How to keep God alive in and through worship in a culture that oftentimes pulls us away from our spiritual moorings?
The response here at St. Gregory’s was to create a system of patronage such as described above. Patrons, linked to a particular Feast, would compete in the most positive manner to adorn the commemoration and celebration and thus make participation in a Feast more appealing. People with busy lives, job responsibilities, educational pursuits do find themselves pulled in many directions.
Patrons seek to draw us out from the everyday into our primary roles as citizens of the Kingdom.
It would appear that this effort to help ensure the perpetuity of the festal cycle of the Orthodox Church slowly took hold.
Patrons for the Feast in actuality provide supports that Old World governments and cultures once made available to Christian peoples. It behooves all of us to be proactive in the spiritual arena so as to compensate for the negative intrusion of secularism in our lives. The energies and talents of those already participating as patrons provides hope that such efforts will sustain, and with God’s blessings, grow the desire to keep the feasts holy and acceptable.
Practical Functions include:
- Observe and celebrate the feast days of the church by providing opportunities for parishioners to be sponsors or patrons of a feast or saint’s day of their interest and choosing.
- Provide more awareness of the festal cycle of the church through education and active engagement and participation, either individually or collectively
- Enhance and to broaden the parish’s involvement in the observances of the feast days.
- Beautify the church with flowers and/or the icon of the Feast/Saint’s day.
- Beautify the exterior of the church, (planting flowers, etc.).
- Develop a service project that would bring honor to the saint/feast.
- Provide charitable undertakings that would bring honor to the feast.