Spiritual Reading for Lent 2018

We are at the beginning the season of Great Lent. May I commend to you these titles for your spiritual reading and meditation (listed in no particular order):

Alexander Schmemann, Great Lent

Richard John Neuhaus, Death on a Friday Afternoon:  Meditations on the Last Words of  Jesus from the Cross 

Flannery O’Connor, A Prayer Journal 

John Behr, Becoming Human

Brother Lawrence, The Practice of the Presence of God

Jean-Pierre de Caussade,  The Sacrament of the Present Moment

Frederica Mathewes-Green, The Illumined Heart

Frank Sheed, Theology for Beginners

Peter Kreeft, Your Questions, God’s Answers

C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters

Pope Benedict XVI, Holy Days: Meditations on the Feasts, Fasts, and Other Solemnities of the Church 

Pope Benedict XVI, Jesus of Nazareth: Holy Week: From the Entrance Into Jerusalem To The Resurrection 

Which books would you recommend for Lent?

Beginning Lent, again…

Archpriest David Petras reviews some hallmarks of the liturgical observance and prayer.
In the Great Fast, the days follow the more ancient system of the Roman Empire, running from midnight to midnight. In the oldest stratum of the Proper texts for the Great Fast, there is a “samohlasen,” (Slavonic term) or “idiomelon” (Greek term) for the morning service (Orthros/Matins) and for the evening service (Vespers) that gives the keynote for each day of the Fast. These hymns are sung twice, usually at the apostichera, to accent their importance.
Cheesefare Sunday:
Behold, this is the time of spiritual struggle and the victory over demons. The armor of temperance is the splendor of the angels and the assurance of closeness to God. By it Moses became a confidant of the Creator, and was able to hear his voice in invisible revelations. By it, grant us also in your goodness, O Lord to adore your Passion and your holy Resurrection.
The light of your grace has shone upon our souls, O Lord. Behold, this is the favorable time, the season of conversion. Let us turn away from the works of darkness, and let us clothe ourselves with the armor of light, so that, crossing the ocean of the Fast, we may come to the harbor of the Resurrection on the third day with our Lord Jesus Christ, the Savior of our souls.
Monday of the First Week:
The holy Fast has arrived; it denounces sin and defends repentance. It is the time of temperance. It brings salvation close to us, and makes us share the life of angels. O faithful, let us cry out with full voice: Lord have mercy on us.
Let us offer a fast acceptable to the Lord, for the true fast is the estrangement from sin: no more idle chatter, no more wrath; no more evil desires, no insults; no more lying, no false oaths. If we abstain from all this, we shall keep a fast that is indeed acceptable to the Lord.

Divine Liturgy for the coming week

Glory to Jesus Christ

Sunday, 2/11/18 Sunday of the Cheesefare —The Holy Priest-Martyr Blaise, Bishop of Sebastea

9:00 a.m. For the people of the parish
10:30 a.m. +Dario Aponte requests by the Czabala and Aponte Families

Epistle: Romans 13:11-14:4
Gospel: Matthew 6:14-21, Tone 3

Monday, 2/12/18 Our Holy Father Meletius, Archbishop of Antioch

All weekdays of Lent are aliturgical. On Wednesdays and Fridays of Lent, the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts is to be celebrated (See Dolnytskyj Typikon p. 349).

Today is a day of abstinence from both meat and dairy products.

Tuesday, 2/13/18 Our Venerable Father Martinian

Wednesday, 2/14/18 The Repose of Our Venerable Father Constantine the Philosopher, in the Monastic Life, Cyril, Teacher of the Slavs

Thursday, 2/15/18 The Holy Apostle Onesimus

Friday, 2/16/18 The Holy Martyrs Pamphilius the Priest and Porphyrius and Companions

Saturday, 2/17/18 Commemoration of the Miracle the Great Martyr Theodor the Recruit

9:00 a.m. +Anna Lipcan (9th Anniv., Pan) requested by Patrick and Barbara Bagley

Sunday, 2/18/18 First Sunday of Lent —The Sunday of Orthodoxy —Our Holy Father Leo, Pope of Rome

9:00 a.m. For the people of the parish
10:30 a.m. +Ivan Kyzyk (100 years from birth) requested by the Kyzyk Family

Epistle: Hebrews 11:24-26; 32-12-2
Gospel: John 1:43-51, Tone 4

Parish announcements this week

Christ is among us!

This week vigil light is offered to God’s glory by Barbara and Patrick Bagley in memory of +Anna Lipcan.

Dear parishioners and guests, after each Divine Liturgy, coffee and hard rolls are available in the church hall.

The Rectory Office will be closed from Monday, February 12, 2018 until Friday, February 16, 2018. Father Iura will be in New York State for Clergy Days.

Sorokousty (All Souls’ Remembrance) will be celebrated on Sunday after All Souls Saturdays: February 25, March 4 and 11, and May 19. Please take a book found in the entrance of the church, fill it out, place it in envelope and drop it in the collection basket. Let us remember all our loved ones who have gone to their heavenly reward. Eternal Memory!

Great Lent

By the threefold discipline of fasting, prayer and almsgiving the Church keeps the Great Fast/Lent from Monday, February 12, after the Cheesefare Sunday (February 11) to the day before Easter, Holy Saturday, March 31. The following regulations apply, in general to all Ukrainian Catholics of the Stamford Eparchy between ages 21 to 60: Abstinence from meat and dairy products on the first day of the Great Fast, February 12, and Good Friday, March 30. The following regulations apply, in general, to all Ukrainians Catholics of the Stamford Eparchy between ages 14 to 60: Abstinence from meat is to be observed on all Fridays of the Great Fast. Abstinence from meat is suggested and encouraged on all Wednesdays of the Great Fast. The following are exempt from abstinence: 1. The poor who live on alms; 2. The sick and the frail; 3. Convalescents who are returning to their strength; 4. Pregnant women, and women who are nursing their children; and 5. Persons who perform hard labor. Meat is to be understood as including not only the flesh, but also those parts of warm-blooded animals that cannot be rendered, i. e., melted down, e.g., the liver, lungs, blood, etc. meat gravy or soup made from meat is included in this prohibition. Dairy products are to be understood as comprising products derived from mammals and birds, but not regarded as meat, e. g., cheese, lard, butter, milk, eggs, etc.  Eucharistic Fast: A fast of one hour from food (prior to service begging time) should be kept by those receiving the Eucharist at the evening celebration of the Divine Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts, as well as, the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom and St. Basil the Great.

Friday of Cheesefare Week

Breaking of bread at Emmaus

One of the images for the Great Fast is that of a journey. Since the Fast lasts 40 days, the 40 year journey of the Israelites through the desert to the Promised Land is a particularly powerful image. The Israelites were fed on manna in the desert, but in our journey we are fed by the Body of Christ in the Presanctified Liturgy. Jesus said: “I am the bread of life. Your ancestors ate the manna in the desert, but they died. This is the bread that comes down from heaven so that one may eat it and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world” (John 6:48-51).

The readings from Zechariah tell us of another journey: “Thus says the Lord of hosts: I am going to rescue my people from the land of the rising sun, and from the land of the setting sun. I will bring them back to dwell within Jerusalem … Many peoples and strong nations will come to seek the Lord of hosts in Jerusalem and to implore the favor of the Lord” (Zechariah 8:7-8.22). Jerusalem is our goal. There our Lord died and there he gave us life. Our Lord said, “Yet I must continue on my way today, tomorrow, and the following day, for it is impossible that a prophet should die outside of Jerusalem” (Luke 13:33).

We are invited to follow him in our hearts to the heavenly Jerusalem where all glory will be fulfilled.

Meditation by Archpriest David Petras

Medical Equipment and Medical Supplies Drive

The United Ukrainian American Relief Committee (UUARC) Connecticut will conduct a Medical Equipment and Medical Supplies Drive beginning Monday, February 12, 2018 through Monday, March 25, 2018 with drop off:

  • St Michael Ukrainian Catholic Church Hall, 569 George Street, New Haven, CT
  • Ukrainian National Home of Hartford 961, Wethersfield Avenue, Hartford, CT

Items may include medical durables (for example:  beds, recliners, wheelchairs, canes or walkers) and medical supplies (for example:  adult or children diapers).

If you would like to make a financial donation, please make checks payable to UUARC 1206 Cottman Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19111.

Thank you.

If you have any questions, please contact the following persons:

Myron Kolinsky-860-563-4072
Ihor and Natalia Rudko-860-537-4051
Ivan Kebalo-860-299-6727
Halia Lodynsky-203-494-6278
Myron Melnyk-201-264-9793

Anne Applebaum speaking at Yale

The Polish-Hungarian Friendship Society will be hosting a discussion with Pulitzer Prize-winning author Anne Applebaum on Tuesday, February 13, at Yale University in Linsly-Chittenden Hall 317 at 5:30 p.m. The discussion will be moderated by Laszlo Gendler.

Ms. Applebaum recently published Red Famine: Stalin’s War on Ukraine.

Mention of Applebaum and her new book was noted on this parish blog here.

An article on the book by George Weigel.

Thursday of Cheesefare Week

In Cheesefare Week, we read the passion of our Lord according to St. Luke. What strikes me today is how the passion affects the people around Jesus. The women of Jerusalem receive a warning. The corrupt rulers Pilate and Herod make up and become friends. The venerable Joseph of Arimathea, member of the council, who “had not consented to their decision and deed,” courageously asks for the body of Jesus and gives it burial.

Simon of Cyrene is made to bear Jesus’ cross, becoming an icon for all of us who believe, for Jesus said, “Unless you take up your cross and follow me, you cannot be my disciple.” But what is the cross – it is love for the other to the point of laying down our own lives. The soldiers receive forgiveness, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” Then the soldiers repent, “Certainly, this was a righteous man.” (Verse 23:47) Maybe we have this mercy thing upside down. We say, repent and we will show you mercy, maybe it goes the opposite way, we show mercy and the person repents.

Jesus shows mercy to the woman caught in adultery, then tells her, “Go, and sin no more.”

Meditation by Archpriest David Petras

Holy Prophet Zechariah

“Thus says the Lord: I have returned to Zion, and I will dwell within Jerusalem; Jerusalem will be called the faithful city, and the mountain of the Lord of hosts, the holy mountain. Thus says the Lord of hosts: Old men and old women will again sit in the streets of Jerusalem, each with staff in hand because of old age (Zechariah 8:1-2).

Zechariah was the prophet of the restoration of Jerusalem. In faith, we see this restoration in the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He was born in Bethlehem, in the environs of Jerusalem. He fulfilled the prophecy, “I have returned to Zion, and I will dwell in Jerusalem.” He is the light of the city. In the Feast of the Encounter, we see our Lord in Jerusalem, in its spiritual center, the temple and we see Zechariah’s prophecy fulfilled again. “Old men and old women will again sit in the streets of Jerusalem,” and in the present feast we see the old man Simeon and the old woman Anna in Jerusalem welcoming the coming of the Lord. Zechariah sees the Lord coming to Jerusalem as its king, prophesying Palm Sunday, “Exult greatly, O daughter Zion! Shout for joy, O daughter Jerusalem! Behold: your king is coming to you, a just savior is he, humble, and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey” (Zechariah 9:9).

Zechariah thus sets the seal on our pilgrimage in the feast of lights, as we come to the spiritual Jerusalem, welcoming Jesus as our Savior, our priest and our king. To find life in him is the continual renewal of our faith.

Meditation by Archpriest David Petras