St Sulien

The sheltered valley of the Nant Tawela (Tawela Brook) is only a few miles from Lampeter, but still, in the 21st century, retains something of the remote and isolated ‘feel’ that it must have possessed for more than a millennium. There has been a Christian presence here since the 5th century. The present church dates only from 1873, but is on an ancient site. (A church was mentioned here in 1281.) It is all but surrounded by early earthworks (best seen from the air!) the church situated within an inner enclosure. Is this possibly the “llan” or sacred space of the settlement founded by St Sulien? The evidence is strong; there are no fewer than three early Christian monuments on the site, one only rediscovered in May, 2013. The earliest, built into the church wall, bears the inscription “Silbandus iacit” – an abbreviation of a familiar Christian grave-marker formula, “Silbandus lies here”. It is accepted that “Silian” (or Sulien, which would have been pronounced in a similar way) is probably an abbreviation of this name, and that Silbandus was the founder of this holy place, to which he had resorted for ‘peace and repentance’.
Sulien is not an uncommon name among early generations of Christians; a St Sulien was the abbot-founder of Luxulyan in Cornwall, and another St Sulien is associated with Cornouaille in Brittany. A third St Sulien is connected, with his brother or cousin St Mael, with Corwen in mid-Wales. One Sulien was bishop of St Davids in the 11th century, and it was his son, Rhigyfarch, who wrote the “Life of St David”. The Sulien or Silbandus of Silian must be added to this illustrious and holy company. The feast days of the saints Sulien are many and various, but a likely date for our local saint is September 2nd. We ask for his prayers.

Christmastide Services 2015 / 16

December

nativity-icon

 

  • Wednesday 16th Reader’s Vespers 18.15hrs
  • Friday 18th Akathist   18.15hrs
  • Sunday 20th Matins 09.30hrs and Liturgy 10.45hrs
  • Thursday 24th Vesperal Liturgy for the Feast of the Nativity, followed by shared meal 16.00hrs
  • Sunday 27th Reader’s Matins 10.30hrs (Priest away)
  • Wednesday 30th Vespers 18.30hrs

January

Theophany icon

  • Sunday 3rd Reader’s Matins 
  • Tuesday 5th Vespers with Great Blessing of Waters 18.15hrs *
  • Sunday 10th Matins 09.30hrs and Liturgy 10.45hrs followed by outdoor Blessing of waters
  • Wednesday 13th Vespers 18.15hrs
  • Sunday 17th Matins 09.30hrs; Liturgy 10.45hrs
  • Wednesday 20th Vespers 18.15hrs
  • Sunday 24th Matins 09.30hrs Liturgy 10.45hrs
  • Friday 29th Vespers for the Feast of the Three Hierarchs 18.15hrs
  • Sunday 31st Matins 09.30hrs Liturgy 10.45hrs followed by shared meal.

(*House Blessings following Theophany, by arrangement with the Priest.) www.lampeterorthodox.org.uk

Bara Brith

Ingredients

  • 6oz currants
  • 6oz sultanas
  • 8oz light muscovado sugar
  • 10 fl oz strong, hot tea
  • 10 oz self-raising flour
  • 1egg, beaten

Method

  • Measure the fruit and sugar into a bowl, pour over the hot tea and leave overnight.
  • Lightly grease and base line a 2 lb tin with greaseproof paper. Pre-heat the oven to 150 degrees C / 300 degrees F / Gas 2.
  • Stir the flour and egg into the fruit mixture, mix thoroughly then turn into the prepared tin and level the surface.
  • Bake in the oven for about 1½ – 1¾ hours or until well risen and firm.

Crunchy Top Lemon Cake

Ingredients

  • 4 oz. soft margarine
  • 6 oz caster sugar
  • 6oz self-raising flour
  • 1 tsb baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 tbsp milk
  • Grated rind of 1 lemon

for the crunchy topping;

  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 4 oz caster sugar

Method

  • Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees C/ 350 degrees F/ Gas 4. Lightly grease and base-line a 7 inch deep round cake tin with greaseproof paper.
  • Measure al the ingredients for the cake into a large bowl and beat well until smooth. Turn the mixture into the prepared tin and level the surface.
  • Bake in the pre-heated oven for about 35-40 minutes.
  • Whilst the cake is baking, make the crunchy topping. Measure the lemon juice and sugar into a bowl and stir until blended.
  • When the cake comes out of the oven, spread the lemon paste over the top whilst the cake is still hot.
  • Leave in the tin until cold, then turn out and remove the paper.

Christopsomo – Greek Christmas Bread

 

Greek Christmas bread Christopsomo

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast (two 1/4-ounce sachets)
  • 8 cups plain bread flour
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 2 cups whole milk, warmed
  • 2 teaspoons ground anise seeds
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
  • 4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted, plus more for pans
  • 5 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • Vegetable oil, for bowl
  • 1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten with 1 tablespoon whole milk, for egg wash
  • 3 tablespoons sesame seeds

Method

  • Sprinkle yeast, 1 cup flour, and 1/4 cup sugar over milk in a medium bowl. Cover, and let stand for 1 hour.

  • Combine remaining 7 cups flour and 1 1/2 cups sugar, the anise seeds, salt and  orange zest, . Make a well in center of mixture, and add milk mixture, melted butter, and eggs. Mix together ingredients using your hands. Once combined, turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface, and knead, adding more flour if needed, until smooth and supple, about 15 minutes.

  • Transfer dough to a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with cloth, and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

  • Butter two pans. Knead down the dough, divide in half, and place into a  prepared pan. Cover with a cloth, and let rise until doubled in volume, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. With a small amount, make  Crosses for the bread and place on the top of the loaf.

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Brush egg wash over tops of loaves, and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake until golden brown, about 45 minutes. Transfer pans to a wire rack, and let cool for 15 minutes. Run a knife around edge of pans, and remove bread. Let cool completely on wire rack.

Gospel for the Sunday before the Nativity of Christ

Ρίζα Ιεσσαί  (Root of Jesse)

The Reading from the Holy Gospel according to St. Matthew. (1:1-25)

The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. Abraham was the father of Isaac, and Isaac the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers, and Judah the father of Perez and Zerah by Tamar, and Perez the father of Hezron, and Hezron the father of Aram, and Aram the father of Amminadab, and Amminadab the father of Nahshon, and Nahshon the father of Salmon, and Salmon the father of Boaz by Rahab, and Boaz the father of Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of Jesse, and Jesse the father of David the king. And David was the father of Solomon by the wife of Uriah, and Solomon the father of Rehoboam, and Rehoboam the father of Abijah, and Abijah the father of Asa, and Asa the father of Jehoshaphat, and Jehoshaphat the father of Joram, and Joram the father of Uzziah, and Uzziah the father of Jotham, and Jotham the father of Ahaz, and Ahaz the father of Hezekiah, and Hezekiah the father of Manasseh, and Manasseh the father of Amon, and Amon the father of Josiah, and Josiah the father of Jechoniah and his brothers, at the time of the deportation to Babylon. And after the deportation to Babylon: Jechoniah was the father of Shealtiel, and Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel, and Zerubbabel the father of Abiud, and Abiud the father of Eliakim, and Eliakim the father of Azor, and Azor the father of Zadok, and Zadok the father of Achim, and Achim the father of Eliud, and Eliud the father of Eleazar, and Eleazar the father of Matthan, and Matthan the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom Jesus was born, Who is called Christ. So all the generations from Abraham to David were fourteen generations, and from David to the deportation to Babylon fourteen generations, and from the deportation to Babylon to the Christ were fourteen generations. Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child of the Holy Spirit; and her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. But as he considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit; she will bear a son, and you shall call His Name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: “Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and His Name shall be called Emmanuel” (which means, God with us). When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him; he took his wife, but knew her not until she had borne a son; and he called His Name Jesus.