Holy Week: What to Expect


Lauds: 9:15 a.m.

Mass: 10:00 a.m.

Palm Sunday is the first day of Holy Week, when we remember Our Lord’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem.

Immediately after Lauds, the blessing and distribution of the palms take place. Each person receives a palm, and the clergy lead the faithful in procession around the Church, while joyful chants are sung culminating in the hymn “All Glory, Laud and Honor.” After the worshipers go to their seats, the Mass continues. During the Mass, the faithful hear the First of the Passion Narratives, from the Gospel according to St. Matthew.


Stations of the Cross: Noon

Vespers & Rosary: 6:00 p.m.

Mass: 7:00 p.m.

Each weekday in Holy Week, the Stations of the Cross are prayed. These stations recall Our Lord’s journey from condemnation to the tomb.

At the Mass, we will hear of Our Lord’s preparation for burial by the penitent woman who anoints him with fragrant oil.


Stations of the Cross: Noon

Vespers & Rosary: 6:00 p.m.

Mass: 7:00 p.m.

During the Mass, the Second of the Passion Narratives, from the Gospel according to St. Mark, is read.


Stations of the Cross: Noon

Vespers & Rosary: 6:00 p.m.

Mass: 7:00 p.m.

Tenebrae: 9:00 p.m.

During the Mass, the Third of the Passion Narratives, from the Gospel according to St. Luke, is read.

Following Vespers, the first of three Tenebrae services is prayed. Tenebrae is a service of prayer conducted in near-darkness. This service includes a candle ceremony, where candles are extinguished at the end of each psalm and the Benedictus. The central feature of this service is the Lamentation of Jeremiah as it applies to Our Lord’s Passion.


Stations of the Cross: Noon

Mass: 7:00 p.m.

Vespers & Stripping of the Altar: 8:30 p.m.

Tenebrae: 9:00 p.m.

The Institution of the Mystical Supper is the focus for The Mass of the Last Supper. The Gloria in Excelsis is restored and the Readings recall the events when Our Lord gathered with His disciples on the eve of His crucifixion. After all have received Holy Communion, the Blessed Sacrament is processed to the Altar of Repose where it remains for adoration. After Mass, toward the end of Vespers, the Altar is stripped while Our Lord’s prayer on the cross (Psalm 22) is solemnly chanted. Following Vespers, the second Tenebrae service is prayed.


Stations of the Cross: Noon

Solemn Liturgy (Mass of the Pre-Sanctified): 7:00 p.m.

Tenebrae: 9:00 p.m.

Our Lord’s Death on the Cross is commemorated with the Solemn Liturgy for Good Friday. The service is moving in its starkness and consists of four parts: hearing the Lord’s Word, the Bidding Prayers, the Veneration of the Holy Cross, and the reception of Holy Communion from the Pre-Sanctified. During the first part, the faithful hear the fourth Passion Narrative from the Gospel according to St. John.

Following the Liturgy, the third Tenebrae service is prayed.


Blessing of Easter Baskets & Animals: Noon

Vigil Mass: 7:30 p.m.

The Western rite knows two celebrations of Our Lord’s Resurrection. The first and most ancient is the Great Vigil which, in the first seven centuries, was kept throughout the night and climaxed with the celebration of Holy Communion at dawn on Easter Day. In the past 13 centuries, the Great Vigil has been assigned to Holy Saturday afternoon or morning.

During the Paschal Vigil, worshipers gather quietly in the entrance for the blessing of fire. Then the Deacon leads the faithful into the Nave. While the worshipers are taking their places, the ancient Easter hymn of praise (Praeconium) is sung and the candles of the faithful and throughout the church are lit. Following this candlelight ceremony, Old Testament prophecies are read. This Service of Readings is followed by the blessing of the Baptismal font. The Litany of the Saints leads the faithful to a joy-filled celebration of Holy Mass. The service concludes with an abbreviated form of Vespers.


Lauds: 9:15 a.m.

Mass: 10:00 a.m.

The Resurrexi Mass (“Mass of the Resurrection”) is the chief celebration of Our Lord’s Resurrection. It commences with the blessing of the faithful with the holy water that was blessed at the Great Vigil. Then the Mass proceeds according to the usual order and is augmented with the beautiful Easter sequence (Victimae paschali laudes) as well as many familiar Easter Scripture readings and hymns.

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2017 Lenten Retreat

The Society of St Benedict will host their annual Lenten Retreat on Saturday, March 4, at St Michael Orthodox Christian Church in Whittier.

“The Character of the Godly Heart” is the theme of the retreat. Rev. Dr. Calinic Berger, Assistant Pastor at St Nicholas Cathedral in Los Angeles, will offer three meditations during the retreat. In addition to the meditations, this retreat follows the Benedictine model of a “silent retreat.” Therefore, there will be ample quiet time for personal prayer, reflection, and meditation.

This event is intended to provide a break from the busyness of this world, to offer time to learn how to live the season of Lent, and to refresh and prepare the soul for the Lenten journey.

The retreat begins at 9 a.m. with prayer according to the rule of St Benedict, and concludes at 3 p.m. Lunch will be provided, and a free will donation is appreciated. Child care, unfortunately, will not be available.

Fr. Calinic earned a PhD in Systematic theology from Catholic University of America in Washington DC. He has been a Visiting Professor of Dogmatic Theology at St. Vladimir’s Seminary in Yonkers NY, and has taught and published on Orthodox theology and spiritual life in a variety of venues.

For more information or to RSVP, please call or email the St Michael parish office.

St Michael Orthodox Church is located at 3333 Workman Mill Road, across the street from Rio Hondo College.


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Christ Mass at St Michael’s

Christ Mass Eve

24 December, Saturday

Vigil of Christ Mass, 10 a.m.

1st Vespers of the Nativity, 6 p.m.

Lessons & Carols, 10 p.m.

Christ Mass at Midnight, 11 p.m.

Christ Mass Day

25 December, Sunday

Nativity Lauds, 9:15 a.m.

Christ Mass Day, 10 a.m.

Octave of Christ Mass

1 January, Sunday

Octave Lauds, 9:15 a.m.

Octave Mass, 10 a.m.

Day X of Christ Mass

3 January, Tuesday

Lauds, 7:30 a.m.

Mass, 8 a.m.

Epiphany of Our Lord

5 January, Thursday

1st Vespers of Epiphany, 6 p.m.

Blessing of Waters, 6:30 p.m.

Epiphany Mass, 7 p.m.

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Advent Retreat

T1225241_orighe Society of St Benedict, a ministry of St Michael’s Church, will hold its annual Advent Retreat on Saturday, December 10. [download retreat flyer].

The meditations for this year’s retreat will be offered by the Very Reverend Edward Hughes, Pastor of St George Orthodox Church in Lawrence, Mass., and Vicar General for the Western Rite Vicariate.

The retreat will begin at 9 a.m. and conclude at 3 p.m. It will include praying select offices from the Benedictine Breviary, Mass, and quiet time for reading, prayer, confession and reflection. During the course of the retreat, Fr Hughes will offer three meditations. [download the schedule]

In keeping with the Benedictine tradition, this is a silent retreat. This means that, apart from the meditations and the prayer offices, silence will be kept for reading, prayer, and reflection.This retreat, and its companion Lenten retreat, have been offered for several years, and attract persons from several Orthodox and non-Orthodox parishes.

To RSVP or for more information, simply use the contact form below or call the parish office (562.692.6121).

The Society of St. Benedict is a ministry of St Michael’s Church, open to any Christian who desires to meet regularly to pray and live under the guidance of the Rule of St Benedict in their own situation. The primary aim of the Society is to support and encourage oblates of Benedictine monasteries, and so it recommends that each of its members maintain an active relationship as an oblate (or its equivalent) in a regular monastery.


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Novena to St Michael


To prepare for the Patronal Feast of the parish, this novena (nine day prayer) is prayed from September 20-28.

Saint Michael the Archangel, loyal champion of God and His Catholic people, I turn to thee with confidence and seek thy powerful intercession. For the love of God, Who hast made thee so glorious in grace and power, and for the love of the Mother of Jesus, the Queen of the Angels, be pleased to hear my prayer.

Thou knowest the value of my soul in the eyes of God. May no stain of evil ever disfigure its beauty. Help me to conquer the evil spirit who tempts me.

I desire to imitate thy loyalty to God and Holy Mother Church and thy great love for God and men. And since thou art God’s messenger for the care of His people, I entrust to thee this special request:

The Intention for the Particular Day

On September 20: For our Patriarch, His Beatitude John X, our Archbishop, His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph, our Local Bishop, His Grace Bishop John, and for all the bishops of the Antiochian Archdiocese.

On September 21: For the parishes, monasteries and clergy of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America.

On September 22: For the parishes, monastery and clergy of the Western Rite Vicariate.

On September 23: For the parishes and clergy of the Diocese of Los Angeles and the West.

On September 24: For the increase of clergy and monastics in our Archdiocese and Vicariate.

On September 25: For the parishioners, past and present, of St Michael’s Church.

On September 26: For the repose of the souls of the faithful departed parishioners of St Michael’s Church.

On September 27: For the repose of the souls of Fr Michael Trigg, and other departed priests, deacons and subdeacons who have served St Michael’s Church.

On September 28: For Fr John, Deacon Lazarus, and all the priests, deacons and subdeacons who serve, and have served, St Michael’s Church.

Include also each day an intention for the increase of faith and holiness for the clergy and parishioners of St Michael’s Church.

Daily Conclusion

Saint Michael, since thou art, by the will of the Creator, the powerful intercessor of Christians, I have great confidence in thy prayers. I earnestly trust that if it is God’s holy will, my petition will be granted.

Pray for me, St. Michael, and also for those I love. Protect us in all dangers of body and soul. Help us in our daily needs. Through thy powerful intercession, may we live a holy life, die a happy death and reach Heaven where we may praise and love God with thee forever. Amen.

Our Father. Hail Mary. Glory Be.

Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle: Be our protection against the malice and snares of the devil.

We humbly beseech thee, O God, to command him; and do thou, O prince of the heavenly host, by the divine power thrust into hell Satan and the other evil spirits who roam through the world seeking the destruction of souls. Amen.
O Prince most glorious, Michael the Archangel, keep us in remembrance. Here and everywhere, always entreat the Son of God for us. Amen

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Classes About Orthodoxy

Our latest edition of “Exploring Orthodoxy” will begin on Monday, September 12 at 7 p.m. It will be offered for 12 consecutive Mondays, ending on November 27.

The focus of these classes will be to discuss the basic themes of the Orthodox Faith using the lens of the Sunday Mass.

These classes are aimed primarily at those who wish to learn more about what the Orthodox Church teaches. As such, they are open to inquirers who don’t want to commit to becoming Orthodox, catechumens who have already expressed their desire to be received into the Church, and parishioners who wish to learn more about their own faith. Already, a half dozen people have said they will attend these classes. You are invited to join them!

Child care will be provided.

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Bishop JOHN Visits St Michael’s in Whittier

The Pontifical (bishop's) blessing at the end of the Sunday Mass The visit of a Bishop is a very important and special event in the life of a parish. This is not because of the personality of the man, or the fact that he holds a position of authority in the organizational structure of the church. Rather, Bishops are successors of the Apostles. In other words, they are very much like “direct descendants” of the men who were specifically chosen and sent by Our Lord Jesus Christ to go forth in His Name. Furthermore, it is their faithfulness to the teachings of those first Apostles which constitute the unity of the Church.

This was most certainly the case when Bishop JOHN, the Vicar Bishop for Western Rite Vicariate parishes, visited St Michael’s Church in Whittier, California March 11-13. His Grace met with all the clergy, the memberDuring the Canon (Anaphora)s of the Parish Council, the Antiochian Women of St Michael, and the youth. His Grace also spent an entire morning with the Society of St Benedict, which is a prayer society committed to the principles in the Rule of St Benedict.

His Grace also presided over several liturgical services, and preached the homily on the Sunday before Lent encouraging the faithful as they entered the Lenten journey. Following the Sunday Mass, a banquet in His Grace’s honor was held. Bishop John joyfully answered numerous questions from parishioners and catechumens, and then spent several hours visiting with individual parishioners.

Our recently appointed parish priest, V. Rev. John W Fenton, presented His Grace with an embroidered icon made by one of the parishioners, and a signed copy of “Iron Blood” by HSH Eleonora Kantemir, Princess of Moldavia, who has been attending St MichBp John speaking with parishioners at the banquetael’s.

The presence of the Bishop in the congregation—both during the liturgical services and even during meetings—brings to life the presence of Our Lord Jesus Christ in our midst. The loving care, continual encouragement and self-sacrifice of His Grace both was evident to the parishioners, and has inspired them to remain constant in their faith and witness

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