswald wondered how an island could not be an island. Seeing their look of puzzlement, he explained. “The land is not so far from the shore as the other islands. In fact when the tide recedes it is not an island but part of the mainland. Each day it is cut off by the tides, and each day it becomes open again. You can cross to the mainland when the tide is out, on horseback or on foot. But when the tide is high you can only get off the island by boat, and there are some very strange sea currents that run about the island.”
“What is its name?” asked Aidan.

“I believe it is called Inis Metcaud” replied Oswald, “and I have been told it means the ‘Island of the strong winds’.”

 “It sounds as if we may have found our new home,” replied Aidan. Then to Oswald, “If you do not mind, it seems it could be just the sort of place we are looking for. It is not far from your royal dwelling and yet it will give us the silence and the separation we feel we need.”

 Oswald still seemed doubtful, but thinking that maybe these island monks would be more at home with the sea around them, he agreed, and said, “The island is your.”

 Aidan turned to his monks: “It appears we are on the road again. We will move off in the morning.”

From A Flame in my Heart by David Adam, pgs. 40 – 44.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

St. Aidan Story, #8

July 13th Church School Reading

St Aidan story #8: Meeting the Northumbrian People

  As they approached the kingdom of Oswald, Aidan began to speak to the people in the hill country. They spoke a language much like his own. They were often at least nominally Christian. If they were Christian, they could at least share the gospel and pray a little together. Aidan assumed that Christians liked to pray and wanted to share their faith. There were some language difficulties; but Aidan found apathy or indifference, when he encountered them, far harder to deal with. He also began to realize that within this kingdom of Oswald there was more than one kingdom to win for Christ. The people of the land were of a similar Celtic stock to himself. Rivers, hills, and landmarks all had strong Celtic names. It would only take a little practice and he would be able to communicate with the native people. The real difficulty was their fear and resentment of the English. Oswald was a foreigner and an invader. The English were the enemy of occupation, who had driven many of the British of their land and from their homes. Aidan realized that much of his work would be one of reconciliation, the building up of trust and good relationships. His heart went out to these people who were oppressed. He wanted them to know the gospel of liberty and love, also of forgiveness and acceptance. He would have dearly liked to stay among the hill peoples, but his call was to the coast and the fortress of Bamburgh.

 At last they came in sight of the eastern sea. It had not appeared until their journey was nearly over. It would be good to get sea air into their lungs again. They were aware that the people they met now were different; these were warrior peoples, even though they were settling in farmsteads. But they were people of culture. Aidan thought some had heard of Christ, but now the language was a major difficulty. The brothers were not able to communicate with many people at all. For this reason, when possible, they avoided the little scattered communities, and still bore eastwards. The coast was not far away but they travelled on the other side of the hills, making straight for the capital.

  When they came to the coast it was to a wide sweeping bay. The tide was out and they could hardly see the sea. There were sea birds aplenty. Evening prayers were said with a heron fishing nearby. The heron had been one of Columba’s favorite birds and it made the little group feel at home. During these last few miles they had seen more people, and the road seemed to be busy with soldiers. They noticed that some of the soldiers were carrying what must have been booty.

  One more steep hill, and then a great vista opened up before them. There was a lot of woodland, but much land had been cleared. Directly ahead was a great rock, standing proud in the landscape. Below it was a sprinkling of cottages, and fields with cottages and sheep. On the rock there was a mighty palisade, a fortress truly fit for a king. Beyond it was the sea. Smoke was rising form one or two areas on the high rock. It seemed to be well-fortified, with many inhabitants. As the brothers approached the gates they were stopped by a sentry. They explained who they were, but the language barrier caused difficulty. They repeated the name ’Oswald’ more than once, and ‘Iona’ again and again. But the guards did not understand enough to make any headway. Then one guard left and returned with a tall, slim regal-looking man with a short pointed beard. Aidan’s heart leaped. Surely this was Oswald himself. The king had come out to meet them. Recognising their attire, Oswald welcomed them in their own tongue. He issued an order to his guards which Aidan and his followers did not understand, but they were ushered in quickly.

From Flame in my Heart by David Adam, pgs 38 -40.

photo from

Friday, May 16, 2014

Long Weekend Calendar changes

Father Andrew will not be in Cranbrook this weekend, but is planning on being here for Pentecost on June 7 and 8th. Have a wonderful long weekend!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Holy Week

Matins with Praises and Procession of the Shroud

Procession Around the Church

Venerating the Shroud

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Holy Week Services

A Guide to Holy Week Services at St. Aidan’s Orthodox Church, April 2014

The highlight of the Church year and the earliest festal celebration of the Church is Pascha (Easter). The celebration was originally tied to the Jewish feast of Passover (Pesach) where Christ’s Passion and Resurrection occurred. As the Church grew to encompass the Gentile (non-Jewish) nations, Pascha began to be celebrated on the first Sunday (the day of Resurrection) following the first full moon in the spring. The Pascal celebration was well established by 165 AD, as is described in Eusebius’s Ecclesiastical History, and the dating of when to celebrate it was affirmed at the 1st Ecumenical council in Nicaea in 325 AD. While there was always some debate regarding the date at which Pascha should be fixed from the beginning, the present difference in dates that often falls between Eastern “Pascha” and Western “Easter”, goes back to 1582AD when Pope Gregory XIII adopted the “Gregorian” Calendar which changed the calculation for Easter, and the Orthodox Church kept to the original calculations.

Holy Week Services for St. Aidan’s
Wed. Ap. 16: 7:00 pm– Bridegroom Matins (approx. 1.5 hrs)
“Behold, the Bridegroom comes at midnight, and blessed is the servant whom He shall find watching…Your Bridal Chamber I see adorned, O my Saviour, but I have no wedding garment that I may enter.
O Giver of Light, enlighten the vesture of my soul and save me.”
- The theme of this beautiful service is the betrayal of Judas contrasted with the repentance of the Harlot. It follows the theme of the first three days of Holy Week where our Lord enters Jerusalem and voluntarily goes to His betrayal and to His death on the cross to redeem all of mankind from death.

Thur. Ap.17: 7:00pm: Matins with the 12 Passion Gospel Readings (approx 2.5 hrs.)
“Today He who hung the earth upon the waters is hung on the tree. The King of the angels is decked with a crown of thorns. He who wraps the heavens in clouds is wrapped in the purple of mockery…We worship Your passion O Christ. We worship Your passion O Christ. Show us also Your glorious Resurrection.”
- Today we accompany Christ our Lord as He voluntarily goes from the Garden of Gethsemane to be crucified and laid in his tomb by Joseph of Arimathea and the righteous Nicodemus. We contemplate our Lord’s journey in the 12 Gospel readings and in the deep and moving verses in the Canon and interspersed between the Gospel readings, the Beatitudes and the Praises throughout this touching service. We are called to experience the eternal and ever present reality of Christ’s work for our sake, not a distant historical event, but personally in the eternal here and now of our lives.

Fri. Ap. 18: 10:00 am Royal Hours (approx. 2 hrs.)
“Today the curtain of the temple is torn in two, To convict the transgressors, And even the sun hides his rays, Seeing the Master crucified.”
- The special 1st, 3rd, 6th, and 9th hours interspersed with Old Testament, Epistle, and Gospel reading and verses all on the theme of the Passion of our Lord. This is considered a very strict fast day and there is no celebration of the Divine Liturgy.

Fri. Ap. 18, 5pm Vespers with the Shroud Veneration (approx. 1.5 hrs.)
“When You the Redeemer of all were placed in a tomb, All Hades’ powers quaked with fear. Its bars were broken its gates were smashed. Its mighty reign was brought to an end, for the dead came forth alive from their tombs, casting off the bonds of their captivity. Adam was filled with Joy!”
- Today we set up and venerate the shroud of Christ. It is appropriate to bring flowers, particularly red and white to decorate the tomb with. We sing “Nobel Joseph” then we wait together taking a little refreshment from our fasting before staring Matins.

Fri. Ap.18, 7:30 Matins with Praises & Procession with the Shroud (approx 2.5 hrs.)
“Do not lament me, O mother, seeing in the tomb, the Son conceived in the womb without seed, for I shall arise, and be glorified with eternal glory as God. I shall exalt all who magnify you in faith and in love.”
- We gather again before the shroud and sing Psalm 119 with verses in between describing the events of Holy week. Then we take the Shroud of Christ and in procession circle once around the Church, finishing up with veneration of the shroud and the hymn “We worship Your Passion O Christ! We worship Your Passion O Christ!And Your Holy Resurrection. As many as can manage, take a shift before the Tomb of Christ and read the Psalms throughout the night until the next morning’s Liturgy of St. Basil.

Sat.Ap.19, 10:00 am Vesp. Divine Liturgy of St. Basil & 15 O.T.Rd.(approx. 2.5 hrs.)
“Today, Hades cries out groaning; ‘I should not have accepted the Man born of Mary. He came and destroyed my power. He shattered the gates of brass. As God, He raised the souls that I had held captive.’ Glory to Your Cross and Resurrection, O Lord.”
- Today is the bridge day, the day between the death of Christ on the cross and His glorious resurrection. Christ is not resting, death has no claim over Him. He enters into hell with His soul and blows it wide open freeing those captured there! The new life and restoration of man to God is accomplished! The vigil before the Tomb then continues with as many as can take a shift reading the book of Acts.

Sat. Ap. 19, 11:30 pm, Nocturn 12:00, Paschal Matins 1:00, Liturgy (approx. 3 hrs.)
“Christ is Risen from the dead, Trampling down death by death, and upon those in the tombs bestowing life!”
- The feast of feast, the glorious highlight of the entire year! Our preparation in prayer and fasting is now is fulfilled. After the brief Nocturn service we await with unlit candles until the light candle coming from the Altar comes and all light their candles in preparation for the great triple procession around the Church singing “Your resurrection O Christ our Saviour, the angels in heaven sing. Enable us in earth, to glorify You in purity of heart” Entering the Church again we joyously sing the Paschal Matins interspersed with many “Christ is Risen” choruses! The Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom follows with the Paschal sermon of St. John Chrysostom which has been read for many centuries encouraging us all. After the Liturgy, we assemble downstairs for the blessing of baskets and break the fast by enjoying the fruits of the blessed baskets before going home, tired but full of the joy of the resurrection!

Sun. Ap. 20, 12:00 Agape (Paschal) Vespers (service 45 minutes; fellowship - hours)
We gather to sing the short Vespers of Pascha service which is full of the resurrection joy from the Pascha service earlier in the morning. Once again “Christ is Risen” rings out. We then gather and share our joy with each other and the friends and visitors, feasting on the roast lamb and goat and celebrating the glorious resurrection of Christ!

Christ is Risen!!!

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Welcome changes

A message from Father Andrew . . . . .

Hi all;
Please note that Matushka Sonia and myself are coming to Cranbrook next on March 29/30 not on March 22/23 as originally scheduled. We will be Chrismating the catechumen Carl into the Church at this time and this was when both his Godparents and parants could both make it. There will be Typica sevices this Sunday including a procession with icons for the Sunday of Orthodoxy immediately after the typica service…… in Christ……
.Fr. Andrew 403-554-0193

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Forgiveness Sunday

Father Andrew and Matushka Sonia will not be able to come as planned from Calgary for Vespers and Liturgy this weekend due to the weather. We will instead hold a Readers Forgiveness Vespers service following a Typika Service and potluck lunch. Please come and join us for this wonderful and important start to the Lenten season.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The Presentation of the Lord

Father Andrew will be coming from Calgary this weekend to serve Vespers at 6pm on Sat, Feb. 1. 
There will be a soup supper to follow.

Sunday services: Hours at 10:10am, Liturgy at 10:30am. Potluck lunch to follow. 

If you would like your house blessed, please set up a time with Father Andrew - Tel. (403)554-0913 (Fr. Andrew) or Tel. (403)217-9151 (Fr. at home).

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Christmas Services

December 24, 2013

Candlelight Carol Service, 11:00pm
Cookies and Juice to follow

Midnight Liturgy, 12:00 am
Feast to follow

Please invite your friends to come with you to the Candlelight Service, and bring cookies to share with our guests. All are welcome to stay for Liturgy. Please bring something to share for our feast to follow the liturgy - our 40 day fast will be ending, so meat and dairy items are welcomed!! Breakfast at the Sandman before everyone heads home to Creston, Calgary, ect. 

Saturday, November 30, 2013

A Special Collection




Saturday, September 14, 2013

Liturgy, September 22

Father Andrew will be stopping in, on his way home from the States, to serve us Vespers at 6pm on Saturday, September 21.

Sunday, September 22 - Hours at 10:10 am, Liturgy at 10:30 am. Potluck lunch to follow, with a meeting afterwards to discuss how many days a month Father can come, and other relevant details of the new church year.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Soup Supper to follow Vespers

Saturday, August 31

6pm - Vespers. Soup Supper to follow.

Friday, August 16, 2013

St. Aidan's Feast Day

Aidan of Lindisfarne

Our father among the saints, Aidan of Lindisfarne, Enlightener of Northumbria (?-651), was the founder and first bishop of the monastery on the island of Lindisfarne off the northeast coast of England. A Christian missionary, he is credited with restoring Christianity to Northumbria (Northern England). His feast day is August 31.

An inspired missionary, St. Aidan would walk from one village to another, politely conversing with the people he saw, slowly interesting them in Christianity. According the legend, the king gave Aidan a horse so that he wouldn't have to walk, but Aidan gave the horse to a beggar. By patiently talking to the people on their own level, Aidan and his monks slowly restored Christianity to the Northumbrian communities. Aidan also took in twelve English boys to train at the monastery, to ensure that the area's future religious leadership would be English.

Father Andrew will be arriving on the afternoon of August 31st, and would like to meet with families and take confession with those who are able. Vespers will be at 6 pm.

Sunday, September 1: Canons at 10:10 am, Liturgy at 10:30 am. There will be a potluck picnic to celebrate St. Aidan's Feast Day at Anca and Darrin's home in Silver Springs following liturgy. Call Ellen at 250-489-3246 for directions. A congregational meeting will follow lunch, to discuss the vision and plans for our community.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

The Dormition Fast Begins

The feast of the Dormition or Falling-asleep of the Theotokos is celebrated on the fifteenth of August, preceded by a two-week fast. This feast, which is also sometimes called the Assumption, commemorates the death, resurrection and glorification of Christ’s mother. It proclaims that Mary has been “assumed” by God into the heavenly kingdom of Christ in the fullness of her spiritual and bodily existence.

Update: Father Kaleeg has finished his term with our parish, he will be greatly missed. Father Andrew will begin his position with our parish on August 31, coming every second week for vespers and liturgy. We are excited to welcome him to St. Aidans.