Christmas: The Church should be decorated no later the evening of December 24th, and this could done as early as the Sunday before Nativity, depending on when Christmas falls during the week. A general church cleaning should be done on the Saturday prior. It would be best to start collecting for the flowers (poinsettia’s) at the beginning of the Nativity Fast which starts on November 28, and this should be included as part of the Sunday announcements.
Theophany: For the blessing of water, it would be nice if small bottles are available for people to take some blessed water home with them. The water is blessed the Eve of the Feast, January 5 — usually at the Vesperal Liturgy, unless it falls on a Saturday or Sunday, in which case the water is blessed at Vespers. The Outdoor Blessing of Waters takes place after Divine Liturgy on the Feast day itself.
Prior to Lent: The purple altar coverings need to be either cleaned or ironed. The purple coverings must be ready to be set out on Cheesefare Saturday. On Forgiveness Sunday, the bright altar coverings will be removed. At that time they may need to be cleaned. Also at this time it may be a good idea to get the white altar coverings out and see if they need any cleaning or just ironing.
Cheesefare Sunday: it is typical to serve a meal containing lots of cheese. A traditional dish is bliny, with loads of sour cream, butter, herring, and caviar. A sign up sheet should be posted a few Sundays prior..
Beginning of Lent: We should start collecting for Pascha Flowers on the first Sunday of Lent. Announcements should be made all through Lent. Sometime in the first two weeks of Lent, we need to contact a florist and order palms and pussy willows.
Third Sunday of Lent, Sunday of the Cross: we will need some flowers to decorate the cross prior to it being brought into the center of the church at the Vigil on Saturday. The flowers should be ordered at least a week in advance.
Lazarus Saturday and Palm Sunday: On Lazarus Saturday, the church will need to be decorated and cleaned for Palm Sunday. Palms fronds and pussy willow branches should be ordered a few weeks before. On Palm Sunday, we do a procession, and it is best to line up those who will carry banners and icons ahead of time. Since children played an important role in the feast, it would be nice to get children to carry at least some of the icons. This procession only goes around the Church one time, without any stops until we return back to the front door of the Church.
Holy Week and Pascha: During Holy Week, we will need to buy the flowers to decorate the tomb. If Western Easter is on the same Sunday, or the Sunday prior we can get Easter lilies, and usually you will need to get them no later than the day after Western Easter. However, if Pascha is much later, Easter lilies will not be available from any of the local garden centers. If we want Easter lilies they will have to be special ordered well in advance — however, we can order other flowers instead. We will need 4 dozen white carnations, as well as3 bunches of lemon leaves for to make the garland for for the Plashchanitsa. Candles are distributed at the evening services on Holy Thursday, Holy Friday, and at the Paschal Midnight Office. We need to make sure we have a sufficient supply of the small cups to prevent candles from dripping on the floor. On Holy Friday, between Royal Hours and the afternoon Vespers service we setup and decorated the tomb. Sometime during Holy Week, will need to go to one of the local garden centers and buy flowers. All the flower pots will need to be wrapped in foil prior to being placed around the tomb. There is a procession 3 times around the Church at the end of the Paschal Midnight Office — and so those who will carry banners and icons need to be ready to do so before the end of the Midnight Office. Also for Pascha we will need eggs dyed red for distribution on Pascha and someone to bake the Artos. Following the mid-night service, there is a meal, and so a sign up sheet for this meal should be posted a few Sundays ahead of time. The Trapeza should have tables lined up for the blessing of Easter Baskets, as well as for serving the food. A sign up sheet should also be posted for the Agape Vespers potluck.
Pentecost: It is traditional in the Russian Church to decorate the churches with green branches from trees, this should be done on the Saturday prior, and a general cleaning should probably also be done on that day.
Procession of the Cross: We will need some flowers to decorate the cross prior to it being brought into the center of the church at the Vigil on the evening prior. The flowers should be ordered at least a week in advance. Normally we use red carnations. It is traditional to bless honey on this day.
Transfiguration: It is the tradition of the Church to bless fruit especially grapes. We will need a big bowl of grapes for distribution following the service.
Dormition: Herbs and flowers can be blessed at the Liturgy of the Feast.
Elevation of the Cross: We will need some flowers to decorate the cross prior to it being brought into the center of the church at the Vigil on the evening prior. The flowers should be ordered at least a week in advance.
All Saints of North America Day: We normally have a parish feast on the Saturday before the feast day. The Icon of All Saints of North America should be specially decorated, and it would be good to decorate the Church generally as well, since the patronal feast of a parish is a second Pascha.