Holy Protection
Orthodox Christian Church
UOC of the USA-Ecumenical Patriarchate
3820 Moores Lake Road Dover FL 33527
/ Schedule

Divine Liturgy on Regular Sundays:  10am.  We are also livestreaming Sunday Liturgy on our Facebook Page (Holy Protection Orthodox Church).  Our midweek services are posted on our facebook page and in our bulletin which you can sign up for on this website.  Also we have classes that we livestream when we can.  Sermons and classes can be found on our Youtube channel ProtectionDover.  

Confessions:  Before or after any liturgical service, prior to 9:45am Sundays, or by appointment during the week.   It is best to let the priest know by text or email you are coming ahead of time.  Those who let the priest know in advance they are coming for confession will be taken before the others if they show up in a timely manner.   

April Schedule Holy Protection Orthodox Church, Dover FL


Please remember, that if you physically need to sit at any liturgical service, please do so even when it is customary to stand, as “the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.”   


*THE FINAL DAY for confessions before Pascha will be the final day of Great Lent FRIDAY APRIL 15 (the eve of Lazarus Saturday), which also means that the FINAL SUNDAY for confessions will be St. Mary of Egypt SUNDAY APRIL 10.  We have 40 days of Great Lent to focus on our repentance to prepare not just for Pascha but all of Holy Week, on which our focus no longer is on our repentance but on Christ Himself.    



Friday April 1  Final Service of Holy Cross Week—the Taking up of the Cross

11:30am  Liturgy of the Presanctified (at Holy Protection)


Sunday April 3  Fourth Sunday of Great Lent, the Ladder of Divine Ascent (St. John Klimakos)

Entrance Prayers, Vesting, Proskomedia

10am Divine Liturgy


Wednesday April 6  Pan-Orthodox Presanctified in Tampa

6pm Pan-Orthodox Vespers with Liturgy of the Presanctified @ St. John’s in Tampa, followed by dinner sometime after 7pm, followed by a faith presentation around 8pm.  You can come for only what you are able to stay for. 


Friday April 8  *Akathyst Friday/Saturday

6pm  Akathyst to the Most Holy Mother of God, the Ever-Virgin Mary

*Confessions following the Akathyst


Sunday April 10  Fifth Sunday of Great Lent, St. Mary of Egypt    *Spring Cleaning

Entrance Prayers, Vesting, Proskomedia

9am-9:45am Confessions 

10am Liturgy

*Following Liturgy is fellowship and then polishing of church items, liturgical items (polishing lamps, censors, shiny things, etc., and setting up for Palm Sunday). 


Friday April 15  Eve of Lazarus Saturday

6pm Presanctified Liturgy of the Resurrection of St. Lazarus


*THE FINAL DAY for confessions before Pascha will be the final day of Great Lent, which is the eve of Lazarus Saturday, FRIDAY APRIL 15, which also means that the FINAL SUNDAY for confessions will be St. Mary of Egypt SUNDAY APRIL 10.  We have 40 days of Great Lent to focus on our repentance to prepare not just for Pascha but all of Holy Week, on which our focus no longer is on our repentance but on Christ Himself.    




Palm Sunday April 17   The Great Feast of the King of kings Entrance into Jerusalem

Entrance Prayers, Vesting, Proskomedia

Palm Sunday Matins


9:55am:  Blessing and distribution of Palms 9:55am Blessing of Palms & Branches, distribution of Palms to hold during Liturgy (palms will also be distributed afterward for you to take home and put at your home altar/prayer corner). 


10am:  Divine Liturgy and Baptisms/Chrismations

(Fish wine and olive oil are eaten today even on the strictest of fast observations)

*After fellowship, we appreciate help with cleanup in Church. 



Holy Monday April 22  Holy Monday 

6pm Bridegroom Matins


Holy Tuesday April 23 

6pm  Bridegroom Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts (Communion service)


Holy Wednesday April 24 

6pm Bridegroom Matins and Holy Unction—the Sacrament of Holy Unction for physical and spiritual health.  You must be an Orthodox Christian in good standing to receive Holy Unction because it is a Mystery (Sacrament) of the Church, which also means that you should have participated in the sacrament of confession at least once in the previous year (you can take confession before this service if need be to fulfill this).  This is a brief service when there is a single priest serving, which is the case here.  No “strict fasting” (eating nothing for several hours) is required, although the general fasting of Holy Week is expected to some degree unless health needs require otherwise.  


Great Thursday April 21 (Eve of Great Friday)


3pm Entrance prayers/kairon, Proskomedia, preparations


5:30pm Mystical Supper--Vespers for the Eve of Great Friday with footwashing and Mystical Supper Liturgy  (To partake of Communion eat a light fasting lunch by 2pm and cease eating altogether after that). 


7pm Break with a full meal (fasting foods) in the social hall (communal potluck). Note:  You may eat a full meal following, still fasting foods, but full portions. This theoretically is the only “full meal” of Holy Week after Palm Sunday and the last “full meal” that we eat until after the midnight Pascha services on Saturday night/Sunday morning.  All other meals in between are collations or “mini-meals,” with simple foods for the health of the body.  As at all times, all those who have special health needs must eat when needed.   


8pm-9pm Passion of Christ Matins:  Candlelight Service  Passion Gospel Readings with procession of Christ’s Cross into the nave and affixing icon of Christ to the cross and special hymns to participate in Christ’s passion and crucifixion. 


Great Friday April 22 (Eve of Great Saturday)


6:30pm-8pm Burial of Christ Vigil: Finality of the Crucifixion, “Taking down Vespers” and “Burial and Descent Matins” Procession and Veneration of the Shroud of Christ (Plaschanitsya, Epitaphios).  If you work and can only arrive late, please still come to this beautiful and important vigil-style combination of two services of Holy Friday Vespers and Holy Saturday Matins.


Pascha April 23-24:  Great Saturday and Resurrection Sunday


Saturday 1pm Further redecoration of Church, Kairon, Proskomedia, etc. 


Sat. 2pm-3:20pm First Resurrection:  Holy Saturday Vespers with First Resurrection Liturgy of Pascha: Vesperal Liturgy of St. Basil, the only one served entirely in the nave of the Church in front of the Shroud, liturgically bringing an end to Great Saturday and beginning the Vigil of Pascha.  It is the service where we change all things to Paschal décor (from dark to light), and where at “Arise O God” you can celebrate the harrowing of hell by bringing noisemakers or banging on the pews or floor (some bring pots and pans to bang) to represent Christ’s harrowing of hell.  This is the Liturgy that we serve out in the nave of the Church before the Tomb/Shroud. 

        To partake of Communion:  No meat or dairy with only small collations (mini-meals) on Friday, with a small collation Saturday morning if needed, and cease eating altogether by 10am (unless you have severe medical condition where you need to eat).  It is appropriate to take communion both at this Liturgy and at the Paschal Liturgy later.  See guidelines below to partake at midnight. 


The Triumphal Resurrection of our Lord in the Flesh


Saturday Night:


*10pm-10:45pm  Faithful arrive and bring baskets of festal food to the hall to be blessed after Liturgy, and then make their way to Church.

Note:  Please bring rest mats or sleeping bags for small children, or at least pillows so that they can rest during the service.  They will still have a blast in the parts where they are awake (see below)


10:45pm Paschal Nocturnes


11pm-1am (Sat/Sun)  Paschal Fire, Procession, Great Paschal Matins and Paschal Divine Liturgy

(11pm Candlelight, Procession, Paschal Matins, 12m Paschal Liturgy)


The Orthodox liturgical Day, like the Hebrew day, begins in the evening.  As we see from the Gospels, the bodily Resurrection of Christ took place “at the midnight (watch)” (i.e. during the midnight watch 10pm-2am cf. Judges 7.19).  The Gospel of Matthew specifies that it took place “late Saturday evening,” and that that the first visitations of the myrrhbearing women thereafter were still “while it was yet dark,” but that others visited later in the morning. 


Light a special red candle when you come in, and pick up bells for children and youth to ring in procession (adults are welcomed to do so as well).  Candlelight church to begin, lighting of the Paschal Light (Paschal Fire).  After that Procession to the “tomb” (shrine with relics from the Holy Tomb of Christ in Jerusalem at the back of the property), Fireworks, Resurrection Matins and Resurrection Divine Liturgy. 

       Afterward for youth, the “run for the tomb” (like St. Mary Magdalene and the Apostles) will take place immediately following.

Blessing of Paschal (Easter) Baskets afterward (all baskets will be blessed inside the Social Hall).  There will be the traditional Agape Feast from baskets. 

        To partake of communion:  Eat no meat or dairy at all this day, do not eat to fullness when eating, and cease eating altogether about 8pm (unless you have diabetes or some medical condition where you have to eat).     


10am (Sunday) Carpatho-Rus Style Paschal Matins and Liturgy  

With Fr. Frederick as celebrant. For those who cannot attend midnight Pascha services, please attend.  The services will be served Carpatho-Rusyn style with Carpatho-Rusyn (prostupinia) music.  (Fr. Harry will not be at this liturgy as he will be serving the midnight liturgy, but will be at the afternoon Agape Vespers).

*Following Liturgy, Father Frederick will bless Paschal Baskets on the porch.  Before that, (during Liturgy) you can set them in the narthex (the entrance room inside the double doors of the church) on the chanter chairs and shelves to avoid bugs but bring them outside at the end for the blessing.  Just move papers on shelves to the side if you need to. 


4pm:  Agape Vespers connecting Pascha to the rest of Bright Resurrection Week  

(Fr. Harry celebrating)


Bright Wednesday April 27  Resurrection Matins and Picnic


6pm-6:30pm Resurrection Matins (multilingual with picnic following) 

Festal picnic following. You are free to bring “outside lawn games” for children and adults. I think we actually do have cornhole in the hall but you will have to check.  The canons of the Church state that the faithful are to continue their celebration of the Resurrection in Resurrection (Easter) Bright Week! 


Bright Friday April 29      


10am-10:50am Resurrection Liturgy 


May 1 Second Sunday of Paschaltide: St. Thomas, New Sunday


10am Divine Liturgy with declarations of “Christ is Risen” to our departed loved ones (please give list on paper to Fr. Harry on that Sunday morning, even if they were heathens—state language of declaration if other than English on paper). 


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